Treasure Mapping


The purpose of Treasure Mapping is to create a powerful visual representation of what people – individually or collectively – want to create in their personal or professional lives. It is one of the ways in a workgroup, or the entire organization can create a shared vision.

How It Is Done

Each participant is given a pile of magazines, a pair of scissors, and a stick of glue. If the Treasure Mapping is being done as an individual activity, the participants are given a sheet of paper, perhaps 8.5 x 11 or A3 size.

If it is being done as a collective activity, a large sheet of paper is taped to the wall.

First, participants are asked to think about the ‘new something or other’ (such as a new way of working, a new product or a new service) that they would like to see come into being.

Then they flip through the magazines, paying attention to any images or headlines that resonate with the ‘new something or other’. They cut these items out and glue them to the sheet of paper.

When the Treasure Mapping is done as an individual activity, people typically form pairs to share their Treasure Maps and look for similarities and differences, which if appropriate, can be transferred to Post-it Notes, announced to the other participants, and clustered.

When the treasure mapping is done as a collective activity, people gather around the treasure map, discuss what they see, and look for themes, noticing any significant differences.