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Mystery – You don’t have to say everything you think, explain everything you know, or reveal everything you don’t understand.

Mind Games – What we think, what we know, & what we’ll admit to ourselves can be so wildly different.

Determination – If instead of angst, you first tackle a new challenge with solid thinking & smart actions, you’ll rarely get back to angst.

Action – You can know a lot of people in all the right places, but if you don’t do something about it, it’s all for naught.

Defiance – There’s true danger in blind compliance.  – Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

 

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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6

In the spirit of community efforts to generate ideas for how the Google Fiber implementation (which we covered a few weeks ago) can changes lives in Kansas City, The Brainzooming Group is excited to announce we are partnering with Social Media Club of Kansas City to facilitate a large-scale brainstorming session with a cross-community group to address the topic.

The day-long session, facilitated using the Brainzooming methodology and strategic thinking exercises, will address needs and opportunities for a variety of communities within Kansas City.

Concepts and ideas generated during the strategic ideation session will be posted online and made available to the community, organizations, developers, and innovators interested in pursuing the concepts to change the lives of Kansas Citians.

The full press release for the event is at the end of this post.

How Can Brainzooming Readers Get Involved?

All of you are invited to provide your ideas and thoughts in an online survey to help shape the in-person brainstorming session. This approach is the same we use with clients to bring as many diverse perspectives as possible into an in-person brainstorming and strategic thinking session.

We’ll be providing updates throughout the process here and at the main website for the event.

This is one of the most exciting efforts we’ve been involved with and can’t wait until October 3 to get going on it! –  Mike Brown

 

Social Media Leaders Seek Kansas City’s Roadmap to Gigabit City

Group to Brainstorm Strategies to Quickly Capitalize on Google High-Speed Fiber

09.15.2011– The area’s most avid internet users and innovators will convene with business, education and civic leaders to brainstorm ways to capitalize on Google’s bestowment of ultra-high speed fiber internet network upon Kansas City.

After Google announced last spring that Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri are the two initial cities to benefit from “internet access more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have today,” the task falls to the community to determine the best ways this technological gift should be used.

In response, the Social Media Club of Kansas City (SMCKC) will host “Building the Gigabit City: Brainstorming a Google Fiber Roadmap” October 3rd at the Kansas City (MO) Public Library Central Branch, one of the event’s major sponsors.

SMCKC member Mike Brown, founder of The Brainzooming Group, will lead the invitation-only, daylong work session. Brown volunteered to fully donate the company’s innovation services and the Brainzooming Methodology to the session that will bring together more than 50 individuals from SMCKC as well as the broader community—a combination of visionary entrepreneurs, developers, business leaders and creators.

A public presentation of preliminary results from the Gigabit City session and a call for public input will be conducted from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Kansas City Public Library Central Branch Helzberg Auditorium at 14 W. 10th Street in Kansas City, MO.

“The importance of not only accepting this tool from Google, but using it with an eye towards long-term success cannot be overstated,” Brown said. “The Brainzooming Group is based in Kansas City, and our method successfully allows a large, diverse group to actively contribute and shape ideas. That diversity of thinking is exactly what’s needed to bring the community’s best ideas to the surface.”

The public is invited to share their thoughts about community needs and opportunities that gigabit home internet might help address prior to the workshop by completing an online survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GigabitCity. Data collected from the survey will be used to stimulate a focused, facilitated workshop designed to yield hundreds of potential ideas and at least 25 refined application concepts about what Google Fiber might mean to consumer households.

“We want to lay a framework on which businesses and individuals can develop opportunities on the social web within the Kansas City community, positioning the region as a national leader in the social technology and innovation space,” said Joe Cox, president of the Social Media Club of Kansas City. “As a metro area we will have a short window as the first gigabit city, and we believe in getting ideas on the table and into action as quickly as possible to take full advantage of the opportunity we have been given.”

Session output will also be shared with the public online as a crowdsourced foundation of opportunities and concepts for creation of positive economic, educational and lifestyle changes in Kansas City.

Other sponsors for “Building the Gigabit City” include Polsinelli Shughart PC and KCNext.

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement.  To learn how we can bring out the best innovative thinking in your team email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320.

 

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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I had a great opportunity to participate in a panel presentation Wednesday at the Association of Fundraising Professionals, MO, Mid-America Chapter along with Dave Svet of Spur Communications and Patrick Sallee of the American Red Cross, Greater Kansas City Chapter. The topic was “Can Your Smartphone Be a Smart Fundraiser? Mobile fundraising and other “Smart” Strategies.” Short story, we all approached it from a social networking and mobile strategy angle, with insights applicable to nonprofits and for-profit businesses both.

The Other Speakers

Patrick Sallee covered actual case studies of “text to give” from his career. Patrick addressed the upsides (significant impact opportunities when tied to an attention-getting event) and downsides (set-up and ongoing costs, long payment processing cycles, challenges in reaching sufficient scale). The net of his remarks was that “text to give” yields on average about $1000 for a charity, which makes pursuing this social networking strategy not widely viable.

Dave Svet provided a solid overview of the technical opportunities and challenges of mobile giving. He covered smart phone trends that will make mobile giving more seamless domestically in a few years. Near-term, Dave underscored the importance of a mobile-enabled website and the opportunity to develop app-like features within a web environment at significantly less cost than creating custom apps.

Mobile Content Marketing Strategy

I presented on content marketing strategies for nonprofits before fund raising even starts. The mobile content marketing ideas were tied to a social networking impact model The Brainzooming Group uses. The social networking impact model is focused on maximizing audience interests, how to create compelling communication within a mobile strategy, and methods to employ social networking most effectively in sharing an organization’s stories with its key audiences.

Here are five key social networking points from my section on mobile content marketing:

  • It is no surprise that spouses, relatives, friends, and experts are more important to consumer brand decisions than having a Facebook or Twitter page. Two big opportunities exist for brands in social networking, though. These opportunities are to share content and a personality which moves a brand into a friend or expert role and to provide content to individual social network members they can readily and credibly share within their own social networks.
  • Develop relevant personas for important audiences to improve addressing audience needs and interests with your content. Write content for individuals (not for the masses) about what your organization thinks, knows, and does.
  • In a mobile environment, compelling communication requires brevity, direct calls to action, integrated messaging, a mobile-enabled website, and easy ways to invite people to deeper information.
  • When making the move from solely traditional communication vehicles (annual reports, quarterly newsletters, events, etc.) to include social media, take advantage of the opportunity for greater frequency to share a more complete organizational message. Quarterly Facebook status updates do not cut it.
  • In addition to sharing stories of the people and personalities associated with your organization, make it easy for your audience to share your content via social sharing.

What Questions Does this Prompt?

Beyond the talks from Patrick Sallee, Dave Svet, and me, there were some intriguing questions from the group on social networking, technology, and content marketing. Look for a future post addressing audience questions from the Association of Fundraising Professionals session on social networking and mobile content marketing strategy. Do you have any questions you’d like to throw in the mix before that post? – Mike Brown

 

If you’re struggling with determining ROI and evaluating its impacts, download “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track” today!  This article provides a concise, strategic view of the numbers and stories that matter in shaping, implementing, and evaluating your strategy. You’ll learn lessons about when to address measurement strategy, identifying overlooked ROI opportunities, and creating a 6-metric dashboard. Download Your Free Copy of “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track!”

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Seems like everybody is a “solutions provider” these days. Whether you make a product, provide a service, or do just about anything, you better be telling clients you’re a  “business solutions provider.” In the past, it used to be all about “answers,” but when everybody started doing that, “solutions provider” became the new buzzphrase for every vendor to tout.

Having had a lot of vendors call on me in my corporate life talking about being a solutions provider, I became very skeptical about the buzzphrase and what business expertise might really be behind it.

What Does It Really Mean to Provide Solutions

In light of that, it was refreshing at an event I was helping produce recently to hear a business-to-business services customer offer his perspective on what being a business solutions provider really means for him. While his list was industry specific, his remarks prompted this short list of questions a vendor (or their business clients) should be able to answer “yes” to if solutions really are part of the equation:

This list clearly just skims the surface. For those of you buying business products and services from companies claiming to provide solutions, what do you think separates  companies really solving challenges from the posers who claim to but don’t?

– Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement.  To learn how we can bring out the best innovative thinking in your team email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Leadership – Faux leaders don’t want people to be in a position to tell them something they’re doing is stupid. Watch for this telltale sign of a poor leader.

Truth – When you hate the truth, you’re hating on something you’ll regret hating on for a long time. It may not always seem to us as if truth wins the day, but truth wins even when we can’t recognize it.

Openness – If things aren’t going well, and you’re not hearing your team discuss reasons why, maybe you have mental cotton stuffed in your ears.

Subterfuge – When someone becomes surprisingly eloquent, look to see if their results are surprisingly weak as well.

Root Causes– When you look around for who is causing recurring problems, don’t forget to stop in front of a mirror. – Mike Brown


The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us atbrainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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In a week that’s been about loss and remembrance, the  line from the old song about “you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone” comes to mind.  The line seems generally true.

But you might be able to know a little more about what you got before it’s gone if you:

  • Spend time reflecting on what gives you joy & fulfillment in your life.
  • Take a temporary break from the things in life you most enjoy.
  • Look at old family pictures or videos and appreciate the people who were with you then who are still with you now.
  • Spend time with people less fortunate than you are.
  • Start a journal or a blog reflecting changes in your life.
  • Realize that everything you have is a gift from God.
What else would help us know what we got before it’s gone? – Mike Brown

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Following up the Scott Monty presentation at the Social Media Club of Kansas City last Friday, I wanted to share these tweets. The Scott Monty presentation was outstanding. It struck me how many of his key points were applicable not only to online behaviors but to great offline behaviors as well. Whether in our business or personal lives, there are some basic behaviors that go a long way to helping other people and their dreams for success.

Offline and Online Behaviors Are a Lot Alike

Here are eight of Scott Monty’s comments. I am not sure whether I captured them all as direct quotes or not, but consider them all Scott Monty presentation content:

  • It is all about supporting business objectives.
  • Attention and trust are fundamental.
  • A personal touch and regular engagement make a real difference.
  • You have to share with quality and do it consistently and repeatedly.
  • You have to display respect and humility in all communications.
  • At a certain point, you have to realize someone may be a lost cause and not waste resources trying to convert them.
  • Great products back up everything you communicate.
  • Passion is the secret weapon.

Wrap-Up

Scott Monty delivered a great message throughout his “social media” presentation: good offline and online behaviors are the same. As he pointed out, successful social media people act just as Dale Carnegie suggested when he published “How to Win Friends and Influence People” in 1936. – Mike Brown

 

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If you’re struggling with determining ROI and evaluating its impacts, download 6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track” today!  This article provides a concise, strategic view of the numbers and stories that matter in shaping, implementing, and evaluating your strategy. You’ll learn lessons about when to address measurement strategy, identifying overlooked ROI opportunities, and creating a 6-metric dashboard. Download Your Free Copy of “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track!

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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