Find yourself mired in an organization (and feel free to substitute relationship, school, whatever outside entity you want here) that isn’t working for you?

No matter what you do, you’re not able to advance ideas, get things done, or maybe even feel like you’re being heard. Worse yet, you can’t afford to walk away even though your frustration feels like it’s eating you up inside.

Sound familiar?

Wonder what you can do?

Here’s an idea – quit complaining and channel your energy into being smarter and more innovative than the system in which you’re stuck!  Possible approaches:

Take the weekend, plan your strategy, be positive, and come in as a new person this Monday! - Mike Brown

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I was in my first meeting the other day of a group expected to help shape strategy  for an organization with domestic and international reach to a mainly young audience. Of the eleven people present, ten were Caucasian males (mostly baby boomers), and the other was a Caucasian female baby boomer.

Ok, big problem looming!

Next time you’re on an input-giving or decision making group, look around at the participants. If you’re lacking diversity on any important dimension relevant to your target audience, voice a concern.

In this case, after challenging ourselves on the group’s composition, one member offered to have his wife take his place. Nice sentiment, but hardly a fix for the underlying problem.

Leaders need to aggressively look out for diversity and ensure it’s taken into consideration, even when it means reaching far outside their traditional networks to include different people. Beyond being an issue of propriety, it’s critical for innovation and sound strategic decision making. – Mike Brown

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Most of the US has been pounded with cold and snow the past few weeks. Don’t know about you, but it makes me feel my creative spirit is at a dead end when things outside are cold, bleak, and dark.

So what to do to turn a creative “dead end” into a “live start”?

Here are the ideas I wrote down for myself the other day to break out of my creative doldrums:

  • Be around fun people
  • Spend some fun time with my wife
  • Nap without worrying about losing valuable time
  • Go someplace bright and warm
  • Go someplace dark and warm
  • Finish something (realizing that, unfortunately, blogs aren’t ever done unless you quit them)
  • Find someone who loves something I created
  • Seek out people who have good news to share
  • Appreciate what I have
  • Get worn out from working out and quit eating holiday treats
  • Make a cool handwritten font

That’s what I’ve been trying. Please add your ideas to the list too! – 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.

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In many circles, “strategy” has become a bad word, right up there with “creativity,” “innovation,” and even “thinking.” There clearly are business people who see strategy as mucking up getting things done. For them, strategy is perceived as simply adding time, cost, and complexity. It’s viewed as an impediment to running a business successfully. And by “successfully,” I mean “by the seat of their pants.”

To try getting a toehold for introducing a strategic perspective in these environments, we talk about strategy at Brainzooming as “addressing what matters with insight and innovation.”

It’s tough for executives to argue against the “what matters” part, especially when making a case for something tactical as REALLY important. It forces them to put up or shut up if an idea is more of a pet project than a fundamental business issue.

Granted, “insight” is a little easier to sell-in than innovation; people don’t want to be “dumb” about the work they’re doing even when they’re willing to accept a “status quo” mindset.

The clear implication the past few years is the simpler and more straightforward the definitions, process, and deliverables of strategy creation and implementation are, the more likely something successful will happen.  – Mike Brown

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A year ago, a “friend” was someone I’d almost certainly met in person. We had come to know one another through shared personal experiences. Keeping in touch was enjoyable, even if through infrequent phone or email exchanges.

One year later, having used Twitter and the Brainzooming blog in a strategy to “meet” people globally, my concept of friendship has been dramatically expanded.

Now, there are “friends” I have:

  • Never spoken to directly and may never speak to via phone, and certainly not in person.
  • Come to know through shared online experiences, typically in messages of 140 characters, that have nevertheless provided memorable insights into their personalities.
  • Been excited to see show up (via their avatars) and communicate with on Twitter, the blog, or in my email.

This expanded group of friends has enriched my life tremendously. They’ve shared their expertise, talents, ideas, creativity, reading lists, suggestions, and personal cheerleading so generously. I communicate with many of them weekly, and know them better than IRL people I’ve been around for years.

All this is a remarkable transformation in perspective, especially considering for a number of these new friends, I don’t even know their full names.

In what innovative ways has your definition of “friend” been changed by social media? – Mike Brown

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Be a contrarian this year – Think when others are reacting. Get antsy when everyone’s comfortable. Innovate when you don’t have to innovate.

Embrace dramatic change – Go against the “change one thing and test” strategy. Get friendly with chaos and change lots of things at once.

Get more from your life – Live today with wonder as if it were your first day. Create as if it were the only day you have. Be as bold as if today were your last.   - Mike Brown


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Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic ideas! For an organizational creativity boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

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The title topic came up recently on Twitter, as it had at a B2B social media roundtable late last year: Who should be doing social media strategy and implementation for a brand – organizationally and individually?

My take is a strategic perspective is the foundation for a social media effort to build a sustaining impact. When it comes to questions of social media strategy “ownership,”  it’s clear sole responsibility for it doesn’t fit nicely into a box on today’s org charts.

Stepping back from the discussions, I forced myself into three criteria which seem necessary for taking on social media responsibilities in corporations:

  • Ability to always be on message for the brand, which implies effectively linking brand strategy to messaging
  • Appropriate sensibilities for social media channels
  • Diverse communication skills that work across various social media channels

Sometimes those people are in marketing communications, but you may find them in other parts of a company as well. They may also exist outside a company’s employee base; that’s fine too.

Most importantly, given the rapid pace of social media, you want the best strategic writers crafting the communication. Where are these people located in and around your company? Find them wherever they may be! – Mike Brown

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