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Here is a look back on the last year and 46 articles on innovation strategy, whether it’s crafting strategy for your own brand, looking to the market for innovation opportunities, using structured innovative thinking to drive change, or contending with internal barriers to innovation strategy. All that, plus a few articles via innovation strategy expert, Woody Bendle.

Get out there and change things for the better!

Innovation Strategy

Innovation-Strategy

Marketing and Competitive Strategy

Rules-of-brainstorming

Structure, Exercises, Roles, and Rules

Barriers to Innovation and Change

We-Create-Innovative-Ideas-Brainzooming

Innovation Strategy via Woody Bendle

 

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Download: FREE Innovation Strategic Thinking Fake Book

Brainzooming Outside-In Innovation Strategic Thinking Tools eBookAre you making the best use of customer input and market insights to deliver innovation and growth? Creating successful, innovative new products and services has never been more dependent on tapping perspectives from outside your organization.

This new ebook features sixteen strategic thinking exercises to help you ideate, prioritize, and develop your best innovative growth ideas. Download this free, concise ebook to:

  • Identify your organization’s innovation profile
  • Learn and rapidly deploy effective strategic thinking exercises to spur innovation
  • Incorporate crowd sourced perspectives into your innovation strategy in smart ways

Download this FREE ebook to turn ideas into actionable innovation strategies to drive your organization’s growth.

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When facilitating creative thinking for a group, it’s helpful, at least for us, to think of structuring the flow as a performance, even though none of the participants may think of it like that. Considering an analogy between creative thinking and planning a live performance opens a whole variety of new ways to approach creativity.

Creative Thinking and James Brown on the T.A.M.I. Show

I led a sheltered musical life growing up and missed a lot of great music when it first appeared. One music experience before my time I only learned about years after it took place came via a reference in a Police song. In the song, “When the World Is Running Down,” the Police mention a video of James Brown on the T.A.M.I. Show.

Although seeing James Brown live twice in his later years, it wasn’t until recently I discovered how incredible James Brown was on the T.A.M.I. show while watching the Mick Jagger-produced documentary, “Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown.”

I have read many references over the years to how memorable James Brown was on the T.A.M.I. show, but seeing snippets of the performance in the documentary prompted watching the full performance on YouTube many times in the past few weeks.

It truly is remarkable!

Jeams-Brown-TAMI

Just Watch the Video

So I know everybody is busy, and NO ONE has any time for watching a nearly fifty-year old, eighteen minute music performance.

Ignore all that.

Take time to watch this video of James Brown on the T.A.M.I. show if you’ve never seen it. Careful though, because the video may be TFFW (Too Funky for Work) depending on your office.

And in case you need to make watching the James Brown performance “work-related” to justify taking time from your day to watch it, you’ll find an array of lessons that translate into how you might approach leading a team through creative “performance.” I counted nearly twenty lessons on starting a group sessionsequencing creative thinking exercises for maximum effect, exploiting the rule of three, and better using emotion to get people engaged in creativity.

If you’d like to see the list, with time codes, you can do so on this page. You can use the list to prove to your boss everything is above board and all very productive! – Mike Brown

 

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the free Brainzooming blog email updates.

Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic creative thinking and ideas! 

For an organizational innovation success 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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I received a question asking for more details on the recent post about how a Zoomference enables an organization to streamline strategic planning exercises and deliver a plan more quickly through using our online collaboration platform.

In response, here’s a case study from a Zoomference we facilitated last week. If you need to remove time from your organization’s strategic planning process (either for an imminent planning deadline before year end or for planning you do throughout the year), here’s how a Zoomference from Brainzooming makes it happen.

The Zoomference Case Study – Ideas to a Plan in 6 Hours

Our client is an industry association management team deployed in multiple locations. With forty potential initiatives identified as possibilities for the next year, our objective was to help narrow the initiatives to a manageable number and develop strategic plans for the top priorities.

The pressing deadline was the need to deliver the strategic plan to its board members a mere eight days after we started our work.

Based on a preliminary conversation with the client, we designed a planning schedule and four online collaboration sessions for the week. The first three Zoomference online collaboration sessions included an orientation and two working sessions to gather input on priorities and implementation; these sessions were MondayTuesday, and Wednesday. The final session, last Friday morning, was to review the plan based on the week’s work.

2015-strategic-plan

Zooming through Strategic Planning Exercises

Within the first three online collaborative strategic planning sessions (less than six hours of the client’s time), we:

  • Gathered input to develop a prioritization model for the organization going forward
  • Identified the list of forty potential priorities
  • Used a rough version of the prioritization tool to narrow the forty initiatives to six
  • Ranked the six initiatives and identified the top five
  • Gathered input from the group about their objectives and potential approaches with each of the five initiatives

After completing the third session on Wednesday, The Brainzooming Group team developed the input into five initiative plans, complete with strategy statements, metrics, critical success factors, and implementation steps to make the plan a reality in 2015. We reviewed the twenty-plus page strategic plan with the team on Friday morning, making final edits to prepare this week’s board presentation.

Yes, you read that right.

The start-to-finish client time investment for a prioritized, five-initiative strategic plan ready to share with the board was about seven hours.

In fact, at one point, I let the team know they’d done 4 weeks of work in 45 minutes.

And the client’s reaction? It’s “amazing.”

That’s the power of combining Brainzooming strategic planning exercises with our online collaboration platform to create a Zoomference.

Want to take advantage of the power of a Zoomference?

If you’d like to spend less time planning and more time doing, a Zoomference is what you need.

Email (info@brainzooming.com) or call us at 816-509-5320 to schedule time to learn how The Brainzooming Group can create a Zoomference to help you address your strategic planning questions and complete your plan for next year while there’s still time! – Mike Brown

Enjoy this article? Subscribe to the free Brainzooming blog email updates.

 

 

Download: FREE Innovation Strategic Thinking Fake Book

Brainzooming Outside-In Innovation Strategic Thinking Tools eBookAre you making the best use of customer input and market insights to deliver innovation and growth? Creating successful, innovative new products and services has never been more dependent on tapping perspectives from outside your organization.

This new ebook features sixteen strategic thinking exercises to help you ideate, prioritize, and develop your best innovative growth ideas. Download this free, concise ebook to:

  • Identify your organization’s innovation profile
  • Learn and rapidly deploy effective strategic thinking exercises to spur innovation
  • Incorporate crowd sourced perspectives into your innovation strategy in smart ways

Download this FREE ebook to turn ideas into actionable innovation strategies to drive your organization’s growth.

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It’s great to post the rules of brainstorming on the wall when you have a group assembled to use their collective creative thinking skills to come up with new ideas. Doing this is helpful as a reference point just in case anyone is unsure about encouraging wild ideas, the importance of not judging ideas right away, or the creative hazards of thinking too narrowly about possibilities group members might suggest.

And if you’re going to put up the rules of brainstorming, you might as well go big!

Rules-of-brainstorming2

This installation, “Rules of Brainstorming,” is featured in an Innovation Lab at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management on the campus of the University of Missouri Kansas City. It is a gift from Steelcase, Scott Rice, BNIM, and Moore, Ruble, Yudell Architects and Designers.

Caption-Brainstorming

While I’d have loved to see “defer judgment” all on one line so you don’t simply see “judgment” by itself and “take small bets” seems to move into convergent thinking (as opposed to the divergent thinking phase of brainstorming, the installation is an incredible addition to an already great space.

Applying Creative Thinking Skills from Across the Nation

I’m particularly excited to know we’re going to use this Innovation Lab for a Brainzooming creative thinking session!

As part of the January 2015 Gigabit City Summit, we’ll be leading communities from throughout the United States in exploring the social and economic impacts of gigabit internet availability, much as we did in Kansas City in 2011. At the Gigabit City Summit, we’ll be sharing a variety of strategic and creative thinking tools the communities can use to envision the future in a more dynamic and collaborative way! – Mike Brown

Enjoy this article? Subscribe to the free Brainzooming blog email updates.

 

 

Download: FREE Innovation Strategic Thinking Fake Book

Brainzooming Outside-In Innovation Strategic Thinking Tools eBookAre you making the best use of customer input and market insights to deliver innovation and growth? Creating successful, innovative new products and services has never been more dependent on tapping perspectives from outside your organization.

This new ebook features sixteen strategic thinking exercises to help you ideate, prioritize, and develop your best innovative growth ideas. Download this free, concise ebook to:

  • Identify your organization’s innovation profile
  • Learn and rapidly deploy effective strategic thinking exercises to spur innovation
  • Incorporate crowd sourced perspectives into your innovation strategy in smart ways

Download this FREE ebook to turn ideas into actionable innovation strategies to drive your organization’s growth.

 

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A quote from actress, Julianne Moore in Entertainment Weekly (Oct. 31, 2014), is important from a strategic thinking perspective.

“Every actor you talk to, unless they’re fooling themselves, will tell you that you’re at the mercy of who will hire you next. The only control we have is saying yes or no.”

While Julianne Moore applies the quote to actors, the strategic thinking perspective relates to anyone in a role where what’s next after whatever you’re doing now isn’t routinely known.

Julianne-Moore

Framed that way, the quote extends to entrepreneurs, major brands making strategic decisions, and even employees inside companies who have some flexibility on navigating their projects and responsibilities.

Beyond extending the strategic thinking perspective to other fields, turning it into a strategic thinking question adds even more power. Ask yourself, “What am I saying ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to?”

Are you saying “yes” and “no” deliberately and strategically?

Or are you doing so out of instinct, feelings, boredom, or something else?

It’s not that being less deliberate about saying “yes” or “no” to what’s next is wrong. It might simply mean it’s going to be more challenging for you to learn from and build on past successes and failures to move forward in a specific direction.

No right or wrong answers today. Simply the strategic thinking question you can use as a daily reflection if you so choose: “What am I saying ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to?”  – Mike Brown

 

Enjoy this article? Subscribe to the free Brainzooming blog email updates.

 

Download: FREE Innovation Strategic Thinking Fake Book

Brainzooming Outside-In Innovation Strategic Thinking Tools eBookAre you making the best use of customer input and market insights to deliver innovation and growth? Creating successful, innovative new products and services has never been more dependent on tapping perspectives from outside your organization.

This new ebook features sixteen strategic thinking exercises to help you ideate, prioritize, and develop your best innovative growth ideas. Download this free, concise ebook to:

  • Identify your organization’s innovation profile
  • Learn and rapidly deploy effective strategic thinking exercises to spur innovation
  • Incorporate crowd sourced perspectives into your innovation strategy in smart ways

Download this FREE ebook to turn ideas into actionable innovation strategies to drive your organization’s growth.

Continue Reading

1

I noticed this relationship between Disney and American Tourister on luggage at a retail store. The designation for American Tourister as the official luggage of Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland intrigued me because of the strategic thinking questions the relationship immediately suggested.

You don’t typically use luggage while you are at a Disney park unless you are staying on property. There isn’t necessarily a major signage opportunity associated with it. And luggage isn’t particularly integral to the experiences people most associate with Disney.

Official-Luggage-Disney

 

This sponsorship, from the outside looking in, seems driven by someone (or multiple someones) identifying a loose connection between two well-known brands. They then created from thin air a non-physical asset one brand could sell to the other brand.

This particular official sponsor designation got me thinking of a multiple ways a brand that isn’t vertically integrated (i.e., owning assets that come before and after it in a process) can vertically integrate “virtually” and generate revenue through sponsorships and partnerships.

10 Questions to Identify New Partners and Sponsors

Thinking about typical connections one associates with Disney, here are strategic thinking questions you can use to explore comparable possibilities for your brand.

  1. What do users do before they experience our brand?
  2. What do users need to know before they interact with our brand, and how do they learn it?
  3. What products or services do users buy or secure before they approach our brand?
  4. What products or services do users bring with them as they approach our brand?
  5. What other brands help make a user’s interaction with our brand more successful, productive, beneficial, or pleasant?
  6. What other products or services do users use when interacting with our brand, even if there are no current direct connections?
  7. What do users do after they experience our brand?
  8. How or where will users apply the benefits of the experience with our brand afterward?
  9. What products or services do users use after they experience our brand?
  10. What products or services will help sustain the experience users have with our brand even after it’s “officially” ended?

If you have an attractive brand and are looking to grow revenues through new relationships, these strategic questions form the basis for a healthy strategic thinking exercise to generate new partner or sponsorship possibilities. – Mike Brown

 

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the free Brainzooming blog email updates.

Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic creative thinking and ideas! For an organizational innovation success 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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Yes, there is still time to get your strategic planning done for next year. If you want to be ready in time, however, you may have to speed things up dramatically to complete the plan. Speeding things up does not mean, however, you should ignore the importance of pushing your organization’s strategic thinking in new directions.

Group-Exercises

 

Here are some of the typical questions about accelerating a strategic planning process with links to answers, strategic planning exercises for groups, and lists of strategic thinking questions.

What should we include in our strategic planning?

Focusing and Speeding Up Your Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning Exercises for Groups

Strategic Thinking Questions for Next Year

Most years, we provide a new list of strategic thinking questions for group strategic planning exercises. Even though we introduced them previously, the questions are still highly relevant. Here are several lists to use:

Rolling Out the Plan

Still Uncertain on Your Best Approach?

We specialize in implementing the type of focused planning approach associated with these articles. You can review the overview on our strategic planning approach, or better yet, contact us (email at info@brainzooming.com or call 816-509-5320) to help you through your planning whether in person or via a Zoomference! –  Mike Brown

 

Enjoy this article? Subscribe to the free Brainzooming blog email updates.

 

Download: FREE Innovation Strategic Thinking Fake Book

Brainzooming Outside-In Innovation Strategic Thinking Tools eBookAre you making the best use of customer input and market insights to deliver innovation and growth? Creating successful, innovative new products and services has never been more dependent on tapping perspectives from outside your organization.

This new ebook features sixteen strategic thinking exercises to help you ideate, prioritize, and develop your best innovative growth ideas. Download this free, concise ebook to:

  • Identify your organization’s innovation profile
  • Learn and rapidly deploy effective strategic thinking exercises to spur innovation
  • Incorporate crowd sourced perspectives into your innovation strategy in smart ways

Download this FREE ebook to turn ideas into actionable innovation strategies to drive your organization’s growth.

Continue Reading