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Next time you are looking for creative success, take one creative step.

Take any creative step you can take forward.

Make a creative sidestep and go on a new path.

Back up from your creativity and rethink it.

Step away from your creative challenge and get some time to rest and think.

Adjust your creative step and move toward greater simplicity.

Take a giant step toward inspiration from the most creative people you know.

Make a huge creative jump and get ahead of everyone else who is simply walking down the typical creative path.

One-Creative-Step

Next time you are looking for creative success, take one creative step, then keep repeating. – Mike Brown

 

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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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We’ve discussed the value of having three different strategic thinking perspectives in any strategy work. These three strategic thinking perspectives include people with front-line experience, others with functional expertise, and innovative thinkers that look at opportunities and challenges in new and different ways.

Brainstorming-Session-Google-Fiber

Across these three groups, there are also three types of voices to include, especially when looking at an organization’s vision and related future strategy conversations. These three voices are:

  • Familiar Voices
  • Challenger Voices
  • Emerging voices

These three voices all differ in their backgrounds and what they bring to strategic thinking and strategy conversations.

Familiar voices are individuals recognized for their long-term engagement, their deep and broad networks, and a strong understanding of relevant and significant opportunities and issues.

Challenger voices are those individuals noted for questioning the status quo in constructive ways. They are oriented toward finding answers to lingering issues and are sensitized toward not simply ratifying the popular view and calling it good.

Emerging voices come from organizations and individuals with new visibility in an organization or among its audiences. They have been outside the mainstream conversations and represent a valuable perspective the majority might routinely overlook.

Next time you’re convening a group to meaningfully address the future of your organization, take a good look. Do you have individuals representing all three of these voices?

If not, stop, and expand the strategic voices on your team right away. – Mike Brown

 

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If you’re facing a challenging organizational situation and are struggling to maintain forward progress because of it, The Brainzooming Group can provide a strategic sounding-board for you. We will apply our strategic thinking and implementation tools on a one-on-one basis to help you create greater organizational success. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you figure out how to work around your organizational challenges.


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What’s an idea?

And how do you decide amid all the creative thinking exercises you might be using, what determines when you have an idea as opposed to something else that doesn’t really qualify as an idea?

These strategic thinking questions were a sub-theme of a Twitter conversation about “ideas” and the most effective ways creative thinking can generate the greatest number of ideas in a certain period of time.

In an in-person conversation shortly afterward, the same types of strategic thinking questions were applied to product name possibilities.

I was showing someone the output from a recent Zoomference focused on generating product name ideas. The group generated seven hundred of what I characterized as “names.” The other party said what we produced weren’t really product names. He acknowledged there were some product names on the list, but he said many of them were merely suggestions of what names could be.

See how muddied and confusing the terminology used in and around creative thinking can be?

ideas-in-all-shades

Back to the Strategic Thinking Questions about Ideas

So what is an idea? Or what is a product name?

The two separate conversations prompted me to speculate that in a group setting employing strategic thinking and creative thinking exercises, an idea is best classified as a TPU.

What’s a TPU?

It’s an acronym for a “Tangible Participation Unit.”

When you’re leading creative thinking exercises with a group to generate what most people would readily call “ideas,” a TPU suggests a participating group member has made a noticeable contribution to the creative thinking the group is doing.

If you’re in a group coming up with ideas, you may have all kinds of beneficial thoughts racing around in your head. If there’s no TPU in the form of something said, written, typed, drawn, acted out, etc., however, no one really has a sense that you have any ideas.

The one exception might be if you make that contorted idea face some quiet thinkers make when it’s clear they are thinking something but just aren’t saying it. That face SUGGESTS someone has an idea on the brain, but it simply hasn’t reached the mouth or hand in order to become tangible.

But even that “idea face” doesn’t substitute for a TPU.

To be a TPU, the remnants of the creative thinking have to be tangible, providing clear evidence to others you are participating.

What do you think?

I haven’t taken my thinking on this topic much beyond what you see here. What do you think? Do you have a solid definition of an idea that you use or have borrowed from literature on the topic? If so, how do you define an idea? – Mike Brown

 

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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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Suppose you are organizing a big meeting. There will be many people working on your organization’s vision or you’re trying to learn what things your customers are looking for in your product or service. Either way, maximizing group collaboration and engagement is vital.

As you plan your event strategy, how do you decide which type of information sharing strategy will create the most beneficial group collaboration?

One often-used strategy is allowing one individual at a time to share his or her perspective with the group. If the group is large and the time is too short, the result is each person gets a very short time to speak. Or it may be that only a few people are selected to talk, and everyone else listens.

That strategy works if the speakers are more informed on the topic than all the other attendees or the time available from the presenters is very limited. You can’t really claim the “one speaking to many” strategy creates effective group collaboration, however.

A different, typically overlooked strategy can genuinely lead to much stronger group collaboration. This strategy involves creating many small groups from among a larger audience. Provide each small group a dynamic structure and strategic thinking exercises with productive questions allowing everyone to successfully contribute personal knowledge, perspectives, and ideas. While this strategy increases group collaboration and strengthens an organization’s understanding, it won’t work in every situation. Most importantly, if you don’t have a tested design and implementation approach for how to select the right types of strategic thinking exercises, capture input being generated by multiple groups, and distill the work into strategic themes, the strategy will fall flat.

When you do have all these factors in place, this collaborative strategy works tremendously efficiently and effectively. We talked about this strategic group collaboration approach on a webinar today for attendees at the Gigabit City Summit.

You can review a recording of the webinar here: http://ow.ly/GYi1k 

The topic for the webinar and our workshop with the group at the Gigabit City Summit is how to more successfully develop a community-wide vision within cities implementing ultra high-speed Internet. The approach works across business situations though, so go ahead and grab a copy of the infographic here to help you decide which type of information sharing strategy will work best for your next group meeting.

And if you want great strategic group collaboration, let us know. We’d be happy to design and create the experience and organizational benefits you are looking for with your group! – Mike Brown

150106 Collaboration Infographic - The Brainzooming Group

 

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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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Your plan is completed, and you have your brand building strategies for 2015 in front of you. The big question remains – are these brand building strategies going to deliver dramatically better business results this year?

Better-Business-Results

These strategies SHOULD lead to better business results. You know you invested the time and effort to develop what seemed to be the right set of brand building strategies.

You know too, however, your actual strategic plan and tactics often sit on the shelf and do not fundamentally deliver better business results.

Why is that?

It could be your strategic plan is disconnected from what moves the business on a daily basis. Another possibility is that despite all the hope you have to focus on implementing the strategic plan in January, unexpected opportunities and challenges develop, and they gain more attention.

No matter what factors are at work to derail your strategic plan from developing better business results, keep the following list handy. These 15 articles each target specific business issues that could get in the way of using your strategic plan implementation creating better business results this year.

If your organization easily loses focus, if your brand benefits aren’t clear, if your competitors are getting the best of you, these are places to go here for immediate, implementable ideas to avoid getting derailed and actually using your planned brand building strategies for all they are worth to create a stronger year with dramatically better business results.

  1. Creating a Stronger Strategic Focus on What Matters
  2. Better Defining and Articulating Your Brand Benefits
  3. Strengthening the Brand Language You Use
  4. Heading Off Critical Issues in Your Brand Strategy
  5. Bolstering Your Brand’s Value Proposition
  6. Asking Better Questions to Identify Business Opportunities
  7. Uncovering New Opportunities with Existing Clients
  8. Improving Your Strategic Response to Competitors
  9. Developing Proactive Strategies to Disrupt Your Market Before Someone Else Does
  10. Anticipating Unexpected Potential Disruptions and Growth Opportunities Before They Happen
  11. Increasing the Diversity of Employees Involved in Strategy for Your Company
  12. Better Integrating New Product Development with Your Business Strategy
  13. Creating Strategic, Cool Products Name for Your New Offerings
  14. Developing a Better Strategy for How Social Networks Support Business Building
  15. Moving from Talking about Great Ideas to Implementing Great Ideas

If you want to go deeper on any of these issues, email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320. We would be happy to talk through the opportunities for your organization to improve its success this year and beyond.  – Mike Brown

 

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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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It’s the first Monday of the new year, so something on creative thinking exercises that is quick and easy is appropriate.

This year, resolve to look at the small, shrimpy ideas you and your team have that might show promise, but are overshadowed by other ideas. Give a small idea a second chance by figuring out what right sauce (or creative thinking exercises) to turn a shrimpy idea into an idea that is incredibly, strategically on-target.

Most people won’t make the effort to do this.

So if you’re looking for an extra edge this year, there’s an advantage right away in giving apparently small ideas a big second chance. – Mike Brown

 

image

 

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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As the year starts, you will generate and see many new strategy documents, especially within large organizations. These strategy documents will include strategic plans, business plans, product strategies, financial forecasts, and current marketing initiatives.

It is easy (and happens far too often) for executives to largely ignore the strategy documents and dive right into doing stuff. That is why you hear so often about strategic plans that sit on the shelf unused.

One reason may be that strategic plans are so poorly written.

It is possible though that strategy plans go unused because executives do not know how to read and apply them to better guide and align activities.

Too many strategy documents go unused.

Read a Strategy Document Four Ways

Here are the four must-know ways to read a strategy document. Read it:

  1. Literally – What does the strategy document SAY about what the organization’s intentions are? What important initiatives are planned to make the strategy a reality? What does the strategy suggest the future direction is?
  2. Thematically – What are the major themes suggested within and across strategy documents? Do you see a focused set of themes or are there many diverse ones? Are actions (both those underway and those already completed) consistent with the themes? Are there contradictory themes? If so, what does that suggest about which strategies will predominate?
  3. Collectively – Are there various pieces of the puzzle across strategy documents that fit together? Do the pieces fit together well? Are there opportunities to bring the pieces together in a way that sheds more insight on the organization’s strategic direction and priorities?
  4. Strategically – How strongly are priorities aligned across the various parts of the organization creating these strategy documents? Are there any strategic disconnects that need to be reconciled to achieve success?

What is the benefit of reading a strategy document four ways?

If you apply this discipline, you will develop a stronger sense of the organization’s overall direction, extending to insights that might not be written down anywhere. Not only will you be able to better prioritize current activities, you will be in a much better position to anticipate what the future holds, too. – Mike Brown

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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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