8

Maybe it has been a tough week. Maybe it has been a tough you don’t even remember how long. Today, give yourself a break, and remember these things:

  • Life is precious. Things are just things.
  • You get to decide about how much stuff you allow to bother you. It’s a lot easier on you if you choose less stuff.
  • When praying for what you want, include a prayer you’ll be able to recognize it when it’s given to you.
  • When you decide to leave something behind, leave it behind. Don’t torture yourself thinking about it.
  • Your supporters will tell you once and move on. Your critics will keep talking until you agree.
  • Beating the competition wins the game. Beating yourself up makes beating the competition all that much harder.
  • If need be, redefine the denominator by which you judge your performance & success.
  • Take the talents you have & apply them in every way you can think of.

If you’ve gotten this far, that’s fantastic, and I hope you feel better about things. If the feeling wanes during the coming days, come back and re-read these and re-commit to giving yourself a break again. Or you can also click on the drawing in this post to go to “Draw a Stickman” for a few minutes of fun and a great message! – Mike Brown

 

If you’d like to add an interactive, educationally-stimulating presentation on strategy, innovation, branding, social media or a variety of other topics to your event, Mike Brown is the answer. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com  or call 816-509-5320 to learn how Mike can get your audience members Brainzooming!

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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7

For all the talk the last few years about the large number of people leaving corporate life for the world of entrepreneurship, I know people who have made the opposite move – switching from working by themselves to entering corporate life and working for someone else. When going from working at home or in a small business to a larger, more formal work setting, a number of rules are different.

In response to a question over the phone about someone making the move from the entrepreneurial world to corporate life, I put together these 5 observations for anyone beginning a corporate job after being in small agencies and entrepreneurial ventures.

photo by: suze | source: photocase.com

The 5 observations about entering corporate life are based on my experience moving from a financially-strapped 2-person shop in my first job out of grad school into the Fortune 500 world and staying for a long time. During those years, I saw people do both great and miserable at entering corporate life. Here’s what the successful ones knew and did:

1) It’s not your show – at least not for now.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. once said he had trouble finding women to date because they never realized, as he put it, “It’s my damn show.” When you start your corporate job, it likely won’t be your show anymore. Know which rules you need to play by and which you don’t before you start making your own rules.

2) Listen and observe first.

Don’t neglect the importance of simply paying attention when you start. It’s perhaps the one time where you’ll have a free pass to listen and observe without having to jump in with a perspective right away. Use this very precious window to be lazy on talking and aggressive on listening.

3) Eat lunch in the corporate lunch room

Spend time with a broad group of people learning what they know. Spend time especially with people at the heart of where the organization makes money. Making sure you eat lunch in the corporate lunch room can go a big way toward making these important connections early.

4) Own all the ideas from your past.

Nobody cares where the ideas you share originated. Don’t name drop clients and former employers when you share ideas; it makes it seem like they’re smarter than your new company and co-workers. Go with it and own all the ideas from your past work experiences. Just share your ideas. No credit is necessary, unless one of your former co-workers has joined you in your new corporate life.

5) Watch your finances.

This is especially true if you have had to closely watch your finances up to now. You may be headed to a more lucrative situation. Try living on only part of your new incremental dollars; bank most of the rest. (I know from where I speak on this. I tripled my salary going from the 2-person shop to a corporate job and was playing big-time financial catch up.)

If you’ve made the move to corporate life, what advice would you add? – Mike Brown

 

If you’d like to add an interactive, educationally-stimulating presentation on strategy, innovation, branding, social media or a variety of other topics to your event, Mike Brown is the answer. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com  or call 816-509-5320 to learn how Mike can get your audience members Brainzooming!

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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7

I’ve been thinking about this post for about a week, but getting the new Facebook features which are trying to replicate Google+ caused me to write this list last night of 7 things I hate about Google+ for sharing today.

The 7 Things I Hate about Google+

1. The incredibly low on-screen information DENSITY (grey area)

Google+ Screenshot (Sept 20, 2011)

I usually love white space, but Tweetdeck has trained me to want (and Edward Tufte has made me come to expect) much higher on-screen information density than Google+ delivers. There’s just WAY TOO MUCH white space begging for something on-screen to read.

2. The incredibly low on-screen information DIVERSITY (red area)

On Twitter, I hate when someone dumps so many tweets at one time that they occupy a disproportionate amount of on-screen space. That happens on Google+ all the time. And it doesn’t count to say that lots of the room is taken up by comments or shares. They get no diversity credit from me. That screen space all gets charged to the original person sharing the content (see number 7).

3. Google+ has clearly gotten inside Facebook’s corporate head

Facebook Screenshot (Sept 20, 2011)

As I updated on Facebook Tuesday night, the introduction of Google+ actually caused me to spend MORE time on Facebook to understand the differences and roles of each. Now that Facebook seems hell-bent to close the gaps, my intrigue for Facebook is “going down, down, down” at an alarming rate. I mean look at the two screen shots: other than I went to high school with one of the guys on the Facebook screen, they’re nearly identical.

4. Sparks, from a search perspective, suck

I don’t quite get why a company that lives and dies by search, puts Sparks forward under its brand. Sparks searches are like the results from the ultimate in an unsorted, very dated, off-topic search engine. Sparks are so far off-brand, it’s pathetic.

5. Google+ is still pimping invites

As I’m writing this, Google+ is now open to everyone, but real estate on my screen is still being taken up with an invitation to send invites. I don’t need to send invites; get the text off my screen.

6. It appears to be blocking terms

I tried to write an update last week which mentioned Facebook twice in a couple of paragraphs, and Google+ wouldn’t let me share it. When I removed the Facebook mentions, the update was published with no problems.

7. Google+ has turned the user experience into a rock concert

You know how at a rock concert a singer will yell something like, “How you doin’ tonight Kansas City?” The singer doesn’t care about how any one person is doing. The singer just wants a lot of cumulative volume with unintelligible individual responses. Doesn’t that sound exactly like a high profile social media rock star asking inane questions on Google+ to trigger bunches of comments they never respond to. Yup, it’s all the same.

What do you think?

Where do you come out on this battle? Do you care? Are you a Facebook user who’s having to deal with the collateral damage of the war with Facebook? If so, what do you think about that? – 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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4

A caller was forwarded to me back in the corporate days who had been passed among various people over a period of time. Based on the information in his phone messages, he appeared to be interested in selling in a program that wasn’t a corporate priority then.

Having been asked to follow up with him, I called his cell phone and we talked for quite some time about what he was trying to accomplish. I let him know that for a variety of reasons, his program wasn’t going to be able to prioritized high enough to invest time in it currently.

Near the end of the call, he informed me that he was both a customer and a shareholder in the company. It probably shouldn’t have, but it was a surprise to me. I’d incorrectly classified him in my own mind as a “vendor” based on the information provided before calling him. My rush to judgment (which I suspect was shared by those who had been shuffling his calls around) caused me to not even consider that he might be in multiple important audiences for the company.

The lesson is to never presuppose who’s on the other end of the phone; they may be tremendously important to your business in ways that you have never imagined. For my part, I’ll make a concerted effort to get better about reconnecting with people that I might not have worked as diligently to reach before. Maybe we can all do better at it.  – 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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0

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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2

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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