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The question came up during a recent Brainzooming innovation training session on “Taking the NO Out of Business InNOvation” about how to deal with the fear of change which can cripple efforts to introduce innovative business ideas into an organization.

One of the best ways to conquer this innovation roadblock is the widespread understanding and belief that an organization’s current path will be much worse without innovation. Think an organization’s impending financial collapse. As I paraquoted Butthead in a recent tweet, “For creating change, financial crises kick ass.”

If you don’t have a financial crisis to throw into the change mix, however, coupling an emotional appeal with legitimate customer and marketplace insights is a next best option to counteract the fear of change.

Which emotional appeals are best to use in pushing innovation? Here are five to consider:

  • Excitement – What about a potential innovation-centered future is much more compelling personally and organizationally than the current state?
  • Wonder – Are there elements of the future state which will make today’s reality pale in comparison?
  • Safety – Can a new situation deliver levels of comfort and peace of mind unimaginable without substantial change?
  • Hopefulness – Will knowing more about what is to come create a motivating sense of anticipation for the results which follow near-term change?
  • Ambition – Is there a brighter financial future awaiting those who make it through impending change and whatever pain it may bring?

Each of these emotional appeals can help drive successful organizational change strategy, but the important question is what strategies have worked for you to make change more palatable? 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 help you create and implement positive change in your organization.

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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18

In my social media strategy presentation, I used to open with a slide about suffering from Social Media Obsessive Compulsive Disorder 2.0, i.e. never seeing a social network I wouldn’t join. Fortunately, the need to build The Brainzooming Group business coupled with sleep and creative energy limitations have curbed my personal case of social media information overload.

And by “curbed,” I mean “slowed…somewhat.”

The other day, I followed a tweet to a cartoon video blog post illustrating the anxiety caused by expectations of always being online and accessible via email and every other known social network. The cartoon wasn’t very compelling, but I left a comment nonetheless…because I haven’t been doing enough commenting on other blogs lately.

See what I mean? There’s always an opportunity for a relapse.

The post got me thinking, however, about what strategies have helped me feel a little bit better in dealing with the reality I can’t be meaningfully active in every social network:

  • Come to grips with the fact there is information (even really cool information) being tweeted and posted which you’ll never consume. I know it’s scary, but get over it. It just is.
  • You won’t know the most current details about every topic someone asks you about. Get really good at replying to questions about an unfamiliar topic by firing back with a question of your own.
  • Scads of fringe social networks getting lots of hype will go away before you ever figure out why you’d need to know about them. They’ll be replaced by other social networks. Maybe start paying attention to the social networks appearing after that.
  • Replace “social networks” with “news” and “them” and “they” with “it” in the previous bullet point. The statement’s still true, isn’t it?
  • Invest a majority of your learning time becoming world-class at how to find information, how to learn, and how to process information topics. Use these killer skills when you really need to go deep on a topic.
  • Invest lots of your networking time creating a diverse group of individuals to keep you informed on detailed (yet relevant) topics you can’t possibly follow yourself. Ask them lots of questions – on a “when you really need to know it” basis.
  • Lots of people know much less than you may give them credit for. Surprised? Don’t be. They’re dealing with the same anxieties about information overload you are. Quit angsting about your own information capacity limitations.
  • Ask people you trust what tools they use to cope with too much information. Far better to let others be the guinea pigs for the latest apps.
  • Social media metrics and follower counts aren’t linked to your worth as a person. Enough said.

Those are my nine.

Now let me ask you a question – what are your strategies for coping with your own social media and information obsessions? – 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 816-509-5320 to learn how we’ve developed  integrated social media strategy for other brands and can do the same for yours.


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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1

I always appreciate when an organization is comfortable enough with itself to add fun or some other emotion to its service delivery. My appreciation is especially great when a business displays the willingness to carry the emotion into the most mundane, and potentially little-noticed, parts of its operation.

When scrambling to catch my plane in Minneapolis (yes, another Minneapolis post…what an incredibly rich experience for only being there 18 hours), I briefly stopped at a Caribou Coffee stand to buy a sandwich.  When leaving, I grabbed a handful of cocktail-sized napkins, shoved them in my coat pocket, and hurried to the gate.

Only when I got home and emptied my coat pockets did I notice the questions and musings printed on Caribou Coffee napkins.

How cool! It would be easier to leave the napkins blank or simply include the standard corporate message and images. But Caribou Coffee was looking to pass-along value from its napkins. What a great way to employ a routine item for guerrilla marketing value in a way most businesses would NEVER imagine! – 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 816-509-5320 to learn how we can develop an integrated, guerrilla marketing-oriented strategy for your brand.

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

I’ve mentioned before about writing on a regular basis for the TalentCulture blog. TalentCulture is the brainchild of the inimitable Meghan M. Biro. Meghan is a true empowerer (potentially a made-up word) of individuals (talent) and companies (culture) to truly rise to their full potential in collaboration, community, and doing all kinds of cool 2.0 stuff.

Meghan’s been a true friend and supporter in the launch of The Brainzooming Group this past year, so I’m always excited to help cheerlead for the introduction of new collaborative efforts she’s spearheading.

Tonight marks a new collaborative element in the TalentCulture oeuvre, with the inauguration of #TChat, a weekly one-hour Twitter-based chat. Taking place Tuesday nights at 7 pm central time (US), the chats will cover the core TalentCulture community topics of careers, the workplace, and innovation.

The first #TChat tonight will address emotional intelligence, and its importance to being a successful leader. You can learn more about the chats and tonight’s topic specifically at this blog post by TalentCulture contributor Kevin Grossman.

Here’s a suggestion if you’re going to participate: follow and share your perspectives for the chat using TweetChat. It does a good job of updating tweets in near real-time, plus it will automatically include the #TChat hashtag in every tweet.

One admission to make: I have a previous commitment with an adult religious education class every Tuesday night at the time #TChat is scheduled. As a result, I’ll only be participating very occasionally until May 2011. But I’ll be checking out the transcripts, so let’s see if we can generate a strong Brainzooming turnout for #TChat! – 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 talented 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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1

Last Tuesday I not only attended author Jamie Turner’s presentation on “How to Make Money with Social Media,” at the Kansas City Direct Marketing Association lunch, I also had the opportunity to spend some time with Jamie beforehand talking about business strategy, his new book, and his work on the 60 Second Marketer.

Jamie and I were introduced several years ago by mutual friend/business partner Barb Murphy with the statement, “You two are so similar. You have to meet each other.” While I think Jamie’s funnier than I am, there are a number of striking similarities in our lives and careers.

One topic Jamie talked about in his presentation was the coming social media crash of 2011. Extrapolating from work by Gartner into the typical new technology Hype Cycle, Jamie isn’t predicting the end of social media. Rather he’s suggesting a shakeout, with those who are measuring social media performance continuing to reap the benefits of social media’s integration into their business strategies.

Here’s a brief video interview Jamie was nice enough to record after his session.

Trust me: if Jamie Turner comes to your town in support of “How to Make Money with Social Media,” be sure to get out and see him speak! – 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 816-509-5320 to learn how we’ve developed  integrated social media strategy for other brands and can do the same for yours.

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

There’s not a lot to add to this Dilbert cartoon from Thursday. It’s one thing to SAY your business strategy encourages risk taking in order to be more innovative. Punishing any mistake (and the related learning opportunities), however, will ensure you won’t really have any innovation in your organization. And that sucks for everybody involved! – Mike Brown

Dilbert.com

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 structure an innovative strategy to keep you ahead of your customers, 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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6

I’ve come to believe the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport (MSP) is the home of bad signage.

From the incredibly vague, confusing signs on the long trek to the rental car area to the terminals seeming to be referred to as “Lindbergh” and “Humphrey” inside the airport, but “Terminal 1″ and “Terminal 2″ outside, it’s clearly not the most passenger-friendly airport I’ve visited in my travels.

This sign, although not a significant nuisance like the crappy rental car or terminal signage, still caught my eye while waiting for a flight last week. The headline is all about the conveniences just minutes away inside the airport for shoppers and diners, yet the graphic goes beyond the food court and shopping down the hall to include Des Moines and Tokyo for whatever reason. The length of time to travel to both of these locations, however, is shown in hours.

Huh? I thought the whole thing was about being MINUTES away.

This is a great example of why you should want people who don’t have apparently strategic jobs to still be able to step back and make strategic connections in their work.

If the designer creating the sign is the last stop in the decision chain on this sign, then I’d want the designer to have enough wherewithal to raise a hand and say, “Hey, these times for Des Moines and Tokyo should be in minutes too!”

It’s not hard people:

Got 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. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we can get your staff Brainzooming through tailored training and exercises to be better strategic thinkers and implementers!

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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