Brainzooming – All Posts | The Brainzooming Group - Part 170 – page 170
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Too often organizations think innovation is simply about generating a lot of creative or “out-of-the-box” ideas.  But in organizations where innovation has truly become central to their culture, ideation is simply one step – and not necessarily the first – in an innovation process.  Don’t confuse innovation with ideation.  Ideation is a tool, but innovation is a process. Don’t let the word “process” intimidate you. Instead, focus on these five guidelines to jump start your innovation process.

1.    Inclusion

Innovation isn’t an independent exercise. It takes the collective knowledge and, just as importantly buy-in, of the organization to be successful. Create an innovation team and get key stakeholders involved early and often. First, inform them of the process you want to use to jump start innovation, and then consistently include them in the steps and key outputs of that process. In other words, keep key stakeholders informed and involved.   If you’re thinking that there are a million stakeholders in the organization, focus initially on those that have the power to impact whether the concepts defined as a result of the process will live or die on the vine. You can and should expand/modify the team as appropriate for different phases of the process.

2.    Insights

Mine the knowledge that already exists within the organization and the market to inform the innovation process. Don’t let yourself get hung up on having every possible question answered before moving into Ideation. While you may find a need to fill some knowledge gaps to successfully implement the products, services or processes you are innovating, more than likely you already have access to what you need to create a solid frame of reference for the Ideation step.

3.    Ideation

Consider bringing in a bipartisan facilitator experienced in navigating the nuances of building innovation teams and outcomes. Not only will they neutralize the emotions or power plays that can sometimes derail the process when led internally, but good facilitators go beyond the tools they use to help generate lots and lots of ideas to the synthesis and prioritization of those ideas with an objective eye on the outcome needed to succeed.

Photo by: Saimen. | Source: photocase.com

4.    Initiation

Don’t stop at ideation. It’s at this point when your core innovation team is likely to require some additive players.  Initiation is about creating an action plan that will ultimately allow you to test or roll out the new concept – whether it’s a product, service, channel, brand, or customer experience. The action plan should clearly define goals, strategies, tactics, roles, resources and responsibilities to ensure that innovation moves beyond an idea into measurable benefits for the organization.

5.    Integration

An innovative culture isn’t built by witnessing a lot of new ideas come to life. In fact, a constant state of change without context can easily turn into frustration.  Instead, when impactful innovation occurs, tell your organization the story – don’t just show them the result. Answer the questions on their minds. Why do we need this? How will it impact the company? How will it impact me and my day-to-day world? How can I make it more successful? Integration is about engaging the organization and turning each employee into a stakeholder.

Let’s face it, “innovation” can be a daunting word, but building your own custom approach around these five steps will make it much less intimidating for you and your organization. – Barb Murphy

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 info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

How can ultra high-speed internet speeds drive innovation? “Building the Gigabit City: Brainzooming a Google Fiber Roadmap,” a free 120-page report, shares 60 business opportunities for driving innovation and hundreds of ideas for education, healthcare, jobs, community activities, and more.  Download this exclusive Google Fiber report sponsored by Social Media Club of Kansas City and The Brainzooming Group addressing how ultra high-speed internet can spur economic development, growth, and improved lifestyles globally. 

Guest Author

The Brainzooming blog has a wonderful group of guest authors who regularly contribute their perspectives on strategy, creativity, and innovation. You can view guest author posts by clicking on the link below.

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1

We recently reviewed a client’s employee-created videos. The videos were destined for social media distribution via YouTube and other sites. There were some very effective employee videos in the mix where associates delivered personal accounts of their interests related to the client’s products. The successful employee videos were genuine and unscripted, and while the client’s product was clearly a part of each video, the product was way in the background.

Challenges with Employee-Created Videos

Beyond the relatively small number of effective employee videos, the majority were poorly executed. Why were these other employee videos off the mark? In nearly every case, it was because what was portrayed as an employee-generated, personal video veered off into trying to be a commercial (with extensive product references and information) or worse, a character-oriented video (with the self-identified employee taking on the role of a character in a fictional setting).

As we pointed out to our client, it’s bad form to foster social media audience confusion by making them think they’ll be watching personal video accounts from employees when the videos are no such thing. What makes it even worse, however, is commercial and character videos prompt higher viewer expectations for better production and talent standards than our client’s employee videos delivered. As a result, the videos not only seemed disingenuous, they also emphasized production shortfalls (bad lighting, uneven sound, etc.) even more than if they solely focused on an employee telling a personal story in a simple fashion.

An Employee-Created Video that Works

Contrast our client’s situation with this video from the Kansas City Missouri Public Library shared on Facebook earlier this week. It’s produced by Jason Harper, who handles social media for the library. Rather than screaming, “Employee video,” this character-oriented video unfolds with subtle humor, scripting and costumes true to its Hemingway theme, and just enough production value to effectively convey its ultimate message: there’s an easy-to-use app that allows you to extend the period for books patrons have checked out from the Kansas City Missouri Public Library.

Jason is never identified as an employee because his employment status has no bearing on the video. As a result, an insignificant point of information doesn’t serve to confuse a cleverly-conceived and produced character video.

Because this video is true to viewer expectations of a character-oriented video’s intent, tone, production value, and talent level, we think it it really works! We should all be using employee-created videos as effectively as this one! And if you are using employee-created videos effectively, care to share the links in the comments section? – Mike Brown


How can ultra high-speed internet speeds drive innovation? “Building the Gigabit City: Brainzooming a Google Fiber Roadmap,” a free 120-page report, shares 60 business opportunities for driving innovation and hundreds of ideas for education, healthcare, jobs, community activities, and more.  Download this exclusive Google Fiber report sponsored by Social Media Club of Kansas City and The Brainzooming Group addressing how ultra high-speed internet can spur economic development, growth, and improved lifestyles globally. 

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

Creating something, and especially trying to create many things, isn’t a 100% proposition. It’s not as if everything you work on will fit in your final creative product. Also, not every effort you start will be completed. Along the way, you’re going to generate quite a bit of creative residue or leftovers – false starts, near misses, and big creative swings where you fall short of the big results you’d expected.

If you’re going to create, you’re going to create creative residue along the way.

In the midst of creating, you need to be comfortable with leaving creative residue behind. But that’s not to say you might not be able to take advantage of these leftovers later. Attempting to get value out of creative residue is the reason we have:

  • Director’s cut DVDs
  • Extra songs on compilation records
  • Sequels to popular works of art
  • Posthumous creative output, including books, music, films, etc.

If you’re up for it, keeping creative residue around can pay off down the line.

Barrett and I had done the strategic thinking ten years ago for a plan on how you could donate time to a Kansas City civic cause for a huge brainstorming session event. We’d gone pretty far down the path of thinking through the strategy on who you’d invite, how large the brainstorming session would be, how to get people in Kansas City to participate, and the media impact it could have.

Unfortunately, the specific civic effort we were working on never got off the ground, and our strategic thinking appeared to have been for naught.

But when Kansas City officials voiced the challenge to come up with ideas for how Google Fiber could be used for economic development and changing lives after its introduction, the first thing that ran through my mind was the strategic thinking we’d done and how it could be applied to this new opportunity for a huge brainstorming session. From our decade old thinking, the Building the Gigabit City partnership to brainstorm Google Fiber with Social Media Club of Kansas City was born.

If I hadn’t kept our civic meeting creative residue around, I wouldn’t have been so fast to jump on the huge Google Fiber Gigabit City brainstorming session opportunity.

Creative residue shoots and scores!

So keep as much of yours around as you can stand. If you’re already doing that, how are you keeping it fresh and usable for when you need it? – Mike Brown

 

How can ultra high-speed internet speeds drive innovation? “Building the Gigabit City: Brainzooming a Google Fiber Roadmap,” a free 120-page report, shares 60 business opportunities for driving innovation and hundreds of ideas for education, healthcare, jobs, community activities, and more.  Download this exclusive Google Fiber report sponsored by Social Media Club of Kansas City and The Brainzooming Group addressing how ultra high-speed internet can spur economic development, growth, and improved lifestyles globally. 

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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17

If you have not started already, it is a great time to ask yourself and your organization innovative strategic planning questions to identify your best opportunities and prepare for implementation next year. Maybe it is because the new year is approaching quickly that conference presenters the past week prompted twenty innovative strategic planning questions – either directly or by me turning a statement into a creative question to answer.

Photo by; MMchen | Source: photocase.com

Presenters offering these strategic planning questions included Fast Company co-founder, Bill Taylor at the FastKC luncheon and several presenters at the marcus evans B2B Summit in Colorado Springs, including authors Mitch Joel, Joe Pulizzi, and business leaders Atul Vohra (Solera Holdings, Inc.), Michael P. Guillory (Texas Instruments), and Curt Porritt (Master Control Inc.) I spoke on Taking the NO Out of Business InNOvation at the marcus evans B2B Summit.

As you get ready for implementation next year, make sure you are considering these innovative strategic planning questions to boost next year’s results!

Strategy & Purpose Questions

  • In this age of disruption for businesses and markets, what do we stand for and strongly advocate as an organization that makes us special? (Bill Taylor)
  • Are we asking enough “why” questions, since they tie to our business plan? If we are not asking enough of them, why is that? (Mitch Joel)
  • What are we the “most of” in our field? (Bill Taylor)
  • Don’t ask, “What keeps us up at night?” Ask, “What gets us up in the morning?” (Bill Taylor)

Strategic Marketing Questions

  • What are we doing to reboot our marketing for the new realities of customers buying in dramatically different ways? (Mitch Joel)
  • What are our plans to introduce more sense-based cues into our product or service? (Bill Taylor – Umpqua Bank features local music in its branch offices)
  • How are we going to start our own media channels (by creating content) instead of renting them (through buying advertising)? (Joe Pulizzi)
  • Once we’ve created content, what are 10 ways we can re-imagine and package it in new ways? (Joe Pulizzi)
  • Are we putting lead forms and next steps options into all of the content our organization creates and shares? (Joe Pulizzi)
  • What metrics and strategic thinking exercises are we using to stay away from “marketing by what happened last” (i.e., you just had a good trade show so there’s a push to do more of those)? (Curtis Porritt)

Customer and Market Questions

  • What are we trying to do for our customers? (Atul Vohra)
  • When it comes to customers, how is our organization shifting from a “how many” to “who” focus? (Mitch Joel)
  • How will the growing BRIC and BOP markets fit in our market plans the next 3 years? (Atul Vohra)
  • If someone doesn’t interpret what we wrote as expected, what’s to say they’re wrong? What can we learn from the misinterpretation? (Interactive Session comment)

Learning Organization Questions

Marketing Metrics Questions

  • How many meaningless numbers are part of our marketing metrics? (Michael Guillory)
  • How many people are searching for our brand name or URL – spelled correctly? (Curtis Porritt)
  • If we’re using in-person events in our marketing plans, who were the new people and companies we met this year, and how are we turning them into customers? (Michael Guillory)

Number 20 – My New Favorite Strategic Planning Question

  • To identify potential value for a client in a B2B market, ask clients, “What do you never want to do again?” Then provide the means for them to never have to do what they don’t want to do again. (Unnamed B2B Summit participant)

Are You Ready for What’s Ahead?

If you’d like assistance in getting your annual planning for next year done faster than ever, call us at 816-509-5320 or email info@brainzooming.com. Our Brainzooming name means what it says: we’ll stretch your brains to consider new opportunities and quickly zoom them into a plan that’s ready for next year when next year starts! We’d love to help you hit next year zooming!   – Mike Brown

 

Find New Resources to Innovate!

NEW FREE Download: 16 Keys for Finding Resources to Accelerate Your Innovation Strategy

Accelerate-CoverYou know it’s important for your organization to innovate. One challenge, however, is finding and dedicating the resources necessary to develop an innovation strategy and begin innovating.

This Brainzooming eBook will help identify additional possibilities for people, funding, and resources to jump start your innovation strategy. You can employ the strategic thinking exercises in Accelerate to:

  • Facilitate a collaborative approach to identifying innovation resources
  • Identify alternative internal strategies to secure support
  • Reach out to external partners with shared interests in innovation

Download your FREE copy of Accelerate Your Innovation Strategy today! 

Download Your FREE Brainzooming eBook! Accelerate - 16 Keys to Finding Innovation Resources

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

With all the focus The Brainzooming Group put into producing the “Building the Gigabit City:  Brainzooming a Google Fiber Roadmap” report, it will definitely appear as a blog topic again in the next few weeks. Collaborating with Social Media Club of Kansas City on Building the Gigabit City was tremendously rewarding. It was also intense (especially leading up to last week’s report release and press conference) and a fantastic learning opportunity for stretching the Brainzooming strategic thinking exercise methodology in our largest in-person brainstorming session ever.

I am already envisioning a variety of blog posts on Gigabit City and Google Fiber-related topics, including:

  • Lessons in risk taking for someone who is risk averse – As a cautious business person, it surprisingly took me less than one minute to decide we should partner with Social Media Club of Kansas City on something REALLY big tied to Google Fiber.
  • The importance of testing a tested process – With the size and composition of Gigabit City, we had to do some things very differently than we usually do. Sometimes that meant more coordination; in other ways, it meant taking a more hands-off approach.
  • Creating a non-traditional sponsorship strategy – Having managed events and sponsorships for years, I love creating a sponsorship strategy out of something that does not look like a traditional sponsorship asset.
  • Aligning organizational and civic goals – We did the whole Google Fiber brainstorming project pro bono. While The Brainzooming Group was the major sponsor of Building the Gigabit City, we tried to make sure Kansas City civic goals were ahead of our own in shaping the event.
  • Intriguing ideas and concepts for Google Fiber in Kansas CityOne concept took my breath away when Keith Prather shared it the night of the live brainstorming session. Talking about it at Thursday’s press conference still gave me chills. It was one of many intriguing concepts for Kansas City the groups brainstormed.

Download “Building the Gigabit City: Brainzooming a Google Fiber Roadmap”

You can download the entire Building the Gigabit City report free at brainzooming.com/googlefiberkc. Given the objective of reflecting voices in the community, it is an important document for those in Kansas City to review and react to as local citizens.

The Google Fiber report is also valuable for entrepreneurs, technologists, app developers, broadband-focused organizations, venture capitalists, and others globally who want to play a role in the Kansas City Google Fiber implementation or are looking at ultra high-speed broadband opportunities in their own communities.

Now that the report is done, it is time to share the idea and concepts, getting them into the hands of everyone who can take action to make Building the Gigabit City a reality!

Building the Gigabit City Videos

While I write those blogs, here are videos from last week, including a fantastic highlight video produced by Gigabit City sponsor Adcuda (produced by Chris Luckey), news coverage about Google Fiber from Channel 5 in Kansas City, and an archive of the livestream of the press conference.

Gigabit City Highlight Video Produced by Adcuda

 

 Channel 5 News Story on Google Fiber

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Archived Livestream of November 20, 2011 Press Conference

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How can ultra high-speed internet speeds drive innovation? “Building the Gigabit City: Brainzooming a Google Fiber Roadmap,” a free 120-page report, shares 60 business opportunities for driving innovation and hundreds of ideas for education, healthcare, jobs, community activities, and more.  Download this exclusive Google Fiber report sponsored by Social Media Club of Kansas City and The Brainzooming Group addressing how ultra high-speed internet can spur economic development, growth, and improved lifestyles globally. 

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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It’s Friday. We just got done writing a 120-page report on Google Fiber in Kansas City with Social Media Club of Kansas City that you can download. 120 pages is a lot of content. A lot of content to curate. Since I’m written out today, here’s a Dilbert cartoon all about social media and jargon. What more can we need for a Friday? Have a great weekend! – 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. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your brand strategy and implementation efforts.

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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In the spirit of broad Kansas City community efforts to brainstorm ideas for how the introduction of Google Fiber can change lives in Kansas City, The Brainzooming Group was excited to partner with Social Media Club of Kansas City to create “Building the Gigabit City: Brainzooming a Google Fiber Roadmap.”

We conducted the large-scale brainstorming session on October 3 with a diverse cross-community group of nearly 90 people. The 120-page Google Fiber brainstorming report is available via free download on the Brainzooming website at brainzooming.com/googlefiberkc.

The Many Voices of Kansas City

As we compiled the Google Fiber brainstorming report, we wanted to share the voices of the many passionate Kansas Citians who participated in Building the Gigabit City. Rather than a typical strategic recap from The Brainzooming Group where we report results with a single written voice, we’ve worked hard to maintain the vibrancy, insights, aspirations, and cautions of everyone who shared their perspectives in the Google Fiber brainstorming effort.

Just as the input was crowdsourced, the results are as well as we’re making the report available for free to everyone in partnership with Social Media Club of Kansas City.

In this Google Fiber brainstorming report, you’ll get a sense of these voices from the community through the different structures and depths with which their concepts and ideas are reported. The voices will come through in the Personal Perspectives offered by a number of individuals involved in the session.

Finally, you’ll “hear” a range of voices in the ideas and concepts themselves. Rather than starting from scratch, Building the Gigabit City was designed to build upon work and thinking that’s already gone on in Kansas City about what Google Fiber could and should mean for the city. Beyond brainstorming on current thinking, there was a lot of new creative thinking about what the Gigabit City can be, too.

 

Google Fiber in Kansas City – The Building the Gigabit City Report

You can watch an archived livestream of the Building the Gigabit City release press conference at the SMCKC Gigabit City website in addition to downloading the free report.

We hope you’ll use the results to truly use your talents and resources to help realize the promise of the Gigabit City! – 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 info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your brand strategy and implementation efforts.

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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