Brainzooming – All Posts | The Brainzooming Group - Part 322 – page 322
2

A comment from Tiger Woods prior to a June U.S. Open round was very telling relative to language and how it affects actions.

While most athletes talk about warming up, preparing, or getting ready, Tiger described his pre-round activities as “rehearsal.” And rather than simply hitting golf balls, he rehearses specific shots he expects to face during the course of a round. That’s a far cry from warming up, and his results obviously reflect that.

Take a lesson here and let’s all ask ourselves – How do I get ready for the important activities (both personal and professional) in my life? Do I warm up or do I rehearse?

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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

1

There’s a scene in an early episode of the HBO mini-series “John Adams” where Benjamin Franklin cautions Adams to temper his statements. Adams asks him if he doesn’t believe in speaking what’s on one’s mind. Franklin’s responds, “Thinking aloud is a habit responsible for much of mankind’s misery.”

I’m not sure if Franklin actually made this remark, but there are certainly advantages to thinking out loud. It allows you to:

  • Elicit more immediate reactions – Thinking aloud lets others hear perspectives right away and react. When time constrained, it allows for more quickly constructing, developing, and vetting potential scenarios and arriving at a selection.
  • Gauge whether emerging ideas sound logical / persuasive – How an idea sounds in your head can be very different when you express it aloud. Thinking aloud can force more structure into an idea early as it comes to life through the spoken word.
  • Have others start building on your thinking – Speaking a newly formed idea allows others to hear and build off it right away. Within a group that’s comfortable, open, and non-censoring, that process has tremendous value in generating more and stronger possibilities.
  • Introduces an idea in a more raw form – Voicing an idea as it first occurs results in less self-censorship and adjustment of the idea to make it more familiar and comfortable.
  • Create more energy – In a brainstorming setting, the verbal exchange of new possibilities can create a tremendous energy buzz as people go back and forth in adding and shaping the idea.
  • See if a point of view is aligning or dividing – If your group is strong and fairly homogenous relative to people’s titles, thinking aloud provides a quick opportunity to see whether your point of view aligns or divides the group. These reactions allow you to decide on modifying or advancing your point of view to help the group move ahead.

Although quiet thinking is most comfortable for me, with close strategic and creative team partners, thinking aloud is great because it allows for rapidly building on one another’s perspectives.

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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

0

I saw this phrase in a magazine ad recently: “It’s time to let nothing contain you.”

So what contains you – creatively, mentally, spiritually, physically, geographically, financially, or some other important way?

Spend 5 minutes to list these things out. Take 15 minutes imagining what you can do to break the containment and reap the benefits. Then take action to get outside the walls that hold you in!

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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

0

“A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.” – Abraham Maslow

“It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail.” – Gore Vidal

“Delay is preferable to error.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

“If 50 million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.” – Anatole France

“50 million Elvis fans can’t be wrong.” – Elvis Presley

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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

2

My wife has been putting together some very complex puzzles lately, with many pieces, odd shapes, and undifferentiated images from piece to piece. Completing them as quickly as she does requires intense concentration.

Along the way, there are times when she’ll get stuck; it will seem impossible to find the particular piece she needs next. Often when she’s in that situation, I’ll walk by, chat briefly, and she’ll find the piece (or I will) almost instantly.

She credits me with being good luck when that happens. While that certainly makes me feel good, it’s obviously not true. I suspect one of two things is going on when this happens and both tie directly to perspective, as so much of creative problem solving does.

If I happen to find the piece, it’s simply because I’m bringing no previous perspective to the problem. I’m seeing the patterns of shapes and images from a new and different angle than she is. And if our brief interaction is coincident with her finding the piece, it’s because the time we interacted is enough to break her concentration, allowing her if not a new, at least a fresher perspective as she reimmerses herself in the puzzle.

So next time you’re working alone, concentrating intensely on trying to solve a problem with the door closed and the phone on send, consider letting yourself be interrupted. The break in concentration may be just what you need to figure out the problem or to at least have the interrupter do it 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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

2

Powerful comparisons are important to many creative thinking exercises. While the types of comparisons may vary, for the more than twenty-five “Change Your Character” creative thinking exercises on the Brainzooming blog, delegating an opportunity or challenge to someone you wouldn’t typically think about selecting to do your work yields a wide variety of creative ideas.

Creative Ideas from an Unlikely Character?

The Change Your Character creative thinking exercises use someone in a completely different line of work to help you look at your own situation with a fresh perspective.

Here are the steps for Change Your Character:

  1. State the business challenge that you’re addressing – it could be an opportunity, a problem, a new process or approach, etc.
  2. Pick who you want to work on your situation. This could be a real person, a fictional or cartoon character, or even another business that faces an analogous situation.
  3. Once you’ve identified who you’ll put on the job, list 8 to 10 approaches that the person, character, or business uses to address opportunities or challenges.
  4. Using the 8 to 10 approaches, apply them to your situation to generate at least 3 new ideas each for solving it.

Each of the Change Your Character creative thinking exercises does steps 2 and 3 for you. This allows you to focus primarily on step 4 – creative idea generation.

25 “Change Your Character” Creative Thinking Exercises

Here’s a compilation of 25 of these creative thinking exercises you can bookmark for use in successfully addressing future opportunities. Within each category, the situations and characters covered are listed, along with a link to the original article.

Strategy

Relationship & Brand Building

Team Building

Management & Problem Solving

Professional Skills

Just a note – I used Bart Simpson recently, and it worked very well. Give it a try and have great success Changing Your Character! – Mike Brown

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

Mike-Brown-Gets-Brainzoomin

Learn all about Mike Brown’s creative thinking and innovation presentations!

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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

2

There’s a Peanuts cartoon I wrote about recently showing Snoopy sitting silently with Charlie Brown, a checker board between them, and Charlie wondering what Snoopy’s next move will be. He suspects Snoopy has a fancy strategy planned given how quiet and tricky he is; the more Charlie thinks about it, the more he wonders what Snoopy is thinking. In the last panel, Snoopy is silently trying to recall whether he’s playing red or black checkers!

I’ve used the cartoon many times because like Snoopy, I often think quietly, even if I’m actually “thinking” about something much more basic than people expect. That’s just one advantage of thinking quietly. If you don’t usually do it, you may want to consider using it more to your advantage because thinking quietly:

  • Can provide mystery and cover – Quiet time allows you to potentially mask when you don’t understand something or don’t have a good idea to contribute right at that moment. Quiet thinking can also create a sense of mystery, as in the Peanuts cartoon. Particularly in an adversarial situation, causing the other person to think about what you’re thinking (thereby losing focus on their own thoughts) can provide some advantage.
  • Creates a learning opportunity – I hardly ever learn while I’m talking, but there’s a lot to learn when others are sharing their perspectives. Shutting your mouth and listening is a great way to go to school on what others are thinking and expressing.
  • Is great if you don’t want to influence others’ opinions unnecessarily – One of my mentors uses a relatively unconventional approach – in a team meeting, he always expresses his views last. The most junior person on the team always comments first so that they can respond without influence from statements by their boss or other senior team members. People express their perspectives in order of increasing seniority until the most senior person speaks.
  • Allows you to build off of others’ ideas – Relative to the previous item about commenting in reverse order of seniority, it’s a great advantage to be thinking as you hear the perspectives that others are expressing. Having been one of the most senior people, I usually get to go next to last. There’s a tremendous advantage to be had in being able to listen to and vet your own thinking based on what others are thinking. Even if you’re not in a position to adopt this approach, gain the advantages by letting others get a word in before you do.
So what do you think? And don’t worry people who don’t think quietly; future posts will extol the virtues of thinking in other ways too.

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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading