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Marianne-Carr-PhotoA friend recently told me a story about her friend whose grandmother, after engaging with Facebook, said the most wonderful thing.  I’m paraphrasing, but it was something like this, “Ya know when I read Facebook, there is all this wonderful stuff, and I don’t how it got there. It’s like God is speaking to me.”

I love this idea so very, very much.  Maybe it’s God. Maybe it’s the Universal Connection of Everything. Maybe it’s an Algorithm, grandma.  Whatever it is, there are indeed inspirations behind the creative clicks that just pop up on my Facebook page that influence my work everyday.

So in honor of Labor Day, this week’s Creative Clicks from Facebook inspire my working mind. No funny animal videos, all work related.  Here’s to a day off and letting God take the wheel of Facebook.

As always, finding the creative clicks is as easy as clicking on the title to link to the full article – Marianne Carr

The BikeWaiter – Branding in Every Way, Every Day.

It’s important to look for ways to incorporate your brand into daily opportunities that will delight your target audience, particularly if it’s in an unexpected but logical place.

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Get Stuff Done.

This is one of those gentle reminders that productivity isn’t possible when you are overstressed. It’s helpful to have reminders.

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Yes, Please.

I don’t think I need to say much about this Innovation! Ha! It made me LOL, which is a great way to inspire creative thinking. You bet I shared this!

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It is, Indeed, the Little Things.

Shifting perspective can give you some really great ideas. No link on this one because it’s from a friend who is an amateur, shy, and wonderful photographer. She sees beauty almost everywhere. That’s the way it should be.

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Brain Quirks and One of My Mentor’s Oliver Sacks.

This is a personal one. When I was in my early 20’s I read Oliver Sacks book The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat and became hooked on how the brain and creativity work. Oliver Sacks converts complicated mysteries of the mind into stories that allow us civilians to travel the journey for explanations. Thank you, Oliver.

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Creative Thinking Turns a Problem into a Solution.

…there is a real logic to the design. Solar panels are almost black and in Africa, the market for the Desolenator, they get really hot in the sun. So hot, that they deteriorate and produce less electricity. In the Desolenator, the water being purified runs over the solar panel and keeps it cool. In the process, the water is actually heated quite a bit, so that it takes far less energy to actually bring it to a boil. So there is a real logic to combining a solar panel and battery with a still: they both work better. The unit can also provide electricity to run LED bulbs in at night, so a single unit is delivering both water and light.

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Design for Life – Creativity that Inspires Me as a Global Citizen.

INDEX: Design to Improve Life® is a Danish NPO with global reach. We Inspire, Educate and Engage in designing sustainable solutions to global challenges. INDEX: Award was conceived in 2002 as a world event for design and was awarded for the first time in 2005. The word “INDEX” was an abbreviation of INternationalDEsign eXhibition and when the organization was founded, the goal was to brand Denmark by the use of a large-scale, traditional design award – hoping to attract attention, tourists and investments to Denmark.

Denmark has an award program that builds on its Global reputation for Design with the intention of building its Brand awareness while doing good.  Great combination. And the entries are extremely inspiring.

Ahem, May I disagree for a moment?

No Click here. Just a comment. Sometimes, if you are very lucky, your work IS like climbing a mountain. One that makes you achieve more than you thought possible.  You have Pride, and Skill, and sometimes falls, and great crevasses to cross. But if in the end it is ALL worth it, you WILL remember. There are many paths up the Mountain.  Make sure your job is one that makes you feel like planting your flag.

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Okay, One Cute Animal Video in Honor of Pajama Day.

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Pajama Day is when you spend all day in your pajamas! The only rule for Pajama Day is ‘there are no rules!” But there is a guideline, try not to do any work. Working is not in the spirit of the day, but hey, it’s your day. Do what you want. Here’s to hoping Labor Day is a Pajama Day for everyone!

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Marianne-Carr-PhotoListening. It is one of the best ways to get creative.

But listening seems to elude most of us during the day. We are busy talking, formulating thoughts, reading emails, and other activities such as looking at stuff, and tasting, smelling and touching. So why increase listening? And how? Here are some Creative Clicks that may help.

Remember to click on the headlines for these creative clicks to link to the articles. Enjoy! – Marianne Carr

What if Medium were a Podcast?

“There is one big problem on Medium for me: So many great articles posted every day, but so little time to read them all. I listen to a lot of podcasts, shows or talks in the background while I work or when I walk to the office, and I think it could be awesome to do the same thing with my saved Medium articleslisten to them as audio instead of reading them as text.”

I have become Podcast Crazy lately. It reminds me of something maybe you youngins don’t know too much about – RADIO!  I think this idea about listening to Medium Articles is just great. Listening is a gift we can use when doing something else. Of course, having the written word to go back to for quick reference is a real asset. Did you know you can read faster than you can listen? I like the way this can combine the advantages of both.

Magical Effects of Music

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“Effects of music include improving verbal IQ, aiding in heart disease treatment, evoking colours in the mind and even helping you see happy faces all around. Every fan knows the tremendous effects of music and the power it can have over both thoughts and emotions.”

Do I really need to add anything?

Messy mind? Clean it up with a tip about Listening

Five Ways to Declutter Your Body and Mind – “When I am particularly overwhelmed by negative thought clutter, and it seems as though the ruminations won’t end, I like to recite a poem. I literally recite my favorite poem (which I committed to knowing by memory for this very purpose), which happens to be Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver. I become so engaged in reciting the poem, mindful of both the rhythm and meaning of the words, that I let go of all other thoughts. My brain can’t both recite a poem and ruminate at once! You don’t have to use a poem…you can use a favorite song, monologue, etc.”

Listening to poetry is a great idea to take a break. Reciting it out loud, or in your head is the perfect way to combine speaking/thinking with listening to refresh. What’s your favorite poem? One of mine is “The Road Less Traveled” by Robert Frost. After reading this tip, I am going to memorize it so I can listen to it when I need it.

Listening to an advisor, but be sure it’s a good one.

Why Every CEO Should Have at Least One Trusted Advisor – “Having a trusted advisor eliminates the risks associated with working in isolation or at warp speed. To accept the advice of your advisor, however, you must have a sense of humility. You must accept that you could be wrong, you might require course correction or you might even have to start all over again.”

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Sometimes listening to others, really listening, can save your soul. Or job. What works about this article is it outlines the kind of advisor to seek out. My Mother often has advice for my professional life, but is it worth listening to?

Listening to the Wisdom of the Ages

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“Get inspiration from the best in (this) SlideShare. The collection of 50 motivational quotes on what good leadership truly means will not only help you be a better leader, but a better coworker, mentor, manager, employee, and even a better person.”

Why re-invent the wheel? Those that don’t study history, are destined to repeat it. Etcetera, Etcetera.

Managing the Noise of Social Media: Infographic

“Chances are you spend a pretty substantial amount of your life on social media. Be sure that you are getting the most out of your experience.”

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It’s not a Creative Clicks without an Infographic. This one has helpful hints for managing your listening to and interacting with the top Social Media sites. Including muting on Twitter, a.k.a. not listening anymore.

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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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When I’m asked what Brainzooming does, it’s always challenging to answer.

The Long Answer – Strategy, Creativity, and Innovation

The reason is that working from the incredible resource of strategic thinking exercises, creative thinking tools, and collaborative models The Brainzooming Group has created, what Brainzooming does can vary dramatically for each client engagement.

Given the client’s needs, we might look like strategists, community engagement specialists, innovation facilitators, creative thinking trainers, content creators, professional coaches, inspiring speakers, content marketing planners, or something entirely different.

That’s why it’s tough to give a short answer to the question.

Brainzooming-Group

A Short Answer

When asked how he tracks down fly balls hit miles from him, steals bases, forces defensive errors, goes for extra bases, hits inside the park home runs, and tags up to score on fly balls that would keep almost every runner glued to third base, Kansas City Royals Outfielder Jarrod Dyson’s answer is, “That’s what speed do.”

Putting the Two Together – That’s What Brainzooming Do

Since Jarrod Dyson can condense all the ways he uses speed into a few words, here’s a combination of a short and slightly longer answer about what Brainzooming does, with thanks to Jarrod for the inspiration!

What-Does-Brainzooming-Do

The Brainzooming Group would LOVE to do these things for your organization!

Strategy, creativity, innovation, or some combination – or something slightly different.  Which one or which combination is what your organization needs?

Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call at 816-509-5320, and let’s work together. You’ll find out first-hand, that’s what Brainzooming do! – Mike Brown



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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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There was a Brainzooming posse in Lawrence, Kansas on Saturday as Marianne Carr and I attended ConfabuLarryum, the Lawrence festival of creativity. In just its second year, Ben Smith’s brainchild increased its attendance 4x to more than 5,000 adults and kids.

What a fantastic event celebrating creative thinking skills of all kinds!

ConfabuLarryum-Wideshot

The only disappointment was I didn’t get to spend any time with the incredible array of activities and demonstrations. With a noon time slot to speak, I stayed in the auditorium to see the presentations before mine, getting a read on the audience, the room, and what content would work most effectively.

I presented a mini-workshop on Busting Creativity Barriers. One of the audience questions from a fourth grade teacher was on  how to help kids stop editing their creativity and new ideas for fear of being wrong.

My response was that’s clearly a challenge in a school environment where we are grading kids on their academic performance and monitoring all their actions and behaviors for conformity to expectations. Talk about a recipe for teaching children to edit their creativity and curb their creative thinking skills! It takes a full-blown creative rebel to survive creatively in that environment. And that survival will likely be VERY rocky because a student putting up enough of a fight to hang on to their own creative thinking skills and instincts will be going dangerously against the grain.

How about establishing a grade-free zone to cultivate creative thinking skills?

My spontaneous idea and response to her question was to create a grade-free zone in the classroom. This would be a spot where children could go to experiment, imagine ideas, and explore their creative thinking skills without ANY grading or correction.

Thinking about it, the grade-free zone might be a physical location in the classroom, a condition (i.e., a certain day or days), a situation (i.e., a child could call for grade-free zone time to create), or maybe all three of these.

Grade-Free-Zone

What else might need to be in place for a successful grade-free zone?

Those are some initial thoughts from someone who ISN’T a childhood educator; they are based, however, on how we try to create what are essentially grade-free zones inside creative thinking workshops. It would be interesting to see how my friends at the Boulder Journey School would address the question!

Two other thoughts emerged later:

  • Perhaps rather than being grade-free, the zone should be an all-A zone. That would be akin to conductor Benjamin Zander’s statement that he only teaches A students.
  • Even though ConfabuLarryum WAS a grade free zone filled with all kinds of creative outlets, I heavily edited my workshop presentation before starting, inserting stories that weren’t part of the presentation when I walked in the building and taking out a number of pieces.

I guess being grade-free is harder than it initially sounds.

What do you think of the idea, and how would you approach helping students to stop editing their own creativity? – Mike Brown

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How confident are you in your presentation skills when it comes to making last minute changes to what you had (or maybe DID NOT have) planned for your presentation?

Stephen Lahey (the undefeated number one Brainzooming fan until someone challenges him for the title) and I were discussing the value, impact, and risks of deviating from typical presentation formulas and improvising in front of a live audience.

We both agreed we are not “memorizers” when it comes to delivering presentations. Personally, I often do not know even the first line I will use to start a presentation until thirty seconds before starting. If the emcee for the session happens to say something I can turn into a self-deprecating joke, that will likely replace any other beginning I had in mind.

Conference_Audience

Presentation Skills Tips – 12 Last Minute Presentation Ideas

I will admit a huge preference for improvising during presentations. It’s a way to customize the content on the fly to attempt to make it more relevant based on the feedback and what you’re learning about the audience as the presentation unfolds.

While Stephen was understandably dubious, our conversation prompted me to list these twelve presentation skills tips for relatively safe last minute presentation ideas you can use to customize the content you are delivering for an audience:

  1. Talk to people attending your presentation before it starts and reference the conversations.
  2. Look around the room before you start and notice anything (posters, handouts, signage) left over from previous presentations; incorporate these into your remarks.
  3. Insert a relevant story you would usually share in another presentation, but had not planned during the current one.
  4. Make fun of any foibles you make during the course of the presentation to have some fan at your own expense.
  5. Make a bold physical movement (i.e., jump up, slam a table, fall down, walk out into the room) the audience does not expect.
  6. Ask the group (or an individual) a question and use the response to illustrate (or even challenge) a point you are making.
  7. Pause during your presentation to chat with an audience member about an expression, statement, or action they have done.
  8. Ask an audience member to share a story about the topic you are covering.
  9. Spend more time on something that appears to be resonating with the audience and shorten up other content that might be less relevant.
  10. Skip a few slides that are going to push you past the time you are supposed to speak.
  11. While the audience is working on an exercise or is otherwise distracted, unhide a slide you did not plan to cover and include it in the presentation.
  12. Close the presentation with an emotional story from your life that you have been reluctant to share because it will make you vulnerable.

What do you think? Are you ready to take some more risks with these presentation skills tips?

Go ahead. You will be fine. I promise! – Mike Brown

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Have you ever attended an event where it promises to be incredibly creative and fun, and you don’t know EXACTLY what you’ll be getting into, yet that’s completely fine?

Confabularryum

That’s what the second annual ConfabuLarryum promises to be this Saturday in Lawrence, KS!

As it bills itself, ConfabuLarryum is the “Lawrence Festival of Creativity.” The agenda includes such diverse creative activities as:

  • Maker Spaces
  • A Drone Zone
  • Cardio Drumming
  • A “How to Play Air Guitar” Demo
  • LEGO Serious Play
  • Redondo, a Group Drawing Game
  • Virtual Reality Demos
  • Adults Learning from Kids
  • Thinking Like a Scientist
  • A Creative Bootcamp

Amid these those incredible creative experiences, I’m presenting at 12 noon on “Busting Creativity Barriers.”

Given all the other activities people can be doing at noon (including hitting up food trucks), I’m hoping to can hang creatively and offer folks ideas for busting creativity barriers right and left.

If you are somewhere in Eastern Kansas, Southern Nebraska, or Western Missouri you HAVE to change whatever plans you have and get to ConfabuLarryum. Twelve hundred people attended last year, and with this line-up, even more people are sure to come out this year for the Lawrence Festival of Creativity.

Even in if you aren’t in the immediate vicinity, you’ve got a few days to get to Lawrence, KS and experience ConfabuLarryum for yourself. If you do decide to come, be sure to grab your lunch at 11:30 so you have some free time at noon….just saying.  – Mike Brown

 

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Download our FREE “Taking the No Out of InNOvation eBook to help you generate extreme creativity and ideas! For organizational innovation success, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative growth strategies. 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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Mike Brown

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This week I did an experiment. I wanted to see how inspired I could be through creative clicks on Twitter in about thirty minutes. These are links to some of the creative clicks that stood out for me.

Marianne-Carr-Photo

You can see my original re-tweet by searching @mbwcarr #CreativeClicks.

Remember to click on the headlines to link to the articles. Enjoy!  –Marianne Carr

Orange you glad I said Brainzooming?

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If you have read my past creative click on color you know how I love color. This gives some practical ways to apply color.

Your Brain on Logo

Here’s another way to understand the way your brain works in marketing.

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SQUIRREL!

“The human brain is powerful, but even it cannot make sense of the entire sum of stimuli that bombard our senses,” said Vincent P. Ferrera, PhD, the study’s senior author. Dr. Ferrera is a principal investigator at Columbia’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Bran Behavior Institute and associate professor in the department of neuroscience (in psychiatry) at CUMC. “Instead, it selects and prioritizes information based on what is needed at any given moment–this is called attention. And while attention is a fundamental characteristic of human cognition, and something that we use all the time, the underlying brain circuits that give us this ability remain largely unclear.”

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Huh? Did you say something? The human brain really IS the final frontier.

Jury Duty like the Rest of Us

A fellow juror, Sheri Coleman, told The Dallas Morning News that No. 43 was “very personable, very friendly, just ‘hey I’m here to serve.'”

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This inspired me because no matter who you are, where you are, or when it is, it’s always good to show up! And smile!

#POTUS #Entrepreneurship #Diversity #Awesome

President Barack Obama announced new public and private-sector commitments to attract diversity in entrepreneurship and technology. This included the winners of Small Business Administration competitions, federal partnerships to increase training efforts by the National Science Foundation, and expanding the TechHire initiative, where cities and states partner with employers in recruitment.

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Another reason to be inspired.

#iLookLikeAnEngineer

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While this ad campaign also featured several male employees of OneLogic, the image of the female engineer immediately began attracting attention after it went up in BART stations throughout the Bay Area. People didn’t believe the ad.

This is a shout out to all my Engineer friends. Love you, you diverse, interesting, creative group of people. Except when you try to teach me how to play Settlers of Catan. I’ll stick with Scattergories or Apples to Apples, thank you very much.

Creative Clicks to Find the Picture of Success

This simple yet beautifully illustrated animation, titled ‘What Is ‘Success’’, captures the nuances in the definition of success, and the importance of making it a fulfilling journey.

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This week I saw a post on LinkedIn of an infographic of habits of successful versus non-successful people. Stuff like “keeps a journal.” It didn’t sit right with me. This amazing little short animation does. My sister, who inspires me everyday, gave me a great piece of advice once, “Be your own yardstick.”  Hope this inspires you, too.

 

 

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ebook-cover-redoBoost Your Creativity with “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation”

Download our FREE “Taking the No Out of InNOvation eBook to help you generate extreme creativity and ideas! For organizational innovation success, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative growth strategies. 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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