Creative Instigation | The Brainzooming Group - Part 2 – page 2
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Listening to The Beatles Abbey Road show provides a sense of the incredible talent they brought to the recording studio. The impact of George Martin, their producer, is also clear in how he shaped the group’s artistic sensibilities and vision, crafting them into a coherent whole.

Considering the benefits a producer can provide, do you have one (or more) producers in your creative life? Your “producer” could be a mentor or a creative instigator who’s there to:

  • Expand and shape your creative perspective
  • Bring in other talents to help realize your vision
  • Challenge and edit your work from a less invested perspective than you have

Maybe you self-produce your own creative efforts. That’s a viable approach, and some people do it well. But if you don’t have a producer for your major projects, think seriously about working with someone in that role who can be the catalyst for new creative success. – Mike Brown

 

Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic creative ideas! For an organizational creativity boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to 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.


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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Everybody received an assignment Friday morning: look for someone to help with a creative challenge over the weekend and then comment here to create the Monday Creative Quickie post. The early submissions are included below. You can still add others in the comments section for today’s post.

Mike Brown said…
My wife Cyndi honed her web skills by volunteering to do websites for our Church and her sorority. It helped both out and let her engage new areas of creativity. Mike

Jan said…
I’m helping my daughter who’s away at college celebrate Mother’s Day with us … by breaking the rules. Instead of celebrating May 10, we’ll observe Mother’s Day May 17, after Kate’s out of school and back home. It’s important to know the rules, so you can choose to break them!

Terry said…
Today one of our field managers shared a great analogy comparing one of our old web tools to a simple remote control (you know, the kind that only has power, volume and a channel changer) with our new web tool that’s more like a universal remote with more features. Envisioning a remote with thousands of buttons, I helped him take the comparison a step further by comparing our formerly separate online tools that required customers to go three separate places to my coffee table covered with separate TV, VCR and cable box remotes.

Amy Hoppenrath said…
I received a question from a professional associate today asking for advice about a project she is working on. She was stuck. After some discussion, we determined that before she would find the answers, she needed to ask more questions.


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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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Don’t feel like you get enough opportunities to be creative in your job? Maybe so.

If that’s the case, here’s an assignment for today and over the weekend: be on the lookout for an informal opportunity to use your creative talent to help someone else, then report back on it here by Monday.

Want a quick example – at a party earlier this year, one guest was talking about trying to come up with an intriguing name for her new business idea. I joined the conversation and offered to help generate some possible names. My motivation? I’d developed a new messaging ideation technique that hadn’t yet been tested. This was a great low-risk way to see if it could really generate lots of cool ideas.

We both benefitted. She received more than a 100 possible names; I learned what worked and didn’t with the new technique.

Be on the lookout for people with creative challenges this weekend and share a brief story in the comments section on this post, ideally by Monday. Let everyone know how you tried to help someone – either previously or over the weekend. And in so doing, you’ll address another creative challenge: your comments will become the whole Monday Creative Quickie post!

So have a great weekend and report your successes in helping others with creative challenges on 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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One unexpected benefit from investing time on Twitter has been the interest of others in contributing guest posts for Brainzooming. That’s great since it helps introduce other perspectives to Brainzooming through both comments and entire posts.

Today’s guest post is from Linda S. Fitzgerald, M.S.Ed. I’ve been tweeting back and forth with Linda, who is CVO (Chief Visionary Officer) of A Women’s Place Network, Inc., for several weeks now. She agreed to share her perspective on an important topic: the creativity that’s in each of us.

Everyone’s Got Some? I’m talking about “creativity.” Everyone has some of the stuff that brings new things into being. The energy that makes something out of what appears to be nothing!

Most of us tend to think we are not very creative. In fact, I meet men and women who tell me – flat out – “I don’t have a creative bone in my body!”

The truth is that each of us is born with a level of creativity intertwined with our “destiny design” – the ultimate purpose for which we were born. Most folks’ ultimate purpose requires some creativity if it is to come to pass and successfully function on our behalf and that of others.

Creativity may not look the same to you as it does to me. The genius of Albert Einstein is not the same creativity as mine. My creative genius does not inhabit the world of math. Mine is in design and development of programs and projects. It’s also in the fine art of writing – the use of language to paint word pictures that draw others in and invite them to enter my world through my words.

When we deny that creativity lies deep within us, we deny our very existence and certainly our destiny design. If we choose to decide (and it is a “choice” and a “decision”) we have nothing we or the world would identify as creativity, we have denied our very purpose.

Creativity is energy, and it permeates every aspect of our being. It may be small, such as encountering a challenge in cooking a new dish, only to discover how to overcome the challenge without an expert’s intervention. That’s creativity. We don’t recognize it as such because we may have been led to believe that creative folks create big things.

Being creative occurs in all aspects of our lives! When we find alternatives to overcome a challenge, do something a little different with the time and energy saved, turn old ways into new ways because we must –we are using natural creative energy each of us has in ready reserve.

The wisdom of the day is: go out and exercise your creativity. If you haven’t yet found it; discover it. Ask a trusted friend how they see you being creative. Make note of the things he/she says, and then practice creativity on a daily basis. Practice until (as the old adage says) “practice makes perfect”.

Have an awesome creative day!

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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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It was a pleasure to do a segment Monday on High Velocity Radio with hosts Stone Payton and Lee Kantor talking about a variety of innovation topics. I met Stone initially via Twitter back in January, and appearing on Stone’s show was part of the prize for winning the IDEF140 contest he sponsored.

We covered a range of issues, so beyond a link to the radio show, here are links to many of the topics we discussed during our conversation.

Thanks again Stone and Lee for the opportunity to be on the show, and I look forward to being able to do it again in the future!

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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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After speaking on “Strategic Thinking for Market Researchers” at last year’s IIR The Market Research Event, I attended a session which discussed “creative consumers.” They were nearly reverently described as “consumers” serving as paid innovation session participants; this, after passing personality tests (both oral and written) and receiving creativity technique training. “Creative consumers” were lauded for being able to write dead-on concept statements.

According to the research agency presenter, her firm has a panel of at least 250 “creative consumers” with varied backgrounds available for business innovation. In reviewing some profiles, one “creative consumer” has been doing this 17 years!
Kraft Foods (the other presenter) applied this innovation technique to design new service concepts. “Creative consumers” were included at a one-to-one rate with business executives (or “drones,” although the term was never actually used) to inject creativity and innovation. The first day-long session produced 154 ideas from five custom exercises; these were narrowed eventually to 15 for further development in a second day-long session. A couple of strategic observations (recognizing I’ve done innovation primarily in a B2B environment):
  • The best facilitated innovation sessions don’t require 50% creatives. At 20% of participants, creative people can really drive creative instigation while remaining participants contribute to other business strategy issues being explored. Going higher saps the diversity critical for innovative ideas.
  • Lack of diversity can hamper the strategy evaluation phase. Interestingly, two later rejected innovation concepts shared to demonstrate the group’s creativity both fell apart based on density requirements. Not enough volume in a certain time period usually signals major problems. Density isn’t necessarily a strategic principle driving CPG, but it’s a challenge readily apparent to service marketing professionals since time is a perishable resource which can’t be inventoried. Here’s where a little more strategic diversity in an innovation group could have been beneficial.
  • One hundred fifty-four ideas isn’t a remarkable a number of new ideas. We’ve seen 500 or 600 ideas from a more diverse participant group in innovation sessions we’ve facilitated. The number of new ideas is highly dependent on what an innovation session’s strategic objectives are and using the right creativity tools to help realize your business goals.
  • It’s ridiculous to call these participants “consumers.” While companies want to feel they’re involving real consumers in the innovation process, that’s suspect. They may have familiarity and experience in the topic. But with the testing, innovation training, and pay involved ($500-$1500 daily), they’re really “part-time, informal creative staff members.” Seventeen years in, somebody doesn’t enter a session with a completely fresh innovative “consumer” perspective.

This is an intriguing innovation concept, but appears to be misrepresented and oversold. The funniest moment was during Q&A when someone asked apprehensively if the creative consumers could travel. I turned to the guy next to me and asked, “I wonder what they eat?”

Probably special pellets to generate creative sparks! – 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 deliver strategic, innovative, implementable ideas for 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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At a Charlotte Business Marketing Association presentation on “Taking the NO Out of Business InNOvation,” a question was raised about the right number of people to have in facilitated innovation and strategy sessions.

That’s a common business question, and there are certainly optimum sizes for facilitating innovation and strategy groups. What’s optimum varies based on the business objective and the complexity of the strategy or innovation effort needed. My response was the much more important success factor is the group’s composition based on experience, personalities, and mindset. For the best strategic thinking, The Brainzooming Group always wants to have three groups represented when we facilitate an innovation session:
  • People with solid, front-line business experience to help frame business strategy issues.
  • Others with functional knowledge applicable to the strategy or innovation topic to provide an understanding of capabilities.
  • Creative instigators who can act as innovation catalysts by viewing business situations in new & unconventional ways.

Using The Brainzooming Group framework, we’ve done very successful multi-person strategic thinking sessions with two people who filled multiple roles. Often, it takes 3 to 8 people per group to have enough depth in each of the three areas.

Tomorrow’s post will highlight the business challenges of overloading an innovation session with too much creativity. Trust me, it doesn’t lead to the best, most implementable business ideas.  – 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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