Creativity | The Brainzooming Group - Part 132 – page 132
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“I like progress, but I hate change. And I think that counts for something in this day and age. I think it also has helped my career . . . You just stay the course, and do what it is that you do, and grow while you’re doing it. Eventually, it will either come full circle, or at least you’ll go to bed at night happy.” – Jon Bon Jovi

This quote is intriguing, and it appears to come down to this question: are there parts of your life that you are willing to live in an apparent “rut” so you can disproportionately focus your creative energy in areas that are most important to you? In Bon Jovi’s case, he points to having the same band members and a long-term marriage (18+ years) as constants that allow him to concentrate progress on the work that his band produces.

The idea resonates with me because I make similar trade-offs, keeping some long term constants (where I live, my car & employer, clothing choices) so that I can save up creative energy to pour into things I really love (what I do and create at work, speaking, writing, cartooning, etc.).

While this approach isn’t for everyone (one of my incredibly creative strategic mentors keeps most things in life in a state of flux), if it sounds like you, embrace putting parts of your life on idle so that you can be a rock star in the areas of greatest creative interest to you.

Today’s Get ‘Er Written Approach Breaking apart an overly ambitious idea and keeping only part of it.

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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My wife and I were strolling through Union Station in Kansas City three years ago and happened upon a collection of paintings in the styles of famous artists – Picasso, Van Gogh, Warhol, and others. All of them were done by Montessori students under the tutelage of Matt Barr. The paintings were on display as a pre-cursor to being auctioned to raise money for the school.

Having always loved Andy Warhol’s work, this seemed the closest I’d ever get to owning one. On the night that bidding was closing, a number of people were trying to outbid each other via email with Matt. All of a sudden, the bidding exploded on the Warhol picture, probably from parents of the students whose images made up the picture. At the last minute, my wife said she really wanted “The Starry Night.” On just two bids, we bought the Van Gogh painting for about $400. Pretty cheap by Sotheby’s standards!

The highlight was when Matt delivered the picture accompanied by his daughter, who had contributed to “The Starry Night.” Matt explained that he sketched out the paintings, setting the kids up to be successful in reproducing the works. They did the lion’s share of the painting, and he touched them up at the end.
We’ve not been in contact with Matt since then (although if you Google him you’ll find an interesting Snakes on a Plane for kids project), but what an incredible teacher! To figure out a way to allow the students to learn and actively contribute to reproducing a wonderful work of art is such a cool gift to them. It had to open up so many possibilities for those kids. And for us, it means we can always claim to have an original Van Gogh!

The challenge for all of us is to figure out what we can do in a similar vein to share our creative passions with kids and adults. Take the steps to introduce people you know to your creative pursuits. Give the gift of some basic structure and then encourage their creative energy to take over. I know I haven’t done enough creative instigation lately. How about you?  – 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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During a session on DIY strategic thinking with the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) I received a frequent question when I talk about strategic thinking approaches which is, “What do they look like?”

That’s only natural considering I describe the approach we’ve put together as various parts:

You’re probably wondering too how all that comes together. Based on time, I didn’t get to show this video to the group last night, so to give you a picture as well as some of the specific principles we apply, here’s a quick video from actual strategic thinking sessions.

If you have specific questions after watching the video, let me know via email (or write it on a little yellow post it)!

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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Police detectives are responsible for identifying and developing leads, often with little actual information to go on, and successfully solving cases. The challenge is not unlike the effort required to find and develop solid leads for business development purposes.

Next time you’re faced with that task, delegate your challenge to a police detective and see how their methods could help you solve the case of the missing customer. Detectives:

  • Interview witnesses & knowledgeable people for clues
  • Gather evidence
  • Check for & analyze fingerprints
  • Perform forensic analysis
  • Search databases for suspects in previous similar cases
  • Work with other related agencies
  • Tap phone lines
  • Conduct surveillance
  • Ask the public for help

Once again, try to generate three ideas for each of the police detective approaches above. And be careful out there!

Check out a compilation of “Change Your Character” creative thinking exercises and information on its use.  – Mike Brown

 

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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 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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I’ve always wondered why Bruce Springsteen has only played a few guitars on stage during his career while Tom Petty seems to change guitars on nearly every song. The different strategy each of them takes probably comes down to what it takes to fuel creativity. The last several weeks, I’ve gotten a little better insight into the impact of various creative tools you might use.

The morning of a recent plane trip to Las Vegas, we stopped at Wal-Greens for last minute items. I bought a relatively inexpensive sketch pad similar to ones I’d had as a kid. My desire was to simply have a tool to spur creativity by offering a different type of bare wall to go along with the change of scenery (Las Vegas) and activity (an actual non-working vacation).

Lo and behold, the bare wall theory for creativity held up. On the way, I sketched out seventeen potential posts for another blog I’m doing. Once in Vegas, the creative tool of focus shifted briefly to the camera on my phone, which yielded another 5 ideas for posts. Returning from a quick trip to Washington last week, it was back to the sketch book’s creative boost, writing out some posts (including this one) with a Sharpie marker.

Going back to a previously familiar creative tool has provided an opportunity to wring some new and varied creativity from it. Needless to say, I’m really enjoying the creative stimulus provided by the sketch book right now!

So ask yourself – are you more like Bruce Springsteen or Tom Petty when it comes to your creative strategy? And do you have all the tools you need to keep your creativity flowing in various situations? Act on the answers to these two questions to fuel your creativity!  – 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 see how we can help make your strategic thinking and planning more productive, even when you’re not on a plane!

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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No matter what you think of the character, Forrest Gump’s approach to the simplicity of life found him at the center of most major events of the second half of the twentieth century. When striving to simplify some of your complex problems, it would be interesting to see what possibilities would emerge by applying his outlook. Try it, seeking three new ideas from each of these perspectives that Forrest Gump applies:

  • Listening to his mother’s advice
  • Not having a lot of expectations
  • Being open to new experiences
  • Seeing all people the same, without prejudice
  • Not making demands on others
  • Not being judgmental
  • Finding the good in negative situations
  • Maintaining a positive outlook
  • Being loyal to his friends
  • Following simple philosophical principles
  • Doing the basics that make a significant impact
  • Being good hearted and generous

Check out a compilation of “Change Your Character” creative thinking exercises and information on its use.  – Mike Brown

 

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

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 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 a Kansas City Star film contest, one entry was “The Bible…In 29 Seconds.” Pick a project and see what a 90+% reduction in one resource means. How pinpoint could your storytelling get?

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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