Creativity | The Brainzooming Group - Part 132 – page 132
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Going through the July 2008 “Real Simple” magazine, these lines from various ads all stuck out as great creative thought starters. See what thinking and ideating they get started for you!

KU Class Recap – Tuesday night I talked with Barrett Sydnor’s graduate level integrated marketing communications class about strategic thinking. The class members were great and very engaged in applying exercises to their class projects.

One topic was how to introduce strategy and creativity at work. We covered things they could do and that cultivating creativity in the workplace depends a lot on what YOU bring to the job.

Voice your perspective on creativity levels in the workplace at the mikebrownspeaks poll. Your input will be part of the upcoming Creative Instigation project.

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’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.

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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.

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“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.

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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

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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.

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When you need to tap your creativity for a new look at an old project, try this 3-step creative quickie approach with a goal of generating 33 new ideas from each creative thinking exercise step.

A Creative Thinking Exercise with “3 Steps and Pick”

Step 1 – Think Connections: Ask, “What’s this project like?” Generalize the project, select an analogous situation, and then apply attributes, lessons, and possibilities from the analogous situation to your project.

Step 2 – Think Random: Select random words, phrases, and images from a magazine and ask, “What does this word, phrase, or image suggest about possibilities for my project?” Stuck for a good magazine to use? Try “Real Simple” or any other big, picture-rich magazine outside your field.

Step 3 – Think Again: Go back through your 66 current ideas and start pairing them up to generate 33 more possibilities.

Pick: With the 99 ideas you now have, there should at least 10 to 15 possibilities that you can select and directly apply to your old project to enliven it!

How’s that for a creative quickie to get a lot of ideas and then do something with them! – 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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Following up Tuesday’s article, I appeared Friday, June 20 on the “Eye on Small Business” radio program with Kelly Scanlon (KCTE Hot Talk 1510 AM). It’s an hour show, providing an opportunity to talk with Kelly, publisher of “Kansas City Small Business Monthly,” about ways to foster a more innovative approach in business and life. You can listen to the entire program by clicking on this link to her Talkshoe.com site.

We covered many topics during the show including those below:

Since there won’t be an article on July 4, here’s tip: If you have the opportunity, watch fireworks from the tallest building that you can. We typically watch from the 9th floor at work because we can see fireworks displays from all over Kansas City in one location! Hotels with restaurants at the top are another great option as well.

Be safe and check back July 7 for a “Creative Quickie,” the new every Monday feature to get your week started creatively.

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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