Creativity | The Brainzooming Group - Part 4 – page 4
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Following yesterday’s update about my dad’s unexpected death (and don’t worry not EVERY post hereafter will be about my father), I wanted to share this list of thirty things #MyDadTaughtMe.

The list originated on Twitter in 2011 in response to a hashtag floating around at the time. You will find business wisdom, life lessons, and spaß from Bernie Brown on this list.

You get to decide which is which!

Life Lessons My Dad Taught Me . . .

  1. The song, “Nobody loves me. Everybody hates me. I think I’ll go eat worms.”
  2. Don’t invest time and effort in something that won’t yield results for somebody.
  3. Even if somebody’s screwed up a bunch of times, they might not next time.
  4. Always grab a quick nap if you can. (Although I didn’t ever do it until I met my wife, who loves naps.)
  5. The “Power of Positive Thinking” works. He lived it out throughout his life.
  6. What can it hurt you to try something new, as long as it’s low risk?
  7. When you go to a restaurant where celebs go, ask the maître d, “Who else famous other than me is here tonight?” (Though I never have!)
  8. You can’t pick up a cigarette he dropped, snap it in two and hand it back to him without getting popped in the face. (Only time he ever did though.)
  9. Humor is tremendously important in life. Take time to have fun and laugh.
  10. Sales is a numbers game. If you’re not making enough calls, you’re not going to get enough sales.
  11. If you want to make a profit, you have to learn to manage costs really well.
  12. You shouldn’t make other peoples’ decisions for them. Who are you to decide someone will say “no” to your request?
  13. Don’t wind up in a career where getting paid depends solely on you having to be there each day.
  14. Don’t ever tell someone how much you make.
  15. Try your hand at being an amateur artist, even if you don’t seem to be very good.
  16. Don’t throw that “whatever it is” away. You may be able to use it later.
  17. DIY is a good thing in lots of parts of life & business. (He’s lots better at DIY than me though.)
  18. Share what you’ve learned with other people if it can help them.
  19. It’s better to be pissed off than to be pissed on.
  20. Don’t take more than your fair share. And make sure others get their fair shares first.
  21. Don’t ever brag about yourself (unless it’s about your son).
  22. Nobody’s irreplaceable. They were looking for someone else when they found you.
  23. Taking money from someone gives them the right to tell you what they think you should do.
  24. Roughing it is having to walk from your hotel room to the hotel restaurant.
  25. How to be really sneaky at paying a restaurant check before anybody else at the table knew what had happened.
  26. You’re going to have to work long and hard to get ahead.
  27. If you expect to get, you have to give first. And that’s not just about money. It’s everything.
  28. If practicing isn’t making your Little League team better, try not practicing and see if that works.
  29. Some things you simply have to put up with. Put up with them stoically.
  30. Live within your means. But never skimp on toilet paper or run out of it.

Bernie Brown via 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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In recent years, I took a blog vacation the last few weeks of each year. That was important to get a break and refresh creatively for the New Year.

If you noticed, the blog vacation started a month early in 2016, starting suddenly in mid-November.

The reason is my dad, Bernie Brown, passed away unexpectedly on November 19, 2016.

Typing that last sentence stops me in my tracks.

While intellectually, I know my dad died, I have been so steeped in processing the impact of his passing on my life, it has been tough to focus beyond only the most essential things in front of me.

Weeks later, I am still coming to grips with my dad’s death. That is likely why I have not written anything about it here yet.

If you follow me on Facebook, you might have seen updates the week he died featuring the hashtag #SurroundedByLove. I used the hashtag to represent the tremendous outpouring of concern, affection, and love people shared in the week between my dad’s death and the funeral.

For those of you who are blog readers, but are not as deep in what’s going on in my personal life, here are a few previous Brainzooming posts about my dad:

If you would like a deeper sense of this incredible man, and how his world view shapes what you see on this blog, here’s a video of the eulogy I delivered at his funeral. The audio is not great in the church. If you are interested, a pretty close transcript of my remarks is at this link.

As comfortable, as I am in where our relationship was, I miss him tremendously and am trying to fill the big hole he left in my family. So if the blogs don’t come rushing back like they did previously, you know the reason.  – Mike Brown

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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Here is a quickie strategic thinking question for you:

If you saw your life as a teeter-totter, what rules of life would guide your behaviors and how you treat others?

Teeter-Totter Rules of Life

If teeter-totter rules of life guided your strategic thinking and actions, would you . . .

  • Realize that while it is great to be higher than somebody else, it is not going to last?
  • Think about how you being on top means another person is not and treat them with respect, particularly knowing the positions are easily reversed?
  • Consider that slamming someone else to the ground is going to mean your rise to the top is not going to be as smooth as it could be?
  • Equally enjoy the experiences of the rises and falls?
  • Take advantage of the full range of movement or try to limit the ups and downs very narrowly?
  • Act more deliberately to achieve the best balance and closeness to someone else so you both enjoy the ride?
  • Not fret so much about slipping from the pinnacle because all the conditions exist for you to return there?

A teeter-totter is a certainly a very simple life model, yet it seems like there are some valuable lessons that can apply to adult life. Mike Brown

 

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Facing Innovation Barriers? Here Is Help!

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Are you facing organizational innovation barriers related to:

We have many free Brainzooming strategic thinking eBooks to help navigate barriers and boost innovation!

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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The Brainzooming eBook, “11 Fun Ideas for Strategic Planning,” has generated lots of downloads since we published it during the early days of strategy season. The eBook shares ideas we developed in the past ten-plus years to create fun strategic planning exercises.

We warn readers early in the eBook that everybody’s definition of “fun strategic planning exercises” may differ.

When you are talking “fun” and “strategic planning,” you are not likely dealing with the kind of fun that will make you enjoy (and then later completely forget) during a night of weekend partying.

Undoubtedly, everything is relative when it comes to fun strategic planning exercises.

7 Types of Fun with Strategic Planning Exercises

So, if you download the eBook to learn fun strategic planning exercises to enliven your strategy meeting, be on the lookout for THESE types of fun:

  1. People reveal more than they expected to during the introductions
  2. People are enjoying strategic planning because they are actively participating
  3. A boss that’s a stick in the mud when it comes to innovation has to dive in or risk getting gently mocked by his team members
  4. Someone comes up with an idea they never would have imagined on their own
  5. An incredible, breakthrough idea is greeted with uproarious laughter – a sure sign there is something to the idea
  6. A participant, while struggling to describe an idea, inspires someone else, who comes up with the winning idea
  7. People don’t want to stop working on ideas and strategies because hours into the meeting, they are still enjoying themselves

While these might not seem like typical “fun,” when you see any of them come to life in what might have otherwise been a boring strategy meeting, you will definitely feel the fun! – Mike Brown

 

fun-ideas-strategic-planningNeed Ideas to Make Strategy Planning Fun?

Yes, strategy planning can be fun . . . if you know the right ways to liven it up while still developing solid strategies! If you’re intrigued by the possibilities, download our FREE eBook, “11 Fun Ideas for Strategic Planning.”


Download Your FREE eBook! 11 Fun Ideas for Strategic Planning


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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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If you’ve read the Brainzooming blog for any length of time, you’ve seen Chuck Dymer’s name multiple times. Chuck has been an incredible influence on my career, especially as it comes to creative thinking skills. As someone said to me at one point, “You’ve changed your job into Chuck’s job.”

That was definitely true.

Chuck was the first person I heard deliver an in-depth presentation on creative thinking skills. He captivated me with his message. We worked with Chuck multiple times, and started to adopt many of his ideas and approaches into our strategic planning methodology.

Suffice it to say, there wouldn’t be a Brainzooming if I hadn’t met Chuck Dymer.

Creative Thinking Skills and Place with Chuck Dymer

shapes-creative-thinking

Chuck is closing his ideation space, The IdeaLoft.

I visited him for lunch yesterday, and we recorded the Facebook live video here. I asked Chuck to talk about the IdeaLoft and how place and creativity relate to one another. The relationship between them was integral to the design and layout of the Idealoft.

Enjoy the video and Chuck’s insights and expertise on how place influences creative thinking skills!

Mike Brown

 

fun-ideas-strategic-planningLooking for Ideas to Make Strategy Planning More Fun?

Yes, developing strategy can be fun . . . if you know the right ways to liven it up while still developing solid strategies! If you’re intrigued by the possibilities, download our FREE eBook, “11 Fun Ideas for Strategic Planning.”


Download Your FREE eBook! 11 Fun Ideas for Strategic Planning

 

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

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 was discussing a request for proposal the other day with a potential client. He’s developing a short list of potential candidates for a new market research initiative at his company. It was clear that the organization’s team had already decided that a request for proposal was the best way to determine which outside vendor will be the best market research partner.

One other thing that was clear in the conversation:  their expectations go well beyond carrying out an already in-place quantitative market research initiative.

conference-room-office-space

The discussion surfaced the need for creating and implementing multiple types of research – both quantitative and qualitative – across a number of market segments. While he billed it as “customer” research, it likely needs to include both prospects and former customers to provide accurate insights.

As we talked, I told him they shouldn’t be issuing a request for proposal.

When a Request for Proposal Doesn’t Fit

A request for proposal is fine (I suppose) when the expectations, needs, and product or service are evident. I told him, however, that when none of these are clear (even to the client) and there are multiple avenues to address a nebulous deliverable, a request for proposal isn’t the best step.

In less specific situations, a request for proposal is a waste of time for potential vendors. They are taking time to design something they will likely never implement. The real market research design will only take shape after the client selects a vendor and meaningful exploration takes place. By that point, the specifications have changed so much, the proposal is likely irrelevant.

The client will wind up re-working much of the original RFP process in short order after they pick a research partner. That’s wasted time, too.

A Request for Presentation Could Be Better

I suggested they invite potential market research partners to come in and present their credentials, experience, and initial thinking on helping the client explore what types of market research they will really need. After developing a comfort level with a potential market research partner from the Request for Presentation, they can select one. THAT is the time to sit down, specify the methodology, and develop a scope of work with pricing.

We’ll see if they take the advice.

I hope they do.

A Request for Presentation will likely be a more fruitful RFP process than one focused on a Request for Proposal. – Mike Brown

 

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Whether you are just starting your strategy or think you are well down the path, you can use this eBook to:

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Written simply and directly with a focus on enlivening one of the most familiar strategic thinking exercises, “Reimagining the SWOT Analysis” will be a go-to resource for stronger strategic insights!

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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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Should you NEVER have fun during your company’s strategy planning process?

I suspect you know my answer to that question!

I had dinner the other evening with a former colleague from the corporate world. He is the relatively new CEO of a nonprofit organization. As we were exchanging stories about what we had done since the last time we saw one another, we discussed strategic planning.

He mentioned that the organization’s current strategic planning process facilitator “reprimanded” him at a strategy meeting. She told him never to mention the idea of having “fun” during strategy planning. Supposedly, the previous CEO set the tone for strategy, and fun was not part of the strategic planning process equation.

Wow.

Double Wow.

Strategic-Planning-Fun

I immediately showed him how one of our most recent strategic planning eBooks was all about working to create a fun atmosphere for strategy planning. He recalled how we always spread out a bunch of toys at strategy planning meetings. While toys may or may not be part of the mix during strategic planning activities, the key principle is that being serious and mind numbing does not, in and of itself, lead to stronger strategy.

In the Brainzooming worldview, the best strategy comes from pushing on the edges of everyday thinking.

Or pushing beyond those edges into territory no upstanding businessperson would typically venture. And in those cases, fun and laughter are all part of the strategy deal. You cannot imagine boldly when your brain is chained to serious thinking.

Mind numbing thinking does not lead to breakthrough thinking.

Wild thinking (which IS FUN) does.

That is why we highly recommend that fun and your company’s strategic planning process go together!  – Mike Brown

 

fun-ideas-strategic-planningLooking for Ideas to Make Strategy Planning More Fun?

Yes, developing strategy can be fun . . . if you know the right ways to liven it up while still developing solid strategies! If you’re intrigued by the possibilities, download our FREE eBook, “11 Fun Ideas for Strategic Planning.”


Download Your FREE eBook! 11 Fun Ideas for Strategic Planning

 

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

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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