As usual, last Saturday’s #Ideachat on Twitter was a fantastic hour hosted by Angela Dunn, with this month’s topic on creative spaces. Angela led us through an #Ideachat discussion on how physical spaces affect our creativity.

This has been an occasional topic on the Brainzooming blog, although our focus is more frequently on what helps boost creativity in specific situations vs. what instigate creativity in certain locations.

Surroundings definitely matter to my creativity, not so much for their impact on the ability to come up with ideas as my creative disposition.

For me, great creative spaces are very open, allow creative tools to function easily (and well), and provide the opportunity to look at what I’m working on from multiple angles. Great creative spaces have a lot of square footage per person, giving the mind room to wander (and wonder).  Many business people use Starbucks and Panera as office getaways, but for me, these are spaces, but not creative ones.

It’s not because they’re noisy, because I do like noise most of the time, too.

My wife marvels at me having a TV going, maybe music, and the social networking channels open while I’m working on something else. These noise sources compensate for too infrequently having people around in person. I’m more creative when collaborating since I’m always smarter and more creative when smarter & more creative people are around. And it’s beneficial to be with someone in person because you get the full set of creative cues going back and forth when everyone is together.

Even distractions can work for me in the creative process if they’re somewhat relevant to what I’m working on at the time.

Restaurants are some of my favorite creative spaces, especially ones with white paper table cloths all ready for drawing with Sharpie markers. Although it doesn’t have the paper table cloths, Nordstrom Café is a great creative space for me; must be something about all that open space  (as shown here).

Ultimately, you can’t move a creative space around with you. That’s when creativity tools and exercises come into play. They’re portable and can help instigate creativity even when the surroundings are lacking.

Those are what my creative spaces are like. How about yours? – Mike Brown

Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic creative ideas! For an organizational innovation 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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I saw Richard Saul Wurman, author of Information Anxiety and founder of TED, speak at the PCMA conference last week in San Diego. Among various topics, Richard Saul Wurman talked about how there is very little real innovation, defined as completely new ideas that have not existed previously. In fact, Wurman characterized most things that pass for innovation as simple improvements over what is already available. He pointed out that even the automobile wasn’t invented; it was aggregated from multiple other inventions, including the steam engine and a horse-drawn carriage.

Richard Saul Wurman identified five strategic thinking perspectives (and examples) typically underpinning new ideas:

  • Addition (or Connection) – Putting together already existing products in new ways, with the automobile as the example he shared.
  • Subtraction – Taking away elements which conventional wisdom suggests you should have to you create something new. Wurman pointed to the TED conference, where he subtracted a podium, introductions, and long presentations.
  • Exaggeration – Taking something to its (comedic) absurd is a valid way to trigger change. Wurman talked about the link between comedy and new ideas, including his enjoyment of comedians Steven Wright and Emo Philips.
  • Doing the opposite – Wurman’s book “33” is too complicated to explain in one sentence, but its protagonist succeeds in improving things by doing completely the opposite of what conventional wisdom and social norms suggest.
  • Fixing gaps & failures – Wurman talked about how so much information that’s shared doesn’t explain anything. He addressed this with Information Anxiety and a host of books explaining geography, instructions, and medicine, among other topics, in new ways.

Even though I don’t buy his relatively narrow definition of “innovation,” Wurman’s construct and examples reminded me of a very familiar exercise learned from Chuck Dymer: Trait Transformation.

One twist?

While we typically use Trait Transformation and multiple transforming attributes to increase randomness in new ideas, Wurman’s approach gets me thinking about using only one transformer to really push a single concept (i.e. subtracting things) for very focused, extreme creativity.

There’s plenty more to report from the conference, including probably another whole post of Richard Saul Wurman one liners. But we’ll save all that for another day  – 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 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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Instead of writing blog posts this weekend, I wound up working to prepare for Thursday’s Advanced Twitter class I’m teaching at Enterprise Center of Johnson County. And instead of using Sunday night to at least get Monday’s post written, good friend Jim Joseph lured me into his Golden Globe Awards Twitter Chat, #ggexp. Since Sunday night was full of tweeting, here’s some of my commentweeting the creative highlights of the Golden Globe Awards. (BTW, thanks Amy Balog for that great term, commentweeting.)

  • Despite my prediction last year, Ricky Gervais was back as Golden Globe Awards host for the third year in a row in 2012. But for as little time as he was actually on stage, he served more as an on-stage reporter than a host. In any case, the opening line from Ricky Gervais (“Where did I leave off?”) was as good an opener as anything since Pee Wee Herman’s, “Have you heard any good jokes lately?” to open a long ago MTV awards show.
  • For all the speeches allowed to go on way too long, they started playing music to get Meryl Streep off the stage. She’s Meryl Streep – our best known American actress – even if she did have a dress that looked as if it were from the Mary Todd Lincoln collection. She should get as much time as she needs (and she needed more time than usual since she forgot her glasses – and everyone was afraid to hand them to her mid-speech).
  • There should be a play clock for the Golden Globe Awards show like there is in the NFL. You only have so many seconds to start your speech or there’s a penalty involved.
  • Speaking of the NFL, Lifetime Achievement Awards are to awards shows what the Halftime Show is to the Super Bowl. Yawn….
  • There was a decent Google Chrome ad (as if Google really needs to advertise its impending world dominance). But the minute the spot ran, Google Chrome would barely run on my computer. Coincidence? I think not.
  • There’s a real problem with too-thin female stars. If you put Buffalo Wing sauce on Madonna’s biceps, you could serve them at Buffalo Wild Wings, and I was thinking $5 would be enough to make sure Angelina Jolie gets one meal per day for a whole month!
  • Steven Spielberg was thanking people for approving a project he did. Wait a minute. He’s Steven Spielberg! Does anyone really tell him, “NO,” he can’t do a project?
  • I don’t know much, if anything, about fashion, but it was clear that Jessica Lange and Jane Fonda are beyond the ages when they should be wearing semi-backless dresses.
  • Matt Leblanc (who will forever be known as “Joey from Friends”) won a Golden Globe award for some show where I think he plays himself. I’m not sure why he won, but I was very excited to see I wasn’t the only person tweeting about him with the Twitter hashtag, #JoeyFromFriends.
  • NBC kept running ads for its new series, Smash, and saying, “Introducing Katherine McPhee.” “Introducing” Katharine McPhee? I guess the statute of limitations on losing a reality TV show must be 6 years.
  • During the 2011 Super Bowl, the Chrysler 300 ad with the car rolling through overcast days and dark nights in Detroit was incredibly cool. The ad last night with the car driving through neighborhoods on a sunny day looked like another car commercial.
  • The Hollywood Foreign Press Association needs to inject some NASCAR sensibilities into its sponsorship of the Golden Globes. No sponsor should have to put up with as few sponsor mentions as the Hollywood Foreign Press gets during the broadcast. Maybe they should get a NASCAR driver to host the Golden Globes next year?

My favorite Twitter chat opportunities are those tied to widely-viewed television programs since you can not only get a good small group tweeting together, but you can also see what the nation (and often the world) are thinking about it as well.

Did you watch the Golden Globe Awards? What did you think about this year’s show? Any commentweeting the creative highlights for you? – 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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Too often, an organization signs on for a sponsorship without a clear sponsorship strategy. Sponsorship marketing can produce attention and strong ROI impacts for companies of all sizes, but it takes clear strategy. While it’s easy to pay money to get your company name attached to a sponsorship, that doesn’t mean you have a solid sponsorship strategy to enhance attention and produce a positive ROI for your organization. With the “Building the Gigabit City” project to brainstorm ideas for Google Fiber in Kansas City, The Brainzooming Group employed a non-traditional sponsorship strategy, creating a sponsorship where one didn’t already exist by:

Since our sponsorship strategy was one any company could pursue under the right circumstances, here are five key sponsorship principles to consider in pursuing a similar path:

1. Stand near somebody else’s spotlight

Standing near another party’s spotlight is part of why NASCAR sponsorships work. Since a whole army of media cover the NASCAR racing world, a sponsor doesn’t have to try to get media to show up for the event. There has been considerable coverage for the Google Fiber move into Kansas City. Creating Gigabit City allowed us to stand near the Google Fiber spotlight for a credible reason, even though the event wasn’t an official Google Fiber program. The Google name drew strong media attention for Gigabit City, nevertheless.

2. Create your own sponsorship property

The traditional sponsorship strategy is to pay money to a sponsorable property’s owner (i.e., a sports team, an entertainment venue, a nonprofit event, etc.). With Building the Gigabit City, there was no property to sponsor. Working with Social Media Club of Kansas City (SMCKC), we created the sponsorship property. It takes more work, but it offers the opportunity to shape and mold what you’re investing in to best suit your business objectives.

3. Pursue a sponsorship built around what you do

The storyline for a sponsorship can be difficult to twist back to what your company does when you’re only investing dollars. Instead, look for a way to put what you do in your business at the heart of your sponsorship contribution. By donating our strategic brainstorming services to the Google Fiber in Kansas City event, The Brainzooming Group and our strategy and innovation services were at the heart of the story, providing the opportunity to integrate it more seamlessly into news stories.

4. Don’t ask for permission and don’t even worry about having to ask for forgiveness

Most of the Google Fiber attention in Kansas City appears to be forming with little attention boosting effort from Google. While a traditional move might have been to try doing something directly with Google, we instead created an event related to Google where the natural partner was almost incidental. Providing our brainstorming services pro bono allowed us to start, move quickly, and issue a comprehensive report free to anyone who wants it. Since Building the Gigabit City wasn’t authorized by Google though, we were careful to structure an event that would be neutral at worst to Google and ideally somewhat intriguing.

5. You have to activate a sponsorship to make it worthwhile

Even though our initial “investment” in Building the Gigabit City was in-kind (i.e., providing our services on a pro bono basis to design and implement the brainstorming session), to realize the full benefit we had to get behind the public relations effort. Another partner of The Brainzooming Group, Alex Greenwood, was fundamental in representing our awareness-building and messaging interests among the potential media opportunities to ensure we received attention. That translated into considerable television and radio time, shareable third-party stories, and greater recognition for The Brainzooming Group in Kansas City and within the category.

Learn More Today

We’re extending our Gigabit City sponsorship strategy through other media appearances. I’m on Kelly Scanlon’s radio show on 1510 KCTE AM at 9 am CST, Friday, January 13 to discuss Google Fiber and what it can mean for small businesses in Kansas City and elsewhere. You can listen live on 1510.com.

I also wrote a feature story in the January 2012 edition of The Social Media Monthly magazine on “The Social Side of Speed” about how Google Fiber might impact societal and cultural elements of Kansas City. You can get a printed copy at any Barnes & Noble store, plus check out one of the “Hottest Magazine Launches of 2011” with an online subscription at The Social Media Monthly magazine’s website.

What could you do with your sponsorship strategy?

Does our approach instigate any creative ideas for how you could develop more effective sponsorships? If not, give us a call. We can put our years of sponsorship strategy and implementation experience to work for you to realize your business objectives.  – 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 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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It is beneficial to save ideas you brainstormed but did not use since they may work for someone else or at a later time for you. Today’s post is a great example of this principle where you can save ideas to offer them to someone else later.

I chaired a global market research virtual event for the American Marketing Association in 2010. As part of our virtual event planning, we did a Brainzooming creativity session and brainstormed ideas to take best advantage of our virtual event opportunity. We brainstormed several hundred ideas, many of which were specific social media ideas for how to drive virtual event success.

Flash forward two years, and I will be speaking Monday afternoon at the Virtual Edge Institute 2012 conference on using social media ideas to drive virtual events by growing attendance and creating greater engagement.

Recently, I went back through our final Brainzooming report document from the 2010 American Marketing Association virtual event and identified out this list of 51 social media ideas to drive virtual events.

Many of the social media ideas could apply to any type of event or even other marketing programs. But since it does not make much sense to go through a list of 51 ideas during a presentation, the list is shared for you and all the attendees at the Monday Virtual Edge Institute session (4 pm PDT on Monday, January 9). Please feel free to borrow any of these ideas and adapt them to suit your organization’s purposes. And if you would like to follow along during Monday’s session, be sure to track the Twitter hashtag #VES12!

Attendance Building

1. Create a micro-site for the conference – drive members there via email campaigns

2. Create themed web badges for speakers/sponsors/exhibitors to put on their sites

3. Crowd source a “10 Ways to Sell Your Attendance to Your Boss” list

4. Offer a free association membership for life as a contest give-away

5. Do a weekly give away on social media channels leading up to the conference

6. Extend offers at special times of the day

7. Extend offers for the event on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

8. Offer a dramatic prize for the 500th registrant for the digital event

9. Sponsor a scholarship program for out of work attendees to participate

10. Provide an offer to digital event attendees to attend future in-person events at a reduced rate

11. Give previous attendees a discount for referrals, plus free attendance for the person who gets the most referrals over some target number


12. Actively build the Twitter following for the event’s Twitter account well in advance of the event

13. Develop a conference / event app

14. Host a monthly, industry-oriented Twitter chat leading up to or kicking off with the digital event

15. Create an event word cloud that evolves over the day

16. Crowd source a “What the future of the industry looks like” video or article

17. Crowd source nominations for annual awards via social networks

18. Crowd source the theme for the next digital event

19. Conduct a pre-event session on how to get more out of the conference through social media

20. Hold a webinar for attendees before the conference on maximizing the value of the digital event experience

21. Have a live viewing session for the digital event in high-density membership areas

22. Have an online interaction area for attendees and speakers

23. Invite industry professionals to share content for the event community website

24. Monitor the event Twitter feed and introduce people to each other

25. Produce the social media content at the event with a team approach

26. Offer an incentive for attendees to blog or live tweet about the conference

27. Provide exclusive digital interactions with speakers at the event


28. Allow attendees to post resumes and job opportunities in the virtual event

29. Create a buddy / mentoring system for senior and junior people in the industry to reach out to each other, network, and schedule time together at the event

30. Do a virtual speed-networking event

31. Pair people up with similar interests at the conference through a community matching approach

32. Provide different avatar backgrounds for attendees to indicate their interest areas, experience, event objectives, etc.

33. Provide a means to network and pre-schedule meetings with suppliers or clients through a social media platform

Presentations / Content

34. Best rated / most popular breakout sessions (as identified through social media channels) are repeated in a general session

35. Crowd source a final recap presentation by soliciting ideas throughout the meeting via Twitter and other social networks

36. Crowd source session ideas from among social networks

37. Crowd source virtual event word of the day ideas from attendees

38. Host a global panel with Skype/video participation from all over the world

39. Do a session based on crowd sourcing a list of industry predictions that did/didn’t come true

40. Have attendees submit their own 1-2 minute videos that are compiled and shown

41. Have featured presenters doing a running commentary on social networks throughout the event

42. Host a virtual unconference – select a topic during the day of the digital event and discuss it live on Twitter or in an online chat room

43. Let attendees submit “new” content before the conference and the top 3 people get to present for 20 minutes

44. Create an online group to submit conference ideas

45. Post short teaser videos from presenters covering their topics

46. Solicit questions for presenters via social media

47. Win a video camera for the best ideas on how you will use it to create content for the event

Trade Show / Exhibitors

48. Allow exhibitors to put videos of best practices on a conference community site

49. Provide a coaching session for exhibitors on interactive and social media elements of the conference to maximize their business building experience

50. Solicit and provide e-opinions on suppliers

51. Video 2-minute pitches / interviews with exhibitors on the cool things they are doing. Show videos around presentations at general session & prompt attendees to visit the exhibitors

And what other social media ideas do you have?

What other social media ideas would you add to the list to driver virtual events? Please share them in the comments! If you’re at the Virtual Edge Institute (#VES12) in San Diego next week, please stop by and attend my Monday afternoon session!  – Mike Brown


If you’re struggling with determining ROI and evaluating its impacts, download 6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track” today!  This article provides a concise, strategic view of the numbers and stories that matter in shaping, implementing, and evaluating your strategy. You’ll learn lessons about when to address measurement strategy, identifying overlooked ROI opportunities, and creating a 6-metric dashboard. Download Your Free Copy of “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track!

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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Which Brainzooming blog articles were most beneficial for you in 2011?

Here are the top 2011 Brainzooming articles based on two separate measure of your interest in them.  I originally selected a 2011 top 10 articles list based on Google Analytics. When perusing Post Rank, which assigns a score to articles osts based on comments and social sharing, however, it yielded a markedly different top 10.

In the spirit of being as inclusive as possible in looking at what posts were most successful in the eyes and social sharing of Brainzooming readers, here’s the Google Analytics Top 10 along with the additional posts from the Page Rank list. Overall, the combined list of the top 17 Brainzooming blog articles for 2011 leans toward creativity, innovation, and social media strategy.

Top 10 Brainzooming Articles for 2011 based on Google Analytics

1. Project Management – 15 Techniques When Time Is Running Down

Creative inspiration can come from anywhere, if you are on the lookout for it. This post was inspired by a tweeted question from Kelli Schmith (@MarketingVeep on Twitter) about project management when time is limited. Having been through LOTS of those situations, I answered her question with this blog post. It has many helpful ideas for forcing yourself to move from divergent to convergent thinking with gusto.

2. Creative Job Titles – 8 Innovative Questions to Create Them

The need to think about creative job titles for The Brainzooming Group was the original creative inspiration for this post. It seems that the questions work for other naming challenges, too. Interestingly enough, we never completed the exercise for ourselves, so we still need to get this done in 2012.

3. The Value of Brainstorming Techniques for Business Ideas

This is the first of several 2010 posts on the 2011 top 10 list. That tells me efforts to better address SEO within our content is paying off since these older posts are showing up based on continued search traffic.

4. 7 Important Creative Thinking Skills

There is a bit of a twist to the creative inspiration behind this post. While it was written from the angle of positive creative thinking skills, it actually came from a not particularly successful call with many negative creative thinking skills. Sometimes you re-cast reality with a healthy dose of wishful thinking. That is what happened here!

5. Innovation Jump Start! A 5-Step Process for Seeding an Innovation Culture

After some cajoling (okay, maybe it was begging) from me, Barb Murphy wrote her first post on the Brainzooming blog, and it was a rousing success. This innovation article was picked up by several other innovation emails and websites online, helping to grow the attention it got on Brainzooming. We definitely have got to get Barb Murphy writing more!

6. 7 Extreme Creativity Lessons from “Cake Boss”

Another perennial post, this 2010 extreme creativity article about Buddy Valastro is still perhaps the most popular Brainzooming post ever. When you consider that the 2011 follow-up post with more extreme creativity lessons from Cake Boss narrowly missed making this list, coming in at number eleven, expect more Cake Boss posts in the future!

7. 10 More Ways to Be Creative Like a Kid

The original post in this series was started while not paying attention at a class one evening. The initial list of kid-oriented creativity ideas for adults was expanded by several people on Twitter. A summer vacation-oriented edition featuring a jointly created cartoon with Stacy Harmon also did well based on Google Analytics.

8. How to Be Creative and Overcome a Creative Block – 26 Ideas

I tweet the link to this creative block vanquishing post from 2010 frequently when someone on Twitter complains of suffering from a creative block. It also was the basis for a new presentation on Breaking Creative Blocks that debuted this past April for the CreativeBloc conference. This article shows how to be creative even when you do not feel like it.

9. Personal Branding Decision – How Do You Describe Yourself?

The creative inspiration for this one was the Twitter profile of an innovation-oriented tweeter who does not follow me. I was nosing around to learn the people she does follow on Twitter, and it struck me that her old gig, which was with a well-recognized publication, still occupied a disproportionate share of her Twitter profile. We all have choices in how we describe ourselves, and the choices people decide to make fascinate me.

10. Creative Ideas – 37 Articles to Get Your Creativity Brainzooming

Some readers have told me the Brainzooming blog has become too large to easily navigate and find previous articles. That comment prompted a series of posts recapping and organizing 2010 posts in strategy, innovation, creativity, and social media. Several readers suggested these recap posts were the basis for Brainzooming books. Have to get on that for 2012!

An Additional Top 7 Brainzooming Blog Articles for 2011 based on Post Rank

7 Takeaways on Strategy, Creativity, and Innovation from 2011 TED

After live tweeting a TED event, either in-person or one on video conference, there is always so much content. This wrap-up post from the 2011 TED simulcast featured seven parting thoughts on strategy, creativity, and innovation – the central topics of the Brainzooming blog.

Is Your Social Media Intern Ready for Corporate Tweeting – 7 Questions to Find Out

This comes from getting tired of people saying, “Just let the intern handle social media.” If you are going to be effective, social media requires much more than youth. Take the assessment and see how comfortable you feel about who you have doing social media.

7 Ideas to Use Twitter to Be More Creative

At times when the people you know on Twitter are the only ones reachable for creative input, it is nice to know how to ask and incorporate them most effectively.

13 Warning Signs Your Organization Isn’t Ready for Social Media

We tend to work with organizations where social media isn’t the easy answer. That leads to plenty of challenges in creating and implementing a social media strategy to support business objectives. From our experience, here are some of the early warning signs to be looking for as you start a social media strategy effort.

10 Twitter Tips on Apps, Engagement, and Experimenting

When getting a new blog post written is a challenge, Twitter always provides potential subject matter. Thus, this post came to life. (BTW, if you’re in Kansas City and want to hear more on Twitter and getting value from it, I’ll be presenting an “Advanced Twitter” seminar on January 19 at the Enterprise Center of Johnson County. Would love to have you attend!

Who Is Creating Social Media Content in Your Organization?

I have to fess up here. It was the Saturday before July 4th, I think I was heading to an exercise class or something, and decided to throw together a hurried hand-drawn chart about who really controls social media content in an organization. So who would have guessed, but Social Media Today picked it up, it was the first weekend of Google+ and Chris Brogan shared it, and all of a sudden my hand-drawn chart gets all kinds of attention. Trust me: you never know what’s going to get attention. At least I don’t!

9 Extreme Creativity Questions from Peter’s Laws

This post comes from my personal challenge to tap into a different area of personal creativity. Throughout my career, I’ve always seemed to be the person who gets someone else’s extreme ideas creatively implemented. Now, I have to be coming up with extreme creativity. These questions are a personal tool to help do that.

Thank You for Your Votes in the Innovation Excellence Competition!

Thank you so much for reading the Brainzooming blog. You all continually surprise me on what best resonates with your interests, and that’s really fun aspect that keeps me trying new things. One thing that wasn’t a surprise is that 14 of the 17 posts here are numbered lists. Blog readers everywhere love their list posts! Watch for a recap later this week with my personal favorite Brainzooming articles from 2011.

Thank you as well for your support on the Innovation Excellence 2011 top blogger contest. I finished 6th.  Moving into the top 10 this year is really great, and it couldn’t have happened without the support of all of you who are kind enough to read the blog throughout the year. And just in case you haven’t subscribed to the blog via email or RSS, here the links to do so:

Mike Brown

How can ultra high-speed internet speeds drive innovation? “Building the Gigabit City: Brainzooming a Google Fiber Roadmap,” a free 120-page report, shares 60 business opportunities for driving innovation and hundreds of ideas for education, healthcare, jobs, community activities, and more.  Download this exclusive Google Fiber report sponsored by Social Media Club of Kansas City and The Brainzooming Group addressing how ultra high-speed internet can spur economic development, growth, and improved lifestyles globally. 

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 office is filled with blogging notebooks full of potential ideas for future blog posts. On our Christmas trip to Western Kansas, I must have taken 5 or 6 notebooks, plus Word documents full of additional blog idea starters in the hopes of building a cushion of completed blog posts again. While a cache of blog topic ideas typically yields time efficiency benefits, having blog topics laying around can also be a creative drag at times.

Blogging Topic Ideas that Aren’t Going Anywhere in 2012

Since the New Year is a typical time to clean out old junk at our house, it seemed like the right time to clean my blogging idea house, sharing snippets that clearly don’t seem headed for full blog posts any time soon.

  • A client’s product is always the star, even when it isn’t.
  • When you’re in the middle of a conference call, pause to ask for reactions, even if you don’t really want them. If you’re going to hear a bad message, better to learn it sooner than later and be able to address it.
  • Always have a pre-meeting before the real meeting. It’s a great way to get a preview of what MIGHT happen at the real meeting.
  • You meet fewer people at a conference when you’re typing your notes instead of live tweeting them. That’s all the more reason to live tweet.
  • Some people have a knack for creating legends from their own lives. I’m completely opposite of those people.
  • Don’t spend so much time and effort trying to go home again. You left for a reason. Look forward.
  • What sound do your pet peeves make? I think mine mainly growl.
  • I heard someone say Albert Einstein didn’t know his own phone number. Supposedly Albert Einstein didn’t want to waste his brain on insignificant things. That’s one of those things that is nearly impossible to verify, but you so hope is true.
  • Need a writing creativity boost? Change keyboards. Also try changing your writing software.
  • If you really like using PowerPoint to present, put yourself into a situation where you CAN’T use it. It calls on different presenting “muscles” you really need to develop.
  • It’s so much less complicated to think about someone else’s business than your own. (That’s one reason you need to think about hiring us to help you think about and take action on your business.)
  • Pick one big numerical goal at the start of the year and stick with it. A friend had 170 networking meetings in 2010, and it paved the way for a very successful business year in 2011.
  • The best quote of my high school reunion came from a classmate who said, “Never argue with an idiot. If you lower yourself to their level to argue, they’ll just beat you with their superior experience.”
  • The most infuriating thing on Twitter? Someone who sends you a Twitter direct message question and you can’t respond via direct message because they don’t follow you.
  • It’s worth the time to figure out which of your strengths is also, on the surface, a weakness.
  • Don’t let your collateral (or your website) become the old furniture you don’t notice anymore even though everyone else who see notices it is completely outdated.
  • With the intersection of multiple generations in the workplace today, you’re completely wrong-headed if you’re not spending time with people who are markedly younger and older than you.
  • There are a variety of career strategies that won’t work well for you in the long-term. Getting the attention of your boss by trapping them in mistakes has to be near the top of the list.
  • The charts on Klout are complete crap. Seriously. There, I said it.
  • Experiment in every low risk situation you find or that finds you.
  • Just because you haven’t used something doesn’t mean it’s in “like new” condition. Unused resources (and talents) atrophy. Develop and use them while you can.
  • Why is it that “comedian’s comedians” are hardly ever popular successes?  – 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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