Idea Magnets | The Brainzooming Group - Part 2 – page 2
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Idea Magnets and Creative Thinking Formulas - "As soon as he becomes comfortable with something, he invents something else to be nervous about."

“As soon as he becomes comfortable with something, he invents something else to be nervous about.”

– Bill Berry on Michael Stipe of R.E.M. (circa 1995)

Are you too comfortable to generate new creative ideas?

Would inventing something to make you nervous align with your creative thinking formula and attract more creative ideas? If so, what do you need to invent to make you nervous?

  1. ________________________________________
  2. ________________________________________
  3. ________________________________________
  4. ________________________________________
  5. ________________________________________

You don’t have to stop at 5 things that make you nervous. You can keep adding to the list.

Here’s my list of what I could invent to make me nervous.

  1. Thinking that what I have been doing is growing old.
  2. Imagining that I have forgotten how to do what I have previously done.
  3. Reading my bad reviews.
  4. Asking people what they think about my creative ideas.
  5. Inviting my imposter syndrome in for a long night of hanging out.
  6. Staring in the mirror.
  7. Trying to figure out what I should be doing six months or a year from now.
  8. Taking away my most important creative resources.
  9. Putting myself into a completely new situation.
  10. Volunteering for something I don’t know how to do.
  11. Agreeing to teach other people about something I do without thought right now.
  12. Eating my own dog food.
  13. Throwing away all my creative crutches.
  14. Believing that anyone that says nice things to me is lying.
  15. Letting someone talk me into something I know I have no business doing.
  16. Deciding to quit going along with the crowd.
  17. Comparing myself to others that (seem they) are doing better than I am.
  18. Convincing myself that everything is about to crumble.
  19. Comparing where I am to where I thought I would be by this point.
  20. Picking up and going someplace totally new.
  21. Telling someone that thing I’ve needed to tell them forever but just haven’t been able to bring myself to do.
  22. Committing more time, dollars, or energy than I have.
  23. Saying no to a bunch of things that I would have agreed to before.
  24. Stop reframing the current situation to make things feel like tiny victories.
  25. Giving up on everything that’s worked before.
  26. Blowing up my archives of idea snippets, creative tools, and inspiration notebooks and files.
  27. Starting over from scratch.
  28. Tearing up my plans and going down a different path.
  29. Not giving myself enough time or attention to get anything done.

I understand that new creativity comes from being nervous.

I’ve experienced it.

But I’m not sure this creative thinking formula and would boost my creativity. It seems like it would trample creativity for this Michael (Brown instead of Stipe).

How would making yourself nervous fit your creative thinking formula? Let us know your thoughts over at our Facebook page! – Mike Brown

 

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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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Chuck Dymer and I presented to a group of logistics managers in Chicago last week. The topic was how to handle uncertain times successfully.

Tomorrow, I’ll be closing the Nature Explore and The Outdoor Classroom Project Leadership Institute with a comparable message. The conference theme is building resilience and joy in uncertain times. The audience for the presentation consists of educators, landscape designers, government officials, and others involved with creating outdoor classrooms for children. It’s all about getting kids outside to experience nature, interact, and learn. The closing presentation will be about staying strong as an idea magnet even you are uncertain of what is ahead.

Next month, Emma Alvarez Gibson and I will be delivering a couple of workshops for the Friends of Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites. The message will once again be similar: carrying out your mission when times are changing in ways you have not previously experienced.

Yes, dealing with uncertain times (while facing fewer or nonexistent resources) seems to be in the forefront for many different types of organizations these days.

25 Infinitely Renewable Things in Uncertain Times

One theme for the Leadership Institute presentation is finding the blue sky – the open opportunities – even amid what seems to be an onslaught of constraints and limitations. That took me to the idea of abundance thinking, one of the fundamental strategies of idea magnets. These creative leaders recognize constraints but turn their attention to the available resources that are plentiful and can always be grown.

Wanting to leave the Leadership Institute participants with a starting list of ideas, here are twenty-five things that are abundantly available – even in hard-nosed business settings.

  1. Affiliating with Others
  2. Asking Others for Help
  3. Asking Someone If You Can Help
  4. Caring for Others
  5. Cheering Each Other On
  6. Coming up with another idea
  7. Creativity
  8. Determination
  9. Doodling a Smiley Face or Heart
  10. Enthusiasm
  11. Focusing on Your Core Purpose
  12. Forgiveness
  13. Good Humor
  14. Good Intentions
  15. Hugs
  16. Humility
  17. Imagination
  18. Jumping for Joy
  19. Positive Thoughts
  20. Prayer
  21. Reaching Out to Others
  22. Remembering Successes You’ve Already Had
  23. Sharing Stories
  24. Smiles
  25. Trying One More Time

What else is abundantly available in your part of the world? If your team could use some ideas and motivation right now with handling uncertainty, we’d love to come spend time with you to share strategies that are working!  – Mike Brown

What’s Your Implementation Strategy for Uncertain Times?

Things aren’t getting saner and more calm. Are you ready to pursue an implementation strategy that works in uncharted waters?

The Brainzooming eBook 4 Strategies for Implementing in Uncertain Times will help you examine your strategy foundation, insights, profitability drivers, and decision making processes when few things ahead are clear. We share suggestions on:

  • Using your organization’s core purpose to shape decisions when things are changing
  • Reaching out to employees with valuable insights into what to watch out for and what to expect
  • Sharpening your command of cost and profit levers in your organization
  • Implementing processes to focus and sharpen decision making

4 Strategies for Implementing in Uncertain Times is a FREE, quick read that will pay dividends for you today and in the uncertain times ahead.
Download Your FREE eBook! 4 Strategies for Implementing in Uncertain Times



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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Creative wave makers display both the creative thinking skills and the boldness to improve ideas and situations in dramatic, unexpected ways.

Some people are born as creative wave makers. For the rest of us, there are structures and extreme creativity questions you can use to surround yourself and boost your creative thinking skills.

Here is a list of nineteen of our most popular articles to develop and employ your own extreme creative thinking skills and those of everyone around you!

Being More of a Creative Wave Maker Yourself

Working with a Creative Wave Maker

Helping a Group with Creative Wave Making

Mike Brown

Facing Innovation Barriers? We Can Help!

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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 it comes to whether an organization demonstrates ample creativity and new ideas, you have to place a load of responsibility on the leadership. How the leaders encourage and cultivate new ideas (or don’t) will affect the volume and richness of creativity throughout the organization.

160709-No-Dump-Ideas

If you want to go deeper into our thinking on the topic, here are a variety of articles on how leaders both support and stand in the way of creativity and new ideas.

Leaders Supporting Creativity and New Ideas

Creative Thinking – 7 Keys to How “Idea Magnets” Boost Creativity

Career Challenges – 8 Ways to Let Talented People Help You

The Process of Strategy Planning: 5 Ways to Keep the Boss from Dominating

New Employee Success – 5 Ways to Create Success for New Ideas

Be a Business Fan for Your Work Team Members

Creative Thinking Skills: 6 Tips for Sharing and Receiving Creative Ideas

Unleash Creative Possibilities with Bob Thacker

Extreme Creativity – When Do You Trust a Creative Genius?

Leaders Getting in the Way of Creativity

5 Ideas When an Uber-Positive Boss Crushes Creative Thinking

Protecting Your Creativity in a Culture that Doesn’t Value It

New Business Ideas and a Creative Block in Your Organization

Mike Brown

 

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Download our FREE “Taking the No Out of InNOvation eBook to help generate extreme creativity and ideas! For organizational innovation success, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative growth strategies. Contact us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

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We’re developing a strategic thinking webinar for a client on cultivating and sustaining creativity among its salesforce. Since the webinar is with the organization’s sales leadership, the focus is on creative thinking skills they can and should be embracing to help their salespeople see opportunities in new ways.

Part of the creative thinking skills content will come via our Idea Magnets material. It’s focused on what successful creative leaders do to cultivate ideas both on their own and within their teams.

One specific comment during a talk with the client upfront focused on how to get salespeople thinking creatively bigger and differently on a daily basis. That discussion got me thinking about how the Brainzooming approach on extreme creativity and fostering creative thinking skills came to be.

team-creative-thinking-skills

Giving “One” for Team Creativity

Maybe more specifically, it got me thinking about how I had had to change my own approach to business to keep up when I started working for an incredibly creative, dynamic strategic mentor, Greg Reid, at YRC Worldwide.

Greg came to our business-to-business transportation and logistics company with a completely different sensibility than anyone else there. He operated faster; he operated slower. He thought bigger, and he thought about minute details no one would ever notice. He would challenge people beyond the point where anyone on his team was left standing behind him for support. He’d make us think through everything we were going to do then throw it out and improvise because something changed, and he saw tremendous potential success in doing something completely unexpected. He was often not on time, but he was never late.

Above all, for those that were up to the pace and eager to learn new creative thinking skills, it was an incredible experience to work with him.

10 Ideas for Stimulating Extreme Team Creativity

When thinking about how a leader cultivates team creativity, I’ll share this list of healthy ways to stretch a team to the point where it CAN’T do things the same old way and still be successful.

Want to stretch your team to grow its creative thinking skills?

Try:

  • Selecting multiple goals.
  • Taking on more than it seems you can finish.
  • Dramatically accelerating timelines.
  • Creating new rules.
  • Holding incredibly high, unwavering performance standards.
  • Taking so much time to think about things that it seems you’ll never start and get finished.
  • Going higher in the organization whenever a client or partner tells you, “No.”
  • Never letting a gatekeeper stop you.
  • When negotiating, always asking for more.
  • Expecting to consistently do something that is “scary” different.

Pick a few of these items (or even all of them) off the list and start running your team with these expectations. You’ll find out who the successful creative thinkers are RIGHT AWAY! – Mike Brown

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Download our FREE “Taking the No Out of InNOvation eBook to help  generate extreme creativity and ideas! For organizational innovation success, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative growth strategies. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

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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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Cheerleading for creativity in business isn’t difficult.

Yet, you see people, departments, and organizations where overtly expressing creative appreciation doesn’t happen naturally – or happen at all.

It could be nobody realized it is good business and good manners to appreciate creativity in business. Maybe it never occurred to anyone that celebrating creativity in business inspires creativity in others and leads to more ideas.

If you are a leader (or even if you’re not a leader) where creativity in business is under appreciated, how about changing things for the better?

48 Creative Appreciation Ideas to Cultivate Creativity in Business

If this is something people struggle with in your organization, here are 48 creative appreciation ideas you can start using in meetings. Surely you can find at least ONE of these examples to celebrate creativity in business in your workplace.

Appreciate-Creative-Ideas

You could appreciate:

  1. Something new
  2. Something that was made to seem new
  3. A clever idea
  4. Someone who tried harder than ever (or even harder than normal)
  5. An idea that made you stop and think
  6. A new thought that you had never thought previously
  7. The volume of ideas someone generated
  8. Thinking of another way to do something you have only done one way until now
  9. People who collaborated for the first time
  10. Someone showing appreciation to others for their creativity
  11. A different creative spin on an old idea
  12. Something ingenious
  13. Something funny
  14. Something surprising
  15. An idea likely to gain someone important’s attention
  16. An idea aligning with the company strategy
  17. An idea aligning with the objectives it was supposed to support
  18. An idea that’s not the same old, same old
  19. A person who trying for the first time to share a creative idea
  20. Someone who went against the status quo in a daring way
  21. The person who took a smart creative risk
  22. A person looking for affirmation before sharing another idea
  23. The way someone communicates a creative idea
  24. A story that went along with the idea
  25. How someone depicted an idea visually so others could understand it
  26. The way an idea fits with an earlier idea
  27. The way an idea makes another idea better
  28. An idea magnet in your midst
  29. Being in a creative environment where creative ideas are appreciated
  30. Someone proposing an idea leading to new learnings
  31. An idea intended to try something bigger than anyone has tried before
  32. Someone willing to take a crack at solving something everyone else fears tackling
  33. Someone willing to share the creative inspiration behind the idea
  34. Someone who saw an opportunity or challenge differently than everyone else
  35. The most junior person in the room contributing ideas
  36. The person in the room that always has great ideas
  37. The person willing to not judge a creative idea too early when it wasn’t fully formed yet
  38. Someone coming up with an idea through connecting two things you wouldn’t ever think could be connected
  39. An idea that seems destined to win a prize
  40. How excited someone is about an idea
  41. A unique idea
  42. The creative idea someone just presented to you
  43. The end of a creative journey
  44. The person who never receive appreciate for creativity
  45. The person not taking the easy way out creatively
  46. The first idea shared
  47. The last idea shared
  48. Every idea in between the first idea and the last idea shared

Just as it only takes one person applauding enthusiastically in a crowd to get everyone else applauding, just one person expressing creative appreciation could make it natural for a department or organization to respond in a similar manner.  – Mike Brown

10 Keys to Engaging Stakeholders to Create Improved Results

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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 presenting an “Idea Magnets” keynote last week for the inaugural customer forum at one of our logistics industry clients, an attendee pointed out an intriguing omission when it comes to creative leadership. Talking afterward, he noted a creative leadership characteristic that shows up near the top on most lists of what it takes to be a strong leader was missing from Idea Magnets: empathy.

Acknowledging empathy IS a frequently mentioned leadership quality, I began trying to figure out why empathy isn’t part of Idea Magnets.

Do Idea Magnets Get a Pass on Empathy?

Idea-Magnets-Title

I thought back on the strategic mentors and creative leadership standouts I’ve known and worked with that shaped the Idea Magnets content. Quite honestly, with a couple of exceptions, empathy is NOT high on the list of their common characteristics. While none displayed the creative prickliness one associates with classic creative geniuses, they were all intently driven toward realizing their strong creative visions. While giving a nod to team members’ needs and feelings, they push incredibly hard creatively. That can mean feelings, mental and physical energy, and reasonableness go by the wayside since the creative goal is the most important thing in sight.

Even though empathy may be a vital leadership skill overall, I don’t think it’s high on the list for successful idea magnets.

That doesn’t make them better or worse when it comes to creative leadership.

It simply means they can accomplish what they need to accomplish creatively without being overly concerned with team members situations and sensibilities.

How Do Creative Leadership and Empathy Match Up for You?

I’m curious to know where you would place empathy as a creative leadership trait for idea magnets. Is empathy a must have, nice to have, or a non-factor in realizing creative aspirations in a team?  – Mike Brown

 

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

 

ebook-cover-redoBoost Your Creativity with “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation”

Download our FREE “Taking the No Out of InNOvation eBook to help you generate extreme creativity and ideas! For organizational innovation success, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative growth strategies. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

Download Your Free

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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