Idea Magnets | The Brainzooming Group - Part 2 – page 2
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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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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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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 do 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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ebook-cover-redoBoost Your Creativity with “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation”

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.

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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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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While creating a scope of work for a Brainzooming creative thinking skills workshop targeted at a B2B salesforce, our client contact (who is a Brainzooming reader) asked for material on what it means to be a creatively supportive leader.

Great question!

4 Keys for Being a Creatively Supportive Leader

When it comes to a leader actively supporting a team’s creative thinking skills development, there are multiple ways to go from talk to tangible support. We typically see the following behaviors from a creatively supportive leader:

  • Actively and fully participating in the original creative thinking skills workshop learning
  • Modeling behaviors and conversations that support exploring new ideas
  • Reaching across organizational lines to include thinkers with diverse and valuable perspectives
  • Using strategic and creative thinking skills in daily interactions to develop and move ideas toward implementation

Brainstorming-wall

Beyond these four keys to being a creatively support leader, here are previous Brainzooming articles to provide additional ideas on the perspectives and behaviors of a leader that cultivates team creativity:

I figured we’d share this compilation on a Monday because there is AT LEAST a week’s worth of reading there to brush up on your skills in being a creatively supportive leader!   – 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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Idea-Magnets-TitleI think this is a first today. It’s an excerpt from another publication about Brainzooming creative thinking content.

Specifically, this recap of Monday’s “Idea Magnets – Creative Business Leadership” webcast I presented for the American Marketing Association is from “Inside the Executive Suite.” This newsletter is a weekly feature within the Armada Executive Intelligence Briefing System. We worked with Keith Prather, the publisher of the Armada Executive Intelligence Brief, for many years in the corporate world. Additionally, when we have a client engagement requiring a larger group of facilitators, Keith is my first call. He was at ground zero when we developed the techniques that later became the Brainzooming strategy methodology.

Beyond this Idea Magnets recap, you should sign up for a free 30-day trial of the Executive Intelligence Briefing System. It’s designed to keep executives current with both what’s going on in the world and what it’s going to mean for their businesses. Additionally, since Keith won’t listen to my pricing strategy advice, you can subscribe to the entire array of multi times per week publications for less than $100 a year. It SHOULD be a four or five-figure subscription, so like I said, subscribe now before I convince Keith to raise the prices!

Without delay, here’s the Armada take on the seven creative thinking characteristics of Idea Magnets. – Mike Brown

 

 7 Keys to How “Idea Magnets” Boost Creativity from “Inside the Executive Suite”

Know someone incredibly strong at generating new ideas and attracting team members who also excel at imagining creative ideas?

If so, you know an “idea magnet.”

Here is our recap and the take-aways from each (idea magnet) characteristic discussed.

Idea Magnets are . . .

1. Inspiring

Idea magnets generate interest and passion for the big objectives and dramatic visions they are trying to accomplish within their organizations. Unlike creative geniuses who may work in a more solitary basis, they want strong creative leaders surrounding them. The bigger team’s creativity helps identify the details behind making the vision a reality.

In sharing a big vision for an organization, whether it’s stated as a core purpose, vision, or mission statement isn’t critical. What’s important is the statement boldly challenges and stretches the organization.

Our take-away: Idea magnets ground creative ideas in strategies and objectives. They are NOT pursuing creativity for creativity’s sake.

2. Serving

Idea magnets are servant leaders. They participate in the challenging tasks they ask their teams to address. They also grow their team members into idea magnets themselves through strategic mentorship, sharing personal lessons with their teams, challenging the status quo, and cultivating team diversity.

Idea magnets surround themselves with smarter, more talented people and display patience while team members do their own explorations to imagine ways to turn the idea magnet’s vision into reality.

Our take-away: Idea magnets aren’t standoffish. They are in the middle of imagining ideas AND accomplishing results.

3. Attracting

Just as magnets attract metal, idea magnets attract great creative leaders and their big ideas. What makes idea magnets so attractive? They bring excitement to the workplace. They also display “abundance thinking. ” What others would consider as constraints, they see as opportunities to pursue more abundant resources and possibilities. They also provide what other leaders need to be abundantly creative, including physical space, time, resources, tools, and interactions with new (and new types of ) people.

Our take-away: The intangibles in business often support abundance thinking. Ideas, energy, passion, and learning aren’t limited, so identify ways to take greater advantage of them.

4. Connecting

Idea magnets connect people and situations to fuel creativity. They are great “and” thinkers. This means they embrace and easily work with both ends of what others might see as opposite perspectives. Idea magnets are strong at:

  • Generating and prioritizing ideas
  • Thinking creatively and implementing ideas
  • Exploiting tested ideas and unknown possibilities

Using creative formulas, idea magnets combine possibilities others would typically miss to create many more new ideas.

Our take-away: Idea magnets we’ve known in business are all strong at spotting relationships between apparently disconnected things. These connections help fuel ideas and anticipate future opportunities.

5. Encouraging

Idea magnets use multiple tools in multiple ways to motivate team members. For example, they might use time in contrasting ways. Sometimes idea magnets negotiate for MORE time so team members can finish necessary creative thinking and implementation. Other times, they may be maxing out the team’s capacity with more projects than they can handle. This LESSENS times for unnecessary creative thinking and encourages rapid progress.

Idea magnets routinely facilitate unique creative experiences, maximize fresh perspectives from new team members, and celebrate successes and the learnings from new ideas that fall short of intended impacts.

Our take-away: By adding one new or unusual variable, idea magnets facilitate once-in-a-lifetime creative experiences. This concept extends to personal relationships, so all you long-time married folks take note!

6. Deciding

Idea magnets imagine and attract many ideas. Processing those ideas so their teams aren’t overwhelmed is imperative. That’s why being strong at “deciding” is vital.

When a project or initiative launches, idea magnets identify upfront how decisions will be made as completion draws near. Sometimes the idea magnet makes the decision; other times, team members will be deciding how the team proceeds. Knowing upfront the freedom team members have in exploring ideas and the approach to setting priorities signals how much autonomy others have to shape strategies to move forward.

Our take-away: While they say in brainstorming sessions there are no bad ideas, there are. It’s vital to pick the right time to decide on good and bad ideas to sustain creative thinking.

7. Replenishing

Applying creative thinking to business issues is mentally stimulating. There’s still the need, however, for idea magnets to replenish creative energy along for the team. Idea magnets understand what encourages their creative passions and what will prepare team members to hit their creative peaks. Idea magnets have to know the people, places, situations, times, and techniques that most readily maximize creativity.

Our take-away: Managing a business team’s creativity is like a basketball coach managing the varied talents and personalities on the team. The idea magnet may have to try a variety of “player” combinations before the team scores creatively.

Is creative thinking and creative business leadership for everyone?

A question at the webcast’s conclusion asked whether creative business leadership is important if you don’t work in a creative field or company. The answer was it’s even more important then to bring fresh ideas to how an organization delivers customer value. – “Inside the Executive Suite”

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 have been a Brainzooming blog reader for any amount of time, you know how much we love creative thinking exercises and creative formulas you can revisit whenever you need them.

Sure, creative inspiration is great, but a creative formula is ready for action whenever you are ready and need to deliver many new ideas.

Creative Thinking Exercises at the Ready

As you gain command of various creative thinking exercises, you can combine and rearrange them to generate additional creative thinking formulas to inspire more and more varied ideas!

Here is a new example of this phenomenon we shared during the Idea Magnets webcast for the American Marketing Association.

TacosAt one point we used “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives,” the reality TV show where Guy Fieri visits unusual restaurants around the country displaying all sorts of food-oriented extreme creativity, to generate lists of extreme creativity questions and ideas.

We revisited that content for Idea Magnets and pulled out four creative formulas the chefs on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives seem to use quite frequently:

  1. Combine everything possible into one creation
  2. Repeat one thing in every way possible
  3. Do something huge, and then do it some more
  4. Create something small, focused, and completely stupendous

Stated in this general way, any of these four creative formulas is something you can revisit when you need new ideas or a new way of thinking about a challenge you are facing.

4 Creative Formulas, 15 Possibilities for Creativity

What’s even better, through the amazing power of mathematics, these four formulas result in 15 wonderful possibilities for creativity.

How is that?

You can use any one of the four individually. Or they yield six different combinations of two formulas and four possibilities to use three of them together. Finally, you could put all of them together.

In all, there are fifteen possibilities for creativity – ready any time you need them!

What can you do with those new creative thinking possibilities? – 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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