3

We’ve covered the basics of starting a new job with openness to new ideas. We haven’t covered the other side of the new employee relationship though: How does an employer pave the way for new employee success – especially with a new employee replacing a popular, long-term employee?

Hello-Listen-IdeasThe timing is good for this. Given many annual incentive plan structures, January becomes a time for job changes as departing employees stay into the New Year to qualify for the previous year’s incentive.

The ways to support new employee success came into focus recently when the fitness trainer I’d been working with for six years left our gym. This week, I started working with a new trainer.

When the new trainer asked my goals beforehand, I said I didn’t really have any other than staying fit. Between then and the first session, I realized my non-answer wasn’t setting her up for success, which led to these five things an employer can do to give a new employee the best possible opportunity for success – for both themselves and the organization.

5 Ways to Create Faster New Employee Success

1. Organize and make relevant historical information available

The new trainer said my file was the largest she’d been handed although she gave up reading it after five minutes. She concentrated on fitness stats and reviewed the valuable information they contained. At least the file was available! Be careful to not make a new person re-learn lessons the “organization” already knows.

2. Create a simple, easily grasped overview of key information needed to be successful right away

Despite not articulating fitness goals initially, I wrote a one-pager covering my objectives, motivations, trouble areas, favorite exercises, and dreaded exercises she needs to make me do even though I don’t like them. It provided answers to questions that might have taken months to surface. Distilling years of information into a few, easily grasped pages allows a new person to be more productive much more quickly – for everyone’s benefit.

3. Don’t dwell on how the other person did something – unless asked

The new trainer asked whether the former trainer had had me do certain exercises, and I answered. Beyond that, I tried to make “old trainer” references only about things I’d wished she had done better to let the new trainer know areas where she might want to concentrate. The key is to not constrain a new person with constant comparisons to how the former person did things. The old person’s gone – reset your expectations.

4. Listen to ideas shared by the new person

I tried to talk less in order to observe, learn, and soak up the new trainer’s approach and philosophy. When you’ve hired someone for new ideas and expertise, let the person share and try new ideas. It’s easy to smother a new person with, “Here’s how we’ve always done it.” Be triply vigilant and provide plenty of white space for someone new to introduce ideas and strategies.

5. Work the new person’s program

Since our initial training session, I tried the workout she shared to best of my ability (although skipping a particularly odd exercise I call “Spiderman”) to help maximize the results she’s trying to deliver. Beyond simply letting a new person share ideas, actively embrace and support implementation of the new ideas being brought to you. Be a cheerleader and enabler for making new ideas into reality.

What would you add to this list for faster new employee success?

When you’ve started a new job, what has been done to help make you more successful? Or when you’ve brought new people onto your team, what things have you done to pave the way for their successes? – Mike Brown

 

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

 

If you’re struggling to create or sustain innovation and growth, The Brainzooming Group can be the strategic catalyst you need. We will apply our  strategic thinking, brainstorming, and implementation tools to help you create greater innovation success. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call  816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you figure out how to work around innovation and implementation challenges.


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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

0

2012-favoritesHere is my list of personal top ten favorite Brainzooming blog posts from 2012, along with a few notes on the origins or outcomes of each post. Stay tuned Monday for the list of the most viewed new Brainzooming blog posts from 2012. And as has become a pattern, my list and your list are pretty different!

Father’s Day and Some Parental Advice You Should Heed – June 15

I’m always surprised reviewing every blog post for this annual feature about the range of topics covered on the Brainzooming blog. This post – of a personal nature – is without a doubt the most important post in 2012, though. So much business stuff can get fixed later. If you ignore this post’s advice, however, there’s no going back to fix it.

Brand Experience, Glass Houses, and Naked Shower Guy – November 2

This was an easy choice as a 2012 favorite post. I’d been seeing Naked Shower Guy for several years, but wasn’t going to write about this bizarre situation without an underlying connection to Brainzooming content. Ultimately, a user experience research project we were doing for a client this year became the angle. Trying to get our local online “paper” to cover the story ANONYMOUSLY – hoping to let Naked Shower Guy know what was going on – didn’t work quite as planned though!

Research – 7 Ways to Lie with Focus Groups – October 3

This post seemed to strike a nerve among some members of the market research community. One market research celeb claimed it was because the “7 Ways to Lie with Focus Groups” said things nobody will say about market research reporting. The post was inspired by sitting through a poorly-designed focus group and the report out which made it all seem as if the market research supported quantitative conclusions. My favorite part is the someecards graphic desperately created the night before the post ran because it COULDN’T have a stock photo!

Just Thinkin’ – Musings from Twitter (Apologies to Larry King) – December 13

I’ve been a Larry King fan since my first job where I listened to his radio show during all- nighters. His open phone hour had some real wacko callers, which WAS a bit unnerving when you’re the only person in a nine-story office building at midnight! His run-on writing style has been parodied frequently, but this post was my first shot at trying the Larry King, ellipsis-heavy format. But you know what? The Larry King-style column is golden for compiling old tweets and random ideas. Expect to see this format again . . . I promise.

Strategic Thinking Exercise – Black Swan Events in Your Plan – October 25

This post is a favorite for various reasons. The post was inspired by a client question. It demonstrates how we apply the Brainzooming methodology to translate a client’s desired strategic outcome into a strategic thinking exercise to deliver it. There was a way to work a scene from Ghostbusters into it. And one of my strategic mentors, Chuck Dymer, said very kind things about the post in the comments. It doesn’t get any more favorite than that!

B2B Relationship Marketing – 5 Ways Facebook Helps B2B Relationships – July 12

This post recapping a friend’s weekend-long, B2B-oriented entertainment adventure with her clients is a favorite because of the masterful integration of experience marketing and Facebook social sharing. In fact, the Facebook social sharing took a memorable weekend for a couple of clients to a broader marketing effort aimed at potential clients and a challenge to competitors.

11 Strategic Questions for Disruptive Innovation in Markets – May 9

I personally liked walking away from the KCKCC Innovation Summit to be able to devise these questions (based on the presentations) to trigger ideas for disruptive innovation. Interestingly, the post sparked one of the blog’s first troll-like responses: an “innovation” guy who objected to the post’s headline as misleading. Despite his comments on the post, I stand by it. I could have shared very narrow stories from the presenters. Instead, you get very usable strategic questions to create your own potential disruptive innovation.

Gigabit City Summit Idea: When Everything Is in the Cloud, What Does “Place” Mean? – July 25

Great questions resonate for a long time. The question in the title from Josep Piqué during a Gigabit City Summit during the summer still resonates: “When everything is in the cloud, what does ‘place’ mean?” While it’s intriguing to speculate about the answer, it will be even more intriguing to see how the question is answered over the next twenty-five years.

Listening for Blog Content Is an Art within Your Grasp – January 27

This post is a personal favorite because it came directly from going to a networking event (generally not my favorite thing to do), the topic originated within 90 minutes of it becoming a blog post, it underscores how blog topics are all over the place, and it’s one in a series of Brainzooming blog posts inspired by Jason Harper. All that, plus the main part of the post is written in Sharpie marker on the back of my 2012 goals. Unfortunately, I probably did a better job with remembering Jason’s comment than remembering my 2012 goals.

Assistance Unwanted – 5 Management Style Signs Helping Is Futile – August 1

I’ll admit a decent number of Brainzooming blog posts are written about things I’m pissed off about in some way. But rather than blister someone, I try to generalize my frustration so it’s helpful for you and protects the object of my frustration. This frustration-inspired post is a favorite since it uses frustration from six years ago to obscure a 2012 situation that was frustrating me to no end. Venting your frustrations through generalized blog posts works. Add that to the reasons for why you should start a blog! – Mike Brown

 

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

 

If you’re struggling to create or sustain innovation and growth, The Brainzooming Group can be the strategic catalyst you need. We will apply our  strategic thinking, brainstorming, and implementation tools to help you create greater innovation success. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call  816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you figure out how to work around innovation and implementation challenges.


 

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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

0

Colby-SunriseAs we have been every year since graduate school, we took a Western Kansas holiday road trip with plenty of Christmas reflections from the road – some more creative than others:

Every holiday road trip requires a fantastic magazine; I bought the Vanity Fair Special All-Star Comedy Issue, and it did NOT disappoint – you should go out and get one . . . The best blessing of the holiday season CAN BE when everyone takes their mood altering meds before Christmas Eve dinner . . . Speaking of dinner, when you haven’t had any kids at Christmas Eve dinner for ten years, and the highlight of the dinner conversation is who had the best death in the past year, you know it’s time to freshen up your Christmas traditions . . . Every holiday dinner needs a historian, and my cousin seems to be ours; he knows who won how much on lottery ticket scratch offs going back fifteen years . . . Did you put “ongoing remarks questioning your judgment” on your Christmas list? Me neither . . . My grandpa made his annual visit to dinner by dimming the lights repeatedly, just as he’s done every year since he passed away in 1988.

CorkscrewLife lesson: I have found a corkscrew (affiliate link) is as important as a sleigh and reindeer for a happy holiday with the family . . . My parents give everyone cash to buy their own presents so no one is ever surprised by what they get. Since I gave up buying presents, I’m still surprised by everything; just my little spin on maintaining the spirit of the season . . . We open presents one at a time, so nobody’s happy I learned to unwrap presents like my grandfather – slooooooooooowly . . . Who would have thought a Santa Claus salt dough ornament would last twenty-one years? Maybe we should use salt dough for highway bridges.

Christmas reflections past – getting in trouble with the priest at my grandmother’s funeral for telling the, “How I learned about Santa Claus from Grandma’s encyclopedia” story during the eulogy in front of altar servers who had not learned about Santa Claus yet . . . The truest act of love you can show someone during the holiday season is making a run to Walmart to buy something completely unnecessary they forgot earlier.

Gangnam-Scratch-OffMy cousins gave me “rustic wood” candles; I think it was some kind of getting old joke – with maybe some other kind of joke thrown in there too . . . Know when you’re getting old though? When the rules on scratch off lottery tickets are too small to read so you scratch them anyway and try to figure out afterward if you won. Seriously, I think I won a free viewing of Gangnam Style on this scratch off card . . . BTW, is ear wax cleaning the newest “big thing”? TV commercials, news stories, Christmas dinner convos . . . all about cleaning ear wax.

I don’t subscribe to the idea of adults being bored, especially at the holidays. Forget the #HoHoHum. That’s what iPads, notebooks, and computers are for – they’re like coloring books for adults . . . If we would have had more than one bottle of wine in the house though, we’d have been drinking by 10:30 a.m.Christmas morning . . . When you go where Trader Joe’s hasn’t arrived, you can pass off Charles Shaw as a wine that set you back quite a few dollars.

Santa-Claus-Dough-OrnamentFacebook was great for seeing who, on Christmas Eve, is (a) Not celebrating, (b) Over sharing about their celebration, (c) Deathly bored, (d) All of the above – I think you know who you are. Facebook also worked for setting up impromptu get togethers with family and friends throughout the Christmas holiday – thank you Zucky for your contribution to our Christmas cheer . . . And thank goodness despite the predictions, Euclid didn’t have much impact on us. Kind of like high school geometry in that regard, so it was a well-named winter storm. Come to think of it, I don’t even remember now how we traveled before the Weather Channel and smart phones – do you? – Mike Brown

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

 

Taking the No Out of Innovation eBook

Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic ideas! For an organizational creative 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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

1

GiftsFor past Christmas blog posts, I have shared lists of things bloggers and readers could give one another for Christmas. This year, let’s take a different spin on social media giving!

7 Social Media Christmas Gift Ideas

Here are seven social media Christmas gift ideas anyone active on social networks can give to others. Having received many of these gifts from friends on Twitter and Facebook this year, they are all true blessings.

1. Show up regularly

If you have spent time on social networks and made strong connections, show up regularly to maintain relationships. Various people I’ve known have made huge social media debuts on Twitter, talked frequently across multiple platforms, and then completely disappeared. When you create social network-based friendships, don’t suddenly disappear without saying a word any more than you would disappear unannounced from an in real life friendship.

2. Share a “truer” picture of your life

Everybody uses social networks to try putting the best spins on their lives and successes; Facebook and Twitter are definitely “share success to impress” territory. Give everybody a break and present a truer picture of yourself. It’s fine to share your successes, but don’t share all of them. Also share insight into your challenges, too. Both you and your friends will be more human for you having shared a truer picture of your life.

3. Listen (and not just in a “social media listening” kind of way)

Social media listening is important for social media success. But in this case, the gift of listening is going beyond simply having bunches of social media feeds you monitor. Really LISTEN to people you interact with on social networks. Read between the lines and spot people experiencing difficulties they won’t fully disclose or joys at which they only hint. Reading between the tweets and updates is a gift that is always appreciated.

4. Respond to questions

One of my least favorite things on a social network is when someone asks a question, people follow-up with answers and perspectives, then the person asking the question never responds – to anyone. Maybe they can’t get to everyone, but try to interact with those who offer responses. And if you see someone asking a question – particularly one where they’re looking for information or ideas – respond. . .unless the questioner has burned you before by never answering previously asked questions.

5. Offer your help and your perspective when someone needs it

There are definitely times I share Twitter or Facebook updates with oblique references to things going on in my work or personal life. It’s such a joy when a close social media friend (only a few of whom are in real life close friends) messages to see what’s happening. Sometimes it’s nothing but venting. Other times, it is a bigger deal, and I don’t have anyone to talk with about it in person. It’s wonderful when a close friend reaches out to offer their advice and words of encouragement.

6. Start a conversation with a lurker

Start conversations with people, especially those who need someone to talk with them. Reach out to the people who leave great comments or like your content occasionally, but don’t seem to interact when you see them pop up in your stream. Give the gift of trying to bring lurkers in your midst into conversations.

7. Fewer food pictures, unless the food is really beautiful or really unusual

There’s no need to share pictures on social media of everything you eat. If a dish is exceptionally beautiful, share it. If a dish is very unusual (i.e., it is extreme, surprising, or nostalgic), go ahead and share it. If it’s microwave mac and cheese and you’re simply pissed off about it being the only thing in the house to eat when you’re too tired to go get food, give your friends a break and keep the picture to yourself! – Mike Brown

 

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

Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic 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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

2

Christmas-RanchWe feature a variety of reality-TV based extreme creativity ideas on the Brainzooming blog. I have been able to eat at a few Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives restaurants, but other than that, I don’t have many in real life connections to these extreme creativity examples. Today’s extreme creativity example is different!

Extreme Creativity at The Christmas Ranch

While on the elliptical trainer at our gym one December, an extreme Christmas lights show  extreme reality show ( HGTV’s Outta Control Christmas) was on throughout the bank of TVs. During the program, I saw my cousin’s incredible display of Christmas lights, toy trains, and just about everything else celebratory, seasonal, and over-the-top extreme creativity for the holiday.

Since then, my cousin, Dr. Mike Fuchs, and his family have moved the Christmas display to The Christmas Ranch, featuring more than 350,000 animated Christmas lights across its ten acres, with an animated light forest and seven themed Christmas shops! Check out this quick video of what extreme creativity for the holiday looks like around Morrow, OH!

Mike Brown

 

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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

0

Obviously, innovation is a key topic on the Brainzooming blog. Here’s a recap of fifty innovation in business articles from 2012, including several by Woody Bendle.

INNOVATION STRATEGY

1.       Innovation Success – Innovating, Strategy & Pissing Off People – You’d think from reading many innovation blogs that you have to piss someone off to demonstrate your innovative thinking skills. I don’t buy that.

2.      Strategic Thinking Exercise – Black Swan Events in Your Plan – Will the completely unexpected thwart your innovation strategy? You can’t predict the unpredictable but you can anticipate your responses.

3.      The Waiting Game Strategy and “Wait” by Frank Partnoy – Making It Work – Strategic patience is much overlooked as a solid innovation strategy. Here’s one point of view on considering a patience strategy.

4.      Incremental Innovation – In Praise of 3 Creative Examples – Barrett Sydnor’s report from the road and home on how incremental innovation may be more than enough.

5.      Innovation – Can Successful Innovation Only Happen in a Certain Way? – It was the year when Jonah Lehrer (who I seemed to always disagree with) was discredited. This rant, from before Jonah Lehrer was discredited, took issue with his anti-brainstorming perspective.

6.      Google Fiber Innovation – Paul Kedrosky on 4 Important Lessons – Barrett Sydnor recaps a presentation by venture capitalist and senior Kauffman fellow Paul Kedrosky on the innovation strategy opportunities presented by Google Fiber.

7.      15 Ways Whoever Is Going to Disrupt Your Market Isn’t Like You – Your traditional competitors may be a pain right now, but they aren’t likely to be the ones who will kill your company without a sound. When it comes to disruptive innovation, your threats don’t typically look like your organization.

8.      Innovation Strategy Lessons from Moneyball – I don’t watch movies often, but when I do watch a movie, I’m looking for business lessons. Here are innovation strategy lessons gleaned from Moneyball.

9.      Television Program Ideas – How Many Ideas Per Television Series? – A real life example from ABC to demonstrate how many total ideas are necessary to get to a hit TV show. Preview: it’s not a two ideas for every hit TV show ratio!

10.  Customer Service Experience Innovation – Your Big Opportunity by Woody Bendle  – Many companies are trying to differentiate on customer experience. If you expect to pursue customer service experience differentiation, it will take a robust approach.

INNOVATION CHALLENGES

11. Disruptive Innovation, Change Management & Taking the NO Out of InNOvation – An updated exploration of the ten barriers to innovation in businesses with links to Brainzooming posts for each NO.

12.  16 Employee Idea Killers Your Management Team Could Be Committing – Some idea killers are blatant. Some idea killers are subtle. Either way, there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of ways management can kill ideas if that’s their goal.

13.  24 Ideas for Dilbert (and You) When a Great New Idea Is Lacking – Inspired by a Dilbert cartoon, you never have to give up on coming up with a new angle on an idea, unless it’s simply easier to give up than try something new.

14.  When Creative Thinking Exercises Quit Providing Value – The brainstorming tools that help you generate new ideas can outlive their usefulness. At some point, an idea stands on its own, irrespective of how it was generated.

15.  Brainstorming Ideas – 10 Signs You’re Done Brainstorming – You may be done brainstorming well before you’re brainstorming session has reached its scheduled close.

16.  Brainstorming Is Challenging with these 6 Brainstorming Session Types – There are certain types of people who pose real challenges to effective brainstorming. Here are six types of people you may have to work around to keep the brainstorming ideas going.

INNOVATION TECHNIQUES

17.  Innovation Success Through Planning, Preparation, and Organization by Woody Bendle – An overview of the nine-step, end-to-end, i3 Continuous Innovation Process prolific guest blogger Woody Bendle developed and uses to introduce new innovations.

18.  7 Innovation Lessons for the Google Fiber Project from Nick Donofrio – Seven innovation lesson takeaways shared by Barrett Sydnor from a Google Fiber-related presentation by former IBMer, Nick Donofrio.

19.  Creativity and Innovation Lessons from Desperate Housewives – Even if you never watched Desperate Housewives, the producers share valuable creativity and innovation lessons you can put to use.

20. Five Innovation Lessons from Improv Comedy – by Woody Bendle – Guest blogger Woody Bendle makes the tremendously helpful connection between how improving your improve chops will benefit your innovation skills.

21.  New Business Ideas and a Creative Block in Your Organization – If you suspect your organization is suffering from creative block, it may just be you haven’t taken best advantage of the ideas it has already brainstormed.

22.  Brainstorming Doesn’t Work, Groupthink, and the Brainzooming Method – Some more Jonah Lehrer-inspired perspectives here along with a discussion of how the Brainzooming methodology addresses shortcomings in some ideation approaches.

23.  Continuous Innovation and Continuous Improvement – By Woody Bendle – A strategy for making both  innovation and improvement continuous in an organization as a result of adopting repeatable processes and systematic approaches.

INNOVATIVE PLANNING

24.  Stupid Questions? A Call for Asking Stupid Questions by Woody Bendle – A plea from guest blogger, Woody Bendle, for more questions – no matter how hard, not matter how stupid they may be perceived as being!

25.  15 Innovative Strategic Planning Questions to Get Ready for 2013 – We’re firm believers that great questions lead to great innovation strategy. Here are fifteen innovative strategic planning questions helpful at any time of the year.

26.  Extreme Creative Ideas – 50 Lessons to Improve Creativity Dramatically – This recap article features links to a variety of extreme creative ideas from big creative personalities.

27.  Strategic Thinking Exercises – 6 Characteristics the Best Ones Have – Not all strategic thinking exercises will lead you to innovative thinking. Look for these six characteristics to make sure you have the best chance of pushing productive new ideas.

28.  Creative Process – 5 Creative Ideas with a Twist for Product Design – Diners, Drive-ins and Dives is a personal favorite for extreme creativity ideas. With all the wild food ideas shared on Triple D, it’s also a great source of product design ideas too.

29. Creating Cool Product Names for a New Product Idea – 8 Creative Thinking Questions – Eight questions that will work harder for you than a random brand name generator to imagine what your new product, service, or program should be called.

30.  11 Strategic Questions for Disruptive Innovation in Markets – These questions don’t guarantee disruptive innovation, but they’ll start you down the path of thinking about your own (or somebody else’s) market in a disruptive fashion.

31.  Quickie Strategic Thinking Exercise: Bad Practices to Make You Better – While business people talk about best practices all the time, the key to innovation success could very well be doing the opposite of what notable business failures have done.

32.  Chasing Cool Ideas vs. Solving Consumer Needs – By Woody Bendle – Short story? Cool ideas are only cool if they really solving consumer needs. Target legitimate needs, not imaginary coolness.

33.  Richard Saul Wurman – No New Ideas – TED creator Richard Saul Wurman on his contention there is very little new thinking and no new ideas anymore. Do you agree that all ideas masquerading as new are really derivations of old ideas?

TEAMS AND INNOVATIVE THINKING SKILLS

34.  Creative Thinking Skills – 5 People Vital to Critical Thinking, Literally – People with challenging points of view shouldn’t be excluded from innovation. At the right times and in the right amounts, critical thinking is vital to innovation success.

35.  Making a Decision – 7 Situations Begging for Quick Decisions – While divergent thinking can be among the most enjoyable parts of innovation, there are times where too much thinking can get in the way of making a decision and moving on.

36.  Brainstorming for Creative New Product Ideas – Dilbert, Basketball and Oflow – A comic, a quote, and a new app to all shed light on your innovation efforts.

37.  Visual Thinking Skills – Getting Them in Shape with Letters and Shapes – Even for people who don’t view themselves as artistic or particularly strong in visual thinking skills, a few basic letters and shapes are enough to improve your visual thinking effectiveness.

38.  61 Online and Social Media Resources for Motivating People to Create – Inspired by the Adobe “State of Create” study, this listing of online resources should inspire innovative thinking in many different ways.

39.  The Process of Strategy Planning: 5 Ways to Keep the Boss from Dominating – Even a well-intentioned boss can stand in the way of innovative thinking within a team. Here’s how to get around that challenge.

40.  Reinterpreting Creative Inspiration – 7 Lessons to Borrow Creative Ideas  – Not every new idea is completely new. You can borrow creative inspiration, but there are right and wrong ways to do it!

41.  Batter Up! Ten Moneyball-Inspired Innovation Roles by Woody Bendle – One of two Moneyball-inspired innovation posts, this one from Woody Bendle highlights ten innovation roles . . . nine players plus the designated hitter’s worth!

42.  Dirty Ideas? Let Others Clean Up Your Creative Thinking – It may be the best way to generate innovative ideas among your team is to not finish your own thinking. Get started, but don’t clean up your work before handing off what you’ve developed so your team can play with your dirty ideas.

INNOVATION IN PRACTICE

43.  Major Change Management – Managing Ongoing Performance Gaps – Major change definitely isn’t one and done. Following any significant innovation, you’ll have stragglers who will need to be brought along with more attention.

44.  Outsider Perspectives – 6 Vital Insights They Offer – Don’t shut yourself off from people who have less or no experience with what your organization does. People with outsider perspectives will always uncover things you haven’t seen before.

45.  Skepticism – Selling Ideas to Answer 10 Skeptical Perspectives – There are no guarantees that everyone will love even the most innovative thinking. Here are ideas for addressing die hard skeptics standing in the way of implementing innovation.

46.  Making Big Ideas Happen – 9 Ways to Address Innovation Fear – As you roll-out innovative ideas, fear is a roadblock emotion. Successful innovation means you have to combat  fears  status quo lovers cling to in resistance.

47.  No Implementation Success? 13 Reasons Things Getting Done Is a Problem – The best innovative thinking doesn’t count for much if you can’t get it implemented. Here are thirteen issues to manage as you shift to implementation mode.

48.  Creating Change and Change Management – 4 Strategy Options – Before you launch into innovation, determine what your organizational environment suggests about what level and type of innovation makes the most sense now.

49.  March Madness and What Outstanding Point Guards Bring to Business Teams – There are many similarities between what makes a great point guard in basketball and what makes a successful innovation implementer.

50.  Creative Thinking and Idea Magnets – 11 Vital Creative Characteristics – Certain people bring out the most innovative thinking from those around them. This article covers eleven of the vital characteristics idea magnets bring to the table. – Mike Brown

 

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

Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic 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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

5

At a recent Brainzooming client creative thinking session, the company’s Chief Operating Officer told a story about seeing a car with both an anti-corporation bumper sticker and an Apple logo on it. His point was how interesting it is that Apple had transcended being a huge, very profitable corporation by the car owner.

His story made me blurt out, “Did you hear about the Harvard Business Review journalist who wrote a very thorough comparison between the innovation styles of Steve Jobs and the management team at Sunkist?

“He was widely criticized for comparing Apple and oranges!”

Feel free to insert your guffaws here! When we get brains zooming (even our own), who knows what types of connections will be made?

Comparing Apples and Oranges

“Comparing apples and oranges” ranks with “think outside the box” as one of my least favorite business jargon phrases. “Comparing apples and oranges” is typically used by a strategic dolt to shut down creative thinking and obscure connections that may very naturally exist between two or more things.

Apples and oranges actually have MANY things in common. Even though they aren’t identical on the surface, there are multiple strategic and creative comparisons to be made about their similarities and differences.

In fact, considering ways of comparing apples and oranges can help your creative thinking skills. Next time a strategic dolt tries to get in the way of your creative thinking by saying you’re comparing apples and oranges, remember these ways the two fruits (or anything you’re examining that may seem unrelated) can be compared:

1. Apples and oranges move through comparable PROCESSES

The supply chain bringing apples and oranges together at a grocery store or fruit stand for sale is obviously a point of comparison. When you’re comparing potentially disparate things, look for comparable processes they each experience.

2. Apples and oranges are SUBSTITUTES for one another

Since both apples and oranges satisfy the need for food, in general, and fruit, specifically, they serve as potential SUBSTITUTES for one another. As you look at potentially dissimilar items, consider how they might meet the same or related needs.

3. Apples and oranges can be made MORE SIMILAR

You can manipulate apples and oranges for greater similarity (i.e., by cutting them into similarly-sized pieces, or putting them into recipes as ingredients). When making a comparison others think is a stretch, transform the two things to accentuate their similarities strategically, numerically, chronologically, or in other ways.

4. Compare the REASONS FOR DIFFERENCES between apples and oranges

You can explore the reasons apples and oranges are or are not appropriate for comparison and make comparisons about that! Similarly, when comparing two things others think don’t match up, dive into why they appear to be different, whether because of strategic direction, motivation, nature/nurture, etc.

5. Acknowledge the differences and COMPARE THEM ANYWAY

Maybe apples and oranges are all you have to analyze. In that case, to better understand them, comparing and contrasting the differences is your only option. Being able to compare things to provide context and contrast is vital to analysis.  When others lack the creative thinking skills to see the similarities in two things you’re analyzing, turn it around and simply compare differences.

6. Make a FANCIFUL COMPARISON between apples and oranges

Many strategic business conversations have an air of seriousness and a resistance to anything not grounded in reality. Don’t let that stop you. If people shut down more realistic comparisons as inappropriate, get crazy on them with a really outlandish comparison. The conversation you’ll stimulate will likely yield the greatest creative value.

7. Even if apples and orange were completely unrelated, RANDOM ITEMS trigger creative ideas

Pick any two things that really ARE completely unrelated. Looking for the comparisons and contrasts between them will get peoples’ minds working on new paths, sparking creative ideas. What will those creative ideas be? It’s tough (maybe impossible) to imagine in advance what a particular group will come up with creatively when considering random inputs, but be prepared for dramatically new thinking

Seven Apples and Oranges Comparisons for Creative Thinking

There you have it. Seven ways to consider comparing apples and oranges (or other things perceived to be dissimilar) to counter a strategic dolt trying to squash creative thinking. Simply remember you can push a strategic comparison based on:

  • Process similarities
  • A potential substitute realtionship
  • Changes to accentuate similarities
  • The reasons for underlying differences
  • Comparing elements that shouldn’t be compared
  • Fanciful similarities
  • Completely random connections

So when was the last time YOU were accused of comparing apples and oranges? I’ll bet now you can’t wait for the next time it happens! – Mike Brown

 

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

Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic 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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading