5

Want to take on an intriguing personal challenge for the week?

Level 5 Decision MakingNot only make fewer decisions, but also INFLUENCE fewer decisions.

What I am talking about is trying to embrace more Level 5 decisions this week.

Level 5 Decisions

In his book, “The End of Marketing as We Know It,” (affiliate link) Sergio Zyman, former Chief Marketing Officer at Coca-Cola, discussed the five levels of the decision making process he used relative to his team.

My boss, Greg Reid, read the book by Sergio Zyman and employed four of the five levels of decision making with our team:

  • Level 1 – His decision with no input from the team
  • Level 2 – His decision with input from the team
  • Level 3 – Consensus decision (This is the one Greg ruled out; we did not have consensus decisions.)
  • Level 4 – A team member’s decision with his input
  • Level 5 – A team member’s decision with no input or influence from him

Some co-workers found the five level decision making process difficult, but it proved very freeing since you knew ahead of time what type of input or approval you needed to keep an initiative going.

While there were very few Level 1 or Level 5 situations with Greg, I have tried over time to embrace more Level 5 decisions. The key has been not necessarily caring about things less, but caring intensely about fewer things. Now I try to focus on only being an influence on decisions involving what matters strategically.

If nothing else, experience has demonstrated on many occasions that even when a small thing does not go as I wanted, everything still works out and frequently works out in some other unexpected positive way.

Ready to Allow More Decision Making without Your Influence this Week!

I invite you to join me this week to see if there are decisions you used to make or try to shape that can be left to other people. Rather than being nerve racking, as I’d expected, embracing more Level 5 decisions has mainly provided a lot of peace, relief, and importantly, growth for those I work with as they get to exercise their own strategic decision making skills.

So, what do you think about this decision making process? Are you ready for more Level 5 decision making without your influence this week?  – Mike Brown

     (Affiliate Link)

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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 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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8

“When Everything Is in the Cloud, What Does ‘Place’ Mean?”

That was a quote from the inaugural Gigabit City Summit courtesy of Josep Piqué, Director Strategic Sectors – 22@Barcelona during the wrap-up section of the inaugural Gigabit City Summit. Amid so much great discussion and information sharing during the global conversation, this comment from Josep Piqué stood out to me as a very rich, life-changing strategic question in the years immediately ahead.

As more of the “things” we work and play with are digitized, they have the potential to become omnipresent. When you start to digitize organizations and the structural elements that give organizations their presence and power? Well then, if not all, than a whole bunch of bets are off.

This was exactly the point that Simon Kuo raised when the early Building the Gigabit City results were shared. Simon talked about how education and businesses will be turned over as physical structure is completely re-envisioned.

These points got me thinking about some of the areas affected if “places” becomes irrelevant. I will admit, this list is not based on extensive research or philosophical exploration. I simply started a list of ideas about what place might mean and some of the related areas that could start to change.

What Does Place Mean?

Place is where someone or something is from . . .

  • It shapes a person or object’s history and background
  • It’s somewhere you stay or leave and may return to in the future

Place is where people meet and congregate . . .

  • Governing happens
  • Learning happens there
  • Information and opinions are shared
  • Spiritual beliefs are celebrated
  • Friends are made

Place is where functions are carried out . . .

  • People work
  • Marriages happen and families are created
  • Money is saved, spent, and invested
  • Teaching and learning happen

Place is where people are entertained . . .

  • Movies are shown
  • Concerts are performed
  • Sports are contested

Place is where goods and services are consumed . . .

  • Goods are sold and bought
  • Medical treatment is provided

Places are where people reside . . .

  • Property is sold, bought, and owned
  • They are defended
  • People live, raise families, and are buried
  • Taxes are paid

How would you change this list?

There are clearly duplications and omissions among this list inspired by Josep Piqué and Simon Kuo. Would you help build and improve it by sharing your ideas on what “place” means and how it shapes our lives today . . . and will in the future? – Mike Brown

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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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2

The Brainzooming Group joined with the Social Media Club of Kansas City in summer 2011 to plan Building the Gigabit City. The initial Building the Gigabit City effort was a large-scale brainstorming session to imagine what Kansas City could be like with ultra-high-speed Internet courtesy of the introduction of Google Fiber on both the Kansas and Missouri sides of the state line.

The initial Google Fiber brainstorming session continues to lead to a variety of other outputs, including the free 120-page “Building the Gigabit City” report recapping the concepts and ideas generated at the session. The session also produced a recap video with a variety of brainstorming session participants sharing their hopes for a new Kansas City.

What’s Next? The Gigabit City Summit: A Global Dialog on Smart and Connected Cities

Most recently The Brainzooming Group has partnered with Curiolab and Sandel & Associates to create and produce the Gigabit City Summit, A Global Dialog on Smart and Connected Cities. This series of global discussions held through Cisco Telepresence, is allowing experts worldwide to meet, share their expertise, and convey best practices from the implementation of next-generation city efforts. Participants throughout the Gigabit City Summit sessions will include:

  • City leaders at the forefront of next-generation communities
  • Industry and community experts who manage smart/intelligent community initiatives
  • Vertical experts in industries highly subject to disruption by a faster, more seamless Internet, including media, healthcare, education, government, entrepreneurship, and venture capital

We held the first Gigabit City Summit session on June 27 to set the stage for the entire series of events. Presenters included Mayor Joe Reardon from Kansas City, KS (Wyandotte County), Mayor Sly James of Kansas City, MO, and author Tim Campbell who provided an overview from his book Beyond Smart Cities – How Cities Network, Learn and Innovate (affiliate link). You can listen to the entire inaugural Gigabit City Summit session online to get a sense of the topics we’ll be covering monthly.

 

 

Participate in the Gigabit City Summit

As a Brainzooming reader, I want to personally invite you to listen and participate live via WebEx, courtesy of the Smart + Connected Communities Institute, to the next session on Leadership, Organization and Community Challenges. The session will take place live on Wednesday, July 25th, 7:00-9:00 am CDT and will be available for replay afterward.

The second Gigabit City Summit will features representatives from innovation hubs around the world, including Amsterdam, Barcelona, Hyderabad, Singapore and Toronto. In addition the co-chairs of the Mayors’ Bistate Innovations Team, Mike Burke and Ray Daniels, along with David Warm, Executive Director of Kansas City’s regional planning organization will talk about preparation for the arrival of Google Fiber, which is scheduled to make a major announcement about the Kansas City Google Fiber product launch on July 26th.

Sponsor the Gigabit City Summit

Beyond listening to the sessions, there are sponsorship opportunities for organizations who would like to engage in these global, next-generation cities conversations.

Gigabit City Summit sponsors can take advantage of exclusive networking, content marketing, and thought leadership opportunities, in addition to a variety of other sponsorship assets. The sponsorship document below highlights the Gigabit City Summit and the related sponsorship opportunities for the series of events.

Contact me at info@brainzooming.com  if you’d like to discuss how your organization can become directly involved as a Gigabit City Summit sponsor.

 

Let’s keep the conversation going! – Mike Brown

 

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

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. 

 

      (Affiliate link)

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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5

Someone tweeted recently about making great progress on a creative project on which he was working when he suddenly hit a creative block. His experience prompted me to tweet in reply that sometimes a creative project is “done” even though outside project management indicators (i.e., the deadline, the completeness of expected deliverables for the creative project, etc.) suggest otherwise.

Multiple Ways to Be Done

When you are working intensely on completing a creative project, it is easy to block out anything other than the deadline and the steps you have identified you need to complete to measure your progress.

If that is the case though, you may miss that despite the fact that even though the calendar deadline and the steps for project completion have not synced up, your creative effort is effectively done.

As a recovering perfectionist, I have become particularly attuned to my own and others’ incessant tinkering on a project that could clearly be considered done. It’s the “just can’t leave it alone” syndrome in project management which sometimes leads to improvements on a project, but can just as easily translate into wasted time that you could apply to a new creative effort, if you were just willing to move on to something else.

8 Signs a Creative Project Is Done

The Twitter exchange got me thinking about these eight project management tips to suggest where a project is “done” even though the calendar and your perceptions of the level of completion suggest it isn’t done:

  • You bit a creative block and can’t advance the creative effort any further –even if the calendar says it isn’t done yet.
  • The strategic direction for the project from management has changed to a new path.
  • Your support team has mentally quit on you and/or the effort.
  • Your options in continuing to work on the project are worse than your options from stopping work.
  • A stakeholder tells you he/she is happy with its completion and outcome.
  • Everybody has gone home – physically, mentally, or virtually.
  • You have run out of time to complete it and can’t negotiate for any more time.
  • Others view the effort as a success, even if you don’t quite yet.

These were the first eight I wrote down; surely there are more than this.

What Signals to You a Creative Effort Is Done?

Do you wrestle with the ability to back away from a creative project that’s effectively done? When does this remain a project management challenge for you, and what project management tips do you use to stop torturing yourself for a level of completion no one is expecting? – Mike Brown

 

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Does your organization have good ideas, but lacks the wherewithal to bring them to reality? The Brainzooming Group and our collaborative, implementation-oriented project management techniques will quickly move you toward success. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call 816-509-5320 for a free consultation on how to get started.

 

 

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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1

I was having an important conversation with someone recently. This other person and I usually agree on the desired end result in situations, even if we have different ways of getting to the same solution.

In this recent instance, we both expressed our strong desire for a mutually beneficial outcome. Yet through several talks, we’ve struggled to find common ground in how we could get to an outcome meeting both of our needs.

To try and move things forward during our last conversation, we each proposed an approach we individually thought would be best for the other one.

Lo and behold, however, we both thought that what the other person was suggesting (with the best intent) was actually detrimental.

We didn’t seem to be able to get beyond the perception that suddenly we weren’t even seeing things with the other one in mind. While we ended the conversation with a commitment to continue the conversation, I think it was disheartening for both of us as we struggled to figure out what the other one was thinking and why we seemed to see things so far apart.

Drawing Each Other Out

Then a couple of days later, this simple drawing occurred to me.

I realized we were the people in the sketch, each looking out for the other one, but facing in COMPLETELY different directions relative to the issue we’re trying to solve. While it seemed we had lost sight of each other (i.e feeling 180 degrees apart), we are really 359 degrees apart. That can make you feel as if you’ve completely lost sight of one another, but it REALLY means we’re 1 degree apart and ARE really still right next to each other. For whatever reasons however, we are facing our common challenge in a way that clearly hasn’t been productive for finding a mutually beneficial outcome.

Having this drawing pop into my head was tremendously reassuring, giving me hope we really can figure things out for our mutual good. The solution is in listening and reacquainting ourselves in a very detailed way about what we want in common so we can think and talk about our differences in new, more productive ways.

This drawing also helps me understand some other relationships in my life the last few years where changing circumstances have made me feel so far away from people that I’ve been so close to for years.

The moral of the drawing?

If you’re not able to see where someone you’re usually very close to is coming from as you both approach a new challenge, turn around, in whatever way you can – physically or mentally. You may find you are just as close as you’ve ever been, but are simply facing back to back right now. – Mike Brown

 

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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 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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0

Here is the Sunday Dilbert comic strip, with yet another futile attempt by Dilbert’s boss to lead his team in brainstorming for creative new product ideas. As with any recent Dilbert comic strip on coming up with creative new product ideas, it presents a dismal view of creativity at the company where Dilbert works.

Dilbert.com

By way of contrast, here are two items that can help you think about and enhance creativity in your organization. One of them is even targeted at boosting your creativity when you are working alone!

One Analogy for Boosting Creativity with a Group

I have been thinking about how creative teams or any team you are working with on brainstorming is like a basketball team. Sometimes the five players on the court are great and performing well together as a basketball team. Other times, the five players playing are clearly not the right five, and a basketball coach needs to do something differently whether it is a different combination of players or different types of offensive or defensive strategies. Still other times, the basketball coach needs the team to get the basketball to one particular player and let them make the play by themselves.

If you are going to perform well at basketball or coming up with new creative ideas, you need to have a deep bench, versatile players, a variety of plays, and the right go-to person.

That is why we write about creativity so frequently. There is a lot of work to do have all those options available. To simplify your creative challenges very tremendous efficiency and effectiveness, email us, and we will make it happen for you!

A New Tool for Personal Creativity

There is a new tool for personal creativity from our friend and guest Brainzooming blogger Tanner Christensen who has released the Oflow app for iPhone. The Oflow app offers more than one hundred approaches for boosting your creativity, allowing users to highlight their most productive creativity methods and capture ideas for themselves and to share with others.

You can download Oflow from the iTunes App Store, so check out what Tanner Christensen has brought to the market!

So go out, get creative, and don’t put up with crappy creativity in your workplace like they have to where Dilbert works! – Mike Brown

 

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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.

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2

As last week’s post about showing appreciation on Twitter started, “social media is about being social, whether you are an individual or are representing a brand.” And in response to a status update on Facebook about the Twitter appreciation post, a grade school friend I’ve become reacquainted with on Facebook over the past year, Carrie Sparkman, essentially said it would be nice to see how the Twitter etiquette rules I shared would translate to Facebook.

That was an intriguing request since I spend a lot more time on Twitter. But since Carrie is particularly wonderful at Number 1 below, I was compelled to try and address her request.

These nine etiquette ideas for showing appreciation to Facebook friends are some suggestions to make your shout out really count:

Showing Appreciation

1. Make It Personal

Write a personal, heartfelt, and encouraging comment for a Facebook friend who has made a difference for you and post it on their wall. Or even better, write an encouraging comment for someone who needs YOU to make a difference for them.

2. Don’t Just Like Them

Go beyond liking another person’s Facebook status update and actually share their content with your friends as well. Include your comment about your appreciation for the person, their accomplishment, or their content. You can also share photos or video of the person you want to celebrate.

Calling Attention to Your Appreciation for Your Facebook Friend

3. Tag, They’re It

Actually tag the person you are showing appreciation for in your update. You can tag a person by first typing the “@” symbol and then the person’s name. People whose names match what you’re typing will start appearing on screen; hit enter on the correct person to enter a link to their profile. If you want to only use the person’s first name in the update link, backspace over the last name to erase it while still keeping the link to the individual.

4. Let the Public See It

When you’re showing your appreciation for a Facebook friend, change the sharing criteria (from the drop down toward the lower left of the message) on the status so that it is “Public.” That way, the widest possible audience can see what you have to say. Be sure to change the sharing status back to what you typically use before you make your next update, however.

5. Linking of Others

Provide a link to where people can learn more about the person you appreciate, i.e. to a blog or website. In this way, people can connect with them on places other than Facebook.

Be Both Predictable and Surprising

6. Happy Birthday

Take advantage of the Facebook Happy Birthday notifications to share a few words of celebration and a birthday greeting with Facebook friends. If you’re in touch with them on other social networking platforms (especially email), consider sharing Happy Birthday greetings there.

7. I Wanna Like You All Over

When you see great content from a Facebook friend somewhere else on the web, click the Facebook Like button associated with the content to show your appreciation.

8. Surprise Someone

Don’t just show appreciation for those you interact with frequently. Show appreciation to your Facebook friends for no apparent reason, especially if you haven’t interacted with someone for an extended period of time.

Don’t Call Undue Attention to Yourself

9. Cool It on Facebook Apps

Another way to show appreciation? Be purposeful about what you share with your Facebook friends. Don’t use Facebook:

  • To invite people to events they have no hope of ever attending
  • To send them Facebook app requests that clog their Facebook notifications
  • As a repository for other websites to post your activity on their sites while filling your Facebook status updates with low value information.

What are your etiquette ideas when you show appreciation on Facebook?

What are you doing to show appreciation to Facebook friends? What do you find works best for you, or even better, what encouraging messages do you appreciate seeing show up for you? – Mike Brown

 

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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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