6

Borrowing Creative InspirationI’ll readily admit I’m a proponent for borrowing creative inspiration. Not anything illegal or unethical, mind you. But borrowing creative inspiration in the sense of always being on the lookout for inspiration in everything you encounter. Unless you simply ooze creativity, this idea of borrowing creative inspiration is vital to having new ideas when you need them.

6 Areas for Borrowing Creative Inspiration

Here are six areas where I most frequently look for creative inspiration to borrow:

Advertising-Layout1. Design Layouts

I can do basic design (as evidenced by an advertising layout award in a long-ago state high school journalism contest), but it’s not my forte. If I need to design an ad flier or white paper, I comb through magazines looking for patterns and spatial relationships to mimic. In fact, the structure for our advertisement in The Social Media Monthly is based on the advertising my previous company did that was very effective.

2. Stock Photos

For the past couple of years, I’ve been using Photocase.com as our main source for stock photos after a Twitter-based recommendation from Sally Hogshead. While Photocase.com definitely has some intriguing and novel photos, its European roots leave it lacking for photos representing some particularly US-oriented images and idioms. As a result, I’ll sometimes use an image on Photocase that’s close, but misses the mark as inspiration to draw or photograph something on my own that more closely fits the need for a blog image.

Headlines3. Blog Titles

Magazine headlines, especially for self-help publications, are great inspiration for borrowing engaging headline structures for blog titles. Again, as with design, headlines are not my strongest suit, so any inspiration for catchy blog titles is beneficial.

4. Social Media Content Sharing Patterns

I’m always on the lookout to see how people who seem to know what they are doing are approaching social media content sharing. It’s particularly intriguing when they change how and when they are sharing social media content. I adapted our Twitter sharing pattern from a prominent social media specialist who was sharing content more regularly and frequently than I would have imagined. When I saw Brainzooming had developed a sizable global audience, it made sense to move to a 24/7 social media content sharing cycle on Twitter, with planned tweets every 60 minutes.

5. Speaking Styles and Patterns

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve mimicked how those around me speak. For whatever reason, if I’m around someone enough, I start picking up words, phrases, and speech patterns they use. As a result, when I hear speakers in person or repeatedly via recordings, I unconsciously pick up vocal mannerisms. These often pop up in presentations that I only catch when I listen to my own presentations later.

6. Creative Thinking Models

Whenever I read about or become exposed to a cool business strategy success story, I ask the question, “How could you get to that same result again?” This question is the basis for many of the creative thinking exercises The Brainzooming Group uses in our work. Whether or not a company actually used the questions or steps we envision is irrelevant. We try to create a solid, strategic structure that would plausibly lead an organization down the same successful path.

Where are you most frequently borrowing creative inspiration to boost creative thinking?

In what situations do you borrow creative inspiration? How have you incorporated borrowing into your creativity? And importantly, do you share your creative ideas in a way that others can borrow from them for their creative pursuits? – 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 creative thinking and ideas! For an organizational innovation success 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

18

Creativity-formulaSome people are explosively creative. They don’t need creativity exercises or structure to sustain their voluminous creative output.

Then there’s the rest of us.

If pure creativity eludes you, then having the right structures, exercises, and tools helps you get more from your natural creative thinking skills. For the rest of us trying to figure out how to be more creative, having a personal creative thinking skills formula can be an incredible help.

How to Be Creative through a Personal Creative Thinking Skills Formula

What might you include in your creative thinking skills formula? Consider these elements to boost your creativity:

1. Volume of Creative Output

Creativity CAN be viewed largely as a numbers game: create enough of whatever you create, and you can play the percentages. Some portion of your creative output will rise above the creative expectations in place. The rest of your creative output can be swept under the creative rug.

2. Creative Perspectives

Your perspective about a particular creative challenge or opportunity makes a dramatic impact on what you do with it. This idea is the basis of lateral thinking, in that a different perspective than you usually take helps you see and create new things. Sometimes a new perspective happens by accident or instinct. But far better to be armed with standard moves you can make to change perspective when you need it to trigger creativity.

3. Creative Combinations

Similar to structure, there are combinations and formulations of inputs to enhance creativity. Standard color combinations, musical scales, and geometric patterns work because they put together, constrain, and keep separate the right elements to strengthen creative output.

4. Creative Structures

Across creative disciplines, there are typically standard structures shaping creative output. Three-panel cartoons, 12-bar blues, sonnets, list-based blog posts, ‘high concept pitches” etc. are all examples. These all represent accepted creative structures. If you can fill in the blanks, you’re at least some (if not most of the way) toward creative output.

5. Tools

The tools you use for creativity do make a difference. When I got a great guitar, I was a better guitarist automatically, even though my skills hadn’t changed. Simply having a guitar that played well enhanced my very humble abilities. The plethora of apps and software available now for creativity are all examples. But whether online or offline, the right tools can make you (or make you appear) more creative.

That’s my creative thinking formula – what’s yours?

What are the parts and pieces of your creative thinking formula? I’d love to hear them, because I’m always looking for new ideas for how to be creative that I can borrow, as you’ll learn more about in tomorrow’s Brainzooming post.  – 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 new 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 innovation 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

Most of the time the Brainzooming blog shares strategy, innovation, and creativity ideas while consciously trying not to tout what we do at The Brainzooming Group. Our hope is by sharing intriguing and insightful content on strategy, innovation, and creativity, you will want to explore more deeply how The Brainzooming Group can improve your organization’s performance. Suffice it to say, we do not toot our own horn too much. (Did you like the way I got both “tout” and “toot” into the same paragraph? That will make the SEO grading apps crazy.)

Why Change Is Hard and 3 Ideas for Making Change Easy

Recently I was reading (okay, listening) to, Switch (affiliate link), the book on change by Chip and Dan Heath. I was struck by how The Brainzooming Group successfully addresses what Chip and Dan Heath identify as three of the main points from Switch addressing why change is hard:

Why Change Is Hard #1: Organizations resist planning for change because it is too complex or too hard

Group-Strategic-ConnectionOur Approach for Making Change Easy: At The Brainzooming Group, we refer to this challenge of planning for change as the “can’t get over the hump” problem. We see it repeatedly. Smart organizations with solid people get only so far with developing implementing strategy, but cannot get any further.  Sometimes the answer is strategic thinking tools; sometimes it is resources; sometimes it is strategic focus.

In the Brainzooming process, we analyze what the sticking point is and apply the correct “lubricant” to move the process forward. When you have built up the arsenal of strategic thinking tools and successful creativity approaches we have over the years, finding the answer to move a strategy toward implementation is quick.

Why Change Is Hard #2: People have a fear of failure, so they won’t even try to think about what should be changed, much less make the effort to change it

Our Approach for Making Change Easy: We account for the probability of failure as we design our strategy thinking process. As a result, we inoculate you against being afraid of change. The Brainzooming Group helps you generate a significant number of ideas and concepts as we temper the natural inclination to censor or needlessly debate whether ideas or concepts are good during the early stages of strategic thinking.

We don’t leave you with a pile of uncategorized and unusable ideas, though. We have tested strategic thinking tools to help organize, categorize, and evaluate the new you generate. Knowing the chaff is going to be thrown away helps people not be afraid to generate the kernels of wheat (or nuggets of gold) that lead to successful change.

Why Change Is Hard #3: There is too little attention paid to building upon success and too much attention placed on solving problems

Our Approach for Making Change Easy: The Brainzooming process helps you solve problems. Just as important though, we also help organizations better recognize what they are doing right and provide them the structure and options for building upon that success.

Would You Like to Make Change Easy? At Least Easier than It Has Been?

Thank for indulging this exploration on how the Brainzooming process accomplishes relative to making change easy. We’d love to talk with you about the opportunities and issues in your organization where you are finding change is hard. We’ll return tomorrow to our usual focus on less self-referential issues of strategy, innovation and creativity. Today though, I wanted to point out specific ways we help smart organization make successful change easy. – Barrett Sydnor


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

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.

Continue Reading

0

who-are-youWhat can you expect your social media experience to be if you want to be an anonymous online stalker who shares no identifiable information?

When you try to be anonymous and coy on Twitter, is it realistic to have any expectations about building a follower base?

I was having that discussion on Twitter with someone who has been engaging and asking great questions, but whose name, location, background, gender, and other web presences are all a mystery. My comment was if you’re not going to be real, you better be prepared to settle for whatever you get (but less than you want) from others on Twitter when it comes to conversation and ongoing engagement.

The Online Stalker Blues – 6 Reasons to Not Be Anonymous and Coy on Twitter

Here are six reasons I think someone who comes off as an online stalker will have a less than fulfilling social media experience while trying to remain anonymous and coy on Twitter:

1. You wind up breaking the Golden Rule of Twitter

When you try to mask your identity, location, gender, and everything else about yourself on Twitter, you’re in clear violation of  the Golden Rule of Twitter: “Honestly reveal as much about yourself as you’d hope others honestly reveal to you. “ If you’re not willing to share anything of substance about yourself or point to other places on the web where people can learn more about you, expect to get less than you might hope from your Twitter interactions.

2. You look like a bad social media experience waiting to (re)happen

Just about anyone on Twitter for some time has a story about being burned by someone trying to hide behind an anonymous Twitter account. Several years ago, a new person started tweeting at me a lot, even featuring me in a blog post about helpful Twitter people. I pushed the person to drop the anonymity and create a personal presence on Twitter. She (I’d thought it might be a guy) did that and became a real person. We even had a phone conversation about her career challenges and goals. Soon after establishing a presence, however, she completely disappeared. Since then, I’m increasingly skeptical of people who show up big, show up anonymous, and show up expecting you to invest time in them.

3. It’s going to slow your Twitter audience growth

For the reason above and the weirdness of interacting with someone who is hiding over a long period of time, if you’re going to stay anonymous, don’t have significant expectations on growing a sizable, lasting audience. In fact, the person who was singing The Online Stalker Blues with me recently was frustrated about his/her(?) slow path to growing a follower base. This person has done a great job of engaging, but without more sharing to build a relationship, the direct engagement will wear thin.

4. You seem as if you can’t be trusted

When you decide to remain completely anonymous (no name, no identifiable avatar, no website, no location, no personal clues in the bio), it raises questions about WHY you won’t share even one visible factoid about yourself and/or your identity. If you persist in hiding everything even from those who have made an effort to reach out and engage with you, prepare to be viewed with increasing levels of suspicion.

5. People won’t be as willing to put up with your social media crap

If you want to dive in and be mouthy online, sharing information about yourself gets you more latitude to do it. The more information you share about yourself in your Twitter profile, the more likely you are to get a sustained audience to listen to you mouthing off about what’s pissing you off so much. Recently, somebody with a donut for an avatar, a name which suggested he knew LOTS about social media, and twenty Twitter followers was tweeting frustration in my direction. When he didn’t like a #SXSW-related tweet from a panel I was listening to recapping the event, I really wanted to tell him to stick it. Instead, I tried to be nice and suggest why the tweet and others form the panel were helpful. When he kept it up his “superior to you” attitude (in tweets he subsequently deleted), he simply became pitiable. If he ever tweets me again, he won’t be getting any (positive) attention.

6. You’re wasting the full benefits of your social media effort

When you’re spending a lot of time on Twitter without identifying yourself, you’re wasting the positive outcomes of your time investment: creating stickiness with your profile (as people follow and attach to your presence on other social media channels) and pass along value to your content (where people you interact with are sharing your content and suggesting to others they seek you out as well). When there’s no way to know who are, who do you think is going to recommend that someone else seek you out?

Do you put up with people on social media singing The Online Stalker Blues?

Do you spend much time with people online who are anonymous and coy about sharing ANY information? If you do spend time with someone who comes off as an online stalker, what motivates you to do it?

If I’m missing something about why this strategy makes sense, I’d love to understand what it is. – Mike Brown

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

 

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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

3

What to blog about and how to do it is a frequent search bringing people to the Brainzooming blog. This demand for ideas relative to blogging has prompted a considerable amount of blog-oriented content the past 18 months.

That much content on a particular topic always prompts requests for a post that pulls together and organizes the content in one place.

Since I’m conducting a blogging workshop on creating fantastic content for a business blog, we’re meeting two needs in one in this post with a compilation of blogging content that also serves as a primer for participants in the content class.

There are nearly forty articles organized, but if you feel as if you’re still struggling with how blogging can support your business strategy and where to get started, email (info@brainzooming.comor call us (816-509-5320). We’ll get your business-producing social media effort going in a smart, successful direction.

I-bloggedDeciding to Have a Blog and Objective Setting

Developing Your Content Marketing and Brand Personality

Blogging-ScheduleCreating a Regular Blogging Schedule and Editorial Calendar

What to Blog About

Structuring Your Blog Posts

Blogging for B2B and Larger Companies

Making a Decision - Quick DecisionMaking the Most of Your Blogging and Social Media Time

Getting Your Blog Content Seen

Idea-Cartoon-BalloonBlogging Tips and Tricks

Getting Help for Your Social Media Effort

 

Mike Brown

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

 

Is your social media strategy missing the mark?

9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy

Is your social media implementation working as well as it can? In less than 60 minutes with the new FREE Brainzooming ebook “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy,” you’ll have a precise answer to this question. Any executive can make a thorough yet rapid evaluation of nine different dimensions of their social media strategies with these nine diagnostics. Download Your Free Copy of “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy.

 

 

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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

2

I met Nick Kellet through the monthly #Ideachat Twitter chats hosted by Angela Dunn. Intriguingly enough, after we got to know each other, it turns out Nick had included Brainzooming blog content on list posts in one of his presentations about how his company List.ly is changing lists to make them more collaborativeWith a new release in the works, this is a great opportunity to hear from Nick on the next generation of lists:

9 Reasons List Posts Are Broken by Nick Kellet

Nick-KelletSo what is a list? Lists are simply a collection

We use lists to organize our lives online and off. We make lists of just about anything.

Lists are the backbone of the web. Lists exist on every web page to organize content from menus to blogrolls and so much more.

Lists are a construct that hasn’t evolved since the inception of the web, given all the changes in our social norms and the way we share, interact and engage online that feels wrong.

Lists and list posts are too important to be ignored. From here on I’m going to talk specifically about “list posts.”

Why are list posts broken?

Lists are Broken

Image Credit: marcobellucci via Flickr.com and Creative Commons

List posts are things such as:

List posts are a subset of all the types of lists that exist on the web (lists of videos, songs, slides, friends etc). List posts account for 30% of the content and 50% of page views. Even those who dislike list posts agree list posts work.

While list posts work well, they are still broken. At best lists use a simple HTML construct of tags. Lists are essentially dumb HTML. Lists need to be smarter.

So let’s explore. I’ve noted 9 reasons why lists need a makeover:

Nick Kellet Nick Kellet
Owner
9 items   706 views

9 Reasons Lists Are Broken

Source: http://brainzooming.com/blog-list-posts-9-reasons-they-are-broken-by-nick-kellet/16626/

1

Interactive

9 Reasons Lists Are Broken | Interactive

HTML lists are not interactive. What does that mean and why is it frustrating? It simply means you cannot sort and filter the list.

This limitation changes how we interact with lists.

When we know we can filter and sort through a list it becomes more consumable. It's become a basic expectation for any dataset on the web.

2

Social

9 Reasons Lists Are Broken | Social

A list that is not social does not allow the reader to engage with the content. You can't comment or vote or contribute to the list.

Today people comment below the post in the comments section. You can comment by referencing the items in the list - all manually.

Readers can suggest omissions and corrections but the list never changes. Busy publishers never return to update blog posts based on the comments. If they did, they would be highly unproductive.

Comments also include much duplication and there is no simple way to aggregate opinion.

Social engagement is also social proof. Your list becomes more trusted if people can see that it's be contributed to by many people. Acting socially is a digital native's modus operandi.

3

Structured

9 Reasons Lists Are Broken | Structured

HTML lists are simply text.

Lists are not stored in a database in a way that lets them be intelligently queried or modified.

Lists are stored in blobs of text inside CMSs such as Wordpress.

They cannot be extended and reorganized in any way without massive human effort. This means if search practices change, your lists our outdated and invalid.

So while lists account for 30% of content, lists are of much less useful that they could be.

4

Reusability

9 Reasons Lists Are Broken | Reusability

Because lists are just "text" they cannot be reused without the effort of copying, pasting, fixing any broken formatting, attributing the list to the author, linking to their original post, etc...

Lists aren't like videos and slides, where we are used to embedding and reusing these content assets. HTML Lists cannot be embedded or quoted without cutting and pasting.

Every time a list is quoted, there is a risk it does not get correctly credited. Poor attribution is as much a function of laziness, distractedness and carelessness as it is deliberate.

There's also a risk that if the list were to change, that the copied information no longer reflects the central truth.

In their current form, HTML lists are simply not reusable.

5

Flexible Formatting

9 Reasons Lists Are Broken | Flexible Formatting

HTML lists come "as is". The format of your list can and will not change. That is limiting. If you want to change the format of all your lists posts, you need to update each post.

There is no tagging in lists to let you know how or what to change. With the rise of responsive experiences to suit our mobile lifestyle that is becoming much more important.

How things look matters today. Formatting your list in any rich way inside each post is highly inefficient and prone to error and inconsistency.

6

Measurement

9 Reasons Lists Are Broken | Measurement

Your HTML list's engagement cannot be measured because you cannot engage with the list, but if you could, that would open up all sorts of options for tracking how people value your content.

You could find out so much more about the sorts of people that engage, when they engage and what content is most interesting to them.

The lack of measurement leaves the publisher in the dark.

7

Sharing

9 Reasons Lists Are Broken | Sharing

Today we all love to share. Sharing is on the rise and yet lists inside your posts are not easy to share.

You can share the post, not the list.

You certainly can't share the items on the list. Sharing an item adds context and meaning.

You can mention a list item by name, but the reader has to skim the whole post to find the item.

Sharing should be an opportunity for adding context and value.

That's a missed opportunity. Sharing, with these parameters, is not practical with static HTML lists.

This friction stops people sharing. It stops readers from reading. The publisher, the sharer and the reader lose.

8

Evolution

9 Reasons Lists Are Broken | Evolution

Lists don't change, they age, they date and become irrelevant. Creating content is an investment.

Ideally we want to create content to stay relevant and to engage and entertain our audiences. Lists today have a "publish once" mindset.

If your lists become social then your content can evolve and enhance over time. The evolution of your content means your content investment holds its value.

Your readers will still find your content useful. Best of all search engines love content that evolves over time.

In the world of content, evolution is a good thing.

9

Community

9 Reasons Lists Are Broken | Community

Lists attract niché audiences. The only people that read specific lists are people who find that topic interesting. Lists are self-selecting. Community forms around shared interests.

When you make lists social, and your content evolves over time, more people become attracted to your content. Social proof attracts people.

When people see other people engaging on a topic that speaks to their passions, they are tipped to contribute too. We all lurk selectively, and we contribute even more selectively.

When people contribute to great lists community bonds are formed, first with the content and secondly with the people who have also contributed.

Am I missing anything? Vote for those you agree with, and feel free to add your own suggestions.

The Dawn of Interactive Lists

Lists are a wonderful concept for engaging people. Humans love to skim lists, but our social norms and expectations have changed. Lists need to change with the times.

This is the thinking that drives our vision at Listly.

The best way to experience an interactive list post is to create a list and embed it in a blog post just such as this one.

So what’s stopping you? – Nick Kellet

 

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 creative thinking and ideas! For an organizational innovation success 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

4

Following up our post on tools and exercises for enhancing strategic thinking skills, I started jotting down a list of clues indicating you’re not dealing with a strategic thinker.

The reason?

These clues should suggest someone who would most benefit from taking time (if you could get them to do it) and working on the strategic thinking skills to improve business performance.

29 Clues You’re Not Dealing with a Strategic Thinker

As typical, I didn’t begin with a target number of clues for the list. Here are the twenty-nine clues that came to mind.

Photo by: ad Rian | Source:  photocase.com

Photo by: ad Rian | Source: photocase.com

It’s a clue you’re not dealing with a strategic thinker when an individual:

  1. Wants to limit strategic conversations to senior management
  2. Shuns thinking and perspectives from others
  3. Doesn’t respect other business functions in the organization
  4. Has a reputation for poor strategic relationships in the organization
  5. Feels strategy is complex (or has to be complex to be good)
  6. Disconnects strategy from day-to-day organizational activities
  7. Doesn’t understand his/her own personal limitations and thus doesn’t compensate for the limitations with a strong, complementary team
  8. Becomes easily focused on a personal view of ” reality” and can’t entertain alternative possibilities
  9. Is uncomfortable considering multiple ideas and possibilities for addressing a situation
  10. Won’t break or even bend an arbitrary rule that doesn’t make sense
  11. Is unwilling to question the status quo
  12. Is put off by questions from people considered subordinates
  13. Is quick to cut off exploration of multiple alternatives in the interest of not over thinking things
  14. Struggles to shift between taking time to explore new ideas and then moving to prioritize ideas and make decisions
  15. Automatically equates “strategic” with long- term and “tactical” with short-term
  16. Struggles with the idea of serving those seen as subordinates
  17. Is reluctant to do homework to help prepare others to make solid decisions and implement them successfully
  18. Struggles to make challenging decisions
  19. Spends too much time on easy, solvable issues that don’t produce value for the organization or its customers
  20. Spends more time talking than asking questions to better understand situations
  21. Shuts down when faced with dramatic changes to a personal view of reality and/or what’s necessary to sustain that reality
  22. Doesn’t function well when there are significant unknowns in a situation
  23. Automatically views doing something new / different as better than doing the smartest thing
  24. Automatically views doing the same thing as better than doing something different because of lesser perceived risk
  25. Loses track of agreed to priorities – for whatever reason
  26. Spends too time on things that don’t matter for the organization
  27. Struggles to generalize situations so they are more understandable to non- experts
  28. Is quicker to argue than finding ways to agree
  29. Tends to dominate conversations

Does this list describe anyone familiar to you?

Do you see co-workers’ behaviors in this list? If so, how many of the strategic thinking skills behind this list do the lack? No one is going to have all the strategic thinking skills one could have, but I’m not sure yet how many “Yes” answers signal you will have challenges getting an individual involved in strategic thinking. Based on running some people I’ve worked with previously through the questions, I’m guess a score of 10 or more means someone is a weak, or at least problematic, strategic thinker.

What strategic thinking skill gaps would you add, subtract, or modify on this list?

It would be great to have you shape this list of clues you’re not dealing with someone that has strong strategic thinking skills. You can share your ideas in the comments or check out tomorrow’s post to learn about a more dynamic way to create and have a group participate in collaborating and shaping lists. It’s an idea I’ll be investigating, without a doubt!  – 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