Collaboration | The Brainzooming Group - Part 37 – page 37
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Some strategic thinking questions are brand new, or at least appear in brand new forms, ready to meet a specific business need. Other strategic thinking questions are well tested and, unfortunately, underused even though they are applicable in so many situations.

One example of the latter type of strategic thinking questions is, “What are we trying to achieve?”

Photo by; MMchen | Source: photocase.com

Photo by; MMchen | Source: photocase.com

This question sits front and center whenever we are talking strategy with a client or teaching a creating strategic impact workshop or delivering any other type of presentation where strategy is a theme (i.e., social media and content marketing strategy, brand strategy, sponsorship strategy, etc.).

We even put it near the start of the “Staying Sane as a One-Person Social Media Department” presentation at the Social Media Strategies Summit. One of the tips solo social media professionals identified for their peers in the survey we conducted among the group is getting comfortable in saying, “No.” That is great advice, but you cannot typically get away with saying, “No,” capriciously. You should have a strategic rationale behind what you are saying.

And that is where there is such value in the question, “What are we trying to achieve?”

Beyond, helping you say, “No,” it helps address all these situations:

  • Create strategy – If you can pin down what you are trying achieve, you can apply creative thinking to how you accomplish it.
  • It helps you prioritize – Knowing the various things you need to achieve allows for prioritizing them in importance.
  • Focus your work – As things change and people suggest ill-founded strategy changes, you can come back to your strategic priorities in order to re-focus.
  • Produce metrics – You can begin to put numbers to what you are trying to achieve and determine related metrics suggesting whether you are on the right track.
  • Gain supporters – The answer to what you are trying to achieve helps communicate with others and build enthusiasm and action (or address why people are not enthusiastic or ready to act).
  • Grow in influence – Being a more consistent leader often sets you apart from so many other individuals inside organizations.

With all those benefits, that’s why I told the solo social media professionals in the audience that even if they felt alone, this one strategic thinking question worked so hard, it would be like having another member on the team. The same goes for you. If you have not been taking advantage of this team member, put it to work starting today! – Mike Brown

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Download: FREE Innovation Strategic Thinking Fake Book

Brainzooming Outside-In Innovation Strategic Thinking Tools eBookAre you making the best use of customer input and market insights to deliver innovation and growth? Creating successful, innovative new products and services has never been more dependent on tapping perspectives from outside your organization. This new ebook features sixteen strategic thinking exercises to help you ideate, prioritize, and develop your best innovative growth ideas. Download this free, concise ebook to:

  • Identify your organization’s innovation profile
  • Learn and rapidly deploy effective strategic thinking exercises to spur innovation
  • Incorporate crowd sourced perspectives into your innovation strategy in smart ways

Download this FREE ebook to turn ideas into actionable innovation strategies to drive your organization’s growth.

Download Your Free  Outside-In Innovation Strategic Thinking Fake Book

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Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Before leading my workshop the first afternoon of the Social Media Strategies Summit, I participated in the day’s earlier workshops. This is something I try to do whenever I’m speaking at an event. Doing this provides new ideas, reference points, and potentially frees up topics I needn’t address as completely because an earlier speaker has covered them.

During these workshops, for whatever reason, I found myself thinking about how I process information shared during conference presentations. I began jotting down the strategic thinking questions (below) I was asking myself. It struck me that these questions tie to integrated listening. Whether the speaker’s topic is familiar or unfamiliar, and whether the speaker’s perspective agrees or disagrees with my own, I’m looking for what to incorporate from the material to adapt my perspective.

5 Strategic Thinking Questions for Integrated Listening

Within an integrated listening objective, these strategic thinking questions are ones that run through my head during a presentation:

  1. What of this material agrees with my world view?
  2. What parts challenge or contradict my world view?
  3. In what ways does this content enrich my current understanding?
  4. What should I consider doing differently (whether that’s doing something new, stopping something, or altering a current practice) based on this presentation?
  5. What are the parts of this material I don’t understand? If so, why is that?

These questions work, at least for me, to stay open to new information without completely abandoning what I think in favor of too eagerly embracing an expert’s point of view during a presentation.  – Mike Brown

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Is your brand STILL struggling with the right approach to deliver business results from its content marketing and social media strategy?

If so, today is a perfect day to download our free eBook, “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy.”

If you have direct or indirect responsibility for social media strategy in your organization (or even simply question whether your brand is maximizing every opportunity it can with social business), download “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy.” You’ll get answers on what to do next in less than an hour.

Really.

Social Media Strategy – 20 Reasons to Download “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy”

In case you need more convincing, here are twenty reasons why you should download this free eBook and take advantage of its quick, thorough assessments of your brand’s social media strategy effectiveness.

  1. It’s free.
  2. There are Brainzooming diagnostics that appear exclusively in the 9 Diagnostics eBook.
  3. You can complete the exercises within an hour and have a strong strategic sense of your overall social media strategy effectiveness.
  4. You can match your current approach to proven social media opportunities organizations adopt and find successful. (page 2)
  5. Your potential opportunities to adapt your social media strategy to better address important business objectives will be clear. (page 2)
  6. Each exercise features a related strategic objective and suggested uses to ensure you’re applying the social media strategy diagnostic correctly.
  7. There is a next step associated with each diagnostic so the actions you can take with the results are evident.
  8. If social business hasn’t taken hold in your organization as it should, you can assess which of a dozen potential roadblocks could be at work. (page 3)
  9. It will become quickly apparent whether your current social media metrics are robust enough to support and shape social business success. (page 4)
  10. Going deeper into the value of developing whole brain metrics is as easy as downloading another free Brainzooming eBook.
  11. You can determine whether your multi-author content marketing strategy is taking advantage of all the opportunities available to be truly collaborative. (page 5)
  12. There is a fast way to assess whether you should trust the members of your social media team to manage the “corporate microphone” social media represents. (page 6)
  13. Your can assign a letter grade to how well your brand’s personality translates to social media channels. (page 7)
  14. You’ll get a sense of how your brand stacks up on creating and sharing content relative to how a wide variety of B2B and B2C brands are them. (page 8)
  15. The lists associated with each social media strategy diagnostic ensure you are exploring the appropriate range of strategic variables.
  16. In an age when brands have the opportunity and need to become outstanding content creators, you can test your performance against an industry built around delivering engaging content for audiences. (page 9)
  17. The eBook includes a link to the Brainzooming social media strategy framework that organizes tons of content on your best strategic options for content marketing and social business. (page 10)
  18. By exploring your most recent status updates, you can see whether your brand is delivering a beneficial mix of content for your audience. (page 10)
  19. You can prioritize the diagnostics based on whether your brand is just introducing a social media strategy or has had one in place for some time.
  20. These nine social media strategy diagnostics can be applied collectively or individually depending upon where your brand places strategic priority.

9-diagnostics-download-butt

Convinced that taking a moment to download the “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy” book is something you need to do today?

If not, here’s just one example of how quickly it will help you. One content marketing workshop participant took just two minutes to complete diagnostic number 5 on whether the right people are managing your social media sharing. As soon as he completed it, he blurted out, “I knew we had the wrong people doing handling this, but I never knew why until now!”

That’s a great insight in just two minutes.

Start growing our social media strategy insights today!

And if you’d like more help with developing your social media and content strategy, let us know. We’re here to help! – Mike Brown

 

 

“How strong is my organization’s social media strategy?”

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 business strategies with these nine diagnostics. Download Your Free Copy of “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social  Strategy.”

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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Is your brand engaged in global content marketing?

For US businesses, statistics show a relatively low percentage of them export globally.

Based on that, your answer is likely that your brand has no role in global content marketing.

If that’s your answer, however, you’re probably wrong!

That’s why I’d encourage you to get a copy of Pam Didner’s book, “Global Content Marketing,” and go to school on it, even if you think you don’t need a global content marketing strategy.

Why, you might ask?

Because it will make you a better content marketer no matter how close or far you think your content audience is located.

      (Affiliate Link)

If You Have a Website, You May Be a Global Content Marketer

Pam-Didner-Book-PhotoNear the start, Pam Didner (who is a former Intel executive, a great friend, and co-host with me of an attendee dinner at the Social Media Strategy Summit this week) relates the story of Bumps for Boomers, an Aspen, Colorado-based, four-day ski program. Its objective is to get competent skiers in the baby boomer generation to take on more expert-level skiing. Its founder, Joe Nevins, developed hundreds of pieces of informative content on the topic, placed them on the brand’s website, and his small company now caters to skiers from multiple countries. All this even though his website is only in English.

As Pam points out, “as long as a company has an online presence, and as long as its products can be shipped and services performed remotely or virtually” or its audience can come to the brand (as in the Bumps for Boomers example), it is in the global content marketing strategy game.

I’ll admit that when Pam first told me about writing book, I was disappointed it wouldn’t apply to The Brainzooming Group. In the course of the conversation, the figure “fifty-two percent” popped into my mind.

Fifty-two percent represents the share of Brainzooming blog readers outside the US from more than 180 countries.

So, yes, the Brainzooming blog is a part of global content marketing too.

What to Look for in “Global Content Marketing”

I have a tremendous respect for authors and speakers who offer strategic frameworks that come from actually having done the work instead of appointing themselves experts and simply writing and speaking about a topic they have read about only.

With Pam Didner’s extensive experience at Intel managing global product launches, developing business building campaigns, and providing ongoing consultation on audience targeting, content development, strategic messaging, engagement, and social media integration, she’s a practiced expert on global content marketing.

As you would expect from someone actually doing the work, the book is action oriented.

It struck me while reading Pam’s 4 P’s of global content marketing that they are all VERBS: Plan, Product, Promote, and Perfect. And beyond simply the push to act that these verbs suggest, they are equally applicable for both global and in-country content marketing.

The same can be said of Pam’s focus on how the roles differ between a headquarters content marketer and those in local market operations. While she’s applying the concepts across countries, they apply to any situation where a content marketer with centralized responsibility is planning, coordinating, and implementing with team members in specific markets. For example, a content session I’m delivering next week for a multi-state non-profit based in Kansas City is completely analogous to the global situations Pam describes.

Get Your Copy of “Global Content Marketing” by Pam Didner

“Global Content Marketing” was named one of the Top 10 business books of 2014 by in Inc. Magazine. No matter that it was released in 2014, the concepts Pam shares are applicable this year and for years after.

Do yourself a favor. If your brand has a website and is using a content marketing strategy to influence your audiences, you need to get “Global Content Marketing” by Pam Didner today and put it into practice! – Mike Brown

      (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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Writing a newsletter article, it struck me that for as much as we discuss the importance of diverse strategic perspectives on better strategic thinking, we don’t seem to have a compilation of our articles on the topic.

Let’s fix that!

Workplace Diversity – The Why, Who, and How of Strategic Thinking

These Brainzooming articles are arranged based on why you should seek workplace diversity to benefit strategy, who holds the important perspectives, and how you can take best advantage of them to improve your organization’s strategy.

Dilbert-ThinkerWhy Workplace Diversity Benefits Strategy

Who Holds the Strategic Perspectives You Need on Your Team

How to Manage Workplace Diversity and Varied Strategic Perspectives Working Together

 

Making Workplace Diversity Work for Your Strategy

This list of articles is a start to thinking about the value of having people with different thinking styles, perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds on your teams.

If you’d like to discuss how to put this all together for your organization’s benefit, let us know. We’d love to customize a strategy that delivers the best results for you! – Mike Brown

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

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Learn all about how Mike Brown’s workshops on creating strategic impact can boost your success!

 

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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There were many themes apparent in the Super Bowl advertising portfolio.

  • There was dad-dom (Nissan, Dove Men+Care).
  • There was overcoming-disability-dom (Microsoft, Nissan).
  • There was scantily-clad-dom (T-Mobile. Victoria’s Secret).
  • There was borrowing celebrity-dom. (Kia. Snickers. Wix).

Plenty of “doms” to go around.

The Crowd’s Creative Comes Out on Top in Super Bowl Advertising

Crash-The-Crowd-eBook

Download “Crash Course” at http://boomideanet.com/crash-the-crowd/

But the intriguing results from the night belong to Doritos and the creative crowd. According to Ace Metrix research “America voted for #WhenPigsFly from Doritos to be this year’s #TopSpot2015 #SB49 by scoring it higher than any of the other 2015 Doritos ads.”

Additionally, Doritos ranked in the top 5 a short time after the Super Bowl advertising wrapped up Sunday evening.

When all the Super Bowl advertising rankings are in, there may be another winner. The interesting thing here is that the spot crowdsourced by Doritos is in the running. Yes, it’s fan-based creative.

What Do You Know about Crowdsourcing Advertising?

While not every company is in a position to turn its brand over to its consumers, the Doritos fan crowd demonstrates there is bona fide creative power in the crowd.

In light of this, if your CEO is asking you, “Should we be doing this crowdsourcing thing?” you’ll want answers.

We can help you with answers.

We can help you decide if a crowd can work for your brand. And suggest how you can test the crowdsourcing waters.

Visit this link and download our free eBook about “Everything You Need To Know About Crowdsourcing Before Your CEO Asks.”

Boom-Ideanet-Download

It might just come in handy!  – Steve Wood, Boom Ideanet

 

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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Our objective for the Brainzooming community visioning workshop at the Gigabit City Summit was sharing multiple strategic thinking exercises city delegations from around the United States could immediately use to further their strategic conversations on broadband initiatives.

The objective created a conundrum.

While I wanted Gigabit City Summit attendees to understand they could use the strategic thinking exercises right away within their Summit delegations, it’s unrealistic to imply they could immediately create a successful large-scale collaborative visioning sessions based on a one-hour workshop.

Yet I didn’t want Gigabit City Summit attendees to think we were giving them tools that ONLY worked if The Brainzooming Group were involved in implementation (which is the sense you get from so many workshop presenters).

Giving Away Our Family Recipes

Here’s how I wound up explaining the situation.

Our-Family-Recipes

 

I asked the workshop attendees, by a show of hands, to share how many like cooking for themselves.

Many hands went up.

I next asked how many liked cooking for small dinner parties, and then large formal dinners.

With each question, there were fewer hands.

Finally, I asked how many were confident and interested in applying their cooking talents in a large restaurant setting.

Only one or two of the more than one hundred participants raised their hands.

I then compared their cooking aspirations and the realistic outcomes from sharing our “recipes” for strategic thinking exercises with them.

They could readily and easily use the strategic thinking exercises themselves, with their city delegations, or even with small groups when they returned home. It would be unrealistic to think, however, that without a lot of experience and practice that they could invite fifty, one hundred, or several hundred community members and expect to have a flawless, productive visioning session.

That is where we come into the picture, helping make the smaller group experiences more productive and a large community visioning event even possible.

Strategic Thinking Exercises as Recipes

I share this story about recipes because it helps answer the question we get so often about why we share so many strategic thinking exercises here.

Hearts

They’re all recipes, and we want you to use the recipes, try them out, adapt them to what you need to make happen in your organization. Starting small provides the opportunity to try selecting the right ones, combining them in intriguing ways, and learning from successes and mistakes.

If you need to be ready for a high-stakes event, however, we think you’ll want someone who has experience to make sure everything works.

And that’s where we’d love to work with you to ensure all the success you need when the stakes are high and the recipes HAVE to turn out perfectly the first time!

Could you use some of our best recipes for outside-in innovation?

Brainzooming Outside-In Innovation Strategic Thinking Tools eBookAre you confident your organization is making the best use of customer input and market insights to deliver innovation and growth?

Creating successful, innovative new products and services has never been more dependent on tapping perspectives from outside your organization. This new ebook features sixteen strategic thinking exercises to help you ideate, prioritize, and develop your best innovative growth ideas.

We invite you to download this free, concise ebook to:

  • Identify your organization’s innovation profile
  • Learn and rapidly deploy effective strategic thinking exercises to spur innovation
  • Incorporate crowd sourced perspectives into your innovation strategy in smart ways

The strategic thinking recipes in this FREE ebook will help generate new ideas and turn them into actionable innovation strategies to drive your organization’s growth.  

Download Your Free  Outside-In Innovation Strategic Thinking Fake Book

 

 

Enjoy 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.

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