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Too often, an organization signs on for a sponsorship without a clear sponsorship strategy. Sponsorship marketing can produce attention and strong ROI impacts for companies of all sizes, but it takes clear strategy. While it’s easy to pay money to get your company name attached to a sponsorship, that doesn’t mean you have a solid sponsorship strategy to enhance attention and produce a positive ROI for your organization. With the “Building the Gigabit City” project to brainstorm ideas for Google Fiber in Kansas City, The Brainzooming Group employed a non-traditional sponsorship strategy, creating a sponsorship where one didn’t already exist by:

Since our sponsorship strategy was one any company could pursue under the right circumstances, here are five key sponsorship principles to consider in pursuing a similar path:

1. Stand near somebody else’s spotlight

Standing near another party’s spotlight is part of why NASCAR sponsorships work. Since a whole army of media cover the NASCAR racing world, a sponsor doesn’t have to try to get media to show up for the event. There has been considerable coverage for the Google Fiber move into Kansas City. Creating Gigabit City allowed us to stand near the Google Fiber spotlight for a credible reason, even though the event wasn’t an official Google Fiber program. The Google name drew strong media attention for Gigabit City, nevertheless.

2. Create your own sponsorship property

The traditional sponsorship strategy is to pay money to a sponsorable property’s owner (i.e., a sports team, an entertainment venue, a nonprofit event, etc.). With Building the Gigabit City, there was no property to sponsor. Working with Social Media Club of Kansas City (SMCKC), we created the sponsorship property. It takes more work, but it offers the opportunity to shape and mold what you’re investing in to best suit your business objectives.

3. Pursue a sponsorship built around what you do

The storyline for a sponsorship can be difficult to twist back to what your company does when you’re only investing dollars. Instead, look for a way to put what you do in your business at the heart of your sponsorship contribution. By donating our strategic brainstorming services to the Google Fiber in Kansas City event, The Brainzooming Group and our strategy and innovation services were at the heart of the story, providing the opportunity to integrate it more seamlessly into news stories.

4. Don’t ask for permission and don’t even worry about having to ask for forgiveness

Most of the Google Fiber attention in Kansas City appears to be forming with little attention boosting effort from Google. While a traditional move might have been to try doing something directly with Google, we instead created an event related to Google where the natural partner was almost incidental. Providing our brainstorming services pro bono allowed us to start, move quickly, and issue a comprehensive report free to anyone who wants it. Since Building the Gigabit City wasn’t authorized by Google though, we were careful to structure an event that would be neutral at worst to Google and ideally somewhat intriguing.

5. You have to activate a sponsorship to make it worthwhile

Even though our initial “investment” in Building the Gigabit City was in-kind (i.e., providing our services on a pro bono basis to design and implement the brainstorming session), to realize the full benefit we had to get behind the public relations effort. Another partner of The Brainzooming Group, Alex Greenwood, was fundamental in representing our awareness-building and messaging interests among the potential media opportunities to ensure we received attention. That translated into considerable television and radio time, shareable third-party stories, and greater recognition for The Brainzooming Group in Kansas City and within the category.

Learn More Today

We’re extending our Gigabit City sponsorship strategy through other media appearances. I’m on Kelly Scanlon’s radio show on 1510 KCTE AM at 9 am CST, Friday, January 13 to discuss Google Fiber and what it can mean for small businesses in Kansas City and elsewhere. You can listen live on 1510.com.

I also wrote a feature story in the January 2012 edition of The Social Media Monthly magazine on “The Social Side of Speed” about how Google Fiber might impact societal and cultural elements of Kansas City. You can get a printed copy at any Barnes & Noble store, plus check out one of the “Hottest Magazine Launches of 2011″ with an online subscription at The Social Media Monthly magazine’s website.

What could you do with your sponsorship strategy?

Does our approach instigate any creative ideas for how you could develop more effective sponsorships? If not, give us a call. We can put our years of sponsorship strategy and implementation experience to work for you to realize your business objectives.  - Mike Brown

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.

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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Last week, we published a list of the top 17 Brainzooming posts from 2011 based on your readership and social sharing. Today’s list represents my personal standout posts from 2011. As usual, my list of favorite Brainzooming blog posts looks nothing like your list, although there are a few list posts even on here! My personal favorite Brainzooming blog posts most often make this list because of what went on behind the scenes. Some posts are included because they worked well; others did not turn out as I had expected, but still were an important part of the year’s content.

1. Who Are the Top 100 People Who Personally Define You? – August 1

For an idea that came from standing in line looking at the magazines at Walmart, this article instigated many reactions from readers. The exercise seems easy enough: list the 100 people who have most defined who you are today. Actually creating the list, however, is more challenging than you would think according to many people I heard from who read the post. I could do some refinement at the fringes of my list, but looking back, my top one hundred are holding up pretty well.

2. 6 Reasons a Brand Manager Wouldn’t Do the Ford “Focus Doug” Campaign – and Why They’d Be Mistaken – September 26

Brainzooming articles are written for many different reasons. This one was written for a client. We had pitched a similar strategic video approach to the client before the Ford Focus Doug campaign was introduced. We simply could not get the sale made, unfortunately, as to why it was the right strategic social networking approach based on the client’s brand objectives. We heard multiple reasons why the strategy didn’t make sense. The client’s six main objectives make up the post along with why each objection was wrong. Beyond seeing how the objections were refuted by Focus Doug, you can also see some really funny videos with an orange puppet. The videos (especially the last one with the boss) are what keep ME coming back to this post on a regular basis.

3. Building the Gigabit City – Brainstorming Google Fiber – November 10

One Gigabit City post had to make my personal top 10. Sponsoring and designing this large session about Google Fiber coming to Kansas City in conjunction with Social Media Club of Kansas City was a quick decision. It was a success, however, for both our organizations and for the Kansas City community by delivering a crowd sourced, open sourced vision for what Kansas City could become in the not too distant future. While the report is unlike anything we’ve prepared before in reflecting so many voices, it is a powerful blueprint for reflecting broad community input. If you haven’t downloaded the free report to take a look at it, I’d encourage you to do so today.

4. Steve Jobs and Anticipating Who Will Change the World – October 13

Nate Riggs has talked to me before about writing certain posts simply to cause a shit storm. That’s what this post was intended to do, but it failed miserably. Maybe I was too subtle. Maybe it should have been about a really charged topic such as Klout. Maybe I was the only person that found a fascinating connection to societal and political debates in the story of a once unwanted child who, given the chance to be born, changed the world.

5. Author John L. Allen, Jr. on Identifying Current Trends – April 29

I’ve known John Allen since high school, well before he became a reporter, author, and CNN analyst. I hadn’t seen him in the 10 years since he was dispatched to Rome with the direction to essentially wait it out until Pope John Paul II passed away. Getting the opportunity to see John speak at The University of Kansas after all those years was a great pleasure. It was equally great to get him on video sharing his lessons for how to crowd source and vet ideas for what trends will really shape the future of the Catholic Church since the lessons apply to any long-term forecasting challenge you may face.

6. 21 Things I Don’t Understand about Social Media – June 17

This article came to life over several years of forming a long list of social media-related frustrations. It was written during a five-hour delay at the San Diego airport while nursing the biggest glass of wine I’ve ever had seen. The need for the wine, I clearly understand. The social media stuff in the post? I still don’t understand most of that!

7. You Never Know Someone’s Private Hell Unless You’re Listening – July 19

When you see a tweet about a TED talk by someone who survived a suicide attempt, you don’t click the link expecting to see someone you know from high school. Yet there was something about the June tweet that told me I HAD to check out the video. Watch the video for yourself. It’s only 5 minutes, and it tells the whole story.

8. 7 Social Media Mistakes You Shouldn’t Be Making in Business-to-Business – June 6

This article represents a new way of extending a social media presentation to provide additional information and value to event attendees. For a B2B oriented social media strategy presentation at the Transportation Marketing and Sales Association conference, I included many examples of transportation and logistics companies doing great in social media. The bad examples? Rather than embarrassing anyone in the session, I removed the names to protect the guilty, wrote the post, and invited attendees to review the article and see if any of the bad examples sounded familiar!

9. Osama Bin Laden Death: Initial Social Media & Strategic Insights – May 1

Despite the serious nature of the subject matter, this post is a personal favorite because it was written unlike any posts I’d ever done for Brainzooming before. First, learning of the rumor of Bin Laden’s death on Twitter, it seemed the perfect opportunity to get an article out there early talking about the communication and social media lessons I the story. I think the first version published within 90 minutes of President Obama’s statement, with several updates later that evening and next morning. The Bin Laden post wasn’t a huge traffic magnet, but it did wind up getting a lot of attention for a Sunday night article on Brainzooming.

What Will 2012 Hold?

Thanks once again for your readership, and I can’t wait to see how our two lists – most viewed posts and my personal favorites – match up for 2012!  - Mike Brown

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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I briefly mentioned in yesterday’s post on launching a career today a recommendation about not being such a perfectionist if I were re-launching my business career.

From childhood, I remember being a perfectionist on things that mattered to me, particularly schooling. It was crazy trying to live up to my own crazy expectations to perform since they were clearly higher than anyone else’s for me. Only after the passage of much time would I consider myself a reformed perfectionist, trying to not expect everything to go just as I expect it.

Trust me though – trying to be a reformed perfectionist is an ongoing work in progress.

While learning to see the benefits in attempting uncertain efforts and the positive value of mistakes as learning opportunities, I have realized 6 coping mechanisms developed long ago to deal with being a perfectionist still come in handy when trying to perform like crazy without going crazy in the process:

1. Manage toward lower expectations.

Aim high for what you expect to deliver, but work to set others’ expectations for more reasonable performance that’s less than you know you can deliver. Create a visible objective closer to the rest of the pack even though you’ll still aim for a higher standard to guide your performance.

2. Know when and where you can play to win.

It can be okay not going for the most wins because it could put you in more losing situations. Maybe it’s easier to simply accept you’re going to “play” fewer times and will miss some opportunities you could pursue in the interest of attaining the highest winning percentage.

3. Spread your effort across multiple fronts.

Manage your overall abilities to work hard (pure mental and physical exertion and stamina), work smart (knowing the short cuts and work-arounds to be more productive), and work efficiently (eliminating the extra steps others have to complete). Even if you’re not perfect on all these fronts, balancing your effort across all of them leads to great performance.

4. Know all the potential shortcuts and keep creating new shortcuts all the time.

Constantly hone your craft. Be the best student of what you do and always know where you must go all out and where you can coast. Then even if you’re coasting, make it look like you’re going all out.

5. Surround yourself with experts.

Make sure you develop relationships with ringers, i.e. tested experts who, whether visible or not, will be at your back when you need them delivering exceptional performance. These relationships take time, so don’t leave working on them for when you absolutely need them right away.

6. Don’t talk about everything you do.

Don’t over-share where you’ve figured out easier ways to perform better. There was an advertising slogan once that said, “Never let them see you sweat.” That may work for deodorant, but appearing to show a little sweat (even if you really aren’t sweating) is just another way of managing lower expectations.

What do you think?

Are you a perfectionist – reformed or not? Do you live or work with one? Do you see any performance-enhancing lessons to be pulled from the perfectionist’s world that you can put to good use? - Mike Brown

 

Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic creative ideas! For an organizational innovation 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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HappyNewYearI have never been big on New Year’s resolutions. Seeing articles over the weekend about New Year’s resolutions people are making, however, prompted going back to see what Brainzooming blog articles could help with some of the more common types of New Year’s resolutions. If you are resolving to improve your productivity (especially with social media), career, and stress levels in the new year, here are seven articles to help you get started with your New Year’s resolutions:

Get Organized and Improve Your Productivity

Social Media Productivity

To get the most from your social media time investment, try balancing your efforts between listening, participating in others’ social media outlets, and creating content in your own social media hangouts. Whenever you create content, make sure to use it in as many places as possible. Check out these 13 ideas for improving your social media productivity.

Weaning Yourself from Too Much Time on Social Media

Backing away from social media involves coming to grips with not trying to see, read, review, and reply to everything zinging around within your virtual social network. These nine tips point to the importance of using your social network to cover your gaps and let you off the hook on knowing everything going on as it happens.

Improve Your Career

Taking Care of Your Own Professional Learning at Very Low Cost

There is no excuse for not seeking out professional development, even if there are not many dollars available for it in your company’s budget. These 10 ideas are relatively low cost and you can implement them throughout 2012 to keep you sharp professionally at a very reasonable investment.

Be a Better Business Networker

I will readily admit that being a better business networker is not one of my strengths. Networking situations are a challenge for me, so these five tips are as much about making it easier for the other person to be a better business networker as they are about making you more effective. What is nice is everyone benefits from applying them in real life networking situations!

Creating a Personal Social Media Presence to Catch up with Everyone Else

Yes, there are people who have not fully exploited social networks to display their talents and help them in their careers. This video overview highlights 11 steps to jump-start your social networking presence with an eye toward highlighting your career experience. The one addition I would make to the video is building in a step for a concentrated Facebook effort as another way to tap your personal network in your career pursuits.

Improving Your Leadership Skills

No big surprises here, but it is still a tough list of ideas to carry out: it is all about honesty, integrity, focusing on helping others, being distinctive. If you really display all these, however, you will definitely stand out in today’s workplace.

Managing Your Stress Levels

Staying Out of Negative Situations

This list started life as a post for a friend who needed to check out and get out of a variety of not only non-productive, but also emotionally taxing situations. It was either get out of them or start losing a sense of his identity. Those types of situations are bad, yet we all face them.  - Mike Brown

 

Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic creative 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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My office is filled with blogging notebooks full of potential ideas for future blog posts. On our Christmas trip to Western Kansas, I must have taken 5 or 6 notebooks, plus Word documents full of additional blog idea starters in the hopes of building a cushion of completed blog posts again. While a cache of blog topic ideas typically yields time efficiency benefits, having blog topics laying around can also be a creative drag at times.

Blogging Topic Ideas that Aren’t Going Anywhere in 2012

Since the New Year is a typical time to clean out old junk at our house, it seemed like the right time to clean my blogging idea house, sharing snippets that clearly don’t seem headed for full blog posts any time soon.

  • A client’s product is always the star, even when it isn’t.
  • When you’re in the middle of a conference call, pause to ask for reactions, even if you don’t really want them. If you’re going to hear a bad message, better to learn it sooner than later and be able to address it.
  • Always have a pre-meeting before the real meeting. It’s a great way to get a preview of what MIGHT happen at the real meeting.
  • You meet fewer people at a conference when you’re typing your notes instead of live tweeting them. That’s all the more reason to live tweet.
  • Some people have a knack for creating legends from their own lives. I’m completely opposite of those people.
  • Don’t spend so much time and effort trying to go home again. You left for a reason. Look forward.
  • What sound do your pet peeves make? I think mine mainly growl.
  • I heard someone say Albert Einstein didn’t know his own phone number. Supposedly Albert Einstein didn’t want to waste his brain on insignificant things. That’s one of those things that is nearly impossible to verify, but you so hope is true.
  • Need a writing creativity boost? Change keyboards. Also try changing your writing software.
  • If you really like using PowerPoint to present, put yourself into a situation where you CAN’T use it. It calls on different presenting “muscles” you really need to develop.
  • It’s so much less complicated to think about someone else’s business than your own. (That’s one reason you need to think about hiring us to help you think about and take action on your business.)
  • Pick one big numerical goal at the start of the year and stick with it. A friend had 170 networking meetings in 2010, and it paved the way for a very successful business year in 2011.
  • The best quote of my high school reunion came from a classmate who said, “Never argue with an idiot. If you lower yourself to their level to argue, they’ll just beat you with their superior experience.”
  • The most infuriating thing on Twitter? Someone who sends you a Twitter direct message question and you can’t respond via direct message because they don’t follow you.
  • It’s worth the time to figure out which of your strengths is also, on the surface, a weakness.
  • Don’t let your collateral (or your website) become the old furniture you don’t notice anymore even though everyone else who see notices it is completely outdated.
  • With the intersection of multiple generations in the workplace today, you’re completely wrong-headed if you’re not spending time with people who are markedly younger and older than you.
  • There are a variety of career strategies that won’t work well for you in the long-term. Getting the attention of your boss by trapping them in mistakes has to be near the top of the list.
  • The charts on Klout are complete crap. Seriously. There, I said it.
  • Experiment in every low risk situation you find or that finds you.
  • Just because you haven’t used something doesn’t mean it’s in “like new” condition. Unused resources (and talents) atrophy. Develop and use them while you can.
  • Why is it that “comedian’s comedians” are hardly ever popular successes?  - Mike Brown

Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic creative 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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Last Christmas, I did a spur of the moment post about Christmas gifts blog readers could give their favorite bloggers. This holiday, I thought I’d turn the tables and share a list of Christmas gifts bloggers can give blog readers. Stay tuned at the end though, for a special request you can help me with this holiday season!

8 Christmas Gifts for Blog Readers

1. Keep your posts tightly edited and brief – unless there are really compelling reasons for a longer blog post.

Everybody’s “crazy busy,” massive amounts of information are inundating us, and blog readers have to prioritize where they’re investing time and reading content. Give them a break and keep your content short: a few hundred words and less than 90 seconds in reading time.

2. Add variety to your blog posts.

How much do you enjoy reading the same thing over and over? Not so much? Neither do your readers. You want predictability in the types of blog posts you write, but if you’re writing identically structured posts daily, make adding variety to your blogging a priority in the coming year.

3. Write about your readers and let them know.

One way to strengthen your social media connections is writing about readers (and potential readers) to share what they’re doing. When you do it though, make sure you include links to the person’s social media presence and give them a heads up you’re featuring them in your blog post.

4. Share blog posts multiple times on multiple social media channels.

Many readers likely use Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks as substitutes for RSS feeds. If your new blog post doesn’t show up on social media channels, how will these readers know you’ve published fresh content? As interested blog readers, we want to make sure we’re updated when you have created new content.

5. Publish regularly and consistently.

Don’t make your blog readers guess when you’ll have something new to say. Make it clear what your publishing schedule is and stick to it. Consistent publishing creates consistent fans.

6. Don’t make someone do a rewrite when they share your social media content.

Use social media sharing plugins that allow you to customize and create a productive tweet or status update for blog readers. It’s a pain when the pre-populated tweet doesn’t include your Twitter name or a shortened-link to make it convenient to add hashtags, a comment, and share your social media content with others.

7. Make it easy to leave blog comments.

I hate when it takes longer to supply information to get a blog comment accepted than it does to write the original comment. And if the comment disappears because it can’t get authenticated . . . watch out! Install a reader-friendly commenting system and make life easier for everyone.

8. Approve comments quickly and carry on the conversation.

Nothing is more frustrating than leaving a blog comment then waiting DAYS before it is approved and appears on the website. One reason why that should also be frustrating for bloggers? Once my comment is published, I’ll share the whole post on Twitter. The longer you delay, the more likely you’ll miss out on potential new fans checking out your social media content.

Have a great holiday! - Mike Brown

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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photo by: vandalay | source: photocase.com

I say every year about this time that this is the last post for the year, but invariably something strikes me over the holidays and another blog post appears. But in keeping with tradition, I’ll say it again: This is the last blog post for the year!

As with so much of like right now, 2011 seems on one hand as if it were about 4 weeks long, yet on the other hand, last December seems like 10 years ago.

I don’t know that I’ve seen a scientific explanation for why that’s the case. I suspect it’s because of the increase in the speed and number of inputs that fly at us all the time. The speed of it all makes time seem to fly by while we still process the 10 years worth of stuff now going past us in a single year as feeling as if it were 10 years. That’s my unscientific theory, at least.

2011?

The first half of 2011 was defined by a large social media strategy project for a client that seemed to be in a routine state of flux regarding what we needed to deliver. The second part of the year was consumed with the Google Fiber / Gigabit City project. And the last month has been a time where I’ve been saying to myself, “What just happened here with 2011?”

Amid that disorienting period of reflection, here’s my quick review of 20 business and personal lessons from 2011, along with 12 goals for the new year of 2012. It’s all subject to change, but it’s a starting point for a year that is tough for me to describe or pin down with one defining statement.

20 Lessons from This Year

1. When you get what you want, it may not look or feel like anything you expected. If things don’t feel right, first make sure it’s not simply the unexpected parts of what you wanted before you try to fix it.

2. On the other hand, quit putting off fixing what clearly is leading you off the path you need to be on with your life and career.

3. There are people who either can’t or don’t want to be helped. It’s okay to quit wasting time for both of you in trying to help these people.

4. If you can imagine what you have before it’s gone, it will change what you think is important right now, even if its importance isn’t matched by present day fulfillment.

5. More risk. More smart risks. More smart, high potential risks. More smart, high potential, challenging risks. Start a risk list – risks you need to take and the proof points the risks you took paid off, even if they didn’t seem to at the time.

6. Just showing up somewhere often isn’t going to get results. How much you’re willing to put yourself through productive pain and what you’re doing when you’re not physically there are huge factors in your success.

7. We can love distractions too much. That’s why it’s so hard to eliminate them.

8. My dad stopped working in my grandfather’s barbershop pretty early in life because he realized he was only making money when he was showing up and cutting hair. The downsides to the barbershop model extend to other businesses that may seem attractive, but are just as limiting.

9. If you don’t watch out, the craziest person in a team or organization will control the agenda.

10. There are a whole slew of things where other people are better than you in very profound ways. That doesn’t make it wrong to admit that in a few situations the tables are turned, and you should act accordingly.

11. A long time ago, I wrote a song with the line, “What have I done to ease the suffering of the stranger who you will later meet?” Of anything I’ve ever written, that line sticks with me. I don’t have a good answer to the question.

12. In time-based sports, great teams use time outs wisely. There’s no shame in calling a time-out.

13. There’s creative value in being good at selectively turning off your knowledge of what works and what doesn’t. There’s also value in being good at selectively turning on the WTF switch in your brain.

14. Some life and career seeds take a LONG time to sprout. Plant a lot of seeds, but not more than you can pay attention to and cultivate.

15. When you re-consider possibilities you didn’t pursue and still believe you’re in the right place even with the challenges you do have, it’s reassuring.

16. It’s incredibly rewarding to see your former “business kids” move to really imaginative places in their careers, even if you do miss them a lot.

17. It’s challenging, but in the game of life, you may have to dramatically change the type of player you are well into the game. You have to surround yourself with the right influences in your life to force the necessary changes to happen.

18. There are some incredible people in my past. For as much as I tried to resist spending personal time on Facebook, it’s put several of these incredible people back into my life to teach me important lessons.

19. Once you go all in, not many people are willing to follow. It can be worth doing it, however, to simply see which hangers on will drop out of the game.

20. Sometimes you just need to accept the ebbs of life because they’re there for a reason, even if you don’t appreciate the reason.

12 Goals for the New Year – 2012

1. Say “no” to more things, but not the same ones I’d have typically said “no” to in the past.

2. Ask for something fair in return.

3. Be more deliberate about periods of divergent and convergent thinking.

4. Do for ourselves what we suggest others do for themselves.

5. Learn from and hold myself to really changing based on last year’s lessons.

6. Provide you more value here, but also be more specific and determined in asking for value in return.

7. Don’t just wander into the next stage of life.

8. Care less about things that aren’t contributing to moving forward.

9. Don’t hang on so tightly.

10. Get better at having short versions of tough conversations.

11. Being deliberate about where “Mike” and “Brainzooming” begin, end, and overlap in the most beneficial ways.

12. Have more fun, do more cool stuff, worry less.

So what was 2011 about for you? I’d love to hear what you’re taking away from the past 12 months! Have a great holiday season, and I look forward to meeting back up here with you in a few weeks! Be safe! - Mike Brown

 

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