Communication | The Brainzooming Group - Part 90 – page 90
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We can all recall great school teachers who made otherwise boring subjects come alive and taught lessons that shape us still.

We’re all teachers in our own ways. There are people that we work and interact with daily who look to us for both technical learning and life lessons. Let’s explore great teachers’ approaches and see what they can teach us about our teaching roles. Great teachers:

  • Present challenging concepts
  • Are passionate about their subject(s)
  • Use vivid stories to illustrate lessons
  • Ask you about the subject area even outside the class room
  • Are true to the principles they teach
  • Teach heuristics to master & use the content
  • Make complex topics understandable
  • Are interactive
  • Make learning fun and rewarding
  • Don’t simply give answers away for the asking
  • Are still actively learning themselves
  • Have a love for the material / topic
  • Adapt to students’ various learning styles

Identify three new ideas for each of the approaches above that you can adapt to become a better teacher to those around you.

This post is dedicated to Dave Wessling, for so many reasons. May he rest in peace.

Check out a compilation of “Change Your Character” creative thinking exercises and information on its use.  – Mike Brown

 

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The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can 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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I’m okay with having started projects that will never be completed. While I don’t have a problem finishing things, sometimes the overwhelming amount of learning and growth a project will yield comes well before its completion. Or perhaps the effort to finish it far outweighs the benefit it will provide. In either case, if there’s no overriding reason to finish such a project (i.e. a commitment has been made to someone else), it’s likely it will be abandoned.

Usually, though that means keeping the remnants around in case there’s more value to be squeezed from them later. Whether you’ll really get more value at some point in the future often depends on modifying the original idea. Based on the potential issue that’s halted progress, here are questions to ask for modifying an idea that’s:

  • Not good or relevant – Is there an element that has value and can be moved to something else?
  • Not fully formed – Can it be combined with something else?
  • Being used too ambitiously – Can you break it apart and only keep some of it?
  • Inconsistent with your brand – Could it fit with another brand that’s available?
  • A true non-starter – If you walk away and come back later, might it make more sense?

This is relevant because I have a number of partially-written blog fragments started weeks or months ago that haven’t yet made it into the blog. Before completely trashing them, I applied these questions to try and resuscitate four ideas into posts for the rest of the week. Check back in, and see which of the possibilities above worked to rescue these ideas.

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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Seven months into daily posts on the blog, it’s time to directly request comments from those of you who are reading it.

One objective in starting the blog was to force myself to commit new ideas to writing. Rather than just creating Powerpoint slides for presentations, I wanted to express concepts in new ways and to avoid forgetting them because they had never been captured. From that standpoint, the blog has been very successful. As I’ve done many strategic thinking “how to” sessions this year, there’s been plentiful new content to freshen the basic presentation.

Other clear positives have included:

What hasn’t worked, from my perspective at least, is creating a strong dialogue with you. Amid sporadic comments (which I appreciate more than you’ll ever know), most posts don’t trigger much response, although at times I get email comments that aren’t left on the site. Interestingly, the dearth of comments or questions happens often in live presentations. I’m not sure if it’s the content, the quantity of material, or my delivery style, but obviously something isn’t triggering you to share your perspectives as frequently as I might have anticipated.

An interesting for me is that this blog has helped trigger the introduction (or re-introduction) of several other blogs – some among all of you and several that I’ve started in related, but narrower categories tied to my personal and professional work. Additionally, I’m beginning this Thursday as a weekly marketing blogger on Schmoozii, a new business-oriented social networking website. It’s an exciting opportunity resulting from writing this blog.

With this new effort, my weekly “blog output” quota will reach 12 posts (plus graphics and trying to respond to comments that are offered). For me at least, as a part-time blogger, that’s a lot to produce. Which led me to a personal recommendation: ask you for your perspectives to help shape the content and frequency of my efforts. And being a fan of the Plus – Minus – Interesting – Recommendation format, I’d sincerely appreciate your thoughts on the following:

  1. Plus – What works for you about this blog (content, frequency, certain types of posts, etc.)? Where does it provide value to you professionally or personally?
  2. Minus – What is lacking in the blog from your perspective? Are there things that are less valuable or could be re-tooled to be more helpful for you?
  3. Interesting – What are things you’ve found interesting, intriguing, or surprising as a result of the blog?
  4. Recommendation – What recommendations do you have relative to changes or enhancements?

Please leave a comment with your PMIR thoughts (or send me an email at mike@mikebrownspeaks.com if you’d prefer) and help me shape the blog in the months ahead. Thanks for you help!

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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“Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art.” – Frederic Chopin

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – Albert Einstein

“What’s really important is to simplify. The work of most photographers would be improved immensely if they could do one thing: get rid of the extraneous.” – William Albert Allard

“I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

“I apologize for the length of this letter, but I didn’t have time to make it shorter.” – Mark Twain

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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In a Kansas City Star film contest, one entry was “The Bible…In 29 Seconds.” Pick a project and see what a 90+% reduction in one resource means. How pinpoint could your storytelling get?

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 would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

This week’s posts are on simplicity, something which doesn’t come easily to me, unfortunately. It’s a challenge to readily bridge the gap between thinking with complexity and expressing ideas simply. While doing that is easy for some, I’ve personally met very few individuals where that’s the case. So like many, I work very hard to make things simple and have adopted some approaches to help, including:

These are a start, and the remaining posts this week explore other aspects of simplicity: the result of all but eliminating a key resource, checking your strategy for clarity, and delegating your complex issues to get help from the most famous simple man of our generation. The week finishes with a few more quotes on the topic. And by Friday, ideally, we’ll all be able to meet on the other side of complexity, with a greater command of simplicity.

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 prompted Jan Harness to write about a lesson she solidified for me – the rule of three. As expected, it resulted in two additional posts (“original” + “ignore original” + “apologize for original” = 3). In her third one, she expressed frustration with the first post because the rule of threes is such a part of how she approaches communication that it’s difficult to step away enough to explain it. Jan’s not giving herself enough credit, but in any event, since I’m not as close to it, here are my thoughts on the rule of three.

As Jan notes, the rule of threes works in many situations. Interesting applications among what I do are in both innovation and humor. For instance, many innovation exercises involve:

1. Introducing a current situation

2. Twisting or changing the view of the current situation by altering your perspective

3. Capturing new ideas through having looked at things from this new perspective

The formula in humor looks similar with a slight shift:

1. Introduce a familiar situation

2. Reinforce the situation to create a pattern

3. Change, twist, or break the pattern in an unexpected way to trigger laughter

A more general approach in applying the rule of three to list making, story telling, or information sharing could work like this:

1. State something evident or common

2. Follow item #1 with a related, but slightly modified second item. The modification could be that #2 is more powerful, stronger, or unusual but is still consistent with #1.

3. Follow item #2 with a third item that uses the modifier for #2 in an even more exaggerated fashion – even more powerful, strong, or unusual.

Need more? Click on these three links to see an overview, examples, and how you can better use the rule of three in your communication.

Get it? Got it? Good!

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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