Implementation | The Brainzooming Group - Part 118 – page 118
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It is great to use new, unique, or amazingly infrequent experiences for creative inspiration. It’s loads of fun to be able to justify doing something out of the ordinary in the spirit of enhancing your creative ideas.

That is why riding roller coasters used to be at the top of my list of ways to clear my mind and trigger new creative ideas.

But guess what? I have not had an opportunity to ride roller coasters since trips to Las Vegas and Denver in 2008.

And that is the problem about building your creative inspiration around new, unique, and infrequent experiences: by definition, these experiences happen only once, at worst, or with long gaps of time in between, at best.

Who can afford to have had your last creative ideas in 2008?

Answer: Nobody.

Finding Creative Ideas from Daily Life

So beyond high intensity creative inspiration experience that come along (or we engineer), it’s vital to develop your ability to be find creative ideas from the environments, people, and things in your daily life.

That means working to discover creative inspiration each day from your:

Cultivating a Steady Stream of Creative Ideas

When you are able to mine the creative inspiration from your daily life, you’ll have a steady stream of creative ideas. Plus, you will be even that much more ready for the creatively incredible experience that comes along every few months or years! – Mike Brown

 

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Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic ideas! For an organizational creativity boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

 

Mike Brown

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

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3

Around this same time the past two years, I’ve published a list of twenty-five lessons learned or reconfirmed during the previous year since leaving corporate life. Here’s another list reflecting on the past year as The Brainzooming Group marks three years as a full-time venture.

Here’s Year Three in Review

How about Joining Us as for Year Four for The Brainzooming Group?

Thanks for reading the Brainzooming blog the last year. And if you’re getting ready for 2013 and need a fresh, innovative perspective for how you’ll continue (or re-start) your success, email me or give me a call. We’d love to help you find new pockets of success you might never have imagined previously!

As one last note, today marks fifteen years since the first day I put on a pair of orange socks. For those who don’t know the orange sock story, here it is! – Mike Brown

 

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

If you’re struggling to generate and implement new ideas, The Brainzooming Group can be the strategic catalyst you need. We will apply our strategic thinking, innovation, and implementation tools on to help you create greater organizational success. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you figure out how to work around your innovation challenges.


 

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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A social media guru was on Twitter bemoaning the content strategy where people auto tweet links to already published blog posts on social networking sites. He was wondering aloud (as much as one can wonder “aloud” on Twitter) if these people did not have any new ideas to share.

Since I share non-auto tweeted “From the Archives” Brainzooming blog links as part of our social media content strategy, I was intrigued to see how others reacted. For the most part, people challenged the social media guru, saying already-published blog posts can still be quite relevant. They enjoyed both seeing reminders to valuable information they had missed and readership from people checking out their own older blog posts.

To me, this was just another example of a social media guru calling out something he does not do as “wrong” because he “allegedly” does not do it.

A Different Point of View about Your Content Strategy on Social Networking Sites

My philosophy on sharing already published blog posts was shaped by a long ago NBC slogan for its summer reruns: “If you haven’t seen it, it’s new to you.” Sharing previously published social media content seemed a natural since:

  • There are well over thirteen hundred historical, not particularly time-sensitive, blog posts on Brainzooming
  • An incredible number of people globally have Internet
  • There’s a slightly smaller, but still incredible, number of people who have never been to the Brainzooming blog

Maybe it is also because my dad managed a television station, but beyond the NBC slogan, I have clearly gravitated toward a TV or cable network model for shaping our social media content strategy.

For all the discussion you hear about old models not working in this completely new era of social networking sites, TV networks have been experts in attracting eyeballs through providing compelling content for decades. To a great extent, the content marketing model simply extends a TV network model to other organizations as they become content creators, aggregators, and sharers to build their own audiences.

A TV Network Model for a Social Media Content Strategy

In light of this connection between content marketing and TV network models, think about how each of these TV network programming strategies could shape your organization’s content marketing strategy across social networking sites. To make the connections more apparent, “programs” has been replaced by “content” in the list below. Remember that as you consider how TV networks:

  • Offer content 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Feature both their own content and content developed by others
  • Run content of varying lengths
  • Provide a mix of both current and timeless content
  • Program content that interests people
  • Stop running content audiences are ignoring
  • Do a lot of storytelling
  • Offer a mix of new content and popular older content
  • Offer exclusive live, as-it-happens content to attract larger audiences
  • Have multiple complementary channels offering both some of the same yet also different, more focused and concentrated content
  • Syndicate their own content to appear on other channels they don’t own
  • Run advertisements for others, themselves, and for public issues (public service announcements)
  • Create multiple celebrities / personalities to help attract an audience
  • Mix both serious and silly content
  • Sometimes counter program directly (i.e. an evening newscast at the same time as other networks) and sometimes completely differently
  • Have series you can see once and completely understand
  • Have series with running storylines where you have to see what’s before and after to completely understand
  • Feature competitions – sports, game shows, reality shows, etc.
  • Appeal to both the lowest common denominator and audiences with more sophisticated tastes

How Many of These Are You Applying in Your Social Media Content Strategy?

By my count, The Brainzooming Group is using eleven of these social media content strategy ideas regularly across the Brainzooming blog, Twitter, and Facebook. How many of these nineteen ideas are you incorporating into your social media content strategy? Are there other things you see TV networks do that have a place within your social media efforts? – Mike Brown

 

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If you’re struggling with determining ROI and evaluating its impacts, download “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track” today!  This article provides a concise, strategic view of the numbers and stories that matter in shaping, implementing, and evaluating your strategy. You’ll learn lessons about when to address measurement strategy, identifying overlooked ROI opportunities, and creating a 6-metric dashboard. Download Your Free Copy of “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track!”

Mike Brown

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

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When I ran into mutliple-time Brainzooming guest blogger Alyssa Murfey at TEDxKC, she mentioned her recent passion project. Her excitement as she described it was infectious. As a result, I asked her to share why it’s important to have a passion project with Brainzooming readers, as she’s done today. When not working on her passion project, Alyssa is a social media analyst and email marketing manager for emfluence, a Digital Marketing Agency. A native Kansas Citian, Alyssa is a regular on the local food, event, and, and music scene. Here’s Alyssa!

The Importance of a Passion Project

Just as the transition from college to the real world teaches you, applying the skills I learn from my job to creating a passion project on my own continues to be an eye-opening learning experience. My passion project, a blog called House of Femme, is a work in progress. A co-worker/friend and I developed the blog together and pushed it live about six months ago. We aim for House of Femme to be a healthy living online magazine about being a modern gal that works and plays hard. It’s our way of sharing and exchanging knowledge.

In some ways our “house’ is like a fixer-upper: we’re constantly turning a corner to find something else that we want to improve. There are ups and downs, but my pride in sharing ownership in the project never changes. The lessons I continue to learn from this experience make me want to shout from the rooftops:  if you have a passion project opportunity, pursue it!

And if I were to shout from the rooftops about how you would benefit from tackling your passion project, it would sound a little like this…

Learn the Potential of Your Strengths

In my job, I may wear a hat or two as I work on various marketing campaigns, but never do I touch all aspects of the horse and carriage involved. When you (and a partner, if you’re lucky like me) have to manage everything, you can get lost in the abundance of the details. There are so many tiny pieces that play into making the puzzle whole. I have to take on many roles to make sure things are a success: photographer, copywriter, event planner, etc. As a result, I have to extend beyond my usual comfort level and knowing my strengths and discover what my strengths could be.

Find Your Own Resources

When working for a company, one is often blessed with an abundant supply of resources. Sometimes, as in my case, you don’t realize how many resources you have until you are forced to find the connections and talent on your own. There’s no, “Well, the blah blah blah department handles that.” You handle it!

Recognize The Skills of Others

When forced to find your own resources, you begin to tap into what’s available around you. Doing so, you start to realize the strengths of your friends, your colleagues, and your family. I’m constantly amazed by the people around me. Some of these people I see every day and yet, had no idea what talents they possessed. For instance, when we discussed during a blog meeting we were lacking hair and beauty posts, my little sister’s perfectly coifed fishtail popped into my mind. She styled her hair for a couple posts, and now she’s our youngest “House Guest Contributor”! I was honored to showcase her talents on the blog and as a middle schooler, apparently, it’s pretty cool to be featured on a blog. Win-win.

Have Passion

“If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.” – Benjamin Franklin

Passion makes the world go around, and if you love what you’re doing, the hours just fly by . . . happily. This final reason doesn’t require much explanation. A life full of passion is gold. So, pursue your passion project, stretch your boundaries, and find out why it’s worth it. – Alyssa Murfey

 

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

Taking the No Out of Innovation eBook

Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic ideas! For an organizational creative 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.

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I saw a headline on Twitter for an article on when a brainstorming session is done. Of course, I clicked on the Twitter link expecting an easy-to-scan list post. And of course, when the article wasn’t (it was a discussion about convergent thinking with no list anywhere to be seen), I lost interest as quickly as it took to click on the link. Before leaving the post, however, I noted a list post on signs a brainstorming session is done would be a great brainstorming blog post.

So . . .

10 Signs You’re Done Brainstorming Ideas

Here are 10 signs I look for when facilitating a brainstorming session to know if it is done. You can tell you’re done with a brainstorming session when:

1. You’ve reached your time limit

Every time The Brainzooming Group facilitates a brainstorming session, we set an expected time limit to make sure there’s intensity to the creative thinking throughout the brainstorming. When we reach the time limit, it may be well time to stop brainstorming. Often though, we add more time to the clock if the group is still doing productive creative thinking.

2. You only have one or two people participating

A rich brainstorming session demands active participation from a diverse group. If most of the group has stopped actively contributing ideas for others to consider, it’s time to take a break and regroup.

3. The pace of new ideas is slowing

In the The Brainzooming Group view, brainstorming is all about getting a large volume of ideas generated in a shorter amount of time than a person would take to do the creative thinking by him or herself. When a brainstorming session slows to a new idea rate that feels like a single person coming up with ideas, you’re done.

4. The group has reached “enough” possible ideas

As with setting a time limit, we’ll usually set an aggressive expectation for how many ideas the group should generate. While we rarely count the exact number of ideas generated, when it seems like they’ve met the number target, it could be time to finish.

5. The “right” answer has appeared

We always apply our own creative thinking before a brainstorming session to anticipate what intriguing ideas might emerge from the group. When the brainstorming group has more than delivered on the expectations, they get to stop.

6. New angles and perspectives aren’t productive

If a particular creative thinking exercise is proving to be its own roadblock to generating new ideas – and trying other creative thinking exercises doesn’t help – it may be best to wait for another day and another group for brainstorming.

7. People get that “look” in their eyes

That “look” can vary – blank stares, glazed over, no eye contact – to name a few. When you start seeing these, it’s clearly time to move on from the brainstorming you’re doing.

8. The brainstorming facilitator gets bored

Yes, facilitators can get bored with brainstorming exercises. If you find your interest wavering, you need to do something different. It may not be quitting, but it may mean taking a break to refresh, regroup, and get ready to try another brainstorming exercise.

9. There’s too much repetition in the ideas

No idea is a bad idea in brainstorming, which means it’s okay if somebody repeats an idea that’s close or exactly the same as an idea someone just said. When this starts happening too often though, it’s a sign your brainstorming exercise is losing its efficiency and effectiveness.

10. Too many ideas are getting too far off target

Again, you’ll hear ideas that are pretty far removed from the brainstorming topic at hand. Sometimes that leads to new and even more fertile paths. If it starts happening too much and the wacky ideas aren’t leading to greater productivity, call it a wrap. – Mike Brown

 

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

If you’re struggling to generate and implement new ideas, The Brainzooming Group can be the strategic catalyst you need. We will apply our strategic thinking, innovation, and implementation tools on to help you create greater organizational success. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you figure out how to work around your innovation challenges.


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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Dear Opening Keynote Presenter,

Hi, it’s me, sitting in the darkened back row for your opening keynote presentation.

I’m sure the conference organizers picked you because of your impressive background and career history, so me sitting in the back is no reflection on you. If I’d realized all the awards you’ve won – the awards that took up way too many slides near the start of your presentation – I’d probably be right up front to take down every word. Because with that resume and such an incredible presentation title, it is obviously going to be downhill the rest of the day after you’ve left the stage.

We’ve Been Left Out

The only problem is your incredibly-titled opening presentation is so focused on YOU, it has absolutely zero to do with any of us sitting out here in the crowd. I’m sure the content must be really important to you, but frankly, there’s none of us, our challenges, our expectations, or unfortunately, our interests incorporated in what you chose to address today. Talk about making it hard to get some notes written (or live tweeted) that will be helpful later.

So since you’re apparently in your own little world today reveling in your voluminous accomplishments (and mistakenly thinking we’ll revel in them too), the least I can do to try to be a contributing part of the one hour of our lives you occupied is to share with you the notes I WAS able to write. And to no one’s surprise (and your incredible delight, no doubt) all the notes are about YOU! Yes, YOU . . . the keynote presenter! All my notes just happen to be on YOUR favorite topic!

So here’s what I learned during the past sixty minutes regarding how not to be an opening keynote presenter.

Don’t Do These Things

  • Never turn all the lights off to do your presentation in the dark. Darkness may make your videos pop, but you’ve made yourself invisible to the audience.
  • Use the microphone. You may think you have a booming voice, but don’t use all of your boominess only to not be heard in the back half of the room.
  • Let us know what in the world you’re planning to talk about, even if it only means something to you. At least with some advance notice on what you’re covering, we may be able to think ahead and create some personal connection to your material.
  • Spend less time on your credentials. You’re a keynote speaker. I’m confident the conference organizers picked someone qualified. The longer you take to justify your importance, the less I believe it, but hey, that may just be me.
  • Even if you did just type your presentation this morning, don’t call further attention to your indifference regarding ensuring we have a valuable learning experience.
  • We’re not talking while your video plays; you shouldn’t be talking either. When you insist on talking, there are two things going on that make no sense. One at a time is more than enough, thank you.
  • Put your important point at the top of the slide, not in small type at the slide’s bottom. With this room’s low ceiling, none of us in the back are seeing any of your “important” points.
  • We’re not interested in information so specialized that none of us will ever be able to do, imagine doing, or even learn something from hearing you talk about doing this work.
  • Do us all a favor and get us involved in your keynote presentation – even a little bit. Maybe ask for questions. Maybe ask a question. At this point, people are already writing very vicious things on the evaluations. Making them raise their hands to answer a question could slow down their ability to write bad reviews about you.
  • If you’re going to emphasize to us how important emotion is, you should actually show some emotion in your presentation. Funny might be a good emotion to introduce first. While you’re at it, maybe you could be a little humble and show some humanity. All three of those would be much appreciated.
  • Before you get done with your keynote presentation, give us at least one thing we can take away and use from your session.

I’ll admit the last comment was a cheap shot since as I look back, I did take away this list post of things to never do as a presenter. I’m confident, though, you would NEVER suspect yourself of being guilty of ANY of these.

But while you’re not the first person to do these things, you ARE the first person I’ve ever seen who did them all in a single presentation.

And that’s an accomplishment to add to your cavalcade of resume slides.

All the best from the dark seats in the last row,

Mike

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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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Since early 2012, I have been writing a weekly feature on executive business and professional development topics for an executive briefing publisher. Within a daily executive intelligence briefing format focused on global events, the piece I write provides tips and suggestions for more effective strategic leadership.

One benefit of being on the hook to create a weekly, thousand-word article on topics I write and present about all the time is it’s sharpened my skills as I repurpose social media content. There are many reasons to not simply take what I’ve previously written and submit it as an article for the executive intelligence brief. The alternative is to find productive and effective ways to repurpose content that is already written.

If you are producing any amount of content across multiple channels (whether within one company or for multiple organizations), being very effective and efficient at being able to repurpose content is a valuable skill to develop.

7 Ways to Repurpose Your Social Media Content

Consider these seven techniques to repurpose your social media content for sharing within new channels, with different audiences, or at alternative times.

1. Consolidate a list post

We have all written list posts with more items than were required. After further reflection on these long list posts, you will like find ways to consolidate a few (maybe many) of the items on the list. So, consolidate away and write about new and fewer combined items on your revised list.

2. Ungroup and expand a topic

Pick one topic inside a multi-topic blog post. Pull the topic out from the remainder of the social media content and start writing in greater depth about it. Unshackled from having to account for the broader number and variety of topics in the original post, you can focus your exploration to create dramatically different content.

3. Reorder or regroup content

Take social media content you have already written and re-arrange its current flow into something new. This could include a different order for content to incorporate into the new piece or you can take specific sections in the original piece and integrate them as new topic sections.

4. Use headings from the original content to launch your rewrite

If your pre-existing social media content includes specific section headers, use the section headers from the earlier piece and begin writing from scratch about topics related to the previously used sections.

5. Integrate current news with the content

Look for a current news story or up-to-date issues you can integrate into pre-existing social media content to freshen it up dramatically. This type of repurpose technique provides a new introduction for your older social media content or can suggest new points of emphasis given the current environment.

6. Write two versions from different angles

When you write an article there are often multiple angles you could pursue. Start writing from a similar set-up but write in two different directions. Writing  two different pieces on the same topic but covering different aspects with different levels of depth is an ideal way to generate multiple pieces of new content at the same time.

7. Mix and match to create new content

If you already have considerable amounts of social media content on one or more topics, it is possible to create new content through pulling ideas from multiple older blog posts. You can put the extracted content together in new ways to make different points or uncover new ideas.

How are you trying to repurpose social media content?

What ways are you finding to repurpose social media content and generate additional content in an extremely time-efficient manner? – 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.

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