Performance | The Brainzooming Group - Part 149 – page 149
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In a Cosby Show episode, one of Bill’s daughters brought her new fiancé home; the fact they were engaged (and had been for months) was a complete surprise. Bill compared it to serving an expensive piece of steak on a trashcan lid, i.e. taking something wonderful and desirable and completely ruining it through how it was presented.

The same thing happens to great ideas all the time.

We’ve become so dependent on email as a means of communication that no one thinks anything of taking a new idea, burying it in an email with a non-descript subject line (or worse, an unrelated forwarded subject line), and sending it off to rest among potentially scores of unread emails in someone’s inbox.

Even if the recipient does eventually read the email, an accurate understanding, interpretation, and any excitement about the idea depends solely on the recipient, not on your presentation of the idea.

Instead of taking this easy (and typically fruitless) way out, here’s an alternative – actually present your ideas as you would pitch any creative concept:

  • Identify who can approve your idea
  • Frame your pitch as simply as possible with the audience’s motivations and expectations in mind
  • Practice and refine the pitch, augmenting it with any necessary support & identifying how you’ll counter challenges
  • Pitch the idea with enthusiasm and be there to answer questions and clarify

Try this when you have an idea to share instead of passively emailing it. The process needn’t be overly complicated, and you’ll find yourself with a stake in so many more successfully implemented 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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I was talking with a previous strategic mentor of mine about a situation in his current job. A couple of new people outside his direct organization are involved in several efforts he’s leading. The challenge is that neither of them, although very junior to him, has entered the business relationship with a learning mindset – either because of trust-related issues or no self-recognition of their development needs.

The net of it, as he explained it, is that at this point in his career, he doesn’t feel compelled to go out of his way to include them in certain aspects of the project that would help develop them since they aren’t willing students.

I reminded him that if he were being true to his convictions, he would embrace the opportunity to cross organizational boundaries and grow two people who it sounded like could clearly benefit from his wisdom – as I had earlier in my career.

He was driving during our conversation, with his wife hearing his comments on why these two people didn’t deserve the opportunity. After getting off the phone with me, she asked him to explain the situation and told him the same thing – if he were true to what he “preached,” he had no choice but to include and help both of them!

Remember when you enter into a strategic mentorship relationship, that it’s very much a two-way street. Just as a strategic mentor should challenge and help shape your point of view, there are times when you have to turn the tables and challenge them also.

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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Want to attract more people for your personal creative team?

Here’s a way: Don’t always take credit for what you’ve done. In fact, go out of your way to recognize others and share credit with them.

Want an even better idea? Give credit away completely to the others on your creative team.

Maybe your response is, “Hmmmmm. If I don’t get my due credit for great work, it’s going to make me look less valuable!” If that’s what you’re thinking, you haven’t been paying attention.

The more successes you create around you, the more apparent it will be that you are the common denominator for successes in your organization. Quit worrying about yourself and start giving credit to everyone else to whom it’s due.

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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  1. Read something written out loud.
  2. Look at something created in color in black and white.
  3. Listen to something loud at a lower volume.
  4. Look at something intended to be viewed from a distance really close.
  5. Show something you’re really familiar with to someone who has never seen it.
  6. Take something designed to be used indoors and see what it’s like outdoors.
  7. Display something designed for a small screen on one much larger.
  8. Do a presentation intended for a large audience in front of just a few people.
  9. Work through something with specific steps in a different order.
  10. Read something intended to go from start to finish from finish to start instead.
  11. And after any of these, ask, what’s working, what isn’t working, what’s surprising, and what should I change?

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 wind up in many conversations with people who view themselves as strategic and expect to be more strategy-oriented in their jobs, but don’t feel as if they are.

What innovative things can you do if you find yourself in this situation? Here are four ideas:

What are you doing to be more strategic in your work?

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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Somebody asked me how many years I’d worked at the same place. When I told him eighteen, he wondered aloud if I had eighteen years of experience – or two years of experience, nine times over.

That this person calls me every few years with an apparent strategy to tear me down is beyond the point.

His comment is a great strategic challenge for all of us at the start of the year: What specific innovative learning and development goals are you setting for yourself so you’re noticeably different at the end of the year?

In other words, what do you want to get out of this year?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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Remember the song, “Good King Wenceslas looked out on the Feast of Stephen?” Remember the song, “Rainy Day Woman #12 and #35?”

They’re both about stoning . . . so to speak.

Today, December 26 is the feast of Stephen, the first martyr, who was stoned to death in the first century. In his Feast of St. Stephen sermon, Fr. Gilmary Tallman spoke about two reasons why stoning, although illegal under Roman law, was used.

Lorenzo_Lotto_-_The_Martyrdom_of_St_Stephen_-_WGA13671

The first was stoning was a graphic and very painful form of death; it sent a clear message to others you shouldn’t do what the person who was being stoned had done. Secondly, stoning was a group activity, so no one individual had any personal responsibility for carrying out the stoning.

When you put it that way, it makes stoning sound like many (most) modern business meetings:

  • We convene with a group think mentality
  • Perhaps one bold person offers an original idea
  • The group kills the idea (and potentially the person) en masse through its invective and takes great satisfaction knowing any future upstarts with bold ideas will keep quiet to avoid a similar fate.

One thing Brainzooming is about is helping you get new ideas introduced and implemented without your group even realizing it so your next team meeting doesn’t turn into a corporate version of the Feast of Stephen.

Here’s to more creative Brainzooming subterfuge in the new year! – 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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