Performance | The Brainzooming Group - Part 158 – page 158
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This is the last planned post from The Market Research Event (TMRE) – 4 intense days with so many learning and insight opportunities to share!

  • TMRE runs its conference with 5 minutes breaks – never seen anything like it. Hats off to them for making it work since it adds at least three more educational sessions in a 3-day conference. That translates directly into increased value for participants.
  • Interesting how many research companies include orange in their color pallets. Like that a lot! Every research company describes itself as a “full service market research company.” Doubt that a whole lot!
  • Disneyland isn’t Disney World. Granted, I was last at Disney World more than a decade ago. At the time though, it appeared to be the epitome of smart marketing, managing all conceivable elements of customer experience. Disneyland clearly doesn’t. (Quick examples – no mention of going to the park at check-in, the early-order breakfast door hanger was never replaced after using it the first day, and a bag’s worth of crushed pretzels remained on the floor overnight without being cleaned up). So, what’s not happening?
  • Disneyland note pads feature Mickey ears and the phrases
    “Ideapad” and “Inspire. Innovate. Dream.” at the top. COOL! And it has meeting rooms called “Adventure” and “Fantasy.” COOL!! But when you put the pads in basement level rooms with low ceilings, poor lighting, and no windows, it’s a little more challenging to inspire, innovate, and dream.
  • Despite my mini-rants above, how much happier would your workplace be if the background music played “Zippity Do Dah,” “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” and “The Mickey Mouse Club Theme” in heavy rotation?

And if you haven’t gotten enough about TMRE yet, go over to my Schmoozii post from yesterday about the concept of “creative consumers.” It’s the snarkiest post I’ve done yet, although I do realize Barrett that it isn’t all that snarky…but I’m working on it!

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 there a “Hotel California” in your work? To borrow from the Eagles song, it’s the activity or project that you can check out from but never seem to be able to leave behind. Identify them and ask these questions:

  • Are you really sure you can’t leave? When was the last time you tried? If you couldn’t leave through the front door, how about a side door, back door, or window?
  • If you’ve satisfied yourself that you really can’t leave, is there a way to check back in? Is there something about it that you’ve been overlooking that makes sticking with it more rewarding? Maybe it’s a different room – ones that’s an “upgrade” or on a “different floor”?

Only you know the answers. See what you can do about them.

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. Call whatever the closest equivalent to “time out” is for the situation.
  2. Pray.
  3. Determine if there’s real physical danger (since every other type of danger pales in comparison).
  4. Figure out how bad the worst thing that can happen really is.
  5. Take a moment to think.
  6. Ask, “What’s within my control to improve the situation?”
  7. Circle your best, most dependable confidants and solicit their input.
  8. Identify the most comparable situation that you’ve previously addressed successfully.
  9. Work through any contingency scenarios that you’ve developed.
  10. Develop a quick contingency plan if you don’t have one.

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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Looking back through some material while working on a self-imposed writing deadline, these perspectives on strategic leadership surfaced, and seemed worthwhile to share.

  • You can’t take on somebody else’s leadership style; you have to ultimately develop one that works for your personality.
  • Leadership isn’t about position or title. It’s about service. Every person can be a leader – and great leaders cultivate other leaders throughout the team or organization.
  • Some leaders are great at creating & communicating a vision. Some are better at implementing the visions of others. Figure out which type of leader you are and pair up with the other type to be successful.
  • A leader can’t begin to control everything. Surrender on the things that you can’t control. Many times you have only two options – PRAY and PAY; often, it’s only PRAY.
  • Have mental restarts to help stay sharp. What do yours feel like?
  • Sometimes leaders lead based on a vision. Or emotion. Or facts. Or all of these at once.
  • Leaders take action and use all the tools that are appropriate and available to them to do so. Even if it means inventing new tools.

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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Throughout January, we covered a variety of potential resolutions for the year to improve strategic thinking skills. With the fourth quarter starting tomorrow, it’s a great time to see if there’s an area to embrace as an objective before the end of the year. Here are the links:

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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List 10 experiences that have ignited your creativity in the past. Also list 10 new experiences that you believe would trigger your creativity if you had the opportunity to do them.

Now figure out ways you can realize these twenty experiences either today, next week, next month, or next year so that you have a schedule of creative days planned in advance to recharge yourself.

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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Experts are everywhere so in unfamiliar situations look for them to help you perform better. How to spot them?

  • Focus on people displaying multi-dimensional talents or responsibilities
  • Observe who others go to with questions – irrespective of formal title or position
  • Watch for people who look as if they know what they’re doing
  • Pick out those who appear to informally take charge

Setting up wedding reception music the night before my niece’s wedding ceremony in Denver, Chris was clearly the expert. Though never sure of his official title, he was a wealth of information about the hotel sound system, the reception set up, and how long the event would last and wind down. He predicted that after 4 hours there would be 15 people left; the next day, 3 hours and 50 minutes into the reception, there 16 people remaining. Chris knew what he was talking about!

Another advantage of finding experts is that it’s fun to push them to tap their knowledge to devise innovative approaches.

The wedding was on the hotel’s patio, and that morning Nate (my nephew) and I were still determining how to get enough volume through our small speakers. There were, however, four speakers outside playing house music. While Chris wasn’t available, Warren, who had cleared our table at breakfast (see the bullet about multi-dimensional responsibilities), was. I explained what we hoped to accomplish, showed him a hidden audio jack on the wall, and within 15 minutes, we were playing the ceremony music through the speakers. The hotel had never done this before, but now plans to make this available for future events.

The key was being open, willing to learn, and allowing ourselves to be seen as knowledgeable but uncertain. That’s when an expert will almost always go out of his or her way to come up with an ingenious solution. So remember, look for telltale signs of expertise to help you get smarter when you need it most.

Valerie

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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