Innovation | The Brainzooming Group - Part 4 – page 4
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Is your strategy team tired of the same old strategic thinking exercises?

Is your leadership team expressing its frustration with the inability to generate new insights about your brand’s strongest market opportunities?

Are you searching for ways to quickly and effectively engage brand leaders to anticipate and address emerging threats you face?

If you face these situations, The Brainzooming Group has a new eBook you need. It offers fresh ideas for using one of the most common strategic thinking exercises . . . and it’s FREE!

“Strategic Thinking Exercises: Reimagining the SWOT Analysis” features eleven ideas for adapting, stretching, and reinvigorating how you see your brand’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. With simple, actionable adaptations, you can take your leadership team through a variety of fresh SWOT analysis approaches that:

  • Put your customers front and center with every look you take at your marketplace
  • Challenge your thinking about what parts of your strategy are obsolete, opinion-based, and open to serious objections
  • Push you to go deeper and bolder in your SWOT analysis

strategic-thinking-exercises-swot-analysis

Written simply and directly with a focus on enlivening one of the most familiar strategic thinking exercises, we designed “Reimagining the SWOT Analysis” as a go-to resource throughout strategic planning. Whether you are just starting your strategy or think you are well down the path, you can use this eBook to:

  • Engage your team
  • Stimulate fresh thinking
  • Make sure your strategy is addressing typically overlooked opportunities and threats

Download Your FREE eBook! 11 Ways to Reimagine Your SWOT Analysis

The SWOT analysis alternatives include:

  • Creating a SWOT from multiple pieces
  • Using a SWOOT analysis to create a twist
  • Employing a bolder SWOT analysis than ANYONE expects
  • Going deeper with a Four x 4 approach
  • Triggering richer insights by varying participants, focus areas, and perspectives

All that in one handy, FREE Brainzooming eBook!

Download your copy of “Reimagining the SWOT Analysis” today!Mike Brown

Need Fresh Insights to Drive Your Strategy?

Download our FREE eBook: Reimagining the SWOT Analysis

swot-alternatives-cover

“Strategic Thinking Exercises: Reimagining the SWOT Analysis” features eleven ideas for adapting, stretching, and reinvigorating how you see your brand’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Whether you are just starting your strategy or think you are well down the path, you can use this eBook to:

  • Engage your team
  • Stimulate fresh thinking
  • Make sure your strategy is addressing typically overlooked opportunities and threats

Written simply and directly with a focus on enlivening one of the most familiar strategic thinking exercises, “Reimagining the SWOT Analysis” will be a go-to resource for stronger strategic insights!

Download Your FREE eBook! 11 Ways to Reimagine Your SWOT Analysis

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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Fun Strategic Planning Activities?

You may wonder if we are nuts talking about the idea of fun strategic planning.

Any skepticism you may have is certainly understandable. The more typical adjectives that come to mind when you think about strategy planning in your organization likely include:

  • Tedious
  • Cumbersome
  • Too detailed
  • Pointless
  • Disconnected (from the business)
  • Boring
  • Awkward

Do those words sound more like familiar adjectives for the strategy planning you have participated in previously?

We are confident they probably do based on how many of you are searching our website at this time of year for fun strategic planning activities to introduce to your companies. That is why we developed a new strategy planning resource just for you!

Download Our FREE eBook – 11 Fun Ideas for Strategic Planning

If you are trying to figure out how to spice up strategic planning activities at your company, you need to download our new FREE eBook, “11 Fun Ideas for Strategic Planning.”

fun-ideas-strategic-planning-ebook

Within just a few pages, this new eBook offers a handy list of things you can do before and during strategy planning meetings to create a more engaging, mentally stimulating, and fun environment!

You will learn ideas for:

  • Handling the not-fun parts of strategic planning
  • Turning people who aren’t strategists into strategic thinkers
  • Encouraging breakthrough ideas
  • Increasing the pace and variety of strategy planning meetings


Download Your FREE eBook! 11 Fun Ideas for Strategic Planning

As you look to your next strategy planning meetings, you owe it to yourself and all the participants to download “11 Fun Ideas for Strategic Planning.” Regardless of the ideas you choose to implement from the eBook, you will create an environment where people are interested and eager to engage and actively share ideas to move your organization ahead!

Sound too good to be true?

Well, it isn’t!

Fun Strategic Planning Ideas are within reach! Download your FREE eBook today!


Download Your FREE eBook! 11 Fun Ideas for Strategic Planning


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 have a TOUGH time coming up with blogging topics, I scour my blogging notebooks for junk ideas to turn into blog post treasures. I also push my creative thinking skills and look through newspaper or magazine articles to inspire ideas.

This latter method uncovered a Wall Street Journal story featuring Ki Nassauer, junker and author of “Junk Beautiful: Room by Room Makeovers” (affiliate link). It followed her as she pursued junk at a rural South Dakota hoarders house to look for ideas to fit into her twice-yearly magazine, “Flea Market Style,” and annual “Junk Bonanza flea market festival.”

15 Creative Thinking Skills to Turn Junk Ideas into Treasures

Within the story, there were fifteen creative thinking skills demonstrating how KI Nassauer turns “junk ideas” into treasures with potential.

creative-thinking-skills-diane-bleck

Infographic by and courtesy of Diane Bleck – DoodleInstitute.com

Combing through the story and looking to generalize what she does, here are fifteen ways any of us can turn junk ideas into treasures when we need a creative kick start:

1.  Space out the deadline for when you need to come up with an idea to give yourself more time

2.  Take care of your rich idea sources

3.  Take advantage of high probability idea sources

4.  Spend more time looking for other ideas

5.  Have a creative partner to stimulate ideas

6.  Always say “Yes” to new ideas initially

7.  Go where others won’t to look for additional junk ideas

8.  Change the angle from which you’re considering the idea

9.  Look at just part of  junk ideas and throw out the rest

10. Turn the junk idea upside down

11. Stack or put junk ideas together

12, Consider outlandish ideas you’d typically overlook

13, Turn the idea around to its opposite

14, Apply different support or resources to the idea

15. Pretty up marginal ideas any way you can

What creative thinking skills do you use when you’re stuck creatively?

These 15 creative thinking skills to turn junk ideas into treasures are definitely worth considering, in my view, to help get you unstuck creatively. – Mike Brown

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Find New Resources to Innovate!

NEW FREE Download: 16 Keys for Finding Resources to Accelerate Your Innovation Strategy

Accelerate-CoverYou know it’s important for your organization to innovate. One challenge, however, is finding and dedicating the resources necessary to develop an innovation strategy and begin innovating.

This Brainzooming eBook will help identify additional possibilities for people, funding, and resources to jump start your innovation strategy. You can employ the strategic thinking exercises in Accelerate to:

  • Facilitate a collaborative approach to identifying innovation resources
  • Identify alternative internal strategies to secure support
  • Reach out to external partners with shared interests in innovation

Download your FREE copy of Accelerate Your Innovation Strategy today! 

Download Your FREE Brainzooming eBook! Accelerate - 16 Keys to Finding Innovation Resources

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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Going into a strategy meeting today that is sure to be a snoozer?

Even if you are going into the meeting with the same old people, the same old topics, and the same old expectations to just get a strategy done and put into a notebook on a shelf so you can go back to doing what you’ve always been doing, there is hope!

Here is a way you can turn a typical strategic thinking exercise into something new and fun that both adds variety to your strategy meeting AND could trigger some new ideas to get our strategy out of a rut!

You have no doubt heard of a SWOT analysis. It highlights your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

In many companies, the list of items on the SWOT analysis does not change all that much from one year to the next.

Are you up for changing that?

Use a New SWOT Strategic Thinking Exercise Nobody Expects

Go into your next strategy meeting with a different spin on this important, yet tired old strategic thinking exercise.

Strategic-Planning-Fun

Split your group into two or four groups if it is large enough. If not, then let the entire group work on the four questions within this different SWOT strategic thinking exercise.

Once you have everyone situated, here are your four new SWOT questions:

  • What are important things we avoid doing (that we should do) because they are Scary for our brand?
  • What are Wild and creative ideas our competitors or other relevant companies are doing that we need to consider?
  • What can we do next year that would be Outrageous and bold?
  • What can we do in the marketplace that will be the most Threatening to our competitors?

Yes, try a SWOT strategic thinking exercise looking for ideas that are:

  • Scary
  • Wild
  • Outrageous
  • Threatening

This new type of SWOT analysis is good for at least twenty minutes of new thinking at your strategy meeting to get people out of the humdrum of strategic planning.

And be on the lookout for crazy ideas. You can always adjust those ideas and harvest them for great new strategies you might have never generated if you had not been looking for ideas that at first seemed ridiculous!

Contact us, and let’s customize a strategy process specific to your organization. – Mike Brown

Looking for Fresh Insights to Drive Strategy?

Download our FREE eBook: Reimagining the SWOT Analysis

swot-alternatives-cover

“Strategic Thinking Exercises: Reimagining the SWOT Analysis” features eleven ideas for adapting, stretching, and reinvigorating how you see your brand’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Whether you are just starting your strategy or think you are well down the path, you can use this eBook to:

  • Engage your team
  • Stimulate fresh thinking
  • Make sure your strategy is addressing typically overlooked opportunities and threats

Written simply and directly with a focus on enlivening one of the most familiar strategic thinking exercises, “Reimagining the SWOT Analysis” will be a go-to resource for stronger strategic insights!

Download Your FREE eBook! 11 Ways to Reimagine Your SWOT Analysis

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

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 try something to get a particularly new and insightful look at a situation?

Here’s how it works.

After you identify the “characters” in a particular situation, completely shift their roles. After you do that, see how the situation looks differently, simply because the characters are playing different roles.

smile-frown

We frequently facilitate a strategic thinking exercise that uses a character outside a situation as the perspective. This is different, however. Here are situations where you can use it:

  • If it’s a discussion for or against an idea, shift the protagonist and antagonist roles to see how the argument might change or develop.
  • If it’s an interaction between people in different groups, flip the roles, characteristics, or natures of the parties.
  • If it’s an evaluation of before and after performance, make the after scenario before and the before scenario after to see how the switch looks from this different perspective.

The other day, I was revisiting a personal exchange between two business people. Switching their characteristics unveiled multiple insights about the strategies, decisions, and outcomes related to their interactions. It also led to identifying other comparable situations to mine for insights and expected behaviors.

There’s no guarantee this strategic thinking exercise works in every situation. There’s not even a clear and certain sense of what it might yield in each situation.

Since it worked so well the other day, however, we wanted to pass it along right away as a strategic thinking exercise to consider when you have the right types of characters to make it work. – Mike Brown

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Download Your FREE eBook! 7 Strategies to Conquer Your Organization's Innovation Fears 

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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We were on a hotel site visit to scout the location for an upcoming client conference. Beyond meeting with the client team, we spent considerable time with the hotel staff. The objective was to solicit their innovative ideas for how to create the highest impact in a challenging conference space.

innovative-ideas-experts

While we developed ideas for high-impact options, we wanted the experts at the hotel to come to the table with ideas. With that situation, we wanted to ask plenty of questions and provide plenty of room for them to contribute their experience-based, innovative ideas.

9 Strategic Thinking Questions – Innovative Ideas from Experts

Many of the strategic thinking questions we share help people imagine things that have never happened. The following nine strategic thinking questions that we used with the hotel staff were meant to get them to mine their previous experiences and aspirations to generate innovative ideas we could incorporate into the meeting:

  1. What are things you have been dreaming about or trying to figure out how to do, but haven’t had a chance yet?
  2. What are outlandish things you tried but didn’t work as you expected?
  3. What things have worked, and how would you like to do more of or do them in a bigger way?
  4. What are things you’ve seen elsewhere we should consider trying?
  5. What’s something no one in our audience will have seen happen before?
  6. How have you thought about reimagining a familiar something or other?
  7. What are things you’ve done elsewhere you would like to try here?
  8. What have you done in a completely different setting that might work for what we’re doing?
  9. What cool things haven’t we asked about that we should consider?

Whenever you’re dealing with experts and looking for innovative ideas, consider these strategic thinking questions (or variations on them) to help them not do as so many experts do: dismiss what they know as routine and normal, when in fact normal for an expert is often quite innovative and sensational for everyone else! – Mike Brown

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Ready to boost your innovation strategy?

New-10Barriers-Cover-BurstDo you need a quick evaluation to understand your organization’s innovation challenges so you can create a strategy to boost new ideas and successful implementation?

Download “The Ten Big Nos to InNOvating – Identifying the Barriers to Successful Business Innovation.”

This free Brainzooming eBook highlights ten common organizational innovation barriers. A one-page evaluation sets the stage to quickly self-diagnose where to focus your organization’s efforts in customizing a successful innovation initiative.

Download Your FREE eBook! 10 Big NOs to Innovating in Organizations

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 attended a presentation on cultivating a creative culture delivered by Michael Perman, formerly of Gap, at The Marketing Conference last week in San Francisco. During his keynote, Perman discussed twenty-plus three-day creativity sessions he organized while at Gap. Called M!ndspark, the sessions brought together thirty team members from The Gap in three-day “mini-TED conferences” to capitalize on creative diversity. The objective for M!ndspark was to provide creative stimulation, pave the way for cultivating a more creative culture, and to address business opportunities and challenges.

During the time for audience questions, I asked Michael how long it took during the four year run of M!ndspark to settle on a standard format, if they ever did?

He said they learned over time about how to purposefully manage creative diversity most effectively.

creative-diversity

Originally, the goal was simply bringing a diverse group together from across the company. Over time, however, they discovered that while they wanted participants with creative diversity, it was important to include individuals from groups that would actually return to the business and work together to solve problems. Solving the creative diversity puzzle with an eye toward ultimate implementation success led to better cultivating a creative environment.

What mix of creative diversity will drive implementation?

That is a great lesson whenever you are thinking about selecting a diverse group of participants for a strategic or creative thinking workshop. Beyond getting the right mix of people for that day’s activities, you want to make decisions based on how a work team will most benefit from the shared experience to cultivate a creative environment.

While we work aggressively to ensure a strongly diverse group that understands the issues we’re addressing, we’ll had this new question to our creative thinking workshop design process. Ultimately, business creativity is about creating strategic impact. Solving the diversity equation for implementation success is a smart approach. – Mike Brown

 

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Facing Innovation Barriers? Here Is Help!

Innovation-Strategy-eBooks

Are you facing organizational innovation barriers related to:

We have free Brainzooming eBooks for you to help navigate barriers and boost innovation!

 

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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