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It’s Blogapalooza time again! In partnership with students in Max Utsler’s Innovation in Management of Communications class at The University of Kansas, Blogapalooza provides an opportunity for Max’s students to publish blog posts they write for class here and at Alexander G Public Relations

Laura-BerryThe first post for this semester is from Laura Berry, a master’s student in Integrated Marketing Communication. Laura works in marketing for a global engineering and construction company that is working to bridge tradition with innovation.

5 Characteristics that Set Game Changing Ideas Apart by Laura Berry

Innovation starts with good ideas. But how can you separate good ideas from transformative, game changing ideas? If it’s a revolutionary idea, chances are it has several of these qualities.

1. It’s not your first idea.

Let’s face it: seven billion people live on this planet. Your first idea isn’t original. Inspiration might pop into your mind, but innovation looks more like a notebook filled with sketches and scratched-out notes. If you’ve pushed, reworked and redeveloped your idea, then you’re on your way to game changing ideas.

2. The idea is simple.

Some of the best ideas look obvious in hindsight. It might be complex to build, but it needs to be easy to understand. When you hear it aloud, it makes sense. Heads nod. A social networking website that makes it easy for you to connect and share with your family and friends online? Head nod.

In the Harvard Business Review article, “Get Buy-In for Your Crazy Idea,” Author David Burkus writes, “If you have to explain a joke, it’s not funny. In the same way, if you have to spend significant time explaining how your idea will work, it’s never going to win people over.”

3. It’s creative.

To create what doesn’t yet exist, you need imagination. Imagination asks the question, “What if?” Did you just create the most powerful bag less vacuum? (Dyson) Great. But what if I don’t want to push it around? (Roomba) Awesome. So now my vacuum cleaner runs by itself. What if my lawnmower did? (Roomba robotic lawnmower). “What if” questions stretch good ideas to new places.

Framing-Ideas

4. It serves a purpose.

Thomas Edison said, “I find out what the world needs, and then I invent it.” Breakthrough ideas have an intrinsic human connection. Innovation often solves problems or meets needs. Are you old enough to remember running home to wait for a phone call or accessing the Internet through the piercing screech of dial-up? Thank goodness for innovators. When you understand the problems people face, you’re better able to help.

5. It took some sweat.

If innovation were easy, everyone would be doing it. To take an idea from good to game-changer, you have to nurture it. And that’s just a fancy way of saying it takes work. Your good idea could be a few “What if” questions from game changing ideas. Will you take it there, or will someone else? – Laura Berry

 

ebook-cover-redoBoost Your Creativity with “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation”

Download our FREE “Taking the No Out of InNOvation eBook to help you generate extreme creativity and ideas! For organizational innovation success, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative growth strategies. 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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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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Cheerleading for creativity in business isn’t difficult.

Yet, you see people, departments, and organizations where overtly expressing creative appreciation doesn’t happen naturally – or happen at all.

It could be nobody realized it is good business and good manners to appreciate creativity in business. Maybe it never occurred to anyone that celebrating creativity in business inspires creativity in others and leads to more ideas.

If you are a leader (or even if you’re not a leader) where creativity in business is under appreciated, how about changing things for the better?

48 Creative Appreciation Ideas to Cultivate Creativity in Business

If this is something people struggle with in your organization, here are 48 creative appreciation ideas you can start using in meetings. Surely you can find at least ONE of these examples to celebrate creativity in business in your workplace.

Appreciate-Creative-Ideas

You could appreciate:

  1. Something new
  2. Something that was made to seem new
  3. A clever idea
  4. Someone who tried harder than ever (or even harder than normal)
  5. An idea that made you stop and think
  6. A new thought that you had never thought previously
  7. The volume of ideas someone generated
  8. Thinking of another way to do something you have only done one way until now
  9. People who collaborated for the first time
  10. Someone showing appreciation to others for their creativity
  11. A different creative spin on an old idea
  12. Something ingenious
  13. Something funny
  14. Something surprising
  15. An idea likely to gain someone important’s attention
  16. An idea aligning with the company strategy
  17. An idea aligning with the objectives it was supposed to support
  18. An idea that’s not the same old, same old
  19. A person who trying for the first time to share a creative idea
  20. Someone who went against the status quo in a daring way
  21. The person who took a smart creative risk
  22. A person looking for affirmation before sharing another idea
  23. The way someone communicates a creative idea
  24. A story that went along with the idea
  25. How someone depicted an idea visually so others could understand it
  26. The way an idea fits with an earlier idea
  27. The way an idea makes another idea better
  28. An idea magnet in your midst
  29. Being in a creative environment where creative ideas are appreciated
  30. Someone proposing an idea leading to new learnings
  31. An idea intended to try something bigger than anyone has tried before
  32. Someone willing to take a crack at solving something everyone else fears tackling
  33. Someone willing to share the creative inspiration behind the idea
  34. Someone who saw an opportunity or challenge differently than everyone else
  35. The most junior person in the room contributing ideas
  36. The person in the room that always has great ideas
  37. The person willing to not judge a creative idea too early when it wasn’t fully formed yet
  38. Someone coming up with an idea through connecting two things you wouldn’t ever think could be connected
  39. An idea that seems destined to win a prize
  40. How excited someone is about an idea
  41. A unique idea
  42. The creative idea someone just presented to you
  43. The end of a creative journey
  44. The person who never receive appreciate for creativity
  45. The person not taking the easy way out creatively
  46. The first idea shared
  47. The last idea shared
  48. Every idea in between the first idea and the last idea shared

Just as it only takes one person applauding enthusiastically in a crowd to get everyone else applauding, just one person expressing creative appreciation could make it natural for a department or organization to respond in a similar manner.  – Mike Brown

10 Keys to Engaging Stakeholders to Create Improved Results

FREE Download: “Results!!! Creating Strategic Impact”

Results!!! Creating Strategic Impact Mini-Book

Leaders are looking for powerful ways to engage strong collaborators to shape shared visions. They need strategic thinkers who can develop strategy and turn it into results.

This new Brainzooming mini-book, “Results – Creating Strategic Impact” unveils ten proven lessons for leaders to increase strategic collaboration, engagement, and create improved results.

Download this free, action-focused mini-book to:

  • Learn smart ways to separate strategic opportunities from the daily noise of business
  • Increase focus for your team with productive strategy questions everyone can use
  • Actively engage stakeholders in strategy AND implementation success

Download Your FREE Results!!! Creating Strategic Impact Mini-book

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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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In nearly every Brainzooming community collaboration workshop, we conclude with a Plus-Minus-Interesting-Recommendation-Question exercise (a PMIRQ for short). Originating from an Edward De Bono technique we learned from Chuck Dymer, the PMIRQ asks five open-ended questions on what worked (Plus), didn’t work (Minus), was surprising (Interesting), should be done next time (Recommendation), and didn’t get fully addressed (Question). The open-ended questions in a PMIRQ allow participants to share invaluable reactions and ideas; we use them directly to shape what we do in future innovation workshops.

Based on the large number of responses to the individual PMIRQ handout sheets at the Southern Illinois University and Carbondale, IL community visioning session workshops, we wanted to share what people found “interesting” about participating in a community collaboration workshop.

41 Surprising Things about Community Collaboration Done Well

Here, in the words of attendees, are the things that surprised them about spending several hours imagining the future in a community visioning session.

New People Coming Together Collaboratively and Effectively

  • “The vast knowledge being brought together was beyond expectations.”
  • “Small unknown group collaboration”
  • “The team interaction”
  • “Group work”
  • “Placing us with people we don’t know”
  • “I was thinking I may not be as included since I’m not from or otherwise generally associated with (the community).”
  • “Working with people from diverse backgrounds.”
  • “Collaboration was so easy with the group that I was with.”

Fresh  Ideas and Learning

  • “The ideas that came up.”
  • “The different ideas we shared.”
  • “Ideas I had never considered.”
  • “I thought about something I’d never thought of before that could benefit from high speed.”
  • “New and thought provoking ideas.”
  • “Thinking of ideas for different categories.”
  • “Brainstorming for technological advancements”
  • “Talking to people – learning new things about the community I live in.’
  • “Learned a lot”

community-collaboration-workshop-siuc

Networking

  • “Met new professional who reside here (I’d) never met before.”
  • “Great to see so many people get together to work on this. They started out as strangers and became friends.”
  • “Development of new relationships and possible partnerships.”
  • “I met a lot of new people from my own community, and I made several introductions.”
  • “Lots of people I did not know.”

Unexpectedly Enjoyable

  • “This was a lot of fun!”
  • “Very enjoyable and fun. Not just a lecture.”
  • “Didn’t know what to expect. Great collaboration.”
  • “I didn’t expect toys.”

Effective Exercises and Process

  • “One of best group brainstorming sessions in a long time.”
  • “Loved the Boom / Bust exercise.”
  • “Good subject materials and posters.”
  • “The use of table posters and post-its is a great idea and unique.”
  • “The shorter time frame worked well.”
  • “Collection method of ideas was good.”
  • “Process used.”
  • “Exercises presented to gain focus on a certain area.”
  • “The process and the questions. Have participated in many of these exercises and this was different in a positive way.”
  • “A bunch of brainstorming.”
  • “Required a lot of critical thinking”

Discovering Shared Thinking

  • “Concepts that were more universal to the table than thought.”
  • “Many of the same themes / concepts were universally recognized.”
  • “I realized things that would work for my organization as well as the community as a whole. I will try to implement these ideas within my organization.”
  • “So many of the ideas shared can benefit any organization in our community. The question about what we wish people knew about our community really identified our values and strengths as a community.”

What an incredible range of comments!

It’s often a challenge to describe what Brainzooming is to people that haven’t participated directly in collaborative strategy or innovation workshops. It’s such a foreign idea to most people that you can invite more than a couple of people together to collaborate and actually have an incredibly productive experience.

Thanks to all of our new friends in Carbondale for providing their comments to help us communicate why there’s nothing quite like a Brainzooming community collaboration workshop until you experience it!

If you want your community – no matter whether it is an organizational, customer, or civic community – to collaborate in envisioning the future, contact us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320. We definitely have the experience and proven processes to bring your community together productively and successfully! – Mike Brown

10 Lessons for Engaging Your Community to Create Stronger Results

FREE Download: “Results!!! Creating Strategic Impact”

Results!!! Creating Strategic Impact Mini-Book

Leaders are looking for ways to create robust and productive collaboration within their communities. In short they need to cultivate strategic thinking to imagine the future and the strategies need to capitalize on opportunities on the horizon.

This new Brainzooming mini-book, “Results – Creating Strategic Impact” unveils ten proven lessons to increase strategic collaboration, engagement, and success for organizations.

Download this free, action-focused mini-book to:

  • Learn smart ways to separate strategic opportunities from the daily noise of business
  • Increase focus for your community with productive strategy questions everyone can use
  • Actively engage more individuals in strategy AND implementation success

Download Your FREE  Results!!! Creating Strategic Impact Mini-book

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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(This is another in a week-long series on forming oneself as a Catholic business person.)

I used to think creative inspiration came from inside.

As a result, the pressure for inspiration and creative thinking was always dependent on me. What did I need to do to trigger creative thinking? What ideas did I need to imagine? What situations did I need to seek out to trigger desperately-needed inspiration?

At some point, God provided the grace to realize my creative inspiration was from outside, not inside. While creative thinking had something to do with me, it wasn’t dependent on me at all.

God provides all the needed creative inspiration.

Understanding that changed things for me.

Creative-Inspiration-Sky-Cl

I realized much of my creative inspiration came at church.

Inspiration arrives when I surrender MY answers and ideas…and wait…prayerfully and patiently. It involves being hopeful and ever watchful to see what leads to inspiration. It’s being blessed to depend on the graces God generously offers to solve problems and capitalize on opportunities.

Importantly, this isn’t something commercial in nature. If it were commercial, it wouldn’t be from God. And what I mean by “creative inspiration” in this regard is ideas, words, being in the right place, or being in the wrong place but still having good things happen. It’s about help when you need it most even if it’s not on my timetable. It’s about all the things I don’t want to do or would simply never do that now work out in ways I could have never imagined.

Our priest asked during a recent homily at daily mass if we see the same type of miracles today that are documented in the Gospels. My answer is that with God’s grace and an openness to surrender, these types of miracles and more do happen today.

Every day.

We just don’t chalk them up to God anymore.

And that reflects much worse on us than it ever does on God. – Mike Brown

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

 

ebook-cover-redoBoost Your Creativity with “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation”

Download our FREE “Taking the No Out of InNOvation eBook to help you generate extreme creativity and ideas! For organizational innovation success, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative growth strategies. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

Download Your Free

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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These (para)quotes on innovation, digital marketing, and life were the most memorable ones I took away from Inbound15.

Innovation

  • “Commit to a highly experimental process. Don’t just follow best practices. Experiment to learn.” – Anum Hussain of Hubspot
  • “I don’t know what the question is, but the answer is, ‘Yes!'” – Leonard Bernstein (via Seth Godin)
  • “The only guarantee in living a brave life is you WILL get your ass kicked. If you innovate, you WILL fall down.” – Brené Brown
  • “Bob Dylan wasn’t The Beatles. He reinvents himself every seven years and gets booed off the stage.” – Seth Godin
  • “Every great writer starts with an SFD – shitty first draft.” – Brené Brown

INbound15-Pink

Digital Marketing

  • “SEO (search engine optimization) is anything you can do to influence your score. That involves solving for SEO AND improving the user experience.” – Bill King and Tyler Richer of Hubspot
  • “Great content is topically focused. If you are writing about a topic, other related words should show up as well. It’s about the main topic and all the supporting ‘cast members.'” – Bill King and Tyler Richer of Hubspot
  • “For Slideshare, come up with an AMAZING cover slide.” – Arpit Dhariwal and Taylor Greason of LinkedIn SlideShare
  • “Don’t say ‘Free’ in the email subject line. Please. Ever.” – Tom Monaghan of Hubspot
  • “With the abundance of similar content, it makes you think when you see something new, ‘I think I’ve forgotten this before.'” – Dr. Carmen Simon
  • “If your brand sucks offline, you’ll suck more online.” – Jill Rowley, Social Selling

Life

  • “Nine a.m. is VERY early for an Aziz event.” – Aziz Ansari
  • “Can we start by acknowledging that golf is a really bad spectator sport. Nothing good ever happens, and when it does, you have to clap in such a wimpy way.” – Seth Godin
  • “If people know their problems, they don’t need sales. Salespeople should identify latent and hidden problems; they need to anticipate problems.” – Daniel Pink
  • “Once you give the brain a reward, it habituates and wants a newer, bigger reward.” – Dr. Carmen Simon
  • “We are all we have today.” – Brené Brown
  • “Sarcasm . . . it’s not just for relationships anymore.” – Tim Washer

Mike Brown

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

 

ebook-cover-redoBoost Your Creativity with “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation”

Download our FREE “Taking the No Out of InNOvation eBook to help you generate extreme creativity and ideas! For organizational innovation success, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative growth strategies. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

Download Your Free

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 Wall Street Journal article on how the Buffalo Bills are changing their typical practice routine caught my eye. The headline included the phrase “No Wasted Time.”

Not wasting time is near and dear to my heart. Not wasting time is a major part of why a Brainzooming strategy workshop is so focused on effective time management. We’re continually trying to be as productive as possible, generating business strategies in as little time as possible.

100408-Orange-Clock

6 Ways an NFL Practice Is Most Productive

The motivation for the Buffalo Bills changing the practice routine is a response to new NFL restrictions (only one practice allowed per day and only fourteen practices with pads during the season) and the short attention spans and need for ongoing engagement among today’s younger players.

The moves the Buffalo Bills are making and the associated reasons and benefits match closely to how The Brainzooming Group designs a strategy workshop. The Bills are:

  1. Splitting the team into two groups – Players are active all the time, with no waiting around for the next thing to happen.
  2. Making deliberate decisions about group composition and activities – Players are getting used to working with a specific group and are always engaged to stay focused.
  3. Increasing the range of plays in their repertoire – Getting more done at the same time allows them to implement and see the impact of new plays without extra time.
  4. Letting players’ mistakes and errors go uncorrected during practice – Not correcting mistakes builds an environment with less stress and creates opportunities for players to go all-out and risk making a mistake.
  5. Analyzing and addressing mistakes AFTER practice – With the various ways to capture what happens on the field and review it later, corrections and adjustments are more efficiently handled afterward.
  6. Creating more free time for players – The net of all the changes means the team is getting more done in less time, creating free time for studying playbooks or getting rest.

All those moves make sense and easily translate into a strategy workshop design.

6 Ways a Strategy Workshop Is Most Productive

Here’s how we incorporate these principles for Brainzooming. We:

  1. Use small groups to allow participants to be more active
  2. Manage group composition to structure groups that will work together productively
  3. Look at opportunities and challenges from multiple perspectives in shorter bursts of time to generate more diverse thinking
  4. Have clear times for coming up with new ideas, protecting divergent thinking from extensive explanations or analysis
  5. Move most of the evaluation and organization of ideas until later when it doesn’t waste time for the overall group
  6. Create an experience that uses as little group time as possible to maximize productivity for the organization

If you want to improve the productivity of a strategy workshop within your organization, we recommend using these six steps as a great way to start.

Or, you can call The Brainzooming Group. We’ll design the strategy workshop and make the whole thing happen for you so you can engage from beginning to end.  – Mike Brown

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

 

ebook-cover-redoBoost Your Creativity with “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation”

Download our FREE “Taking the No Out of InNOvation eBook to help you generate extreme creativity and ideas!

For organizational innovation success, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative growth strategies. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

Download Your Free

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’ve written a tremendous amount about change and change management strategy since the Brainzooming blog’s inception.

Just HOW MUCH have we written on change management strategy?

Well, to identify the articles listed here, a search for “change” on the blog yielded eighty-six PAGES of articles. I reviewed all eighty-six pages to develop our change management strategy primer.

35 Articles on Change Management Strategy in a Change Agent Role

If you’re trying to determine, implement, or refine a change management strategy, especially in an organization resistant to change, these articles will take you through diagnostics, strategy planning, and implementation approaches to carry out your change agent role.

New-Sheriff

Determining the Issues and Options for a Change Management Strategy

Confronting Individuals’ Change Challenges

Planning a Strategy in the Change Agent Role

Dealing with Change Management Strategy Barriers

Creating Change with Less Leadership and Information than You’d Like

 

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Looking for Ways to Develop a Successful
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Download Your Free  Outside-In Innovation Strategic Thinking Fake Book




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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