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Thanks to Brenda Bethman, I received a last minute ticket to TEDxKC last Thursday at The Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City. Titled “What the World Needs Now,” five speakers (four live, one on video) and a visual/musical/performance art group presented rapid-fire perspectives not really answering the title question – since it wasn’t stated as a question – but more as persuasive speeches on innovative global strategies in a college communications class.

The Set-Up

That isn’t to say TEDxKC wasn’t thought-provoking; it was just never designed as an interactive dialogue on our collective future. Unless you call the audience mingling and getting to write on a big poster what we think the world needs now after the event (all over 1 free drink) an interactive experience.

TEDxKC was certainly much anticipated (although not necessarily well-publicized) in town, with the original 300 free tickets for the Nelson Gallery auditorium being claimed in an hour. Another 500-600 people were ultimately accommodated via video feed in a separate Nelson viewing gallery.

Personal Resonance

Because of a client meeting, I never had an opportunity to vie for a TEDxKC ticket. Having known people who have attended TED and TEDx events, however, TEDxKC certainly felt like an innovation-rich event to attend. Looking back in light of my personal experience and the relevance of the innovation messages, a TEDxKC ticket materializing Thursday afternoon couldn’t have been an accident.

The strategic, unifying thread for meat TEDxKC was the speakers articulating aspects of themes touched on and evolving within the Brainzooming and Aligning Your Life’s Work blogs over several years.

As I’ve said, writing a blog, absent all the other human interactions which are vital to surround it, is a pretty isolated experience. With my professional situation changing so much in the past year(moving from a corporation to pursue The Brainzooming Group full-time), that’s been even truer. The original target persona for the blog was me: someone in a not particularly innovative or creatively-oriented organization wanting to grow, develop, and have a bigger positive strategic impact on those around them.

As my life has changed, I’ve wondered whether my new perspectives resonate with all of you who are so generous to share your time in following Brainzooming. While new innovation-oriented themes have emerged for me professionally and found their way into the blog (thus all the social media and here’s what The Brainzooming Group does content lately), it was tremendously helpful as TEDxKC put into a global context the core strategic themes which mean so much to me personally and professionally:

The strategic innovation messages at TEDxKC really resonated, serving as catalysts for my thinking right now. Tomorrow, we’ll recap the great TEDxKC speakers and the important innovation messages they shared.  – Mike Brown

When it comes to conferences, high impact presentations, and live event social media content, The Brainzooming Group is expert at shaping the right strategy and implementation to create unique attendee experiences before, during, and after an event. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we can do the same for your event!

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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Here is another interview from the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Innovation Conference, where The Brainzooming Group produced live event social media content.  One panelist on the manufacturing and transportation panel, Merlin Spencer, DBA, talks in this video about the concept of “master doers.”  He describes these individuals as the people inside an organization who specialize in getting the vital functions of a business moving forward and completed.

Merlin Spencer’s comments resonated strongly because of the link between the “master doers” concept and the 3 vital audiences for strategic thinking approach The Brainzooming Group uses in facilitating strategic planning and innovation sessions. We’ve repeatedly seen the best strategic thinking results when participants with front line experience, functional expertise, and creative orientations all participate in a facilitated strategy session.

“Master doers” are a subset of the front line experience group, and they are very often misused in strategic innovation work. They’re frequently either excluded (because they don’t fit a typical view of creativity) or they wind up dominating a strategy session (because of the false belief that those without comparable experience are unable to meaningfully contribute to strategic business issues). This fundamental misuse is why we expend concerted effort ensuring the right mix of people and introducing innovation exercises so the three groups, who view the world very differently, can work together constructively, innovatively, and successfully.

The strategic advice here is to examine the attendee list the next time you’re involved in a strategy, innovation, or planning discussion and make sure you have some, but not all, master doers participating. – Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement.  To learn how we can bring out the best innovative thinking in your team email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320.

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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2

What does an increasingly connected, socially networked, world mean for brands wanting to take strategic advantage of the opportunities it presents?

That was the topic for Matt Anthony, CEO of Kansas City-based digital marketing agency VML in his keynote presentation at the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Innovation Conference.

Supporting the assertion about the world being tremendously connected (especially via social networking), Matt offered several metrics:

  • Of the 6.8 billion people on Earth, 1.8 billion go online via PC, including 75% of North Americans.
  • There are 4 billion mobile phones globally and 6 billion wireless subscriptions.
  • 75% of the world visits a blog or social network when online, with social media accounting for 22% of total online time.
  • The average person in the US spends 16 hours online weekly vs. 11 hours watching TV.

 

When a majority of people are connected to both content and to each other (and each other’s networks and content), what strategies will winning brands be pursuing?

According to Matt, they’ll be:

  • Mobile – Winning brands understand the need to translate their web brand strategy specifically for mobile with everything it means for where, when, how, and why people are using mobile devices. Additionally, it will increasingly be about innovatively opening a brand’s experience to enhancements and developments from outside the brand – imagine an app store for your kitchen appliance, your car, your pet, etc.
  • Social – Winning brands will compellingly integrate personalization and customization into their online experiences. Beyond simple interaction, brands should be offering ways for audiences to attach their personal interests to experiences allowing them to create innovative impacts through their interactions with other audience members.
  • Relevant – In one of the most intriguing statements Matt made, he discussed how millennials are looking for both deep relationships and instant gratification – simultaneously. That’s something for brands to ponder – how do you find a “real” strategic intersection of these two desires? Matt suggested brands who find it will provide experiences which are less brand-referential and dramatically more about injecting legitimate value into experiences.

 

  • Transparent – The big phrase within social media and branding – transparency. Everybody says it; what does it really mean? Matt’s perspective is brands need to be true inside before trying to be true outside. With the technological tools now available to individuals to essentially broadcast (at least to their first line networks), they’ve been unleashed to hold brands to a strategic standard of, “Good for me. Good for you. Good for the planet.”

Matt wrapped by identifying mobile plus social media as the killer app. That prediction makes sense. With mobile not just broadly accessible, but actually surpassing the impact of PCs and TV in the near future, real life and online communication will intersect at every waking moment, and even the sleeping ones (as a sleep apnea app is already out there for the iPhone). If that potential for the rapid spread of any customer’s indignation isn’t enough to push brands toward transparency, it’s not hard to see them living on borrowed time in a comprehensively connected world. – Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to see how we can help you define a brand strategy firmly tied to business yet recognizing the impact of social networking on your customers.

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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Today is the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Innovation Conference, where The Brainzooming Group will be producing social media content working with a team of seasoned marketing communications and social media professionals.

To get a great idea of the the panel sessions at the Innovation Conference, the video below highlights four of the five sessions on industry-specific topics. To follow tweets from the Innovation Conference, the live Twitter feed at the bottom of the post will feature the social media team’s live tweets throughout the day using the hashtag #GKCCCInno. For a full social media channel overview for the Innovation Conference, please visit Monday’s Brainzooming post. – 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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In an innovative strategy for the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Innovation Conference, a social media team of marketing communications and social media professionals will be covering the live innovation event through live tweeting, blogging, video, photography, and LinkedIn. The Brainzooming Group is producing the social media team and content for The Chamber.

This array of social media efforts will provide a content-rich experience to both attendees and those who can only attend the Innovation Conference virtually.

The social media team will be adding to the Innovation Conference by allowing attendees to:

For those who are able to attend in person, there are even more ways to get engaged with the social media effort:

  • Tweet with the Social Media Team – Do your own live tweeting during the Innovation Conference using the #GKCCCInno hashtag.
  • Learn and Share Knowledge with the Social Media Team – The social media team is comprised of some great marketing communications and social media professionals. The conference provides a great opportunity to network, share best practices, and talk about new ideas on various topics.

Innovation Conference Segments with Specific Session Codes

To follow session-specific Innovation Conference content on Twitter, you can track the following codes the social media team will be tweeting:

Opening Keynotes

  • Fared Adib, Vice President, Product Development & Operations, Sprint Hashtag & Code: #GKCCCInno s1
  • Brand Transparency – Marketing in the Digital Age Matt Anthony, CEO, VML   Hashtag & Code: #GKCCCInno s2

9:05 a.m. Breakout Sessions

  • Life Sciences and Animal Health Panel Hashtag & Code: #GKCCCInno s3
  • Manufacturing and Transportation Panel Hashtag & Code: #GKCCCInno s4
  • Business and Financial Services Panel Hashtag & Code: #GKCCCInno s5

10:35 a.m. Breakout Sessions

  • Technology and Communications Panel Hashtag & Code: #GKCCCInno s6
  • Clean Technology/Alternative Energy Panel Hashtag & Code: #GKCCCInno s7

11:30 a.m. Closing Keynotes

  • Michael Song, Ph.D., Institute Director for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Henry Bloch School of Business and Public Administration, University of Missouri-Kansas City   Hashtag & Code: #GKCCCInno s8
  • Nick Donofrio, Senior Fellow, Kauffman Foundation   Hashtag & Code: #GKCCCInno s9

Join us in person at the Innovation Conference this Wednesday if you’re in Kansas City. If you can’t be there, follow the Innovation Conference via social media. It will be a great learning and innovation instigating event! – Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.comor call us at 816-509-5320 to learn more about how Brainzooming produces live event social media content to enrich any learning event.

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 presented a social media strategy discussion tonight for the KAIROS Analytics Group. It was a completely different type of presentation since the room size and configuration were designed for enjoying wine, not for viewing Powerpoint. As a result, it was on 6 social media strategy critical success factors done sans computer, using pre-drawn cartoon posters to help convey the points. The posters are featured below

The conversation was great with lots of participation from the attendees and additional discussion about social media in a heavily regulated environment, the social media conversation on the BP oil spill, and the key performance indicators we use for The Brainzooming Group social media presence. – 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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When thinking about your social media strategy, you should be planning for 6 important metrics. What are the six? There are 3 different levels of social media participation and 2 different types of measures. Put them in a 3 x 2 matrix, and you get six.

Here’s the rundown on the 3 social media engagement aspects to measure:

  • Activity – Any metrics relating to actions your organization is taking on social media: blogging, tweeting, posting, promoting, etc.
  • Interaction – This category’s measures focus on how your audience is engaging with your social media presence: followers, comments, likes, sharing, user created content, etc.
  • Returns – This group accounts for where your social media activities directly or indirectly support measures driving successful organizations: revenue creation (and the activities that lead up to it), cost minimization (along with activities to help achieve it), and other critical financial performance metrics.

Relative to the two different types of measures, use the “whole-brain metrics” strategy we’ve recommended before: capture both quantitative (left brain) and qualitative (right brain) elements. Using this metrics dashboard strategy accounts for both the “hard” numbers and softer perspectives (stories, images, buzz-related feedback) to provide the most complete evaluative picture of your social media strategy.

There’s a clear advantage to considering the metrics strategy when devising your overall social media strategy. The earlier you think through what you should be tracking in these six categories, the better you’ll be able to shape your innovative social media strategy to be ROI-oriented. – 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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