Guest author | The Brainzooming Group - Part 5 – page 5
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Marianne-Carr-PhotoI am crazy for podcasts. Maybe I am not an early adopter. I don’t care. I love them.

I have always been a big believer that radio advertising – great radio advertising- was the most creative, and most difficult of the traditional advertising formats. Unfortunately there is also a tradition of really bad radio advertising. That’s because it’s hard to do. When done well, audio storytelling uses the theater of the mind, making the strongest audience connection.  When imagining your own pictures, you are engaged and probably emotionally committed. When audio storytelling is good, it works the head and the heart, which is the essence of great advertising.

Which leads me to Content Marketing. In what ways are Podcasts the ultimate Content Marketing tactic? It is a one-way conversation, at first, but the podcasts I listen to suck me in so deeply that I then seek out blogs, Twitter, and Facebook forums to see what others are saying.  I even join the conversation.

However, right now, none of the podcasts I listen to is associated with a brand or some other organization that wants to separate me from my money, or even build its position as an influencer in my professional life.

Could there be a podcast interesting enough to drive this behavior from me? We will see. I hope so. In the meantime, here are my top podcast recommendations.

As always, you can get to the creative clicks via the headlines. Enjoy!Marianne Carr

Creative Clicks for Podcast Listening

The Timbre.com Postmortem XIX Best Podcasts of the Week

This week’s Review of Podcasts on Timbre featured a Freakonomics episode. Not surprising. These guys are clearly masters at creating content. A podcast provides the perfect opportunity to extend a book’s premise, eliminating the wait for creating and publishing a follow up book to keep the message alive.  A comment at the end of this week’s reviews complimented the reviewer and exclaimed that he was not surprised NPR listenership was declining. The commenter couldn’t fathom why ANYONE would listen to Radio anymore.

I know why I still listen to radio. It takes a special talent to curate programming really well. What killed radio was the commercialized programming of music based only on promotion. We, as listeners, fell victim to a B2B model.  Thus we got bored and left as soon as we could. I listen to The Bridge a local radio station that provides unexpected delight through music I would never find on my own all because the DJs are very talented curators.

In what ways might we improve our curation skills to surprise and delight our audience to be better content marketers?

The Secret of the Mystery Show

“It must be quite a trip, to go about the world with this kind of head on. If every person you see is a treasure-chest of stories just waiting for the right question to open up, then you are never more than seconds away from a glittering, life-changing revelation. But of course, they are, and we’re all just too busy power-walking between pointless appointments, listening to podcasts, to notice.

“I wouldn’t have thought it was possible to be so moved by an eighty-year-old Swiss man I have never met, in a town I will probably never visit, rediscovering a long-lost gift. But unexpectedly, I’m welling up. Empathy, like God, moves in mysterious ways.” – Richard Obrien

This review of the Podcast the Mystery Show, by Obrien, is spot on.

How might your target audience member (also known as a person) be a treasure chest of stories you can tap into for your content marketing?

The Art of Storytelling

I just started listening to Lore, a podcast featuring short, dramatic essays about folklore and other mythical longstanding beliefs. It’s a lot of fun. One sponsor is The Great Courses. This organization sponsors several of my regular podcasts; I must be the perfect target audience member. The Great Course featured is always relevant to the podcast’s topic. Sooo smart. I may never want to take a course about The Law as featured on Undisclosed (yes, I am still riding this trend, can’t help it), but I will take this course on Storytelling, particularly since I am offered a listener’s discount.  One missing cross marketing tactic is that of mentions on the websites of each organization. Why not? Integrate!

Content Marketing Institute Podcast List

It wouldn’t be right to discuss podcasts and content marketing without listing a few podcasts featuring content marketing!  Here are several. I have not had the opportunity to listen to them yet, so I would love to hear your critiques. All are produced in conjunction with The Content Marketing Institute.

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Creative Clicks for Reading about Podcasting

If you’re intrigued by podcasting, here are several articles addressing the fundamentals.

The Power of Podcasts for Content Marketing

This article by the Digital Agency, Koozai, from Across-The-Pond (The UK if you are not one of our US readers), is a KEEPER! Written by John Waghorn, it outlines all the basics of Podcasting for your organization. The section about Creating Your Own Podcast. Makes it seem doable. Dispels some myths. It is further fuel for the fire to create a Brainzooming Podcast. Stay tuned.

Plan the Work, Work the Plan

This article by Sark e-Media gives a great set of questions to ask yourself when deciding to launch a podcast. I am a big believer in strategy, go figure.

Facing the Blank White Page of Podcasting

Wishpond highlights content types and tips for creating a podcast.  The tip to interact with other podcasts is most intriguing. When podcasts I follow mention hosts of others – or topics from other episodes – it makes me feel like part of a very special community. I am in “the Know.” This concept of exclusivity, or being a member of something, is very powerful in marketing, especially content marketing.

So if Brainzooming starts a podcast, what do you want to hear?

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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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Marianne-Carr-PhotoA friend recently told me a story about her friend whose grandmother, after engaging with Facebook, said the most wonderful thing.  I’m paraphrasing, but it was something like this, “Ya know when I read Facebook, there is all this wonderful stuff, and I don’t how it got there. It’s like God is speaking to me.”

I love this idea so very, very much.  Maybe it’s God. Maybe it’s the Universal Connection of Everything. Maybe it’s an Algorithm, grandma.  Whatever it is, there are indeed inspirations behind the creative clicks that just pop up on my Facebook page that influence my work everyday.

So in honor of Labor Day, this week’s Creative Clicks from Facebook inspire my working mind. No funny animal videos, all work related.  Here’s to a day off and letting God take the wheel of Facebook.

As always, finding the creative clicks is as easy as clicking on the title to link to the full article – Marianne Carr

The BikeWaiter – Branding in Every Way, Every Day.

It’s important to look for ways to incorporate your brand into daily opportunities that will delight your target audience, particularly if it’s in an unexpected but logical place.

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Get Stuff Done.

This is one of those gentle reminders that productivity isn’t possible when you are overstressed. It’s helpful to have reminders.

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Yes, Please.

I don’t think I need to say much about this Innovation! Ha! It made me LOL, which is a great way to inspire creative thinking. You bet I shared this!

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It is, Indeed, the Little Things.

Shifting perspective can give you some really great ideas. No link on this one because it’s from a friend who is an amateur, shy, and wonderful photographer. She sees beauty almost everywhere. That’s the way it should be.

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Brain Quirks and One of My Mentor’s Oliver Sacks.

This is a personal one. When I was in my early 20’s I read Oliver Sacks book The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat and became hooked on how the brain and creativity work. Oliver Sacks converts complicated mysteries of the mind into stories that allow us civilians to travel the journey for explanations. Thank you, Oliver.

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Creative Thinking Turns a Problem into a Solution.

…there is a real logic to the design. Solar panels are almost black and in Africa, the market for the Desolenator, they get really hot in the sun. So hot, that they deteriorate and produce less electricity. In the Desolenator, the water being purified runs over the solar panel and keeps it cool. In the process, the water is actually heated quite a bit, so that it takes far less energy to actually bring it to a boil. So there is a real logic to combining a solar panel and battery with a still: they both work better. The unit can also provide electricity to run LED bulbs in at night, so a single unit is delivering both water and light.

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Design for Life – Creativity that Inspires Me as a Global Citizen.

INDEX: Design to Improve Life® is a Danish NPO with global reach. We Inspire, Educate and Engage in designing sustainable solutions to global challenges. INDEX: Award was conceived in 2002 as a world event for design and was awarded for the first time in 2005. The word “INDEX” was an abbreviation of INternationalDEsign eXhibition and when the organization was founded, the goal was to brand Denmark by the use of a large-scale, traditional design award – hoping to attract attention, tourists and investments to Denmark.

Denmark has an award program that builds on its Global reputation for Design with the intention of building its Brand awareness while doing good.  Great combination. And the entries are extremely inspiring.

Ahem, May I disagree for a moment?

No Click here. Just a comment. Sometimes, if you are very lucky, your work IS like climbing a mountain. One that makes you achieve more than you thought possible.  You have Pride, and Skill, and sometimes falls, and great crevasses to cross. But if in the end it is ALL worth it, you WILL remember. There are many paths up the Mountain.  Make sure your job is one that makes you feel like planting your flag.

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Okay, One Cute Animal Video in Honor of Pajama Day.

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Pajama Day is when you spend all day in your pajamas! The only rule for Pajama Day is ‘there are no rules!” But there is a guideline, try not to do any work. Working is not in the spirit of the day, but hey, it’s your day. Do what you want. Here’s to hoping Labor Day is a Pajama Day for everyone!

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Marianne-Carr-PhotoListening. It is one of the best ways to get creative.

But listening seems to elude most of us during the day. We are busy talking, formulating thoughts, reading emails, and other activities such as looking at stuff, and tasting, smelling and touching. So why increase listening? And how? Here are some Creative Clicks that may help.

Remember to click on the headlines for these creative clicks to link to the articles. Enjoy! – Marianne Carr

What if Medium were a Podcast?

“There is one big problem on Medium for me: So many great articles posted every day, but so little time to read them all. I listen to a lot of podcasts, shows or talks in the background while I work or when I walk to the office, and I think it could be awesome to do the same thing with my saved Medium articleslisten to them as audio instead of reading them as text.”

I have become Podcast Crazy lately. It reminds me of something maybe you youngins don’t know too much about – RADIO!  I think this idea about listening to Medium Articles is just great. Listening is a gift we can use when doing something else. Of course, having the written word to go back to for quick reference is a real asset. Did you know you can read faster than you can listen? I like the way this can combine the advantages of both.

Magical Effects of Music

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“Effects of music include improving verbal IQ, aiding in heart disease treatment, evoking colours in the mind and even helping you see happy faces all around. Every fan knows the tremendous effects of music and the power it can have over both thoughts and emotions.”

Do I really need to add anything?

Messy mind? Clean it up with a tip about Listening

Five Ways to Declutter Your Body and Mind – “When I am particularly overwhelmed by negative thought clutter, and it seems as though the ruminations won’t end, I like to recite a poem. I literally recite my favorite poem (which I committed to knowing by memory for this very purpose), which happens to be Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver. I become so engaged in reciting the poem, mindful of both the rhythm and meaning of the words, that I let go of all other thoughts. My brain can’t both recite a poem and ruminate at once! You don’t have to use a poem…you can use a favorite song, monologue, etc.”

Listening to poetry is a great idea to take a break. Reciting it out loud, or in your head is the perfect way to combine speaking/thinking with listening to refresh. What’s your favorite poem? One of mine is “The Road Less Traveled” by Robert Frost. After reading this tip, I am going to memorize it so I can listen to it when I need it.

Listening to an advisor, but be sure it’s a good one.

Why Every CEO Should Have at Least One Trusted Advisor – “Having a trusted advisor eliminates the risks associated with working in isolation or at warp speed. To accept the advice of your advisor, however, you must have a sense of humility. You must accept that you could be wrong, you might require course correction or you might even have to start all over again.”

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Sometimes listening to others, really listening, can save your soul. Or job. What works about this article is it outlines the kind of advisor to seek out. My Mother often has advice for my professional life, but is it worth listening to?

Listening to the Wisdom of the Ages

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“Get inspiration from the best in (this) SlideShare. The collection of 50 motivational quotes on what good leadership truly means will not only help you be a better leader, but a better coworker, mentor, manager, employee, and even a better person.”

Why re-invent the wheel? Those that don’t study history, are destined to repeat it. Etcetera, Etcetera.

Managing the Noise of Social Media: Infographic

“Chances are you spend a pretty substantial amount of your life on social media. Be sure that you are getting the most out of your experience.”

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It’s not a Creative Clicks without an Infographic. This one has helpful hints for managing your listening to and interacting with the top Social Media sites. Including muting on Twitter, a.k.a. not listening anymore.

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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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This week I did an experiment. I wanted to see how inspired I could be through creative clicks on Twitter in about thirty minutes. These are links to some of the creative clicks that stood out for me.

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You can see my original re-tweet by searching @mbwcarr #CreativeClicks.

Remember to click on the headlines to link to the articles. Enjoy!  –Marianne Carr

Orange you glad I said Brainzooming?

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If you have read my past creative click on color you know how I love color. This gives some practical ways to apply color.

Your Brain on Logo

Here’s another way to understand the way your brain works in marketing.

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SQUIRREL!

“The human brain is powerful, but even it cannot make sense of the entire sum of stimuli that bombard our senses,” said Vincent P. Ferrera, PhD, the study’s senior author. Dr. Ferrera is a principal investigator at Columbia’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Bran Behavior Institute and associate professor in the department of neuroscience (in psychiatry) at CUMC. “Instead, it selects and prioritizes information based on what is needed at any given moment–this is called attention. And while attention is a fundamental characteristic of human cognition, and something that we use all the time, the underlying brain circuits that give us this ability remain largely unclear.”

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Huh? Did you say something? The human brain really IS the final frontier.

Jury Duty like the Rest of Us

A fellow juror, Sheri Coleman, told The Dallas Morning News that No. 43 was “very personable, very friendly, just ‘hey I’m here to serve.'”

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This inspired me because no matter who you are, where you are, or when it is, it’s always good to show up! And smile!

#POTUS #Entrepreneurship #Diversity #Awesome

President Barack Obama announced new public and private-sector commitments to attract diversity in entrepreneurship and technology. This included the winners of Small Business Administration competitions, federal partnerships to increase training efforts by the National Science Foundation, and expanding the TechHire initiative, where cities and states partner with employers in recruitment.

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Another reason to be inspired.

#iLookLikeAnEngineer

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While this ad campaign also featured several male employees of OneLogic, the image of the female engineer immediately began attracting attention after it went up in BART stations throughout the Bay Area. People didn’t believe the ad.

This is a shout out to all my Engineer friends. Love you, you diverse, interesting, creative group of people. Except when you try to teach me how to play Settlers of Catan. I’ll stick with Scattergories or Apples to Apples, thank you very much.

Creative Clicks to Find the Picture of Success

This simple yet beautifully illustrated animation, titled ‘What Is ‘Success’’, captures the nuances in the definition of success, and the importance of making it a fulfilling journey.

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This week I saw a post on LinkedIn of an infographic of habits of successful versus non-successful people. Stuff like “keeps a journal.” It didn’t sit right with me. This amazing little short animation does. My sister, who inspires me everyday, gave me a great piece of advice once, “Be your own yardstick.”  Hope this inspires you, too.

 

 

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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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Remember to click on the headlines to link to the creative thinking articles. Enjoy! –Marianne Carr

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Creative Thinking Boosters – Why do I feel these next three clicks work well together?

Playfulness and High School Kids

Looks like Bueller was right all along. But we knew that.

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The Creativity Pill

Wow, this is fascinating. What would it have been like if Spicoli had been on this instead?

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Here’s Why You Should Doodle

I have been visually “taking notes” since High School. Sister Mary Elephant just didn’t understand creative thinking, man.

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Read this Blog even if you don’t need help.

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Learning is never about being right or wrong; it’s about understanding. Learning with your team means putting on someone else’s glasses and seeing the world through his or her eyes. What you extrapolate is exactly what you should share. – Paul Jun, Growth team at Help Scout.

This organization does content marketing right. I don’t even need a help desk and I read the blog posts. You should, too.  Here’s this week’s and it’s about learning. The criteria for learning together to occur, and I concur, are explained well: Humility, Empathy, A Schedule, and A Safe Environment. I also like the thoughts about writing.

Creative Thinking Down in the Weeds Part 1 and Part 2

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Avoiding the weed patch is usually advantageous — except when it isn’t. Just as some desirable plants do sometimes grow among weeds, ideas that truly are treasures sometimes appear only when we take trips down into the weeds. That’s why examining the detailed structures underlying the big issues is a useful thing to do. What is usually less useful is doing so when we’re supposedly doing something else. – Rick Brenner, Chaco Canyon Consulting

The Chaco Canyon e-newsletter was one of the first newsletters I ever signed up for, and, to date myself, I think it was when I was using Netscape! Rick’s email newsletters aren’t pretty nor has it changed the format in 20 years, but they are good sources for team work, meeting management and project management creative thinking.

Around the World Designing for Change

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Love the Illinois Institute Technology (IIT) Institute of Design. I have been to several of their conferences in Chicago, so I anticipate this World Tour approach will be well executed and worth following.  I hope I can get the t-shirt!

The Best Use of Creative Thinking — Inspiring those that need it most.

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In full disclosure, I have never been to a PechaKucha event. I don’t even know how to pronounce it (Puh-chalk-cha?). Makes me think of that famous Pokemon character. But I like what this organization does. It has a big heart and a lot of creative thinking. This series of supporting global catastrophe zones is inspiring to me. It is beautiful what individual creative minds from around the world create. Why does this program make me more cynical about Ted Talks?

And Now for Something Completely Different…

And I quote, “Here’s an appealing idea: candy containing small amounts of fish.”

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This article, Fruit candy that tastes like salmon by Patrick ST. Michel, Special To The Japan Times, Jul 24, 2015, is short and sweet(?!). Reading articles about Japan from Japanese sources allows me to explore the ever-changing world of fads and trends that this wonderful country offers. I find myself Oooooing and Ahhhhing every day. –Marianne Carr

 

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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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Marianne-Carr-PhotoLast week I was challenged by some of my friends after reading my last two creative thinking posts. The challenge was – Where are the Women?  GOOD POINT! Women are inspiring leaders in so many ways for innovation, creative thinking, and marketing.  Here are Creative Clicks by Women, and in some cases, about Women. Hope you are Inspired! – Marianne Carr

A Note on these Creative Clicks by Gal Friday, Marianne Carr: Click on the Creative Thinking Headlines to Get to the Creative Thinking Original Post. 

Who in the Universe is Vera Rubin?

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“Instead of advice, I offer my hopes for you. I hope you will stay alert and heed the words of Yogi Berra: “You can see a lot by just looking.” I hope your lives will be filled with health and peace, that you understand there is much work to be done in the world and that many of you will choose to join with those who work and lead. I hope you will disdain mediocrity and aim to excel in whatever you do. I hope you will love your work as I love doing astronomy. I hope that you will fight injustice and discrimination in all its guises. I hope you will value diversity among your friends, among your colleagues…” Vera Rubin addresses the graduating class of Berkeley, 1996  Bright Galaxies, Dark Matter

If you are not reading  www.brainpickings.org run, don’t walk to your device of choice and sign up for blasts – email or in Facebook or Twitter. Do it noooow.

Oh, and it’s written by a woman  Maria Popova. She is a rock star to me.

Color, Color Everywhere and Lots of Stuff to Think

As a self-described Color Freak, (Lori’s title, not mine) I have been enjoying reading Lori Sawaya, Color Expert and Strategist, Facebook posts www.facebook.com/TheLandofColor for years now.  And of course, her thoughts are a natural fit for Pinterest,  www.pinterest.com/TheLandofColor/ with STUNNING posts that if you like color, and I know you do, you will eat up like candy.  Lori has 82 boards with trends and information. Her boards dedicated to just one color, are, dare I say, provocative. Also you can learn some great history from Lori. Her page Haint Blue the Legend includes Ghosts and Southern Mansions. Hopefully you get the picture why this colorful expert is an inspiration to creativity.

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In honor of Mike.

Women and Innovation and 18 Pages of Articles about Women, Girls and Social Innovation

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“The world is waking up to the economic power of women. A growing number of studies have indicated that gender-inclusive companies are more successful, that women’s participation in the labor force has had measurable effects on economic growth—indeed, that women’s leadership benefits the economy and society on every level. Despite this, traditional investment opportunities—both in the for-profit and the social sector—have excluded women from access to capital and done little to further gender equity in the workplace. In recent years, a movement towards “investing with a gender lens” has emerged. This movement encourages the use of capital to deliver financial returns…

Says the intro to the Webinar on The Rise of Gender Capitalism. And isn’t that what Innovation is all about? Making Money. Make some noize Girrrrls! Woot Woot!

Women Blogger on Innovation at Innovation Excellence

I researched  “Women Bloggers on Innovation,” and the Innovation Excellence site has several good woman bloggers.  One notable is Saga Briggs. Saga tends to focus on Learning and Education.

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Here are two recent posts from Saga:

 

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Great minds think about the same topics at the same time.

Or maybe another way to put it is that strategy guys start thinking about business strategy questions at the same time because it’s time to start thinking about strategic planning!

On Sunday afternoon, customer experience strategy and innovation expert Woody Bendle emailed this new blog article on business strategy questions. I saw the email, but didn’t take a look at the article. Later Sunday night when I decided to write a blog post for Monday, I did a Twitter search on #strategic to find creative inspiration. The result was a blog post on…you guessed it…business strategy questions! While there is a little bit of overlap with Woody’s article, his questions are focused on generating the strategy while the ones from the previous column were more for reviewing strategy after it’s been completed.

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So with that setup, here’s Woody!

 7 Business Strategy Questions from Woody Bendle

woody-bendleAs we enter into the back half of the year, it seems this is typically when many organizations begin their strategic planning and goal setting for the coming year.

Strategy and strategic planning needn’t be mysterious nor overly complicated although many organizations do in fact overcomplicate strategic planning.  The problem with this is complicated strategic planning processes tend to lead to needlessly complex strategies.  And the more complex your strategy, the less likely it is to be executed successfully.

After being involved with and/or leading strategy development for more than 20 years, I’ve found that organizations can develop a highly effective strategy by asking and answering just seven key questions.

  1. What are we trying to accomplish?
  2. Why are we trying to do this?
  3. What are our core values or what things do we believe in?
  4. What are the things we need to do in order to accomplish what we’re wanting to accomplish?
  5. How will we know if we are making progress towards our stated goals and objectives?
  6. What things (both internal and external) could get in the way of us achieving our goals and objectives?
  7. What things are we willing and or prepared to do if we are not achieving our stated goals or objectives at the rate desired?

Granted, these are pretty meaty questions; but you have to admit, they are pretty straight forward.

One thing I’ve definitely observed over the past 20 years is that the more straight forward your approach to strategy, the more straight forward your strategy will be; and the more likely it is that your strategy will be successfully executed.

And after all, the point of a strategy and a strategic plan is to define what success looks like for your organization and determine what all needs to be done in order for your organization to be successful.

I think Yogi Berra sums up this sentiment nicely, “If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.”  Woody Bendle

 

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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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