Social media | The Brainzooming Group - Part 58 – page 58
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I was talking with someone several years younger than me who has significant job-related online responsibilities. In the course of the conversation, the person mentioned social media duties in the organization were delegated to younger people because they “get social media.”

Wow!

Incredible, but maybe not all that surprising given the number of people you see with social media-focused job titles and social media experts /gurus /consultants with apparently very narrow focuses on social media to the exclusion of other aspects of business strategy.

Here’s a suggestion: you can’t foster artificial disconnects between online and social media strategies within your organization.

Additionally, forget about allowing strategy-crippling disconnects between social media and other core business functions. Depending on your business situation, one can make the case that social media / social networking strategy could be integrated with strategies in:

  • HR
  • R&D
  • Product development
  • Brand Experience
  • Operations / Manufacturing
  • Communication
  • Marketing
  • Pricing
  • Advertising
  • Sales
  • Customer service
  • Channel management
  • Web / online
  • Logistics
  • Distribution
  • IT
  • Legal
  • Government relations
  • Finance

Obviously not every one of these strategies needs to be integrated with the social media / networking strategy in every business. But all of them ARE integration possibilities based on first-hand client experience and regular perusal of social media case studies.

And while we’re at it, here’s another suggestion: if you’re over 40, don’t succumb to artificial age or generational divides between you and the “younger crowd” that “gets” social media either. Social networking will neither save nor end the world as we know it, but it has and will continue to fundamentally change vital aspects of business strategy.

Do yourself a big favor. If you haven’t already, start thinking about social media and social networking holistically right away. The future success of your career and your business depend on it!  – 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 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

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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1

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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1

I authored several pieces a few months ago on the many ways social networking can drive innovation strategy and development efforts.  As a follow-up to those innovation articles, Chuck Dymer of Brilliance Activator and The Brainzooming Group partnered to record a podcast on the same topic. Chuck and I speak about how a business can use social networking strategies to:

  • Listen to its marketplace in new, strategic ways
  • Build and active new expertise inside and outside its organization
  • Enable an innovative collaboration strategy

The podcast is free and available for download Chuck’s Brilliance Activator website as the featured resource. I encourage you to take a listen and consider how you can plan to strengthen your innovation strategy through social networking. – 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 learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

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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74

Creative Ideas for CreativityFiguring out how to be creative when your creativity is blocked can depend on simply choosing appropriate creative thinking techniques to boost your creative inspiration.

Here are 26 creative ideas you can use when you are struggling with how to be creative and boost your innovative  thinking.

Pick as many of these tested creative thinking techniques as you need to re-start your creative process, find creative inspiration, and overcome a creative block.

Try Simplifying Things

Start your Creative Process with Things You’ll Throw Away – Decide upfront you’ll discard anything you create in the next hour, then simply dive in and start doing something toward your creative goal right away. You’re willing to trash it, so don’t let any self-criticism block your creative inspiration.

Doodle and Eat – Many restaurants use white paper in place of cloth table coverings. Go to one nearby with pens, markers, or crayons and doodle your way through dinner. Write, draw, diagram, or do whatever else will trigger your creativity.

Try Trait Transformation – Write down 6 descriptors or characteristics of your creative challenge. For each descriptor, ask how it would help meet your creative objective if it were bigger, smaller, turned around, removed, customized, standardized, or simplified. Asking these questions to twist your situation leads to lots of new creative ideas.

Create an Artifact – Find a small something to create that’s more easily achievable than your whole project (it could be working on something you’ve already put in the creative trash heap). Create your small start and use it as a tangible first step to get to your next bigger creative ideas.

Change Your Creative Environment

Finish Something – Maybe an obligation completely unrelated to your creative challenge is hanging over your head. Drop your creative project and focus on other nagging deadlines which may be affecting you subconsciously. Getting pesky non-creative deadlines out of the way can free you for a new perspective on creativity.

Go Get Sweaty – Studies show it and so does any great workout – physical exercise is a wonderful way to shake your mental cobwebs loose. Pick your favorite exercise and participate in it aggressively, putting your creative block to the side. When you’re done, you’ll see your creative challenge with new clarity.

Embrace Mindless Activity – Perform an activity you’re able to do without thinking or using any creative thinking. Maybe it’s cleaning or lawn work or driving around. It has to be active with plenty of opportunity for your mind to wander creatively.

Change Scenery While Staying Where You Are – Alter as much as you can about your current environment – vary the lighting, rearrange the furniture (avoiding creativity constricting right angles), sit in a different chair, stand up or lay down, look out the window, step away from the computer. Whatever you’re doing where you are, do things completely differently to stimulate your creative process.

Change Scenery By Changing Where You Are – Get as far away as you can from your creative block’s “home field.” At the office? Go to a museum or a hotel lobby. Spent too much time inside? Get outside as quickly as you can. Bored with your hometown? Start traveling. Whatever it takes, force yourself to change your physical surroundings for a creativity boost.

Take advantage of “Crowdspiration” – Go where there’s a crowd of people and use the looks, conversations, and buzz of the crowd to catalyze your creativity. Remember: the crowd can be in real life or virtual, because wading into the Twitter pool is another great source of random crowdspiration too!

Switch to a Bare Wall – Completely change the “canvas” on which you’re trying to express your creativity by switching to a new, blank one. If you’re stuck on a computer, get a new notebook and start handwriting. When you’re not able to draw something with a pencil on paper, switch to painting on an oversized canvas.

Borrow Creative Inspiration

Return to the Familiar – Use the forms, styles, characters, and media that are old standbys for your creative expression. Take advantage of familiar forms to get your creativity re-started.

Revisit Your Creative Pinnacles – Go back to a past creative success and create a variation on the theme. When stuck while blogging, redo your favorite post from a different perspective or angle. If the music isn’t flowing, play a favorite piece in a different key or tempo.

Seek out Someone Else’s Creative Pinnacle – Pick some output from one of your creative inspirations and do a BIG (i.e. non-copyright infringing) variation on a successful theme they used.

Use “Real Simple” Magazine – Real Simple, in particular, is a great creative inspiration. Take your creative block and go page by page asking how the images and headlines you see could shape your creativity, writing down ideas as you go. If you prefer a different magazine, look for one with lots of images and big headlines.

Random Wikipedia – Random inputs help trigger innovative thinking, so here’s a quirky approach to try. Take a period of your life, pick a starting point (i.e. an actor or author you enjoyed then), and look it up on Wikipedia. Click on a random link in the first Wikipedia entry and keep surfing for semi-random inputs. You never know what cool creativity will be inspired via Wikiwaves.

Stop Trying So Hard to Be Creative

Stop Everything – Walk away from your creative process and take a 30 minute nap (or whatever length leaves you refreshed). Let your mind wander and imagine anything at all as you go to sleep. Come back to your creative process refreshed and ready with new creative inspiration.

Tend to Your Basic Needs – Drink some water. Take a shower. Eat your favorite meal. Eat something you’ve never eaten before.  Take care of the basic needs of life and then restart your creative efforts.

Laugh Like Crazy – Watch an incredibly funny TV show or movie and laugh like you never have before. If laughter isn’t your best medicine for creative inspiration, pick something else to watch that you know will tug on other emotions. The key is triggering your emotions to open yourself to new creativity.

Be Patient – You know what? Now might just not be the time you can muster your creativity to respond to the goal at hand. Put the project to the side (maybe for an extended period of time), apply your creativity to areas where it is readily flowing, with the faith (you may want to say a creativity prayer) that the spark you need will happen at the right time, even if you don’t know when that is!

Seek Out New Creative Inspiration

Find Some Fresh Eyes – Ask a creative friend who doesn’t have any background in the area of your creative block how they’d approach your challenge. With a new set of eyes and fresh thinking, chances are the other person will see a creative key you’re missing.

Put Your Kids in Charge – For little kids, the whole world is new and full of creativity. Get your kids (or borrow somebody else’s, but ask first) and see what kind of creative fun they’d like to have. Whether it’s playing in the yard or going to Chuck E. Cheese, throw yourself into creativity with childlike glee to uncover new inspiration for creativity.

Seek out People with Dramatic News to Share – For some people, angst leads to creativity. For others, happiness triggers creativity. When stuck creatively, find the people in your circle with compelling stories to share – whether of challenges or of successes – as new inspiration sources.

Find Someone Who Loves Something You Created – People who think you’re creative are great creative catalysts. Seek them out and ask what inspires them about creative work you’ve done. Use how you’ve inspired them in the past to inspire your creativity now.

Host a Creative Happy Hour – Invite a group of cool, creative people to join you for a happy hour. Have fun, share some stories, ask for some creative input from your companions, and get in a creative spirit once again.

Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” – This Brainzooming Ebook highlights 8 perspectives for how to be creative to stimulate innovative thinking.

Are You Inspired Yet?

These 26 creative ideas should get you started in your discover of how to be creative when creativity is elusive for you.

What creative process tips or creative ideas can you add to this list of creative inspiration techniques? We’d love to include your ideas to overcome creative block as well. – Mike Brown

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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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