Market Research | The Brainzooming Group - Part 3 – page 3
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Final-ReportPreparing the final report for a long-term client engagement, I revisited our project management techniques relative to what goes into the document. Certainly The Brainzooming Group has nuances regarding how we conduct and create the final report for a strategy session we facilitate. Our new and reconfirmed project management techniques for closing out big projects, however, will be valuable to you when you are on the hook to prepare a final report of your own.

5 Final Report Success Tips

1. A final report is about the valuable output, not all the inputs

The important part of a final report is the set of recommendations from the project effort. While individual ideas generated along the way may have been interesting, their value as standalone ideas is secondary if they were not incorporated into the recommendations. While this is not surprising, there is still a part of me that struggles with not including all the ideas we had along the way into the final report for whatever value they may have in the future. Slowly, however, I am getting over this.

2. Do not waste too much time working out of sequence on the final report

Preparing the final report of a project that is complex will not necessarily happen in sequential order. If you are stuck trying to work on the beginning of the report, your inclination may be to start skipping around between sections to make at least some forward progress. As a project management technique, that is worth a try, but resist the inclination to skip around too much. Instead, settle on the section you think you have the best chance of advancing and focus on pushing that section of the final report forward for an extended time. Doing this lets you build momentum in a way that skipping around will not.

3. Print the final report draft and spread it out

When you have a big final report document underway, it is possible you will only be able to go so far organizing it onscreen. This is especially true if you need to make significant changes to move the final report of the project toward completion. If you find yourself staring at the screen for more than ten minutes unable to make a move to rearrange it, print the document (or at least a section of it) and use a paper copy you can spread out, reorder, and discover a better way to organize it.

4. Some final report sections may not fit and aren’t worth any more time

If a project is strategic, creative, and/or developmental in nature, by the time you get close to completion, you may have sections of the final report in both varying stages of completion and applicability. Some sections may seem less applicable the further along you get in preparing the report. Do not be reluctant to yank those sections from the final report if you cannot reasonably fix or complete them efficiently or on a timely basis.

5. Finishing can involve taking things away, not doing more

Looking at this project at one point, my comment was, “It’s too much and too little at the same time.” Sounds like Goldilocks when you read it here. The point is for as much as completing the final report of a project “seems” to be about adding more things, if you’re getting lost in how to complete it, smartly removing things may be the fastest way to get a project done.

What project management techniques help you finish the final report of a project?

We have many readers who have project management responsibilities, so what works for you in completing a significant final report document? Or what have you tried and found to not work – even though you would think it would? Getting projects closed out is a valuable skill, so we’d appreciate hearing your successes. – Mike Brown

 

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Does your organization have good ideas, but lacks the wherewithal to bring them to reality? The Brainzooming Group and our collaborative, implementation-oriented project management techniques will quickly move you toward success. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call 816-509-5320 for a free consultation on how to get started.

 

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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2012-favoritesFriday’s post featured my top ten list of favorite Brainzooming blog posts from 2012. Today’s post features your top ten list of  favorite 2012 Brainzooming blog posts as measured by Google Analytics pageviews.

While there are pre-2012 posts still drawing significant pageviews, the ten posts on this list all debuted in 2012. Not surprisingly, each post is a numbered list. The preference for numbered lists has been consistent each year, much to the chagrin of at least one reader who told me he is not a fan of big list blog posts. While I understand that, the Google Analytics pageview metrics show most of you do enjoy them.

One intriguing (but not surprising) wrinkle to the top ten list of favorite posts is five are compilation posts. These bigger lists are comprised of links to previous content, much of it originating prior to 2012. These posts play a role since with the Brainzooming blog growing to more than 1,300 posts during 2012, finding, compiling, and organizing content is more important for the blog to continue serving as a robust resource. Who would have thought you could wind up with almost too much content?

The final non-surprise on the list is there is only one article overlapping my personal favorites list: 7 Ways to Lie with Focus Groups. This pattern of minimal overlap between my personal favorites and the most viewed posts underscores how my criteria for selecting favorites are not correlated to pageviews. I select most of my personal favorites based on the backstories behind the posts, which clearly has almost nothing to do with what ultimately generates readership.

The Readers’ Top Ten Brainzooming Blog Posts for 2012

Here are your top ten favorite Brainzooming blog posts of 2012:

  1. Creating Cool Product Names for a New Product Idea – 8 Creative Thinking Questions
  2. What to Blog About? 187 Ideas and Topics for Blogs, All in One Place
  3. Brainstorming Session Success – 21 Brainstorming Techniques
  4. 15 Ideas on What to Blog about from Your Daily Life
  5. Extreme Creative Ideas – 50 Lessons to Improve Creativity Dramatically
  6. Advanced Twitter for Business – 19 Links to 480 Twitter Tips, Lessons, and Apps
  7. Research – 7 Ways to Lie with Focus Groups
  8. Extreme Creativity – 10 Brainstorming Questions from Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives
  9. Implementation Problems? 7 Signs You’re Understarting, Not Overthinking
  10. Creative Thinking Right Now? 188 Tips for How to Be Creative

Plus a Few Other 2012 Favorites

Beyond my previous top ten list, here are a few other posts that stand out for me this year written by others:

  • Space and Creativity – This was Woody Bendle’s first Brainzooming post in 2012, and he went on to be the most prolific guest blogger of 2012 . . . and I hope in 2013, too!
  • Great Strategic Questions – A 3-Step Strategic Question Formula – This post from Barrett Sydnor is a favorite of mine because the formula Barrett shares for devising strategic questions is absolutely ideal for getting great input from others.
  • The Importance of a Passion Project – Alyssa Murfey made her Brainzooming blog debut in 2011 and followed it up with several more in 2012, including this one on her passion project. We hope to grow the collaboration in 2013 to include a presentation on personal branding for both early and more experienced professionals.
  • Clementine-BoxWorking Cats: A Day In The Life Of An Executive Cat – If you follow my Facebook feed, you have seen pictures of Clementine, our feline Director of Enthusiasm at The Brainzooming Group. She made her blogging debut on Fully Feline in 2012, sharing what her life is like as a working cat. We will have to see if she has a Brainzooming post in her in 2013!

Mike Brown

 

Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic creative ideas! For an organizational creativity boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.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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2012-favoritesHere is my list of personal top ten favorite Brainzooming blog posts from 2012, along with a few notes on the origins or outcomes of each post. Stay tuned Monday for the list of the most viewed new Brainzooming blog posts from 2012. And as has become a pattern, my list and your list are pretty different!

Father’s Day and Some Parental Advice You Should Heed – June 15

I’m always surprised reviewing every blog post for this annual feature about the range of topics covered on the Brainzooming blog. This post – of a personal nature – is without a doubt the most important post in 2012, though. So much business stuff can get fixed later. If you ignore this post’s advice, however, there’s no going back to fix it.

Brand Experience, Glass Houses, and Naked Shower Guy – November 2

This was an easy choice as a 2012 favorite post. I’d been seeing Naked Shower Guy for several years, but wasn’t going to write about this bizarre situation without an underlying connection to Brainzooming content. Ultimately, a user experience research project we were doing for a client this year became the angle. Trying to get our local online “paper” to cover the story ANONYMOUSLY – hoping to let Naked Shower Guy know what was going on – didn’t work quite as planned though!

Research – 7 Ways to Lie with Focus Groups – October 3

This post seemed to strike a nerve among some members of the market research community. One market research celeb claimed it was because the “7 Ways to Lie with Focus Groups” said things nobody will say about market research reporting. The post was inspired by sitting through a poorly-designed focus group and the report out which made it all seem as if the market research supported quantitative conclusions. My favorite part is the someecards graphic desperately created the night before the post ran because it COULDN’T have a stock photo!

Just Thinkin’ – Musings from Twitter (Apologies to Larry King) – December 13

I’ve been a Larry King fan since my first job where I listened to his radio show during all- nighters. His open phone hour had some real wacko callers, which WAS a bit unnerving when you’re the only person in a nine-story office building at midnight! His run-on writing style has been parodied frequently, but this post was my first shot at trying the Larry King, ellipsis-heavy format. But you know what? The Larry King-style column is golden for compiling old tweets and random ideas. Expect to see this format again . . . I promise.

Strategic Thinking Exercise – Black Swan Events in Your Plan – October 25

This post is a favorite for various reasons. The post was inspired by a client question. It demonstrates how we apply the Brainzooming methodology to translate a client’s desired strategic outcome into a strategic thinking exercise to deliver it. There was a way to work a scene from Ghostbusters into it. And one of my strategic mentors, Chuck Dymer, said very kind things about the post in the comments. It doesn’t get any more favorite than that!

B2B Relationship Marketing – 5 Ways Facebook Helps B2B Relationships – July 12

This post recapping a friend’s weekend-long, B2B-oriented entertainment adventure with her clients is a favorite because of the masterful integration of experience marketing and Facebook social sharing. In fact, the Facebook social sharing took a memorable weekend for a couple of clients to a broader marketing effort aimed at potential clients and a challenge to competitors.

11 Strategic Questions for Disruptive Innovation in Markets – May 9

I personally liked walking away from the KCKCC Innovation Summit to be able to devise these questions (based on the presentations) to trigger ideas for disruptive innovation. Interestingly, the post sparked one of the blog’s first troll-like responses: an “innovation” guy who objected to the post’s headline as misleading. Despite his comments on the post, I stand by it. I could have shared very narrow stories from the presenters. Instead, you get very usable strategic questions to create your own potential disruptive innovation.

Gigabit City Summit Idea: When Everything Is in the Cloud, What Does “Place” Mean? – July 25

Great questions resonate for a long time. The question in the title from Josep Piqué during a Gigabit City Summit during the summer still resonates: “When everything is in the cloud, what does ‘place’ mean?” While it’s intriguing to speculate about the answer, it will be even more intriguing to see how the question is answered over the next twenty-five years.

Listening for Blog Content Is an Art within Your Grasp – January 27

This post is a personal favorite because it came directly from going to a networking event (generally not my favorite thing to do), the topic originated within 90 minutes of it becoming a blog post, it underscores how blog topics are all over the place, and it’s one in a series of Brainzooming blog posts inspired by Jason Harper. All that, plus the main part of the post is written in Sharpie marker on the back of my 2012 goals. Unfortunately, I probably did a better job with remembering Jason’s comment than remembering my 2012 goals.

Assistance Unwanted – 5 Management Style Signs Helping Is Futile – August 1

I’ll admit a decent number of Brainzooming blog posts are written about things I’m pissed off about in some way. But rather than blister someone, I try to generalize my frustration so it’s helpful for you and protects the object of my frustration. This frustration-inspired post is a favorite since it uses frustration from six years ago to obscure a 2012 situation that was frustrating me to no end. Venting your frustrations through generalized blog posts works. Add that to the reasons for why you should start a blog! – Mike Brown

 

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If you’re struggling to create or sustain innovation and growth, The Brainzooming Group can be the strategic catalyst you need. We will apply our  strategic thinking, brainstorming, and implementation tools to help you create greater innovation success. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call  816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you figure out how to work around innovation and implementation challenges.


 

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

We have run several posts on visual thinking tools we find particularly valuable in the Brainzooming process. One of my personal favorite visual thinking tools is a matrix, grid, or table. Maybe I like a matrix so much because I liked an orange divided dinner plate from my childhood since it kept different types of food separated from each other. A matrix does a similarly effective job of separating data and ideas to better compare and contrast them.

For whatever reason, from the first time I used a spreadsheet, I gravitated to using matrices for both numerical and prose-based data display.

9 Reasons a Matrix Is One of the Hardest Working Visual Thinking Tools

When you use a matrix to organize data, it does many of the same things an xy graph does since each displays available information along two dimensions, with the opportunity to create smaller categories along each dimension as well.

A matrix is an especially hard working visual thinking tool since it:

  • Creates structure for data while still providing flexibility. Simply changing the dimensions used to organize the information allows for a potentially very different look.
  • Can convey, depending on the dimensions you choose, relationships based on chronology, proximity, organizational structure, dependencies, characteristics, etc.
  • Allows text, numbers, symbols, images, and even colors to display and communicate comparative insights.
  • Frees data in the matrix from having to point out relationships to the two labels describing a particular cell’s position. This allows data to address other important insights and relationships.
  • Can be either tremendously information dense or highly stylized and simple based on its size and the analytical needs.
  • Invites comparisons and contrasts between and among adjoining cells. Depending on the size and arrangement of the matrix, one cell can have adjacent contrasts with as many as eight cells (those on each of the four sides and four additional cells at the corners).
  • Can make sameness more obvious since identical or similar data will stand out (and potentially lead you to revise the matrix dimensions to accentuate differences).
  • Can make various types of differences stand out, particularly varying levels of information completeness or ratings.
  • Is generally portable between spreadsheet, document, and presentation software programs.

Those are some strong visual thinking advantages that make using a matrix a compelling data display choice.

Are you a fan of using a matrix as a visual thinking tool?

Do you use matrices often? If so, what other advantages do you see a matrix providing for your visual thinking needs? – Mike Brown

 

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

Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic ideas! For an organizational creativity boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.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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4

The  old saying, “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones,” is wrong when it comes to a business assessing brand experience. When you’re responsible for managing brand experience, the saying should be, “People who live in glass houses should be begging anyone and everyone to throw stones.”

Let me explain with an unusual example.

I live in Prairie Village, KS, an early post-World War II suburb in the Kansas City, MO metro area. Prairie Village is filled with Cape Cod-style houses. One peculiarity of the original Cape Cod design was having a full window in the bathroom where the bathtub/shower is placed. This oddity has been modified in various ways by nearly all owners over the years. In our house, for instance, the upstairs bathroom window is covered over and the downstairs bathroom window is now a small one for ventilation.

Glass Houses

Other homeowners have gone a different route.

Directly across the street from the parking lot where I attend 6:30 a.m. mass weekdays is a Cape Cod house whose window has been replaced with glass block.

Yes, glass block with no window covering.

That’s exactly what you think it is.

Fairly frequently when it’s still dark at 7 a.m., this is the view I see when turning onto a fairly heavily traveled road in Prairie Village that runs past this house. It’s a road with lots of traffic, early morning joggers, and students walking to the nearby high school at that time of day.

The thing is, I have no idea who naked shower guy is or whether his rather regular early morning shows are intentional or from a complete lack of awareness of the properties of glass and light.

Naked Shower Guy and Brand Experience Monitoring

Nonetheless, naked shower guy isn’t unlike a lot of organizations who think they have a solid handle on the brand experience of their customers, employees, and stakeholders. It’s easy for a company to delude itself into thinking it knows what its customers and employees are experiencing. That’s especially true when they hand out thousands of URLs and phone numbers to customers asking them to let the company know how they’re doing via a few questions on inbound customer surveys rating performance.

Here’s the potential problem though with relying solely on this type of brand experience monitoring.

Substitute naked shower guy in his Cape Cod house for one of these businesses handling brand experience monitoring through quick inbound customer surveys.

If naked shower guy were doing a five-question online survey, he might ask about a variety of standard elements of the brand experience around a Prairie Village Cape Cod house – Is it well-painted and maintained? Is the yard mowed? Are the trees and flowers attractive? Is the surrounding area clean and free of trash?

He’d never ask, “How do you find the view of me naked in the shower every morning?”

Why?

Because he’d be deciding questions to ask based on his inside-out view of what the brand experience is. And clearly no one has mentioned to him that the most prominent experience related to his brand is him naked in the shower.

Outside-In Brand Experience Monitoring

So before you launch into a program to capture customer ratings on the standard stuff, take the time to ask questions and encourage all your audiences to throw some stones about what makes up your brand experience from their perspectives. Don’t just rely on your internal perspective of brand experience or you’ll miss some potential problem areas you’d never imagine .

Because you DON’T want to be naked shower guy. Trust me on that.  – Mike Brown

 

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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 info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.

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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5

In some business circles, it isn’t hard to pass off research results from focus groups as “substantial,” IF you know how to present them.

7 Ways to Lie with Focus Groups

Here are 7 fundamental lessons to lie with your focus group results when you present them:

1. Make Little Things Big

When you have very few responses because you conducted focus groups to save money when you really needed quantitative analysis, put only one quote – in very big type – on each page of your report. Doing this makes a single statement from one person in the focus groups look like a movement.

2. Throw Some Numbers Around

Don’t let talking to only twenty-nine people in a few focus groups stand in the way of reporting quantitative research results. If ten people in your focus groups responded the same way, that means more than a third of the people you talked to share that perspective. Don’t hesitate to call it “34.5%” in the report. You worked hard for that number; you earned that number.

3. You Have to Have a Model

When you don’t have many insights, develop a very complex diagram and call it your “strategic model.” Shrink your strategic model to such a small size to fit on a page that it becomes illegible. This will minimize nearly any ability your audience has to ask (and your need to respond to) strategic questions about your complex diagram.

4. Make Details Small

Extend the illegible size strategy to any explanatory text. Other than the humongous quotes, make any other words a 6-point size so the explanatory text, along with your strategic model, are all illegible.

5. Consider Pictures to Be Worth a Thousand Words

Stock photos are underrated as rich sources of research insights. Make sure you use stock photos liberally (on the title page, to introduce new sections, to take the place of data) and in a large format to occupy space. Stock photos substitute for one thousand words of meaningful research results you weren’t able to deliver because you did the wrong type of research.

6. Symbolize the Results

When the conclusions you have derived from the research aren’t particularly meaningful, attach symbols to them in your report. The symbols make it seem as if your conclusions are so substantial they warranted the time investment to create a customized symbol for each one.

7. Don’t Show Everything or Say How Much “Everything” Is

Make repeated references to a boatload of material from the focus groups you didn’t include in the final report. It will make everyone feel good to believe there’s something more to the research without having to actually read anything with more detail.

I’m Kidding

Yes, I’m kidding about doing these things.

Don’t do them.

But don’t be surprised when you’re presented a research report that DOES do them. Some “researchers” lie with charts (affiliate link), but they also lie with pictures, fonts, and words as well. Be on the lookout, and start asking questions, even if what’s on the page is so small you can hardly read it. – Mike Brown

 

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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 info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.

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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17

This is the final installment of creative ideas from the June 2012 issue of Fast Company featuring its list of The 100 Most Creative People in Business 2012. These final thirty-six creative storytelling and creative process tips, as with the other from earlier ones, were all inspired by individual profiles on on the Fast Company 100 Most Creative People in Business list.

I hope this slightly different take on The Most Creative People in Business list profiles has been helpful now and in the future. For me personally, I pulled away perhaps five big idea possibilities for The Brainzooming Group. They tied specifically to business development and user experience ideas. Quite frankly, I’d hoped for a more, but the shortfall may be because of the abbreviated nature of the profiles Fast Company features on each person listed.

Now that our coverage on the creative people list wraps with these thirty-six creative storytelling and creative process tips, I guess it’s up to all of us now to get on with our creative work to try and make the list in 2013!

Creative Storytelling

What’s your story? Write your story. Then share it. Over and over.  Bradford Shellhammer – Cofounder, Chief Creative Officer, Fab.com (#50)

Make stories. Tie together important touch points and create stories from them.  – Steve Porter – Viral Video Producer (#60)

When you develop your own material you can create it in the way you want, with the people you admire, and end up with creative output that works for you.  Aziz Ansari – Comedian, Actor, “Parks and Rec” (#87)

Curation isn’t exclusively selection. It’s about playing out a perspective that connects to the audience.  Maria Popova – Editor, Brainpickings.org (#51)

In conveying information (whether infographics or not), start with analysis, followed by determining the size and breadth of the insights, and finish with making it accessible.  Eddie Opara – Partner, Pentagram (#52)

Introduce new content to your audience every day wrapped in great creative storytelling with strong characters, plot twists, surprising resolutions and a hint at what happens next.  Andrew Wilson – Executive Vice President, EA Sports (#40)

In what ways does every piece of new content you create build on your amazing story?  – Jeremy Heimans – Founder, Purpose (#11)

Dress the creative part. It’s your obligation to wear jeans if it allows others to see you in the proper light.  Cyrus Massoumi – Cofounder, ZocDoc (#57)

Creative Process Tips

It’s harder to sustain your creativity than it is to work to get your creative break. Focus on only doing what counts to make or keep your creative break. Don’t let yourself become distracted.  Ceelo Green – Entertainer (#5)

You can’t sit still and expect ideas will just pop out of your head. Go do something!  Elvis Chau – Executive Creative Director, JWT Shanghai (#84)

How much nonsense stuff are you doing? Is it good nonsense (that spurs creativity) or bad nonsense (it saps creativity)?  Andrew Yang – Founder, Venture for America (#27)

If you’re the creative force in your organization can you afford to personally “touch” everything your organization produces? Can you afford not to?  Pamela Love – Founder, Pamela Lover N.Y.C. (#93)

Make every square inch of your work space creative and fill it with people who have both the creative and technical talents to create through your entire process.  Tony Haile – CEO, Chartbeat (#64)

Hold a weekly “Inspiration Friday,” event to share anything that’s been a creative inspiration in the past 7 days.  Neil Blumenthal – Confounder, Warby Parker (#92)

Try a “walking meeting” to talk and walk and solve.  Andrew Hsu – Founder, Airy Labs (#68)

Spit out as many ideas as fast as you can to get them out and captured. Then think about the connections and context among them.  Greg Gunn – Entrepreneur in Residence, City Light Central (#85)

Take an experimental view and put together unconnected things to find the strategic connectionsMasashi Kawamura – Cofounder, Creative Director, Party (#47)

When you’re in a partnership, one person’s passion for an idea or approach trumps the other’s reticence.  Anand Rajaraman & Venky Harinarayan – Coheads, Walmart Labs (#53)

When you’re creating a fantasy world, there still should be a solid internal logic to it.  – Thomas Tull – Founder, Chairman, CEO, Legendary Entertainment (#55)

Share a starting idea or piece of creative work with the crowd, and let the crowd edit, change, or rank it to create the final version.  Roy Price – Director, Amazon Studios (#15)

Invest more time in the visualization of whatever you do or create.  – Miriah Meyer- Computer Scientist, University of Utah (#24)

Every creative effort has to incorporate time to consider its aesthetics.  Janet Iwasa – Molecular Animator, Harvard University (#25)

If you have different strategic efforts focused on the same creative goal that are difficult to compare, come up with a new success metric that works for both.  Stefan Olander – VP, Digital Sport, Nike (#7)

If you’re addressing multiple audiences and can’t play creative favorites among them, create a prototypical audience member who is both everyone and no one at the same time.  Kibwe Tavares – Cofounder, Factor Fifteen (#91)

Turn teaching into an experience of a class creating something together.  Michael Karnjanaprakorn – Founder, Skillshare (#18)

When education is the goal, contact and interaction is a fundamental aspect of the process.  – Anka Mulder – President, OpenCourseWare Consortium (#19)

If you don’t want to seem abrupt to your audience, signal what you’re planning to do before you do it.  Leila Takayama – Research Scientist, Willow Garage (#30)

When signaling change, physically destroy a representation of the attitudes that are getting in the way (i.e., put negative culture characteristics on beer bottles and smash them).  – Jeff Charney – CMO, Progressive Insurance (#35)

Audiences are more accepting of new content being delivered without as much polish, allowing you more room for trial, error, and learning.  T.J. Miller – Actor, Comedian (#58)

Personal relevancy and engagement drive not only why people open things online, but also why people want to interact with anything.  Ron J. Williams – CEO, Cofounder, Knodes (#62)

Invest more of your creative time and energy on creating incredible transitions in your work.  Danny Trinh – Designer, Path (#66)

Maybe literacy in the Arab world is bad because of bad typefaces. Great reminder to keep asking, “Why else could this be happening?” until you get to very surprising answers.  Nadine Chahine – Type Designer, Linotype and Monotype Imaging (#69)

When thinking about creative executions for mobile applications, strip things down to their simplest, tiniest forms.  Ethan Marcotte – Freelance Web Designed (#75)

When someone’s pushed to the breaking point in a process you discover what they REALLY believe vs. what they’re doing simply it seems like the right thing to do.  Carrie Brownstein – Writer, Actor, Portlandia (#95)

If there’s a problem with even one part of your creative output, there’s a problem with all of your creative output.  Robin Guenther – Principal, Perkins + Will (#61)

When there’s a problem, look at the things that are still working and rewind them until everything seems to function in an expected way. Then restart.  Nina Tandon – Research Scientist, Columbia University (#26)  – 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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