Strategic Planning | The Brainzooming Group - Part 30 – page 30
5

At its core, The Brainzooming Group helps organizations become more successful by rapidly expanding the range of strategic options they consider. We then help them prioritize and plan for implementing the strongest alternative. Since many organizations are challenged right now in determining what social networking means for them, we’re doing lots of work on social media strategy.

We apply our strategy development methodology to social media to help clients get a quick handle on smart moves into social business. How quick? One client, after a full-day, multi-organization planning session said, “What we did today would have taken us six months on our own.”

That’s what we want to hear!

Adapting the Brainzooming methodology more specifically to social media strategy has triggered a lot of development and writing in this area. To make our strategic thinking more accessible and valuable to you, here are 50 Brainzooming articles on multiple aspects of social media strategy. These posts will help you better address it from a broad, organizational perspective.

You won’t find an article on “How Do I Set up a Facebook Page” for my business.

What you will discover are very adaptable principles on how social media can work (or work harder and better) for your organization and its audiences. If you’d like to discuss specifics on what these ideas mean for your organization, let us know. We’d love to work with you! – Mike Brown

Core Strategy

Social Media Metrics and ROI

Social Media Listening

Building Relationships with an Audience

Content Marketing

Improving the Productivity and Impact of Your Social Media Implementation

Customer Interaction in the Age of Social Media

Social Media Policy and Guidelines

Using Social Media to Drive Innovation

Incorporating Social Media into Event Marketing

Rants – Don’t Believe the Social Media Hype

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’ve developed  integrated social media strategy for other brands and can do the same for yours.


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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

2

A tweet early Saturday morning mentioned actress Jill Clayburgh had died the day before. I’ll admit when a celebrity death hits Twitter, I usually search for an article to get a little more background on the person and their life.

The first Jill Clayburgh obituary story included a 2005 quote from her on the real “planning” behind a typical actor’s career:

“One of the funny things about actors is that people look at their careers in retrospect, as if they have a plan.  Mostly, you just get a call. You’re just sitting there going, ‘Oh, my God. I’m never going to work again. Oh, God. I’m too old. Maybe I should go and work for Howard Dean.’ And then it changes.

There are the seeds of an important strategic lesson in there: It’s great to have a plan ahead of time, but often you don’t have a very formal one. Plus things happen which have nothing to do with the plan or anything which was considered. So even if you aren’t able to draw a smooth, strategic line to anticipate what will happen to you ahead of it happening, at least be able to draw the line and shape a strategic story after the fact.

Find the connections you would have liked to have seen ahead of time. Learn what you can from this hindsight-based strategic view, and apply it to what’s in front of you…then maybe you will be better able to plan out what’s coming up in your future.

My reflection on the “it’s okay to figure out the strategic picture afterward” idea probably stems from today being the third anniversary of starting to write the Brainzooming blog’s forerunner.

While the blog was originally written as a creative outlet beyond the corporate world, there was certainly some forethought to wanting to build and document the learnings and tools emerging from the strategy and innovation work I was doing.

I must admit though, if the blog had been started considering the possibility of it being an integral part of a business-building effort one day, some things would have been done differently. But then again, all that thinking probably would have gotten in the way of ever getting started.

The net of it all? It’s been 3 years of content creation I wouldn’t ever have wanted to miss!

Thanks for hanging out with me here! And please do me a favor: if you’re getting value from the Brainzooming blog, share it with a few people you know who might also benefit. We’re always looking for more readers!  – 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 help you enhance your brand 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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

1

Geoffrey Allison, the SIX STRING cpaTM , reached out on Twitter recently about guest posting on strategy and planning. His tweet led to an in-person lunch where I learned more about Geoffrey’s career and his combination of finance and music.

With over 17 years of business experience, Geoffrey holds two undergraduate degrees, Business Administration and Accounting, as well as an MBA.  The title of one of his first compositions was “The Six String CPA”, and he now thoughtfully merges his love of both rock guitar and finance in his consulting work via his trademark SIX STRING cpaTM.  When Geoff is not busy working on various ideas and ventures he is building up a new charity, Building a Bookshelf, that he started with his wife.

I’m always a huge fan of whole-brain finance people (especially those similar to long-time reader Cory Christensen who combine the mathematical underpinnings of music and finance), so it was great to get to know Geoffrey better and share his take on strategic planning with you:

Strategy Development: A New Take

Spend any time in the business world and you will quickly learn building a successful business is as much art as science. And one can approach the building of their business similarly to creating a musical composition. Put the pieces together in a manner so that you create a business that is a unique expression of what you need and want to accomplish. More importantly, creating a unique business establishes a competitive advantage that is harder for competitors to mimic and may create increasing value.

Phrasing is a very powerful technique in the musical world. A portion of the Wikipedia definition for Musical Phrasing says : “Phrasing refers to an expressive shaping of music, and relates to this shaping of notes in time. Phrasing relates to the manner of playing the individual notes of a particular group of consecutive notes; and the way they are weighted and shaped relative to one another…”  For example, if I am developing a rock riff for electric guitar, I can end the riff by playing an “A” note located on the fifth fret of the low “E” string or  by playing the open fifth “A” string.  Numerous other combinations and permutations exist too. The result of phrasing is very interesting. Not only does the riff sound slightly different but changing the phrasing of the riff allows the composer to plan ahead and setup the next phrase.

Phrasing in a musical context adds uniqueness, expression, flair, originality and makes it more memorable. In the world of popular music, being memorable means a much higher chance of commercial success.  So to me, it only makes sense that we start to think of strategy creation and business planning in a similar context, and I use the term Business Component Phrasing™.  There are so many components to every business endeavor: capital, labor, materials, creativity (entrepreneurship), marketing programs, customer service, training and development, manufacturing processes; etc.  It is enough to make even the smartest, most well intentioned business owner go cock-eyed. Organization is clearly needed!  Organization is so important that that is represented by the letter “O” in the R.O.CK. Star Business Method™ that I created.

An overarching strategy clearly defining an organization’s vision, mission and purpose guides the decisions on how to develop, fund and execute against all of these various business components. Many business owners never take the time to employ any type of strategy development whatsoever, knowing intuitively that an organized approach through strategy development will make their business more successful.  So why isn’t strategy development done regularly? Because strategy development is boring – Snoozeville? As someone who spent years in strategy development roles I can say that it can be. But it does not need to be if some methodology is employed that allows strategy development to generate from a creative and fun perspective.

Business Component Phrasing™ is a way to inject some creativity into business planning and strategy development by reminding the business owner to think about what “NOTES” they want to emphasize in their business. Determine how you want your business to be different and ORGANIZE it in a manner that drives the business in that direction, building competitive advantage(s) along the way.  Think of the Organization of your business endeavor as your unique musical composition and think of strategy development as nothing more than the phrasing of various business components (like the notes in a song). You will be much more likely to be energized when engaged in the process.  Get out there and proactively build a unique enterprise; make it memorable; and make it your own! – Geoffrey Allison, the SIX STRING cpaTM

Guest Author

The Brainzooming blog has a wonderful group of guest authors who regularly contribute their perspectives on strategy, creativity, and innovation. You can view guest author posts by clicking on the link below.

More Posts

Continue Reading

13

Do you have a false sense of your own creativity?

I see a lot of business people who do, and they can easily cripple themselves and their organizations because of it.

A false sense of creativity happens when you’re constantly trying new approaches (thus feeling all tingly and creative) when you’ve yet to answer the basic strategy question, “What matters?”

If you haven’t grounded yourself in your fundamental goal by answering this important strategy question, your willingness to constantly experiment isn’t a sign of a creative spirit. It’s a harbinger of significant strategy problems, if not now, then in the near future. Expect to waste a lot of resources (energy, time, money, goodwill…you name it) and never really achieve what you should.

Identifying what matters is typically a more analytical strategy exercise than a creative one.

After putting the time in toward really identifying what will have a material impact in your situation, you can begin creatively thinking about alternative ways to realize your objective. That’s where your willingness to experiment creatively becomes strategic and has the potential to yield real results.

Until you can credibly communicate “what matters,” don’t let your wild creativity out of the house. – Mike Brown

If you need to get grounded in what matters for your organization, your first call should be to the The Brainzooming Group. Contact us here or call 816-509-5320 so we can determine how to have your team working from the same strategic perspective.

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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

7

Want to accurately forecast what will happen in your business to business marketplace in the coming years?

The Brainzooming Groups uses a really effective business to business market research strategy to peer three to five years into the future with a high degree of accuracy: conduct structured strategic conversations directly with the most demanding, far-sighted customers in your market.

We do this by polling the sales force and industry experts to identify significant companies and influencers dramatically pushing supplier expectations with their forward-looking strategies and business models. To understand where the overall market will be several years from now, we then reach out to these influencers and talk with them about what strategies they see as importantTODAY!

Talking with future-focused customers, their needs, issues, opportunities, and strategies are likely the ones which will be on the minds of the rest of the market in three to five years. Since they’re already working through many opportunities and challenges of the future, it takes the discussion out of pure speculation.

Abstract future issues for others in the marketplace are very real to these companies RIGHT NOW, giving you a lot better read than talking with someone who’s merely speculating about what might happen to their business in a few years.

We call these companies “lead users,” and as you think about your strategic planning process, The Brainzooming Group can help you get a sense of what they can teach you about your market five years from now! –  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 structure a lead user study to help guide your strategy decisions 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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

4

One of the best and most succinct arguments for good planning is one I first heard from my friend and colleague, Max Utsler: If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.

There is a corollary which is just as important (I’m sure Max would agree): If you know where you’re going, you have a much better chance of knowing a good alternative path when you encounter a roadblock along the way.

A young man I know recently made excellent use of that corollary. He recognized and took advantage of an alternative path because he had planned exactly where he wanted to end up.

For quite some time he has had his heart set on attending a major ACC university. He knew the school had strict entrance requirements, and his grades and test scores were not likely to get him admitted straight from high school. His original path called for him to go to a community college, get his grades up, earn an associates degree, and finally gain admission that way.

But that wasn’t working out. His roadblock consisted of several challenging courses which made it evident he was going to take considerably longer than planned to hit the necessary GPA and get an associates degree.

At the same time, some friends of his (female friends) were headed to cheerleader try outs at his dream university. They suggested he try out. And he did. And he got selected. And that means he is automatically admitted to the university he’d always wanted to attend.

Talk about an alternative path.

Because he had his destination in mind, he was able to see the possibilities of a new path even though it wasn’t the one he had set out on. It was also not a path that the tough football linebacker he was in high school would have easily seen. But because he recognized his goal and its importance, he adjusted his route when the original road wasn’t going to get him where he wanted as fast as he wanted.

In business or in life, good planning makes us more capable of reaching our goals, even if the path we plan turns out not to get us there. – Barrett Sydnor, Strategic Contributor

Continue Reading

8

The topic of last week’s #Innochat (a Twitter-based, innovation oriented chat each Thursday at 11 a.m. central time) was stealth innovation strategy, i.e. trying to develop innovative business ideas in relative quiet to get around an organization’s naysayers.  The topic is of great interest for those facing environments where an innovation-based strategy, in any of its various forms, isn’t supported. Spending a lot of effort trying to catalyze innovation in those environments serves as the premise for everything under the “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” banner (plus the occasional Brainzooming blog post, as I was surprised to find in the framing for the “stealth innovation” Innochat.)

The Innochat participants covered a variety of angles on stealth innovation strategy, often returning to strategic challenges within an organization as a fundamental factor in making it make sense to engage in underground innovation. You could say it comes down to a strategic risk trade-off: if you think the risk of a new idea being shot down is greater than the risk of a hand slap for not going through all the proper channels, stealth innovation can be a compelling business innovation strategy.

In an interesting variation on theme, Fared Adib, VP of Product Development and Operations at Sprint described what is essentially a “sanctioned” stealth innovation strategy at the previous day’s Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Innovation Conference. He recounted an instance where Sprint had set up two independent innovation teams working on the same technology development opportunity. The strategy and efforts of each innovation team were kept from the other so that the organization could reap the timing and diversity benefits of two separate streams of innovation activity.

The hour-long #Innochat tweetversation wrapped by agreeing that stealth innovation is fine as an occasional strategy, but if it’s an every time strategy, there are bigger strategic issues to be addressed.

What do you think about stealth innovation? Have you used a stealth innovation strategy? If you have, what were the reasons, what was your implementation strategy, and did you consider it successful? – 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. Contact us at 816-509-5320 to see how we can help you devise a successful innovation strategy for your organization.

 

Conquer Fears of Business Innovation!

FREE Download: “7 Strategies to Conquer Your Organization’s Innovation Fears”

3d-Cover-Innovation-FearsWhether spoken or unspoken, organizations can send strong messages saying, “If it isn’t broken, don’t screw around with it” in a variety of ways. Such messages make it clear that good things do not await those pushing for innovation involving any significant level of risk.

This free Brainzooming innovation eBook identifies seven typical business innovation fears. For each fear, we highlight strategy options to mitigate the fears and push forward with innovative strategies. We tackle:

  • Whether facts or emotional appeals are ideal to challenge fear of innovation-driven change
  • When it is smart to call attention to even bigger fears to motivate progress
  • Situations where your best strategy is taking business innovation underground

Download your FREE copy of 7 Strategies to Conquer Your Organization’s Innovation Fears today!

Download Your FREE eBook! 7 Strategies to Conquer Your Organization's Innovation Fears

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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading