Strategic Thinking | The Brainzooming Group - Part 4 – page 4
0

We routinely ask those of you downloading Brainzooming strategy and innovation eBooks to share – if you are willing – the opportunities and challenges you are facing at the time.

I went back through recent responses from among readers who are on the blog most frequently. Here are their comments on opportunities and challenges, along with links to Brainzooming posts addressing the strategy and innovation situations they face:

People and Organizational Issues

“Buy in from staff on the new vision and the required change”

“Internal politics”

“Stickler to the old ways of doing things (and) not willing to get out of the comfort zone”

“Resistors and toxic manipulators”

“The matrixed nature of our vast organization”

Strategic Planning Process

“Helping train my team to be strategic thinkers and not just executors”

“Simplifying (strategy) process and engaging people to implement”

“Strategic planning in the past did not work, looking for other approaches”

“Infusing fun, creativity, and innovation into the planning process”

Innovation

“Out-of-the-box thinking to create disruption in the industry”

“Being innovative at a low cost”

Implementation

“Managing ideas and seeing them through to implementation”

Do you have questions on strategy and innovation that are vexing you?

Contact us, and let us know what they are!  – Mike Brown

5 Ways to Start Implementing Faster and Better!

In the new Brainzooming strategy eBook 321 GO!, we share common situations standing in the way of successfully implementing your most important strategies. You will learn effective, proven ways to move your implementation plan forward with greater speed and success. You’ll learn ways to help your team:

  • Move forward even amid uncertainty
  • Take on leadership and responsibility for decisions
  • Efficiently move from information gathering to action
  • Focusing on important activities leading to results

Today is the day to download your copy of 321 GO!

Download Your FREE eBook! 321 GO! 5 Ways to Implement Faster and Better!



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

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

0

I needed a new way to express myself last night. That’s why instead of typing out nine strategic thinking questions from various business conversations (and contemplations) so far this week, I decided to Sharpie marker and share them with you in this image. (Thanks Diane Bleck for inspiring a different approach to expressing my thoughts!)

It’s still early. Are you looking a little behind, a lot ahead, and sufficiently minding what’s going on right now to exceed your expectations for this year?

Do you know . . .

These are strategic thinking questions our clients are asking. We’re also asking them ourselves – while there’s still time to influence this year’s results!  – Mike Brown

Download our FREE eBook:
The 600 Most Powerful Strategic Planning Questions

Engage employees and customers with powerful questions to uncover great breakthrough ideas and innovative strategies that deliver results! This Brainzooming strategy eBook features links to 600 proven questions for:

  • Developing Strategy

  • Branding and Marketing

  • Innovation

  • Extreme Creativity

  • Successful Implementation


Download Your FREE eBook! The 600 Most Powerful Strategic Planning Questions


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

0

We’re getting a lot of questions currently about identifying the right strategic planning exercises.

That continues to surprise me, since I’d expect everyone is focused on implementing strategies at this point. We see it with our clients, though. Planning seems to be happening throughout the year with increasing frequency (more on that later).

10 Questions You Must Consider about Strategic Planning Exercises

If you’re among the executives planning for strategic planning, no matter what time of year, you need to ask these ten questions as you consider the right strategic planning exercises and approaches to pursue:

  1. Do we know what the expected outcome needs to be?
  2. What are the strategic decisions the plan must support?
  3. What types of structure will provide the necessary alignment within the planning process?
  4. What is the least amount of formal planning we can do to generate the expected results?
  5. What type of plan will work best for the organization when it comes to strategy implementation?
  6. Is there a particular level of planning to fuel successful strategy implementation? If so, what is it?
  7. How specific do the tactics need to be so that people can step up and implement them with a high degree of success?
  8. Do we have the right people, both in number and the mix of perspectives to collaborate successfully?
  9. How closely will management expect teams to follow the plan?
  10. Is there support for varying the plan when that makes the most sense?

These questions will help you evaluate the right types of strategic planning exercises. It will also suggest how to modify the approach you take to ensure the greatest success.

If you want help thinking through what these questions will mean for your organization, contact us. Let’s talk about how to streamline your strategic planning to maximize collaboration and strategic impact. – Mike Brown

Need Fresh Insights to Drive Your Strategy?

Download our FREE eBook: Reimagining the SWOT Analysis

swot-alternatives-cover

“Strategic Thinking Exercises: Reimagining the SWOT Analysis” features eleven ideas for adapting, stretching, and reinvigorating how you see your brand’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Whether you are just starting your strategy or think you are well down the path, you can use this eBook to:

  • Engage your team
  • Stimulate fresh thinking
  • Make sure your strategy is addressing typically overlooked opportunities and threats

Written simply and directly with a focus on enlivening one of the most familiar strategic planning exercises, “Reimagining the SWOT Analysis” will be a go-to resource for stronger strategic insights!

Download Your FREE eBook! 11 Ways to Reimagine Your SWOT Analysis

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

0

How solid is the strategy implementation process at your organization?

Some companies move seamlessly from ideas to strategies to execution. Other organizations continually struggle with translating great new product or process improvement strategies into results.

Which type of organization is yours? Do you have a well-defined strategy implementation process, or is implementation a haphazard activity?

You’re going to see more from us on strategy implementation in the coming weeks. For organizations implementing new initiatives this year, it’s a critical time to launch them successfully and make early course corrections on those that do not launch well.

So far, we have released new strategy implementation eBooks on moving forward during uncertain times and five ways to implement better and faster.

10 Questions for Successfully Launching New Programs

Today, we’re introducing another new Brainzooming implementation strategy process eBook: 10 Questions for Successfully Launching New Programs (we are calling it 10? for short).

10? Improve Process Implementation Strategy with these 10 Questions

We know from experience that exploring the strong project planning questions even before an initiative launches sets the stage for your implementation teams to consistently start down the best, most successful paths.

strategy implementation process toolsUsing the ten project planning questions in the FREE 10? eBook, you can determine how to best evaluate, finalize, and move forward on initiative goals, participants, implementation strategies, tactics, and timing.

Whether you are a senior executive, an initiative leader, a team member, or a project manager, you can ask these questions to facilitate action-oriented, strategic conversations. You will lay the groundwork to launch new initiatives with a greater shared understanding among your team. You will also develop a sharper sense of what is important strategically, plus the leeway you have to adjust implementation parameters moving forward.

Download your copy of 10 Questions for Successfully Launching New Programs today for you and your entire team.

Make 10? a routine element of your strategy implementation process!   – 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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

4

The Brainzooming blog wasn’t originally focused on project management techniques. Successfully going from strategy to implementation, however, is critical to business success.

Creating a strong, innovative plan is only part of the strategy equation. Implementing innovation in organizations reluctant to embrace the changes needed to survive and grow requires what we’ve come to call “strategic project management.” These skills go well beyond a project manager checking off items on a to-do list.

Here are twenty-one articles organizing project management techniques we’ve been sharing with clients to help create needed changes in their organizations.

Project Management Techniques for Starting Strongly

Project Management Techniques – 6 Project Manager Mistakes to Not Repeat

Getting a project started right is lot easier when you’re not making early mistakes. These are six mistakes I’ve made on project management techniques so you don’t have to make them.

Implementation Problems? 7 Signs You’re Understarting, Not Overthinking

Strong project management technique requires both thinking and starting. One won’t work without the other.

Twenty-One Project Management Implications of Wanting Things FAST

When the pressure is on for completing a project fast, there are related implications an organization and a project manager have to contend with successfully.

Project Team Interactions

Project Management – Dinner Table Analogy for Project Team Members

There are right and wrong ways for project team member communication to take place. There are also right and wrong times for how you communicate within your project team.

March Madness and What Outstanding Point Guards Bring to Business Teams

A strong project manager is the equivalent of a great basketball point guard on a project. An outstanding project manager is selfless, a leader, and has multi-dimensional talents to contribute to the project team.

All I Want for Christmas Is You (To Get the Stuff Done that I’m Waiting For)

There are many ways to prioritize what you do next. When you’re in the midst of a project, consider prioritizing based on what other project team members are depending on you to finish.

Change Management

Built for Discomfort – An Alternative Prioritization Strategy for Innovation

If your organization tends to select strategies and prioritize projects that are comfortable, here’s a way to more overtly push for change.

Creating Change and Change Management – 4 Strategy Options

The best approach to create change will differ based on expectations about the status quo and the demand for dramatically different results.

8 Change Management Lessons from Major Changes in the Mass Translation

Wide-scale change in a change-resistant organization provides a unique set of project management challenges and potential remedies to achieve the maximum beneficial impact.

Major Change Management – Managing Ongoing Performance Gaps

Big changes are rarely “one and done” efforts. Prepare ahead of time for the ongoing reinforcement and change management techniques a project manager and project team will need to implement.

Project Management Technique Challenges

No Implementation Success? 13 Reasons Things Getting Done Is a Problem

If your organization has a habit of failing to successfully implement new projects, here are thirteen problems to watch for and fix.

Checklists – Helping Visualize the Uncertain When Plans Fall Through

If a project isn’t going as planned, step back and make sure you have a checklist to guide your way back to normalcy and stronger performance in a hurry.

Dealing with Difficult People – 16 Articles on Help and Support for Prickly People

If you handle project management on enough projects, you’re going to wind up working with challenging people. If you can’t avoid them, at least be ready to successfully lead them (and the rest of the project team) to success.

Project Management – 7 Steps to Winning a Fuel Mileage Race Project

NASCAR teams are used to stretching one of their main resources (fuel) with creative, winning strategies. Smart project teams can learn and apply some of the principles NASCAR teams use for success with less.

Improving Decision Making

Making a Decision – 7 Situations Begging for Quick Decisions

It’s easy for certain personality types and organizations to take too long on decision making. In these seven situations, there’s no need to extend decision making time unnecessarily.

Making Decision Making Easier – She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not

One factor that can slow decision making speed is too many available choices. Here is a low-tech, very direct way to narrow your decision options and move directly toward decision making.

Level 5 Decisions – Decision Making without Your Influence

One way to speed project-related decision making is when the senior person on the project delegates appropriate levels of decision making to team members and makes the delegation clear. Here’s a solid approach to make this happen.

Project Management Techniques for Finishing Successfully

Project Management – 15 Techniques When Time Is Running Down

When time is running down on a project, project management rules don’t necessarily change, but how you apply them can. These techniques can close out a project more successfully when timing is running down.

Convergent Thinking Week – A BDTP Perspective

When time is running down on a project you have approached with higher than expected standards, consider relaxing those standards. Getting done can definitely be more important than being perfect.

Project Management Tips – 8 Signs a Creative Project Is Done

While we often consider a project done when all the steps are completed or the deadline is reached, that’s not always the case with a creative project. A creative project could be done before all the steps are completed or the deadline is reached.

Strategies for Finishing a Project

Closing out a project the right way can set the stage for future success. A strong project closeout won’t simply happen by accident though. The closeout phase needs to be project managed, too.  – Mike Brown

5 Ways to Start Implementing Faster and Better!

In the new Brainzooming strategy eBook 321 GO!, we share common situations standing in the way of successfully implementing your most important strategies. You will learn effective, proven ways to move your implementation plan forward with greater speed and success. You’ll learn ways to help your team:

  • Move forward even amid uncertainty
  • Take on leadership and responsibility for decisions
  • Efficiently move from information gathering to action
  • Focusing on important activities leading to results

Today is the day to download your copy of 321 GO!

Download Your FREE eBook! 321 GO! 5 Ways to Implement Faster and Better!



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

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

0

Many executives perceive developing strategy as a long, slow process. In fact, senior executives that contact The Brainzooming Group for help in developing strategy often do so because previous strategic planning efforts drug on for almost a year.

So it was no surprise the other day when we received several inquiries about quick strategy questions.

The questioners did not specify whether the strategy questions themselves are supposed to be quick. They may have meant that, or perhaps that the answers were quick. Questions themselves may be quick because they are easy to retrieve and use in a strategy meeting.

To our way of thinking, it is less about quick strategy questions. Our focus is whether a question allows you to develop strategy more quickly, thoroughly, and successfully (as defined by creating positive results).

Strategy Questions – 5 Characteristics to Make Them Quick

Thinking about quick strategy questions that way, we look for the following characteristics when developing and selecting strategy questions. They need to:

When strategic planning questions fulfill those five characteristics, they set the stage for developing strategy quickly, thoroughly, and successfully.

The thing is, those characteristics won’t universally apply for all participants in all strategic planning situations. That’s where our background and experience in collaborative strategic planning play a major role in matching the right questions to the right situations.

Put all the pieces together, and you CAN get through strategy in a fraction of the time it would otherwise take! – Mike Brown

Download our FREE eBook!
The 600 Most Powerful Strategic Planning Questions

Engage employees and customers with powerful questions to uncover great breakthrough ideas and innovative strategies that deliver results! This Brainzooming strategy eBook features links to 600 proven questions for:

  • Developing Strategy

  • Branding and Marketing

  • Innovation

  • Extreme Creativity

  • Successful Implementation


Download Your FREE eBook! The 600 Most Powerful Strategic Planning Questions



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

0

Several people asked recently about questions to help identify innovative thinkers in sales. While we have done a bunch of strategic and creative thinking skills workshops for sales teams in the past several years, we have never put together a specific diagnostic on this topic.

When multiple people ask a question, though, it is time to do something about it!

10 Questions to Identify Innovative Thinking in Salespeople

Thinking about innovative sales people I have known, how we teach strategic and creative thinking skills to sales teams, and strategic thinking questions we use to spur new thinking, here are ten questions to identify innovative thinking in salespeople.

Targeting

These questions address focusing and prioritizing what matters for customers and the organization.

1. Why do people buy from us?

To innovate, you have to understand underlying motivations and needs. An innovative sales person will answer this question in a way that opens up many possibilities to imagine new ways to reach and delight customers.

2. Whom don’t we sell to?

Innovative thinkers are able to focus and deliver on great opportunities. That means having a sense of where the best opportunities ARE and ARE NOT going to be.

Working from an Innovative Thinking Platform

An innovative thinker needs a foundation and perspective from which to innovate.

3. How do you generalize what we do for customers in order to find innovative ways to address customer needs?

This one comes via my buddy, Joe Batista, the chief creatologist. Joe taught me the value of analyzing a potential customer relationship via generalized activities and value streams. If a salesperson employs a comparable approach to think about value, it is a great sign he or she is creating innovative solutions.

4. What customer benefits does your brand offer?

This is similar to the previous question in that it signals the ability to generalize in order to provide a launching pad for innovation. If you are selling based on benefits, it is easier to innovate and find new ways to deliver those benefits. (For more on this innovation strategy, download our Outside-In Innovation eBook!)

Employing Innovative Processes

These questions zero in on whether a salesperson uses a dependable process for innovative thinking and development.

5. What’s your process for discovering the underlying needs, wants, challenges, and aspirations a current or potential customer may have?

When it is for business, you cannot afford random innovation success. Innovative thinking in sales implies having a process to repeat what leads to results in many types of situations.

6. What are the most innovative approaches you have employed to create a customer solution?

An innovative thinker, no matter what field, should have stories readily available about past innovation successes. If not, that person is just an innovation poser. This question focuses on an innovative processes; the next one addresses innovative solutions.

7. What is the biggest customer solution you ever imagined, and did it come to fruition?

A quick and big answer to this one signals innovative thinking and a familiarity with extreme creativity. If the big idea came to fruition, it signals someone that can go from idea to implementation!

An Innovation Posse

While there are innovators that go it alone, an innovative salesperson needs to depend on others to imagine and create solutions.

8. Who inside your company thinks you are a pain for trying too many new or wild things to create ecstatic customers?

Innovative thinkers (and doers) in sales are going to rub people in the organization the wrong way because they are always pushing for new and better. Continual innovative thinking in sales will wear out people in the organization. An innovative salesperson understands that.

9.Who makes up your innovation team?

In my book, an innovative thinker in sales appreciates the importance of others helping bring innovative ideas to life. They know who those folks are, even if there is no formal reporting relationship, because they are going back to them frequently to make innovative things happen.

Motivation

You want salespeople focused on winning and success. You also want them open to what’s new.

10. Why do you enjoy selling?

If doing new things all the time doesn’t surface as part of the answer, you probably aren’t talking to a truly innovative thinker in sales.

Caution!

This list is definitely from the Brainzooming R&D lab. We haven’t tested this diagnostic at all, but it’s a solid starting place. If you wind up testing it before we do, let us know what you find! – Mike Brown

Develop a Successful Innovation Strategy to Grow Your Business!
Brainzooming Has an Answer!

Brainzooming Outside-In Innovation Strategic Thinking Tools eBook

Download this free, concise Outside-In Innovation eBook to:

  • Identify your organization’s innovation profile
  • Rapidly deploy effective strategic thinking exercises to spur innovation
  • Incorporate market-based perspectives into your innovation strategy in successful ways

Download this FREE eBook to turn ideas into actionable innovation strategies to drive your organization’s comeback!
Download Your Free Outside-In Innovation Strategic Thinking Fake Book



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