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This afternoon, I’m leading a three-hour Brainzooming workshop on creating branded content marketing at the Social Media Strategy Summit in Chicago. While it’s nice to be able to stretch with more time (typically these content marketing workshops are two hours at the Social Media Strategy Summit), I still feel as if there will be a lot of material that we won’t have time to fully cover.

Chicago-Image

In the branded content marketing workshop, we’ll look at generating appropriately branded content from multiple directions.

As a resource if this area is something you are struggling with in your organization, here are links to some of the topics on branded content marketing we’ll cover . . . and some that we won’t:

Taking an Audience-First Perspective

Staying True to Your Brand without Overdoing It

Experience and Interaction-Based Content for Your Brand

Expanding Brand-Related Content Options

Coming at your branded content marketing from these four different directions will open up all kinds of new possibilities.

Here’s the intriguing thing: having rearranged the content into these four groups (which don’t sync with the seven lessons in the workshop as it stands right now), I’m thinking (as I write this over the preceding weekend) that I’m going to rearrange the entire branded content marketing workshop. That’s how much I like this approach!  – Mike Brown

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When was the last time you invested 45 minutes
to check your social media strategy?

9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy

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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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I am in New York today delivering a Brainzooming branding strategy workshop on Engaging Your Internal Brand Team. The event is the Brand Strategy Conference. Our content addresses collaborative ways to strategically engage employees in creating and delivering the best brand experience.

Empire-State-Building2

The branding strategy workshop came about from talking to too many executives that think it’s okay to let employees in on branding changes at the same time (or even after) customers learn about them.

THAT is a horrific idea for delivering a great brand experience.

We will introduce a new Brainzooming Fake Book soon that includes the exercises we will cover in the branding strategy workshop.

Branding Strategy – Engaging an Internal Brand Team

Here are links to fourteen articles integrated within the workshop.

Identifying Opportunities for Employee Input on Branding Strategy

Collaborating with Employees to Enhance the Brand Experience

Supporting a High-Performing Internal Brand Team

Inviting Employees into Branding Strategy Conversations

Mike Brown

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Are you looking for new, more effective ways to engage your employees in shaping and successfully carrying out your brand strategy? You need to download this FREE Brainzooming eBook, published with the Global Strategic Management Institute. You’ll learn three effective strategies to engage employees as an internal brand team.

Download Your FREE eBook! 3 Actionable Strategies for Engaging Your Internal Brand Team

 

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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Are you experiencing death by meeting syndrome at work?

In all likelihood, you are.

It seems as if everyone we talk to in companies of any size complains about the death by meeting syndrome where it’s impossible to get any work done for all the business meetings they have to attend.

Is there anything you can do to deal with death by meeting syndrome?

Well, you can try!

Death by Meeting – 18 Articles on Effective Meetings

These 18 articles from the Brainzooming archives highlight various techniques we use to manage effective meetings, from meeting logistics to meeting dynamics and meeting decision making.

Brainzooming-Not-Cluster

Effectively Preparing for Meetings

Productive Business Meetings – 16 Questions for Meeting Leaders to Ask

Strategic Planning – 5 Dangers of Cheaping out on Hiring a Facilitator

What’s Your Hourly Rate?

What You Can’t See – A Mini Rant

Meeting Locations

10 Meeting Spaces for Work at Home Professionals, Other than Starbucks

Making Every Occasion an Event

080404 Meeting Summary - Fun King Insane

Meeting Dynamics

Fun Strategic Planning Activities – Do you like doing an ice breaker exercise?

A Strategy for Bringing Customers Into Every Meeting

Musical Chairs – A Seating Strategy

Working from the Same Side of the Table

Corporate Amnesia – 9 Ways to Prevent and Avoid It

7 Tips to Improve Conference Call Presentations

When Is a Meeting Over?

Streamlining Meetings

1 Simple Strategy for Improving Time Management

11 Examples of Strategic Thinking without an Offsite Meeting

Strategic Thinking – 12 Ways Project Teams Can Stay out of the Weeds

Decision Making at Meetings

Creating Strategic Impact – 3 Project Management Steps to Productively Review Concepts

Making a Decision – 7 Situations Begging for Quick Decisions

Mike Brown

 

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Learn all about how Mike Brown’s workshops on creating strategic impact can boost your organization’s success!

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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The search term “strategic visioning exercises” has been consistently near the top recently for what has bringing people to the Brainzooming website. Whenever a regular pattern such as this one surfaces, we like to share a compilation post bringing together a variety of our top resources in one place.

14 Articles on Strategic Visioning Exercises

While it’s easy to knock vision statements (including core purpose and mission statements) as so much useless corporate jargon and gobbledygook, we’re firm believers in them – when they are done well.

And by done well, we mean that the vision statement:

  • Is developed broadly and collaboratively
  • Emerges from a thorough exploration of where the organization is and where it wants to go
  • Uses language that is simple, understandable and sounds as if it comes from the organization

These fourteen articles recap our thinking and recommendations across these three areas.

Clouds-Vision

Collaborating on a Vision Statement

Strategic Visioning Exercises to Create a Vision Statement

Checking Vision Statement Clarity and Impact

Many organizations struggle with the idea of collaboratively developing an overarching vision and vision statement.

If your organization falls in that category, contact The Brainzooming Group and let’s discuss how we can help you move through these and other strategic visioning exercises to create a vision and approach to move forward! – Mike Brown

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10 Lessons for Engaging Your Employees to Create Stronger Results

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Results!!! Creating Strategic Impact Mini-Book

Senior executives are looking for employees who are strong collaborators and communicators while being creative and flexible. In short they need strategic thinkers who can develop strategy and turn it into results.

This new Brainzooming mini-book, “Results – Creating Strategic Impact” unveils ten proven lessons for senior executives to increase strategic collaboration, employee engagement, and grow revenues for their organizations.

Download this free, action-focused mini-book to:

  • Learn smart ways to separate strategic opportunities from the daily noise of business
  • Increase focus for your team with productive strategy questions everyone can use
  • Actively engage more employees in strategy AND implementation success

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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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Sometimes creative thinking challenges come from inside your own head. In many organizations, however, substantial creative thinking challenges come from leaders and cultures that may say they want new thinking, but seem to do everything they can to scuttle creativity.

Thanks-For-Idea-Mgmt-Team

Do you work in one of those types of organizations that says one thing and supports another where creativity is concerned? If so, this Brainzooming compilation on various ways to combat creative thinking challenges is for you.

Organizational Creative Thinking Challenges

Individuals Posing Creative Thinking Challenges

Cultivating Personal Creative Thinking Skills

Mike Brown

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10 Lessons for Engaging Your Employees to Create Stronger Results

FREE Download: “Results!!! Creating Strategic Impact”

Results!!! Creating Strategic Impact Mini-Book

Senior executives are looking for employees who are strong collaborators and communicators while being creative and flexible. In short they need strategic thinkers who can develop strategy and turn it into results.

This new Brainzooming mini-book, “Results – Creating Strategic Impact” unveils ten proven lessons for senior executives to increase strategic collaboration, employee engagement, and grow revenues for their organizations.

Download this free, action-focused mini-book to:

  • Learn smart ways to separate strategic opportunities from the daily noise of business
  • Increase focus for your team with productive strategy questions everyone can use
  • Actively engage more employees in strategy AND implementation success

Download Your FREE  Results!!! Creating Strategic Impact Mini-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.

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We’re with a client today, delivering a strategic and creative thinking skills for sales workshop. We’re scheduled to have more than 120 of the client’s sales team members participate in an interactive, half-day Brainzooming workshop in the Chicago area.

As an outgrowth of the workshop, here is a strategic and creative thinking skills compilation comprised of articles that support the Brainzooming workshop we’re delivering. We developed this specific list of topics based on feedback from participants on a pre-workshop survey. This is an approach we always take to ensure the specific areas we cover most closely address the audience’s self-identified needs.

Grid-and-Exercises

In fact, the graphic above shows how the exercises and tools we’ll cover help attendees get out of their comfort zones. This was an issue high on their list of learning objectives and prompted writing a Brainzooming blog post about this matrix just before the workshop.

See, we really do both listen and act on attendees’ desired learning objectives.

If you’d like to talk about how we can customize a strategic and creative thinking skills workshop for your organization, let us know at info@brainzooming.com or 816-509-5320. We’d love to customize Brainzooming content to strengthen your team’s performance throughout the year!

Setting the Stage for Creative Thinking Skills for Sales

Embracing a Strategic Sales Perspective

Expanding Creative Thinking Skills for Sales

Mike Brown

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ebook-cover-redoBoost Your Creativity with “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation”

Download our FREE “Taking the No Out of InNOvation eBook to help  generate extreme creativity and ideas! For organizational innovation success, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative growth strategies. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Today’s creative thinking post is all about music.

While I don’t write about it all that often, I love music. And I probably don’t write about it so much because I spend so much less time focused on music than I used to do, back in the day when I was a DJ at the Brass Rail (pictured here) in college.

Brass-Rail

But for THIS day, here are several music videos (with stories) from Facebook friends I was quick to save when they showed up in my feed.

The first is seasonal. All of them are perennial. That’s why these music videos are the centerpiece of today’s creative thinking post.

Musical Glasses – Bach, Toccata and Fugue in D minor Diogo

Among the first songs I downloaded on iTunes when my wife bought me my first iPad MANY years ago, Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor was among the first. You may not be familiar with the name, but you’ll know it from the first notes. It’s the scary music song. And even on musical glasses, it’s scary. And the fact it’s on glasses instead of an orange, makes it’s all the better. This version is via Facebook friend  Sharon Corsaro.

The Beatles: A 5 Minute Drum Chronology – Kye Smith

This video comes via Michael Gelphman, the visionary behind the big-time Compute Midwest conference. Maybe of anyone I’ve met the past few years, Michael is the best example of taking his big idea and making a HUGE success of it.  Amid everything he has going on, he shared this video the other day that’s a remarkable collection of snippets of Beatles songs featuring Ringo’s drumming style. It makes it clear that Ringo was REALLY the Best.

Lyle Lovett: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

I’m pretty sure my buddy Alex Greenwood originally shared this video of Lyle Lovett and his fiddle player doing an NPR concert. I love Lyle Lovett’s Big Band. I love this video of Lyle Lovett as part of a duo. It was only when we saw Lyle Lovett with his medium-sized band that I was underwhelmed. I can’t really begin to tell you how many times I’ve watched this video. It’s strong from start to finish in a quirky, funny, musical kind of way.

All About That [Upright] Bass – Meghan Trainor Cover – Postmodern Jukebox ft. Kate Davis

This music video goes back a bit. It was shared by my Cleveland buddy Leslie Carruthers. I met Leslie at Content Marketing World at a music event appropriately enough. She was an inspiration for perhaps the last music-oriented blog post I wrote. This version of All About the Bass Leslie shared earlier this year is, like the Lyle Lovett video, a VERY FREQUENT destination for where I’m wasting time on Facebook.

The MODERN LOVERS “Roadrunner” 1972

This one showed up on Facebook via Paul Rupp. I haven’t seen Paul since we were both a whole lot younger. But he was part of the contingent of underage patrons at the Brass Rail. Paul shared this video of Jonathan Richman’s Roadrunner on Facebook for my birthday. Ironically, I was in Boston the very day he shared it, but never made around Route 128 by the power lines. If you’ve never heard Roadrunner, ENJOY! It was an every weekend Brass Rail fave!

Mike Brown

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ebook-cover-redoBoost Your Creativity with “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation”

Download our FREE “Taking the No Out of InNOvation eBook to help you generate extreme creativity and ideas! For organizational innovation success, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative growth strategies. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

Download Your Free

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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