Ebook | The Brainzooming Group - Part 5 – page 5
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Over the weekend, our cat Coco (or “my cat” as she was known), passed away. She had a rare tumor, and for a number of months, we knew it wouldn’t be that much longer before this happened.

I won’t get maudlin, but the story of Coco’s adoption holds a couple of solid lessons.

Cyndi had wanted a black cat for some time. While waiting for her to finish at a store in our nearby shopping center, I saw, in the car’s rear view mirror, a Humane Society volunteer carry a caged black cat toward the early Saturday morning pet adoption just down the way.

When Cyndi returned, we decided to see about adopting the black cat. She was sitting rather forlornly in her cage when we found her. In talking with the volunteer, we discovered she was a Manx kitten, i.e. she had no tail. The volunteer explained how this caused potential problems and made these cats more difficult to care for than the typical cat. She asked us whether we had other cats and if they went out doors. After answering a few more questions, we were told that we wouldn’t be able to adopt this kitten.

We were surprised but went on our way. Later, we figured that beyond the fact we told them our two cats went out in the back yard, the fact we had gone over to the shopping center before getting all spruced up in the morning may have been a factor. Granted, we probably looked pretty scruffy, but I’d never known being unshaven to be grounds for being denied the opportunity to adopt a pet.

Running errands that afternoon, we decided to go back and see if the cat were still there. Sure enough she was, and now, nicely dressed, we got none of the questions we’d received in the morning. Instead, we were welcomed and within a very short time, were headed home with Coco.

That was nearly fourteen years ago.  We talk often about how in a world where people increasingly look disheveled, the way we looked that Saturday really did matter in how we were judged. We also remind ourselves about all the joy we’d have missed in our lives if we’d have taken the first “no” as the final answer.

To close, here’s a quirky moment from Sunday night. I was looking at a video I’d shot of Coco earlier this year when Clementine, our last remaining cat, hopped up on the desk, as she so frequently does. It’s an unstaged, double video goodbye between the two of them. One in January and one today.

I’ll admit this post was kind of light on strategy and innovation. Thanks for reading it anyway though, because I just had to write it – Mike Brown

Mike Brown

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

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4

There are many books on improving your memory.

Yet one key to greater creativity and innovation is the ability to temporarily forget what you know. Doing so allows you to consider creative possibilities you’d otherwise quickly rule out because you know, from experience and knowledge, WHY they won’t work.

This video clip from the “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” presentation covers the important innovation perspective of forgetfulness and why’s it’s vital to being more innovative. To learn more about the other innovation perspectives, download the free “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” ebook. – Mike Brown

Mike Brown

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

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Incorporating social media (via Twitter, blogging, video, community sites, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.) is a growing phenomenon for live and virtual events. Last week included a swing through Chicago for strategy development on two conferences where I produced social media in 2009. I’ll be heavily involved in growing the social media presence for both events (the national Business Marketing Association and the American Marketing Association Market Research Conferences) again in 2010.

According to attendees and event industry observers, we introduced more innovative social media experiences than even many tech-oriented events. This impact at the front end of producing event-based social media comes from the fact the activity merges several areas of expertise for Brainzooming, including:

  • Strategy development
  • Customer experience design
  • Social media
  • Event production

Based on first-hand experience, beyond creating a buzz or “newness” for an event, strategically incorporating event-based social media delivers a variety of real benefits:

  • We created additional layers of content beyond capturing speaker talking points. We produced additional commentary, links to relevant information, and video interviews, among other educational assets.
  • We extended the conference impact to audiences outside the event through conference websites and the liberal use of hashtags.
  • It’s possible to motivate favorable behaviors through incorporating promotional offers to drive trade show traffic.
  • It provides another way for attendees to become actively engaged in an event.
  • We gained an understanding of audience reactions to presenters on a real-time basis.
  • It’s a way to solicit and address on-site customer service issues.
  • Our efforts provided additional educational value by introducing a large percentage of attendees to social media applications.
  • The social media team’s presence prompted new interaction opportunities among those engaged in tweeting at each event.

What experiences have you discovered with event-based social media? We’ve found that realizing the full range of benefits requires a well-planned strategy and “producing” an event’s social media effort, not simply leaving it solely to organic development. (Check out the deck below for a sense of the range of interactivity we built into the AMA Marketing Research Conference.)

View more presentations from Mike Brown.

Through both producing major events and taking a lead on organic social media in a number of smaller events, we’ve developed many fundamental approaches and look forward to sharing the benefits of these learnings in events this year. And if you’re doing event planning, let us know if you’re interested in finding out more about how social media can deliver new value for your event.  – Mike Brown

Mike Brown

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

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1

A January post highlighted the plan to broaden Brainzooming through social media. Specific tactics included Twitter, capturing story ideas with Flip video, and participating elsewhere online.

Since many readers have asked, here’s a progress update: the opportunities, connections, and possibilities from implementing the plan have been beyond my expectations. For those considering using social media in your personal brand efforts, here are some highlights:

One learning has been that taking a strategic approach to social media for me means concentrating efforts on only a few sites. That’s why there’s little presence from me on Facebook or Plaxo. I will be trying though to make a concerted attempt to get back to some high impact sites and explore new ones. One is Bulbstorm.com – a crowdsourcing beta site allowing individuals and businesses to solicit input on ideas while still protecting fundamental, proprietary elements of the ideas through varying access levels.

What a partial year so far of learning, meeting new people, and discovering new opportunities! Email or DM me with questions on your social media effort or suggestions for mine. Mike Brown


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Beyond sharing creativity, innovation, and strategic thinking ideas here on the Brainzooming blog, I’ve had several opportunities recently to be involved with other channels to get ideas out. These are free and available for all of you to download!

“Fascination” – An Interview with Sally Hogshead

I recorded a webcast interview with Radical Careering author Sally Hogshead on Fascination and the triggers that make brands, ideas, and people fascinating. The webcast, in support of Sally’s keynote speaking appearance at the American Marketing Association Market Research Conference (which I’m chairing by the way) debuts Tuesday, July 21. It will be available on-demand for one year afterward.

Having known Sally for several years, it rocked to get the opportunity to talk with her about fascination since it’s the topic of her upcoming book. Her discussion on why Michael Jackson is fascinating is worth the listen alone!

And if you’re involved in market research, you should really attend the Market Research Conference. We have a tremendous lineup of speakers addressing how market researchers and intelligence-based marketers need to prepare for “What’s Next” to drive business success. Beyond traditional conference approaches, we’ll be incorporating social media heavily into the event to extend & deepen the learning experience. For updates, http://www.twitter.com/amamrc.

Hosting Eye on Small Business

Kelly Scanlon hosts the “Eye on Small Business” radio program on 1510 Hot Talk in Kansas City. I’ve been on Kelly’s show previously talking about “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation.” She asked me to substitute host for her on the topic of “What Can You Do When You Can’t Do What You’ve Done Before” with guests Jan Sokoloff Harness and Kate O’Neill Rauber. You can listen to the broadcast and grab the guerrilla marketing tools questions we discuss later in the show.

Some More Brainzooming Stuff

Here are a few more free Brainzooming download sources:

Hope you find these beneficial, and let me know if you have questions on any of them. – Mike Brown

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Even amid positive energy from activities during World Creativity and Innovation Week, we all may experience times when we become self-destructive to our innovative instincts by telling ourselves, “No, I can’t _____________.” You can fill in the blank with whatever negative self-talk you usually use.

One way to fight this tendency is to ask, “If I tried _____________, what’s the worst that could happen?” When viewed in this light, so many activities that initially fill us with apprehension show themselves to have far more dramatic upsides than negatives.

Try this approach as another way of “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” and creating a sense of “InYESvation.”

InYESvation? I’ve been talking about “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” for 4 years and had never finished the idea by replacing the “NO” with a “YES.”

Credit for this new word goes to @rainesmaker (Glenn Raines) who tweeted this great word to me last Friday. Yet one more example of the benefits of being hooked up with so many wonderfully creative people on Twitter. Thanks Glenn for doing my work for me!

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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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