Tools | The Brainzooming Group - Part 186 – page 186
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A frequently asked question when preparing a planning or innovation session is, “Should we go offsite?” The quick answer is, “Get a room.” There are a number of advantages:

  • It looks different – The surroundings will be different than the typical work setting, and a key to great idea generation is to see things from a different perspective.
  • It’s flexible – You can spec out a size (much more space per person than a typical conference room) and configuration (not a u-shape) typically unavailable in a fixed office conference room. The extra square footage and alternative setup allow you to have even the room contribute to successful ideation.
  • It removes some logistics pressure – Knowing there’s facility staff available to address room, materials, food, and beverage issues so you can focus on the session participants provides HUGE peace of mind.

So go ahead, make the investment, and get a room…even if you do have to rent it by the hour!

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 jumbo size formula in fast food usually involves a combination of three or four menu items all in larger than average proportions.

Transfer the jumbo size formula to your creative efforts. The next time you have a large creative appetite, pick several of your best creative talents, combine them, and use them in a bigger way than you have before.

That’s the way you Jumbo Size Your Creativity.

Want an example?

If you can draw, write, and are funny, getting the message across in your upcoming presentation could involve creating a cartoon to make your point in a bolder way!

That will be $4.79 at the next window. Please pull forward.  – 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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In the interviews discussed Tuesday, Liz Phair talked about losing the creative freedom of writing songs that she didn’t think would be heard after she gained fame. She characterized her career since then as an effort to get back to writing in that more pure, unconscious state.

That’s an interesting expression of the challenge of having too much knowledge. That’s why brainstorming techniques are so valuable. They serve to twist your expertise in ways that put you back into unfamiliar territory where your knowledge has to be applied in a new way once again.

This is also why bare walls and different tools of expression are so valuable; they can readily place you into unfamiliar creative territory. So don’t hesitate in using approaches that push you into new areas of “unconsciousness.” You’ll find you are re-stimulated in cool new ways.

SPECIAL NOTE:  I will be on Jay Liebenguth’s radio show, “Live with Jay” on Thursday, August 7 at 3:00 p.m. on KCTE 1510 AM in Kansas City. You can listen on the internet at http://www.1510.com/ or check out the interview later on Jay’s website.

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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This week’s articles tie to my current interest in all things Liz Phair. If you’re unfamiliar with her, she’s one of the early alt-indie-tough-sexy-filthy-rocker chicks, hitting the music scene in 1993 with “Exile in Guyville,” an album ranked as one of the best that year and on many long lists of all-time bests. With a 15th anniversary digital re-issue of “Guyville,I’ve been going back through her catalog and story – as varied as both have been.

“Guyville” was envisioned as a song-by-song answer to “Exile on Main Street” by the Rolling Stones. Answer songs aren’t new though. “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynard Skynard was an answer to Neil Young’s “Southern Man.” Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” triggered an answer in Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land.”

Beyond simple inspiration, in each case a new creative work was formed as a reply to another. The approach is certainly used in commercials, books, and other creative efforts.

Try applying this intriguing creative technique yourself in a twist on changing your perspective. Choose a particular work’s subject matter or statement, figuratively walk around to its opposite side, and create a response from 180 degrees away.

Throughout the rest of the week, we’ll mine Liz Phair’s lyrics and music for other interesting creative insights, so please use the comments section to provide your own “answer posts”!

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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Powerful comparisons are important to many creative thinking exercises. While the types of comparisons may vary, for the more than twenty-five “Change Your Character” creative thinking exercises on the Brainzooming blog, delegating an opportunity or challenge to someone you wouldn’t typically think about selecting to do your work yields a wide variety of creative ideas.

Creative Ideas from an Unlikely Character?

The Change Your Character creative thinking exercises use someone in a completely different line of work to help you look at your own situation with a fresh perspective.

Here are the steps for Change Your Character:

  1. State the business challenge that you’re addressing – it could be an opportunity, a problem, a new process or approach, etc.
  2. Pick who you want to work on your situation. This could be a real person, a fictional or cartoon character, or even another business that faces an analogous situation.
  3. Once you’ve identified who you’ll put on the job, list 8 to 10 approaches that the person, character, or business uses to address opportunities or challenges.
  4. Using the 8 to 10 approaches, apply them to your situation to generate at least 3 new ideas each for solving it.

Each of the Change Your Character creative thinking exercises does steps 2 and 3 for you. This allows you to focus primarily on step 4 – creative idea generation.

25 “Change Your Character” Creative Thinking Exercises

Here’s a compilation of 25 of these creative thinking exercises you can bookmark for use in successfully addressing future opportunities. Within each category, the situations and characters covered are listed, along with a link to the original article.

Strategy

Relationship & Brand Building

Team Building

Management & Problem Solving

Professional Skills

Just a note – I used Bart Simpson recently, and it worked very well. Give it a try and have great success Changing Your Character! – Mike Brown

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Learn all about Mike Brown’s creative thinking and innovation presentations!

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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When you need to tap your creativity for a new look at an old project, try this 3-step creative quickie approach with a goal of generating 33 new ideas from each creative thinking exercise step.

A Creative Thinking Exercise with “3 Steps and Pick”

Step 1 – Think Connections: Ask, “What’s this project like?” Generalize the project, select an analogous situation, and then apply attributes, lessons, and possibilities from the analogous situation to your project.

Step 2 – Think Random: Select random words, phrases, and images from a magazine and ask, “What does this word, phrase, or image suggest about possibilities for my project?” Stuck for a good magazine to use? Try “Real Simple” or any other big, picture-rich magazine outside your field.

Step 3 – Think Again: Go back through your 66 current ideas and start pairing them up to generate 33 more possibilities.

Pick: With the 99 ideas you now have, there should at least 10 to 15 possibilities that you can select and directly apply to your old project to enliven it!

How’s that for a creative quickie to get a lot of ideas and then do something with them! – 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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Following up Tuesday’s article, I appeared Friday, June 20 on the “Eye on Small Business” radio program with Kelly Scanlon (KCTE Hot Talk 1510 AM). It’s an hour show, providing an opportunity to talk with Kelly, publisher of “Kansas City Small Business Monthly,” about ways to foster a more innovative approach in business and life. You can listen to the entire program by clicking on this link to her Talkshoe.com site.

We covered many topics during the show including those below:

Since there won’t be an article on July 4, here’s tip: If you have the opportunity, watch fireworks from the tallest building that you can. We typically watch from the 9th floor at work because we can see fireworks displays from all over Kansas City in one location! Hotels with restaurants at the top are another great option as well.

Be safe and check back July 7 for a “Creative Quickie,” the new every Monday feature to get your week started creatively.

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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