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Archive for Brainstorming

Business Meetings

Your Business Meetings

Even if your company is working hard on inclusiveness and diversity, it is important to pay attention to how you get everyone equal ‘floor time’ in the meeting. How do you do that?

One way is to use silent and anonymous idea generation. Hand out a pile of sticky note paper or 3×5 cards. Challenge everyone to come up with a minimum of 5 ways to solve a problem you’ve been working on or a new way to market a declining product. No talking and no sharing during this initial thinking and writing time.

Then all ideas get put up equally on a flip chart or white board. Organize by categories or similarity.

All ideas are valuable, some will work on their own. Most will work better in combination with others on the board. Some can be expanded by discussion.

You may decide to organize the ideas by how long they would take to do a trial or to implement in general, or by cost, effort, or ROI. You may even decide to try out the most outrageous first because standing out is better than blending in and being boring.

Mental Models for better & easier solutions

Mental models
Why do some people find ‘simple’ mathematics problems so impossible. I used common fractions for my research but it wouldn’t matter which specific concept I had chosen.
The answer I discovered and proved was that children and adults alike, who had a mental model of the concept, could solve the math problems. Those who didn’t were using rote rules that had no meaning, no models in their mind, so they made mistakes or gave up. They often could follow the rules successfully as long as the next problem looked exactly like the last one. If presented a problem that looked different, they couldn’t picture how to modify the rules, they couldn’t see where or how it matched up to the last one or something they had seen before.
Mental models are built by drawing, building with objects, and imagining.
One type of mental model that can help with thinking clearly and making strong decisions is the mind map. It helps you brainstorm lots of options and then it organizes those options for consideration.

Contentment vs Impatience

We normally think that the opposite of impatience is patience.  For the moment I’d like to ask you to be open to the idea that the opposite of impatience is contentment.  When you are showing patience you are waiting for another person to finish what they are doing or saying so you can have a turn.

When you are content to listen or watch and learn and are not waiting for your turn, you are being the opposite of impatient.  How good it can feel to be content to listen and learn, to think about what you are observing or hearing.  Contentment can feel wonderful and its feeling can spread to others in the room.

 

About Hazel

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Hazel Wagner, PhD, MBA, CMC, Professional Speaker, Author, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Brain Facilitator

ACADEMIC CREDENTIALS
PhD, MA, BA Mathematics
MBA International Marketing & Finance
Taught in MBA Programs for Kellogg Graduate School of Management, DePaul Graduate School of Business, and Cardean

BUSINESS CREDENTIALS
15 years in the Computer Industry: GE, Digital Equipment Corp.

CONSULTING CREDENTIALS
14 years consulting for start-ups through F100 companies, Certified Management Consultant

INTERNATIONAL SPEAKING CREDENTIALS
Sales Meeting kick-offs and keynotes, workshops, seminars for worldwide companies, American Management Association, National Speaker Association, American Marketing Association, Singapore Executive Management Seminar, AMA Tokyo, CMC Canadian Management Centre.

YOUR CREATIVITY GENIUS

Yes, genius.

Everyone has it yet most people describe themselves as having no creativity.

As children we were all free to try anything.  I decided to draw on the wall behind a door in our apartment.  I felt proud of my colorful

scribbles until my mother discovered it.  And, yes, I was punished.  I think they had to paint the whole wall.

We are all creative in our own way.

Not all creativity comes from big leaps.  Often small differences can make big differences.

Creative ideas that turn out to be useful are innovation.

The pet rock was creative but its usefulness, as a joke, was limited.  As a result it didn’t have much usefulness, nor innovation.

Allow room for your creative genius to think, grow, and try things out.

Let us know your thoughts on YOUR CREATIVITY GENIUS. You can email us at Hazel.Wagner@b9d.com

About Hazel

shapeimage_2

Hazel Wagner, PhD, MBA, CMC, Professional Speaker, Author, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Brain Facilitator

ACADEMIC CREDENTIALS
PhD, MA, BA Mathematics
MBA International Marketing & Finance
Taught in MBA Programs for Kellogg Graduate School of Management, DePaul Graduate School of Business, and Cardean

BUSINESS CREDENTIALS
15 years in the Computer Industry: GE, Digital Equipment Corp.

CONSULTING CREDENTIALS
14 years consulting for start-ups through F100 companies, Certified Management Consultant

INTERNATIONAL SPEAKING CREDENTIALS
Sales Meeting kick-offs and keynotes, workshops, seminars for worldwide companies, American Management Association, National Speaker Association, American Marketing Association, Singapore Executive Management Seminar, AMA Tokyo, CMC Canadian Management Centre.

 

Idea Generation Instead of Brainstorming

The word brainstorming has gotten a bad rap from some who write on the www. The problem they seem to have is that their experiences with the subject have been the antithesis of purposeful brainstorming. So I propose to use ‘idea generation’ instead of brainstorming. That is the purpose of most brainstorming sessions any way. A good idea generation session has a clear goal but also leaves lots of room for playing around with ideas and exploring several different avenues that turn up. A good idea generation session also will produce some ideas and directions that seem immediately applicable while others should be put in the parking lot to be reintroduced and explored at a next meeting.

Quick Start for Innovation

Sooner or later every business person starts to wonder if they are losing their touch or getting too complacent.  People buy based on differences not sameness. You and your company must constantly strive to stand out, to be viewed as a resource, not just a supplier.

A commodity is an item that is undifferentiated in the mind of the potential customer.  If it isn’t viewed as any different from any other in its class then the customer will choose the lowest cost, the cheapest.  That is the recipe for sliding down the slippery slope of less and less profit.

So instead choose the goal to be viewed as innovative, differentiated, something or someone special.

Innovation is in everyone’s grasp.  It is not limited to the birthright of a few ‘creatives.’

Use any of the ideas in Power Brainstorming, the book, or that you will read in this blog to get the creative juices flowing.

Let’s start with diversity, diversity of thinking styles and backgrounds.  Us humans tend to filter out so much of our environment that it is easy to miss some good nuggets.  Different backgrounds and thinking styles mean observing or noticing different elements.  It also means that the same element can elicit a very different response or thought process.  I do an exercise in some of my onsite seminars where each person starts with the same word and then lists word connections.  Even a common word will elicit very different streams of connected words from participants who may work together every day.

This exercise when applied to your product or customer or event will start you off on the creativity to innovation track.

Why call it power brainstorming?

Power up your process of brainstorming. Speeding up the process keeps your censoring brain from ruining your creativity. The moment you allow thoughts like ‘that won’t work’ or ‘ the others will think this is stupid’ those new and different ideas get squashed.