Strategic Thinking Exercise – Use a New SWOT Nobody Expects

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Going into a strategy meeting today that is sure to be a snoozer ? Even if you are going into the meeting with the same old people , the same old topics, and the same old expectations to just get a strategy done and put into a notebook on a shelf so you can go back to doing what you’ve always been doing, there is hope! Use a New SWOT Strategic Thinking Exercise Nobody Expects. Yes, try a SWOT strategic thinking exercise looking for ideas that are: Scary.

7 Strategic Thinking Questions When Things Aren’t Working

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7 Strategic Thinking Questions When Things Aren’t Working. When things took an unexpected turn the other day, I mentally flew through various strategic thinking questions trying to comes up with ideas to adjust what we were doing. When you have solid planning (maybe even over-planning), good strategic thinking questions to identify ways to adapt, and an appreciation for flexibility, unexpected events become a wonderful opportunity for learning and developing.

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Strategic Thinking Exercises – 3 Responses to New Ideas

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The objective was to help them become better strategic thinkers and marketers. Since all the companies competed with one another, each one needed to determine its own business strategies. It seems ridiculous to help a company become better at strategic thinking and marketing without being allowed to tell them how to do it. Strategic Thinking Exercises – 3 Responses to New Ideas. 10 Keys to Engaging Stakeholders to Improve Strategic Results.

9 Strategic Thinking Questions to Start Strategic Conversations

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The previous Brainzooming article was on listening for strategic insights in order to not waste strategic conversations. If you understand the types of information you need to develop a strategic plan, you can often get a jump start on completing it simply by listening closely to strategic conversations for valuable input. If you have the right people present , and they are in a chatty mood, how can you morph the gathering into a strategic conversation?

Strategic Thinking – Job Descriptions Don’t Define Innovation Potential

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I asked them to engage in some strategic thinking about innovation opportunities for the company. They used that as a justification for opting out of strategic thinking. I disabused them of the idea, however, that their narrow job descriptions were synonymous with narrow strategic thinking roles. I reminded them (in case no one ever had) that they had a HUGE brand role no matter how narrow everyone thinks they are as a group.

Strategic Thinking – 6 Ideas to Put a List in Order

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We have been working with a client that had done a lot of strategic thinking about a new initiative. Because of this, the list was worthless for doing what I suspect everyone hoped it would do: provide a starting point for the strategic thinking needed to back into a definition of and explanation for what the new initiative would turn out to be. Those are six starting places to use when you are doing strategic thinking about big lists.

Strategic Thinking Exercise – An Alternative Vision Statement Approach

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During in-person and online strategic planning workshops , we regularly use a strategic thinking exercise that helps leadership groups quickly identify a shared future vision statement. Participants assess where they think the organization currently is and where they want it to be in the future on multiple “strategic dimensions.” We place each strategic dimension on a scale having multiple written descriptions of ways to approach it.

Strategic Thinking Exercises – 11 Things Running through a Facilitator’s Head

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We facilitated a two-day innovation strategy workshop for an industrial company. The company wants to make significant changes to a major production process. During the innovation strategy discussions, we addressed the production process changes from five different perspectives. In each of the five mini-innovation strategy workshops, we had a group of core team members, plus people familiar with each perspective.

Strategic Thinking – 16 Ideas for Creating an Entrepreneurial Environment Inside Your Company

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At the 2016 Brand Strategy Conference, Antonia Dean, Director – Marketing, Brand Development, & Strategy at The Estée Lauder Companies covered the strategic thinking ideas behind creating an entrepreneurial environment in a large company. In her role, Antonia Dean focuses on incubating acquisitions and top-secret new product concepts. 16 Strategic Thinking Ideas for Creating an Entrepreneurial Environment Inside Your Company.

Creative Thinking Skills – 9 Fundamentals to Turn Talk into Strategy

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The challenge in a client meeting was developing the strategy for a later meeting intended to build support for a biennial community event. The team leader asked, “How is it possible to listen to us talk and turn it into a strategy so quickly?”. 9 Creative Thinking Skills to Turn Talk into Strategy. Tie the comments to a structure that’s familiar , already sold in, popular with many people, or classically strategic.

Creative Thinking Skills – Protecting Yourself from Creative Thinking Challenges

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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. Do you work in one of those types of organizations that says one thing and supports another where creativity is concerned? Organizational Creative Thinking Challenges.

41 Surprising Things about Community Collaboration Done Well

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I was thinking I may not be as included since I’m not from or otherwise generally associated with (the community).”. Thinking of ideas for different categories.”. Required a lot of critical thinking”. Discovering Shared Thinking. It’s often a challenge to describe what Brainzooming is to people that haven’t participated directly in collaborative strategy or innovation workshops. Actively engage more individuals in strategy AND implementation success.

Strategic Planning Exercises – 6 Ways to Organize Lists of Ideas

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We have been working with a client that had done a lot of strategic planning exercises about a new initiative. Because of this, the list was worthless for doing what I suspect everyone hoped it would do: provide a starting point for the strategic thinking needed to back into a definition of and explanation for what the new initiative would turn out to be. 6 Ways to Organize Ideas from Strategic Planning Exercises.

Branding Strategy – The Best Brand Promise EVER

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Great branding strategy examples abound. “If you can think it, we can make it.” ” I don’t know if Kris and Kate’s Ice Cream Treats thinks about this as a brand promise, a slogan, or something else. If your organization specializes in one particular area, your branding strategy discussions should include the question: “If our customers can think it, can we make it?”

Branding Strategy – 3 Product Branding Ideas to Beg, Borrow, and Steal

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I snapped this picture at Target the other evening because of the intriguing product branding ideas it suggests. 3 Product Branding Ideas to Beg, Borrow, and Steal. Suppose you are in a similar product branding situation. You need to reduce what your brand delivers, but still put sizzle into your product so consumers think it is an attractive option. Diet Coke Strategy: Translating small to sip-sized. From the Brainzooming Product Branding Lab.

Community Collaboration Workshops Come in All Sizes

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On Wednesday, I delivered the closing keynote at the Real Time Marketing Lab with a mini-workshop on using strategic thinking super models to help C-suite executives understand social networking and content marketing strategy. Thursday included working with a local non-profit to develop the strategic foundation for an important initiative, along with developing initial themes from the Carbondale community collaboration workshops.

Employee Engagement Strategies – Pigs, Chickens, and What Great Leaders Do

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The thing is, unsuccessful employee engagement strategies are not an employee problem. It is a LEADERSHIP problem when purported employee engagement strategies are not working. We see great leaders among our clients successfully taking steps that meaningfully involve employees in shaping strategy and implementation. If you want to go deeper on a viable strategy to improve employee engagement, download our Results eBook.

12 Resources to Lead a Strategic Planning Process When You’re New

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Someone downloaded a free Brainzooming strategy eBook, noting his biggest strategy challenge is “how to do a strategic planning process when you are new.” ” That question relates to something we do all the time: walk into a new client in an unfamiliar industry to design and facilitate a strategic planning process. Secure copies of previous plans and strategy documents, and don’t settle for the first things people offer you.

A 5-Level Collaboration Strategy Approach

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We’ve written about the importance of signaling collaboration strategy preferences when you and team members are working remotely. Talking with someone who is struggling with identifying the best ways to signal the appropriate collaboration strategy approash, we hit on a variation on the Sergio Zyman decision levels. A 5-Level Collaboration Strategy Approach. T – The team (or team member) will figure it out and bring the finished product back to the team leader.

Strategic Planning – 3 Surprising Ways Online Collaboration Works

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We’re big proponents of the value of bringing together a diverse group of people with varied creative thinking skills for strategic planning workshops within organizations and communities. Often, however, executives jump too quickly to flying everyone into one place for a big strategic planning meeting. When discussing a strategic planning or innovation strategy engagement with a client, we use the graphic below to design our recommended approach.

Leadership Skills – 8 Ways to Fake It Until You Make It

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Jot down your initial ideas on the direction you think the meeting / initiative should go and introduce them at an opportune time. Creating Strategic Impact” Leaders are looking for powerful ways to engage strong collaborators to shape shared visions. They need strategic thinkers who can develop strategy and turn it into results. Download this free, action-focused mini-book to: Learn smart ways to separate strategic opportunities from the daily noise of business.

Strategic Visioning Exercises – 14 Articles for Creating a Vision Statement

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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. 14 Articles on Strategic Visioning Exercises. These fourteen articles recap our thinking and recommendations across these three areas. Strategic Planning – All the Strategy Roles You Need. Strategic Thinking Perspectives – Three Strategic Voices to Include on Your Team.

Team Collaboration – 14 Benefits from Pre-Meeting Outreach

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Learning what participants in an upcoming big meeting know, think, and believe before they come together in a large group is one tactic to strengthen team collaboration. Gain a sense of what people already think. Better strategize how to introduce challenging points of view. In the new Brainzooming strategy eBook 321 GO! , we share common situations standing in the way of successfully implementing your most important strategies.

15 Things to Look for in a Business Collaboration

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Shame on me, but I’ve never put the criteria I look for from a business collaboration into the type of strategic decision making tool we develop for clients. With an event-based collaboration, it provides opportunities to extend it in strategically smart ways. There is a mutual contribution from both parties toward the strategy and ideas. 10 Keys to Engaging Employees to Improve Strategic Results.

11 Boring Details for Making Strategic Planning Fun*

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Many people visit the Brainzooming website looking for ideas on making strategic planning fun. I’m a strategic planning guy, and even I don’t enjoy strategic planning the way it is typically handled for groups. Part of making strategic planning fun involves fun exercises , which we continue to create and share here. A big part of making strategic planning fun, however, involves focusing on boring details that create a fun* experience.

Abruptly Halting the Cluster F%@k of Business Meetings

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You know, this week doesn’t have to be as unproductive as last week, what with business meetings going nowhere along with wasting time, positive energy, and any hope of creativity. The thing is, there’s a different way to structure business meetings to help a group come together and collaborate in an innovative, productive way. In short they need strategic thinkers who can develop strategy and turn it into results.

Strategic Planning – 10 Keys to Collaborative Strategy

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How do you gain the best advantage from the expertise, experience, and ideas inside your organization as you pursue strategic planning? Success factors in strategic planning and creating collaborative strategy were the central topics we tackled on an edition of Smart Companies Radio, hosted by Kelly Scanlon, the owner of Thinking Bigger Business Media, Inc., Creating Strategic Impact mini-book. 10 Keys to Collaborative Strategy and Strategic Planning.

Answering Reader Questions on Strategy and Innovation Challenges

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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. 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. “Internal politics” 3 Strategies for Navigating a Political Environment.

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5 Keys to Engaging Employees in Innovation Strategy – Our Buy-In Manifesto

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Reviewing the innovation strategy challenges business executives identified when downloading Brainzooming eBooks , they frequently mention gaining “buy-in” for significant change initiatives. There are so many ways to botch involving employees (and community members, if that’s your audience) in developing and successfully implementing an innovation strategy. Here are five keys we’ve found for successfully engaging employees in innovation strategy.

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5 Employee Engagement Ideas When Turnover Is High

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I debuted a presentation on “Results – Creating Strategic Impact,” our mini-book on employee engagement ideas to boost an organization’s strategic thinking. The mini-book focuses on the tremendous value when an organization finds ways to strategically solicit employee insights and perspectives to shape its strategic thinking. 10 Employee Engagement Ideas to Improve Strategic Results.

Who Needs Vision Statement Examples? Try these 6 Steps

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At a Brainzooming internal branding strategy workshop I was presenting , one attendee remarked about wanting more vision statement examples. From what she described, her company’s leadership had rushed to develop big strategy statements (such as a core purpose, vision statement, or mission statement), but was now rethinking its direction. 6 Steps to Figuring out Your Company’s Big Strategy Statements. Branding Strategy – The Best Brand Promise EVER.

Internal Branding Strategy – 3 Ways to Be Smarter than United Airlines

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The folks at Armada Corporate Intelligence offered an internal branding strategy take on the United Airlines woes, offering strategic thinking questions you can ask and answer to improve your brand’s resiliency and avoid brand crises. 3 Ways Your Internal Branding Strategy Can Be Smarter than United Airlines. 3 Internal Branding Strategy Challenges. In short they need strategic thinkers who can develop strategy and turn it into results.

Strategic Planning Exercises – Two Types of Structure, One Works

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There are a couple of different ways to apply structure to strategic planning exercises : You can enforce using templates and forms participants have to complete so their answers are uniformed and structured. You can provide people with strategic thinking exercises, creative thinking tools, strategy questions, and ways to collaborate with one another, using structure to help imagine better strategies.

9 Ideas on How to Involve a Team in Group Strategy Exercises

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Whenever possible, we try to help clients select a mix of people to participate in group strategy exercises. We review the importance of including front-line decision makers, functional experts, and individuals with creative perspectives. We are also proponents for reaching beyond familiar people that are always involved strategic planning meetings and drive the outcomes of group strategy exercises. 9 Ideas on How to Involve a Team in Group Strategy Exercises.

5 Keys to Streamlining Strategic Planning

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Following our post on the tenth anniversary of the Brainzooming strategic planning methodology , the guys at Armada Corporate Intelligence , who were an important part of developing and testing the process, wrote a companion article. They highlighted 5 keys to streamlining strategic planning based on how we implemented the Brainzooming process as a contrast to traditional (and slow) strategic planning techniques. 5 Keys to Streamlining Strategic Planning.

10 Project Planning Questions for Launching New Programs

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What is the business strategy behind launching this new program? What opportunities exist to modify the initiative if it makes smart, strategic sense to do so? Creating Strategic Impact” 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.

11 Fun Strategic Planning Ideas to Stop Strategy Snoozefests!

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Do your organization’s strategic planning meetings turn into annual snoozefests ? That happens when strategic planning becomes too complex, gets detached from real business issues, or the whole process focuses on trying to complete cumbersome strategy templates. Later you discover that your strategic planning was more successful at producing ZZZZZZZZZZs than $$$$$$$$$s. Yes, strategic planning processes are commonly snoozefests, but they needn’t be!

Organizational Change – 15 Articles for Unfreezing a Team

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mini-Book, we ask a question about the biggest strategy implementation opportunity or challenge the individual is facing in his or her organization. and listed “unfreezing (a) team, moving forward, and preparing for growth” as the strategic task at hand. The clarity and directness of this strategic challenge prompted me to assemble this list of organizational change articles focused on these three areas. Three Strategic Voices to Include on Your Team.

The Best Time to Engage Your Audience in Collaborative Strategic Planning

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Talking with one city’s representatives about strategies to sell-in a broadband recommendation with voters, they asked whether it is okay to engage its citizens after city leadership develops a recommendation. Engage your audience in collaborative strategic planning earlier than later. If you engage your audience early in the collaborative strategic planning process, you can make a legitimate claim to creating a collaborative vision.