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.

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.

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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?

9 Strategic Thinking Questions – Helping Teams Execute Strategy

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Many organizations are in the early stages of executing new strategies for this year. That is when you discover whether you have a solid, implementable plan or something that (maybe) looks good on paper, but doesn’t work well when you try to execute the strategy. 9 Strategic Thinking Questions for Helping Teams Execute Strategy. Do you personally believe in the strategy? Were serious, strategic people involved in creating the strategy?

Strategic Thinking – Job Descriptions Don’t Define Innovation Potential

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As in, “We’ve learned from experience that we don’t want them drug into other tasks they might be able to contribute to if that causes performance and timeliness to suffer.” 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. The Strategic Thinking Lesson?

9 Big Strategic Thinking Questions to Start Addressing Now

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This time of year, preparing for upcoming strategic planning exercises may seem like something far in the future. Whether strategic planning is months away or close at hand, however, it’s always smart to get a head start tackling big strategic thinking questions that warrant in-depth consideration. As we look ahead to clients’ strategic planning processes, we’re developing new strategic thinking questions to freshen our Brainzooming strategic planning exercises.

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 – 4 Ways to Examine Brand Performance

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Here’s an idea for a new strategic thinking exercise that can be a big help. 4 Ways to Examine Brand Performance as a Strategic Thinking Exercise. It struck me how a comparable concept (an Examination of Brand Performance) would be helpful as a strategic thinking exercise for monitoring your organization or brand progress throughout the year. This is definitely a strategic thinking exercise idea from the Brainzooming R&D lab.

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.

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.

41 Surprising Things about Community Collaboration Done Well

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Originating from an Edward De Bono technique we learned from Chuck Dymer , the PMIRQ asks five open-ended questions on what worked (Plus), didn’t work (Minus), was surprising (Interesting), should be done next time (Recommendation), and didn’t get fully addressed (Question). I was thinking I may not be as included since I’m not from or otherwise generally associated with (the community).”. Fresh Ideas and Learning. Thinking of ideas for different categories.”.

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.

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.

Strategic Objectives – 3 Questions to Decide What’s Strategic

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We are working with a client to develop a content marketing strategy for multiple business units in the organization. The first step was for our client to talk with the presidents of the various business units to understand their strategic objectives. With that information, we will be in a strong position to identify a content marketing strategy specific to each business unit’s needs. In Search of Strategic Objectives. What are Strategic Objectives?

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. Learn what insights the participants already have and don’t have. Better strategize how to introduce challenging points of view. In the new Brainzooming strategy eBook 321 GO! , Creative Thinking: What Is the Right Size for a Brainstorming Group?

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?”

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.

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. There is a mutual commitment to learning from the business collaboration. Beyond learning more from the collaboration’s outcomes, it should provide an opportunity to learn about each other and our brand. With an event-based collaboration, it provides opportunities to extend it in strategically smart ways.

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.

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.

7 Collaborative Strategic Planning Process Impacts (Even if the Plan Sits on the Shelf)

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Talking to executives, you hear the expectation that an organization should implement a solid strategic plan strategy-by-strategy. To the extent a strategic plan is not implemented in that way, it falls short in some fashion. This goes along with the idea that if you never remove the big strategic planning notebook from your office shelf, it is a complete failure: you might as well not even do a strategic plan.

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.

 4 Ways to Make a Strategic Planning Process Productive

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People frequently complain about how a strategic planning process, whether accidentally or on purpose, is disconnected from employees’ regular duties and priorities. Too often, employees see strategic planning exercises as separate from and unrelated to what they need to do to run a business. With this view, the natural reaction is to avoid the strategic planning process or hope it goes away soon, so someone can return to daily activities full time and get work done.

Abruptly Halting the Cluster F%@k of Business Meetings

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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. We create these types of radically different (and beneficial) business meetings for clients , in large part, by bringing together the right people in the right settings with the right structure to allow them to be productive and successful participants. Actively engage more employees in strategy AND implementation success.

Trying Abundance as a Turnaround Branding Strategy

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With a strong brand and a robust branding strategy , there are many ways to deliver valuable brand benefits to customers. If, however, usage is declining for one of the best ways your brand delivers customer benefits, should your turnaround branding strategy focus on cutting back in providing it? What Turnaround Branding Strategy Is Best? Which leads to asking, “How do they think it will ever increase in demand again when it is hardly made available?”

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.

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.

eBook 45

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.

7 Organizational Harmony Principles from Dayton Moore

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10 Keys to Engaging Employees to Improve Strategic Results. Creating Strategic Impact” Leaders need high-impact ways to develop employees that can provide input into strategic planning and then turn it into results. This Brainzooming mini-book, “Results – Creating Strategic Impact” unveils ten proven lessons leaders can use to boost collaboration, meaningful strategic conversations, and results.

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. Productive Structure for Strategic Planning Exercises.

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.

4 Vital Characteristics of Collaborative Strategy Leaders

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What leadership skills are necessary to successfully champion a collaborative strategy ? A client fully immersed in developing and implementing a collaborative strategy asked that question. The task at hand is selecting “champions” from among the organization’s leadership team to move forward with strategic initiatives developed from the input of employees across the organization. 4 Vital Characteristics of Collaborative Strategy Leaders.

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.

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 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. Turn strategy into a game and let the team assign roles to specific team members.

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.

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.

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.

When Is the Right Time for Brainstorming in Strategic Planning?

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When is the right time for brainstorming in strategic planning , or really any other type of planning for that matter? Brainstorming CAN make sense throughout a strategic planning process. The Right Time for Brainstorming in Strategic Planning. The way we look at it, brainstorming – or whatever you want to call trying come up with new ideas – is typically, give or take, the third step in any phase of a strategic planning process.

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. If so, this Brainzooming compilation on various ways to combat creative thinking challenges is for you. Organizational Creative Thinking Challenges. Cultivating Personal Creative Thinking Skills.

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.

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.