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Business as Unusual: If you Want a Different Outcome, then you Need to Do Something Different

Do you have a place to capture  ideas and free your mind?

Do you have a “system” to move things forward?

Do you have a way to get organized and break projects down into manageable pieces?

sticky note - get more organized from he Big Idea Toolkit, Delightability, LLC.If you answered yes to these questions, great.  But, most people employ tools and tactics, like faith, scratch paper, random sticky notes, whiteboards, and a various paper and electronic calendars.

Some people even reduce the amount of things they do, striking a balance between what they can remember and what they feel they can get done.   That’s all well and good until you need or want to do more at work or at home.  You don’t want to be that person that says the all too common excuse, “But I don’t have time.”   We all suffer from time poverty but, some people get more done, while others let time and opportunity pass them by.

If you want to be highly productive, then you’ll need a new approach to getting organized and getting things done.

With more time you could plan a party, write a book, get a new job, make a career change, relocate or move, get involved in the community, solve a nagging problem, invent something, remodel your office or home, start a business, start a blog, learn a language, spend more time with family, write a program, plan a major vacation, run for office, write an initiative, host an event, relax,  master a new sport, supercharge a non-profit, volunteer, make and then do your bucket list.

But nobody can give you more time.  You’re still stuck with 24 hours each day, so to free up time for important things, you’ll need to better utilize the time you have every single day.

That’s why we created the Big Idea Toolkit, so you can get more important stuff done, whether that is for you, your family, at work or in your community.  If you want different outcomes and you want to be a highly productive “doer” then you need a new approach.

Watch the introductory video for the Big Idea Toolkit.  Questions? Please comment or contact us.

Category : Blog

Keys? Got it. Phone? Got it. 4-Square Personal Action Plan? Yes, Got that too!

clear path forward with the Big Idea Toolkit - Delightability, LLC.
No doubt you’ve experienced that naked just left the house without your pants feeling. “Wait, no I have my pants on. Oh yeah – I forgot my keys and where did I put my phone?”

When you don’t get important stuff done in your life and time passes you by, you similarly suffer. Even worse, you effect others around you. When you are a slouch, important things remain undone. You feel unproductive and fill your time with whatever, no matter its impact or quality. Stop that!

If you want to lead a more productive life and reduce the stress and expense of living randomly then use the 4-Square Personal Action plan.

Once you begin using the 4-Square Personal Action plan you’ll breathe a little easier, reduce stress, and positively contribute to those important things in your life, whatever they may be. You will find that you’ll have even more time to pick up the new sport, volunteer at that nonprofit, play music, visit friends, or write that book that’s been brewing in your mind.

Example 4-Square Personal Action plan from the Big Idea Toolkit - Delightability, LLC.The 4-Square Personal Action plan is a free download. It is part of the Big Idea Toolkit but we’ve made it available to you whether or not you use the entire toolkit.
Using it can save you time, money, gas, relationships, and get you closer to where you want to go, no matter where that is.

Having your weekly todos (deliverables) visible will help to ensure they are top of mind and actually get accomplished. Your brain wants to see things and your inner emotional elephant is motivated when you make visible progress. That is why we feel good when we check things off the todo list.

When we see our “to do” list transform into a “to done” list is motivating and serves as fuel to get even more done. So print out your 4-Square, whether or not you’re using the entire toolkit and begin the highly productive habit of creating the weekly 4-Square Personal Action plan and reviewing it daily. Take it with you, review it often, and get more important stuff done. Oh yeah, one more thing… please remember your keys.

Category : Blog

Your Big Idea – Stop Dabbling and Start Making an Impact

idea lightbulb cup and conversation - the Big Idea Toolkit from Delightability, LLC.I want to share a fresh perspective to the thinking that appeared  in a recent New York Times opinion piece, titled The Elusive Big Idea.

Most people are not deep thinkers anymore.  I believe this to be especially true of the younger generations that can find all of the answers (right or wrong) on Google and text Mom, Dad, or a friend first and think for themselves second.

Our ipods and pads, crackberries and computers have not solved basic human problems that exist in families, the work place, and communities. While our devices and social networks can connect us to more people, across more geographies and across time, they are not a substitute for thinking, great conversation, and taking action.  For that you need to step away from the computer screen, be a better storyteller, and have better conversations.

As Morpheus said in The Matrix, “There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.”

We all see the possibilities for improvement at work, in our associations, club, non-profits, churches, government and even our families.  But, too many ideas are not fleshed out with good authentic dialogue and many more are stillborn, never to take shape or have their impact felt in the world.  We need better tools and a new approach.

This is what in part, spurred us to create the Big Idea Toolkit.  The Toolkit helps you to get organized so you can get more important stuff done and make a bigger impact, whether that is for you, your family, work, or your community. It is intentionally designed to force dialogue and leverages the way our brains do their most innovative work.

the Big Idea Toolkit - How it Works - from Delightability, LLC.Whether you work alone or in a group the Big Idea Toolkit gives you a place to:

  • capture ideas
  • get organized
  • execute

The Big Idea Toolkit provides a common big picture with a clear path forward and a playbook of what to do next that keeps everybody motivated and moving forward. Using it or something like it is your best chance to make an impact and realize the possibilities.  So, whether your idea is a big one or a small one doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you makes its impact felt in the world.

Good luck – there is much to make better in this world.

Category : Blog

the PlayGround – Making the Invisible Visible to Get More Done


example of the Playground from the Big Idea Toolkit - Delightability, LLC.Chances are you have something wonderful tucked inside your computer – your big idea.  If your anything like me, you’ve started many idea files.  Chances are you’ve also written something down on a scrap of paper, sticky note, or back of the napkin that at the time was of prime importance.  You might have even interrupted a person you were talking to or abruptly stopped what you were doing to write it down, saying “This is a great one, hold on hold on, I’ve got to write this down before I lose it.”

And then… you don’t do anything.  The file gets saved to some weird recess of the computer that made sense at the time and the paper idea morsel goes somewhere, perhaps you’ll discover it later. Whatever that great thing was gets lost, only to be randomly and luckily recalled someday, if at all.

“Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.”
Sir Francis Bacon, English philosopher, statesman, spy, Freemason and essayist (1561 – 1626).

After all, inspiration has expiration and if you don’t make it visible, the great idea or initiative gets wafted into the corner of your computer or mind never seeing the light of day.  Sadly, no matter how great that momentary inspiration was, if it’s not acted on, will have no impact in the world – not for you and not for others.

Part of having a mind at ease is knowing you have place to stow and recall such ideas.  Everybody should have their own personal Innovation PlayGround – that place where ideas live.  And you don’t want that to be invisible.  You want to put you mind at ease then create a visible PlayGround that you can affix ideas to.  If you get an idea, write it on a sticky note and stick in in the PlayGround.  Get an idea related to another idea – great, lump those together.  Funny thing is, if you see these ideas in your PlayGround over and over again, you’re brain will continue to work on them, even when it seems like you’re not.  So if you want to get more stuff done in this world, then unhide your ideas and get them into the PlayGround.  Your brain will thank you and so will those you someday impact.

 


Category : Blog

4 Reasons You Don’t Move Forward – and How to Overcome

In spite of inspirational songs like “Live Like Your Were Dying” and movies like “The Bucket List”, most people won’t act until its too late.  They’ll continue to let opportunities pass them by, only to be realized by others.  Truth is, those “others” aren’t any smarter, but they do have better habits.  Here is how to level the playing field and get your fare share of opportunities. Know thyself.  Understand the reason you don’t move forward and then make a choice to either overcome it or accept it.

If you’re going to be a slouch you should at least be an informed intentional slouch.

And if you are a “doer” then perhaps it’s your duty to help somebody else get out of their own way.

As part of my book research, I’ve been asking people from all walks of life now for some time what holds them back from whatever it is their wanting to do.  I’ve heard several different flavors of answers, but they can be summarized by the list of 4 below.  If you really have a reason you believe doesn’t fit to these 4 please chime in.  I’d love to know.

#4 – values or beliefs are not in alignment

You might recognize this as  “I’ve reluctantly signed up to do something” or “You were really good at coercing me but I never really was committed.”  This reason is usually cited when we don’t move forward on somebody else’s idea or initiative.  You simply don’t believe in “the cause” or the value of getting it done.  Reaching the final destination doesn’t resonate with you so much.   Sometimes people want to fantasize about reaching the Utopian end state but they don’t really have any intention of doing any real work or making a contribution.  If you find yourself in this camp saying “work – that is for the others,” or “a person should… “, then some intellectual honesty is in order.  Simply come to grips that you are a fantasy doer or know what you value and stop committing without follow through.

#3 – lack of resources

This oft cited paralyzer is a Red Herring easily spotted by asking yourself or others what resources are needed.  Then systematically break down and eliminate each resource needed – this is an obstacle removal technique.  Many problems can be reframed to requires a different set of resources, those within reach.  Also, there are those resources that you don’t have now and those that you don’t have in the future. Solve today’s problem today and tomorrows problems tomorrow.

#2 – fear or lack of courage

This reason for inaction is more easily understood when the person not moving forward is part of a larger social context.  When you have to rally the herd and get others moving there is a certain risk that goes along with that.  It is much easier to not lead the way, blend into the crowd, and wait for somebody else to take a risk and be responsible.  This is a well researched and documented area of social psychology called the bystander effect. But when others are not involved,  it become squarely about you.  You may have been conditioned to fear failure or you’re in an environment where failure is something to be avoided at all costs.

Failure can actually be a good thing, especially in small doses.  That’s what experiments and prototypes are for!  I worked in the Boeing Wind Tunnel for 5 years. We ran many experiments to detect failure and make improvements at a small scale because the human and financial costs of mistakes at scale are so enormous.

Besides failure, some people also fear the destination of success and all its accoutrements.  To overcome inaction and to combat many of the subconscious and conditioned avoidance behaviors it is good to create new habits.  You can easily do this by adopting a habit practice sheet (free download) and by creating conscious action triggers.   Action triggers can have a profound power to motivate people to do the things they need to do.   The reason, according to Peter Gollwitzer, a New York University psychologist, is that action triggers eliminate the need for conscious deliberation by making people “pre-decide” what they are going to do.  In this they program themselves to protect goals from tempting distractions, bad habits, or competing goals.

an example of the Big Picture from the Big Idea Toolkit - Delightability, LLC.#1 – lack of clarity

By far this is the most popular reason people don’t move forward that I’ve encountered. They simply don’t know how to get started or what the next step is.  They are overwhelmed by the myriad of choices and possibilities.  You can hear them saying to themself, “Where to start, where to start.”  They may be so overwhelmed they are unable to articulate what they want or think they need.  Often, others have trouble helping people in this state – instead they usually prefer to give them time and space to “get it together.”  Creating the Big Picture can go a long way toward unlocking what the brain already knows but is unable to express.  Sequencing your Big Idea into Chunky Steps along a path with a clear vision of the payoff seems so simple… and it is. But have you actually done it? You want to create your next “Aha” moment, give it a whirl.  Better yet, help somebody else do the same.

Category : Blog

Do you Have an Idea Worth Laughing At?

The list is long of ideas that people laughed at.  Some were small and some were noteworthy game changers that we can’t imagine living without today.  Whether you have a game changing idea or a little idea that could make your own corner of the world just a little bit better, it won’t take flight if you don’t take action.

Whether, you use the entire Big Idea Toolkit, the PlayGround or an idea tattoo on your face to remind you daily, you should dust off your idea and get going. Interesting thing about your brain and motivation – once you begin, it easier to keep going.

Recording sound, Flight, Rockefeller Center, Cotton Gin,  Steamboat, Chocolate Bars, Gourmet Cupcakes, Coffee Experience, Groupon, Car Sharing, Drunks Delivered, Craigslist, Your Idea?

If the list doesn’t inspire you hopefully this song does, or at least entertains you.

Reach for the moon or the top shelf but reach for something.

Ella & Louis – They All Laughed (1957)

 

Category : Blog

You are 30 days from a Better You

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle

habit practice sheet from the Big Idea Toolkit - Delightability, LLC.

Pick it!  It doesn’t really matter, weight loss,  more books read, conversations had, blog posts written, friends contacted, miles biked, states traveled.   No matter what your trying to do more of your brain will react favorably to repetition.  Pretty soon, your newly sought habit will be programmed into your brain like your morning cup of coffee.

It turns out it take about 30 days of repeated activity for you brain to establish a new habit.  So what are you waiting for?  Get going on whatever it is you wish to do.  As a starter you might have a daily PlayBook review to make sure you personal and professional affairs are in order.  Download and print the free 30 day practice sheet to help yourself or somebody you care about.

Your emotional brain likes to be rewarded so at day 15 and day 30 reward yourself for staying on track.  At the end of 30 days, it won’t be so hard to continue.    Click here or the the image to download the PDF.

Category : Blog

Dogs, Gators, and Humans – 2 out of 3 are Wired to Care?

Pet AlligatorIt’s true and there is a good book by the same name, “Wired to Care.” In it, the author explains that our limbic system is that part of our brain that makes us feel. Dogs have a limbic system almost as developed as our own. That’s why when you come home after having a bad day at work your dog is “there for you.” It doesn’t understand what you did at work or why they pay you, but it feels that you are down and approaches you with tail a’ wagging and tongue o’ drooling.

A pet anaconda or alligator on the other hand, has no such limbic system so it will bite you in half or eat you whole, feet first without remorse.

That’s why anacondas and alligators are not Man’s Best Friend.Cookie the Corky

Including pictures of your intended audience and a few details about them can turn on your limbic system and make you care more.

If you want to do good things for your Audience you’ll need to be a little more dog and a little less alligator.

Category : Blog

Work Smarter with Freelancers, Consultants and Agencies

the Big Picture from the Big Idea Toolkit - Delightability, LLC.
As a business or team leader, you outsource some functions to gain the expertise or resources of other freelancers, consultants and agencies.  You also outsource these people so they are not a constant drain on your payroll.  So one way or another when you do meet up the clock is ticking.  You can’t afford to be stuck, spinning your wheels, and returning to the beginning conversation.  Unless you’re an army of one, you’ll also likely need to communicate and enroll others that weren’t part of the initial discussion. The Audience, The Situation, and the Big Picture used together will go a long way toward getting on the same page. Use it yourself your ask others to use these tools to speed your learning, gain some clarity, and stop wasting time. Tick Tock Tick Tock

 

Category : Blog

Need a Big Picture Starter, try Affinity Mapping

affinity mapping as a start for the Big Picture from the Big Idea Toolkit - Delightability, LLC.There is a ton of material on YouTube and other places about affinity mapping so I won’t repeat it all here.  But, it is often a good method to generate ideas as a starting point.  You frame the problem or opportunity in the form of a question.  It is important to stay focused on the question.  Often times if you run out of steam I encourage people to think in multiple dimensions, like people, process, technology.

working through the Big Picture chunky steps from affinity mapping exercise - the Big Idea Toolkit - Delightability, LLC.As an example, I was in a small workshop with a non-profit that was putting together a sponsorship program, something new to the group.  Our “question” that framed the exercise was “What would be involved in having a successful sponsor program.”   Individually, we listed items we could think of, in no particular order.  When we ran out of steam after about 20 minutes we placed them on the wall.  Then we arranged them into groups of similar items.  We then labeled each group.  We then processed the pieces using the Big Picture from the Big Idea Toolkit.

Category : Blog

About Us

Like you we get ideas. We are all idea people. The Big Idea Toolkit was born out of our recognition that people have ideas but get stuck at all stages of bringing those ideas to life. We hope you find this toolkit and site gives you a nudge, a process to follow, and inspiration to make your ideas a reality. Thank you to our clients who told us - "You guys should make this a product available to others." We are Delightability, LLC and we believe if you Delight Customers - Success will Follow. more..

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If you have questions or need some help please email us or call us at (206) 356-8811