brainstorming

Daily Flight Plan to Boost Personal Productivity

image of daily flight plan for delighting customersDo you wake up in the morning knowing exactly what you will do for the rest of the day?  Are you insulated from interruptions that will thwart your plans today?  Do you go for days on end and then realize there was something you’ve neglected, perhaps you’re forgetting about a customer or conversation, or some operational aspect of your business, or maybe just some “me” time, paying a bill, or phoning a friend.  These are exactly the reasons you need to have a daily flight plan.  Use it to improve your personal velocity and maximize your impact while getting iconic cues and reminders to not forget your customers – the reason you have a business in the first place.  If you are an entrepreneur and don’t yet have customers for your new venture – then this has even more importance.  Place the flight plan over your mouse pad, in your notebook, or somewhere on your desk to record your top actions, capture ideas and sketch as needed.  The flight plan includes a few guiding principles, a 3 month weekly calendar and icons to remind you of the 3 legged stool, 3 funnels, and touch points.  To learn more about those items read the original article.

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Category : Blog

Try to Unthink that Thought – Just Try

debbie faas golden nugget paintingA friend of mine, Chuck Frey wrote an article about the Painter’s Technique a while ago. It really resonated with me so I commented on it.  It has doubly resonated with me over the last week since my artist friend Debbie Faas validated the painter’s technique is in fact a real phenomena that she experiences.  She knows firsthand since she just lived a 5 and 1/2 week painting journey commissioned  by a Seattle technology company.   I also had the opportunity to share the Big Idea Toolkit in a Tools roundtable with the local chapter of the Institute of Management Consultants.  In that discussion, every person in the room realized that ideas come at times sometimes inconvenient, even the day after your big strategic plan is completed.

What do you do with a good idea that comes at the wrong time?

Simply put – you cannot unthink a thought.  Your brain will continue to wrestle with it, good or bad even without your trying.  Mike Dooley notes this in his email signature of his daily Notes from the Universe where  he says, Thoughts become things…choose the good ones.

In the Big Idea Toolkit, this is precisely why we have a PlayGround.  When you get an idea, put in in the PlayGround.  Whether it advances immediately or ever, the brain will continue to build on it and create new possibilities.  If your PlayGround is shared with others, ideas pay dividends. Chuck’s original article appears here.

the PlayGround from the Big Idea Toolkit - Delightability, LLC.Here is my comment on his article restated.   I hope this inspires you to create and share your PlayGround.

Chuck, this article really resonates with me. I am a big believer in the power of visual thinking. Like John Medina says in Brain Rules with Rule #10: Vision trumps all other senses.  I use mind mapping software to organize and see connections when I’m working alone. But when I’m collaborating with others, need to work quickly and communicate or see the Big Picture, then I use tools from the Big Idea Toolkit. http://www.thebigideatoolkit.com This has the added advantaged of the large format (20 x 30 inch visuals), multiple real time input (everybody on the team can write on a sticky note), and spatial adjacency (I can see each poster/board at the same time) . I like computers and all things digital but there is a time to be digital and a time to be in the real world – which is and always has been analog. @markjl – yes big hand drawn = better.

The painters technique really makes sense to me. Ben Franklin and Thomas Edison solved problems by cat napping similarly. It allows your brain to continue to work on things while you’re away. There is a related powerful phenomena – spatial adjacency. Think of an art gallery experience that unfolds as you enter each room. Each passage you enter reveals a new splash of style and color. You naturally do a quick scan before your eye settles in on something of interest. Compare this experience to the same art being presented slide by slide in a PowerPoint presentation. In the former the brain benefits from spatial adjacency and in the latter suffers from the lack thereof. If you want to imagine yourself to better possibilities you need to get bigger, and get adjacent. Then, let the painter technique unfold as you seemingly “check out” for a while from one piece and then “check back in” to the canvas of your choosing.

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

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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