Inspire Breakthrough Action

Fire up your leadership and visibility in your organization by engaging powerful conversations about who your customer is and what are possible product, package, and communication ideas.

The Implications & Applications cool tool can:

  • Generate team energy to collaboratively create breakthrough ACTION ideas.
  • Immerse others directly in your team’s learning and enliven ideation sessions.
  • Engage key stakeholders through interactive deployment of team learning and enroll them to help build what’s possible.
  • Build acceptance of new knowledge and ownership of your team’s outcomes throughout your organization.

Enhance the ability of this template to fire up conversation by paying attention to the details –

  • Preparation – what is the goal for your work with this cool tool? What might you fill out before a meeting OR should sub teams create it during the meeting?  A tip – only fill out the left side beforehand and leave the right side for ideation.
  • Materials – make them available – colorful sticky notes inspire joy and creativity, sharpies and markers are a must. You might even consider pictures, images and quotes that represent your customers and their experiences and desires. Don’t forget any complimentary templates that support Implications and Applications, like All About Me and Gap Analysis.
  • State of Heart &  Mind – Enjoy your conversational journey, engage lots of ideas, and be open; expectant to make an impact that enhances your business. A tip – power dot ideas if you need to make priorities and discover where team energy lies.

 

JUST ADD PICTURES

“You cannot depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus.” – Mark Twain

We love to work with pictures in all sorts of ways!  Because truth be told, they can sometimes be worth even more than 1,000 words. They enhance our creativity to improve communication, generate new ways of thinking, jump-start stalled projects, and take us to places we didn’t know we could go to amp up our imagination.

We built pictures into our facilitation practice and the teams we work with asked for them, so we created the Let the Picture Pick You Deck, inspiring images that can transport you to new places of understanding and knowledge.

Pic_Deck_l.jpg_1

Here’s some Team Activities to get your started with pictures:

“Getting to Know You’ Warm Up – Invite each team member to choose a picture that represents something about themselves. Ask them to find someone else they don’t know very well. Then instruct everyone to share with their picture and how it represents them to their partner (share only what they want to). Invite everyone to switch partners and share again. Repeat one more time, then have everyone share one thing about themselves to the whole group.

Pulse Check – Invite each team member to choose a picture that captures how they are feeling and/or what they are thinking.  Ask everyone to share in pairs, clusters or with the full group.

Envisioning Success – Invite each team member to choose a picture that represents their personal BEST and BRIGHTEST expectations for the meeting or project. Give everyone a few moments to think of a title for their picture.  One by one, ask each person to share their picture, title and what Success Looks Like for them.  After everyone has shared, as a team, identify the common elements of success and capture on a chart pad or graphic template such as Circle Around or Success Looks Like.

Just add pictures and enjoy the boost in team CREATIVITY!

Where do you go to do inspired work?

Water is a Place of Inspiration

When focused, creative, deep thinking work is needed, where do you go to be inspired?

I find my routine office space just doesn’t fit the bill when I’m trying to synthesize information and knowledge.  That’s when I find a new place or time to empower my highest skills.  I …

  • take my work to the park. Of course, this really only works in the summer here in the north, if you want to be outside.  If you have a small team, consider renting a lodge for the day or a pavilion.
  • find another space at a different building within my company. If you work for a large company, they likely have rooms to reserve in different buildings.
  • go to a friend’s house, one that has their business in their home. Chances are they may have a space just right for spreading out for the day to do your deep thinking, alone or with a small team.
  • work in a different time of day, just for a specific project.  For me, it is early, early morning or late at night after everyone in my house has gone to sleep.
  • break the work into chunks and inspire my creativity with seemingly unrelated activities that activate my right brain, such as taking a walk, collaging with magazine pictures, listening to Mozart, baking.  Those are my ways and you probably have different ways to activate your right brain.

Don’t be shy about making the space or time fit the important work you want to get done;  that is what keeps your business moving forward.

Let us know how you inspire your own magic,  we like to be inspired to take our own magic to higher and higher levels.

Spring Cleaning for Your Team

Add some extra Team Performance with some “Spring Cleaning.” Try it, you’ll like it!

I was looking at Martha Stewart’s Spring Cleaning Checklist and it inspired me to do a little spring cleanup with my teams.  Here are 5 ideas that have the power to create a stronger, more successful team for you.

1. Clean the Windows Reconnect to & Re-Clarify your Team Vision, Goals and/or Desired Outcomes.   Schedule  time together to focus on your team vision or outcome.  Has it evolved?  Is everyone working toward that same outcome?  What would make each team member feel successful at the end of the team’s work together or even at a intermediate step? Special tip!  Have each member imagine their success as part of this team and write down 1-3 things personally and professionally to share with the team.  This engages the whole person and connects them personally to the work.  By sharing with others they see common ideas and can support each other.

2. Clean Out the Clutter – Identify Priorities and Key Steps toward each Goal.  What are the team’s priorities, member priorities?  Are there key steps toward the Goal?  One of my team’s recently started working with PICK FOUR by Seth Godin using Zig Ziglar’s wisdom.  Kinda fun, hard work … definitely a way to get through the clutter!

3. Dust & Vacuum Bring clarity to your landscape.  It’s always good to keep up with dusting and vacuuming, ie checking your assumptions and hypotheses, adding new questions and checking  off old ones,  understanding your team challenges and even team supports.  Another way to bring clarity is through the Drexler-Sibbet Team Performance Model.  Where is your team on the model, what is working well, anything unresolved?

4. Ensure Fire Safety – Engage external support and Review alternate scenarios.  I love this idea!  Are you actively working with your external stakeholders?  Is everyone in the team keeping their external supporters engaged in the work the team is accomplishing?  And,  are team members communicating a unified story outside the team?  Does the external environment require you to have alternate plans?

5. Organize, Organize, Organize – Make your work as a Team EASIER.  What would make the work easier?  Start with a conversation about how each team member gets their work done best will spark some ideas.  I did a little ‘spring cleaning’ with my IdeaConnect printing group and through our conversation we had some great ideas to inspire EASE with some added some efficiency, and a little magic! (And, We love magic!!)

So what’s your favorite approach to Spring Cleaning?  And, how might you apply to the teams you lead or participate in? Please share!  We’d all benefit from your tried and true approaches and ideas!

PS – If you’re wondering how to bring a visual element to team spring cleaning, try the Team StartUp kit (or should I say Team Re-StartUp Kit)

Are You a Tourist or a Traveler?

“The difference between landscape and landscape is small, but there is a great difference between the beholders.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

There’s this tourist and traveler comparison I love when I think about consumer research approaches. Here goes:

As a tourist I go to some far off exotic land and I have an agenda of activities, I observe the culture at a safe distance, go to the must-see places, maybe a museum or two, eat at restaurants recommended by the hotel concierge or chain restaurants familiar from home, look for newspapers and TV from home, take lots of beautiful pictures of beautiful things to post on FaceBook, and I probably only spend a day or two or maybe three in each city – you get the idea. I’ve had a great experience, but how much new did I learn about myself, about the culture, about the people who live there? I feel like I just touched the surface. This is parallel to my experience in a traditionally formatted (really good) consumer research process.

As a traveler, I immerse into the culture. Move into the rhythm of the place, slow down, spend some time, learn some of the language, wander maybe even get lost in the city, meet regular people doing regular everyday things, have totally unplanned unexpected experiences And, if I’m lucky I may even be invited for a meal at someone’s home. I connect. I know when I leave I have been touched by my experience deeply. I’ve learned so much about myself, about the culture, about the individuals I’ve met. I have stories to share that make me laugh and cry and desire more and more and more of that! This is what we need – this is what the human heart longs for. This is GREAT Consumer Research.

At IdeaConnect (and our alter ego Ah Ha!), in our practice of consumer research (aka LearningConnect), we love to be travelers and guide our clients into the learning experience of a lifetime. Our workshops are face to face (no backroom) and whenever feasible we send our client team out to visit people in their homes, to shop with them, to get to know them, to travel into their world.

And yes, sometimes if they’re lucky, they’re even invited for a memorable meal at someone’s home. Each team member is touched in a different way. They come back with pictures and treasures and stories that make us cry and laugh and want more and more and more of that!

Venturing into the Land of OnLine Workshops

Wow! We’ve been training LearningConnect, our super revolutionary Qualitative Research and Team Learning process, live and in person for over 10 years. Hundreds of people around the world have attended our trainings and we’re getting ready to take the next step – On Line! While this won’t replace our highly regarded 3 step LearningConnect certification, we think this will be a great place to add to your knowledge, enable your facilitation arts and enhance your emerging practice.

This is your chance to learn from us from the comfort of your home or office as we share the inside scoop, the secret ingredients, the magic principles and practices that are the future of Collaborative, Creative Work.

Here are a few topics we’re considering.  It’s not an exhaustive list  because we’re hoping you’ll help us build it!

The 7 Stages of LearningConnect
New to LearningConnect? Has it been awhile since you’ve attended LearningConnect Training? Wishing someone on your team knew what you were talking about? Join this session (and invite others along) for an overview of the full LearningConnect process with some fundamental tips and techniques for facilitating your team in an immersive learning process (yep, this is where we’ll serve up some of our secret ingredients).

Making the Most of Team Start Ups
Learn simple (yet super important) practices to orient and ground your team as you step into your next project or research project. We’ll share the magic principles and practices of the Team Start Up, Success Looks Like and Speaking Our Minds templates and explore other fun and powerful activities to enrich and enliven your sessions.

Yikes! Which Template is Best?
We’ll dish up the inside scoop on the how to’s for our most popular templates (aka Cool Tools) and review the wide array of choices available. Not sure what all the options are? Which template is best for what during Data Collection? Have a favorite you use a lot and want to branch out to try new ones? This is the session for you.

 

Okay, now for your input. We’re seriously interested in YOUR ideas for topics. So what’s attracting your attention? What topics are you wishing for, hoping for, just plain want right now?

We look forward to hearing from YOU!!

Hello world!

IdeaConnect – we’ve been around for a long time – you may be an old friend or perhaps you’ve never heard of us. So here’s a little bit about us.

IdeaConnect provides tools, trainings and workshops that enhance, enable and illuminate Facilitative Leaders, so that they – meaning you – can guide teams to achieve and exceed their own expectations (“team” being a very technical term that translates roughly as “any group of people that needs to get something done.”)

We’re the R&D arm and idea generator for Ah Ha!, an innovative facilitation and consulting company that works with teams of all kinds in gaining knowledge, integrating information and developing new connections – which serves as a very successful proving ground for our theory and practice.

But we didn’t want to stop there. Because, call us crazy, we’d rather let as many people people as possible in on the not-so-secret of what we do, and enable them to go off and do it for themselves.

So no matter what industry you work in, or what job title you have, we can guide you (facilitatively, of course) toward harnessing the power of people to achieve impressive real-world results.

Where it leads? That’s up to you.