Keeping up with Creativity

Strategy Plan One

September 9, 2012

Creativity

We have all been there.  Planning, writing, blogging, tipping and then we hit the wall with no creativity left to continue.  Seems to happen frequently with some, while others never seem to have a problem cranking out volumes of interesting, valuable information.

As an entrepreneur, executive or specialized staff working in an organization, you need to keep up with your creative edge.  Creativity helps you and your business stay on the leading edge as it is applicable to so many facets of business.  Business plans, marketing plans, product and service offerings, campaigns, projects, methods, processes … all require a significant degree of creativity to make things stand out.  Creativity takes plans, products, and processes to the next innovative level, sometimes leading to a competitive advantage over the competition’s standards.

Here is a brilliant infographic from Copyblogger, that illustrates some major creative blocks and how to bust out of them to maintaining your high level of creativity.

Creativity

Source:  Copyblogger

Summarizing some tips to bring out your best creativity:

  • Maintain creativity as a priority in your business and personal development
  • Take a breather – writers can face exhaustion; take a break mentally and physically and watch creativity come back
  • Jump on some ideas after researching, reading and analyzing others’ work
  • Take mental notes of objects, scenarios and people in your environment and how it relates to your topic (you will be surprised at the content you can create from this)
  • Diet – the brain needs nutrients; many studies have show that healthy diets fuel the brain
  • Ask a colleague for input, ideas, co-authoring (will generate ideas and content that you would add on to others)
  • Colors can activate creativity; tune into, focus on colors
  • Sound can create a response in you
  • Confidence – high level of confidence and you will be always ready to go
  • Don’t get stuck in perfection; no one is perfect
  • Don’t feel your work isn’t valuable as your work can have a significant impact on 1 person, 100 people, or a massive crowd
  • General rule – quality is always best; don’t feel pressured to pump out massive volumes of material
  • Set up a schedule of focused time; distractions and not getting organized can cause stress which causes mental blocks

More on creativity:

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Strategy Plan One

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© 2012 Strategy Plan One

High Performance – Star Qualities to Get You Noticed

Strategy Plan One

July 18, 2012

high performanceHigh Performance

Whether you are an employee in the private or public sector, or into self-employment, you need to set yourself apart from the pack.  To make a significant impact on your organization or industry, there are things you can do to achieve high performance.  Possessing and demonstrating qualities will ensure you stand out from the competition, internally and externally.

 

 

 

For the most part, personalities get noticed, but other characteristics and qualities gained through experience can make you shine through.  Your qualities can assist in your performance, but can also rub off also in the higher performance of employees, teams and business itself around you.

High Performance Qualities and Tips

Here are some qualities and tips to performing at a high level and getting noticed:

  • Demonstrate excellence in everything you do, strive for excellence and encourage all to achieve excellence
  • Set aggressive, achievable goals and demonstrate dedication by hitting them
  • Seek and implement continuous improvements for yourself, for your team, for your business
  • Be genuine, truthful, honest, respectful and fair; uphold strong values and ethics and treat others as you would want to be treated
  • Create an open and transparent environment around you; staff, stakeholders and customers will want to go to as you have gained levels of trust
  • Keep emotions in check
  • Be consistent in your responses, decisions, and in your daily work
  • Be an example of collaboration, partnership building, encouraging team effort
  • Rely on other’s expertise; be noticed for calling upon others for their value-added advice, opinions and recommendations
  • Value everyone’s input and feedback
  • Lead by example
  • Be energetic, enthusiastic, creative and innovative
  • Be loyal to colleagues, staff, customers
  • Hit and make the deadlines, be on time

More on personal and business development:

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© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Self-Service – The Evolving Automated Customer Service Experience [Infographic]

Strategy Plan One

April 26, 2012 

Self-Service

The automated customer experience around self-service has come along way, evolving from the invention and implementation of clunky vending machines to the new wave of online streaming of transactions, from anywhere and at anytime.

It is interesting to note that self-service has moved from the delivery of tangible goods to the delivery of information, transactions, digital products in this information era.   However, self-service intersects many sectors, and almost anything is available for either a physical self-serve kiosk or through the web.  In your business planning, have you integrated self-service concepts into your business to make transactions easier, more convenient and accessible to your customers?

Check out this great infographic by Meridian, illustrating the evolutionary time-line of self-service.

self-service - automated customer service

 

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Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

 

 

Oil Prices & Impacts on the US Economy and YOU [Infographic]

Strategy Plan One

April 1, 2012 

The price of crude oil, and consequently the price of everything, is rapidly increasing.  This infographic, courtesy of fuelfreedom.org highlights the impacts of oil prices.

Some fact and impacts of oil prices:

  • 10 out of the last 11 recessions occurred after an increase spike in oil prices
  • $330 Billion – US net outflow for foreign oil
  • Economists projecting 2012 to have the highest gas prices in history
  • Estimation of up to $200 per barrel of oil if Iran relationship worsens
  • Highest impacts would occur to lower – middle income earning families

Time for increased emphasis on alternative energy sources and technologies?  You bet.  Tough economic times an challenges such as these open the doors further to business opportunities around alternatives and green clean energy.

infographic

Strategy Plan One

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Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Lessons Learned … From Your Own Employees

Strategy Plan One

March 26, 2012 

 

organizational developmentEmployees Have the Ground, Intelligence Wise

Your business has been successful and booming for a long period of time, and you as the leader / entrepreneur, have been busy in your management duties.

You may be far removed from the ground level operations, not having to grind it out on the floor or crank out code, or deal directly with customers.  However, you are not that removed from your employees who have the greatest wealth of knowledge of the operational level.

Much can be learned from employees who know what is and isn’t working at the operational level, who know what the customer’s actions, thoughts and feedback are, and what other employees are saying behind the management lines.

Engaging and Interacting Frequently with Employees

As a manager, leader, and entrepreneur, engage and interact well and frequently with your employees.  Make it well known that you are openly interested daily about what is taking place on the floor.  It should be a part of your daily routine, either through inspecting your place of retail or office space.  The employees will feel more at ease when the management team is readily and physically available for open discussions.

Grab Intelligence from Employees

Setting the stage with frequent engagement and interactions will assist in your employees openly providing you with a wealth of information to improve operations and/or improve client and customer relationships.  These professionals in your organization may provide valuable recommendations and will look to you as the leader to implement some solutions from issues they encounter.

Make employees feel valued that they can share information and that you, as a tuned-in entrepreneur, are listening and willing to embrace recommendations for approval.

Encourage Continuous Improvements From Employees

To stay on the cutting edge and at the top of your industry, you will need your employees to think and act innovatively.  The best practices and solutions do originate from team actions, and so would innovative practices.

Empower your employees to develop ground-breaking practices that would set the units, team, and business far ahead of the competitors.  Create an environment that is rewarding and promotes recognition for achievements.  Depending on your budgets, you can develop incentive programs for high achievers and for employees that bring innovative solutions to the table.  You may be surprised at the untapped intelligence from all of your professional staff.

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Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

Video Game Statistics and Industry Outlook for 2012

Strategy Plan One

March 10, 2012 

video game statisticsVideo Game Statistics Stand out in the Challenged Economy

With the recent challenges in the economy over the past few years, the video game industry continues to boom with staggering video game statistics and data… huge numbers.  Many articles and marketing research firms are predicting favorable statistics for the video game industry for 2012, with one Chicago Tribune article stating the global industry to hit $64 Billion this year.  Entrepreneurs, video game developers and tech firms out there should pay close attention to these important trends and opportunities in this industry.

Video Game Statistics – Mobile Gaming Market

The mobile gaming market is one experiencing exponential growth.  Leading the pack, the new iPad is about to be launched along new Android and other platforms.  ABI Research has estimated that 2.1 Billion mobile devices are expected to use HTML5 browsers by 2016.   One blog, imediaconnection, cites that the marketing research firm M2 Research is predicting that the mobile gaming market will blow past the $6 Billion mark in 2012.  Plenty of opportunity for those developing apps for the mobile market.   However, big players such as Zynga has to develop new strategies to keep its estimated 250 million users interested in its gaming platform.

video game statisticsVideo Game Statistics – iPad Gaming Market

iPad is closing in fast on consoles with an estimated 55 Million units sold, compared with 62 Million PS3 and 65 Million XBox consoles out there in the hands of gaming consumers.    Apple is stating that its future gaming will offer faster and sharper video games, making them more attractive than console games.   Plenty of opportunities for those Apple iPad app and game developers.

Not with out its challenges, the video game industry, especially the console gaming industry has its issues with attempting to keep its paid subscribers and competing the mobile gaming market, which is obviously exploding.  Keep watching the interesting video game statistics trends over the next few months.

Strategy Plan One

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Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Best Practices – Encourage, Promote and Share Best Practices

Strategy Plan One

March 1, 2012 

 

Best PracticesBest Practices

In your business or organization, teams and units work to find effective and efficient operations, methods and procedures.  Most of the time through the normal course of business evolution, teams find brilliant solutions.  As a leader it is in your realm to bring teams together to encourage them to share best practices, to bounce great ideas off each other, and to create a constructive learning environment.

 

The sharing of best practices across multi-functional teams is one method of implementing continuous learning and improvement processes.  Success is achieved at many levels when best practices are shared and implemented across business units.

 

Identification of Best Practices

As a leader in your business you may note differential results between units that do the same work.  In your regular meetings and briefings, investigate the methods and successes that are isolated or behind the scenes.  Best practices may be revealed from frequent communications and engagement with individual staff members and with teams.

 

Best PracticesEncourage and Promote Best Practices

Great work and efforts should be recognized.  Incorporate recognition in your organization as a way to illustrate appreciation across colleagues.  Promote an environment where teams can openly share what works well for their units.  Promote an environment where teams can learn.  The combination of sharing best practices and open learning environment spells potential success broadly across the organization.

 

Best Practices Forums

If your organization is large, establish a formal setting for the sharing of information and effective practices.  Forums or working group meetings assist in bringing large groups together to share a broad array of topics.  Structured, these forums can result in improvements to cross-functional units that are not related, such as an administrative efficiency that improves the general operation of all units.

 

Intellectual Property

As a leader ensure you identify any process, product or design that may fall into your business’ intellectual property rights.  Pay close attention to the best practice or method as it may warrant protection of intellectual property.  Investigate whether patents, trademarks and copyrights should be filed with your Federal Patents office.

 

A very effective way to improve your organization across individuals and business units is to share and implement best practices.  Allow your professional teams to help others be successful with results-based best practices.

 

Strategy Plan One

http://strategyplanone.com

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Reach Success – Obtain Feedback for Continuous Improvement

Strategy Plan One

February 24, 2012 

Feedback for Continuous ImprovementContinuous Improvement through Feedback

If you want to enjoy success year after year as an entrepreneur you need to pay attention to your customers and your operations.  Feedback mechanisms are the best way to gauge objective feedback from clients and from your staff.

Feedback from surveying will shape how you can improve operations to build and retain customers and revenue.  Continuous improvement is a must in this competitive world.

Feedback Mechanisms

Continuous ImprovementWhether customers are satisfied or not with your service or product, ensure you have feedback mechanisms such as surveying as part of your service operation.  You need to analyze a cross-section of feedback from all customers.  Even the happy customers will make note of things that can make the experience, product or service better.  Remember that you should not think your business is at 100% optimization in your product or service delivery.  Don`t fall into the trap of thinking everything is perfect and you never have to change.  Business environments and industries constantly change, and with that, you need to stay competitive with continuous improvements.  Take that valuable information from your customers and revise your operations, customer experience, product or service accordingly.  Ensure that you provide a message around your survey process that they are helping shape better products and services.

Continuous Improvement

Encourage a continuous improvement environment in your business, and empower your staff to take the lead and charge of recommended improvements.  As a leader, engage with your staff and units and survey them for their valued feedback.  Employee buy-in can occur if you make them a part of the valued process, and allow them to take ownership of the piece of action.  It helps as a leader to recognize unit and project leaders for their efforts.  If the improvement recommendations result in significant operational or profitability improvements, compensation incentives may be appropriate.  A whole organization that is engaged in a continuous improvement process will definitely build a continuous competitive firm.

Ensure you pay ultimate attention to your customer base and to your internal members of your business for feedback to make your business better and more competitive.

 

Strategy Plan One

http://strategyplanone.com

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

 

 

Infographic – greatest innovators of all time

Strategy Plan One

January 29, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is an interesting graphic (2012 Lemelson-MIT Invention Index)  illustrating the perspectives from our youth.  It also reminds us all that Steve Jobs, among many other brilliant people in the past, may have been one of the greatest innovators an inventors of all time.

We would hope and dream that individuals have been inspired by great innovators and entrepreneurs of the world, to carry on essential creative and build beneficial companies, products and services.

 

Strategy Plan One

© Strategy Plan One 2012

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur