Episode 6: Mike Brown: Fun and Effective Strategic Planning (Part I)

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In this episode of The Manage Your Message Podcast, host Jim Karrh sits down to discuss the often frustrating topic of strategic planning with Mike Brown. Mike founded The Brainzooming Group to help lead organizations in creating strategic impact and outstanding results through innovative ideas. No one’s strategic planning process is destined to be a drain or a disappointment. Mike shares his insights for planning that engages an organization and produces the outcomes you wanted in the first place. Beyond founding The Brainzooming Group Mike is also the author of Idea Magnets – 7 Strategies for Cultivating & Attracting Creative Business Leaders, which he describes as tales from the road of helping clients reflect on the brainzooming process.

Mike makes it clear that often the strategic planning process is frequently seen as drudgery by all those involved. But the reason for this is pretty clear–most leadership groups begin their strategic planning by gathering around a blank white board, with the hope that some magical new idea will be born from the leadership gathering. However, as Mike notes, innovation is best attained by looking to industries and domains other than your own for inspiration. This is nothing new. In fact Jim references JP Morgan Chase’s observations of Amazon Prime for ideas on new consumer expectations and how they would manifest in financial services. When you find success, it’s typically an indicator of something being done well. Similarly Mike shares with Jim his belief that you should copy successful brands who are disrupting successfully, and to avoid focusing on what your direct competitors are doing.

Mike discusses ideas beyond innovation and describes three traits that create unsuccessful or ineffective strategic planning. While this is a common thing, Mike brings some clarity as to why planning processes typically fall short. The first reason is that someone is missing. Homogenous leadership within senior management is pervasive, which stunts creativity and innovation. But as Mike shows your company needs the voices of individuals from various age, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The second trait is that something is missing. Organizations typically fall prey to creating strategy that is disengaged from the core of the business. But again, Mike shares that strategy is what’s important to the mission. The third stumbling point is that outcomes are missing. It is critical that your strategic planning is tied back to outcomes.


Learn more about Mike:


Email Mike: Mike.Brown@brainzooming.com

Follow Brainzooming on Twitter @Brainzooming

Learn more about Brainzooming:


Read their blog: http://brainzooming.com/blog/

Learn more about Mike’s book Idea Magnets-7 Strategies for Cultivating & Attracting Creative Business Leaders


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