What’s Going On? 3 Keys to Becoming a More Focused and Effective Meeting Facilitator

What’s Going On? 3 Keys to Becoming a More Focused and Effective Meeting Facilitatorby Mitchell Rigie & Keith Harmeyer, Partners, SmartStorming.comThe next time you’re in a business meeting or a brainstorming session, pay close attention to the individual leading the activity. Are they an effective meeting facilitator? Do they seem fully present and “tuned-in” to what’s occurring in the room, and especially as concerns the group’s dynamics? Or does the meeting leader seem detached and preoccupied?The most effective meeting facilitator is one who develops a heightened sense of awareness, an intuitive, sixth-sense ability to “read” where the group’s energy, attitude, and thinking process is flowing in each moment, and how events are unfolding in the session.For example, if the group is tasked with solving a challenge, an aware leader is able to clearly recognize whether the group is generating ideas spontaneously and quickly, or getting bogged down in too much unnecessary discussion.…

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6 Secrets for Liberating Your Creative Problem-Solving Genius

6 Secrets for Liberating Your Creative Problem-Solving Geniusby Mitchell Rigie & Keith Harmeyer, Partners, SmartStorming.comEvery successful product, service, or process ever developed had one thing in common: it started out as somebody’s idea. Someone, somewhere, encountered a challenge or an opportunity, and applied their creative problem-solving skills to derive an effective solution.Fresh, novel ideas are the currency of success in today’s innovation-driven world. Our ideas are what demonstrate our value in the marketplace, and what differentiate us from others.Unfortunately, generating fresh, innovative ideas isn’t always easy. In fact, sometimes it can feel downright impossible. As hard as we try, it seems like something gets in our way.…

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7 Traits of Innovative Thinking Superstars

7 Traits of Innovative Thinking Superstarsby Mitchell Rigie & Keith Harmeyer, Partners, SmartStorming.com What made Steve Jobs think the way he did? How was Thomas Edison able to come up with over 1,000 patentable ideas? What traits or qualities does it take to develop such a remarkable level of innovative thinking ability?Today forward thinking business leaders are encouraging their teams to apply more innovative thinking to the way they work, communicate and produce the goods and services they sell. But with such an objective, the obvious challenge becomes, how does one quickly and efficiently identify the individuals within an organization who possess the greatest potential to innovate.While we all possess the innate ability to engage in innovative thinking and creative problem solving, there are seven common traits that history’s great innovative leaders like da Vinci, Edison, Marie Curie, Henry Ford and Steve Jobs share—seven traits that enable them to think outside the confines of conventional wisdom and imagine breakthrough concepts that change the way we live and experience the world.Here are seven key traits common to highly innovate thinkers:Curiosity—Curiosity is the first step toward discovery.…

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25 Powerful Creative Problem Solving Questions You Can Use for Any Challenge

25 Powerful Creative Problem Solving Questions
You Can Use for Any Challenge
by Mitchell Rigie & Keith Harmeyer, Partners, SmartStorming.com Asking powerful questions can be a highly effective method for enhancing group discovery and creative problem solving. The right question, asked at the appropriate moment, can transform the unknown into new understanding, simplify complex issues, stimulate leaps in imagination, shift a group out of the doldrums, and quickly refocus efforts that have veered off onto unproductive tangents.Effective questions are typically simple, concise, and easy to understand; they are also intentionally provocative to prompt a group to think, imagine, reflect, and challenge any pre-existing assumptions, beliefs, and conventional thinking.Here are twenty-five effective creative problem solving questions you can ask when tackling virtually any challenge.…

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Putting the “I” in Entrepreneur: 5 Secrets to Becoming a More Innovative and Successful Business Owner

Putting the “I” in Entrepreneur: 5 Secrets for Becoming a More Innovative and Successful Business Ownerby Mitchell Rigie & Keith Harmeyer, Partners, SmartStorming.com  What differentiates an entrepreneur from an innovator?In today’s hectic, change-driven business world, we may think they’re one in the same. Entrepreneurs these days are all those bright, future-focused men and women launching the latest startup, with products and services that promise to change the game and the world.But research suggests otherwise. That the vast majority of new business owners do not start businesses based on their own, original idea – but rather, someone else’s: a local service provider, a franchise, a brick-and-mortar or online retail store, etc.So does this suggest that innovative thinking and a visionary approach to business are only required for the groundbreakers of our world?The reality of business today is that everyone must be an innovator, or risk becoming irrelevant.…

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