One Minute! One Idea! Ep. 8 "Invite Someone Behind the Scenes!"

Welcome to Episode 8 of "One Minute One Idea!" – where we Deconstruct what’s happening at the intersection of innovation, human potential and the things we do to unlock it, known as Leadership.If you’ve made it this far, you know that One Minute, One Idea is all about dispensing with the filler, repetition, commercial breaks, and all things obvious, and what’s left is sixty seconds of dense, valuable content.

Today we’re going to change it up with an extended play idea to “Invite You Behind the Scenes”.

Why? For starters, it’s the end of Season One. We’ve covered some great topics of a general nature, but from this point forward, the structure is going to change slightly. We’ll continue to do individual "One Minute One Idea!" episodes, but those episodes will now be organized into seasons of eight episodes each, with each season focused on a central theme like Innovation and Ideas, Creating and Growing Customer Relationships, or Launching New Services. That structure will still encourage a tight focus on stand-out ideas, but it will also allow us to more fully develop and link individual concepts. Each season will end with an “extended play” episode like this, which will run for two or three minutes. From your perspective, that means you can literally “take a minute” to refresh on one topic or binge-watch an entire season in 10 minutes. Netflix meets Facebook Live meets the Harvard Business Review. Quirky, I know.

Second, I would like to explain what’s happening here at the intersection of branding, neuroscience and human learning. I know that everybody gets that this micro-podcast is just supposed to fit into your day where ever you’ve got a minute; Waiting at a light, on the train, riding an elevator or sitting on the parking shuttle. You’ve also likely noticed that our production values are pretty good, but we’re not making “Game of Thrones” or some sanitized corporate training video here either. The intent is to have a densely packed sixty seconds that you can absorb any way you want, but if you’re looking at the screen during the podcast, here’s what you’ll see.

The screen is divided into three areas, with the core message presented in three distinct ways to reinforce the neuroscience of attention and to play to individual learning styles. First, a text version of the message jumps in and out at the bottom. Second, graphics that reinforce each episode’s key point will appear in this information panel to my right. Third, I’ll always be here, talking too fast and emoting too much, hammering home the same central point. Finally, we’re using green screen technology to break the podcast into three phases. The first is the workshop, which sends a pretty clear message we’re here to work. At the transition to this week’s idea, the background changes to a theme that reinforces the three information channels on the screen, and at the end, there’s one last transition to our business partners, who are some of the world’s leading speakers bureaus and the terrific people who work there.

So that’s your tour behind the scenes at "One Minute One Idea!" plus your cliff-hanger... Season 2 will build on a theme I introduce in Episode 4 – finding, developing, and replicating ideas. I guarantee that you’ll come out of Season 2 with at least five new ideas and a working knowledge of how to continue the magic.

So I encourage you yo "Invite Someone Behind the Scenes!”

It’s what I’m doing. 

Tweet me @DLBrouwer

- Dennis

If you would like to learn more about Deconstruction and how it can impact your organization, contact me at Dennis@DLBrouwer.com or check out www.DLBrouwer.com.

One Minute! One Idea! Ep. 7 "Create an Experience!"

Welcome to Episode 7 of One Minute! One Idea! – where we Deconstruct what’s happening at the intersection of innovation, human potential and the things we do to unlock it, known as Leadership.

Multi-media Micro-podcast from the Author of The Return On Leadership

Today’s Idea is “Create an Experience!”.

The brands such as Cleveland Clinic, Mercedes and Nordstroms are (just a few brands) known for delivering a customer experience that’s more than “service”. What’s the difference? Think of the last time you took your car in for an oil change. When it was all over, the car got serviced, and you got an experience – good, bad, or ugly. The quality of that experience is what drives your decision to become either a loyal return customer or a one-and-done transaction.

So, today’s idea is “Create an Experience!”. The next time you think that your new offering is ready for prime time, contact a top customer and ask for their opinion on what you’re about to do. Explain the offering and value proposition, how you intend to introduce it and what’s required of them. They’ll let you know whether your new offering goes beyond “service” to become a new, valuable experience that they’ll want to repeat again and again.

Create an Experience! It’s what I’m doing.

Tweet me @DLBrouwer

- Dennis

If you would like to learn more about Deconstruction and how it can impact your organization, contact me at Dennis@DLBrouwer.com or check out www.DLBrouwer.com.

One Minute! One Idea! Ep. 6 "Compete!"

Welcome to Episode 6 of One Minute! One Idea!  – where we Deconstruct what’s happening at the intersection of innovation, human potential and the things we do to unlock it - known as Leadership.

Multi-media Micro-podcast from the Author of The Return On Leadership

Today’s Idea is “Get Out There and Compete!”.

So much of the coaching and advice we receive is about our inner game – finding balance, your inner child, your true self, and those are healthy things to do. However, as organizations, we also tend to become absorbed in our own drama. That's fine, but at some point we’ve got to remember that every organization is in a competition with someone else, and the way that competition turns out usually comes down to, well, you, especially if you’re in a leadership role. If you’re not engaged directly with the market, it’s an invitation for the competition to eat your lunch.

So, today’s idea is “Get Out There and Compete”. There’s nothing that matches the thrill of seeing a customer in the wild, so go call on a customer. Offer your assistance to someone in sales. Put together an offer that your competition hates…but if you were a customer, that offer would make you say, “Whoa, seriously?!?!”.

Get Out There and Compete. It’s what I’m doing.

Tweet me @DLBrouwer

- Dennis

If you would like to learn more about Deconstruction and how it can impact your organization, contact me at Dennis@DLBrouwer.com or check out www.DLBrouwer.com.

One Minute! One Idea! Ep. 5 "Seed, Search, Sell"

Welcome to Episode 5 of One Minute One Idea!  the multi-media micro podcast in which we Deconstruct what’s happening at the intersection of innovation, human potential and the things we do to unlock it - Leadership.


Today’s Idea is “Seed, Search, Sell!”.

Since the dawn of time, selling has been about outreach, often in the form of “hunters” who are cold-calling or “dialing for dollars”. Search engines have flipped that model on its head, placing the power in the hand of the buyer, not the seller. Cold-calling relies on contacting a potential buyer at the very moment they are interested in exploring what you’re selling, and that’s got about the same chance of success as hitting a bullet with a bullet.

So, today’s idea is “Seed, Search, Sell”. Start not by dialing or emailing but by seeding the internet with your high-quality, carefully crafted, valuable content. When someone’s interested in the type of stuff you’re doing, they’ll search for it. When they encounter your content, and make the judgment that you’re credible, they will invite you to sell to them, and then it’s game on.

Seed, Search and Sell. It’s what I’m doing.

Tweet me @DLBrouwer

- Dennis

If you would like to learn more about Deconstruction and how it can impact your organization, contact me at Dennis@DLBrouwer.com or check out www.DLBrouwer.com.

One Minute! One Idea! Ep. 4 "Adopt an Idea!"

Welcome to Episode 4 of One Minute! One Idea!  – the multi-media micro-podcast in which we Deconstruct what’s happening at the intersection of innovation, human potential and the things we do to unlock it -Leadership.

Today’s Idea is “Adopt an Idea!”

Multi-Media Micro-Podcast from the Author fo The Return on Leadership

We tend to think of ideas as rare, exotic things, but in the real world, ideas are like children, smart investors and the family dog – they tend to go where they’re treated best.

This week's idea is “Adopt an Idea”. You want a new dog, you can buy the champion of the NY State Dog Show, or visit your favorite pet shop. Or you can do the socially acceptable thing. Go to the local animal rescue and find an abandoned pup that’s ready for adoption. The same thing goes for ideas. You can hire consultants and drag everyone off-site for a day or two, or simply adopt the neglected idea in your own backyard. Find it, feed it, and get it out of the weather. Give it a safe home, and pat it on the head once in a while. Who knows what will happen?

Adopt an Idea! It’s what I’m doing.

Tweet me @DLBrouwer

- Dennis

One Minute! One Idea! Ep. 3 “Pay Attention!”

Welcome to Episode 3 of One Minute One Idea – the multi-media micro-podcast in which we Deconstruct what’s happening at the intersection of innovation, human potential and the things we do to unlock it - leadership.

Today’s idea is “Pay Attention!”. 

We swim in a sea of distraction – everything around us is designed to compete for our attention and waste our time. These diversions are fine, to a point, but when they start to get in the way of what’s important, they become a problem. Distracted leaders are often perceived as disinterested leaders, and that’s just a short hop from becoming a “distant leader” and that’s a really bad thing.

So, today’s idea is “Pay attention!”. Today, when you find yourself in a situation where you want to “lean out”, to let your mind wander to the next meeting, assert your intellect, focus in, and pay attention. When your cell phone is beckoning to you like a pack of Marlboro’s, “Come on – just one more”, redirect that energy to the conversation at hand and just really “Be There” for one minute when you would normally fade out.

Pay Attention! It’s what I’m doing.

Tweet Me.

- Dennis Out.

One Minute! One Idea! Ep. 2 "Meet People Where They Are"

Welcome to the second episode of One Minute! One Idea!  This is a multi-media micro-podcast in which we Deconstruct what’s happening at the intersection of innovation, human potential and the things we do to unlock it (leadership).

Today’s Idea is “Meet People Where They Are”.

It’s tempting to think that we’re able to create such a compelling product or service that our potential customers will beat a path to our door – they used to call that “building a better mousetrap”.  For almost everyone, that’s no longer true.  When we ask a prospect to go out of their way or to change their habits BEFORE they use what we’ve created, we create an insurmountable barrier to adoption.

So, today’s idea is “Meet People Where They Are”.  For me, that means not asking you to read anything or change your schedule.  You’ve already got too many emails and messages to sort through.  One Minute! One Idea! asks you to take literally one minute when you’re at the gym or in your commute when you’re already looking at or listening to your phone to consider one free idea. If I’m doing this right, that offer should at be least interesting.

Meet people where they are. It’s what I’m doing.

Tweet Me @DLBrouwer!

- Dennis

One Minute! One Idea! Ep. 1 "Get To The Point!"

Welcome to the first episode of One Minute One Idea!  This is a multi-media micro-podcast, delivered in a visual format, each episode lasts 60 seconds.

We’ll use this time to Deconstruct the latest in innovation, leadership, growth, and human potential and arrive at one, clear idea.

Today’s Idea is “Get To The Point!”.

With that in mind, One Minute One Idea dispenses with the filler, repetition, commercial breaks, and all things obvious, and what’s left is sixty seconds of dense, valuable content. You can pause, repeat, click through, or you can just hit play and let it run for the full minute.

"That’s not enough time," you say. Ha! Sixty seconds is enough time to watch the best Super Bowl commercial of all time or to read the Gettysburg Address. A minute is plenty of time.

So, today’s idea is “Get To The Point”. If you think your purpose, your job, your problem is too big to boil down to one minute, you’re probably wrong – you’re just letting yourself off the hook when what you really need to do is “Get To The Point”. That’s what I’m doing.

Tweet Me @DLBrouwer!

- Dennis

If you would like to learn more about Deconstruction and how it can impact your organization, contact me at Dennis@DLBrouwer.com or check out www.DLBrouwer.com.

The One Thing Your Team Won’t Tell You

Imagine going into your boss’ office, closing the door, and leading off with this:

“So, first, I just wanted to say “thank you” for fitting this into your schedule. I know you are busy and that this meeting is a bit of a mystery, but I think it’s important that we talk, because we’ve got a problem.”

“Based on feedback from the team, you’re not getting the job done, and it’s something that we have to take steps to correct, now. If we don’t deal with this, the momentum around our biggest projects is at risk.”

For most people, that discussion is backwards…it’s the kind of discussion that managers have with team members, not the other way around. Just the thought of it is enough to cause people to turn pale and feel short of breath. Although it’s unthinkable in many work settings, the ability to have hard, really tough discussions on ANY topic is the hallmark of highly effective organizations.

One of the most poignant ways I’ve heard that expressed came from a sales manager I worked with who told me “My job is easy, but working here is hard”, because it’s so difficult to have open, honest discussions about the future of the company. The typical response from management is “My door is always open”, but for a lot of reasons, very few people actually accept that invitation, walk through the open door and engage in a purposeful discussion about what’s wrong, and just as importantly, what’s possible.

I had a recent experience on social media that inadvertently supports this point – the contention that information about our performance, especially when we’re failing – is trapped in the organization by a variety of social taboos and defensiveness.

Here’s what happened – I’ve been a member of LinkedIn for years, and have built up a sizable community of my own – thousands of individuals who are experienced, well-educated and represent a cross-section of operational disciplines – sales, engineering, product development and senior leadership. A typical post of mine generates a click-through of roughly 1% of my connections- so I was shocked when a recent post had a click-through of over 30% in the first 24 hours.

That post? It was a quote from a recent podcast where I said “If you are a poor leader, the LAST people who are going to tell you are the ones whose lives you’re making miserable.” When I posted that, my LinkedIn account went crazy. The truly shocking thing for me was that 3% of those click-throughs came from CEOs, 6% from corporate strategists and nearly 20% came from sales people – our eyes and ears in the market, the people who are explaining to our customers who we are, what we do, and the value we provide.

Deconstruct that feedback and here’s the apparent lesson - when leadership is failing – not providing direction, not laying out a vision of a future worth caring about, and not engaging the team constructively – our best people appear to agree that no one in their right mind would EVER provide that information to senior management.

That problem – our inability to capitalize on that hidden feedback loop from the market – from our customers and prospects and business partners – is what deconstruction is designed to get at.

If you would like to learn more about Deconstruction and how it can impact your organization, contact me at Dennis@DLBrouwer.com or check out www.DLBrouwer.com.

Five Steps to Deconstruct Your World

If you’ve got the feeling that the world’s problems are outstripping our collective ability to cope with them, you’re not alone. Volatility has returned to the stock market, and for many of us it matches a feeling we have in our professional and personal lives – that things are just a little bit more out of control every day.

As a way to deal with the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and uncertainty of our daily lives, I have developed a system that I call Deconstruction. It’s a systematic process that challenges the beliefs and assumptions we have about who we are, what we’re capable of, and what potential futures we can imagine and make real. It’s a system that combines the lessons I learned as a Navy tactician, flying missions from US aircraft carriers around the world, and as a professional innovator, leading teams that launched new products and services in global markets for most of his career.

Now that may sound complicated, but the fact of the matter is that it’s a straight-forward, five step process.

Declare

Deconstruction begins with a Declaration – it’s like deciding what to put on the neon sign out front. It happens when someone decides we are going to “go there” – we are either going to get to the bottom of an issue, or accomplish something important, or both. As far as you and your organization are concerned, it’s your Purpose, and if there is a sacred duty for any leader, it is to clarify Purpose in their organization, because Purpose Inspires Change, and Change, in turn, Energizes Purpose.

Dissect

Next up is Dissection. Many people question whether it’s worth the effort, but most companies that are aiming to create value by disrupting the competition begin the process by dissecting the current market, customer needs, suppliers, cost structures, sales channels and more. Dissection reawakens our natural curiosity and puts us in a position of power over the knowledge around us.

Discover

Discovery can take many forms, from the solitary inventor to a team driven to find a breakthrough that will change the world. The most important thing is that, whatever the approach, Discovery encourages a pro-active, “is this our best work?” mindset. It rewards experimentation and curiosity, incents unconventional combinations that add the unexpected or subtract the commonplace. It is all about challenging existing perspectives for the sake of imaging new possibilities.

Deliver

Many people assume that Delivery is about ensuring that a new technical capability is in place, but in reality, this is when the systems thinking of the team is tested – how will this change affect other systems and processes and people, and how will they react? Think about your last really great customer experience and imagine the care that was taken to ensure you walked away feeling good. That’s what we’re talking about here.

Digest

And that takes us to our final step, in which we Zoom back out, Assess how well we have hit the mark, and remind ourselves that this is a Process that that we will be firing up again, soon, based on what we take away as we digest our experience. This step, the ZAP – Zoom out – Assess our results – consider what comes next in the Process – is what makes learning and innovation habitual in certain organizations.

The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by the task at hand, fearful of the immediate consequences of failure, and maybe just a little bit angry about unrealistic expectations and the limited resources you have to get them done, give Deconstruction a try.