Why Brainstorming Rarely Works


Brainstorming is popular – way popular – especially in corporations and nonprofit organizations. But the truth is, research has shown over and over that people produce better quality ideas when they start by working alone. And yet, companies, nonprofits, and churches have enshrined “brainstorming” as the #1 go-to method for coming up with new ideas. Why?

Why Can’t Churches and Other Christian Organizations Work Together?

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I’m in South Africa speaking at the African Christian Media Conference, and one of the biggest questions leaders in this country face is how to partner to make a greater impact in the culture. Getting churches, ministries, nonprofits and similar organizations to join together to launch a nationwide campaign – particularly in the media – is a challenge everywhere. But that challenge isn’t new. The Bible charts the story of leaders like Moses, David, Paul, and even Jesus struggling to unite the people of their time. After all, one of the last

Creatives: Do You Struggle With The Question: “So, What Do YOU Do?”


At parties or other social events you get the question all the time:  “So, what do YOU do?”  If you’re an struggling actor, producer, director, or other media professional, it’s an awkward moment.  Even after decades of making TV programs, documentary films, online media, and consulting with large organizations, it’s still tough for me.  It’s called “Status Anxiety.”  It comes from discomfort or fear when a person is in a social interaction that involves being judged or evaluated by others.  If you’ve struggled in your career, and have trouble with the “So what do YOU do?” question, you need to watch this video:

How Social Media Hashtags Can Backfire

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Social media “hashtags” have become a ubiquitous part of posting, since it expands our visibility and helps generate more viewers. They’re particularly helpful with generating momentum for a cause or campaign. But what many leaders don’t realize is the possibility that hashtags can backfire. Recently, American Airlines posted a campaign on Twitter with the hashtag #GoingForGreat. It’s purpose was to motivate followers to share on social media how they’re AA’s biggest fan. Here’s the exact post:

Urban Outfitters Marketing Fail of the Year


Retail chain Urban Outfitters recently debuted a sweatshirt that was no ordinary sweatshirt. The $129 shirt was printed with the Kent State University logo and various holes surrounded by what looked like blood splatter. The obvious reference was to the deaths of four Kent State University students and the wounding of nine by nervous and unprepared soldiers from the Ohio National Guard during a protest in 1970. Granted, most

Mastering Media Is Knowing What Each Platform Does Best


Too many people use media randomly, with no real strategic vision. Perhaps a friend recommended local TV, or a board member suggested billboards, or a church youth director likes social media. All these platforms and others are important, but they question is: Why? While I could write many books on the subject, here’s a short list of what differentiates some of the major media platforms:

Does Your Advertising Betray You?

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Advertising and marketing are about promotion, and promotion is about making you, your organization, or product look interesting, enticing, and simply terrific. But far too often, we’re not as strategic about our advertising as we should be, and as a result, our feeble attempts at promotion end up backfiring. Sometimes it’s just not paying attention like this auto repair shop:

Four Reasons Your Brainstorming Sessions Aren’t Successful


After the previous post about why brainstorming doesn’t work for many people, I received a number of comments from people who like to do it, but don’t get good results.  If you’re a brainstorming person, and the method works for you, here are four keys that might make it more productive.  By bringing multiple perspectives to the table, your team gains insight you might never have considered, plus you’re adding years of experience to solving the creative problem. But most brainstorming sessions don’t yield much – or fail completely. If that’s your problem, here’s four key reasons you’re not getting more from your creative team: