Based on Wordpress metrics, this is the 1,500th Brainzooming blog post. For safety’s sake, let’s say it’s the 1500th-ish Brainzooming blog post. I’m not entirely sure all the blog posts Wordpress counts are officially published, plus some posts are very time-specific and could be removed - when I get the time to do that sort of thing!

No matter the exact number, we’ve published lots of strategic thinking exercises. Some followed me from the corporate world to Brainzooming; we developed other new creative thinking tools for clients of The Brainzooming Group. Still others are from our “Strategic Thinking Lab,” which means we’ve mapped them out but haven’t fully tested them yet. One advantage of having that many strategic thinking exercises in our toolkit is you can combine them to get new variations yielding different types of results.

Strategic Thinking Exercises in Combos

Here are two examples of strategic thinking exercise we’ve paired up recently for new creative thinking results:

Looking Differently + Eliminating Expectations


Some early Brainzooming exercises were simply riffs on standard creative thinking exercises. These are always valuable to force considering alternative perspectives. We’ve been combining “Looking Differently” with a more recent exercise for identifying and considering the impact of eliminating current expectations. Using the two, we had a group identify three alternative perspectives that were closer, further away, and to the side of a particular process.

They then identified expectations about the process from each new perspective. With this combo, the strategic thinking exercise’s results were helpful in prioritizing issues (where all parties had comparable expectations), identifying areas receiving too much focus (where interest was found to be relatively narrow), and introducing unexpected perspectives (including one where a process was reviewing itself).

New Benefits + Disruptive Players

Another strategic thinking exercise from earlier this year used a FedEx ad to identify and highlight potentially overlooked benefits a product or service offers based on what might happen if it didn’t exist. You can nicely combine the results of this benefits exercise with an older exercise for identifying who the potential disruptive players or partners might be in a market.

With a richer set of benefits from which to work, the disruptive players exercise results in a better sense of non-traditional threats (or opportunities) for your organization.

New Creative Thinking with Combos

What creative or strategic thinking exercises have you bolted together as a combo exercise? Did it generate new types of thinking and ideas for you? – Mike Brown

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