Business Meeting Creativity Ideas

Developing an innovative spirit in the workplace doesn't require extraordinary measures. As a manager, you can experiment with simple ideas that merely break routines, allowing your employees permission to drop the facade that we all don to some degree when we punch the clock. Here are a few ideas that will help you lighten things up for your staff and get their creative juices flowing, if you have the courage to take the leap.

1. Dart Board


Start every staff meeting by allowing everyone a shot at the dart board. Best shot gets to kick off the meeting, appoint the moderator, or tell what they did over the weekend. Starts things off on a playful note and gets your people out of their chairs. For safety purposes, stick with the magnetic or Velcro variety.

2. Colored Markers for the Flip Chart

Sounds simple, but we are programmed from an early age to correlate the amalgamation of colors with the awakening of our imaginations. If you need further evidence of this phenomenon, observe a classroom full of first graders the next time a teacher instructs them to put away their math books and take out their crayons. And experts agree that the key to creativity lies in the ability to awaken the child inside each of us.

3. Music Creativity

Ask each team member to write a 4-line verse to a song that relates to their job duties, hobbies, business ideas, etc. Go around the room and ask them to sing, rap, or simply recite (military cadence perhaps) their verse. Print the
compilation in the next company newsletter to get a little PR for your department or office (others in the organization might want to transfer in when they realize that you've given your staff permission to have fun).

4. Music Creativity II

Ask your staff to bring in a CD with a song that describes their personality, work attitude, or how their weekend went. Play excerpts before the meeting for a laugh.

5. To Serve Mankind

Ask your staff to convey what they did over the weekend that was a service to another person, charitable organization, or noble cause. Vote to determine whose action was most heroic and award a gift certificate to the winner, let them leave work early on Friday, or take a longer than usual lunch break. This will encourage your staff to think of new ways to develop a sense of community. It will also help your people feel good about their co-workers, get to know them better, and give them a sense of pride in the organization.

6. Vocabulary Expansion

Ask your team to bring a rarely used or obscure word to the next meeting. Have them use it in a context that is applicable to your business.

7. Memory Exercise

Read a list of 10 or 15 things, preferably something related to your business, your industry, or to a customer and give an award to the person who can commit the most items to memory. This exercise can help your staff become more familiar with your organization and with your customers. Memory development is also a key to developing new customer relationships that will help your business prosper.

8. "If I Ran This Place..."

Ask your staff what they would consider the ideal job, the ideal workplace, and the ideal location. You can't transform your place into utopia, but you might gain some insight into feasible, marginal changes that will improve things. Now that you have them thinking without barriers, ask them what they would do first or different if they ran the company, office, or department. You'll be surprised by the answers.

9. Show and Tell

Have your staff bring something that they've created, that they are proud of, or from their childhood that the group would find interesting or funny. Demonstrate an interesting or unusual talent, perhaps. We loved this game when we were in kindergarten, and for some reason they made us stop playing as we got older.

10. Top 10 Lists

Until David Letterman decides to pursue intellectual property infringement, go ahead and try this one. Give a topic at your staff meeting, and ask for the answers the following week. Remember to keep it clean and non-offensive. Have your staff rank the answers and use a point system to determine the winner.

We would never ask our employees for quality without offering the resources, direction, systems, and commitment to develop procedures that ensure improvement in that area. Yet we ask employees for creativity or to "think outside the box" all of the time without giving another thought as to how to initiate the creative process. Take the first step and give your staff permission to shake things up a bit at your office. You're likely to see some changes - for the better!

Copyright 2005, La Dolce Vita Enterprises, LLC

Business Meeting Creativity Ideas

Craig Cortello is the President and founder of La Dolce Vita Enterprises, a consulting and training firm that assists companies in creating productive and imaginative work environments that encourage innovative business solutions. He is also the National Sales Manager of Trinity Consultants, a nationwide environmental consulting firm and an accomplished musician. He credits much of his success in the business world to his creative spirit that was cultivated through exposure to music and the arts.

Craig is a proud resident and native of the New Orleans metropolitan area, and a Hurricane Katrina survivor!

For more info see

History of Cowboy Hats

The history of cowboy hats starts with the name, John Batterson Stetson. In the later years of 1860?s the hats were associated with heroism. It was then adapted to the uniform of the cavalry force. The media popularized these hats to costume great warriors in the screen. It then, served as the universal image for the sporty native hero of America. Now they are fashion symbols, which reflect the traditional style of sturdiness.

History states that Stetson had made a wide-brimmed, high-crowned hat from common fur of the horse hides, during his wild hunting tours to fulfill a bet. Its multipurpose functions such as large brim to protect the sun, the crown to fetch water or fan the fire, whip the horse etc gained public acceptance. The term cowboy hat was coined from its popularity among the cowboys. Stetson sold the first hat of its type in Central City, Colorado in the name ?Boss of the Plains,? for , which was more commonly known as the "ten-gallon cowboy hat". Some contradict the credit of invention to Stetson with the argument that the ranchers of Mexico and Texas had the practice of using wide trimmed fur-felt hat in the mid 1800 called "Sombreros". It was also popular in Spain. They consider that Stetson did not invent the hat, only popularized it.


The Pork Pie was the dominant style of cowboy hats in the 1860's. The hat was soft inexpensive with the features of telescope crown and brim of 3". It was common till the late 1870's. The 4x4 was the dominant hat style of rural America from about 1790 until about 1880. It is now popular in names such as "Boss of the plains," "Trapper," "planter?. These early cowboy hats have a distinctive feature of three- piece lining. Hamburg was another popular style of cowboy hat with the letter M style crown.

The 20th century revolutionized the making of cow boy hats with the transition from hand woven hats to machine made hats.

History of Cowboy Hats

Cowboy Hats provides detailed information on Cowboy Hats, Straw Cowboy Hats, Custom Cowboy Hats, Party Cowboy Hats and more. Cowboy Hats is affiliated with Vintage Cowboy Boots.

Who Invented Skittles?

Skittles were devised by a gentleman who was named, by no coincidence, Mr. Skittle. Mr. Skittle one day looked up at the rainy sky of England, and saw a rainbow arching over his house. His curiosity led him to think what a rainbow would taste like. This is where Skittles catch phrase comes from: "taste the rainbow." Mr. Skittle began to experiment with a myriad of different flavored candies in order to taste the rainbow. Finally he decided on one formula which would be the Skittle we all know and love today. The five original flavors were created by Mr. Skittle himself. These flavors were grape, lemon, lime, orange and strawberry. Soon after, Skittle began to mass produce these candies all over the world. In 1974, full production of skittles began by and English candy company. The trademark letter "s" was inscribed on every skittles candy from day 1, however it was originally a blackish, deep violet color. This would later change to the white color skittles have today in 1988.

As demand for skittles grew, these candies began to be shipped internationally, coming to the United States in 1979 as an import candy. The popularity of the skittle grew so fast in the United States that in 1981, the Skittle company was moved to the United States for good, and the European production of skittles was moved to the Czech Republic, to be made by a section of the Mars candy company.


Mr. Skittle took his idea and was able to grow it into an international company. Today there are 18 different varieties of skittles.

Who Invented Skittles?

Visit [] to find out more about inventions!

You Can Invent New Products Right Now

You can invent new products right now. In fact, if you have a couple hours to spend applying the techniques below, you might easily have a dozen ideas for new inventions. What will not be covered here is how to get financing, build a prototype, or market your new products. Those are great subjects for another article, but for now let's look at three easy-to-implement ways to generate those ideas and get them down on paper.

Your Pain is Your Gain


One of the simplest ways to invent new products which will actually be wanted by others, is to look at all the daily irritations, pains and problems you have. In fact, if you want to see how easily you can start to generate new invention ideas, just make a list right now. Maybe you are tired of digging and spraying weeds from your aerospace front yard, for example. Start asking questions about what the problem really is and what might be done about it if nothing was impossible.

What if the weeds were sprayed automatically? This question suggests something similar to an irrigation system, but one that sprays weed-killer instead of water. Or, if it is the bending and digging that is the problem, you might imagine a tool that allows you to inject weed-killer into the roots without bending over. Whether you burned yourself on the coffee this morning, hate to scrape ice off the windshield, or have too many unmatched socks in the dresser, every pain and problem is an opportunity to invent new products.

Mix and Match

What do you think of when you imagine combining a regular car and a roller coaster? I imagine building a winding hilly stretch of road and charging people to drive their own cars on it, as a form of amusement park ride. High banks could make it safe. People already go out to some stretches of road just because they are fun to drive, so there could be demand for this new roller coaster track.

The basic idea here is to take elements of different businesses and products, then mix and match them in new ways. This proven strategy has already produced phones that are cameras, and hats that hold beer cans. It could easily give you ten more ideas for new products within an hour.

Find New Uses

Another simple technique you can use to invent new products is to look at all the things around you and find new applications for them. For example, the other day I cut the sleeve off a sweatshirt and noticed that it made a decent hat. The cuff just fell to the back and out of the way, and it didn't really look all that bad. It could be a new fashion. You might even buy up sweaters cheap at thrift stores, and make two sleeve-hats from each, perhaps selling them online.

To use this technique more systematically, just write a list of everything you can see around you right now. Then start asking of each item on the list, "What else could this be made into, or what other purpose could this serve?

These three techniques are easy enough to try right now, and with just a little effort you'll soon be generating new product ideas by the dozens.

You Can Invent New Products Right Now

Copyright Steve Gillman. For inventions, new product ideas, business ideas, story ideas, political and economic theories, deep thoughts, and a free course on Creating New Ideas, visit:

Understanding Creativity - Person, Place, Product and Process (Part 1)

What do person, place, product, and process (the 4 P's) have in common? According to creativity researchers, these are the four generally accepted facets to creativity. Additionally these facets are interrelated, which makes creativity complicated to understand and to cultivate, especially in organizations. Understanding its multiple aspects, however, is a critical first step in bringing more creativity, and hence innovation, into a corporate environment. Creativity is generally considered to be a new idea or insight that is recognized by experts in that field as having value. Creativity is the necessary first step to fueling innovation. This first article, in a series of articles about the facets of creativity, will present an overview of the 4 P's of creativity and how they are interrelated.



Stories about modern eminent creatives such as Steve Jobs and I.M. Pei and past creatives such as Thomas Edison, Madame Curie and Michelangelo warp our image of the creative person. We tend to think of people as being either creative or not creative, like it is a fixed attribute such as one's height or eye-color. Creativity is not unique or mysterious; we are all creative to different degrees. Creativity has little to do with IQ. It is our usage or under-usage of our ordinary thinking processes that impact our creative output. Creative thinking approaches can be learned by all individuals. Research has shown that the use of creative thinking techniques reduces costs, increases efficiency and positively impacts ROI.


Our families, schools, community, religion, and workplace as well as the overall culture in which we live have major impacts on creativity; this is referred to formally as the press of the environment, which I refer to simply as 'place.' The values and norms of our upbringing and current environment dictate whether we are encouraged or discouraged from being creative and whether our ideas or products are recognized as being creative. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Claremont professor and creativity researcher, says that the environment has more of an impact on creative outcomes than an individual intent on creativity. Interestingly, studies have shown that creativity tends to thrive during times of political unrest, civil disturbance, and intellectual diversity. For example many young people were motivated to become artists and architects during the Renaissance. Teresa Amabile, Harvard professor and organizational creativity researcher says that our social environment can significantly affect intrinsic motivation, both positively and negatively. We often become motivated to think and act creatively when we become personally interested in or curious about a new technology, research data or trend. Working on something imposed on us by outside sources, without being personally interested has negative effects on our creativity. For example, the proliferation of the Internet has laid the foundation for an increase in artists and designers. This new surge in visual images has contributed to the current trend in businesses to utilize design thinking in addition to analytical thinking.


Can you make money from it? Do your peers and society admire you because of it? In our Western, materially focused culture, a physical product or outcome is typically the only facet of creativity that is recognized. We look at the finished product and forget there was a process of multiple creative failures that happened first. We may disregard the environment or the team of people that encouraged the development of the product. New products and ideas often have a difficult time getting past the 'gatekeepers' who determine the idea's value, sometimes arbitrarily or with limited foresight. A person known in the field or from a field predisposed to creativity, such as advertising is likely to have an easier time getting past the gatekeepers than an unknown or someone from a 'non-creative' industry. Occasionally the product or idea is so radical and ahead of its time, it gets ridiculed or goes unrecognized for years. The concept of Federal Express is a well-known story of a ridiculed idea; van Gogh was considered a sociopathic recluse rather than a genius, and died alone and penniless.


What must occur in order for us to produce a creative idea or product? There are potentially exponential trials of creative processes compared to final products. Edison tried thousands of times to produce an electric filament for long lasting electric lighting. Shouldn't all those failed attempts be considered creative? Our culture, however, tends to label only the one successful outcome as creative.

Each of us goes through four stages during our creative process. Preparation, incubation, illumination, and verification were originally introduced by Graham Wallas in 1926 in his book "The Art of Thought." In the first stage, preparation, we set ourselves up for creative success by acquiring some skill, gathering data, or understanding the basic problem that needs to be addressed. This is perhaps the most difficult stage as suggested by Edison in his famous line, "Genius is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration." In the next stage, incubation, our brain is working on things in the background. It is the time away from conscious thinking. This is the most powerful of the steps and the one that probably gets overlooked most often. It is hard not to consciously and continually work on a problem to conclusion, since we all have a tendency to want to solve problems as soon as possible, and are often pushed by our organizations to do so. The 'aha' or illumination stage, however, can only occur after an incubation period.Sometimes we do not get a solution - but another way to approach the problem. But when we get that 'aha,' we know with certainty that we are on the right path. Finally, we need to be able to recognize when a solutions fits the problem. In the last stage, verification, we try and test the solution. We often go back and forth rapidly between the stages. The ability to shift between stages is important to the creative process.

How we think, how the gatekeepers respond to what we produce, the environment in which we live, and the processes we follow all combine to impact the production and acceptance of new ideas, insights and products. It is impossible to consider any one of these facets in a vacuum. We cannot separate the person from their environment, the idea from the person, the process from the environment, or the product from the process. It is complicated, but not impossible, to address all of these facets within an organizational setting. In the next series of articles, I will go into each of the four facets in more depth.

Understanding Creativity - Person, Place, Product and Process (Part 1)

Copyright 2009 J.E. Brunn, LLC. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Reprint Rights: You may reprint this article as long as you leave all of the links active, do not edit the article in any way, and give author name credit.

Joanne Brunn, Ph.D. is a creative thinking expert, consultant, author and speaker. To learn more or to speak with Joanne about a consulting, training, or speaking engagement, please visit

5 Ways to Promote Creativity in the Workplace

You have a staff of people with different backgrounds and experiences - a diverse group that has a lot to offer if given the chance. Think of the possibilities for creativity and innovation. Most workplaces don't even think about ways to bring out the creativity in their employees and they are missing out on a vast array of improvements and innovations that are wasting away in the minds of their workforce. Why not make a few simple changes and start harnessing the creative side of your employees.

1. Once a week, ask your employees to think of one way to make their job more efficient or productive. Tell them the best idea will win one hour off on Friday. This will start the creative juices flowing. At the end of the week, review the ideas and award the prize. Then, decide which ideas are realistic and implement them. Chances are that most of the ideas will improve their productivity and the company's bottom line.


2. Have weekly brainstorming meetings. Tell them that there are no bad ideas and then go to work on the dry erase board. When employees finally have the opportunity to voice their opinions, you will be surprised what comes out. In addition, employees will work off one another and expand and improve each other's ideas. It's best to have at least a general topic in these meetings or the meeting could lose focus.

3. Make a suggestion box. Sometimes the best ideas are left untold because the employee was either shy or afraid to open up a sensitive topic. The suggestion box will give them the anonymity they need to bring forward their idea. Not all employees are comfortable with speaking in groups and this lack of confidence could cause the organization to lose out on a groundbreaking opportunity.

4. Meet with employees one-on-one in regularly scheduled meetings. Many employees don't like to speak in front of groups but they still want credit for their ideas. Also, some employees are just more comfortable speaking in a small group or one-on-one. Take advantage of this format to follow-up on ideas and get the most out of their creativity.

5. Create innovation teams. Innovation teams are smaller teams of three to four people in charge of creating new ideas on a particular topic. Assignment them an area that needs improvement through creativity then have them report back to you or better yet to the entire work group, so that more ideas can be suggested.

Creativity and innovation in the workplace can found in every one of your employees. You have worked hard to hire a diverse group of people with a wide variety of experiences. Don't waste this valuable resource.

5 Ways to Promote Creativity in the Workplace

Charlie Bentson King is a writer and producer of motivational training videos for TrainingABC. TrainingABC is a distributor of programs such as Celebrate What's Right with the World and Everyday Creativity.

How To Tell A Guy You Like Him - 3 Basic Methods To Express Your Feelings!

There are many girls, especially those who are dating for the first time, who find it a problem in expressing themselves to the guys. They like the guys and are madly in love with him, but the same has to be expressed to the guy so that he can reciprocate. Like it takes two hands to clap, there has to be mutual feelings from both the boy and the girl for a relationship to go ahead.

Keeping this in view, it is essential that the girl express her views to the guy, especially if there are no hints from the guy. Most girls find themselves tongue tied when trying to express their love to a guy. There are some subtle ways to express your feelings and it is up to you to choose one that suits you best, or if you are inventive enough you can very well find more ways to express yourself. Here are the basic methods that you can use to tell a guy that you like him:


The Direct Approach

This is one of the best and a time trusted one. This approach requires that the girl has ample amount of courage and does not fear rejection. If you are confident that the guy loves you too and that he will not disappoint you, just walk up to him and tell him point blank that you like him.

The guy might be surprised at your courage and it might take some time for these feelings to sink in. So do not be disappointed if he does not reply back or acknowledges immediately. Just put yourself in the position of the guy. What would you have done if he had proposed to you directly?

The Romantic Approach

Purchase a couple of tickets for a romantic movie and take him with you. Wait for some time and when there is a romantic scene going on, try to observe his feelings. Is he absorbed in that scene? This is the right moment to express your love to him. This approach requires that you set your timing right and tell him your feelings at the right moment. This approach is likely to work more with romantic guys.

The Party Approach

You love a guy and want to express your feelings and both of you are at a party. Approach him with a smile on your face and request him for a dance. In all probabilities he will not refuse. Do not rush and take your time to dance with him. When you come across an appropriate moment, hug him lightly, look at him directly in the eye and tell him that you like him. You might follow this by offering a kiss to the guy and let him respond.

These are some of the basic methods. Some of you might be more inventive and might find a totally different way to express your feelings to the guy. It is the end result that counts. You like him and want to say the same to him and at the same time you also want to hear from him that he likes you too.

How To Tell A Guy You Like Him - 3 Basic Methods To Express Your Feelings!

Did you ever wonder why there "aren't any good men out there"? Do you find it EASY to attract men, but difficult to attract the ones you WANT?

Did you sometimes feel like you can ONLY attract men you DON'T want? And do you feel like this problem's been a pattern for some time now?

So, If you want to discover how to attract a man that you've always wanted, what the secret to a man staying committed for the long-run is, and how to get your relationship back on track. Then you need to go to Catch Him And Keep Him to Learn MORE about the SECRETS PSYCHOLOGY TO GETTING A MAN that you need to attract Mr. Right and avoid Mr. Wrong! Just Click Here

How to Seduce a Libra Woman

Libra women are beautiful, both inside and out. If you want to attract a woman born under this sign then your sexual attraction can be enhanced using these top tips.

1. Blue is the colour that is most appealing to a Libra woman. Wear something in the colour blue to catch their eye. Blue is the colour related to communication. And because Libra women like to talk, mainly about themselves, they will see you as a willing audience.


2. It is very difficult to seduce a Libra woman because they are so popular and you'll have stiff competition. Women born under the sign of Libra are truly blessed when it comes to beauty, elegance and grace. They are also gorgeous on the inside too. You can get ahead of the competition though, by flattery, flattery and more flattery.

3. Libra women are very sensitive to aromas. Wear cologne that contains the sexy, potent and intense musk scent and you'll find that your Libra woman will find you irresistible.

4. Libra women are classy creatures and adore only the best things in life. Impress your Libra woman with a candlelit dinner at the classiest restaurant in town and you won't be disappointed by her response.

5. The best flower to buy a woman born under the sign of Libra is the beautiful and graceful lily, guaranteed to impress, seduce and romanticise her. The elegant and refined lily matches their attributes perfectly. Giving lilies will gain their attention and they'll soon show lots of interest in you.

6. Libra women appreciate romantic gestures form their suitors. Don't forget she is not just playing hard to get, she is hard to get, so you'll need to be inventive in finding exciting ways to romanticise her. She'll appreciate the traditional methods of candy and flowers, but also unusual romantic gestures such as a home baked cake decorated with her name, and yours too. Make the cake yourself and you'll score extra points.

7. A Sexual Attraction Spell, either cast by you or by a professional Spell caster or Witch will help to seduce a Libra woman. Real Magic uses mysterious, subtle yet tried and tested methods in attraction Spells. And even if you are a little sceptical, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

How to Seduce a Libra Woman

There are many ways to seduce a Libra woman. If you are 100% certain you want to sexually attract a Libra woman and want them to find you irresistible then find out how from Alizon's Psychic Secrets

Bean Bag Pattern

Beside using bean bags as ramps for pets, pieces of furniture such as beds or desks, games or collection items, bean bag patterns bring toys to another whole new level. Kids will never get tired of them and the grown-ups will never get tired of remembering how much fun they ad when they were kids, too. In order ease both tasks, sewing magazines or the internet can supply you with bean bag patterns easy to use and follow, even if you aren't a specialist. Since the interest is tremendous nowadays for bean bag patterns, are some professional sites that have proven very helpful in the past. offers you a huge palette of bean bag patterns that you can use anytime you feel like doing some handicraft in your home. The designs are publicized to be used freely and the inventiveness reaches new frontiers: the ordinary stuffed toy and the bean bag bury the hatchet in this form of spending your time usefully and entertainingly, not for yourself only, but for the child that receives the final product.

Inventive also presents you the patterns freely and the varied listings are known to attract everybody's attention, since they are so colorful and diverse. The most sought model though, remains the stuffed bear that becomes the utterly expected Mr. Teddy. This site doesn't bother you with incomprehensible bean bag patterns or endless how-to's, but presents the needed instructions with style and through the eyes of a new-comer in the industry. You would have never thought how easy designing a bean bag pattern for your children is, brought to you online. holds a dear place in the children's hearts, and those that are in love with the shop class, where handicraft is put to good use and is given everyday new challenges. The site mentioned above offers step-by-step instructions and images of numberless patterns. It's kids' play, piece of cake, very easy and completely comprehensible. The mothers that do not have time to devise their own patterns can look up and be relieved.

Last but not least, naturally provides the best bean bag patterns existing in history and market and does it in a an inventive way so that the proverbial new-comers and the so-far ignorant mothers understand everything, from top to bottom, and have a delightful stuffed bean bag pattern toy in the toy basket of their children.

With so many resources on the internet to get rid of your anxiety about a future bean bag pattern for the kids, you have no excuse what so ever not to get to work and use your fingers and God's given natural talent of pleasing those around you.

Bean Bag Pattern

You can also find more info on new bean bag and furniture bean bag. is a comprehensive resource to know more about Beanbag Chairs.

Implement Your Strategy Successfully

Too many managers wait far too long before thinking about implementing their strategy. They finish their strategy sessions, and only then consider the question of implementation. This is a mistake. By waiting until after their strategy sessions, they miss earlier opportunities to encourage successful implementation. Don't follow their mistake. To encourage successful implementation of your strategy, you should take specific steps before, during and after your strategy sessions



Prior to your strategy sessions, you have the opportunity to lay the groundwork for successful strategy implementation. Here are your specific steps...

o Demonstrate Senior Management Commitment. If senior management isn't committed to the strategic planning process, neither will anyone else be. Senior managers must demonstrate their commitment, not just by word, but by deed as well. They must devote their own time to the planning process. And also demonstrate readiness to allocate the necessary resources to the resultant strategies.

o Select the "right" planning team members. The members of your planning team will come from the ranks of top management - likely your key functional managers. This brings the expertise necessary to develop the plan and also allows the necessary immediate strategic decisions. And just as important, it builds ownership among the key managers who will later direct implementation of the resultant strategies.

o Gather the "right" pre-planning information. Gather not just the obvious financial data. Also gather information about your customers and the benefits they seek in purchasing your products and services. Why they buy. Why they don't. And information about your competition. Their strengths and weaknesses. And how their offering compares to yours. Successful strategies follow from your management team's full appreciation of your enterprise and its relationship to its marketplace. You need to go well beyond the data. Gather information to build and maintain your planning team's knowledge and to encourage strategic thought.

o Solicit input from your employees. Get your employees involved in the planning process. Use a survey to "flush up" issues important to them. Their participation will build their commitment. Employees having the opportunity to participate in their company's strategic plan feel "a part" of that plan. They're committed to the success of the plan; and the successful implementation of the strategies within the plan. At his company's strategic planning retreat, the Vice- President of Marketing for one of our client companies remarked, "The managers in our marketing department are eager to see this plan. They've provided much of the initial input for this session, so they're looking forward to learning of, and implementing, the resultant strategies."


At your strategy sessions, you and your planning team will develop each of the elements of your strategic plan. During those sessions, you'll again find opportunities to encourage successful strategy implementation. Specific steps for doing so include...

o Encourage participation. Work toward rich, lively discussion on all issues. Solicit input from the more hesitant, and, if necessary, temper the more domineering individuals. To do so, you must be sure the facilitator of your sessions has not only expertise in the planning process, but also, skill in handling the planning team's interpersonal dynamics.

o Develop objectives which you can track with your current reporting system. You'll be busy enough implementing your plan; you don't want to pioneer a new reporting system at the same time. Yes, once in a while - particularly for an "outside the box" strategy - you'll need to "invent" some new measurement. But try to keep such inventions to a minimum.

o Develop a "balanced" list of objectives. Resist the tendency to set all of your objectives in the areas of finance and marketing. Make sure that at least one of your objectives is in the area of human resources. Far more of your employees care about human resource issues than about profit or sales volume. Having one or two human resource objectives, you can successfully respond when an employee asks "What's in it for me?"

o Develop strategies built on your company's strengths. If you're strong in marketing, you'll do best by promoting your way to success. If you're good at product development, you'd best invent your way to growth. Don't select a strategy just because it's currently popular or because it worked well for another firm. For a strategy to work well for you, it must be based on your company's strengths.

o Consider available resources. You'll need to estimate the resources required to implement each strategy. Be especially careful about over-committing those resources - particularly peoples' time. There's a fine line between challenge, which encourages implementation; and over-commitment, which discourages implementation. Be careful.

o Develop a built-in monitoring system. Have a key manager accept responsibility for implementing each strategy. That manager's name, along with a due date for completion, then becomes a part of your strategy statement. Including a name and a due date along with the strategy aids in monitoring the strategy's implementation. It also assures that a key manager "owns" each strategy.


Following development of your strategies, you'll have additional opportunities to encourage implementation...

o Communicate your strategy. Tell your employees of your strategy. Especially those employees who will help with your strategy's implementation. As you conclude your strategy sessions, ask this closing question of your planning team: "Now that we've developed our strategic plan, how should we communicate it to our employees?"

o Link your strategic plan to your operational plan. Ask each manager responsible for a specific strategy to take that strategy back to his or her department. And there, ask those employees who will implement the strategy to develop detailed tactics. Ask them to assign responsibility for each tactic; to set due dates; to project required resources. Peter Drucker wisely said, "Nothing happens until we reduce strategy to work." Implementing strategy is work. You'll do well to manage it as such.

o Monitor your progress quarterly. You've perhaps heard the saying, "If you don't measure it, it won't happen." This certainly applies to implementing strategy. With a quarterly monitoring system, you'll be well aware of your implementation progress and any associated problems. And during your quarterly monitoring meetings, you can consider your options for getting a wayward strategy back on track.

o Fine tune the process. Watch for opportunities to improve your planning process. This will help with implementation of your strategies in later years. At the third quarterly review of your strategic plan, take a little extra time to discuss the planning process. To look back on your strategy sessions. Ask, "What went well?" and "What didn't go so well?" and "What changes might we make to improve the process next time around?" Explore any and all suggestions to fine tune your planning process - so it brings continuous improvement to both your strategy development and your strategy implementation.

Implement Your Strategy Successfully

Bill Birnbaum, CMC, is President of Birnbaum Associates, business strategy consultants. He helps clients develop a shared strategic vision, and then turn that vision into a sound business strategy.

Bill has served on the board of directors for three high growth corporations. He's taught strategy courses for the American Management Association and authored "Strategic Thinking: A Four Piece Puzzle" (Douglas Mountain Publishing, 2004). His book is available through book stores and on-line book sellers.

His website contains informative articles on strategic thinking, on business strategy and on economic trends affecting business:

Create Your Own Image With Photoshop

Photoshop is a Graphics Editing program through which new photos or images are created and edited. It is a publication of the Adobe systems. The development of this program is copyright of the Adobe Systems. The program was developed by Thomas Knoll in the early part of the year 1988. But Adobe got the license to be in the business of distributing the program in the month of September of the year 1988. In the year 2003 the company introduced in the market Creative Suite. It is a collection of graphic design, video editing and web development applications. With this creative Suite, the Photoshop was re-branded and it came to be known as Adobe Photoshop CS. Adobe Photoshop CS5 is the 12th major release of the company.

This software of Adobe is a unique of its kind. It helps to add something extra to the images. In recent times development of some more advancement has made this software even better. Adobe has released a more advance CS6. This enables the users of the Photoshop to design 3D graphics, apart from 2D designs and other previously existing options. It has brought to the users more new creative options. It has re-enhanced the imaging magic of the software thus making it more exciting than before. It gives an unexpected fast performance. The Adobe Mercury Graphic Engine has contributed towards a fast performance of the software.


The new advance Photoshop program has opened new dimensions in the field of 3D creation. With the new Content-Aware tools creating 3D creations have become easier and simpler. In addition to that the Intuitive User Interface helps one to create an entirely different 3D creation with shadows, lightning, animation, new sketch and cartoon look. In other words it can be said that the software has re-constructed the design tools and has made creating new type of 3D images a new form of art work.

Photoshop Tutorials on the other hand are the online tutor that teach various ways of using the Photoshop program to create exciting and exclusive image magic of one's own. With the aid of the Photoshop Tutorials one can learn the easy and effective way of creating unique images. The Photoshop Tutorials teach various drawing styles and techniques of the Photoshop software. These include designs such as creating reflective plastic sketch from Photoshop scratch, to create a painting that has a finishing touch effect like that of a smoothly finished painting and various other techniques. The best part is that the Photoshop Tutorials are online tutorial homes where the tutor comes to your place to teach at free of cost. Besides teaching the various techniques, the Photoshop Tutorials also canvass various images of renowned painter and photographer. Thus the visitors of this tutorial can go through those amazing creations and learn various styles and techniques from there. Thus in other words it can be said that Photoshop Tutorials are the best online teachers to teach the styles and techniques to become an efficient Adobe Photoshop user.

Create Your Own Image With Photoshop

Check out here for 3D image creation and Photoshop tutorials.

Serious Success: Tolerate Nothing Less

If you are really serious about being successful - no matter what your chosen endeavor - you must start taking action to get rid of the things you have been tolerating.

See if any of these things are true for you:


Perhaps you have been tolerating bigger things:

Or maybe, just maybe, it's your own bad habits, or your commute, or noise pollution....

Everything you are tolerating zaps your energy - wearing you down and making you edgy. When you take action to get rid of and correct these things, you will sense freedom, increased energy and creativity. You want that, I know it!

Here are two exercises that, if you will discipline yourself to follow-through (and not just read it!) will help you start zapping your tolerations, instead of having them zap you!

FIRST: Take out some paper and make a space for each of the following categories (with about 9 - 10 lines under each one to list tolerations):

NOW, brainstorm your list under each category.

SECOND: Pick the top 3 energy drains (tolerations) from your list - the ones that REALLY bug you - and that you are ready to take action on NOW:




Go take care of these - TODAY!

Another tactic is to set aside an entire day to burn through as many of the items on your list as possible. You'll be amazed at how satisfying this is, and you'll find out that you will be freeing up your valuable physical, emotional, and mental energy!

Don't stop here!

Make this an ongoing process. From time to time, pull out the list, cross off the things you've gotten rid of, add the new things, and continually take action.

Serious Success: Tolerate Nothing Less

Visit LifeHouse Coaching [] to sign up for "Blueprints for a Dream Life" and receive Edi Sowers' f*r*e*e* weekly articles, coaching tips, and special offers. Edi works with women business owners who work at home and face the arduous challenge of balancing their personal and professional priorities in order to build their dream life.

Starting a Small Business is Like Exercising

I always get asked how does one start a home based business or small business. How does one ensure that the initial enthusiasm doesn't wear off and see the whole business plan through without giving up halfway? Well, to tell you the truth, I don't really know. I am not a motivational speaker, business expert and I don't own a large chain of International businesses either. But what I do have is my own little 'jig' that keeps me and my family comfy and happy. I've asked a lot of people the same question does one start and see a business through and I've learnt that...I should EXERCISE. You're thinking to yourself right now... "What does EXERCISE have anything to do with doing business", right? I'll explain.

If I've never lost a single pound in the time that I have been attending gym, I never come out empty-handed. Exercise and physical exertion of all kinds is similar to starting a business and seeing it through. We all go through the same kind of process which can be divided into 5 stages.


And here's a humorous look at the similarities between exercise and starting a small business.

STAGE ONE: The fireworks stage

Gym: Oh, I'm SO going to burn 500 calories on the machine today! I can't wait to do it. Let's break some sweat!

This is called the fireworks stage because there's always a lot of fanfare here. Lots of champagne bottles being popped because we've finally found an astounding idea that we think will work out. We've finally invented something akin to the wheel! Now we can't wait to get started! We'll start churning everything out...erm...after we finish the 12 bottles of wine, of course! Hey, this is celebration time, isn't it?


STAGE TWO: The getting down and gearing up stage

Gym: You're on the machine now and raring to go burn that 500 calories! This is so fun, fun, fun!

With a nagging hangover, we're now seated together at a round table writing down the plan. Oh sure, we've got some issues that we should deal with but oh, it can wait till the problem pops up. And besides, it's not such a big deal. We'll work it out. Now, come on, come on, come on...let's get the engine started. I can't wait to tell the rest of the world about it.

We don't have to have everything before we start, do we? Aw shucks!


STAGE THREE: The 'erm' stage

Gym: I have the settings right? Man, this is so tough. Who would've thought that exercise was this difficult, huh? Where's the 'cheat' button...well, you know...just in case I am going to pass out or something.

So, the car's in gear and we're driving down the road of success....erm, maybe not because a couple of problems just popped up. It's really such a hassle with these tiny bits of lose screws here and there. Someone please get it fixed. Oh, think that someone is me, huh? What about you? Why should it be me? Hey, I thought we were in this together?

So, a coupe of problems cropped up and we start arguing among ourselves or WITH ourselves over minor problems. We start feeling that....erm, maybe we should have just hung on to our day jobs and this wasn't such a smashing idea after all, huh?

But overall, we're still OK. We're fine. We're making SOME money. More money's coming! Come on, come on, come on! We'll get there....sooner or later.


STAGE FOUR: The are-we-there-yet stage

Gym: What was I THINKING? What was I thinking?? Am I looney or what? It's the lasagna I had for lunch, I tell ya! I don't have to do this if I don't have to, right? This is not like...for world peace or anything, right? No one's going to know I didn't finish this thing, right? Urgh! Why is this machine so difficult?

Of all the stages of exercising and starting a business, this is the most difficult one. Things are snailing along and everything is a problem and nothing is the solution. We're not even making enough money to break even and it's been like....A HUNDRED YEARS AGO this business was started! Oh geez, someone please give up so that I can give up too. I don't want to be the one to be the loser, ok? My bank's drying up and my banker's calling me every other two minutes now! I can't take this anymore! Is there an end to this torture? Oh no, another problem? Here...take the phone and tell the guy on the other line that I'm dead.

Oh alright, I'll take the phone. "Hello? I'm dead you know." Slam!


(This is the crucial stage because now, you have two options, there are more but I'll just narrow it down to two. One, call it quits, throw in the towel, give up! Two, go on torturing yourself because you believe that it will all work out....IF YOU CAN GET YOUR BRAIN TO WORK PROPERLY)


STAGE FIVE: The I-see-the-finish-line stage

Gym: Ok, I've come this far. I made it here. Wouldn't it complete waste of time if I just gave up now? I've already burned 350 calories and there's only about 150 calories to go. Something wrong with the counter or anything? Why is so slow? 150 is a lot, you know! But I can't give up now....oh, come on!!!!

Well, if you persist, you will be at this stage whereby the business is starting to make some money now...well, enough money to pay for most of the overheads and also the investors some money. Oh, sure, it's only about this month but that's OK...that's still salary. But we're going to make it...hey, is that the finish line I see? Yipeee!!! We're going to make it, we're going to make it, make it, make it, make it, it, it it, it...urgh, we're going to make it!!!


Yes!!! 500 calories burned and a business running steady! Once you've passed this stage, you'll open another 12 bottles of wine for very different reason now.

Starting a Small Business is Like Exercising

Marsha Maung is a freelance graphic designer and copy writer who works from home. She designs apparel and premium items at and is the author of "Raising little magicians", and the popular "The Lance in freelancing". More information can be found at

Convert You Car to Burn Water - Increase Savings on Fuel, and Go Greener!

Necessity is the mother of invention! We all know what the necessity of today is, yeah, a solution to the ever increasing fuel prices. Seems the invention is up to handle this necessity. There was this video report on the television (FOX News and many other international channels) which showed the inventor of the HHO Gas car kit explaining about his technology and how it helps us make the best use of the available fuel. There is increase of 20 - 50% in gas mileage reported by those who used it. The technique has gained immense popularity and the internet is filled with information as to how to build and install it.

Be it the gas, petrol or diesel engine that you have, the thing is you can convert your car to burn water in any case. We subject the water to the chemical process called electrolysis and results in the formation of the Browns gas (or HHO gas) and this is then injected to the engine manifold through vacuum pipes and result is that the fuel is use efficiently, there is less wastage of fuel and reduced emissions. There are readily made kits that are available from shop, but if you have slight knowledge of how to go on about being a mechanic you can easily make your own kit and save hundreds of dollars, for it should cost only around - 0 if you build your own kit.


The information for building the kits are in loads online and the dedicated forums and communities can be of great help. You build and plug it onto your car. No modifications in the structure or computer system, just a few bolts onto your car and you are ready to go, and you can also remove it untraceable.

Convert You Car to Burn Water - Increase Savings on Fuel, and Go Greener!

Do you want to convert your car [] to run on water with less than 150$, including the conversion kit?

Best Conversion Guides [] that you can use to convert your car to run on HHO extracted from water reviewed.

First Dates - The 10 Most Common Mistakes

Going on a first date can be a pretty daunting experience. But if you can avoid these common first date mistakes, you'll not only have a great experience, but you'll also greatly improve your chances of having a second date!

1. Not Setting a Dress Code for the Date


Once you decide to take your relationship off the dating site and into the real world, appearances really begin to matter. Showing up for a date too casual or too formal can start you off on the wrong foot right from the get go. When you're setting the date, have a brief discussion about what each of you plans to wear. This way you'll both know ahead of time what to expect.

2. Planning the Date in a Crowded or Noisy Place

It can be really difficult to get to know someone when you meet in a crowded bar or restaurant. Make sure you choose a quiet spot. Also, consider saving the movie for date number two. You won't get the chance to connect if you're simply staring at a screen together.

3. Going Overboard with your Budget

It's always nice to impress someone with a fancy dinner on your first date, but it's really not necessary and it might make you appear desperate or arrogant. There are lots of creative ways to plan dates on a more conservative budget. In fact, your dating experience will probably be more memorable if you plan something unique versus simply planning something expensive.

4. Giving Away Too Much Info

If you find yourself jumping in as soon as your date takes a breath, try this conversational rule: You must ask five questions before you can tell one story about yourself. This will not only ensure that the conversation is staying more balanced, but you'll also avoid divulging too much about yourself. The more you blab on, the better chance you have of sticking your foot in your mouth.

5. Picking Up Your Cell Phone Every Time it Rings

If you're one of those people that can't resist picking up their cell phone every time it rings, you might want to consider leaving it at home. Constantly answering your phone or sending texts sends the message loud and clear to your date that you're not interested.

6. Scheduling Too Much Activity Into the Date

When it comes to the first date, all you really need is a couple of hours to get to know each other. Even if you've been getting to know this person for weeks on an online dating site, exercise caution when planning a date longer than two hours. If you're not enjoying the date, you don't want to be stuck for a long time. A great first date should end just in time to leave you both wanting more.

7. Bringing Up Controversial Topics

Although a healthy debate can be stimulating and fun, you can also run the risk of offending someone. People can have some fairly strong convictions related to religion and politics, many of which might oppose your own. Keep the topics light and you'll stay out of hot water.

8. Boozing it Up

When some people get nervous they tend to drink a little more to loosen up. Be careful not to drink so much that you stop being fun and attractive when dating. Obviously our judgment can become blurred when we drink too much and this could lead to saying something we didn't mean or doing something we could regret. Not to mention the fact that rarely does our best side come out when we're drunk. Keep the drinks to a minimum and focus on the natural high of human attraction.

9. Being Late

You're probably not going to win any brownie points by showing up late to your first date. It's no fun to start the evening off with a strike against you. Also, consider that arriving late will most likely leave you in a flustered and agitated state. Arrive early and you've got time to relax and mentally prepare for your date.

10. Talking About Your Ex

Your date doesn't need to hear all about the dramas and upsets in your life. Talking about things like your ex or how much debt you have will most likely kill your chance of ever getting a second date. Focus on the positives in your life and keep the conversation fun and interesting.

First Dates - The 10 Most Common Mistakes

Aelicia Anderson writes a popular advice column for the adult dating site

Creative Fund Raising Ideas

Cowpattie Bingo. Car Wash. Gift Wrap. Karaoke Night. Sock Hop. Kids' Tutorials. All these and more are the creative fund raising ideas that have been repeatedly done in order to generate money for a certain activity planned.

Popcorn Craze is among the creative fund raising ideas that will surely be a major hit. Wondering why? Simply because, this is one of the munchies that people of all ages would adore eating. This is most true when they go to the nearby cinema to watch that movie starring Pretty Woman's Julia Roberts, Mummy Return's Rachel Weiss, Legally Blonde's Reese Witherspoon, Miss Congeniality's Sandra Bullock or Kill Bill's Uma Thurman.
If you are contemplating of doing such, this can be done at anytime of the year. Here's a suggestion, look for a place around the metropolis where a film can be shown outdoors. Consider a free huge space where cars can be parked. Ask your members to roam around as they sell it in exciting packs.


Pancake Breakfast is among the creative fund raising ideas that will be unmistakably loved by morning persons. What better way than to jumpstart their day with flour and egg ensembles topped with maple syrup or strawberry jam. Not mention, there is that steaming cup of hot chocolate to go with the healthy meal.

If you are contemplating of doing such, you can scout for an area near the busiest hubs in your domicile where a lot of people are on the rush to arrive in their respective offices. You can task someone to wear a costume suit of any fun character to catch their attention. It is also important to calculate the budget so you can control your expenses. To save more, you meet up with your team and tell them to look for ingredients right in their own cupboards.

Dollar Spare is among the creative fund raising ideas that are getting even more popular. Just come to think of it, a single penny from your daily budget is not that much of a burden. Instead of spending it for something, you can store it up for a greater purpose. You just do not know but that small amount can go a long way.
If you are contemplating of doing such, you can forward formal communications to schools and stores asking their permission to put a poster that the students and customers will be aware. As to where they can place the coins, look for as many big, tin cans as possible. Decorate each with how you want it to look.

Wing Fling is among the creative fund raising ideas that are set on an al fresco mood. What sets this apart from its kind is that almost everybody can participate since they can turn out to be the judges of the grilled dishes that are cooked.
If you are contemplating of doing such, you can rent a local restaurant for a day. Prepare a program where there can be a competition and let those who watch be the jurors themselves by having to taste it personally. To complement, sell also beverages as well as other snacks.

Creative Fund Raising Ideas

Milos Pesic is a successful webmaster and owner of Fund Raising Blog. Visit now to find out how to get all the money you need for your non-profit organization.