Growing your business depends in large part on your ability to innovate – both content and marketing. Moving from your core business (trade sales) into special (non-bookstore) markets is an example. Creating a mastermind group can help you access the combined knowledge of others to help you make the move. To do this, build an environment in which people feel comfortable, willing and able to innovate. Here are the Top Ten Principles For Developing a Successful Mastermind Team.
- Coming up with One Big Idea is not the answer. The ability to implement the idea creatively is the key. Strike the right balance between innovation and the realities of performance.
- Build a mastermind team of people from in and outside your company with a shared sense of purpose, value and rules of engagement.
- Encourage an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect to reduce tension so people leave their comfort zones to participate.
- Manage creative tension through an environment that supports the sharing of undeveloped ideas while allowing suggestions that can improve ideas and spark new thinking.
- Assemble a portfolio of wide-ranging ideas, and then promote passionate, but controlled disagreement to flourish as you combine, refine, expand and reduce them to a few workable concepts.
- Do not seek either/or thinking. Integrate ideas, combining part of option A with parts of option B and option C to create a new and better option.
- Keep creative conflict focused on ideas, not on individuals.
- Innovative content does not have to come from authors – it should come from your target readers. Once their need is established, brainstorm new ways to satisfy it. One solution may be a book, but there may be other paths.
- Lead the discussion by asking questions in a way that stimulates debate. Instead of asking, “How can we increase revenue?” you might ask, “In how many different ways can we increase revenue?”
- Have one person facilitate meetings as a catalyst to develop 1) creative abrasion (the ability to generate ideas through discourse and debate), 2) creative agility (the ability to move from idea to idea for integrative innovation), and 3) creative resolution (the ability to make decisions that combine disparate and sometimes even opposite ideas)
Brian Jud is the Executive Director of the Association of Publishers for Special Sales (APSS – www.bookapss.org– formerly SPAN). He is also the author of How to Make Real Money Selling Books. Brian offers commission-based sales of books to buyers in non-bookstore markets. Contact Brian at P. O. Box 715, Avon, CT 06001-0715; (860) 675-1344; firstname.lastname@example.org or www.premiumbookcompany.com twitter.com/bookmarketing