I was first introduced to Seth Godin’s work by one of my all-time-favorite people Guy Kawasaki. (I know. I’m not alone in that crowd.) I read his book Permission Marketing : Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers. He has many other books, and when I have time (yeah right) I’ll read others.

I read his blog when I can. Today I read a truly winning article that made me laugh and made me think. What a great combination. Called “Can You Change Anything?” it offers a list of 45 things you can do to get out of your rut. Awesome.

His list reminded me of a very interesting management team exercise I experienced a few years back. The company I worked for a few years back was in something of a mental rut. We felt we needed to rethink how we were approaching the market for our product. So we embarked on a day-long exercise with small group breakouts, large wall post-its and lots of healthy debate.

Two exercises stick in my mind:

  1. What strategies and tactics would you employ if you had unlimited budget? Sometimes you find that released from the burden of thinking about what it’ll cost, great ideas that actually don’t cost much show up unexpectedly.
  2. Turn everything upside down. (e.g., global vs. local; or older demographics vs. younger demographics) So whatever you’re doing now, consider the polar opposite approach.

Both exercises yielded worthwhile results.