Episode 29: 

SpearPoint Solutions, Bob Sager

Show Notes:

About Bob Sager

Bob is founder of SpearPoint Solutions where his company teaches methods of creative thinking and innovative thinking. Once people learn these techniques, they can apply the same methods to developing strategies. 

Bob's team works with companies of all sizes, mostly for-profit but also works with non-profits. Regardless of company size or type, he helps them gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.  "If you are perceived exactly like everyone else – you are commodity." says Bob. "That leaves you with one thing to compete on – price. And that’s a downward death spiral."

 

The strategy behind SpearPoint Solutions is:  better ideas, better solutions where the focus is a combination of Knowledge + Experience + Imagination.

The creative and innovation thinking methods they teach help utilize and tap into that creative and imaginative faculty that everyone has – but may not have used since they were 5. 

 

They apply this method via training FUNshops where the group size is relatively small – usually less than 50. His target audience is organizations of 250 or less mostly due to the size being more nimble and hungry. They can also implement more easily – in terms of training and strategy. They want to win. They aren’t comfortable. You can’t afford to be comfortable in this day and age and this audience wants to be uncomfortable in order to stand.

 

The bigger the company, the more ‘comfortable’ they are and the more likely they are to stay in the comfort zone and they take longer to implement, especially among the bureaucracy. That is emphatical to leading the market. 

 

The bigger the company the more likely they are stuck in the "analysis paralysis" state. If you try to figure everything out in advance and get stuck in this state, you’re never going to figure anything out.

 

Where are you stuck?

If you’re doing 'OK' why is that acceptable? OK is most likely not what the founder had in mind when they started the company. They want to grow. They don’t want their margins to shrink. 

 

FUNshop

People develop a comfort zone in their thinking. Especially under pressure when trying to solving a problem. Bob has two options: 

  1. Training Funshop – He uses FUNshop instead of WORKshop because the scientific definition of work is the expenditure of energy. His 'shop' is to create energy and be energetic. There is some expenditure of energy. A comparison: Michael Jordan loved playing basketball. But he worked at it. But he had fun at the same time. So teaching and applying these methods, they are friendly competing and having fun.

    Imagine going to a party with your friends instead of Trivial Pursuit. You’re playing a game coming up with ideas. You’re using new methods of thinking to come up with those ideas. Then you’re competing to see who comes up with the best idea.
     

  2. Learning of the methods that people understand, sticks better because it’s associated with a positive emotion - fun. People want to re-experience that. When they go back to study with the methods they learned, it resonates with them and the way they learned comes back.

 

The purpose is to teach in a way that it becomes a lifelong skill. There was a study done of 1,500 CEOs (2-3 years ago) and the #1 soft skill most needed for organizations and individuals to thrive in the modern economy is critical thinking. Yet there’s almost no one that’s had any real training in that area.

 

That’s our mission:  To revolutionize the world in terms of how they think about things, reconnect them with their creative self.

Most people when they think of creativity they think ‘creatives’ the 'the rest of us'. Creatives can design something, create something, write a novel – something artistic. We are all creative – just in our own way.

 

In the modern world, creativity is necessary in business and life. So we are teaching people how to think creatively.

 

Bob invented the creative thinking game “What’s the BIG Idea?”. There were a lot of ideas that went into that game.

 

The game helps identify personal strengths. He found that people will take the methods they teach and apply them to things that are important to them. They will create their own ideas for new products and services. 

 

Bob plays the game at home with family. For example, his wife for years was a fairly high level volunteer for Girl Scouts. She took the game into local organizations and they would play to come up with new ideas for local events. She was a stay-at-home mom for years and they had a dog. She came up with product ideas for dogs using the 'What's the BIG Idea?' game method. 

 

Whatever is important to you it helps amplify that in terms of how you’re thinking about that.

 

'What’s the BIG Idea?' Game

A creative thinking method called “combinatory play” which he later found out was a favorite creative thinking method used by Einstein and Da Vinci. 

 

ONLINE DEFINITION: Combinatory Play is the “act of opening up one mental channel by dabbling in another”. In other words, it is taking two unrelated things and putting them together to generate new ideas.

 

Combining one thing with one other thing and seeing what possibilities occur. People do not think in words, they think in pictures.

 

Bob's Example:  "If I say ‘dog’ to you, you’re not thinking of the images of the letters D O G, you’re thinking of an actual dog, perhaps your own. The same thing if I say the word 'kitchen' to you. Now when you start combining those things together, DOG + KITCHEN, and I give you a direction to think - such as come up with an idea for a new product, service or new business - with combining dog + kitchen, or reversing that to kitchen + dog, all of a sudden, new images start popping into your mind, and possibilities start occurring to you that you wouldn’t have otherwise."

 

There are 400 words in the game – various combinations to compete with each other. They use variations to keep it interesting. He's played the game with 100's and 1,000’s of people – and the creativity people have is amazing. People surprise and sometimes even shock themselves at the ideas they come up with.

 

The methods they teach reconnect people with their creative self. For various reasons, formalized school trains that out of us.

 

As kids, that’s all they do. They use their learning, imaginations and create new possibilities. You get into a structured world long enough where it’s not encouraged – sometimes actively discouraged – it's trained out as an adult. You still have that ability – it’s just atrophied.

 

The more people they work with and the more those people use their methods, it becomes a refreshed way of thinking. That becomes your new comfort zone.

 

How do people find out about you, i.e. what Marketing do you do for your business?

 

  1. Referrals.

  2. Sampler FUNshop where he's working with a small group the What’s the Big Idea? game.

  3. Live streaming the event as well. Do that to add value to people. Marketing option.
     

Bob published A Guide to Becoming More Innovative which features 12 creative thinking methods, and how to apply those.  It's called “Seeing the invisible so you can do the impossible”.

IF YOU'RE WATCHING, READING OR LISTENING TO THIS: Reach out to Bob on LinkedIn and ask for a copy of this.

 

What are 2-3 things people should know about you, take aways:

  1. Most businesses aren’t as successful as they otherwise should be. Teach Strategies will help them find that next level of entrepreneurial success. Margins aren’t as strong as they want them to be. Sales aren’t as strong as they want them to be. They are doing 'OK' but want more. If you’re going to do new things, you need to have new experiences and think new thoughts. How? Put yourself into a position to think new thoughts.

    The work Bob's team does helps companies do just that - helps them re-engage the employees. A Gallup poll references in the US, over 70% of employees are disengaged in one way or another. Worldwide that number increases to 87% are disengaged. It's shockingly high and sad. They are trying to reverse that number. 

     

  2. Newer program – They work with the company employees directly in training to submit the ideas and strategies they come up with to help overcome the 3 big hurdles to implementation, or getting the most out of people in their creative ideas. Hurdle #1: Dishonest Manager – lose trust (take credit for an employee's idea). Hurdle #2: Personality Conflicts (you don’t get a fair hearing because boss doesn’t like you). Hurdle #3: 65-70% of the  problem: employees who suffer from low self confidence. If they think they have come up with a good idea, they don’t share it because they don’t want to be seen as the person who comes up with dopey ideas. So they submit the ideas to Bob's team, they submit them with no name attached to it. Fair and all ideas get through.

 

They have a Recognition and Rewards System as well – recognize individuals who's idea was approved and give them a public reward for all their awards. It's a system that helps them compete. So when you have a set # of ideas you have this color pen, when you have this # ideas it changes to this color, etc. 

 

SpearPoint Solutions also works with the company on strategy and implementation as well.

 

The key to winning:  if you’re being and doing your best, growing a little bit in skill, you’ll win big time in just over a few years.  What SpearPoint Solutions does can help with that.

Connect with Bob via LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/bobsager

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