Shortly after that experience I began stalking his Get Mental Notes website waiting for the cards to be released and (no offense, Stephen) wondering if I wanted to invest in something I could probably make on my own.
(No, I’m not cheap. I am thrifty. There’s a difference!)
Then it finally happened. The Twittersphere began buzzing with people who had received their Mental Notes in the mail. Like Pavlov’s dog, I was salivating. But still I wondered…to buy or not to buy?
My boss beat me to the punch. Out of the blue my boss handed a gorgeous black leather box embossed with a brain to our new colleague saying: “You’re going to see this guy at the Web 2.0 Expo. You should take a look at these.”
It took every bit of will power I had to not rip them out of her hands. But she knew. She saw the look in my eye. The mild twitching. The salivating.
She cautiously handed the Mental Notes to me…
Five minutes into fondling the cards we stared at one another blankly and concluded we had no idea how we’d use them with our clients but they were really pretty.
(HA! It was a good thing I *didn’t* get Mental Notes.)
When my colleague returned from the Web 2.0 Expo she was psyched. She loved the Stephen Anderson presentation and most importantly she learned the secret phrase you have to apply to the cards:
How can I use [card] to [achieve desired behavior]?
The light bulb went off as she walked me through an example.
Getting used to thinking about desired behaviors instead of business goals was a little difficult to get used to at first. Give it time. It will click.
We tried using the cards to brainstorm solutions to a problem we were working on. We ended up with some really unique, interesting ideas. I don’t think we would have come up with some of them without the influence of the cards.
Our brainstorm was so successful we tried it with a group of our colleagues.
We strategically picked six cards from the Mental Notes deck. Why six? I dunno. It sounded good to us. We didn’t want to overwhelm the group with too many cards. Plus we were planning to do this on our lunch break. It’s just not fair to ask people to think too hard while eating soup, salad and sandwiches.
We settled on a timely problem: We all want more followers on Twitter, more people retweeting, liking our stuff, or becoming Facebook fans. But given the competition, how can you stand out from the crowd?
We asked the lunch group:
How can we use [card] to get more people to follow us on Twitter?
We focused on one card at a time. Sometimes we couldn’t come up with any ideas. We’d just move on to the next card.
It led to a good discussion and we came up with some crazy ideas:
- Give followers access to a desirable piece of content before anyone else.
- If an event is coming up, promote a special physical space open only to followers (and make sure the area actually has something valuable for them).
- Create a game or scavenger hunt where clues are released at the same time each day/week to build anticipation.
- Award a ‘status’ to followers who frequently retweet your information or positively promote the brand.
Will we implement any of these? I dunno. Would we try this again with clients? Definitely.
They work. You should get Mental Notes too.
(Looks like my boss was really smart to get them after all…)