Articles, Essays, and Rants
The Manager as Idea Coach. General George Patton said it best, "Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."
AHA!, Great Moments in Creativity. What is it that enables some people to get big creative breakthroughs while others only get big not-so-creative breakdowns?
The Romance of Creativity. Whenever a person gets a new idea, a kind of romance begins. We become absorbed. Intoxicated. Smitten. Indeed, for many people, just thinking about a new idea is an aphrodisiac.
The Big Secret, Finding the Underlying Principle. Sometimes the best part of a poem is the silence it evokes. Sometimes the best part of school is lunch. And sometimes the best part of a brainstorming session is the stuff we ignore - the seemingly trivial, laughable or absurd.
The Value of Confusion. Are you confused about how to proceed with your hottest new idea or project? Puzzled? Baffled? Disoriented? If so, take heart! Confusion is not always a bad thing.
Free Your Inner Genie!. Is there room for yet another model of Creativity? Yes there is, especially the following one - which is not only simple, clear, and elegant - but also mine!
Drowning in Success. Like most actors in the beginning of their careers, W.C. Fields found himself short of funds. A problem? Not to him.
68 Ways to be More Creative on the Job. It's possible to be a creative superstar at work without ever using a creative thinking technique. How? By adding one or more of these CREATIVE PICK-ME-UPS to your daily routine.
Are You an Innovator?. Innovation, unlike audits or reengineering, is not given to systems, formulas and blueprints. It is given to people - restless, inspired, fascinated individuals with an almost cellular need to change.
Patterns 'R Us. Human beings are masters at "filling in the blanks." We see something, compare it to our storehouse of past memories, reach a conclusion and then act on it.
Beyond Continuous Improvement. America's addiction to continuous improvement fundamentally ignores several key principles of the creative process.
The Ten Personas of a Brainstorm Facilitator. There are a ton of reasons why most brainstorming sessions suck, but the main reason is the brainstorm facilitator - plain and simple.
The Power of Support. Creating anything new can be a daunting task. Doubts arise. Fears. Despair. Loneliness. And unexpected bouts of hopelessness. Somehow, it all seems to come with the territory.
Personas, Seeing Through New Eyes. If you've ever gone to a costume party, dressed up for Halloween, disguised your voice or pretended to be someone else, you've already experienced one of the most powerful tools for stimulating creativity: changing your persona - that is, your public "face."
How to Enroll Support. What support do you need with your most compelling project? Who will you ask? When will you ask for it?
Innovation Coaching, The Manager as Idea Midwife. Ideas are one of the most powerful forces on Earth and – just like babies – are also the product of conception.
The Sump of Assumptions. Thomas Edison had a very simple way of conducting job interviews. He'd invite prospective employees to join him for soup in the company cafeteria. If they salted their soup before tasting it, the interview was over.
Even Michelangelo's David Started Out as a Block!. Stuck? Confused? Blocked? Get over it by filling in the blanks and reading your story aloud!
Tunnel Vision: Digging for Breakthroughs. The real work happens when Seymour is in the tunnel.
The 10 Commandments for Visiting a New Age Ashram. With great respect to your personal God, your Guru, your Guru's Guru, and your favorite tax-deductible charity, I humbly offer you the following soul-saving tips should you decide to visit (or move into) the ashram or spiritual center of your choice.
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Storytelling at Work
Storytelling at Work is Mitch Ditkoff's newly published book about the power of personal storytelling in business – why it matters and what you and your organization can do to leverage the impact of storytelling in the workplace.
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Innovation is a team sport. Brilliant ideas go nowhere unless your people are aligned, collaborative, and team-oriented. That doesn't happen automatically, however. It takes intention, clarity, selflessness, and a new way of operating.
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