One Simple Way to Ensure That Your Team Becomes High Performing
If you are reading this, chances are good that you are currently a member of a team -- either at work, in your community, or as part of a volunteer organization. And if you aren't on a team now, chances are good that, at some time in your life, you were on a team. Yes? I thought so.
In any case, it's more than likely that whatever team you are on, or have been on, has had some challenges along the way.
There were speed bumps, fumbles, breakdowns, lost opportunities, inefficiencies, infighting, power struggles, control issues, boring meetings, personality problems, competing agendas, cliques, triangulation, disappointment, disenchantment, and disillusionment.May 20, 2016
The Typical Conference Call May 14, 2016
The Amazon Reviews Are In!
In 2015, somewhere between 600,000 and 1,000,000 books were published. How many of them are YOU going to read? Probably less than ten. That's why I'm quoting the following people who have reviewed my book on Amazon. I want mine to be one of those ten.
CREATING THE INNOVATION MINDSET: A Storytelling Workshop
All business leaders worth their low-salt lunch, regardless of their industry, will agree on one thing -- that innovation a key driver of their company's success. What they don't agree on is how to ensure that innovation actually happens. Lots of time and resources are invested in sending out surveys, re-engineering processes, inventing new reward systems, and giving pep talks, but all-too-often nothing changes. Why not? Because most business leaders rarely get down to the root cause -- the innovation mindset of their workforce.May 10, 2016
14 Ways to Get Breakthrough Ideas
There's a lot of talk these days about the importance of innovation. All CEOs worth their low salt lunch want it. And they want it, of course, now.
What sparks innovation? People. What sparks people? Inspired ideas that meet a need -- whether expressed or unexpressed -- ideas with enough mojo to rally sustained support. Is there anything a person can do -- beyond caffeine, corporate pep talks, or astrology readings -- to quicken the appearance of breakthrough ideas?
Yes, there is. And what follows are 14 catalysts -- simple guidelines, principles, and approaches that will help you on your way.May 07, 2016
The Martial Arts of the Mind
Ten years ago I was invited to teach a course on "Innovation and Business Growth" at GE's Crotonville Management Development Center for 75 high potential, business superstars of the future.
The GE executive who hired me was a very savvy guy with the unenviable task of orienting new adjunct faculty members to GE's high standards and often harsher reality.
My client's intelligence was exceeded only by his candor as he proceeded to tell me, in no uncertain terms, that GE gave "new instructors" two shots at making the grade -- explaining, with a wry smile, that most outside consultants were intimidated the first time they taught at GE and weren't necessarily at the top of their game.
I'm not sure how you say it in Esperanto, but in English what he said translates as "The heat is on, big time."May 06, 2016
A Very Cool Brainstorm Facilitation Training for People in the Fast Lane How to Help Your Clients Generate Their Own Great Ideas in 3 Hours
It's one thing to generate ideas on behalf of your clients. It's quite another to facilitate the process whereby your clients conceive their own ideas. That's what our Conducting Genius training is all about. Below are testimonials from three movers and shakers at Mirrorball (an innovative PR/Communications/Experiential Marketing firm in NYC) who attended a recent brainstorm facilitation training of ours:May 05, 2016
BILLIONS IN CHANGE
An inspiring video about the Founder of Five Hour Energy and how he is using is wealth to invite new energy, health, and water technologies to make a major difference on the planet. Yes!April 26, 2016
The Path Is Made By Walking On It
Back in the late 1990s, in New York City, there lived a world-class architect who had just spent the last two years of his life designing and building what many people were claiming to be the best inner city housing project ever conceived.April 25, 2016
The Art of Using Story as a Way to Communicate Big, Hairy Ideas
A priest, a penguin, and a newspaper reporter walk into a bar. The penguin orders a shot of Red Eye. The priest starts juggling three flaming chain saws. The newspaper reporter turns to the bartender, smiles and says: "I know there's a story here somewhere."
And yes, there is. There are stories everywhere. As the poet, Muriel Ruykeser once said, "The world is not made of atoms. The world is made of stories."
Almost everyone in business these days -- at least the people responsible for selling big, hairy ideas -- knows that the difference between success and failure often depends on what kind of story is told -- and how well. Content may be King. But it is Story that built the kingdom. Or as Steve Jobs once put it, "The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller."April 23, 2016
12 Ways to Make Bad Decisions
There are three things that astound me about most organizations: The cro-magnon way performance reviews are done; the pitiful way brainstorm sessions are run and; the voo doo way decisions are made.
What follows is an elaboration of the third -- 12 common phenomena that contribute to funky decision making. As you read, think of the teams you work most closely with, which of these behaviors describes them, and what you can do to change the game.
1. Selective Search for Evidence: Gathering facts that support pre-determined conclusions, but disregard other facts that support different conclusions.
2. Premature Termination of Search for Evidence: Accepting the first alternative that looks like it might work.The Best Written 142-Page Book on Brainstorming That Is Not For Sale
This is the only 142-page book we know of that teaches people how to facilitate kick-ass brainstorming sessions -- including 18 creative thinking techniques, tips, tools, guidelines, checklists, rants, and the happy distillation of 27 years worth of what we've learned leading ideation sessions for companies like these who have all been very pleased with our services.
Oh, I almost forget, you cannot buy this book anywhere. It's not for sale.April 22, 2016
21 Awesome Quotes on Intuition
"The only real valuable thing is intuition." - Albert Einstein
"Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do." - Benjamin Spock
"Systems die; instincts remain." - Oliver Wendell HolmesApril 21, 2016
Cavemen with Briefcases in Need of a Wise Person's Story
April 19, 2016
How to Facilitate Breakthrough Brainstorming Sessions for Your Clients in Three Hours or Less
Here's the deal: You are one of the creatives in a high flying PR, Marketing, or Communications company and have been asked by one of your clients to lead an upcoming brainstorming session. That's the good news. The-not-so-good news? Even though you're an idea-generating machine, facilitating sessions that bring out brilliance in others is not your forte. And to raise the stakes even higher, your client wants more than just "ideas". Your client wants remarkable, actionable ideas and wants the session to be highly engaging, energizing, and worth their precious time. Get it? The heat is on, big time.April 18, 2016
You CAN Tell a Book by its Cover -- Especially If You Have 9 Choices
Ever hear the phrase "You can't judge a book by it's cover?" Of course you have. But what you probably haven't heard is how far back that phrase goes -- all the way back to June, 1867, as seen in the newspaper, Piqua Democrat. "Don't judge a book by its cover, see a man by his cloth, as there is often a good deal of solid worth and superior skill underneath a jacket and yaller pants."The Curious Origins of the Stop Sign
I've been doing some fascinating research lately on the origins of common objects in our lives -- things we see daily, but often take for granted. Like the Stop Sign, for example.
Most people think the Stop Sign was created to regulate traffic. Not true. According to Dr. Ellison Burke of the Global Institute for Slowing Things Down Before You Hurt Yourself, the origin of the Stop Sign has nothing to do with traffic -- and dates back several thousand years.April 15, 2016
Be Frightened of Old Ideas
April 12, 2016
When Dogs Spark Big Ideas
During the past 25 years I have facilitated more than 1,000 brainstorming sessions for a wide variety of heavy hitting organizations -- everyone from MTV to GE to government think thanks. I've worked with left-brained people, right-brained people, and reptilian-brained people.
As you might imagine, I've developed quite a few techniques to get people out of their heads and into a more robust realm of possibility. But the biggest breakthroughs I've seen have had less to do with my methods than they did with spontaneous occurrences.
Like the time a Porcelain Hotel Dog became the catalyst for a game changing product idea.
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