Sixty Second Stories
Here's a great resource for your organization, especially if you are looking for a creative way to integrate your brand messaging into video.
Sixty Second Stories is a design house that produces explainer videos, marketing campaign videos, and specializes in kinetic typography.
I love these people! Brilliant! High integrity! Fun!
What I Learned from 10 Chemical Salesmen and Some Masking Tape
As a person infinitely more interested in alchemy than chemistry, not once during my formative years as a young entrepreneur did I ever, once, aspire to sit in a room with 10 middle-aged, overweight chemical salesmen from New Jersey -- modern day Willy Lomans driving 100,000 miles each year to call on purchasing agents from Maine to Virginia in a heroic attempt to sell more of their company's product and, eventually, win the "President's Award" that would be bestowed on them, at their year end pow wow, in the Oakwood Room or the Bellmore Room or some other vapidly named meeting space in a modestly priced hotel still trying to figure out how to reduce their high rate of employee turnover.September 23, 2015
20 Awesome Quotes on Beginning
1."Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
2. "There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth -- not going all the way, and not starting." - Buddha
3. "Be willing to be a beginner every single morning." - Meister Eckhart
4. "All great ideas and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning." - Albert Camus
5. "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." - Lao Tzu
6. "Beginnings are always messy." - John Galsworthy
7. "When there is a start to be made, don't step over! Start where you are." - Edgar Cayce
Frequently Asked Questions About My Forthcoming Book on Storytelling
1. WHO IS THIS BOOK FOR?
Anyone interested in the power of personal storytelling to awaken, inspire, and communicate a meaningful, memorable message -- especially around "moments of truth" on the job. It's also for forward-thinking business leaders who want to elevate the conversation in the workplace and radically increase the odds of peer-to-peer learning happening on a daily basis.
2. WHY IS THIS BOOK TIMELY?
Because the story being told, these days, is predominantly bad news. Terrorism, war, greed, corruption, political infighting, and corporate collapse rule the airways. But something else is also happening and that "something else" too often remains unspoken -- individual stories of insight, breakthrough, kindness, courage, innovation, learning, and wisdom. The more these stories are told, the faster the world's story will change. As the poet Muriel Rukeyser once said, "The world is not made of atoms. The world is made of stories."
BRAINSTORMING: The Power of Three
Every brainstorm session you will ever facilitate or attend, like any good movie you will ever see, can be divided into three parts: the beginning, the middle, and the end. No matter what the topic, who's in the room, or how stale the muffins, you will cycle through the same three phases again and again. How well you will cycle through these phases is another story.September 15, 2015
The Art of Sparking Innovation
When my mother was alive, she told me she had no idea what I did for a living. Around the canasta table, she would tell her friends I was a "motivational speaker", no matter how many times I explained what I actually did. The slide show below is dedicated to her and to YOU, too -- especially if you're wondering what the heck goes on in one of Idea Champions' innovation-sparking workshops. Best to view full screen.
September 11, 2015
20 Awesome Quotes on Humor, Play, and Creativity
1. "To stimulate creativity one must develop childlike inclination for play and the childlike desire for recognition." - Albert Einstein
2. "If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play." - John Cleese
3. "If you lose the power to laugh, you lose the power to think." - Clarence Darrow
4. "The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect, but by the play instinct arising from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the object it loves." - Carl JungSeptember 04, 2015
HOW TO MAXIMIZE IDEA POWER FOR FREE: A 3-Minute Video Tutorial
Need powerful, new ideas to grow your business, solve a problem, or find a better way? Don't want to go to yet another meeting to figure things out? Start paying attention to the ideas you are conceiving away from the workplace. And encourage others to do so, as well. Here's WHY and HOW.September 02, 2015
HOW TO SPARK INNOVATION IN OTHERS: A 5-Minute Video Tutorial
Here's a little known secret: Organizations don't innovate. People innovate. Inspired, creative, committed, collaborative, self-motivated people. What can YOU do to help people innovate? A lot. This 5-minute video tutorial tells you how.August 30, 2015
34 Awesome Quotes on Leadership
1. "Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things." - Peter F. Drucker
2. "If you don't understand that you work for your mislabeled 'subordinates,' then you know nothing of leadership. You know only tyranny." - Dee Hock
3. "A leader is best when people barely know he exists. When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say 'we did it ourselves.'" - Lao Tzu
4. "The led must not be compelled; they must be able to choose their own leader." - Albert Einstein
5. "The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why." - Warren Bennis
6. "The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you." - Max DePreeAugust 26, 2015
If You Plan on Asking an Outside Innovation Consultant for Help
If someone from your company's leadership team asks you to locate an outside consultant to help your organization raise the bar for innovation, stop for a moment and ask the person asking you to locate an outside consultant to answer the following questions.
If they answer "NO" to any of them or look at you as if you are ungrateful, uppity, or "not a team player", do not accept the assignment.
Really. I mean it. DO NOT ACCEPT THE ASSIGNMENT.
If you're afraid to decline the assignment, not only is the project doomed, but you will soon end up experiencing the kind of low grade corporate virus that leads people to drink too much, feel depressed, or become overly judgmental of their colleagues.The Art of Self-Acknowledgment
If you're a creative person regularly involved with starting new projects -- the kind unlikely to get results overnight -- here is a simple practice that will keep you in a positive frame of mind and save you from the all-too-familiar phenomenon of depressing yourself by focusing on the cup (or your life) being half empty.
At the end of each work day, acknowledge yourself for all of your accomplishments, small, medium, and large. But not just silently, in your head, verbally -- aloud.
Most cultural creatives, no matter how inspired they are at the beginning of a project, eventually end up feeling down in the dumps. They start focusing on everything they haven't done and everything that hasn't happened instead of focusing on their progress and the fact that they are actually getting closer to their goal.August 24, 2015
The Power of Pause
- Lao TzuAugust 21, 2015
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."August 19, 2015
Don't Just Take Our Word For It
Many of you who read this blog, know us only from our writing. But we do way more than write a blog. We help organizations raise the bar for innovation in a wide variety of ways. And we've been doing it since 1987. Click through the slide show above to get the perspective from the folks who know -- our clients.August 18, 2015
If you are a regular (or irregular) reader of this blog, you now (as of this moment) have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to support the work of a gifted photographer and digital media maven, my son, Jesse, who will be traveling to eight countries for his next semester abroad. My blog is free. His wide angle lens is not. Anything you can contribute will be very much appreciated.August 15, 2015
Big Blues From the Viagra People
The concept was a simple one: help organizations increase teamwork and decrease complaint by getting employees to write and perform original blues songs.
The concept resonated with a lot of industries, especially Big Pharma.
Oh yeah, they had the blues, lots of blues, like the "Now We Gotta Compete with Generic Drugs from Canada Blues," and the "No One Trusts the Drug Companies Anymore Blues," and the always popular, "Our Pipeline Is Empty, But Our Inbox is Full Blues."
So we weren't all that surprised when Pfizer came calling...August 12, 2015
Creativity Late in Life
A lot of people who assume they are "over the hill", may not be aware of the fact that there have been a ton of people, late in life, who have been extremely creative. The above slide show, adapted from Gene Cohen's The Creative Age, highlights this inspiring phenomenon. Watch full screen for most impact.August 10, 2015
Innovation & Poetry Are Connected
PS: There is something poetic about innovation. And there is something innovative about poetry. When I'm not working with organizations to spark innovation, I'm writing poetry. Click here to order my book.August 07, 2015
The World's Best Blog Collection of Awesome, Memorable Quotes
If you're on the prowl for inspiring quotes you can use for work, your book, speech, website, news report, blog, proposal, kidnap letter, or time capsule, look no further. What follows are 21 universal topics -- everything from Possibility to Failure to Change.
October 2015, September 2015, August 2015, July 2015, June 2015, May 2015, April 2015, March 2015, February 2015, January 2015, December 2014, November 2014, October 2014, September 2014, August 2014, July 2014, June 2014, May 2014, April 2014, March 2014, February 2014, January 2014, December 2013, November 2013, October 2013, September 2013, May 2013, April 2013, March 2013, February 2013, January 2013, December 2012, November 2012, October 2012, September 2012, August 2012, July 2012, June 2012, May 2012, April 2012, March 2012, February 2012, January 2012, December 2011, November 2011, October 2011, September 2011, August 2011, July 2011, June 2011, May 2011, April 2011, March 2011, February 2011, January 2011, December 2010, November 2010, October 2010, September 2010, August 2010, July 2010, June 2010, May 2010, April 2010, March 2010, February 2010, January 2010, December 2009, November 2009, October 2009, September 2009, August 2009, July 2009, June 2009, May 2009, April 2009, March 2009, February 2009, January 2009, December 2008, November 2008, October 2008, September 2008, August 2008, July 2008, June 2008, May 2008, April 2008, January 2008, December 2007, September 2007, August 2007, July 2007,