On the Brink of a Breakthrough
The following piece, written by Thomas Wolfe, is the most moving thing I've ever read about what it takes to stand at the crossroads of one's creative calling -- utterly alone, howling at the void, and yet, at the same time, utterly supported. If you want to get the total value of this brilliant piece of writing, read it aloud and let it sink in. I find it hard not to cry whenever I read it.
"During this time I reached that state of naked need and utter isolation which every artist has got to meet and conquer if he is to survive at all.
Before this I had been sustained by that delightful illusion of success which we all have when we dream about the books we are going to write instead of actually doing them.
Now I suddenly realized that I had committed my life and integrity so irrevocably to this struggle that I must conquer now or be destroyed.April 16, 2014
24 Quotes on Good Communication
1. "The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said." - Peter Drucker
2. "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." - George Bernard ShawApril 10, 2014
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.April 09, 2014
Storytelling in Business Infographic
April 07, 2014
Not Knowing What Can't Be Done
Who do you need to collaborate with who lives the spirit of what Henry Ford was talking about? And when will you contact them?April 05, 2014
The Afghani Cab Driver and the $250 Million Dollar Salty Snack Food
I am getting into the back seat of a yellow cab, as I've done a thousand times before, having just tipped the too-smiling bellboy too much for holding open the door and inviting me, as he had been trained to do just last week, to "have a nice day."
Here, 1,500 miles from home, at 6:30 am in front of yet another nameless business hotel, I settle into position, careful not to spill my coffee on my free copy of USA Today.
In 20 minutes, I will be arriving at the international headquarters of General Mills, creators of Cheerios, Wheaties, and the totally fictional 50's icon of American motherhood, Bette Crocker.April 03, 2014
Sagacious Storytelling in Business April 02, 2014
Zen Innovation Koan of the Day
April 01, 2014
What Makes a High Performing Innovation Council?
During the past 25 years I've seen a lot of innovation councils (aka "innovation task forces") come and go.
Some of them looked good at the beginning and died a slow death. Some of them looked bad at the beginning and died a quick death. And some of them actually succeeded.
Before diving in, pause, take a breath, and consider the following guidelines.
They will save you time. They will save you headaches. And they may even save your company.March 30, 2014
Three Big, Hairy, Audacious Creativity Quotes to Awaken Your Inner Mojo
March 29, 2014
56 Reasons Why Most Corporate Innovation Initiatives Fail
Innovation is in these days. The word is on the lips of every CEO, CFO, CIO, and anyone else with a three-letter acronym after their name.
As a result, many organizations are launching all kinds of "innovation initiatives" -- hoping to stir the creative soup. This is commendable. But it is also, all too often, a disappointing experience.
Innovation initiatives sound good, but usually don't live up to expectations. The reasons are many. What follows are 56 of the most common -- organizational obstacles we've observed that get in the way of a company truly raising the bar for innovation.
See which ones are familiar to YOU. Then, sit down with your Senior Team... CEO... innovation committee, or best friend and jump start the process of going beyond these obstacles.That Big Beautiful Idea of Yours
What big, beautiful idea of yours needs just the right touch of collaboration, support, and immersion to see the light of day? Your next step? And when will you take it?March 27, 2014
The 10 Personas of a Really Effective Brainstorm Facilitator
Allow me to make a wild guess. You have participated in more than a few brainstorm sessions in your life. Yes?
Why Train People to Become Masterful Brainstorm Facilitators
How We Do It
What Our Clients Say March 22, 2014
Secrets of the Best TED Speakers
Want to perk up your public presentations? Take a look at Carmine Gallo's new book TALK LIKE TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World's Top Minds. Gallo studied more than 500 TED presentations and has distilled what he learned into bite-sized insights for the rest of us. Here are a few highlights:
1. Start with personal stories.
2. Be passionate about how your idea will change the world and inspire lives.
3. Use humor (but sparingly).
4. Feature visuals on your slides, not data.
5. Use body language to focus the audience on you and accentuate the most important parts of your talk.
6. Be yourself. Be authentic!
7. Practice! Practice! Practice!
The World Is Made of Stories
What You Can Learn, in the Next Five Minutes, from a Ping Pong Ball
Big thanks to Val Vadeboncoeur, Idea Champions' Director of Training, for this insightful post on an important topic.
I have a handyman friend, Paul Duffy, who is a real-life MacGyver and possesses an uncanny ability to improvise an inexpensive and elegant solution for just about any electrical, plumbing, or construction problem that exists.
For example, just last week he correctly diagnosed a stopped kitchen drain as being the fault of a cheaply-made plastic vent not operating properly. After providing him with a pin, I watched him tweak the device with the pin and his trusty pocket knife so it did what it was supposed to do. No roto-rooting, no run to the hardware store, and no plumbing-related costs.March 20, 2014
Every Innovator Has a Story. What's Yours? And When Will You Tell It?
Click full screen for maximum impact
My GoFundMe campaign
Idea Champions March 19, 2014
A Cool Online Creative Thinking Tool
Got a challenge? Need a big idea, insight, or breakthrough? Try Idea Champions' online creative thinking tool, The Idea Lottery. Absolutely free. You'll need a question to brainstorm and about 10 minutes.March 16, 2014
How to Spark Wisdom in the Workplace
Dear Heart of Innovation Readers:
If you have received any value from this blog and would be interested in supporting my next, big project -- now launched as a GoFundMe campaign -- click here for a 3-minute video of me describing it and a written description of what the whole thing is all about -- a venture which includes the writing, publication, and promotion of a new book, Wisdom at Work, along with the launching of WISDOM CIRCLES in organizations around the world.
Whatever support you can provide is very much appreciated, Plus, you will be sent a copy of the book when it's published, if you want.
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