How to Attract a Big AHA!
What is it that allows some people to get creative breakthroughs while others get only creative breakdowns -- alternately blaming themselves, society, their company, and their increasingly suspect astrological configurations?
Is it true that people who experience breakthroughs are "gifted"? Or are there other factors at work -- factors that we (the people) have more control over than we might think?
While nobody can deny that some people seem to be blessed with "creative leanings" (i.e. Mozart at 4), research has shown that anyone can have the much sought after AHA! experience -- that is, IF they immerse themselves in the little understood process of creation.
Time and again, the literature bears this out: great creative breakthroughs usually happen only after intense periods of intention, immersion, struggle -- even madness.July 30, 2015
50 Quotes on the Power of Ideas
1. "If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." - Albert Einstein
2. "If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself." - Rollo May
3. "An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." - Oscar Wilde
4. "Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen." - John Steinbeck
5. "The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas and throw the bad ones away." - Linus PaulingJuly 27, 2015
WANT TO LEAD A GOOD MEETING? Begin with Facilitative Presence!
Since 1987, I have been facilitating a wide variety of high octave business meetings for just about every industry on planet earth. These meetings have been variably referred to as leadership development programs, creative thinking trainings, innovation workshops, team building off sites, brainstorming sessions, strategic planning pow wows, senior team retreats, annual conferences, and business simulations.
Along the way, as you might imagine, I've developed quite a repertoire of approaches, methods, processes, tools, techniques, and skills to help me get the job done. All of them have worked if delivered in the right way at the right time.
But when push comes to shove (as it often does), the single most effective meeting facilitation ability I've discovered is the most mysterious one of all: presence. Yes, presence, -- the ability to be totally in the moment, no matter what the collective mood, mindset, or drama is of the people in the room.July 26, 2015
How to Foster a Creative and Sustainable Culture of Innovation
Looking for inspiration and guidance on how to make your company more conducive to innovation? Here's some food for thought and action -- Idea Champions' ten most popular postings on the subject.July 23, 2015
The Top 10 Reasons Why the Top 10 Reasons Don't Matter
1. Reason is highly over-rated.
2. If you need more data to prove your point, you'll never have enough data to prove your point.
3. Analysis paralysis.
4. You're going to follow your gut, anyway.
5. By the time you put your business case together, the market has passed you by.
6. "Not everything that counts can be counted; not everything that can be counted counts." - Albert Einstein
7. The scientific method came to Rene Descartes in a dream!July 21, 2015
Why You Need to Ask Why
Some years ago, there was a big problem at one of America's most treasured monuments -- the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC.
Simply put, birds -- in huge numbers -- were pooping all over it, which made visiting the place a very unpleasant experience.
Attempts to remedy the situation caused even bigger problems, since the harsh cleaning detergents being used were damaging the memorial.
Fortunately, some of the National Parks managers assigned to the case began asking WHY -- as in "Why was the Jefferson Memorial so much more of a target for birds than any of the other memorials?"July 19, 2015
Brainstorming vs. Braincalming
If you work in a big organization, small business, freelance, or eat cheese, there's a good chance you've participated in at least a few brainstorming sessions in your life. You've noodled, conjured, envisioned, ideated, piggybacked, and endured overly enthusiastic facilitators doing their facilitator thing. You may have even gotten some results. Hallelujah!
Mojo, Marshall Goldsmith, Face the Music, and the Blues
Let me know if your organization needs a mojo upgrade. Face the Music (a corporate blues band I co-founded in 1999) is up to the task -- a fun, empowering, participatory teambuilding event for conferences, retreats, or any business function wanting to do something different.July 17, 2015
A Creative Tip from Einstein
50 Rules of Innovation
Nice slideshow. Other than the word "rules" in the title, this is an inspiring guide to what aspiring innovators need to be mindful of.July 16, 2015
Want to Move to Woodstock, NY?
Thinking of moving to Woodstock, NY? Looking for a great place to rent? Voila! We are renting the Blue Pearl Guest Cottage on our land, starting this November. Interested? Enter your email address in the comments box below and I will get back to you with details.July 15, 2015
100 Lame Excuses for Not Innovating
Do you have a great idea you want to manifest, but... er... uh... um... just can't seem to get things rolling? Chances are good your reasons why are on the list below. No problem. Join the club. Without making yourself wrong, simply note the ones that show up the most for you, then try the simple "go beyond excuses" exercise at the end of the list. Hey, it's time to get unstuck...
1. I don't have the time.
2. I can't get the funding.
3. My boss will never go for it.
4. We're not in the kind of business likely to innovate.
5. I've got too much on my plate right now.
Sing For the Silenced: July 19th!
Guest post by singer, songwriter, and social activist, Marc Black.
Can you imagine somebody ruining your land, bringing disease to your home, and then offering you money in exchange for your silence? When we heard about that happening from hydro-fracking, we decided to sing for the silenced. And so we have.
Sing for the Silenced is an artist movement that's out to stop Big Gas and Big Oil from first damaging the environment by fracking and then silencing their victims.
Here's a fun test for you: If you can read the rest of this paragraph without logging onto Facebook, tweeting, or thinking about crop circles, there's a good chance you do not have ADD, ADHD, or any other recently-identified medical condition.
That's the good news.
The not-so-good news? The overwhelming number of disorders, dysfunctions, and syndromes popping up daily make it almost impossible to understand exactly what condition you actually have.
As a concerned citizen, humanitarian, and Johnny Depp look-a-like, I've decided to go beyond my SAHS (Social Activist Hesitation Syndrome) and actually do something about it.
Below, you will find my guide to 14 of the most recently identified medical conditions. Study them carefully. If you have one of them, please check your health insurance policy immediately to see if it will cover the cost of the medicines you will soon feel compelled to buy.July 08, 2015
100 Reasons Why You Don't Get Your Best Ideas At Work
Since 1986, I've asked 10,000 people where and when they get their best ideas. Less than 2% have said "the workplace."
Based on my 25 years of working with a ton of innovation-seeking organizations, here's my take on WHY:
1. Too much to do, not enough time.
2. Too many distractions and interruptions.
3. You work in a risk averse organization.
4. Sleep deprivation.
5. Mental clutter.
6. Fear that someone will steal your idea.
7. You don't think of yourself as creative.July 03, 2015
The Beauty of a Wandering Mind
Do you have a tendency to zone out? Daydream? Follow the yellow brick road? Well, your day has come.
Instead of having to defend yourself from the army of people demanding you become more focused every second of the day, now you have some vital research, noted by the New York Times, to build a case for your wandering mind.
Explains, Dr. Jonathan Schooler, of UCLA:
"For creativity, you need your mind to wander, but you also need to be able to notice that your mind is wandering and catch the idea when you have it. If Archimedes had come up with a solution in the bathtub, but didn't notice he'd had the idea, what good would it have done him?"
The Selective Attention Test June 29, 2015
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Wonderful, touching, memorable movie. Go see it!June 24, 2015
Leave Your Title at the Door and Remove the Door From It's Hinges
When I co-founded my company in 1986, I had two business cards made. One said "President." The other said "Archduke." Whenever I gave clients a choice, they always wanted the Archduke card.
In time, I gave all the Archduke cards away and never re-ordered them -- in a pitiful attempt, I think, to seem more professional.
Fortunately, everything comes full circle. Last night, while enjoying a wonderful concert in my hometown of Woodstock, my next title was suddenly revealed.
Director of Public Elations (and, no, I did not forget the "R".)
In a flash, not only did I get an insight into what my focus will be for the next few years, I also discovered an entirely new field.June 22, 2015
Need to Train People to Facilitate Effective Brainstorm Sessions?
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