REAL ROI: Return on Imagination!
If you're a champion of innovation, chances are good you've encountered the ROI beast more than a few times -- senior leaders looking at you cross-eyed and questioning the value of your efforts. Stop the madness! Change the game! Forward this slide show today!
How Einstein Looked at Problems
August 23, 2014
15 Great Quotes on the Importance of Asking the Right Question
As a facilitator of the creative process, I continue to be astounded by how few organizations have any kind of process is place to PAUSE, reflect, and make sure they are coming up with the right questions. Apparently, I'm not alone.
1. "It's not that they can't see the solution. They can't see the problem." - G.K. Chesterton
2. "There are no right answers to wrong questions." - Ursula K. Le Guin
3. "We thought that we had the answers, it was the questions we had wrong." - Bono
4. "Ask the right questions if you're going to find the right answers." - Vanessa RedgraveAugust 22, 2014
How to Prepare for a Brainstorming Session
Our latest Huffington Post article on how to prepare for a brainstorming session.August 20, 2014
How Many Dancers Does It Take to Screw in a Lightbulb?
to a question
never asked before
to figure out
(or you were at a meeting).
How many dancers
does it take
to screw in
a light bulb?
If you want your brainstorm sessions to be more like dancing than having everyone's feet nailed to the floor, click here.August 18, 2014
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.August 10, 2014
Why Leaders Shouldn't Lead Brainstorming Sessions
Here's one of the dirty little secrets of corporate brainstorm sessions: When they are led by upper management, department heads, or project leaders, they usually get manipulated.
Because honchos and honchettes are so heavily invested in the topic being brainstormed, it is common for them to bend the collective genius of the group to their own particular point of view. Not a good idea.
Participants -- out of respect for the expertise (or position or parking space) of the facilitator -- will invariably moderate their input. The results? Same old same old.August 07, 2014
I have never been fired from a job. Except once -- a week after the man I wrote 350 speeches for in two years, Donald J. Manes, the Borough President of Queens, committed suicide in his kitchen because he knew he was just about to get busted for stealing more than one million dollars from the City of New York in what is now affectionately known as the Parking Violations Bureau scandal.August 03, 2014
Innovation as a Happy Accident
A little known fact about innovation is that many breakthroughs have not been the result of genius, but "happy accidents" -- those surprise moments when an answer revealed itself for no particular reason.
The discovery of penicillin, for example, was the result of Alexander Fleming noting the formation of mold on the side of petri dish left uncleaned overnight.
Vulcanized Rubber was discovered in 1839 when Charles Goodyear accidentally dropped a lump of the polymer substance he was experimenting with onto his wife's cook stove.
More recently, 3M's post-it was also the result of an accident in the lab. Breakthroughs aren't always about invention, but the intervention required, by the aspiring innovator, to notice something new, unexpected, and intriguing.August 02, 2014
The Challenge of Virtual Brainstorm Training
For the past six months, Idea Champions has been delivering its Conducting Genius brainstorm facilitation training virtually as well as in person. We've learned a lot along the way and we'd like to take a few minutes, now, to share a little bit of that with you -- just in case YOU are thinking of doing more online training.
First of all, a lot of things you'd assume would be lost in translation by going the virtual route did not turn out to be an issue for us.Unleashing Business Brilliance
August 01, 2014
Brainstorm Facilitation Training DNA
Recently, my company (Idea Champions) been getting a lot of requests for our brainstorm facilitation training and are in the process of putting together a simple website about this service. In the meantime, here is an update on what it's all about:
Conducting Genius is an interactive learning experience that provides participants with the skill, experience, and confidence they need to become effective brainstorm facilitators. Knowing that people learn best by doing, we've designed the 1-3 day training to be as interactive as possible -- one that includes the following eight customizable elements:
1. Master Trainer Tutorials: At selected intervals, we deliver two kinds of topic-specific tutorials: 1) The art and science of brainstorm facilitation and; 2) The right use of ideation tools, techniques, and processes.July 31, 2014
Genius Is Simpler Than You Think, According to Mozart
nor both together,
go to the
Love, Love, Love.
How to Sell Without Selling
Two years ago, my wife and I bought a Turkish rug from Mehmet, Istanbul's Steve Jobs of rug merchants.
If I could run my company as well he could sell, I'd be a very wealthy man.
Technically, speaking, Mehmet didn't really sell us anything. He simply created the conditions that allowed us to buy (which some people, I know, will think is really just a clever form of selling, but it wasn't.)
How did Mehmet work his magic, when all we did was sit down at his cafe to drink some coffee with no conscious desire to buy a rug?July 25, 2014
You Think YOU Have a Long Commute?
And now for a little perspective, just in case business is slow or you haven't gotten the promotion you think you deserved.July 24, 2014
My Doctor Right Kinetic Video
Brilliant two-minute kinetic video from Fahey Design.July 23, 2014
It's National TRUST YOURSELF Week!
This week, oh aspiring innovators, it's time to trust yourself. That's right. Trust. For the moment, forget about the business cases, spread sheets, best practices, data points, decision grids and the overly somber Six Sigmafication of your soul. You already know what to do. You do! You've known for a while. Now all you need to do is do it!
Upgrade Your In-House Brainstorm Facilitation Skills the Simple Way
Want to upgrade your change agents' brainstorm facilitation skills? Looking for a simple way to open the creative floodgates in your organization? Here's one way.
Read this if you think brainstorming is bogus.
Covers for our new 142-page facilitator guidebook
100 Awesome Quotes on What It Really Takes To Innovate
1. "I want to put a ding in the universe." - Steve Jobs
2. "Ideas won't keep. Something must be done about them." - Alfred North Whitehead
3. "Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next." - Jonas Salk
4. "If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong." - Charles Kettering
5. "Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." - Helen Keller
6. "If you can dream it, you can do it." - Walt Disney
15 Awesome Quotes on Collaboration
1. "It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed." - Charles Darwin
2. "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." - Helen Keller
3. "If two men on the same job agree all the time, then one is useless. If they disagree all the time, both are useless." - Darryl F. Zanuck
4. "If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself." - Henry Ford
5. "Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up." - Oliver Wendell Holmes
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,