The 1-Step Program for Ideaholics
I'm sure you've heard about the 12-step program. If you haven't done it yourself, you probably know someone who has.
But have you heard about the 1-step program? Probably not. It's not for alcoholics. It's for ideaholics -- that is, inspired people who got tons of great ideas, but rarely seem to manifest them. Know anyone like that?
Here's how the 1-step program works: you take your next step. That's it. Plain and simple. You don't think about it. You don't obsess about it. You don't go to any meetings trying to figure out why you're not taking your next step. You just take it.
Because you know what you're next step is. You do.
If you think what I'm saying is mere blogspeak, consider this: If someone was holding a gun to your head right now and told you to take your next step with your most inspired idea or else... you'd take it. You would. You know what to do. You just don't have a sense of genuine urgency. You're not living as if your idea matters. Guess what? It does.
Thanks to Scott Cronin for his sage input on this piece... and the change from "Innoholic" to "Ideaholic." Works better that way.February 24, 2011
Create! Innovate! Get Out of the Cave!
You may not know this, but I wrote an award winning book in 2008 -- Awake at the Wheel.
It's all about what it takes to originate, develop, and implement bold new ideas.
It's a fable, a toolbox, and a guide to the creative process -- a great way to get out of the cave of your own limiting assumptions.February 23, 2011
Innovation Pipeline or Pipedream?
February 22, 2011
An 86-Year Old Woman's Letter to Her Bank
Below is letter that was written, in 1999, by an Australian journalist (Peter Wear) that went viral because the letter was originally attributed to an 86-year old woman who was unhappy with her bank. That "human interest" angle created a groundswell of interest. So much so, in fact, that I published the letter on this blog a few days ago, believing it was actually written by an 86-year old woman. PUNKED! It wasn't, but the letter is so funny (and true!) that I don't care WHO wrote it. Can you relate?
I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check with which I endeavored to pay my plumber last month.
By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the check and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honor it.
I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire pension, an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only eight years.
You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account $30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank.
My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways.
I noticed that whereas I personally answer your telephone calls and letters when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become. From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person.
My mortgage and loan repayments will therefore and hereafter no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank, by check, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate.
Be aware that it is an OFFENSE under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope.
Please find attached an Contact Application which I require your chosen employee to complete.
I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative.
Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Notary Public, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof.
In due course, at MY convenience, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me.
I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modeled it on the number of button presses required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service.
As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Let me level the playing field even further.
When you call me, press buttons as follows:
IMMEDIATELY AFTER DIALING, PRESS THE STAR (*) BUTTON FOR ENGLISH
#1. To make an appointment to see me.
#2. To query a missing payment.
#3. To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.
#4 To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping
#5. To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature.
#6. To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home
#7. To leave a message on my computer, a password to access my computer is required. The password will be communicated to you at a later date to the Authorized Contact mentioned earlier.
#8. To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 7.
#9. To make a general complaint or inquiry. The contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service.
#10. This is a second reminder to press* for English.
While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call.
Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.
May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous New Year?
Your Humble Client,
And remember: Don't make old people mad. We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us off.
Thanks to Booth Dyess for the heads upFebruary 17, 2011
Raise the Bar for Innovation!
Some of you may not know this: but we do more than just write the Heart of Innovation blog.
We also deliver a full range of innovation consulting and training services -- and have been doing so since 1986.
We love what we do. We're good at it. And we may be exactly what your company needs to raise the bar for innovation. Click here to read what our clients say about us. Click here if want to contact us. Click here for a free 15-day subscription to our newly launched, online creative thinking tool. Click here to check out our team.February 09, 2011
Creativity Late in Life
Isn't this awesome? It's one of a series of paintings by Scott Cronin -- a self taught artist who began his image making career at the age of 50! If you have an unexpressed artistic passion, do not give up hope. Begin now! Next week -- an interview with Scott. Right here.
Music Is the Universal Language
Some people say that laughter is the universal language. Others say love. Still others say stock options. The producers of the video below say music. Whatever language you speak, one thing is clear: at the core of who we are, beyond our differences, titles, and strategic plans, we all speak the same language.February 01, 2011
21 Awesome Quotes on Appreciation
1. "There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread." - Mother Theresa
2. "If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, 'thank you,' that would suffice." - Meister Eckhart
3. "The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated." - William James
4. "Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." - William Arthur Ward
5. "I would rather be able to appreciate things I cannot have than to have things I am not able to appreciate." - Elbert Hubbard
6. "Celebrate what you want to see more of." - Tom Peters
7. "Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others." - Cicero
8. "Correction does much, but encouragement does more. Encouragement after censure is as the sun after a shower." - Goethe
9. "The aim of life is appreciation; there is no sense in not appreciating things; and there is no sense in having more of them if you have less appreciation of them." - G.K.Chesterton
10. "Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They're absolutely free and worth a fortune." - Sam Walton
11. "Next to excellence is the appreciation of it." - William Makepeace Thackeray
12. "Encouraged people achieve the best; dominated people achieve second best; neglected people achieve the least." - Anonymous
13. "Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart." - Seneca
14. "Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." - Leo Buscaglia
15. "I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among men the greatest asset I possess. The way to develop the best that is in a man is by appreciation and encouragement." - Charles Schwab
16. "You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink." - G.K. Chesterton
17. "We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures." - Thornton Wilder
18. "In every person who comes near you look for what is good and strong." - John Ruskin
19. "There are two things people want more than sex and money -- recognition and praise." - Mary Kay Ash
20. "Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary." - Margaret Cousins
21. "Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful." - Buddha
Big thanks and a flying chest bump to Val Vadeboncoeur for finding these great quotes.