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Speaking

Overview

Josh Linkner jolts organizations and people worldwide, helping them recharge their creativity to reawaken companies and careers. A New York Times Bestselling author, successful five-time entrepreneur, venture capitalist and well-respected jazz musician, Josh bridges the gap between the arts and business to help audiences maximize their creative potential. Josh teaches, inspires, and entertains. He is on a mission to make the world more creative by providing powerful, fun, and practical techniques that push individuals at all levels of organizations to jumpstart their creative energy.

Topics

EXECUTING IMAGINATION: TURNING RAW IDEAS INTO POWERFUL RESULTS

As a five-time successful tech entrepreneur and investor in dozens of startups, Josh Linkner has seen thousands of companies loaded with creative buzz and big ideas. How is it that some harness their imagination to create game-changing drivers of growth and innovation while others miss the mark?  The answer: the best companies have a systematic process to focus their team’s creativity into practical outputs – something Linkner discovered by founding and building companies that collectively sold for over $200 million. As a professional-level jazz guitarist, Linkner blends the improvisational qualities of a jazz ensemble with bleeding-edge business savvy to bring a completely fresh perspective on unleashing creativity in the organization.  His inspiring presentation delivers practical tools that can be used immediately to increase creative output and deliver bottom-line results.  You’ll learn to:

  • Use specific techniques to harness your most powerful ideas
  • Apply creativity on a daily basis across all business activities and roles
  • Break free from the three biggest blockers of creativity
  • Apply best practices from the world’s most innovative companies
  • Avoid the five biggest creativity killers
  • Master the three most powerful brainstorming techniques that you’ve never even heard of
  • Build a culture that celebrates fresh thinking and embraces new ideas

GRAVITY DEFYING LEADERSHIP: UNLEASHING YOUR ORGANIZATION’S CREATIVE MOJO

With disruptive forces assaulting business from every direction, creativity has been labeled the single-most important business attribute.  To succeed, leaders must be focused on creating a resilient culture where everyone’s engaged; a torrent of fresh, creative ideas needs to flow from every level of the organization.  Top leaders then employ a secret weapon: a systematic approach to selecting and launching the ideas that will best drive growth and innovation.  Josh Linkner weighs in with a fresh perspective on this critical leadership challenge.  A highly successful serial entrepreneur and now a tech investor, Linkner shows leaders how to employ his simple but effective framework to ramp up the creativity and identify/launch ideas that will break through and defy gravity.  This presentation will help leaders:

  • Challenge assumptions and conventional wisdom
  • Build courage to foster responsible risk taking
  • Authentically express your own creativity and tap into the hidden creativity of your team members
  • Develop “everyday creativity” to attack business problems of all sizes
  • Deploy creativity beyond R&D to reimagine processes, drive efficiency, and improve operations
  • Uncover fresh approaches for reinvention and growth

ENTREPRENEURIAL FIRE: THINK AND ACT LIKE A STARTUP (EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT)

Entrepreneurs look at the world differently.  We celebrate them for their bold vision and courage – they drive game-changing innovation that creates enormous economic success while making a profound impact on the world.   What is it about the entrepreneurial mindset that helps these mavericks seize opportunity that others miss?   A five-time successful tech entrepreneur, Linkner shows leaders and organizations how to embrace the creativity, grit, and vision of a startup and then channel this approach to drive growth, innovation, efficiency, and customer delight.   Josh Linkner decodes the entrepreneurial DNA to help leaders of any size company in any industry or profession:

  • Understand how an entrepreneur would attack their organization with the specific goal of dislodging it
  • Reimagine their role through the lens of an entrepreneur
  • Harness the ferocity of entrepreneurial thinking
  • Embrace “startup speed” to increase velocity in your own organization
  • Learn the five best approaches used by startups to create disruption
  • Avoid the weaknesses that plague entrepreneurs by exposing the four biggest startup death traps

THE MUSIC OF BUSINESS: TRANSLATING IMPROVISATIONAL THINKING FROM THE JAZZ STAGE TO THE BUSINESS WORLD.

Be prepared to be amazed. Josh Linkner, a jazz guitarist since age 14, credits a musical background for giving him a different way of looking at business.  In this stunning interactive presentation, a live jazz performance by Josh and his band is woven with stimulating dialogue.  You’ll actually hear, through their music, fresh ways to unleash your organization’s creative mojo.  In jazz, 99% of the notes are improvised; created in real-time.  Yet it’s the structure of a jazz combo – not the inherent talent of individual musicians – that allows for such breathtaking creative expression.  In today’s business landscape of dizzying speed, exponential complexity, and ruthless competition, we can no longer just play the notes on the written page.  You will learn powerful lessons inspired by jazz musicians (a/k/a “real-time innovators”) to help you:

  • Develop your own ability to improvise, no matter what job title you hold
  • Establish team dynamics that foster creative thinking and risk taking
  • Uncover fresh approaches to previously unchallenged assumptions
  • Break free from traditional thinking and uncover vast new possibilities
  • Learn 5 secret techniques used by jazz musicians to foster creativity, which can easily be adapted to your own organization
  • Expand your ability to deal with ambiguity and recover from setbacks

A STREETFIGHTER’S GUIDE TO REINVENTION - LESSONS FROM THE FRONT LINES OF DETROIT’S REBIRTH

Detroit’s fight back from the brink is an inspiring tale of resilience told first-hand by Josh Linkner whose grit and passion are playing a critical role in the city’s revitalization.   Linkner is a driving force in Detroit’s comeback; among his many honors – “Detroit Executive of the Year”, the region’s “CEO of the Year” and “Michiganian of the Year.”  As the CEO of Detroit Venture Partners, he is helping the city he loves rise from the ashes and reconnect to its entrepreneurial and technological roots.   Linkner’s heartfelt talk energizes audiences with the power of possibility.  It’s also a cautionary tale of how Detroit, once a birthplace of innovation and a vibrant city, succumbed to the evil forces of protectionism, blame, and bureaucracy.   The lessons in this powerful comeback story – still in progress – help you:

  • Understand the 4 most common reasons organizations decay
  • Connect the dots between urban renewal and business reinvention, and learn how to apply the same approaches to your own organization
  • Embrace the 5 unexpected lessons of underdogs and learn to fight out of seemingly impossible situations
  • Gain inside perspective from the passionate leaders who are leading Detroit’s courageous turnaround
  • Uncover best practices from ‘streetfigher’ mentality – on scrappiness, determination, resilience and conquering adversity

Reviews

Thank you so much for today! You were terrific, and certainly a pleasure to work with!  You definitely made an impact! Thank YOU!

Josh did a tremendous job and his creativity message resonated perfectly with the audience and was right on target.  Thanks for the extra efforts to learn who the REALTOR® association executives do for a living and how their REALTOR® members make a difference in the community.

Wanted you to know how much I enjoyed your presentation. It was a very timely topic for our group, as we continue to expand and innovate.  Thanks for putting a little order into a great topic and providing additional tools for us to use.

I can’t thank Josh enough for giving his time, energy and wisdom to make our event such a success.

Josh, thank you again for presenting today at the CMO Summit. You were fabulous and we have received wonderful feedback!

Thanks for the momentum that you started during your keynote here at McAfee in January. Your message was really inspirational and has stuck in the heads of many execs who were there. Thank you!

You were amazing!

In today’s fiercely competitive global marketplace, the most important resource any business has is the creative thinking of its people. Josh Linkner lays out a road map that will guide individuals, teams, and companies to higher levels of creativity. It is a journey that will lead to better ideas and breakthrough thinking—and those who take it will also have a lot of fun along the way.

Josh, everyone had nothing but great things to say about your presentation.  You did a wonderful job at entertaining and enlightening the crowd with your message.  Thank you so much!

I felt compelled to send you on a short email to let you know quite how blown away I was by your presentation to us yesterday in London. It was quite literally one of the most motivating and thought provoking two hours of my professional career.

The State Department would like to express our sincere thanks.  It has truly been a great success working with Josh.

Josh brought a great source of refreshing content about creativity in business that was just what our Inc. GrowCo Conference needed. His energy and enthusiasm about the topic inspired attendees and gave them takeaways to implement in their own companies. Josh has a strong stage presence and was extremely easy to work with.

On a dreary winter afternoon, Josh raised the energy level at our quarterly team meeting with thought-provoking discussion on creativity and leadership. His passion is contagious. The concepts discussed were supported with both qualitative and quantitative data so it appealed to both left and right-brained colleagues. We were engaged throughout and left the meeting fired up!

Linkner hit the ball out of the park!

I just wanted to drop you an email to say a big thanks again for today. The feedback I have heard has been incredibly positive, and I think it really contributed to the strong outcomes for the real work we went on to do over the day. It was definitely the first time I’ve heard someone from Sony Japan feedback to a room as Yoda! I also really appreciated how you tailored you message to the audience from the discussions in the weeks prior to the program.

Thank you so much for keynoting The Marketing Forum. Your presentation was perfectly on target! I will send you the official evaluation numbers in a few weeks, but everyone I have spoken with so far really enjoyed your presentation. I thought it was just what we had discussed; targeted for this audience, combining a 30,000 mile view with specific takeaways to implement now.

Josh’s presentation was perfect. The content was spot on and you could tell he really prepped. I would highly recommend Josh to other clients if they are looking to unlock the power of creativity across their organization.

Josh Linkner made a huge impact on our organization.  His message on creativity and innovation was spot-on and his work has had a lasting effect.  After hiring him for one conference where he was voted the top speaker by far, we promptly invited him back to present to a larger audience.  His keynote was high-energy, interactive, and left us with specific tools and techniques to improve our creative output.

Fantastic Josh. Your presentation was really a fantastic way to kick off the meetings for our larger team. It was clear that you had taken the time to learn about our company and industry.  I have received numerous unsolicited compliments on your presentation.

Josh Linkner is the perfect model of what one should want from a speaker. During the planning and preparation period, he is accessible, flexible, engaged, attentive, and truly invested in understanding the client, the objectives, and the desired outcomes. His passion and love for championing and teaching creativity is clear in his energy, his well-designed stories/case studies, and in the overall presentation of his topic. If you are thinking of working with Josh, stop thinking – just do it.

Josh has unmatched ability to embrace innovation. At his repeated visits to Viacom, Josh has consistently offered the strategic ideas and practical techniques necessary to drive creative thinking.

The message about creativity and innovation was excellent. It was clear, well researched, engaging and kept the attention of the audience. Your use of stories, facts and humor made the time fly by. I had several people come up to me afterword and thank me for having you come in and speak to the group. They were energized and excited to put the principles in play.