While these two temperature-related instruments may be easy to confuse, they’re actually surprisingly different. Thermometers can report the current temperature with remarkable precision. Your shiny new digital thermometer will ensure you know that your family room is exactly 69.3 degrees. Or if your five year old daughter seems warm, it will only take a couple … Read more

Progress only occurs when we challenge assumptions and question the world around us. Here are 27 questions that’ll really get you thinking, questioning, and wondering: If you describe something as indescribable, haven’t you already described it? If bald people work in a restaurant, do they still need to wear a hairnet? Do you think if … Read more

When we have an important decision to make, we often fall prey to a most insidious trap. Wanting to make the right choice, we carefully weigh all our options before finalizing a decision. We gather information, solicit opinions, read articles, receive coaching, and consult with trusted mentors. With high stakes, we mistakenly believe that delaying … Read more

Last week, I had the amazing opportunity to fly on a small, owner-operated plane while listening in on the conversation between the pilot and air traffic control. Besides geeking out as both a tech and aviation nerd, I observed a powerful communication technique that can be a game-changer for us all. ATC: “989-Foxtrot-Echo, ascend to … Read more

Imagine you were tasked with inventing a better mousetrap. Literally. A typical brainstorm session may yield incremental improvements in the spring or the bait or the construction materials or the packaging. One common innovation mistake involves an over-commitment to a particular solution type. We envision a typical mousetrap and search for ideas to optimize the existing approach. But … Read more

For the last entry in my three-part series featuring the creativity techniques of jazz musicians, I’m excited to share two more approaches to sparking ideas and unlocking your creative genius: Technique #5: Isolated Substitutions Great jazz musicians love to substitute one thing for another. Like a chef who decides to swap out red pepper for … Read more

As a music geek and a student of jazz for over 40 years, I’m obsessed with the intricate, dangerous, soul-filled improvisational skills of legends like Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, and Ella Fitzgerald. Which is why I’ve decided to share some of the inside approaches that have delighted audiences and made history. Last week, we covered two techniques: Trading … Read more

Having studied jazz improvisation for nearly 40 years, performing thousands of times all over the world, I can tell you that instantaneous creativity is the language of jazz. Jazz music is a real-time art form; there’s no going back to re-do or touch-up your work. The improvisation is intense, fluid, and dangerous. Let’s take an … Read more