FRESH IDEAS, HAND-CRAFTED WEEKLY

Inspiring thoughts on innovation, growth, leadership, creativity, transformation, and disruption. Quick reads, powerful results.

How Innovation is Becoming the Cure for COVID-19

These days, I often wake up thinking it was all a dream. But by the first scan of the morning’s headlines, I realize we’re still in the zombie horror movie known as coronavirus. Just like in most low-budget cult flicks, an unlikely hero is emerging who will conquer the threat and safe the day. Her name: […]

Read More

Can Quarantines be Productive? What to do During a Crisis.

Just before every flight departs, the safety announcement offers a specific instruction: “In the event of an emergency, please secure your own oxygen mask before helping others.” We’ve heard it so many times that we tend to tune it out, but this advice can be helpful to us all during the COVID-19 crisis. We must first […]

Read More

A 3-Step Formula to Perfectly Communicate Your Value to Customers

As business leaders, we’re often faced with the challenge of explaining what we do. It could be in a casual setting like a dinner party, or a more formal sales presentation to that big new potential account. The problem is, most of us get it all wrong. We tend to explain what we do in the […]

Read More

Don’t Be Afraid to Get a Little Crazy

We’re often told to follow the rules, do what we’re told, and for goodness sake, don’t make waves. But in today’s hyper-competitive economy, isn’t that a surefire path to mediocrity? Look at those that we celebrate – from Thomas Edison to Elon Musk; from Sheryl Sandberg to Tony Robbins. The ones that make history have […]

Read More

If You Want Growth, Your Company Must Have These Three Non-Traditional Roles

From the local barbershop to the giant, multinational corporation, businesses of all shapes and sizes desperately want one thing: growth. Regardless of industry, geography, or scale, a company’s ability to grow is directly linked to the inherent enterprise value. In working closely with organizations around the world, I’ve noticed that the ones who really savor […]

Read More

7 Surprising Things That Ultra-Successful People Don’t Do

There’s been plenty written about the habits of highly successful people. They set goals and they follow through. They learn and listen. We get it. But what do the most successful people avoid? From celebrity entrepreneurs to captains of industry, here are seven surprising things that top achievers prefer to skip: Don’t have a Plan […]

Read More

How To Master Any Skill

No one represents mastery more than Pablo Picasso. His masterpiece Women of Algiers sold at auction in New York for over $179 million in 2015, shattering all previous records. His most famous works are instantly recognizable, and he pioneered several styles and genres of modern art throughout his prolific career. We think of Picasso’s creative […]

Read More

How to Find the Best Parking Spot, Every Time

As you drive up to a crowded shopping plaza, your blood pressure rises quickly. Circling the parking lot, you search for the closest possible space. It quickly becomes a fierce competition, filling you with stress and sometimes anger if someone beats you to that one spot that should have been yours. Several laps and minutes […]

Read More

3 Surprisingly Simple Questions That Will Transform Your Career

In our quest for achievement, it’s easy to get caught up in complexity. We often think something has to be difficult in order for it to drive real progress. But then something so simple comes along that drives the most profound advancement in our careers, companies, and even in communities. I’ve discovered three dead-simple questions […]

Read More

The More You Do It, The Easier It Becomes

For most of us, we know what needs to be done to reach the next level. If you want to improve health and fitness, we don’t need another fad diet… we need to exercise more and eat healthier food. If you want to close more deals, you probably need to make more cold calls. If […]

Read More

The New 70/30 Rule of Inventive Thinking

The infamous 80/20 rule seems to permeate business literature. 80% of your profits come from the best 20% of your customers; 20% of your top people drive 80% of your revenue; 20% of your most productive time drives 80% of your productivity. While this magic ratio applies in many cases, there’s an important new kid […]

Read More

Your Future You

As we us embark on the new decade, most of us have undoubtedly set some resolutions. Lose weight. Read more. Save for retirement. Quit smoking. Volunteer in the community. Yet the vast majority of resolutions are anything but resolute. According to U.S. News & World Report, over 80% of resolutions fail (most of which within […]

Read More

IdeaSpewing – A Simple Technique to Unlock Creativity

Staring at the blank page can be intimidating. This could be the start of any creative project – from writing the next great American novel to crafting a new investment deck for your startup. Maybe your blank page is less grandiose, but still daunting such as organizing your thoughts for a sales pitch or drafting […]

Read More

Mental Kale

We’ve all heard the truism, “you are what you eat.” Clearly this applies to food intake and how our body composition is directly correlated. Eat fruit and veggies, have a healthy physique. Eat fried, processed foods, have a sick body. But what if we extended this common sense phrase to our mindset and performance? If […]

Read More

The Dude-Bro Conundrum

I have the good fortune of delivering keynote speeches at over 100 corporate events per year. They range from a few hundred to many thousands of people in attendance, often with elaborate staging, lights, and production value. Hours before taking the stage, an AV tech check occurs where all audio and visual elements are plugged […]

Read More

10 Customer-Centric Questions to Create Irresistible Value

With our Thanksgiving feasts behind us, ’tis the season of 2020 business planning. Ironically, the theme of gratitude may actually be our best strategy in the new year. In working with many businesses in different industries, I often hear the same refrains: “we need to sell more;” “we need better marketing;” “we need to cut […]

Read More

Creative Confidence is Not What You Think

We imagine a brilliant artist approaching their work with the masterpiece perfectly etched in their mind before a single brush stroke graces the canvas. Or a prolific musician with an idyllic melody already seared into their mind before playing a single note. Then, when we approach our own creative efforts, we often freeze up before […]

Read More

The Best Business Books I’ve Read in 2019

To win in business – and life – we all know that being a lifelong learner is mission critical.  As the cheesy saying goes, “learners are earners.” Clichés aside, I have a deep love for learning and the written word. Great books inspire, inform, and give us the tools we need to win in these increasingly challenging […]

Read More

How to Avoid Extinction

According to a report from Yale University Press, 99.9% of all species that have ever lived on Earth are now extinct. That’s over five billion species completely wiped out. Why such a gigantic failure rate? The species that die off are “those that are no longer able to survive in changing conditions or against superior […]

Read More

How To Inject Artistry Into Your Work

When we think of an artist, we envision a tormented soul wearing a beret and a turtleneck, painting with oil on a canvas. Yet despite this stereotype, there are many other types of artists. In fact, you have the opportunity to be one yourself, regardless of your field or job title. Beyoncé is an incredible […]

Read More

The 12 Secret Brainstorming Techniques of Billionaires

We’ve all struggled to generate good ideas. From trying to invent the next industry transformation to imagining a better way to run your team meeting, the creative act is critically important, yet often frustrating. Have you ever wondered how the most successful people on the planet discover their breakthroughs? Having interviewed and studied the world’s […]

Read More

How to Blast Off

When the space shuttle blasts off, two-thirds of its fuel is consumed in the first 20 minutes of flight. The remaining amount powers the shuttle for up to two weeks, including re-entry and landing. The phenomenon at play: escape velocity. Scientists describe the concept as the amount of force required to break free from the gravitational […]

Read More

Does Your Business Have a ‘Test Kitchen’?

Underneath one of the many Shake Shack restaurants in New York City lives the breakaway restaurant chain’s Innovation Kitchen. The full-time team isn’t filling the orders of hungry guests; rather they’re inventing what diners may enjoy for years into the future. The underground lab focuses all its resources on inventing what’s next rather than delivering on today’s […]

Read More

The Beauty of Uneaten Cantaloupe

On a recent business trip to Denver, I was able to grab breakfast at one of my favorite morning spots. Snooze Eatery is a funky, retro-themed breakfast joint with incredible food and service. They have an inventive menu and cool vibe, but so do many other AM cafes. As I sat down, I wondered what […]

Read More

The 5×5 Decision Model

You’ve got a tough decision to make, yet conflicting interests and perspectives can render you frozen from taking decisive action. We’ve all been there. Having observed how the most successful people evaluate their options and then make a thoughtful decision, here’s a framework that may be helpful when you’re trying to make a choice in […]

Read More

Five Big Questions to Gain Clarity, Sharpen Focus, and Drive Results

In our increasingly busy and scattered lives, getting clear and focused can feel like an insurmountable task. We live in an era of distractions vying for our attention the way high-strung paparazzi try to capture that perfect celebrity photo. Knowing that most of us can’t take a three-month sabbatical to hang with monks in mountainous […]

Read More

The Unique Problem-Solving Approach of History Makers

For decades, transportation experts and city planners who studied traffic congestion in major cities came to the conclusion that not much could be done to improve gridlock. Based on available street widths, speed limits, and other constraints, they were correct. But Elon Musk approached the problem in a completely different manner. Instead of reaching a […]

Read More

The Can’t-Not

The promo for tonight’s local news runs across your screen: “Two of the items in your pantry right now could kill you. Tune in at 11:00 to find out which ones.” After hearing this announcement, you can’t not tune in. When you learn about a hot tech company that offers unlimited days off, tuition reimbursement, […]

Read More

How Tiny Innovations Can Yield Gigantic Results

Gaining competitive advantage, better serving customers, and standing out from the pack can feel just about as challenging as running a double marathon…barefoot. The difficulties are exacerbated if we find ourselves in mature industries with deeply entrenched market leaders possessing the resources of a small country. How can we compete and win when facing such […]

Read More

How Swapping Two Words Can Transform Your Success and Happiness

As the competitive nature of our world continues to increase, success can feel elusive. Whether your sights are set on landing a promotion, raising capital, wining that new account, or inventing a game-changing product, you’ll need to break free from traditional thinking in order to seize success. The ones who score the brass ring are […]

Read More