FRESH IDEAS.
HAND-CRAFTED WEEKLY.

Inspiring thoughts on innovation, growth, leadership,
creativity, transformation, and disruption.

 

Quick reads, powerful results.

In Case of Emergency, Break Glass

As each day of economic free fall continues, many of us are struggling to figure out what to do next. Whole industries such as professional sports, corporate conventions, and vacation travel have been frozen in time with no full thaw in sight. There are certainly some of us that need to embrace the most dramatic […]

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How a Llama Could Conquer COVID-19

As frustration continues and economic fallout mounts, we’re all getting stir crazy. When will our normal lives resume? How will our economy recover? What will be the long-term fallout of coronavirus? How soon can we expect a vaccine? World leaders and scientists scramble to answer these questions while billions of people wait, lives on hold. Nearly every laboratory on the […]

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Redefine These 8 Words to Reimagine Your Future

Too often, the words we use tell a hidden – an incorrect – story. Certain words are loaded with preconceptions that may inhibit our ability to win, grow, and thrive. Nine such words have long bothered me, having witnessed their ability to block potential and dampen enthusiasm. Let’s look at these eight trigger words, and explore how […]

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The Ultimate Customer Experience

With glimpses of hope that our economy will reopen in the coming months, it’s time to start thinking about our businesses in a post-pandemic landscape. How will the world change? How will your industry be different? How will you adapt to the new circumstances? The sheer volume of unknowns can feel overwhelming, making it difficult to even […]

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How One Musician Used a Quarantine to Become a Legend

When first hitting the scene, the now legendary Charlie “Yardbird” Parker was described as mediocre at best. His music seemed undisciplined, out of control, and fraught with mistakes. Like most musicians, Parker practiced regularly but was struggling to achieve major improvements in his playing. How, then, did Charlie Parker become the master that we celebrate today? The change […]

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How to Avoid Negative Thoughts During a Crisis

Stuck in COVID-19 isolation, it’s easy to veer into the deep end of negative thoughts. Many of us are dealing with profound, real-world challenges such as job loss, health crises, and protecting our children. The reality of the situation is difficult enough, but when we allow widespread fear and negativity to enter the picture, the […]

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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: […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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