FRESH IDEAS, HAND-CRAFTED WEEKLY

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

The Man Behind the Magic

This past week was truly a “magical” one for me. Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the hall of fame basketball star, brilliant entrepreneur, and generous philanthropist joined my venture capital firm.

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Should’a, Could’a, Would’a

Have the courage and conviction to go for the things you really want. Stop settling and start doing. Seize the day, and never, never, ever be a should’a, could’a, would’a.

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The Riskiest Move of All

All our lives we’ve been taught to avoid risk. Look both ways when crossing the street. Don’t touch the hot stove. Don’t talk to strangers.

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How To Be Attractive

We all want to be attractive. To get to the next level in our lives, we are trying to “attract” people: investors, employees, voters, customers, suppliers, friends, a mate, Facebook friends, Twitter followers, etc.

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SCAMPER

The SCAMPER technique can take you right back to the limitless creativity you had in Kindergarten.

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Feedback is a Gift

Why is direct feedback so awkward in the business world? When you politely nod your head in agreement while thinking that your colleague must be smoking crack, you are not helping anyone. In fact, holding back your insight is an injustice to your organization and yourself.

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The Past is Dead

We all face incredible challenges in our lives. Difficult people. Ruthless competition. Time constraints. But so many of us succumb to an imaginary and impotent demon that strangles our potential and restricts our progress. This fictitious monster is called simply … the past.

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Outraged

I am completely outraged. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Illinois) testified on the floor of the U.S. Congress about the evils of innovation.

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The 5% Creativity Challenge

Take a quick look at your schedule. Most of us have calendars that are packed to the gills with endless appointments, meetings, conference calls, and deadlines. When, in this insanely-busy schedule, are you planning to come up with your best ideas?

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What If?

What if we realized we had the power to change the world?

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Detroit – From Decay to Opportunity

The story of Detroit (my home town) is an unfinished book. We can continue to point fingers, cry in our soup, and long for the days gone by. Or we can DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. We can own it, fix it, and rebuild it. This is our time. This is our defining moment.

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The Seven Deadly Sins of Creativity

Don’t let these Evil Seven poison your thinking and murder your imagination. Remain vigilant, and when these nefarious forces emerge, don’t wait for the authorities to arrive – take matters into your own hands.

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Think Like a Jazz Combo

I’ve had the privilege of performing jazz guitar on stage for nearly 30 of my 40 years. Live improvisation is an adrenaline rush like no other. Spontaneous creativity in real-time.

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Lessons from Charlie Sheen

Along with millions of others this past week, Charlie Sheen’s dramatic and self-destructive rants captivated me. Although disturbing, we all noticed and paid attention. Coffee shops and water coolers were all abuzz about Charlie, and not about Milton down in accounting.

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ISMs

Altruism. Sexism. Nationalism. An “ism” is a suffix that refers to a strong principle or belief. It is a set of values so powerful, it drives behavior and serves as a beacon for those who subscribe. The best companies and leaders have ISM’s of their own driving their success.

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SPECIAL EDITION: Disciplined Dreaming

After two years of research, I am thrilled to announce that my new book has launched and is widely available for purchase. Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity offers a 5-part process that will transform your organization – and your career – into a non-stop creativity juggernaut.

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Think like a Startup

I’m often surprised that the most innovative breakthroughs come from startups with almost no money, experience, or resources.

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Greenhouse vs. Prison

A friend of mine’s passion is growing orchids. We’re talking perfect, exotic, contest-winning orchids.

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Art is the New Math

I was recently helping my 13-year-old son Noah with his math homework. Long division. By hand. Ewwww.

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Pivoting

We all receive hundreds of stimuli each day. Calls from customers, breaking news, competitive product launches, meetings with colleagues, fashion trends, arguments with spouses, etc. So much of our performance…

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