FRESH IDEAS, HAND-CRAFTED WEEKLY

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

Beware The GroupThink!

We all like agreement. It feels nice when a group of people are all aligned and everyone has the chance to contribute. It is a warm, hugging, campfire-song kind of feeling. It can also kill your creative potency. Imagine you and your team were working to develop a new flavor of ice cream. One person […]

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The Meatloaf

At my company, ePrize, we often tell the “Meatloaf Story”: A mother is making meatloaf with her teenage daughter; a ritual they’ve been doing together for years. As part of the tradition, the two chefs cut the ends of each side of the meatloaf before putting it in the oven. One day, the teen asks, […]

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Inside the Artist’s Studio

We’ve all seen the inside of an artist studio – either in person or in the movies. They are never neatly organized with paints all in a row and tables that are clutter-free. In fact, they are just the opposite. They are messy, and appear completely disorganized at first glance. They studio may have half-finished […]

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Your Creativity Muscle

All humans have muscle mass. If any of us hit the gym and started pumping iron, our muscle mass would increase. This is a simple fact. We also each also have a natural genetic predisposition of how much muscle we can grow. I, for example, would never end up on the cover of a muscle […]

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Fail More, Win More

The single biggest blocker for creativity and original thought is fear. In our society, we are so focused on success and afraid of making mistakes that we don’t pursue our dreams. Don’t live life to our fullest potential. Don’t let our creativity shine. In school, we have classes on all sorts on functional skills such […]

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“My Hands Are Tied”

“I’m sorry sir, my hands are tied.” These were the appalling words I heard twice in the last week – one from a large mobile phone network, and one from a health insurance carrier. Both were from customer service reps that were clearly un-empowered, bitter, and really didn’t care much about helping me (so much […]

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The Top 7 Creativity Myths

Mention the word Creativity, and people begin to squirm in their chairs. The very thought can prompt anxiety, fear, and doubt – even in the most accomplished professionals. Let’s explore some common myths, and uncover the truth behind this “fuzzy” topic: MYTH 1: Creativity is only needed at the top TRUTH : In today’s business […]

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Have You Been Zappos’d?

Buying a pair of shoes used to involve going to a local store, selecting a pair from about 250 choices, and walking out with a box in hand. That was the model for shoe sales for the last 200 years. The shoe store owner was happy. You were happy. Everyone was happy. Until that model […]

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Your Company, Version 4.13

The software world enjoys many gifts. Smart people. Lots of capital. High leverage. But one that should probably be celebrated more… the idea of “versions”. That’s’ right, versions. Software companies are in a constant state of reinvention. As soon as one version of their product is out, they start imagining the next. The goal each […]

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Going Out of Business

I bet that subject got your attention! I recently read that Marc Andreessen (founder of Netscape) sent a memo to the whole company around 1994 (at the height of their success) called “The Top 10 Reasons we’re going out of business”. It showcased where they needed to improve, and highlighted their biggest threats. This, of […]

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The Pumpkin Cut

Each Halloween we all rush to the pumpkin patch, pick out the best one we can find, and eagerly carve that beauty as soon as we can. And we always do it the same way. We cut the lid off the top, scoop out the filling (making a huge mess), and burn ourselves as we […]

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Playforce

As kids, we go out to “play”. Later in life, we “play” sports, or “play” music. But then, in sharp contrast, we leave our homes each day and go to “work”. The term implies doing uninspired, often boring and generally yucky things. Parallels of going to the dentist, waiting in line at the DMV, or […]

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Flying the Plane

We use complex models, historical data, and buzzwords such as “Key Performance Indicators” or “Balanced Scorecards”. Like dashboard instruments these tools are great, but not the one-and-only factor in creating success. We hire team members for their judgment and creativity, but often relegate them to merely following systems mechanically. How often as a consumer have […]

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“I have an IDEA” vs. “I have a CONCERN”

In meetings, what do you suppose the ratio is at your company today between these two phrases? What do you think the ratio was five years ago? What is the ratio at Google? Facebook? Comcast? It really got me thinking about where we are applying our talents. Are we applying our energies to controls, risk […]

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Welcome to the Creativity Generation

The Creativity Generation seeks to close the gap between the arts and business to help members maximize their creative potential. We’re on a mission to make the world a more creative planet by providing powerful, fun, and practical techniques that push people from all walks of life to jumpstart their creative energies. Join the movement, […]

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