Tag: brainstorm

Where’s Your What-If?

Spending a good chunk of my days researching human creativity, I landed on a strange phenomenon. What-if questions, one of the hallmark techniques of innovation, can also serve to extinguish imagination depending on where they are used. Oddly, the same framework can both ignite creativity or quell it, subject to where it is placed in the invention […]

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Two Powerful (and Surprisingly Fun) Brainstorming Techniques

As many of us have realized, traditional brainstorming is a perfectly designed exercise to yield mediocre ideas. Instead of sharing our big, game-changing ideas, we tend to share the obvious, safe, incremental ones instead. The blocker here isn’t raw creativity, but rather the insidious force of fear. As public enemy #1 relating to imagination, the […]

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My 11 Principles

My 11 guiding principles for graduates, dropouts, young guns, and seniors alike.

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Can’t or Won’t?

If you are pursuing anything worth doing, they heat is likely to get really hot. Before you forfeit your dreams, perform a careful examination to see if you are really in a “can’t” dead-end or just a “won’t” situation.

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Be, Do, Have

Many of us chase success, only to find it to be an elusive tease.

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Letting Go

Many people find themselves in “okay” jobs, “okay” relationships, and living “okay” lives. It takes boldness and courage to let go of the known to pursue the wonder and magic of what’s possible.

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Caught in the Act

With so much effort spent catching people doing something wrong, it’s time to start catching each other doing something right.

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Vu Deja

We’ve all experienced déjà vu. Turns out the most successful and creative people flip this around and consciously practice Vu Déjà.

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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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SCAMPER

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

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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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Will You Protect Your Newborn?

My nephew Lane is almost four months old. Like most parents, my sister and her husband shower their baby with attention, love, and support.

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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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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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Get SNUBA’d

The scuba industry in Hawaii was facing a real problem. Declining sales, increased competition for shrinking entertainment dollars, and new consumer alternatives were creating a downward spiral. While scuba diving was an incredible experience, it was a real burden to customers. It requires certification, carrying heavy tanks, and restrictions on when you can fly home […]

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Stick it to the Man

Sir Richard Branson, CEO of the Virgin Group, announced this week that the first Spaceport (an airport for recreational space travel) will be built in New Mexico to support his newest business effort, Virgin Galactic. As he’s done in the past with music and air travel, Branson is pioneering new ground. And he’s always been […]

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Flood the House to Catch the Mouse

Imagine you had the challenge of inventing a better mousetrap. Literally. A typical brainstorm session may yield incremental improvements in the spring on a mousetrap, or the bait, or the construction materials. The whole essence of igniting your curiosity is to question and challenge everything. Why does a mousetrap need to use a spring at […]

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Choosing the Best Ideas: Value Mapping

Once you’ve brainstormed a long list of powerful new ideas, the challenge becomes choosing the best ones to pursue. We all know that great ideas without execution is about as productive as protesting the rules at the DMV. One of my favorite techniques for idea selection is *Value Mapping*. In this case you are scoring […]

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Are Schools Killing Creativity?

My daughter, Chloe, recently had an unfortunately all-too-common experience in school. Chloe’s 4th grade art teacher asked the students in her class to draw a bear. Chloe went to work and came up with a cool purple, odd-shaped bear. She walked proudly to the teacher and handed over her work, anticipating great praise and admiration. […]

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The Age of Creativity in Action

Shadan Malik is an Age of Creativity entrepreneur. His company, iDashboards , provides exactly the type of value people seek today – aesthetics and insight as opposed to raw data. Shadan started out as a game developer, and also has a deep engineering background. He realized the businesses trend around a concept called Balanced Scorecards, […]

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The Creativity Gap

The cover story of Newsweek (July 19, 2010) reports on the state of Creativity in America. The findings, unfortunately, point to the first measurable decline in our collective creative abilities in our country’s history. While we are still the beacon of imagination on the world stage, there is now a leak that could significantly damage […]

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What’s Your Idea Schedule?

Take a quick look at your schedule for the next two weeks. If you are like most people, your calendar is 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? In the always-on, 24/7 business world we […]

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It Can’t Be Done

It was widely accepted that a computer could never beat a grand master at a game of chess. Until, of course, when IBM’s Deep Blue computer bested the reigning world champion, Gary Kasparov, in 1996. What was once unimaginable had become reality. A new game from Matel called Mind Flex allows you to use your […]

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The Weekly Roundup – May 21, 2010

Chimps are to humans as humans are to ______ ? Dr. Neil Tyson, the brilliant director of New York City’s Natural History Museum, speculates on what extra-terrestrials would be like if they were as much smarter than us as we are than chimps. It’s a very clever and fascinating speculation…. http://tinyurl.com/ll78v7 What’s the most innovative […]

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Threading the Needle

In business (and life), you are constantly faced with challenges that seem insurmountable. Your inner voice says “it can’t be done”, and your may give up before even trying. The thing is – obstacles often have a creative solution if you take the time and effort to approach them in an unconventional way. When a […]

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The Weekly Roundup – May 15, 2010

Five Ways to Boost Your Creativity Are you looking for a quick creativity boost? A shot of creative adrenaline? These simple techniques will have you bubbling over with ideas in no time: http://bit.ly/bZDUy0 How to Create a “Hunch Friendly” Environment How do you get the most out of your employees? How do you ensure that […]

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