Tag: possibility

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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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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How The Most Successful Leaders Respond

We all get provoked. An angry associate; a cranky customer; a snarling spouse. In these cases, the primitive part of our brain designed to protect us in the wild kicks in and our autonomic response is to recklessly fire back. We lash out, hit below the belt, and respond with uncontrollable emotion. That’s where the […]

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Signs of Creativity

When Texas realtor Ellis Young wasn’t getting any traction on one of his home listings, he changed the For Sale sign to include the phrase “NOT HAUNTED.”  Traffic immediately picked up, but some neighbors complained. Wanting to play nice with others, he then changed the sign to read “GLUTEN-FREE HOME.” As you can imagine, traffic increased […]

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The Wonkavator

Willy Wonka: “Going up? This is an ingenious invention that I call the Wonkavator.” Grandpa Joe: “It looks like an elevator to me.” Willy Wonka: “Yes but elevators only go up. The Wonkavator goes up, down, sideways and every other which way you can think of going.” Charlie Bucket: “Wow.” When Willy Wonka and the […]

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How to Beat the Success Trap

In 1953, three employees of the San Diego Rocket Chemical Company created a mixture to protect missile skins. It didn’t work. They tried again – no luck. And again, and again. Finally, on the 40th try, they were successful. But besides the original product intent, they discovered an even broader use… Their invention became the […]

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The Pike Syndrome

The pike is a fierce carnivorous fish that eats other smaller fish. They are cunning, mean, and always find a way to get their prey (sounds like some people I know who work on Wall Street, but I digress). Scientists conducted an experiment where they put a pike in a tank with many other smaller […]

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