Inspirational

  • Leaders Hate the Concept of Creativity

    SNARK ALERT I’m not trying to be snarky. I am snarky. I’ve always been snarky.  I like being snarky, it’s fun. Here’s the problem: Being snarky is a bit like being the boy that cried wolf. When you’re being a smart ass just for practice you often stretch the truth. Okay, I often throw the truth out the window to be funny or to shock — but not in this blogg! As a creativity and innovation writer I suppress my inner Snark in order to be taken seriously. But now I think I’m doing you a disservice. The value of SNARK is it can be a wakeup call. As an innovation thought leader, I’m here to help. You can improve, you can




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  • Ideational Speaker, Gregg Fraley

    I do keynotes on creativity and innovation topics — and this is not something I hide. It’s all over my website and I do my best to promote my speaking on FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and in my blog postings. So, it’s not unusual for me to be confronted — at a cocktail party or a business meeting — with the comment: So you’re a “Motivational Speaker.” It’s a fair observation, but it’s really…inexact when it comes to describing what I actually do. It’s not Wrong, but there’s more to my speaking than motivation. My talks are about ideas, so really, I’m an Ideational Speaker.  Yes, I make an effort to motivate people to be more creative and innovative. So, I




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  • Reading Widely Means More Dots to Connect

    People ask me what I read. I think this question is inspired by my citing some arcane fact or that I make a weird connection now and then. I am a voracious reader, but I think what I actually read might surprise. Most of it is NOT directly about creativity and innovation (that’s a way to guarantee you’re boring!) Reading widely provides more dots to connect. Broadly, I’m thinking I’m improving my database by reading a lot of varied and weird content. There is some science to this; one can make more conceptual blends if one has more to blend. And, concept blending, new connections, are where innovation comes from. So, this is a snapshot of what I’m reading, for




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  • Need Ideas for Creative Alternatives to Government Paralysis

    I’m sick of having a dysfunctional government. I know it’s a complex power struggle. I know there are many points of view as to why this dysfunction exists. I think this crazy partial government shutdown is probably going to happen, and to me this signals a new low. I’m not interested, right now, in a right or left opinion of whose fault it is, or why this is necessary. I think both sides share the blame in this, and, it will require both sides to return to a productive government. I want ideas. I want to focus on ideas that can motivate those in government right now. Before new elections. For years now, it would seem the only thing the




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  • America, where everybody has a chance to win

    The new Miss America is a real stunner. I saw the clips at a pub — they had the sound turned down.  I thought, so that’s who won the contest this year — can we please get to the baseball scores? It would appear others had a different reaction. Miss New York, now Miss America, is a Syracuse native and University of Michigan graduate, her name is Nina Davuluri. She’s the first woman of Indian descent to win the contest. Born in America, an American citizen, and by all accounts an exemplary young person. Congratulations Nina. You live in America, where everybody has a chance to win. You just proved it. I’m an innovation commentator and from that lens it’s




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  • Why Not? Keeping the Creative Door Open

    When it comes to sparking the imagination, much is made of that lovely phrase, “What If?” It’s a good one, no doubt. Just the mention of the phrase has folks going down a more imaginative path. However, quite often, we get to the end of that imaginative path, and, good news, we have an idea in mind. We might express it, we might not. Often, instead of moving forward with self-expression, like writing it up, talking to others, or taking some action, we just let it go. Why? Lots of reasons. It might seem impractical. Or expensive. Or just hard to do. Or, we might start thinking about what everybody is going to say about it, and mercy sakes, don’t




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  • Trayvon, George, Fear and Creativity

    It’s all about Fear. I’m of the belief that fear is the opposite of creativity. Fear leans towards the darkness in our souls. Creativity leans towards the light. Creativity is high order thinking, fear is not thinking, it’s letting our lizard brain dictate our action. Fear is the hidden truth in what happened with the Zimmerman sentence and the Martin murder. Some would question, now, my use of the word murder when Zimmerman has been acquitted. I’m sorry, but George is responsible for the death of Trayvon Martin. He put himself in that position, he fired the weapon, in my view he’s responsible. George Zimmerman was operating from a fundamental place of fear. He could have chose differently. Fear is




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  • TEDxStormont – creativity and community collide in Belfast

    So, I’m talking to five beaming young people after TEDxStormont last Thursday. They’re all 20 something, glowing with energy, smiling like mad, and we’re blue streak style sharing ideas, theories, making connections –it’s a fast-paced, highly generative conversation. It occurs to me,  all at once, that moments like this — are how communities are formed. And how prosperous futures are created. For Northern Ireland, I think the lasting value of the event is not the content delivered, the fun experienced, or even the many videos that will eventually be posted. The lasting value is the community it created. I won’t attempt  a comprehensive report on the event and all the speakers (I was one) but here’s a bit of background.




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  • Zombies, Dreamers, Managers and Leaders

    I’ve been preparing a new keynote speech on Imagination and it’s been a real challenge to get my thoughts together on such a big and creatively important concept. My focus is usually on Creativity. To be honest I’m enthralled with the concept of imagination, and yet have avoided talking about it directly because it’s so individual and amorphous. That’s why I’m so excited about one aspect of my new talk I wanted to share it with my readers right away, so here it is, my “Johari Window” of Imagination (note to self: need better label). It’s helpful in getting a handle on who imagines and how, and might be helpful to individuals and groups who seek to improve imaginative capacity.




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  • Imagination, So What?

    I don’t mean to be cynical with that headline. Still, what’s imagination got to do with it? Imagination is a revered idea isn’t it? Everybody seems to want it. And yet… Who actually sets aside time to imagine? Is it focused or completely not, or both? Who tolerates the imagination of others when it’s expressed? Who and how often do people actually take action on some dream? John Lennon practically has trademarked the word, but I find his song quite challenging. “Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try, no hell below us, above us only sky…imagine all the people living for today…yohooo” I find this very difficult to imagine, not at all easy. And my vision of children




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