Inspirational

  • 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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  • Creative Transformation

    Much is written about various creativity tools and techniques. If you do a Google or Bing search you’ll find countless articles and videos related to brainstorming, brain-writing, Mind-Mapping and other creative thinking tools. As someone who talks about creativity all the time, I get it, people want something they can use to become more creative. And it’s true, these tools have immediate and positive impact. I’ve covered many of them in this blog, including frameworks like CPS. But ultimately creative tools and techniques won’t make you “more creative.” They’ll make you more creatively effective, and there’s a difference. Becoming more creative means you change who you are and how you are being, core creative improvement, really, requires personal transformation. The

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  • Innovating Congress: Elect Intelligence & Competence

    As the on-going battle between parties in the congress winds on, it occurs to me that USA citizens might want to change how and why they vote for a representative. We’ve got it wrong. We voted for Gridlock! Representatives in a republic are not supposed to “do your bidding.” No, they’re supposed to Think and Act For You. When you elect someone to vote a specific way on a specific issue what you’re doing is closing down creativity, opportunity, and solutions. It’s the opposite of innovative. Let’s ignore party entirely. How about if we vote for intelligence, competency, and effectiveness? Let’s ignore specific positions on one issue. Let’s be more holistic, and, let’s vote for people who really know something. I

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  • Detroit Soup — Serving Hope & Innovation

    As a Michigander I’m always looking for some good vibes on the economy. I found it last night on NBC Nightly News, an inspirational story about Detroit Soup.  It’s not a restaurant, but it does serve soup — and something a lot more precious for down-on-its-luck-Motown — hope. Here’s the concept: Detroit Soup is a monthly dinner to fund creative and entrepreneurial projects. Micro grants are awarded at the dinner. Five dollars ($5.00) is the entry fee and it gets you a simple meal — soup, salad, bread — and a vote. They hold the dinner in an old warehouse. Click over to their site and read their backstory, it’s interesting. Apparently this concept has been happening for over three years.

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  • Reach Out for a Lost Soul

    It’s time to reach out to the lost souls around us. No, this is not a blog about innovation. I would like to share an idea. If it resonates, please pass this along. Like nearly everyone I’m working through complex emotions related to yesterday’s events in Newtown, Connecticut. The sad truth for me is that I’m not shocked. This kind of event has become normal. Death by gunfire is an everyday thing in America. As an American I am simply ashamed. My mind is flooded with memories of countless assassinations and other insane killings of my lifetime. JFK, Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy, Kent State, John Lennon, Columbine, Gabby Gifford — and so many more. As the years have gone

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  • Top 40 Innovation Blogger? (Top 10!)

    Precious readers, greetings from the dark night, where I write, jet-lagged, arthritis-nagged, caffiene-jagged — but writing for you, once again, trying to provide insight, information, and ultimately value about this wacky idea of innovation. Please forgive the somewhat naval gazing aspect of this post. The good news for you is over the past year you may have missed some of my more interesting posts and the bullet list below provides some quick links to stuff you might find interesting. A request for help: Every year, Innovation Excellence, a premier portal for innovation content, has a popularity contest style “Top 40″ Innovation Bloggers of the year listing. I admit, I wish to be on the list. I wasn’t last year and

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  • Blue Creativity

    Life isn’t always easy is it? These past few weeks are notable for some rather sad and tragic events, both globally, and with myself. The simple point of this post is that creativity is not just for the good times. In fact, when you have the blues it might be an opportune time to create something. A nurse in London committed suicide last week. Why? We’ll never know the details but ostensibly she did it because she was so ashamed. Her crime? She was fooled by some pranking Aussie DeeJays into revealing private medical data of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge. It’s such a sad story. The nurse, not a native English speaker, was easily fooled, and was apparently

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