Jack’s Notebook

  • Creativity is Not a Muse, it's a Choice

    “Creativity is Not a Muse, it’s a Choice.” Gregg Fraley Yes, that’s my quote, and what this post is all about today. I’m writing this piece to co-publish on a cool new blog called Follow the Weasel. Most of the content on FtW is in German, but selected bits, such as mine, are in English. FtW is a potpourri of creativity and innovation topics, a bit of design and invention, and it has a younger readership in Austria and Germany. Thank you to “Alf Red” a young visionary for the invitation to guest post on FtW. My post is directed at younger people, but it might resonate with anyone seeking greater creativity. There is a ton of written material about

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  • Do You Brainstorm Like It's 1949?

    “If you’re gonna brainstorm… please do it like it’s 1999″…(sing this to the tune of Prince’s 1999). I’ve been busy lately doing a training course for salespeople called SalesStorming. My course is not rocket science, it’s just applied creativity concepts focused on selling challenges. I’ve been in front of about 50 sales reps in recent weeks and although they are regularly involved in highly complex sales challenges (the kind that are difficult to win, with long sales cycles, and require a team effort) virtually none of these sales professionals had any idea, really, about how to brainstorm. It was fun to bring them into the new century of creative thinking. In two days we were thinking up breakthrough ideas and

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  • Finding Your Creativity

    How many of us lose any sense of our creative selves and never recover? Between the schools, soul crushing jobs, and the myths that surround creativity, it’s hard to find your creative self. And there is no lost and found for creativity. Well, maybe there is… I’m thinking about this because The Creative Problem Solving Institute just concluded in Atlanta, Georgia. Also known as CPSI (“sipSee”) it’s an amazing event and it’s been happening for over 55 years. Normally I’d be there but work has conspired to keep me away. CPSI, was my creativity lost and found, really, an inflection point in my life. Trust me, you are creative, and there are lots of ways to “get it back.” In 1987

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  • CPS Really Works For Innovation

    CPS really works. Entrepreneur’s and Innovators, learn it and prosper. I had the opportunity and pleasure of co-teaching a class this week with Silicon Valley wiz Randy Haykin. We did a Team Problem Solving course for the MBA program at Cambridge’s Judge Business School. It was a dynamic week and mostly due to a clever cadre of international students. The course featured  “CPS” (aka Osborn-Parnes Creative Problem Solving process) as the primary method/tool.  Students processed an entrepreneurial challenge using CPS and presented solutions — business plans — on the final day. What amazed me most about the course was how well CPS worked even with inexperienced users, with no neutral facilitator, and in a very compressed time frame. The final presentations

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  • 7 Reasons To Use Twitter

    I’ve been asked by intelligent people why I bother with Twitter. The short answer, for me, is — marketing. But, it’s not only marketing and that glib answer will hardly suffice for those who really are seeking to understand the phenomena.  I passed 7,000 followers this past week, and I consider that an accomplishment. Now, not everybody needs to have that kind of Following, in fact, depending on your goals, 100 or less might be exactly what you want.  Your goals with Twitter will be different if you’re playing for yourself, or for an organization. They’ll be different depending on your personal desires. This post is more about how and why an individual might get to Tweeting, see my 7

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  • Nine Ways of Being for Amplified Creativity

    Heads-up! There’s a great creativity post on Mike Brown’s excellent blog, Brainzooming. It’s a listing of 37 articles on ways to be more creative.  I’m kicking myself because I’m not on the list! I realize that even though I’ve written about 300 posts related to creativity, and a book — I haven’t written a piece that explicitly takes on that challenge.  I would argue that my “Magic Jacket of Creative Behavior” post comes darn close!  Well, never mind, no time like the present to make a change — I’ll make the next list with this post! There are a lot of ways to be more creative, in my list below I’ve tried to focus on fundamental Ways of Being that lead to

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  • Creativity Takes Courage

    I’m busy these days writing a manual for my new company, Kiln.  Writing a technical document is a mixed blessing.  It feels like you’re doing something that will provide value, that feels good, and — it’s often slow going. The manual is for a new innovation process which we’re calling FuseTrail. More about that in future posts, but as part of that effort I had some fresh thoughts about factors that impact innovation. I had all the usual suspects down, things like, respect for ideas, supportive culture, persistence, and talented people. I paused while writing and thought about what was stopping some of the organizations I’ve worked with — and it came to me — the obvious, Courage. This will be

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  • Shameless Plug for Jack's Notebook

    I’m not the best promoter in the world. I’m not the worst either. As a writer, I often feel like a doctor who complains that all the paperwork “isn’t practicing medicine.” Promoting my book is like that for me, it doesn’t feel like what I do, or what I should be doing. In spite of what I feel, however, I would be wrong.  As an author it is part of the gig to promote, flog, expose, market, and sell the living hell out of your own books. For those of you who aspire to publish a book — and make lots of money — let me tell you some hard truth’s about the writing game. But first, please, go to

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  • Jack Huber, Character in Jack's Notebook, Comes ALIVE in Twitter!

    It’s weird and otherworldly. It’s kinda now, kinda wow, and definitely ground-breaking in the industry. What’s happening is the main character in my business parable has decided to have a real-time existence in Twitter. Call it Flash Fiction, call it a miracle, call it a reason to live, but those who accept his invitation — his name is Jack Huber — will be getting 140 character or less messages from a fictional character who is concerned with creativity, problem solving, photography, and his girl friend Molly Dunne. Just thought everyone should know, it took me by surprise. Don the Idea Guy gave me this idea because, well, that’s what he does. If you want to get Jack’s Messages, let me

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  • Being Too Successful on Amazon

    It’s been a good year for Jack’s Notebook. I’ve received about a dozen reviews on Amazon, all five stars with the exception of one four star. I got an email recently saying that it looked unrealistic and that it wasn’t kosher to have all your friends do reviews. I do know about half my reviewers, or at least have met them. The other half were unsolicited, so I’m not sure what to do to look better — encourage a few negative reviews? See: Jack’s Notebook I heard recently from a couple of non-reviewing readers who’ve been inspired to do specific things because of Jack’s Notebook. One started a chapter of the American Creativity Association in Greenville, North Carolina. Another asked

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