Innovation, Independence and Ideas for All

July 2, 2020 July 4, 2020 marks the 244th birthday for the United States. We’re not alone in our celebration of independence this month. Canada, Rwanda, Somalia, Hong Kong and Burundi have July 1 as their Independence Day. The French celebrate Bastille Day on the 14th. In total, 20 countries recognize days in July for their independence. Independence for any …

The Late, Great Storytelling Hoax (and How to Fix It)

June 18, 2020 A significant number of companies have received scathing responses from customers and the media in the last few months – and rightly so.  They’re making claims to support people and causes when everything about their behavior proves they believe otherwise. It’s clear many brands have a gross misunderstanding of the difference between fiction and nonfiction storytelling–and don’t …

Why Business People Speak Like Idiots

May 14, 2020 It was early 2001. The dot-com-boom had taken people on a Thelma-and-Louise ride and sailed them off a cliff. Enron’s crazy accounting debacle ended up in the largest corporate bankruptcy (until WorldCom out did it a year later). Arthur Andersen execs looked the other way while Enron did their dirty deeds and even helped their buddy out …

Innovation in a Time of Crisis Consulting Speaker

Innovation in a Time of Crisis

April 9, 2020 There’s a scene in the Apollo 13 moviewhen the services module’s No.2 oxygen tank exploded and No.1 tank failed. The explosion forced the mission’s astronauts, Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert, to abandon the command module and squeeze into the lunar module. With no more space than the inside of a VW Beetle, the three found …

Business as (Un)usual

March 20, 2020 I’ve worked from home for the last 19 years. There are a slew of articles that give you tips on how to be productive from your kitchen table or even your couch. Normally, that’s exactly what you need…when it’s business as usual. Getting into a regular routine in your new home office. Or getting the hang of …

Interview with an Innovator: Kathy Button Bell on Creating Whole-Brain Innovation Teams

March 5, 2020 In one of the episodes of the U.S. version of the comedy series The Office, Michael Scott rushes into the scene demanding everyone give him ideas. As the narcissistic regional manager of the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin paper company, he’s looking to make his mark. On his way into the building that day, Michael saw wet …

How to be More Creative (77 Ways)

January 9, 2020 Creativity is one of those things that sounds romantically easy to do, but often leaves you scratching your head. Even the creative geniuses get stumped from time to time. The key to getting your creative mojo going is practice. Consistent practice. Since January is International Creativity Month, I wanted to give you some ideas about how you …

Interview with an Innovator: Tim Washer on Inspiration, Humor and Embracing Vulnerability

November 20, 2019 Mark Twain said that, “Humor is the great thing, the saving thing after all. The minute it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations, and resentments flit away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.” He’s not wrong. Studies show that a sense of humor can make you mentally and physically healthier, make you more …

Interview with an Innovator: Michael Brenner on why Mean People Suck

October 24, 2019 Many of the best innovators I know don’t carry an “innovation” title on their business card. They are people who understand that new ideas can happen anytime and anywhere. But that’s not how most of the world looks at innovation. “Innovators” are the design thinkers, the data scientists and the engineers. They’re the ones who have a …

How Embarrassing Moments Lead to Creative Genius

October 11, 2019 I still remember it like it was yesterday. It was my first “real” job – I was the marketing director for a mid-size architecture firm. Every Monday started the same, with a meeting in the conference room. Just me and the five partners of the firm. I felt completely out of my league. They were well-traveled, experienced …

The Rise of the Citizen Innovator

September 26, 2019 Plato once said that your archetype describes “your ideal self.” When a person embraces who they really are, that’s when they’re at their best. Archetypes are the secret forces behind all human behavior. They dwell in our unconscious and influence our every move, much of the time without us even knowing it. If we had to answer …

Making Choices About Choices

September 12, 2019 Making lists is one of my favorite things to do because I like to check things off. At the end of crazy days when I’ve had no control, I’ll make a list and check off what I got done so I don’t feel like I wasted my day. I grew up living near my grandmothers, with whom …

3 Steps to Map (and Improve) Corporate Culture

August 29, 2019 Last week I was in Singapore to give a workshop and speak at the B2B Marketing Forum. I enjoy talking to marketers from all parts of the world and in all industries, because each person has a perspective that teaches me something new. One thing that bubbles up in conversations is the culture of the companies in …

Is Your CX an Awkwardly Long Hug?

August 8, 2019 Everyone’s grumbling about customer experience getting worse. Is it our imagination? Nope. It’s a real thing. At least that’s the findings from a report from Oracle and Customer Experience Expert Jeanne Bliss. The new study, One Size Doesn’t Fit All, highlights the lousy experience consumers have with brands. In fact, 82% give brands the thumbs down. Tapping …

7 Ways to Build a Culture of Learning

July 25, 2019 LinkedIn research says that nearly every employee would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development. And younger employees – millennials and gen Zs – say the chance to learn and grow is the top thing that inspires them and makes them want to work harder. In fact, this group gives learning …

5 Missed Opportunities for Storytelling

July 11, 2019 Storytelling is everywhere in your company, whether you realize it or not. Marketers are getting the hang of it in their own domain, but miss opportunities to tell stories behind the scenes in every company. Here are the top five that people miss most often: 1. Brand values Your values aren’t window dressing, they’re the ethos for …