Creativity

Are You Lying About Trusting Your Team?

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Do you trust your team? I don’t mean “trust” in the sense of, “I trust that my team members won’t sell our company secrets to the Russians,” (although that might be kind of important, depending on your line of work). No, I mean “trust” in the sense of, “I trust my team members to do their jobs well.” So, with this sense of “trust” defined, let me ask you the same question—slightly amended:

Do you trust your team—or do you merely ...

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The Real Secret to Coming Up With a Great Idea

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Oh, to be the person who comes up with “the great idea”! Solar power! The artificial heart! Potato chips that stack in a can! Great ideas are everywhere, and yet they always seem to be the brainchild of somebody else. So how do you become one of those “somebodies”? How do you become the person who comes up with “the great idea”? Is there a secret to coming up with a great idea?

Yes, and here it is:

Come up with a ...

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Are You Killing the Creativity in Your Business?

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“Creativity” is one of those things (like its close cousin “risk-taking”) that nearly all leaders love to hail, praise, and rhapsodize over. So why is actual creativity in the workplace so rare?

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It’s because hailing, praising, and rhapsodizing are free and have no consequences. (Although, actually, they do; more on that later.) It’s kind of like hailing, praising, and rhapsodizing ...

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Are You Setting Your Future Leaders Up For Failure?

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You’ve got a star performer in your organization. Let’s call her Amanda. Amanda is brilliant at her job. She’s so good, in fact, that you begin to think, “Amanda is fantastic! Imagine how valuable she’d be in management! Why I’ll bet she could turn her entire department around!”

So you promote Amanda to a leadership position. And you wait. And, slowly but surely, you watch as Amanda and her department start to die. (Figuratively speaking, of course. This isn’t that kind ...

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How Would You Respond to This Challenge?

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It’s officially spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Typically, spring is a season associated with rebirth and renewal. It’s a chance to look at the world through fresh eyes. So today, let’s use spring as an opportunity to look at your business through fresh eyes.

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Sometimes, though, it’s difficult to look at things that we’re close to (like our business) through ...

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Are You a Brilliant Original, or Merely a Copy?

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Let’s start with a 2-part quiz:

Question 1 — Which would you pay more for: an original Van Gogh, or a copy (even a very good copy) done by a third-year art student?

Question 2 — Switching now to your own business: are you an original, or a copy (even a very good copy) of what somebody else did first?

Question 3 (okay, so it’s a 3-part quiz) — Regarding Question 2: Which would you rather be?

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How Diversity Can Drive Your Team’s Innovation

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Most teams that I work with claim that they would like to be more innovative. And all of them would like to see better bottom line results, such as growth in market share, and better client communication and loyalty.

So how can you get these results with your team? One word: diversity.

When I was producing my sketch comedy TV show, I took some heat because the show was perceived as being too white and too male. And you know what? That ...

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How to Produce a #1-Rated TV Show

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It would be good to be Shonda Rhimes, wouldn’t it? She’s the creator and producer of not one, not two, but three hit TV shows: Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder. Along the way she’s made the careers of numerous actors, entertained millions of viewers, and, by the way, amassed a net worth of some $60 million. Not too bad! So how can you achieve results like this in your world, and with your people?

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Becoming Timeless: Bowie, the Beatles, and Apple

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David Bowie existed before Ziggy Stardust, but it was Ziggy Stardust that put him on the map. The striking, glam costume; the red hair; the over-the-top Spiders from Mars tour—all these elements, plus, of course, the music, shot David Bowie into stardom. But the glam rock era eventually faded. And if David Bowie had stayed there, he would have been solely of that time, and faded along with it.

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Are Your Policies Getting in the Way of Your Team’s Creativity?

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All businesses depend on innovation to stay ahead and thrive in an ever-more-competitive landscape, and all innovation begins with a creative idea. But many businesses have set up policies that actually make it harder for people to come up with and/or implement these vital creative ideas. Is yours one of them?

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When I was the executive producer of Seattle’s sketch comedy TV ...

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