Creativity

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.

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When I was producing my sketch comedy TV show, ...

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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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3 Things High Achievers Listen To

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Elite athletes will tell you that much of their physical performance is driven by what they put in their bodies. Elite leaders will tell you that much of their mental performance is driven by what they put in their brains — both through their eyes and their ears. So what do you think they listen to?

smartphone-vintage-technology-musicI once had dinner with a colleague ...

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3 Habits That Are Keeping You From Producing Breakthrough Results

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Steve Jobs! Mark Zuckerberg! Elon Musk! All of them have produced (and, in some cases, are continuing to produce—although Steve has lowered his output a bit) breakthrough results! What must it be like to live in their world, to breathe their rarefied air! Well, here’s the thing. Breakthrough results are not limited to the elite few. You can produce breakthrough results just as well as anyone else. But first, you may need to let go of some of the habits ...

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How One Question Invented Bill Nye the Science Guy

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You all know Bill Nye the Science Guy. If you’re of a certain age, you grew up watching him on TV. If you’re beyond a certain age, your kids grew up watching him on TV. But did you know that Bill Nye the Science Guy was invented out of desperation on January 10, 1987? And it all happened because a low-paid comedy writer asked a different question.

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Try This Simple Trick to Solve Your Next Problem

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How often have you gotten stuck while looking for a new idea, or seeking the solution to a problem? Want to know a cool way to get unstuck?

Motivational Speaker Bill Stainton

When I was writing television sketch comedy, I used to have a lot of trouble coming up with endings to my sketches (endings are notoriously difficult). I’d work out a nice premise, develop it comedically, ...

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