Creativity

How to Become a Breakthrough Thinker in Two Easy Steps

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In a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive world, the next breakthrough idea wins.

Depending on how you feel about #innovation, #creativity, and #breakthrough thinking, you may find this concept either frightening or exhilarating.

It’s frightening if you think of innovation, creativity, and breakthrough thinking as specialized skills that are only available to “the others.”

It’s exhilarating if you realize that innovation, creativity, and breakthrough thinking are natural human traits that are available to us all.

In other words, if you ...

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How to Be the Disruptor and Not the Disrupted

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You’ve heard of FOMO, right? Fear Of Missing Out. It’s why we’re addicted to Facebook and Instagram and all the rest. It’s why we tell our devices to notify us the instant anything happens anywhere in the world. Because heaven forbid we’re not in the know!

Industry leaders have a similar fear, which I call FOD: Fear Of Disruption. They don’t want to the the Blockbuster to someone else’s Netflix. They don’t want to be the ...

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Why You Need More Distractions in Your Life

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I grew up in the shadow of an Amish dairy farm (depending on where the sun was, of course) in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Now, if you’ve spent as much time around the Amish as I have, you know that they’re kind of big on horses. And if you’ve spent as much time around Amish horses as I have, you know that they all have something in common.

They’re all wearing blinders.

Partially as a fashion statement, of course, but mostly so that they ...

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The Difference Between Breakthrough Thinkers and the Rest of Us

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We all run into obstacles.

Maybe it’s a business change that we don’t like; a traffic jam when we’re already late; a system or process that feels overly cumbersome. But we all run into obstacles.

And what do we do when that happens? What do we do when we run into that obstacle?

We whine. Grumble. Curse. Complain. Gripe about it to others.

And that’s where most of us stop.

In other words, the entire process for most of us looks like this:

  1. Run into obstacle.
  2. Complain ...
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How to Be the Idea Person on Your Team

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Are all of your dots the same color?

I talk about dots a lot. That’s because dots are the key to innovation, creativity, and breakthrough thinking.

Most people get this wrong. They think that breakthrough ideas—the creative innovations that make the competition whimper like scared puppies—are the result of some divine lightning bolt that only strikes the gifted few. This is the common myth. But it’s just that—a myth.

The truth is that breakthrough ideas ...

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These Five Traits Will Make You A More Creative Thinker

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Quickly now—what do these things all have in common:

  • The iPhone
  • The Taj Mahal
  • Gluten-free bread
  • Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • The Golden Retriever

Give up?

They are all outcomes of creative thinking.

[You: “Wait a minute. The Golden Retriever is a dog, not the result of a creative idea!” Me: “Not so fast there, Sporty. The Golden Retriever was the result of a creative thinker saying, ‘If I breed a yellow Labrador Retriever with a Tweed Water Spaniel, I might get an ...

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The 3 Magic Questions To Unlock Your Creative Thinking

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Your business is dying.

Okay, that may not technically be true. It was meant to be a “grabber.” That said, it might be true.

You see, any business that isn’t continually coming up with creative solutions to business challenges is slowly dying. If it’s lucky. If it’s not lucky, it’s quickly dying.

There are three questions I like to use that will help you and your team unlock your creative brilliance and apply it directly to the challenge at hand. The three questions, ...

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Change One Thing To Produce Better Results Under Pressure

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John Hypothetical has a big exam coming up, and there’s a lot riding on the outcome. He prepares well for the exam, but he’s understandably nervous. When the big day arrives, he can feel his heart beating fast. Despite all his preparation, John chokes.

Emily Imaginary has the same big exam coming up, with the same consequences riding on the outcome. She also prepares well and is also understandably nervous. When the big day arrives, she can feel her heart beating ...

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Why You Need To Care About Creativity

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I’m continually astounded by how short-sighted some leaders are. Let me tell you what I mean.

Last week, I was booked by the CEO of an organization that wants me to keynote their annual conference in October. The topic of the keynote is Producing Under Pressure. After we agreed on the details for the keynote program, I asked him, “What do you have on the agenda to help your team think more creatively?” (I have a great hands-on breakout session on ...

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Unlock Your Creative Ideas With This Magic Question

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It happens virtually every morning.

You wake up, and there in the paper, or online, or on TV, is a success story. (Yes, they’re there. Sometimes you have to wade through the garbage.) Some entrepreneur, some company, some industry has come up with a game-changer. It might be Elon Musk, or the folks at Apple, or some person you’ve never heard of from some small town you’ve never heard of. But they’ve done it. They’ve come up with something brilliant—a breakthrough.

And ...

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