A little over a week ago, I was on a stage in Vancouver, BC, giving a TEDx talk about creativity to 2,700 people. The video will soon be available online, where it could be seen by (fingers crossed!) millions.
The road to a TEDx talk—whether it’s seen by millions or just dozens—is a long one. At this point, of course, I don’t know whether my talk will hit millions of views, dozens, or somewhere in between. But I do know two ...
I can’t tell you what your next million-dollar idea will be—but I can tell you, with near 100% certainty, where you’re going to find it. And it probably won’t be where you think.
In order to understand this, you have to understand what creativity is—and what it isn’t. Because your next million-dollar idea will be, by definition, a creative idea. And creativity, contrary to popular belief, doesn’t come from nowhere.
Creativity is not the “lightning bolt” that comes out of the blue. ...
If you’re wondering why your team doesn’t seem to be engaged in their work (which, according to Gallup, describes 68% of the American workforce), it may be because they just don’t give a crap about their jobs.
And that’s partly on you.
Among the needs that virtually all of us share is the need for purpose. We all like to feel like we’re a part of something bigger. And, sadly, many leaders do an absolutely terrible job of helping their ...
I used to be a fan of brainstorming. What could be better for generating ideas than gathering your team around a table, presenting the challenge, and then letting the ideas flow! No bad ideas here! Just open the mental floodgates and let the brilliance pour out! Each idea sparking another, and another! Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?
Except it doesn’t work.
Brainstorming—despite the positive press it’s gotten, and still gets—doesn’t work. Why? Two words: human nature.
That’s how I sometimes described my job as the Executive Producer of a hit comedy TV show in Seattle.
Turning creativity into money.
See, our job, week after week, was to be creative—on demand. BUT, that creativity had to lead to profit. If what we created—jokes, comedy sketches, parodies—didn’t draw an audience that advertisers would pay to reach, our creativity would have gone nowhere (and our careers would have quickly followed). But we did draw that audience, ...
That’s what Bob Nelson told me when he was one of the writers on Almost Live!, the comedy TV show that I executive produced in Seattle for 15 years. (For the record, Bob Nelson went on to earn a Best Original Screenplay Oscar nomination for the movie Nebraska.)
“I hate coming up with a great sketch idea.”
Now, why would he say something like that?
Because coming up with the idea is the fun part. ...
As I look out my office window, I see the leaves on the trees are starting to change color. Believe it or not, I’m not shocked by this. Nor am I wailing about the fact that the temperature is dropping and that dusk is coming earlier than it did a month ago.
Am I superhuman? Perhaps, but not because of this. The simple truth is that, if you’ve been alive on the planet (Earth) for more than a few ...
Would you like to find a creative solution to your current challenge du jour? It may be as close as the morning newspaper. (Note to younger readers: the “morning newspaper” used to be an actual thing. It was truly a marvelous invention. It appeared magically on your doorstep, required no scrolling, and never needed to be recharged.)
· Which of these hundred mayonnaises should I buy?
· Which of these hundred TV series should I Netflix?
· Which of these hundred Kardashians should I ignore?
For those of us fortunate enough to live in the developed world, we’re faced with a mind-boggling number of options every day. But, for the moment, let’s leave mayonnaise, Netflix, and the Kardashians out of it.