Posts Tagged 'innovative thinking'

Don’t Change Your Business; Redefine It

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Last week I was the guest on a radio show—two hours talking about the Beatles, which is heaven for me. One of the things we spent a great deal of time talking about was the Beatles’ incredible growth and evolution from album to album. I mean, in roughly five years these guys went from Please Please Me through Sgt. Pepper and the White album all the way to Abbey Road. That’s a growth curve that’s unprecedented and, so far, unequaled ...

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The Magic of Lifelong Learning

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When is the last time you learned something new? And I’m talking about real, purposeful learning (as in, say, learning Italian) as opposed to mundane, everyday learning (as in, “Really? Cousin Mary’s having a baby? How wonderful!”) I’m talking about the kind of learning that takes a conscientious effort, and that really works the old brain muscle. If you’re like many people, your answer probably begins with some variation of, “Well, let’s see. I left college in….”

And that’s not good ...

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The Most Important Skill for the Future

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I saw a billboard the other day that said something to the effect of: “The top 15 careers of 2025 don’t even exist today.” Whether those numbers are accurate or not, they’re almost certainly in the ballpark. The point is, we can’t predict with any certainty what the challenges and opportunities will be even a few years down the pike. After all, in the 60s nobody was predicting anything remotely like the computer industry or the Internet, not to mention ...

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3 More Beatles Songs Every Leader Should Know

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A few weeks ago I wrote an article called 3 Beatles Songs Every Leader Should Know. My premise was that in the Beatles’ 200+ oeuvre, there are a number of songs that, by their title alone, could give a successful business leader plenty of food for thought. Today we’re going to look at three more:

Tomorrow Never Knows (from the Revolver album, 1966): We can study trends, we can examine the prognostications of futurists, we can even read tea ...

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How to Get Your Brain Unstuck

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How often have you gotten stuck while looking for a new idea, or seeking the solution to a problem? 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, and now needed to wrap it up in a way that was surprising, funny, and quick. And that’s where I’d get stuck. It’s really the same ...

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The Power of Ideas

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I’ve been talking a lot about ideas lately. I love ideas. I love coming up with them, I love watching others come up with them, I love seeing them brought to fruition. It’s been said that, in business, nothing happens until somebody sells something. That may be true, but you know what? In virtually everything—business included—nothing happens until somebody has the idea for it. Look around you. Everything you see (at least everything human-made), from the shoes on your feet ...

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Are You a Crank or a Visionary?

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So I was reading through a book of Mark Twain quotes last night (did the guy ever say anything that wasn’t pure gold?), and I came upon one that was particularly relevant to my last post:

“The man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

Bill Gates was an idiot whose idea of “a computer on every desk” was patently absurd. Those wacky Wright kids, Orville and Wilbur, with their crazy “flying machine” idea—what were they thinking? And ...

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Have You Missed the Boat?

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Do you ever feel like you missed the boat? Do you ever feel like opportunity has, once again, passed you by? Do you ever find yourself saying, “If only I had…

…invented the Pet Rock;
…bought into Microsoft when it first went public;
…come up with the idea for Facebook?”

Somehow the innovations always seem to go to the other guy. It’s not that you’re not smart; it’s just that your timing is off, right?

Bull crap.

Charles Duell, the Commissioner of ...

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Ringo, Innovation, and Challenging Times

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So I was out to dinner last night, and two guys at a nearby table were discussing Sunday’s Grammy awards—specifically Paul McCartney’s performance of I Saw Her Standing There with Foo Fighter (and former Nirvana drummer) Dave Grohl on drums. This led one of the two to say “Well, Ringo never really was much of a drummer. But I guess he was an okay timekeeper, and that’s really all the Beatles needed.” The other one agreed. At that point, I’m ...

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An Outside Perspective

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A couple of miles from where I live is an intersection where a local panhandler has staked his claim. Day after day he’s there brandishing his sign, looking for donations. Most days I just drive by and wave; he always waves back. Occasionally I’ll give him a few bucks. Clearly the location is working for him, otherwise he would have moved on long ago. A few weeks ago, during a brief respite from the winter cold, I was driving along ...

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