Do You Really Think for Yourself?

The question, “Do you really think for yourself?” isn’t as easy to answer as you might think. When a challenge or problem arises at work and you’re unsure of an answer, you probably rely on the judgment of others. But what if you know the answer to the...

Pilots Are Not Experiments

In previous blog entries, I discussed why you need to make your innovation a form of experimentation. Doing this redefines the meaning of failure. Experiments (and as a result, innovation) only fails when you don’t have enough data to support or refute your hypothesis. Disproving...

Study Failures, Not Successes

I recently attended a meeting where we were going to be taught the secrets of becoming a “7-figure” professional speaker.  That is, we would learn how to make $1,000,000 a year.  The presenter is part of an elite group of speakers who earn at least this much every...

Focus on Usefulness, Not Validity

About 10 years ago, I developed the Personality Poker® system. Since then, I gathered a mountain of anecdotal evidence supporting its value.  But one question remained in my mind: Is Personality Poker truly valid? That is, do the words actually measure what they are supposed to...

Stop Calling it Innovation!

A potential client asked, “What is the best way to create a culture of innovation?” My response: “Stop calling it innovation!” Innovation has become the word du jour.  Is it important?  Of course.  But the term has been used and abused by so many people...

Expert Advice? Why You Should Be Skeptical

We are constantly bombarded by expert advice from advertisements, books, magazines, TV and the Internet. But how much of this information is actually true? From my experience, there is reason to believe that little of it is accurate. People (often unknowingly) make claims that...

Making Connections

One of my favorite topics is to discuss how breakthroughs are generated by looking for someone who has solved a similar problem in a different space. Some examples I talk about in my “Best Practices Are Stupid” books are: A company developed a new type of whitening...

Ask a Different Question, Get a Different Answer

Today I want to test your mental muscle with an activity I conduct with my clients. If you are a college sports fan, you will most likely be familiar with the NCAA basketball playoffs. 65 teams in total compete. The games are organized into brackets like the one illustrated here....

I Won’t Work for Money

The other day I was asked to speak for a company that had a limited amount of money and could pay me only 15% of my speaking fee. Today I was asked to speak at a company in exchange for my receiving bicycle in lieu of cash (as you may guess, they manufacture bicycles).  The value...

When You Sit on the Fence, You Get Splinters in Your Ass!

This article was published on the American Express OPEN Forum.  The title you see here on this blog was rejected by them and replaced with “The Art of Decision Making.”  I decided to retain the original. A couple months back, Accenture released the results of a survey...
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