Uncategorized Blog Archives

prototype

The Value of Prototyping in Research and Development

Posted November 3, 2018 in Uncategorized

Last week I was the innovation keynote speaker for the James Hardie Research and Development Conference for their scientists and engineers. I normally don’t show anyone my first prototype, but I wanted to show how simple prototyping can be, and the value of prototyping in research and development.

 

A prototype…

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Halloween innovation

Halloween Innovation

Posted October 28, 2018 in Uncategorized

People love the tradition and rituals of holidays. It’s a comfortable time of doing something we’ve always done year after year, and usually involves family and friends getting together for a structured event. It’s a time when the uncertainty of life becomes certain, if only for a day.

 

But that…

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innovation in nature

Innovation in Nature – Cell Phone Screens

Posted September 4, 2018 in Uncategorized

How many times have you tried to use your cell phone in bright sunlight and were unable to see the screen? Thanks to mother nature, that may be a thing of the past.

 

According to the Optic Society, “Reflection is the major reason it’s difficult to read a phone screen…

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problem solving

Creativity and Problem Solving Through Low Tech

Posted August 5, 2018 in Uncategorized

As technology takes over more of our lives, there is one skill a machine just cannot compete with…creativity. According to The World Economic Forum’s recently released report, The Future of Jobs, that skill has moved from 10th place in 2015 to #3 in 2020. This is based on information supplied…

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Creativity and Problem Solving Top Job Skills for the Future

Posted July 9, 2018 in Uncategorized

According to the World Economic Forum’s “Future of Jobs Report”, creativity and problem solving are listed in the top three skills that employees will need by 2020. Critical problem solving is one of the most important attributes that employers look for in a new hire because no organization is without problems,…

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Innovation in Home Care

Posted June 17, 2018 in Uncategorized

I was pleased to be the innovation keynote speaker recently at the Rocky Mountain Home Care Conference in Beaver Creek. The topic “Turning Your Employees Into Problem Solvers” was well received by a packed crowd of people in the home care and hospice industry.

 

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Innovations in the Fire Industry

Posted May 14, 2018 in Uncategorized

Last month I had the pleasure of being the innovation keynote speaker for the Southeast Michigan Fire Chiefs Association on “Fire Industry Leadership in the Age of Disruption”. It was an honor to be among so many heroes, and what I didn’t know is that 69% of all firefighters…

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Why Associations Need to Innovate

Posted March 1, 2018 in Innovation, Uncategorized

Associations are a legacy business, like newspapers, and the TV industry. And they have all enjoyed many years of success without being challenged…until now.

 

Early roots of associations could be found in craft guilds, churches, and trading groups. Guilds were formed to protect the interests of merchants and craftsmen….

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The Creativity Gap Between Management and Employees

Posted December 3, 2017 in Creativity, Leadership, Uncategorized

The creativity gap between management and employees keeps getting wider. As a creativity keynote speaker I’m hired to get employees excited about creativity and innovation. By the end of the speech, which is a combination of creativity education, fun creativity exercises and interactive improv, I have accomplished what…

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How Creativity and Innovation Can Save Your Life

Posted November 21, 2017 in Uncategorized

Lately I’ve been hooked on the Weather Channel’s new show “SOS: How to Survive”, where survival expert Creek Stewart teaches innovative skills to help you survive in a dangerous situation. Each episode is about real people caught up in true stories of life or death survival, and how you…

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innovation keynote speaker

How to Kill Innovation – That’s The Way It’s Always Been Done

Posted November 5, 2017 in Uncategorized

When I ask people why we still have daylight savings time, most shrug their shoulders and say “I don’t know. That’s the way it’s always been done”. I hear this a lot as an innovation keynote speaker. Many times systems are put into place for a particular reason,…

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Inventor of Scotch Tape – Richard Gurley Drew

Posted November 1, 2017 in Uncategorized

As a creativity keynote speaker, one of the things I talk about is serendipity, or finding something valuable that you’re not looking for. Scotch brand tape was one of those serendipitous ideas that was invented to solve one problem and ended up solving many more.

 

One way many inventors…

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Creativity and the Value of Improv

Posted September 25, 2017 in Uncategorized

Creativity shares some of the same rules as improv. For one thing, every idea is the best idea you’ve ever heard. There’s no judging and no denying. And that’s the beauty of it. Companies and organizations that are worried about the costs of innovation, need not be worried about…

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play creativity

Why Play is Important for Creativity

Posted August 23, 2017 in Uncategorized

Most of the articles out there about play involve children and how important it is for their development. But what about adults? I guess adults don’t really have to incorporate play into their lives, but how boring would that be? According to Plato “Life must be lived as play”….

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innovation keynote speaker

Inventor of Coston Flares

Posted August 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

If inventors know one thing it’s how to make lemons out of lemonade. History is full of stories about inventors who have succeeded despite failure and tragedy, and inventor Martha Coston dealt with both.

 

She married a man, Benjamin Coston, a scientist who was already an inventor who was just…

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Are You a Genius?

Posted June 20, 2017 in Creativity, Uncategorized

What do you think of when you hear the word genius? If you’re like most people, you think that person probably has a high IQ. But IQ test scores only measure problem solving and reasoning. It doesn’t measure creativity, and it doesn’t account for savants.

 

It’s been reported…

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How Daydreaming Improves Creative Problem Solving

Posted April 24, 2017 in Creativity, Uncategorized

So, you’re sitting there in class, reading a book or listening to a lecture, and suddenly you find yourself on a tropical island beach sipping a pina colada as the waves caress your toes. Then, just as suddenly, you snap out of it when the teacher calls on you….

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The Woman Inventor That Saved the Cotton Industry

Posted March 30, 2017 in Uncategorized

One reason only a fraction of patent holders are women is because women simply aren’t encouraged to invent. That wasn’t the case with Ruth Benerito, who was surrounded by encouragement in her formative years, which was spent in the grips of the Great Depression.

 

Her father was an engineer, who…

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How Humor Affects Creativity

Posted March 16, 2017 in Creativity, Uncategorized

As a creativity keynote speaker I love seeing audience members jump up on stage and get out of their comfort zone with improv. Not that it’s easy to get them to do that. But once they find out how much fun it is, their creativity is unleashed. Because creativity…

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The Surprising Reason for Lack of Women Inventors

Posted March 6, 2017 in Inventing, Uncategorized

At a recent innovation keynote speech I gave to Fortune 500 women executives, sponsored by Cognizant Technology Solutions, we examined some of the reasons fewer than 19 percent of all patents in the world are secured by women. This isn’t patents held by a single woman, but patents…

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creativity keynote speaker

Inventor Spotlight – Louis Pasteur

Posted February 18, 2017 in Inventing, Uncategorized

Because of the nature of their jobs, many inventors are scientists and engineers. One scientist who was also an inventor was Louis Pasteur, a French chemist and microbiologist, who was known for his discovery of pasteurization and microbial fermentation. His germ theory states that many diseases are caused by…

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Primitive Creativity and Innovation

Posted January 1, 2017 in Innovation, Uncategorized

Creativity and innovation cover such a wide spectrum, it’s hard to say when it all actually started. Since the beginning of mankind we have had a propensity to come up with new ideas, and constantly improve on existing ideas. The need to create is built into our DNA.

 

Some of…

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creativity keynote speaker

Could There Finally be Diversity for Women in the C-Suite?

Posted December 12, 2016 in Leadership, Uncategorized

We’ve been hearing forever that there need be more women in the C-Suite. Tiny baby steps have gradually been pushing this into becoming a reality. But maybe it will finally happen… in 2030. I know, that sounds like a very long time to wait for women who have only…

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Inventor Spotlight – Garrett Morgan

Posted December 2, 2016 in Inventing, Uncategorized

Garrett Morgan proves that you don’t have to be a scientist or an engineer to be an inventor. You also don’t have to have a college degree. But there is one trait you must have if you want to be an inventor, and that’s curiosity.

 

Garrett Morgan was the son…

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creativity keynote speaker

Innovative Experiential Learning

Posted November 27, 2016 in Uncategorized

Entrepreneurs who bootstrap businesses will tell you that the best way to learn is by actually getting your hands dirty and learning by doing, or experiential learning. I’ve been doing this for over 20 years as a serial entrepreneur. As long as I had a passion for a business,…

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Bra Inventor and Art Patron Caresse Crosby

Posted September 18, 2016 in Inventing, Uncategorized

Caresse Crosby lived the life of an upper class debutante in New York and Connecticut growing up. One night while she was dressing to go out to another ball, she put on her customary whalebone corset under her evening gown. Disappointed in the way it made her dress look,…

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creativity keynote speaker

3 Reasons People Resist Change and How to Fix it

Posted August 13, 2016 in Uncategorized

Change is something that’s going to happen whether you want it to or not. As a business owner, if you wait for change to happen, your competition is going to eat your dust. Getting stuck in the same old tired ideas that aren’t working anymore is a formula for failure.

 

As a…

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creativity keynote speaker

The Future of Newspapers

Posted July 19, 2016 in Innovation, Uncategorized

The thing about innovation is that people are inherently resistant to change. That’s never been truer than in the newspaper industry. And, I mean, who could blame them? For decades newspapers were raking in such enormous profits it was literally like printing money. Pun intended.

 

Nobody in that position wants…

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creativity keynote speaker

Can Creativity Be Automated?

Posted April 11, 2016 in Uncategorized

The topic of artificial intelligence taking over the world has been something fiction writers have been talking about for years. But should we be worried about robots taking over our jobs? I mean, they are already capable of cleaning our floors, like the Roomba, and they can drive our cars….

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creativity keynote speaker

Inventor Spotlight – Ann Moore

Posted December 8, 2015 in Inventing, Uncategorized

Inventor and pediatric nurse Ann Moore proved that you can make an old idea new again. It was during her time in the Peace Corps in West Africa that she first saw mothers carrying their babies around on their backs in fabric harnesses. The babies seemed very content with…

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Innovation Lessons Companies Can Learn From the Pilgrims

Posted November 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

A pilgrim is someone who makes a long and difficult journey. As an inventor and innovator I have definitely found that journey to be a rough and rocky one, that has never gone as planned, and I’ve learned a lot of innovation lessons along the way.

 

For the 102…

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creativity keynote speaker

Inventor’s Spotlight – Woman Inventor – Margaret Knight

Posted November 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

I’ll never forget the day I got a call from someone who was shocked that a woman had invented the wrist water bottle. We should be so far beyond that in our society, but the fact that fewer than 15% of all patents are issued to…

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creativity keynote speaker

Maximize Innovation With a Creative Office Space

Posted November 8, 2015 in Uncategorized

What do flowers, plants and waterfalls have to do with innovation? A lot, according to an eight month study conducted by Texas A & M University. The study found that offices that included plants, flowers and waterfalls caused women to become more flexible and creative problem solvers and…

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Women Scientists and Engineers as Inventors

Posted September 15, 2015 in Uncategorized

scientistThe first creativity workshop I ever put on was for a group of women engineers. Years later my audience still tends to be predominately engineers and scientists. It’s helped me stay on top of my game because they’re not…

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creativity keynote speaker

Innovative Sales Rep Turned Accidental Inventor

Posted September 8, 2015 in Uncategorized

Invention ideas can come from a variety of places. Sometimes inventions are forced by sheer necessity, and sometimes they happen purely by accident. Door-to-door salesman Edwin Cox became an accidental inventor after coming up with an innovative sales technique to get women to buy his pots and pans. Read More


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The Innovator Behind “A Christmas Carol”

Posted December 9, 2014 in Innovation, Uncategorized

The story of Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley has withstood the test of time since 1843. The classic novella written by Charles Dickens, cuts to the heart of even the most jaded, and brings a ray of hope that the Christmas “spirit”…

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Conceptual Thinking and Creative Note Taking

Posted May 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

Anyone who has seen my office and the piles of hand-written notes on legal pads, in the backs of books, on scraps of paper and napkins, and on various Post-it notes stuck to the wall would probably label me a bit kooky. So, I’m glad to hear that a…

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disruptive innovation

Disruptive Innovation Creates Opportunity

Posted April 8, 2014 in Innovation, Uncategorized

Disruptive innovation is innovation that disrupts an existing market and creates a new one. All industries are subject to change. And people will hang on to the status quo as long as possible. Society in general often feels threatened by the disruption of the status quo. But if you…

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creativity keynote speaker

Mothers of Invention Grants

Posted April 5, 2014 in Innovation, Uncategorized

They say that necessity is the mother of invention, even though fewer than 15% of all patent holders in the world to this day are women. But Toyota is doing its part to help draw attention to women innovators and women inventors at the fourth annual Women in the…

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creativity keynote speaker

Woman Inventor – Josephine Cochran

Posted March 28, 2014 in Inventing, Uncategorized

If you’re like most people, washing dishes is a chore. Okay, maybe it’s just me. But back in 1886 a woman inventor named Josephine Cochran thought the same thing. Technically Joel Houghton patented a dish washing machine, but it was a wooden machine that just splashed water on dishes….

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Women Inventors – Tabitha Babbitt

Posted March 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

I’ve heard too many times that women inventors tend to invent “girlie” things. Sometimes that might be true, but not always. Take the case of the shy and quiet inventor Tabitha Babbitt, who invented the circular saw, which is certainly far from being a girlie invention.

 

One day Tabitha was…

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creativity keynote speaker

Inventors Spotlight – Woman Inventor – Ruth Handler

Posted March 16, 2014 in Inventing, Uncategorized

Ruth Handler’s claim to fame as a woman inventor and woman innovator is that she invented the Barbie Doll. But Ruth’s resume was much bigger than that. She started off in 1945 as the co-founder of the toy company Mattel, which made toy furniture, music boxes, plastic mirrors, and…

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creativity keynote speaker

A Week of Creativity and Innovation

Posted March 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

Every year fifty countries around the world take one week to celebrate world creativity and innovation week. This takes place between April 15th through April 21st in communities and organizations who want to think differently.

 

World creativity and innovation week was started by several Canadians in 2001 who were shocked…

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Inventors Spotlight – Women Inventors – Marjorie Joyner

Posted March 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

Since March is Women’s History Month, we’ll be highlighting women inventors and women innovators who deserve their place in history. In 1928 it was hard enough for a woman to get a job, but for African Americans the unemployment number was twice as high. But one black woman who…

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Why Your Corporation Should Hire a Creativity Keynote Speaker

Posted January 1, 2014 in Creativity, Innovation, Uncategorized

Today’s markets are so saturated that the only way to differentiate yourself from the crowd is through constant and consistent creativity and innovation. According to a recent Fortune Magazine poll, most CEOs say that innovation is their #1 priority. But the truth is that most companies don’t innovate until…

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Christmas Inventions and Innovations

Posted December 24, 2013 in Innovation, Uncategorized

black fridayThe celebration of Christmas is full of innovative ideas. Not all innovation has to be an invention or product. Innovation can be an idea or a series of ideas. The very concept of Christmas, I think, is a genius…

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Charlotte Odlum Smith – Champion of Women Inventors

Posted December 12, 2013 in Inventing, Uncategorized

Inventors and innovators are a unique breed. Creative Innovation would like to spotlight those people who have helped change the course of history or simply made life better and easier through their innovative products, designs or processes. We’ll start with the editor of The Woman Inventor, Charlotte Odlum…

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creativity keynote speaker

Minimizing Risk in Small Business

Posted October 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

There is always a risk when you start a new business, but there are also many rewards to being a business owner and controlling your own destiny. Many people avoid starting their own businesses because of the risk. But you can start minimizing risk in small business by being…

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Innovation and Winning Streaks

Posted October 3, 2011 in Innovation, Uncategorized

With the big Mega Millions Lottery reaching a record-breaking jackpot this week, I thought I would write a post on winning. Does it contain the winning lottery numbers? Of course not. We have those under lock and key.

 

Have you ever noticed how winners seem to have things so easy?…

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