Video: I’m going to be honest with you

Hi my friends,

I’m back! Last year, I promised to share more of my work and thoughts with all of you, since I knew it was going to be a big year of change. But my pace of personal evolution has been so fast that I haven’t had time to reflect on what is happening.

Now, that I am getting my footing, I feel like I have so much to tell you and so much I want to say about my executive coaching work and how it has continued to evolve and grow. Plus, LIFE and personal development and insights about being a woman and a mom and an entrepreneur… There are a million stories to share! It’s a bit overwhelming. And perfection is the enemy of sharing here, hence….

I have a plan: I am going to start using this blog, the Caneelian, for sharing my rough drafts.

I just re-read the Cult of Done for about the 15th time, which reminded me if I can’t press publish before I stand up I’m never going to publish.

So, I am going to do more video, update unfinished work, out incomplete drafts up here, really personal stuff, and strange things that come to me in middle of the night.

If you want to come along for the ride, you’re invited to read all of it and share what comes up for you. I will be looking at comments as I always do and integrating them into more finished drafts for a more polished place, which I’ll tell you about later.

My intention is to open up my creative flow, and in spirit of modeling vulnerability — which I believe is the essence of powerful leadership — I’m going to be using this to show you behind the curtain.

My goal is to do 3 posts somewhere online at least once a month, at least 1 of those being here.

If you want to start your own brand experiment or are already doing something like this, please comment and we can follow each other.

Thanks for watching! See you again soon!

How to Keep an Idea Log You Will Actually Use

Me & Steven Johnson

Earlier this week, Steven Johnson came to the London School of Economics to present his new book, Where Good Ideas Come From: A Natural History of Innovation. This thought leader’s fascinating talk was sponsored by my department.

(You can watch the video or download the podcast on the LSE Events website.)

At the end of his talk, I asked Johnson to explain how we as individuals can come up with more “good ideas”.

Steven described his method: Continue reading “How to Keep an Idea Log You Will Actually Use”

Missing inspiration?

I don’t worry about inspiration. I am unable to detect the difference between what came easily and when I had to sit down and say, ‘Well, now it’s writing time and now I’ll write.’ There’s no difference on paper between the two.

Frank Herbert, science fiction writer (via @academicladder)

And Van Halen sings “Write now!”

If you want to write, you can. Fear stops most people from writing, not lack of talent, whatever that is. Who am I? What right have I to speak? Who would listen to me if I do? You’re a human being with a unique story to tell, and you have every right. Yours enlarges the circle.

Richard Rhodes: How to Write: Advice and Reflections, Harper, 1995.

How To Pitch Ideas like Don Draper & Why to Think About It Early

When it comes to turning creativity into innovation, how an idea is pitched is probably more important than what the idea is.  Creators often want to spend time perfecting the idea and run out of gas when it comes to developing the presentation.  I’ve seen it happen time and again in my work facilitating product innovation teams.

Visualizing the pitch during the idea generation stage is essential. Thinking about how to frame your idea will help you make your idea simpler, tighter, more coherent, and more valuable. Imagining your pitch is a very useful constraint during the creative process.  So don’t wait until you’ve decided on your idea to start thinking about how to sell it!   This is especially if your audience is likely to perceive your idea as a risky departure from the status quo.

This video shows Mad Men’s beloved Don Draper pitching an idea nearly perfectly.  Memorable story line?  Check.  Metaphor?  Check.  Characters?  Check.  Personal?  Check.  Emotional?  Check.  Vivid?   See for yourself….

(I used this video when David Reimer and I taught a workshop on pitching and presenting ideas – something we called “The How” – for Haas@Work, the Applied Innovation program at the Haas School of Business. –> If you’d like me to write more about pitching and presenting please contact me or write a quick comment below.)

TIP: If you need to pitch ideas to make innovation happen, I highly recommend Chip and Dan Heath’s book Made to Stick. Tons of free resources are available on their website to supplement the book, including the first chapter if you register.  Happy pitching!

I want to share ideas more freely

…and so I am going to start writing MORE often LESS perfectly.  Not to imply in any way that I have ever achieved anything close to the P-word!  It’s an elusive self illusion maintained to protect the ego….   so I must let it go and practice what I preach and share my ideas before they’re “ready.”

I am going to start writing more PUBLICLY.  After half-reading The Artists Way by Julia Cameron, I always write my morning pages.  When I don’t write my three pages of drivel first thing in the morning,
I feel rushed and scattered, especially if my day is unstructured by meetings and teaching – and I’m sure it’s not just a scattered feeling but that it’s apparent in my behavior as well.  Because I have to manage my self, my projects, and my own time, I need to manage my mind.  So I write.

But because I’m kind of a scaredy-cat, I don’t share.  I keep wonderful private journals that nobody can read.

So now I’m going to start the habit of writing drivel that I share publicly in the hopes that what I learn and think day to day might somehow someday help someone someway.

I hope you enjoy and read and comment and share yourself.  Here goes.  Vanity, be gone.