Disciplined Dreaming - Featured Interview with Josh Linkner - My Quest for the Best

Disciplined Dreaming – Featured Interview with Josh Linkner

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Bestselling Author and Founder and CEO, Detroit Venture Partners

Detroit, MI

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • How creativity is the new currency of success
  • The most exciting news about creativity (hint: it’s something we can all tap within ourselves)
  • What one corporation did to encourage calculated risk-taking among all employees
  • What creating an arch enemy does for boosting creativity at all levels in a company
  • A novel technique for overcoming timid ideas in brainstorming sessions

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:35 How an interest in jazz music sparked Linkner’s early passion for creativity.

1:55 “Creativity, truly, is the currency of success.”

2:08 “Today with the challenges of our times more difficult than ever, creativity has shifted from a ‘nice to have’ to ‘mission critical.’”

2:31 “In business we’re often heads down and doing task-oriented things and are following a manual, procedure, or process. In creativity involves using your imagination to come up with new ways, whether it’s a new product or service, or new way to communicate and tell the story of your business.”

2:59 “What we’ve found is that following the operating manual is no pathway to success. If anything that we learned from the financial crisis of 2008, it’s that the rules of the game have fundamentally changed.”

3:25 Why improvisation is such a valuable skill in the marketplace.

3:44 “In today’s world of dizzying speed, exponential complexity, and ruthless competition, creativity has really become job #1. A recent survey of 1500 CEO’s across 32 countries reveal that the #1 most important attribute for success in the next 5 years of business, in fact, is creativity.”

4:09 “What we need more than ever aren’t people who can just do what they’re told and follow the rules and cut costs, we need people that can think on their feet and who can innovate new products and services, and reimagine the way they do work. The people that are always obsessed with finding a better way.”

4:19 “Creativity is fundamentally a learned behavior, which means that all of us as human beings have enormous creative potential, we just need a systematic approach to unleashing it.”

5:13 “Most of us are brought up in environments that restrict creativity. We’re taught in school to follow the rules, there’s only one right answer, and whatever you do don’t make any mistakes. The problem is that if you run that game plan in the real world, if you run that game plan today, it’s a surefire path to mediocrity. Doing exactly the opposite is what allows us to reach our potential.”

5:41 Examples of companies who are fostering creativity well.

6:34 “So many individuals in companies spend their lives trying to play it safe, only to discover playing it safe has become the riskiest move at all.”

6:47 “The companies that embrace making mistakes and failing along the way, understanding that mistakes are the portals of discovery, are the ones that truly thrive and are building sustainable organizations.”

7:15 The story of ePrize and how they used creativity to stay ahead of competitors, even the ones they invented themselves.

9:52 “The most important natural resource of all is the human creativity that lives inside your team…Your job as a leader is not just to manage costs, but to help unleash that creative capacity.”

10:27 Why the way leaders interact with their teams affect productivity or, in some cases, keep employees from unlocking their creative potential.

11:50 How 3M fosters continually fosters innovation.

12:41 “No matter how big or successful you get, you always want to be focused on reinvention. You always want to be the force of disruptive change. Because it’s always more fun to be the disruptor than the disruptee.”

13:20 The difference between incremental and disruptive change.

13:29 “Disruptive thinking has to start with the ability to imagine what can be, instead of what is. It’s about imagining the possibilities and not being restricted by the way things currently are.”

14:25 The story of Detroit and its innovative early years, complacent middle years, and its rebirth of innovation in current years.

15:51 [On Detroit’s future] “Creativity can be applied not only to small companies, but even to troubled cities.”

16:38 “Sometimes the only way to make progress is through bold action.”

17:55 What if the Founding Fathers had not taken bold action?

18:30 The prevalent myths of creativity.

19:16 “Everyone in an organization, irrespective of job title, not only has the ability to be creative, has the responsibility to be creative.”

19:50 Why it’s important to spend time doing things you enjoy away from work.

20:15 The art of role-storming, rather than brainstorming.

Expert Bio

Josh Linkner is the New York Times bestselling author of Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity, named one of the top 10 business books of 2011. He is also the CEO and Managing Partner of Detroit Venture Partners where, together with business partners Earvin “Magic” Johnson and NBA team owner Dan Gilbert, Josh is actively rebuilding urban areas through technology and entrepreneurship.

Josh is the Founder, Chairman, and former CEO of ePrize, the largest interactive promotion agency in the world providing digital marketing services for 74 of the top 100 brands, and has founded three other successful technology companies. He is also Adjunct Professor of Applied Creativity at the University of Michigan.

He has been honored as the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and the Detroit News Michiganian of the Year, and is a President Barack Obama Champion of Change award recipient. Josh is a regular columnist for Fast Company and Inc. Magazine, and his work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, and The New York Times.

Josh is also a Berklee-trained professional jazz guitarist who performs regularly in jazz clubs throughout the United States. Most importantly, Josh is on a mission to make the world more creative.

For more information, visit Josh’s website.

Contact Info for Josh Linkner

Business Phone: 760-603-8110

Web address: JoshLinkner.com

Travels From: Detroit, MI

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Books by Josh Linkner