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Problem Solving

Your mind is getting in the way

Whoosh, Bang, Miss! The same cycle kept repeating itself. At the time, I was in Dublin to give a keynote. There was a farm that offered skeet shooting near the countryside hotel where I was staying. I had never tried skeet shooting before, so I decided to give it a …

The worst tool for idea generation?

Alex Osborn was the real life Don Draper. He co-founded the advertising agency BBDO—the inspiration behind the fictional Sterling Cooper agency in Mad Men, one of my all-time favorite shows. In the 1930s, Osborn invented a practice at BBDO to boost creativity. The goal was to generate ideas for client …

How to reimagine your future

In 1975, a young Kodak engineer named Steven Sasson developed the first digital camera. The Kodak management’s reaction? That’s cute. Don’t tell anyone about it. Kodak’s entire business model had been based on film photography. Sasson’s invention would wipe out film, which in turn would wipe out Kodak’s existing business. …

When you get stuck, do this.

The Office is one of my favorite comedy shows of all time. The series ran for over 200 episodes. It’s not easy for the writers of a show to maintain momentum and generate good ideas for that long. When the writers inevitably found themselves in a rut, they’d do something …

Development Alchemy + Aim