Why Brainstorming Rarely Works

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Brainstorming is popular – way popular – especially in corporations and nonprofit organizations. But the truth is, research has shown over and over that people produce better quality ideas when they start by working alone. And yet, companies, nonprofits, and churches have enshrined “brainstorming” as the #1 go-to method for coming up with new ideas. Why?

Why Creativity Isn’t Always Sweetness and Light

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One of my favorite lines in film is when Orson Welles improvised a scene while playing Harry Lime in “The Third Man” in 1949: “In Italy, for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The Cuckoo clock.”  As creatives, we work hard trying to

How “Clutter” Can Kill Your Creativity

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I’ve written many times on this blog about the danger of “clutter.”  Clutter comes in all forms – from the media voices screaming for our attention, to the messy desk in front of us (where was that file again?) to the million other options that keep us from pursuing our creative calling.  Now, The Wall Street Journal reminds us how William Zinsser, author of the writing classic “On Writing Well” (1976) and who died May 12 at age 92, felt about clutter in our writing.  It’s worth the read:

How To Overcome The Five Greatest Fears

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What are you afraid of? You may not be a wimp, but the truth is, everyone is afraid of something. And chances are, when you get to the root of your fear, you start discovering what’s holding you back. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich, poor, successful, unsuccessful, famous or not famous, fear is a problem for everyone. David Sanford has written that the five greatest fears of professional people are:

Here’s What’s Keeping You From Accomplishing Your Dream Project

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Why aren’t you writing your book, creating your film, starting your business, launching your ministry, or otherwise making your big idea happen? Probably because of what writer Steven Pressfield calls “Resistance” – that urge to do anything other than sit down and do what you actually need to do. I’m working on my next book, and yet every morning I have an almost uncontrollable urge to do something – anything – else: check my email, re-arrange my closet, organize my desk, take a walk, or a million other things. The idea of “Resistance” is far more powerful than we think, and unless we

Your Boss Won’t Listen? Then Quietly Make Changes On Your Own

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I met someone recently who heard me speak at an international conference a few years ago. She was managing the local office for a major American media ministry in that country. She told me that after hearing me speak at the original conference, she was excited to go back and start using the ideas I shared, but when she talked to her boss, he

The Greatest Secret for Breakthrough Creativity

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While I believe that everyone is creative, the truth is, real breakthrough creativity is rare – because it takes work, skill, and courage. But many pursue it, and as a result, there are thousands of websites, social media feeds, books and other resources on creativity. But from my perspective, the greatest secret for breakthrough creativity can be taken from a quote from novelist Kingsley Amis:

Why So Many Authors & Bloggers Fail

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Today I interview professional blogger and best-selling author Frank Viola. Viola has been interviewed in TIME magazine, Enterepreneur.com, and many other publications. In addition to writing, blogging, and speaking on Christian topics, Viola consults authors, bloggers, and entrepreneurs. He is also one of the presenters of the popular Buzz Seminar Master Course.  I caught up with Viola to ask him some questions about writing books and blogging: