Smile! You’re On Camera

By |November 9, 2022|

Video. When I watch myself in a video it's sort of an out-of-body experience; is that really me on the screen? Do I look like that? Why do I keep doing that weird thing with my eyebrows? We are forever critical of ourselves and our [...]

Your predictable headlines have no story to tell

By |October 31, 2022|

As the holidays approach, I’m refining a new party trick. Let me try it on you, right now. “I bet I can guess the slide headlines on your most recent presentation.” “No way,” you say. “You don’t even know what I do for a living. [...]

Think you’re not creative? Think again.

By |September 30, 2022|

When people ask me what I do for a living, I say I’m a creativity consultant. The obvious comeback is, “Huh?” And for that, I have an answer: “I show business people how to use creativity and storytelling to communicate and get things done at [...]

Am I Out of a Job?

By |September 26, 2022|

Have you see Flippy, the robot designed to manage the fryer in fast food restaurants? It's pretty amazing until you watch it for a few minutes and realize how terrifyingly human it seems. It's "artificial intelligence" or AI, and is supposed to help cook french fries better, [...]

You’re boring. Stop that.

By |August 31, 2022|

When Jill and I started our Story Mode program, we easily landed on our motto/tagline/hashtag: Refuse To Be Boring. This phrase is our “way.” It’s our constant reminder and also an apt description of how we think, act, talk, create, work, relate. It’s how we [...]

Brainstorming? 39 ideas will pack a powerful punch.

By |July 28, 2022|

A decade ago, I accidentally invented a brainstorming rule. Scratch that. The only “rule” in brainstorming is that no idea is a bad idea. Otherwise, no rules. So, what should we call this thing that isn’t a rule? Is it a concept? A theory? A [...]

Do You Have the Right Time?

By |July 28, 2022|

The best writers--creative and business--understand the importance and power of time I’m waiting for the plumber to arrive. Ever since our revered plumber/friend Larry retired, our plumbing issues have either been ignored or a fix has been attempted by me. Never a good idea. There [...]

Stories need struggle. Storytellers do not.

By |June 30, 2022|

“I thought it would be easy.” When Jill and I use this prompt as a warm-up exercise in our Story Mode workshops, the result is always a fascinating variety of struggle stories. After just three minutes of writing, participants share vivid scenes that range from [...]

Blocks and Blockages

By |June 16, 2022|   I don’t believe in “writers block,” although that doesn’t stop me from whining about not being able to write. Clearly, I’m not the only one. I recently read about this cafe in Tokyo that offers free coffee and human naggers to check on you every [...]

We’ve outlawed disclaimers. Here’s why.

By |May 25, 2022|

When it comes to creative communication, I am not fond of rules—unless I’m breaking them. I tweak templates, bust boundaries, and write wrong. Perhaps this is why I’m self-employed; I take serious pleasure in challenging “the way we’ve always done it” and going against the [...]

DON’T Mind the Gap

By |May 2, 2022|

Have you ever ridden the London tube? “Mind the Gap” is what you hear over the loudspeaker every time the Tube stops and the doors open. The 'gap' is the space between the train and the platform. The phrase has become iconic and it has [...]

Stop inventing C.R.A.P. business words

By |April 29, 2022|

While Jill and I were guestcasting* on the Grounded Content podcast, Jill said: 
“You can take one piece of content and repurpose it in a hundred million different ways, and each of those repurposements ...” Yes, my business partner is fond of both hyperbole (A [...]

Recorded meetings interfere with creative collaboration

By |March 31, 2022|

“Hold on ... let me start recording.” In the past few weeks, I’ve heard this phrase even more than the dreaded: “You’re on mute.” As someone who loves to work from the comfort of home and stretchy pants, I’m a huge fan of virtual meetings. [...]

Should you be creative at work?

By |March 21, 2022|

Creative arguments It is a fact widely known that I like to argue. Debate might be a better word because a good debater must understand both sides of the argument. I’d like to think I open my mind enough to consider opinions that are not [...]

Looking for creative inspiration? Try some oatmeal.

By |February 28, 2022|

To know me is to understand that I procrastinate. Procrastination is part of my process. Especially my writing process. When I was in high school, this irritated my mother to no end. Seeing blank pages instead of a book report, she assumed I was wasting [...]

Swedish Death Cleaning will make you a better communicator

By |January 31, 2022|

Several years ago, people were raving about the KonMari method of decluttering and organizing. Attempting to jump on the bandwagon, I bought The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and started reading. A few pages in, I bailed. Marie Kondo wanted me to touch every possession [...]

To Listen, or Not To Listen

By |January 18, 2022|

Podcasts are all the rage and they feel like one of those those pop culture things that I just don’t get. I’m not trying to be contrary; in fact I keep trying over and over again to find a podcast conversation that I really want [...]

22 for 2022: all the C.R.A.P. to cut this year

By |December 29, 2021|

A few months ago, Jill noticed a shift in my writing style. “It’s very in-your-face,” she said. “You sound a little angry. But in a good way.” She was probably responding to my article about all the C.R.A.P. that makes its way into business statements [...]

It’s the Commas That Terrify Me

By |December 16, 2021|

Semicolons aren’t so bad. But that whole don’t end a sentence with a preposition really gets me, sort of. And what exactly is a run-on sentence if I have a lot to say and it all comes pouring out and I throw a few commas [...]

Tiny vocabulary = giant creative opportunity

By |November 30, 2021|

My nephew texted me a few weeks ago: “Can I get your address? I’m getting you guys a game.” This young man really gets me, my husband, and our six kids. We are an irreverent bunch, sharp of wit and often foul of mouth. At [...]

Can You Meal Prep Your Blog Posts?

By |November 11, 2021|

I’d rather just skip a meal if I can’t think of what to make or I don’t have something easy already prepared. Hmm, sounds a bit like my writing habit at times. If I don’t have an idea, a first line, an image...something to get [...]

Psst! These pointers will perk up your presentations!

By |October 28, 2021|

‘Tis the season for high-stakes presentations. Nearing year-end, many of us are preparing to report on results, launch new programs, and invite colleagues and clients to embrace the new. ‘Tis also the season for distracted audiences. (In truth, this season is eternal.) That means your [...]

Unspoken Loudspeakers are drowning out your message

By |September 30, 2021|

“What you do speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you are saying.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Shhhh! I’m trying to hear you. I really am. I know you’ve put serious thought into those words you’re trying to share right now. Whether your message is written [...]

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