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This is a Tumblr log of curated links, news and resources. We update it almost daily, so please be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this page to catch the latest posts.

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As Chief Imagination Officer of Creative Sage™, I live a passionate personal mission to cause the spontaneous combustion of creativity, innovation, and compassionate intelligence everywhere!

At Creative Sage™, we help corporations, nonprofit organizations, professional associations, project teams, entrepreneurs, consultants, authors, artists, performers and others to create outstanding marketing strategies, communications, solutions, services and products. We design dynamic, cutting-edge innovation programs that are tailored to our clients' individual needs for maximum return on investment in innovation management.

We coach and mentor executives, and we also coach accomplished, creative professionals and their organizations to revolutionize the concept of "retirement" and create powerful new lives, projects and initiatives, including Social Entrepreneur projects and partnerships between corporations, nonprofits and philanthropists. We use highly creative and effective methods to help people in mid-life or at any age to navigate transitions in business or in life. We'll coach your inner innovator out of hiding...we help you innovate to be great!

Cathryn Hrudicka & Associates was our original company name, where we've focused on marketing communications, public relations, fundraising, performing arts presentation, and management consulting in the entertainment industry and nonprofit arts. Known for our innovative approaches and story angles, and our strategic capabilities, we have also served a variety of business and technology clients, including working in various capacities on multimedia and marketing projects for Fortune 500s, major universities, healthcare companies, environmental/sustainability, and trade associations. We've also added social media and Internet marketing and PR to our mix of services. We bring your message to the world, and the world to you. Let's start a conversation!

~Cathryn Hrudicka, Chief Imagination Officer, Creative Sage™/ Cathryn Hrudicka & Associates

Contact Me to set up a phone or Skype appointment, or for more information. I look forward to discussing how we can help you or work with you to achieve extraordinary results.

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I'm honored to be a contributing author to the 2011 best-selling business book, A Guide to Open Innovation & Crowd Sourcing: Advice from Leading Experts, along with some of my innovation colleagues from #Innochat (Twitter Innovation chat and web site), and Innovation Excellence; the book was edited by Paul Sloane, with a foreword by Henry Chesbrough. You can order it here:

I co-wrote the chapter, "Building the Culture for Open Innovation and Crowd Sourcing," with Gwen Ishmael and Boris Pluskowski — more information about all of the co-authors and the contents of this book at:

Jul 29

Via exhibition-ism:

New York based graphic designer Alex Proba decided last year to create a poster a day for a year, restricting herself to no more than 30 minutes each day.

[Click on the link to read more about her creative project, and the lessons she learned from the discipline of daily creative action.]




Getting rid of managers may seem like just another tech trend, but much of the skepticism around going “bossless” or flat is due to misleading terminology. We don’t quite have a good vocabulary for it yet — no managers doesn’t mean no management, and flat structure doesn’t mean everyone has equal sway.

Power, leadership, and even hierarchy still exist in these alternative structures, but instead of running along career ladders and hanging out in corner offices, they tend to be decentralized and dynamic rather than static and top-down.

Recently Zappos and Medium ditched the organizational chart to embrace holacracy — which is an extremely structured system of management involving circles of authority and a body of governing rules. John Bunch, one of the leaders overseeing the adoption of holocracy at Zappos describes the new system as a redistribution of influence and power that allows for clarity of expectations in roles and decision-making:

“[d]istribution of accountability and authority, taken together, enable something very powerful: distributed leadership.”

[Excerpt, click on the link to read the rest of this post, or to listen to this interview on SoundCloud.]

From: The Next Web — How to Manage Talented People by Not Bossing Them Around

By Walter Chen


When the Harvard Business Review published a post called Seven Rules For Managing Creative People a few months back, the reaction was an almost universal, Oh, please! This was due to the fact that most of the advice in the piece was bizarrely off base (“surround them with semi-boring people.” What?), but also because of the patronizing tone and the assumption that “creatives” are a breed of brats demanding a different set of operating instructions.

That said, the topic is a valid one—there is an art to getting the most out of your teams of creative professionals. When the job is to conjure the next brilliant idea out of thin air, against deadline, via a combination of inspiration, hard work, experience, intuition, and confidence, getting the best work out of creative people on a consistent and efficient basis can be tricky business.

Nurturing and managing a workforce of creative professionals requires a certain degree of sensitivity to individual skills. “Creatives are individual people and have unique things that motivate them. So when you respect understand that, that’s a pretty good cocktail,” says Evan Fry, executive director of creative development at Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

[Excerpt, click on the link to read the rest of this post.]

From: FastCo.Create — 10 Tips For Managing Creative People

By Rae Ann Fera


In the not-too-distant future, creatives will rule the world.

I’m not just saying this because I consider myself a creative. The interconnected systems we use to function in business and society, whether in communication, transportation, design, finance, and more, are increasing in complexity, and so are the types of issues and challenges that arise from these systems.

The value of approaching these challenges in a purely linear fashion or by rote is becoming less and less relevant. As fast-paced innovation surges to amazing new heights and procedural thinking wanes, the demand for creative thinking grows exponentially. What we find we need more of is a playful, creative, forward-thinking approach to business and technology. More than any other time in human history, the most effective work is being done by right-brainers and out-of-the-box thinkers.

Video gaming provides us with a great example of how “playful” thinking achieves results.

In the game SimCity, we’re given a basic understanding of how a city functions and then by using general notions around cause and effect, we play through various scenarios in real time to gain specific outcomes. We’re thinking on our feet, responding spontaneously and often creatively to a fast-shifting reality. Largely unscripted, we rely on our ingenuity, our ability to think fast, and our sense of the big picture. In other words, we use right-brain thinking.

This nimble approach to conceptualizing challenges and creating new paradigms to solve them is what right-brainers do best, and with inspired innovation creatively connecting the dots of our modern world, we’d say the time of the right-brainer has come.

To be ready to take on leadership roles, many creatives must develop managerial and leadership skills they’ve never had to learn. That is the biggest challenge ahead: training two generations of creatives to take over leadership from the more conventional leaders of today. If you’re a right-brainer this is the perfect time to shore up your business skills so that you feel comfortable managing and leading. Only then will the world be able to benefit from your exceptional and inspired right-brained genius.

Here are the eight reasons why creatives will rule the world…

[Excerpt, click on the link to read the rest of this post.]

From: Fast Company — 8 Reasons Why Creatives Will Rule The World

By Michael O. Coopers

Jul 28

Failure is a natural part of the capitalist system of business. Less effective firms are supplanted by innovative competitors who can better meet customers’ needs. Unfortunately however, it must be admitted that many companies fail not because of superior competitors but because their leaders make egregious errors. Here are five key reasons (CRASH) why CEOs and their businesses crash and burn…

[Excerpt, click on the link to read the rest of this post.]

From: Destination Innovation — Five Reasons why CEOs and their Companies Crash

By Paul Sloane


Many of the rules that apply in businesses were set years ago and have endured by force of habit. A good example is the QWERTY keyboard, which is in use on all desktop computers. The original QWERTY layout of keys on the typewriter keyboard was designed in the 1870s to slow down the speed of typing because fast operators were causing typewriter keys to jam together. By putting the most commonly used letters e, a, i, o away from the index fingers of the hands, speed was reduced and jams were avoided. Those mechanical jams are long gone but we are stuck with a rule for a keyboard layout that is outdated and inappropriate. How many of the rules in your organisation are QWERTY standards – set up for circumstances that no longer apply today?

If you can find a way to rewrite the rules of the game so that it suits you rather than your competitors then you can gain a remarkable advantage. In the late 1970s the Swiss watch industry was suffering from fierce competition from the Japanese. Major brands like Omega, Longines and Tissot were in serious trouble. Nicholas Hayek took dramatic action. He merged two of the largest Swiss watch manufacturers ASUAG and SSIH to form a new company, Swatch. It took a radically different approach to watch design, creating a low-cost, high-tech, artistic and emotional watch. Within five years the new company was the largest watch-maker in the world. Swatch rewrote the rules of the watch industry. Swiss watches had competed against mass produced brands by focusing on tradition and quality but Swatch changed the parameters by making watches that were fun, fashionable and collectable.

Every business operates in an environment of written and unwritten rules. Many of these boundaries and restrictions are self-imposed and accepted without questioning. Often it is the newcomer to an industry who can ask the question, ‘What would happen if we broke the rules?’

[Excerpt, click on the link to read the rest of this post.]

From: Destination Innovation — Break the Rules in Your Business

By Paul Sloane

Jul 25

A new model for work is required. Hierarchies, simple branching networks, are obsolete. They work well when information flows mostly in one direction: down. Hierarchies are good for command and control. They are handy to get things done in small groups. But hierarchies are rather useless to create, innovate, or change.

We have known for quite a while that hierarchies are ineffective when things get complex. For example, matrix management was an attempt to address the weakness of organizational silos resulting from simple, branching hierarchies. In matrix management people have more than one reporting line and often work across business units. However, the performance management system and job structure usually remain intact so that it adds more complication, rather than increased effectiveness.

Any hierarchy, even one wrapped in matrices, becomes an immovable beast as soon as it is created. The only way to change a hierarchical organization is to create a new hierarchy. This is why reorganization is so popular; and so ineffective. Most organizations still deal with complexity through reorganization. Just think of the last time a new CEO came in to “fix” a large corporation. A connected enterprise starts by building a foundation of trust, embracing networks, and then managing complexity.

[Excerpt, click on the link to read the rest of this post.]

From: — Build Trust, Embrace Networks, Manage Complexity

By Harold Jarche


There has been a lot of buzz around Harvard Business School starting their own version of MOOC, HBX, and the debates and arguments between two of the best minds in strategy in the world today – Clay Christensen and Michael Porter.

By creating HBX, Harvard finally decided to bet on Porter’s strategy, that the core business strategy of a firm should remain unchanged and every part of the business need to reinforce this core strategy.

There has been a lot of debate about who among the titans has got this right. Both could be wrong.

In my opinion, both of them could prove to have missed a beat here.

I believe so because, all the debate around the higher education challenge has been thought from the point-of-view of the university or the service provider and what is right for them.

In my opinion, we also should look at the entire challenge from the point-of-view of the customer (Student) and the end-consumer (businesses where these students will seek employment).

[Excerpt, click on the link to read the rest of this post.]

From: — Christensen And Porter Wrong About The Future Of Higher Ed?

By Mukesh Gupta

Jul 24

When you face major problems or new projects within your business, there are a number of options from which you can choose once you have committed to taking action toward resolution.

As a leader, you strive to lead teams that are self-sufficient, and your first instinct may be to resolve the problems on your own. But there is only so much time in the day, and even if the problem is within your realm of expertise, there comes a point where you will need some additional help.

A common response then may be to try and grow expertise to tackle the project among in-house resources. If that isn’t an immediate option, you might look to hire a full-time resource or contractor with a specific skill set to try and fill the void.

These avenues can be expensive and time-consuming options, leaving you to continue to suffer with the problem or issue while also expending resources to hire, onboard, and train that resource.

If your organization has a problem too large and complex to solve on your own, or if the problem requires a specialty skill that you don’t immediately possess within your organization, a consultant may be your most efficient and cost-effective option.

Here are a few reasons why…

[Excerpt, click on the link to read the rest of this post.]

From: Fast Company — Get What You Pay For: 5 Reasons To Hire An Expensive Consultant

When facing problems that need immediate resolution, hiring a consultant might be your most cost-effective option.

By Justin Webb


At Creative Sage™, we love to work with clients on social innovation, educational innovation, healthcare innovation, and government innovation projects, as well as corporate innovation projects. Our core capabilities include creativity training and coaching, and the design and facilitation of innovation programs, including in the areas of design thinking, arts-based processes, applications of science and neuroscience tools when appropriate, and business model innovation. We have been very effective in helping organizational leaders and employees move through transitions and cultural changes.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss your situation and how we can help your organization move forward to a more innovative and profitable future. You can also call us at 1-510-845-5510 in San Francisco / Silicon Valley. We look forward to helping you find the path to luminous creativity and continuous innovation!



Most rooms we enter have four sides; they provide the structure to build upon. Presently in many of our economies, particularly in the West, we are struggling to find real growth; we are limited on our wealth-creating possibilities. Why is that? Our structures seem to be weak not strong.

We are certainly relying far too much on ‘selected’ pockets of economic activity to keep us going. Technology is clearly one of these. Yet our longer term forces for sustaining growth remain ‘fragile’, our structures remain wickedly ‘out of kilter’ and we need to find stronger connecting frameworks that reinforce each other, so we can build further upon these to manage our business activities in new ways.

In most of our economic activities technology is playing a significant part in altering our habits, routines and thinking but it alone, is not enough. For technology to really give benefit it needs to be driven by our ability to generate wealth creating activity and that comes from integrating knowledge, gaining experience and being able to articulate this in better ways.

To achieve this, our business structures that we have in the past relied upon are in need of changing. They need different pillars to build upon.

[Excerpt, click on the link to read the rest of this post.]

From: Paul4innovating’s Blog — Building Upon Four Key Wealth Creating Pillars

By Paul Hobcraft


Paul Hobcraft is a contributor to the Amazon best-selling business book, A Guide to Open Innovation and Crowd Sourcing: Advice from Leading Experts, edited by Paul Sloane, with a foreword by Henry Chesbrough (Kogan Page, 2011). Cathryn Hrudicka, Founder, CEO and Chief Imagination Officer of Creative Sage™, is one of the contributing authors. You can order it here:

Cathryn Hrudicka co-wrote the chapter, “Building the Culture for Open Innovation and Crowd Sourcing,” with Gwen Ishmael and Boris Pluskowski — more information about all of the co-authors and the contents of this book is available at:

At Creative Sage™, we can help you maximize the value of your open innovation and/or crowdsourcing projects and gain the insights you need to move forward most effectively. To discuss your organization’s situation, please feel free to give us a call, at 1-510-845-5510 (Pacific time, in the San Francisco Bay Area/Silicon Valley). You can also contact us by email and visit our web site for more information. We look forward to working with you and helping you get real results.


Jul 23

The business world is changing fast, and companies need guidance to help them thrive. “Managers are looking more widely for bright ideas – anything that will give them a competitive advantage,” says Stuart Crainer, co-founder (along with Des Dearlove), of Thinkers50, a biennial ranking of the world’s top business thinkers. In the past year, the two have released a series of six Thinkers50 books highlighting the best new ideas in strategy, innovation, leadership, management, as well as volumes on Indian thought leaders and future business thinkers.

The task of identifying the top thinkers has gotten harder over the years, Crainer says, as channels have proliferated. “We look at blogs, we [find] people on Twitter TWTR +2.7% who have interesting ideas,” he says. “There are lots of alternative routes, whereas previously there were set routes – teaching at a business school, or writing a book. But now it’s a much more open marketplace.”

What makes for a top business thought leader? “The starting point has got to be the ability to communicate,” says Crainer. “The other elements are curiosity, diversity of thinking, and a willingness to embrace ideas no matter where they are.” If you aspire to have your ideas heard, here are three qualities the best business thinkers share, according to Crainer.

[Excerpt, click on the link to read the rest of this post.]

From: Forbes — How To Become A Top Business Thinker

By Dorie Clark