The Medici Effect – Breakthrough Insights at the Intersection of Ideas, Concepts and Cultures

Nobel laureate in both chemistry and peace, Linus Pauling, once said of creativity and innovation, “The best way to get a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.” In corporate America, we often here managers say, “I want to hear some ideas. Let’s brainstorm…” when they are in need of some creativity. Their thinking is that the ideas will just flow from a group of people sitting in the room. While generating a lot of ideas through brainstorming can help, it’s not the only way to make a team creative. And, asking people to “brainstorm” can actually be counterproductive…

In his insightful book, The Medici Effect, author, consultant and entrepreneur, Frans Johansson, set out to find the secrets to creativity and innovation. What he found was that the most inventive people and teams innovate by stepping into the Intersection – a place where different cultures, fields and disciplines can produce an explosion of new ideas.

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Decisive – How to make better choices in life and work

April 14, 2015 Leave a comment

by Chip Heath & Dan Heath

Review by Doug Hensch

I have been fascinated by decision-making for some time. Mostly, because I have made my share of bad decisions. The good news, however, is that I’m not alone. Consider the following statistics regarding the choices we make:

  • 44% of current lawyers would recommend against being a lawyer to young people
  • More than 50% of teachers quit teaching within four years of starting their careers
  • A survey of 20,000 executive coaches found that 40% of senior level new hires had left their respective employers within 18 months of being hired
  • In Philadelphia, PA, a teacher is almost twice as likely to “drop out” than a student
  • 88% of New Year’s resolutions are broken – 68% of which are to “enjoy life more!”

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The Talent Code – Greatness isn’t born. It’s grown. Here’s how.

March 13, 2015 Leave a comment

by Daniel Coyle

Review by Doug Hensch

I grew up absolutely loving sports and I was lucky enough to have two parents that helped foster this love by carting me to and from practices, sending me to camps and encouraging me every step of the way. One thing always stuck out for me – when I would play catch with my dad and I made a good throw or a nice catch, I would hear, “Thaaaaaat’s it!” His praise and approval meant everything. With some luck, a couple of great coaches along the way and (of course) my wonderful parents, I had the opportunity to play football in college and I enjoyed every minute of it. What I didn’t realize, however, was that the seeds of excellence were being sewn in all aspects of my life, not just sports.

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The Upside of Your Dark Side – Why being your whole self – not just your “good” self – drives success and fulfillment

February 23, 2015 1 comment

by Todd Kashdan & Robert Biswas-Diener

Review by Doug Hensch

Some time in January of 2005, I arrived home from a stressful day at work and an hour’s worth of traffic to find the latest issue of Time magazine in the mail. On it’s cover was a big, yellow smiley face as the issue was dedicated to something called “positive psychology.” I devoured the issue and purchased several books on the subject since I was fascinated by the fact that psychologists were actually studying happiness using the scientific method.

Time - Jan, 2005

A funny thing happened to me over the next couple of months…my happiness started to drop. I was practicing gratitude all the time and doing my best to live and work in my strengths, among other positive psychology recommendations but it was having the reverse effect.

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Rethinking Positive Thinking – Inside the new science of motivation

January 15, 2015 1 comment

by Gabriele Oettingen


Review by Doug Hensch

Several years ago, I set out to build a suite of online tools to help people become happier and more resilient. The plan was to use what we have learned in the last 40 years from the field of Positive Psychology to help people.

Prior to this effort, I co-founded a start-up web site that did just this. We had over 100,000 individuals sign up with several thousand paying fees for additional functionality. People were active on the site and getting happier. In addition, our growth trajectory was fantastic and conversion rates that were way above industry standards. I felt confident that I could duplicate this and build a new, great company on a shoestring budget. All I needed was a little positive thinking, right? Unfortunately, the site didn’t take off and I wasted thousands of dollars on the effort…

Rethinking Positive Thinking

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A new look at happiness…

September 6, 2011 Leave a comment

For more on how to increase your happiness, visit


 is a like having your own personal happiness coach. With a scientifically validated voice analysis technologymyHappier helps you learn more about yourself by asking you questions and giving you feedback on your answers.

Success and Regret

November 10, 2010 Leave a comment

In 1981, Marcus Dupree was being recruited to play football at most of the nation’s top collegiate programs. Most experts and coaches said that, in fact, he was the most highly recruited high school player ever. And, the praise did not stop there. These same experts and coaches said that Dupree was probably the best running back – EVER! This is a pretty big claim. And, it’s a heavy burden for a 17-year old kid out of Philadelphia, Mississippi.

ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary series recently told Dupree’s story. It was titled, “The Best That Never Was.” From what I can remember about Dupree (I was only 10 at the time but an avid football fan) and from reading the title, I was expecting a real-life story about another troubled athlete who missed an opportunity to be his best. In fact, the first 75 minutes painted this exact picture: recruiting violations, his mother getting a new house from his university, getting out of shape, getting injured from being out of shape, forfeiting a scholarship at the University of Oklahoma, and on, and on… I felt some sympathy for Dupree but quickly squashed those emotions when I realized that he was making some very poor decisions. A brutal knee injury ended his pro football career almost before it began. And, of course, almost all of his earnings were squandered.

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