Breakthrough: The Adventures of Chase Manhattan (The Breakthrough Series Book 1)

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Unending twists and turns will keep the reader turning pages and wanting more. Together, Breakthrough, Opening, and Escalation follow the lives of the unlikely participants from innocence to a coming of age through sacrifice, betrayal, passion, lust, unconditional love, and hope. Escalation is an international thriller and will appeal to fans of modern-day science fiction, action, horror, and a bit of romance. For those who know there is far more beyond our four dimensional space-time continuum than our five senses can perceive.

The setting is global and the adrenaline-charged action is non-stop. The action is swift, adrenaline-charged, and non-stop. Unending twists and turns will keep the reader turning pages and wanting more. Together, Breakthrough, Opening, and Escalation follow the lives of the unlikely participants from innocence to a coming of age through sacrifice, betrayal, passion, lust, unconditional love, and hope.

Escalation is an international thriller and will appeal to fans of modern-day science fiction, action, horror, and a bit of romance. For those who know there is far more beyond our four dimensional space-time continuum than our five senses can perceive. Pull out the stops.

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Use your right brain and your left. Let all the cats out of the proverbial bag -- and by so doing, exponentially increase your chances of sparking brainpower, brilliance, and beyond-the-obvious ideas. Enough bloggy pep talk. Let's get down to business. Take a few minutes now to rate yourself, on a scale of , for how skillful you are at embodying the following personas of a high flying brainstorm facilitator.

Then tune into your biggest strength and ask yourself how you can amplify that quality. Then identify your biggest weakness and figure out how you can improve in that arena. In the conductor mode, the facilitator includes everyone, evokes even the subtlest contributions from the least experienced participant, and demonstrates their commitment to the whole by offering timely feedback to anyone who "gets lost in their own song.

Able to go from the cha-cha to the polka to the whirling dervish spinning of a brainstorm group on fire, savvy facilitators take bold steps when necessary, even when there is no visible ground underfoot. While respecting the realm of logic and the rational the ground upon which most scientists build their homes , the enlightened facilitator is willing to throw it all out the window in the hope of triggering a "happy accident" or a quantum leap of thought. Indeed, it is often these discontinuous non-linear moments that produce the kind of breakthroughs that logic can only describe, never elicit itself.

DIAMOND CUTTER Fully recognizing the precious gem of the human imagination as well as the delicacy required to set it free , the high octave brainstorm facilitator is a craftsman or craftswoman par excellence -- focused, precise, and dedicated. Able to get to the heart of the matter in a single stroke without leaving anything or anyone damaged in the process. All eyes are upon them, as well as all the potential critical reviews humanly possible. More often than not, the facilitator's "audience" will only be moved to act perchance to dream if they believe the facilitator is completely into his or her role.

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If the audience does not suspend this kind of disbelief, the play will close early and everyone will be praying for a fire drill or wishing they were back home eating a grilled cheese sandwich. In their relentless pursuit of possibility, they look for value in places other people see as useless. To the facilitator in full mojo mode, "bad ideas" aren't always bad, only curious indicators that something of untapped value is lurking nearby. This is a fine art -- for in this territory speeding is encouraged, as is running red lights, jaywalking, and occasionally breaking and entering.

Just as thieves have their code of honor, however, so too should brainstormers. Indeed, it is the facilitator's task to keep this code intact -- a task made infinitely easier by the ritual declaration of ground rules at the start of a session. SERVANT Some brainstorm facilitators, intoxicated by the group energy and their own newly stimulated imagination, use their position as a way to foist their ideas on others -- or worse, manipulate the group into their way of thinking.

Brainstorm facilitating is a service, not a personal platform. It is supposed to be a selfless act that enables others to arrive at their own solutions, no matter how different they may be from the facilitator's. It dissolves boundaries, activates the right brain, helps participants get unstuck, and shifts perspective just enough to help everyone open their eyes to new ways of seeing.

Trained facilitators are always on the lookout for humorous responses. They know that humor often signals some of the most promising ideas, and that giggles, guffaws, and laughable side-talk frequently indicate a rich vein of possibility to explore. Humor also makes the facilitator much more "likable" which makes the group they are facilitating more amenable to their direction. Ever wonder why the words "Aha! Innovation is a huge topic in organizations these days. Every company is looking for new and better ways to do more with less, differentiate themselves from the competition, and unlock the hidden genius of their workforce.

At the same time, many organizations are budget-constrained. Flying in an outside consultant to lead a workshop or training can sometimes be cost prohibitive. Which is precisely why my company, Idea Champions , is now offering Micro-Learning for Innovators , a cost-effective way to stir the innovation soup -- a virtual, self-organizing, just-in-time way to increase everyone's ability to be a proactive innovator on-the-job.

And it only takes 15 minutes per week. You and I have a minute phone conversation about WHY you want to raise the bar for innovation and creativity in your organization. Based on your needs, I create a year-long, customized Micro-Learning for Innovators curriculum for you -- a landing page of links to 52 engaging articles and videos of mine on the topic curated from more than 1, I have produced.

Each week or month , for the next year, you forward selected links to your team or whatever part of your workforce is participating in the program. All you need to reserve on your agenda is 10 minutes for the innovation topic. This is micro-learning, not head-banging.

You or your designated meeting moderator facilitates the innovation-topic-of-the week conversation. This deepens learning, quickens the sharing of best practices, sparks creative thinking, ensures accountability, and establishes a robust, intrinsically motivated learning community. I send you a simple "Moderator's Guide" that helps ensure your weekly innovation-sparking conversations are as effective as possible. I participate on your launch call to help you set the context, inspire participation, and answer any questions your people might have about the value, purpose, and process of the program.

Name your own price for an annual license. In other words, you quantify the value of my service to your organization and make me an offer. If it's "in the zone," I will say YES. If your offer is below what I consider fair, we will talk and see if we can come to an agreement. Mitch Ditkoff , Co-Founder of Idea Champions , Author of the two award-winning winning books on innovation and storytelling.

Creator of a wide variety of storytelling workshops and keynotes. Innovation Blogger of the Year , two years running. Our clients What they say Our workshops and trainings One of our micro-learning partners. What follows is an extraordinary call of the heart by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Not only is it worth reading, it's worth reading aloud -- so you hear it and feel it as well as see it.

Then, you get to decide who you want to share it with -- and how. This is a piece of deep, soul-inspired, primal writing that deserves to travel to every corner of the Earth.

Susan G. Komen Race For The cure

We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.

You are right in your assessments. The luster and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times.

For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement. I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind.

Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.

In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency, too, to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails. We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear. Didn't you say you were a believer?

Didn't you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater?

Didn't you ask for grace? Don't you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater? Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.

What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale. One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul.

Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these - to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it.

If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do. There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate. The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours.

They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for. If you google the phrase definitions of creativity , guess how many definitions show up? That's right, million. And so, if you are looking for THE definition, give up now. You won't find it. What does exist is mucho people's attempts to define creativity -- definitions, by the way, that are influenced by their particular world view, expertise, profession, assumptions, mindset, nationality, and language skills.

That being said, it is still a useful exercise to zero in on a definition that floats your boat -- especially if you are charged with the responsibility of helping your team, department, organization, or own lone-wolf self become more creative. Towards that end, what follows are 15 definitions I have curated on your behalf. Some are culled from the work of people whose names you will recognize.

Some are from complete unknowns. It doesn't matter in the least. What matters is your willingness to think more deeply than usual about this fascinating topic and that you find or create a working definition for yourself to get the party started. The process of bringing something new into being -- something that brings to our awareness what was previously hidden and points to new life.

Digging below the surface to find previously undetected patterns and find new connections between unrelated phenomena. Making connections between different ideas to solve a new problem. Seeing patterns that others don't and effectively communicating them. Bringing something new into existence. Going beyond the status quo. Tapping into inspiration and intuition. Using your imagination in fresh ways.

Adding value to the lives of others.

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For the moment, think of creativity as a two-sided coin. One side of the coin is all about the WHAT -- as in the product, service, or deliverable you are birthing. The other side of the coin is all about the HOW -- as in what you need to do in order to birth something new and brilliant in the world. These days, almost all of Idea Champions' clients are talking about the need to establish a culture of innovation.

Some, I'm happy to report, are actually doing something about it. They are taking bold steps forward to turn theory into action. The challenge for them is the same as it's always been -- to find a simple, authentic way to address the challenge from the inside out -- to water the root of the tree, not just the branches. External systems and protocols, no matter how seductive they are to create, are simply not sufficient to guarantee real innovation.

In the words of Oliver Wendell Holmes, "Systems die. This is not to say that organizations should ignore systems and structures in their effort to establish a culture of innovation. But systems and structures all too often become the Holy Grail -- much in the same way that Six Sigma has become the Holy Grail. Unfortunately, when the addiction to systems and structures rules the day, an organization's quest for a culture of innovation degenerates into nothing much more than a cult of innovation.

Organizations do not innovate. The organization's role -- just like the individual manager's role -- is to get out of the way. And while this "getting out of the way" will undoubtedly include the effort to formulate supportive systems, processes, and protocols, it is important to remember that systems, processes, and protocols are never the answer. They are the context, not the content. They are the husk, not kernel. They are the menu, not the meal. Ultimately, organizations are faced with the same challenge that religions are faced with. Religious leaders may speak passionately about the virtues their congregation needs to abide by, but sermons only name the challenge and remind people to experience something -- they don't necessarily change behavior.

Change comes from within the heart and mind of each individual. It cannot be legislated or evangelized into reality. What's needed in organizations who aspire to innovation is an inner change. People need to experience something within themselves that will spark and sustain their effort to innovate -- and when they experience this "something," they will be self-sustaining. They will think about their projects in the shower, in their car, and in their dreams. They will need very little "management" from the outside. Inside out will rule the day -- not outside in.

Intrinsic motivation will flourish. People will innovate not because they are told to, but because they want to. You can create all the reward systems you want. You can reinvent your work space until you're blue in the face. You can license the latest and greatest idea management tool, but unless each person in your organization OWNS the need to innovate and finds a way to tap into their own innate brilliance, all you'll end up with is a mixed bag of systems, processes, and protocols -- the husk, not the kernel -- the innovation flotsam and jetsam that the next administration or next CEO or next key stakeholder will mock, reject or change at the drop of a hat if the ROI doesn't show up in the next 20 minutes.

Then find a way to help each and every person in your organization come from the inside out. Deeply consider how you can nurture, and develop the primal need all people have to create something extraordinary. There's a lot of talk these days about the need for business people to "get out of the box", but very little talk about what the box actually is.


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One way to get out of the box Another way And a third way. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a good story is worth a million. Read the full story in this book A priest, a penguin, and a newspaper reporter walk into a bar Me speaking about storytelling in business. One of the inevitable things you will hear at a brainstorming session is "there are no bad ideas. There are plenty of bad ideas. What well-meaning "keep hope alive" brainstorming lovers really mean is this: Even bad ideas can lead to good ideas if the idea originators are committed enough to extract the meaning from the "bad".

Do you think that War and Peace was written in one sitting? There were plenty of earlier drafts that were horrid, but eventually led to the final outcome. Finding the value in what seems to be a "bad idea" and then using that extracted value as a clue or catalyst for further exploration. The following technique, excerpted from Awake at the Wheel , shows you how Ask the other person to express something redeemable about your bad idea -- an aspect of it that has merit. Idea Champions Brainstorm Champions Brainstorm now, online! There are lots of things in this world people get addicted to: But perhaps the biggest addiction of them all is the addiction to our own ideas.

Here's how it works:. We think something up. We feel a buzz. We tweak it, we name it, we pitch it, and POOF, the addiction begins. At first, like most habits, it's a casual pursuit with a thousand positive side effects: We think about it in the car. We think about it when people are asking us to think about other things. We even dream about it.

Soon we want everyone to know about it. We want them to feel the buzz. We want them to nod in agreement. We want them to recognize just how pure our fixation is. If this is where it ended, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. I wouldn't be calling it an addiction. Maybe I'd be calling it an "inspiration," or a "commitment" or a "visitation from the Muse.

It goes on and on and on and on -- often to our own detriment. If you are launching a new, creative venture, of course, you want to onjure up cool ideas. That's a good thing. But if you cling to ideas just because they're yours, or just because you've invested major time and energy into in them, then it's time to take a good look of what "intoxicating ideas" of yours it might be time to let go.

Commitment is one thing. Addiction is quite another. Ten years ago I was invited to teach a course on "Innovation and Business Growth" at GE's Crotonville Management Development Center for 75 high potential, business superstars of the future. The GE executive who hired me was a very savvy guy with the unenviable task of orienting new adjunct faculty members to GE's high standards and often harsher reality.

My client's intelligence was exceeded only by his candor as he proceeded to tell me, in no uncertain terms, that GE gave "new instructors" two shots at making the grade -- explaining, with a wry smile, that most outside consultants were intimidated the first time they taught at GE and weren't necessarily at the top of their game. I'm not sure how you say it in Esperanto, but in English what he said translates as "The heat is on, big time. I knew I would have to raise my game if I expected to be invited back after my two-session audition was over.

And so I went about my business of getting ready, keeping in mind that I was going to be leading a 6-hour session for 75 of GE's "best and brightest" flown half way around the world -- high flying Type A personalities with a high regard for themselves and a very low threshold for anything they judged to be unworthy of their time.

I had five weeks to prepare, five weeks to get my act together, five weeks to dig in and front load my agenda with everything I needed to wow my audience: Like a rookie center fielder on designer steroids, I was ready. The more I spoke, the less they listened.

The less they listened, the more I spoke, trotting out "compelling" facts and truckloads of information to make my case as they blankly stared and checked their email under the table. I worked harder -- attempting in various pitiful ways to pull imaginary rabbits out of imaginary hats.

Needless to say, GE's best and brightest -- for the entire 45 minutes of my opening act -- were not impressed. My attempt to out-GE the GE people was a no-win proposition. I didn't need new facts, new statistics, or new quotes. I needed a new approach -- a way to secure the attention of my audience and help them make the shift from left-brained skepticism to right-brained receptivity. The next few days were very uncomfortable for me, replaying in my head -- again and again -- my lame choice of an opening gambit and wondering what, in the world, I could do to get better results in much less time.

As a student of Aikido, I knew how amazing the martial arts were and what a great metaphor they were for life. My second session, at Crotonville, began exactly like the first -- with the Program Director reading my bio to the group in an heroic attempt to impress everyone. I find that hard to believe. Ten rows back, a hand went up.

Like a kid in a high school math class, not wanting to offend the teacher. I welcomed my assistant to the stage and asked him if had any insurance -- explaining that I had called him forth to attack me from behind and was going to demonstrate a martial arts move shown to me by my first aikido instructor, a pound woman who I once saw throw a pound man through a wall.

I asked our bold risk taker to stand behind me and grab both of my wrists and instructed him to hold on tight as I attempted to get away -- an effort that yielded no results. I casually mentioned how the scenario being played out on stage is what a typical work day has become for most of us -- lots of tension, resistance, and struggle. With the audience completely focused on the moment, I noted a few simple principles of Aikido -- and how anyone, with the right application of energy and the right amount of practice, could change the game.

As I demonstrated the move, my "attacker" was quickly neutralized and I was no longer victim, but in total control. In three minutes, things had shifted. Not only for me and my attacker, but for everyone in the room. I was invited back 26 times to deliver the course. Every day, no matter what our profession, education, or astrological sign, we are all faced with the same challenge -- how to effectively communicate our message to others.

This challenge is particularly difficult these days, given the glut of information we all must contend with. The amount of information available to us is doubling every ten years! Yearly, more than one million books are published. Daily, we are bombarded with more 6, advertising messages and emails. As a result, most of us find ourselves in a defensive posture, protecting ourselves from the onslaught of input.

What I've discovered in the past 25 years of working with some of the world's most powerful organizations is that if I really want to have get my message across, I've got to deliver it in a what that gets past the "guardians at the gate" -- the default condition of doubt, disengagement, and derision that comes with the territory of life in the 21st century business world.

Indeed, my presumptive effort to "win over my audience" by impressing them with data, case studies, and best practices was a losing game. Not only was I barking up the wrong tree, I was in the wrong forest. The key to my breaking through the collective skepticism of GE's best and brightest wasn't a matter of information. It was a matter transformation. They didn't need to analyze, they needed to engage -- and it was my job to make that easy to do. Or, as Mahatma Gandhi so deftly put it, I had to "be the change I wanted to see in the world.

I had to do something that invoked the curious, playful, and associative right brain, not the logical, linear, analytical left brain -- tricky business, indeed, especially when you consider that most business people, these days, have a very low threshold for anything they judge to be impractical. Which is why I chose the martial arts as the operational metaphor at GE, my attempt to move them from the Dow to the Tao. Bottom line, whether we know it or not, we have all entered the "experience economy" -- a time when being involved is at least as important as being informed.

Information is no longer sufficient to spark change. Data is no longer king. Thinking only takes us part of the way home. It's feeling that completes the journey -- the kind of feeling that leads to full on curiosity and the kind of engagement that opens the door to exciting new possibilities. Which is exactly what happened at GE when I made the shift from marshaling my facts, to marshaling my energy -- and by extension, the energy of 75 of GE's best and brightest. What message have you been trying to deliver with too little impact that might be communicated in a totally different way -- a way that more successfully engages people and leads to measurable results?

Whenever I ask my clients to tell me about the quality of their company's brainstorming sessions, they usually roll their eyes and grumble, noting several of the phenomena below. Recognize any of them in your organization? Wrong problem statement 3. Hidden or competing agendas 5. Insufficient diversity of participants. Addiction to the status quo 7. Lack of clear ground rules 8. Sterile meeting space 9. No transition from "business as usual" Lack of robust participation.

The extroverts take over Habitual idea killing Attachment to pet ideas Discomfort with ambiguity People come late and leave early Premature adoption of the first "right idea" Hierarchy, turfs, and competing sub-groups. Imbalance of divergent and convergent thinking No tools or techniques to spark creativity Inadequate idea capture methods No real closure or next steps. Who can you meet with, this week, to explore new and better ways of improving the quality of your company's brainstorming sessions? Our brainstorming website One way to turn things around Why train people to be brainstorm facilitators.

One of the biggest challenges that internal change agents have when it comes to fostering a culture of storytelling in the workplace is building the business case -- why it matters and what the impact can be. The quote below, from John Kotter, author of Leading Change , will help. If you need help building your case, shoot me an email and I will send you some more "grist for the mill" -- links to compelling articles and videos on the topic. True innovators rarely follow the straight and narrow path. Not only do they march to a different drummer, they're often not even on the same playing field as most people.

Breakthrough: The Adventures of Chase Manhattan

Take Seymour Cray , for example, the legendary designer of high-speed computers. According to John Rollwagen, ex-chairman of Cray research, Seymour used to divide his time between building the next generation super computer and digging an underground tunnel below his Chippewa Falls house. Cray's explanation of his tunnel digging behavior is consistent with the stories of many other creatives -- inner-directed, boundary-pushing people who understand the need to go off-line whenever they get stuck.

Bottom line, whenever they find themselves struggling with a thorny problem, they walk away from it for a while. They know, from years of practical experience, that more i. Explained Cray, "I work for three hours and then get stumped. So I quit and go to work in the tunnel. It takes me an hour or so to dig four inches and put in the boards. You see, I'm up in the Wisconsin woods, and there are elves in the woods. So when they see me leave, they come back into my office and solve all the problems I'm having.

Then I go up to my lab and work some more. We help people dig their tunnel And sometimes we do this via storytelling like the one above MitchDitkoff. I like what Edward deBono once said about the phenomenon of creative people trying to get results, but coming up empty and I paraphrase. Sometimes, it seems as if aspiring innovators get fixated on a particular approach and, no matter what happens or doesn't , they just keep doing the same old thing over and over again even when experience reveals that their approach is not working.

Perhaps the hole you've dug is too shallow and success is only a few shovelfuls away. Digger deeper, then, makes sense. Maybe you're digging in the right place, but the tools you're digging with are not the right tools for the job. And, of course, it's always possible that in your effort to discover oil, you don't see the unexpected diamonds and gold coins you stumble upon because everything that is "not oil" is invisible to you. So, let's make this real for a moment.

Think of a project you are working on -- one you have passion for whose results have been slower to materialize than you hoped. Now answer the following before doing any more digging:. What are your instincts telling you about how to proceed? Have you dug the hole deep enough? Might it be time for you to move the hole? And if it is the time to move the hole, where might you move it? What are some new approaches to try? Other places to look? If you sense that you haven't dug deep enough -- that you've been a dilettante, slacker, or half-hearted digger for oil -- what can you do to martial your forces and commit to a more rigorous digging effort?

And what support, if any, might you need? If, in your digging adventures, you have stumbled upon some unexpected "finds", but dismissed them because you were only focused on oil, how might you extract the value from your accidental discoveries? A father left 17 camels as an asset for his three sons. When the father passed away, his sons opened up the will. The will of the father stated that the eldest son should receive half of 17 camels while the middle son should receive one third and the youngest son one ninth.

As it was not possible to divide 17 into half or 17 by 3 or 17 by 9, the three sons began to fight with each other. Unable to work out their differences, they soon decided to go to a local wiseman, present their problem, and receive his sage counsel. The wiseman, after contemplating the seemingly unresolvable conundrum, excused himself, went home, and returned a few minutes later with one of his own camels which he added to the This increased the total number of camels now to Immediately he began reading the deceased father's will aloud to the three contentious sons.

So the wiseman, with a wry smile on his face, took the extra camel his! Every problem has a solution, even though the solution may not be immediately obvious. The challenge is to find the 18th camel -- the so-called "elegant solution. It just may not be visible to you in the moment. What problem of yours do you need to look at from a different angle? What is your 18th camel?

And if you can't figure it out by yourself, who can you brainstorm with to arrive at a possible solution? There's a lot of talk these days about the importance of innovation. All CEOs worth their low salt lunch want it. And they want it, of course, now. Inspired ideas that meet a need, whether expressed or unexpressed -- ideas with enough mojo to rally sustained support.

Is there anything a person can do -- beyond caffeine, corporate pep talks, or astrology readings -- to quicken the appearance of breakthrough ideas? And what follows are 14 catalysts -- simple guidelines, principles, and approaches that will help you on your way. If you find yourself fascinated by a new idea, chances are good that there's something meaningful about it for you to consider. Fascination, quite simply, is nature's way of getting our attention. Well beyond seduction or attraction, it's an indication that we are being called. Out of the thousands of ideas with the power to capture our imagination, the felt fascination for one of them is a clue that there's something worthy of our engagement.

Don't dismiss it as trivial.