Stoplight Stories: A Potpourri of 250-Word Fantasy and Fiction

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But in this issue, Cohen tries a bit of a change of pace with "Preserves. Jack C. Haldeman II gives us "Dead Man's Tie," a whim- sical account of a young lad's adven- tures in a broke-down future. As stocking stuffers this issue, we've brought you our usual collection of thought-provoking columns, includ- ing a retrospective by Welch D.

The Goulart Archipelago. And so we wish you the merriest of holidays, and leave you with this word of caution: If you hear the patter of hooves on the roof, don't look out. It might not be Santa. Bleiler A trio of less-than- masterful masterworks. Each time he finishes one, an imp clad in the costume of a literary agent will appear and say, "Great, Stevie! Really slick! It'll go over big! Now rewrite it, and drop one hundred thousand words.

And King will deserve it. IT runs to more than , words, or roughly the length of Moby Dick and Bleak House put together, plus a couple of issues of Twilight Zone thrown in. Is such length really necessary? Certainly not, from the text. A good editor would have urged King to cut the book down by a third to a half. But unfortunately, Stephen King, who is in many ways the Thomas Wolfe of our times though a Wolfe hung up on chronicling the hor- ros of the unconcious has never met the Maxwell Perkins that he needs and deserves.

Evil with a Capital "E" IT is a novel about the foulest under- side of our life, about our cloacal, defecatory, fecal nature, and its which is identified with evil. All this is on both a literal and a metaphorical level. The locale of this pearl-diving is the town of Derry, Maine, which has an abnormally high rate of crimes and social evils and an underlying cultural pattern of cruelty, violence, and psychic genocide. Probably this loca- tion and the fleshing out of one of the leading characters as a highly success- ful writer of horror stories have a per- sonal relevance to King; the equations are obvious enough.

But in any case Evil with a capital "E" lives there in Derry, and it emerges in full force every twenty-seven years or so. This period is roughly equivalent to a human generation, leading a reader to suspect that King is really saying that each generation must face evil and overcome it afresh. But in IT there is no second generation, and the genera- tion that defeated a horrible monster in childhood must return as adults for a second bout. The theoretical underpinning of IT reaches far away from Maine. The central idea is an Oriental, perhaps Tibetan, cosmology that envisions the universe as ultimately emerging from a single principle that split into two forms: a good, creative, but now inac- tive deus absconditus symbolized by a turtle and an evil, destructive, ac- tive principle symbolized by a thing that we perceive as spiderlike.

The spider is the problem in IT. It lives in the sewers and disused conduits and evil minds of Derry, fomenting evil and occasionally working directly and physically on chosen victims. Its human opponents must fight their way through the lower intestine of the city against it. The first episode in the struggle takes place in , when seven ten- year-olds first come into contact with horror.

Without going into details, it may be said that each represents a social or psychological problem: Bill the writer of horror stories is un- wanted and depersonalized since his parents consider him responsible for his brother's death; Stanley is Jewish and suffers some discrimination; Ben is a natural victim because of his obesity; Eddie is owned by his mother and is prey to psychosomatic illnesses; Mike is black and pays for it; and Beverly is on the edge of incestuous molestation by her father. The spider horror affects each of them, sometimes manifest in the guise of a clown called Pennywise, sometimes as a fleshing out of horror images picked up from the mind of its victim.

The monster is a deadly one, clutching minds, driving misfits to crime, ripping its victims apart, and destroying life patterns. In this earlier episode the seven children. But, as Lovecraft wrote, "That is not dead which eternal can lie," and even over continents the spider works on the seven over the years, giving them, oddly enough, worldly success, but sterilizing them. Twenty-seven years later, in , Mike, who has remained in Derry as a librarian, summons the other six back. They have forgotten details of the previous encounter, since the mon- ster controls memories, but they are compelled to act, and all except Stan, who commits suicide rather than re- peat the past, return to Derry.

Actual- ly, the summons has really come from the spider, which wants revenge. Once again the humans defeat it, killing it, but at the cost of another life. But the reader may question whether it is real- ly dead, for the process of amnesia seems to be at work again. Memories are growing weaker by the day -writ- ten records are fading away, just as happened twenty-seven years earlier. There are many brilliant moments in IT.

The life histories of lire seven champions are well handled, and the many intercalated backflashes, which sometimes amount to independent short stories, are excellent. The piling up of horrior images is superb, and the technical virtuosity displayed in interweaving the two time eras is enviable. Yet, apart from overdevelopment, there is also much that is wrong with IT, particularly in its substructure.

The whole situation is like an elab- orate morgue-hospital, filled with secret corridors and hidden chambers, with heavy walls, squat ugly domes and debased statuary — all resting on a couple of fifteen-foot bamboo poles bought at Rickels for sixty-three cents each special bargain sale advertised in The Record. It just doesn't hold up. It collapses. The structure and the basic ideas are too weak to support the narrative. The origin of the monster, its physical emergence on earth from beyond, its concentration on Derry, its brood of little eggs, the Tibetan cosmology -simply do not fit the cloacal horrors.

Nor does the easy double resolution, first in , then Here is a horror of the most overwhelming potency, both mental and physical, yet is easily defeated by the faith of a band of children and, twenty-seven years later, by nonsense talk from a blabbermouthed anchor- man. It is just unbelievable, whether the story is taken literally or metaphorically, that evil so distorting, foul, and powerful can be so trivial- ized.

IT, despite enormous power at times, takes the reader back to the days of the Weird Tales, where Seabury Quinn's Jules de Grandin, for- merly of the Surete Nationale, would once a month destroy a threatening monster in one absurd way or another, perhaps by an electrified win- dow screen, perhaps by a twig from the Holy Thorn of Glastonbury, per- haps by a powdered relic of a saint.

Surely the creative King who has worked up some of the most nauseat- ing horrors on record should realize that an avalanche cannot be stopped with a smile. King, of course, is a giant, the only one that the field of American horror fiction has produced since Lovecraft, and since he is a giant his flaws are more perceptible than those of a smaller man.

And, because of his stature, his power can demand that we ignore his faults or make allow- ances for them, appreciating, instead, his strengths. But not everyone can do this. In case the first volume is unfamiliar, the proposed trilogy is based on a double "what-if"; if the conjectural large meteorite that struck earth about twenty million years ago, flooding the atmosphere with radiation and incidentally causing the extinction of the dinosaurs , had missed earth, and if evolution, follow- ing roughly the paths known to us, had continued.

The result in Harrison's alternate history is the rise of a species of in- telligent saurians who have developed a sophisticated civilization on princi- ples alien to us. Whereas most of our technology is based on manipulating dead or inanimate objects, the Yilane perform the same tasks with the most delicate and far-reaching genetic engin- eering.

All this is very ingenious, perhaps unnecessarily so, but Harrison assures us that it works well. There is, however, one overpresent danger to a physical plant of this sort: lire. Fire is outlawed and practically unknown to the Yilane. At the moment a new Glacial age is beginning, and the Yilane, as cold- blooded reptiles with a civilization based on cold-blooded life, are im- perilled by falling temperatures.

Their outpost in Europe is being frozen out, and even the home cities in Africa are feeling the change. One solution to their problem is moving their popula- tions elsewhere, but this creates two problems. As with modern social in- sects, the lives of individual Yilane are often completely integrated with that of their living city, and if a city dies, its inhabitants usually though not al- ways collapse. Second, the geographi- cal knowledge of the Saurians is sur- prisingly limited. Even though their scientists know of continental drift and the theory of tectonic plates, they do not know that South America ex- ists.

Such an idea-dilemma suggests a goof on Harrison's part. The essential story, apart from character clashes resulting from dif- ferent ethical systems, describes the contact shock when the reptiles meet human beings of a sort. One calls these intelligent, plantigrade primates humans, since they seem to look like Homo sapiens and they behave like twentieth-century men, but they have not descended from a chain of African rock apes as we have, but from the South American Cebidae or platyr- rhine monkeys.

Although Harrison does not spell the sequence out, it must have paralleled our own evolu- 10 Twilight Zone tion, with some exceptions to be noted. These hominoids are primitive in culture, mostly hunters and fishers, although one small tribe far inland has begun to till the soil and make pot- tery. These men, so far at least, live only in North America, in a small, scattered population.

Harrison's first novel described the clash when the reptiles tried to found a new city in North America. The book began with a slaughter, when human hunters, not realizing that a group of bathing Yilane males were intelligent beings and probably would not have cared in any case wantonly killed them. The reptiles responded by massacring the human tribe — with an exception. A Yilane philosopher undertook to educate and train a human as an. This is Kerrick, who grew up in a Yilane city and later escaped. The novel ended with Kerrick's leading the hu- mans to burn the reptiJe city in North America.

Winter in Eden de:scribes the con- tinued war of reptile versus mammal, as the Yilane decide to exterminate mankind, and Kerrick voyages far seeking a way to save his fellows. New ideas, however, emerge. Kerrick has come around to accepting peaceful coexistence, despite intrinsic incom- patibility, as have a few of the Yilane. The powerful reptile attack on man al- most succeeds, but Kijrrick saves the day in a maneuver reminiscent of the old "world-saver" stories of the Camp- bell era. Harrison's plot, though based on an ethic of tolerance, is not the most interesting part of his novel.

The real fascination lies in the Yilane and their culture. The humans, both typolog- ically and individually, are much less important. Kerrick and his wife Ar- mun are quite colorless compared to the scientist Ambalasi, whose attempt to plant a colony in newly discovered South America is described in detail.

Harrison has taken pains to work up a convincing culture for the Yilane. With the aid of T. Shippey he has crated a complex language that is based as much on what philologists call supersegmental features as on oral speech. For the Yilane gestures and skin-color changes add emotional and social dimensions to words, which are limited as communication.

Since their culture is strongly hierarchical with as many levels of courtesy and rank- demonstration as a pre-modern Orien- tal language of our world, communi- cation between Yilane and humans is limited. A man like Kerrick, if suffi- ciently limber, can manage most of the body positions that do not involve a reptilian tail, but obviously cannot convey skin-color changes. I wonder, though, how a reptile can call from one room to another within the limita- tions Harrison imposes.

The same linguistic interest ap- pears in the speech that Harrison and Shippey have created for a new group of humans, the Paramutan, who are quasi-Eskimo in culture and agglutina- tive language. The furred Paramutan, though, offer a special problem for the reader; they have tails, and it is hard to see how a Paramutan can manage a tail in Eskimo clothing. Winter in Eden is a very in- teresting book, one of the better ex- amples of anthropological science- fiction. The background is exception- ally well handled. My only major criticism apart from the too trig resolution that I have hinted at is the dialogue.

Either Harrison has devel- oped a bad ear for speech, or he had attempted a peculiar mode of utter- ance that not come across. The char- acters talk either like Dick and Jane or ornate like parodies of Longfellow's Hiawatha. Donaldson's old double trilogy of novels about Thomas Covenant despite their theat- ricality and occasional bad writing, for they had a swash and a gusto and wild imagination that carried them through. Donaldson seemed to have enjoyed writing them, and the exuber- ance was contagious. If he threw the kitchen sink at the reader, with thun- der from smashing chinaware and clanking tin pans, it was all in fun.

But the first volume of Donaldson's new epic. Take a routine fantasy, expand it about ten times, mute down the char- acters, pretend a little with archetypal figures, chop off the first third and publish it, and there you are. To give it a little extra nuance and sophistica- tion, let King Lear stick his head up through the trapdoor every now and then.

And it's all very dull. The Mirror of Her Dreams is in large part the story of a poor little rich girl from New York who winds up in an alien universe where magic works and mirrors do not carry reflec- tions but offer doorways to other places or worlds. Arc of the Dream by A. Attanasio came out of the blue a few years ago with Radix, a big, sprawling, brilliant, wildly imaginative first novel into which the author had seemingly poured every idea that had come into his head during its writing. His second book.

In Other Worlds, was distinctly less ambitious, but more tightly constructed. Attanasio's third book. Arc of the Dream is yet another step down — for this author, a relative- ly minor work — but a wonderful read, rich in invention and language. Attanasio particularly breathes life in- to, and makes important to us, some very abstract and even difficult ideas out of theoretical physics. And in this, Attanasio returns science fiction to its roots as no other author I can think of. He has reintroduced to science fiction a sense of wonder. He has done it by attempting to broaden our sense of what the universe is, of what reality is.

A Dreaming Jewel The story concerns a being from another order of reality who has come visiting. That part of it that manifests in our three dimensions is "no larger than a quarter The alien, "an arc of energy] leaping across the void," must be returned to its proper place or it will eventually lose its being in a rapid dissipation of energy resembling a nuclear explosion. In order to get itself returned, it touches the minds of four people and enlists them in the effort.

In the pro- cess they are all transformed. One of these, Dirk Heiser, an unhappy youth living in an orphanage in Hawaii, is the viewpoint character, a complex person whose emotional and intellec- tual awakening is skillfully delineated. The major problem with the book is pacing. The last third or so moves slowly, working against the urgency of the situation.

Attanasio compen- sates with a prose that is often poetry, which at its best can weave a spell around the reader, and makes this, the weakest of his books, very much worth a look Kitty Litter According to the jacket blurb for Cat Magic, co-author Jonathan Barry is an aerospace consultant. He is also a practicing witch and has an intimate familiarity with the witchcraft move- ment. Insofar as the novel is at its most lively and deeply felt, as a pro- paganda piece for witchcraft I was go- ing to write that newcomer Barry had brought more to the book than old pro Strieber.

However, I have since heard that Barry is a Strieber pseudonym, so there goes that. But who knows? The book's a mess. The story focuses on Amanda Walker, now in her early twenties, who has returned to May- well, New Jersey, the quiet little town of her birth, but also the locale of some bitter memories. Still living in Maywell is Amanda's only living relative. Uncle George, a truly mad scientist, and a randy one to boot, who has developed a method of resus- citating the dead.

At a certain point he decides he needs a luscious young thing to experiment on, and we quick- ly see where that's going to go. Amanda has come to Maywell to work for Constance Collier, who has ostensibly hired her to illustrate a book. Constance, however, is actually a witch, the spiritual leader of the large local coven who, sensing that her death is near, has chosen Amanda to be her successor. But of course it is not so simple. Amanda must grow into the role, and so she must enter the realm of death, and return.

Brother Simon has a genius for stirring up crowds and is hellbent, as it were, on eradicating the witches of Mayweil. Having already committed a murder and having been driven mad by the guilt of it. Brother Simon is fully capable of it again. It is when the book is making a case for witchcraft — the white witch- craft of living with and worshipping the Earth and nature, and of learning or relearning a healthy relationship between humanity and the cosmos — that the book is at its most passionate and engaging.

For the rest — interesting at times; and at times, not. Luna-toons Readers may be familiar with the name James Herbert, perhaps through his work, or through the many lauda- tory words Stephen King devoted to him in Danse Macabre. However, read- ers approaching his latest book. Moon, with high expectations will be doing both the book and themselves a disser- vice. This is a modest thriller that works best with the least amount of rfitical ex- amination. It is, however, fun. The premise is reminiscent of the movie Eyes of Laura Mars. Jonathan Childes, a schoolteacher with psychic talents, occasionally sees the most hideous murders as they are being committed — through the eyes of the murderer.

The lunatic senses the presence of Childes, and with the cun- ning of madness, tracks down his ex- wife and child, his students, and his lover. Though the set-up would seem to have potential, the book is not a nail-biter. It is simply a run-of-the-mill thriller, and it manages to work up only a few tense moments as it meanders its way to its climax. In a bizarre way, the climax makes the book special.

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When Childes is finally confronted with the homici- dal maniac the scene is so absurd as to fairly be called comical. It attempt- ing to create a villain of unparalleled monstrousness, he has instead fash- ioned a clown. Well, I did say the book was fun. There are nineteen stories here, nine of which I thought were first-rate. I was particularly fond of: Leonard Carpenter's "Dead Week," which goes along innocuously enough until it drops its bomb on us — beauti- fully done; David Schow's "Bunny Didn't Tell Us," with its wild scene in the graveyard; Simon Clark's atmo- spheric, creepy "Beside the - Seaside, Beside the Sea.

Sam- mon and Stephen F. Nolan's "Cere- mony," which was nicely atmospheric but totally predictable; and David S. Garnett's "Red Christmas," well writ- ten, but which read like an outline for a longer story. On the other end of the scale, Wayne Allen Sallee's "Rapid Transit was a very derivative of Stephen King, b poorly observed, c sick, and d dumb. What a horror! Dennis Etchison has aimed high in Cutting Edge: the very title, a wonder- ful pun, demonstrates an ambition to do something like what Harlan Ellison attempted with Dangerous Visions. It does not, however, break new ground, although it is a pretty good collection.

Etchison has elicited some fine stories from his contributors, and I would guess that several of them will be can- didates for next year's Year's Best. Perhaps the best story in the book is Peter Straub's "Blue Rose," which is about a disturbed youngster with a talent for hypnotizing people, especial- ly his little brother, and how terribly wrong things go when they do go wrong. The story weaves a spell of unease that gradually deepens into dread and finally horror.

Also ex- cellent are: Roberta Lannes's "Good- bye, Dark Love," told with under- standing, inventiveness, and frankness, which explores the mind of a girl driven mad tiy a pathological relation- ship; Ramsey Campbell's "The Hands," which traces the path of a tired, bitter travelling salesman into a particularly terrible Hell; "Lost Soul" by Clive Barker, a clever, unusually original story that imagines New York as a battleground of good and demonic forces, though apparent only to the agents of each side, who go about their dark business unobtrusively; and Robert Bloch's "Reaper," which con- cerns a retired writer who makes a Faustian deal that inevitably backfires.

Also worthy of mention is Whitley Strieber's "Pain," which seems to be a case study of a psychotic masochist, though it may not have been intended that way. King himself recently was ac- tive campaigning against a Maine cen- sorship ordinance, which eventually was defeated. The TV commercial began "Want to hear something really scary? Dick, to be published by Underwood-Miller Chestnut St. World Fantasy Award nominations have been announced, and the winners will be chosen about the time this issue of TZ hits the stands.

Bright fingers of flame dart upward from an old split log, pushing the cold and the darkness back into the shadows. Tonight, walking home from the ferry, I stopped to catch my breath in the chill evening air, turning to look back down the hill. The sun, far to the south in the eastern sky, had almost set behind the apartment towers of Brooklyn across the harbor.

A couple of months ago, it would have been sunny at this time of day. Now it's twilight; almost night. We're nearing that time in the year when the sun appears to pause for a moment in its retreat. That's what the word solstice means. The sun stands still. Now, as Christmas nears. I'm feeling the loss of the passing year — the opportunities missed, the chores left undone. The paint is peeling on my house, the leaves need raking, the front lawn is overgrown with weeds.

I'm a child of summer. I come from a generation that believed in miracles, that resents the coming of winter. Winter seems a time when everything stops, when the world is buried under a winding sheet of snow. Sleeping; perhaps dead. But I forget that winter, too, has a message. Under the snow, things are happening. The crocus and tulip under my overgrown front lawn are undergoing astonishing changes — changes that would be impossible without the cold. Caterpillars have spun cocoons, and, inside, turned to soup, a formless substance that to the untrained eye contains no trace of structure.

Yet inside, an alchemy is taking place that will produce a miracle. I guess we all have to fall apart a little, sometimes, in order to rebuild ourselves and our dreams. These days, on the darkest night of the year, I work my own small alchemy, as my ancestors did centuries ago. I make a small pile of debris from the year past. The old year's nightmares appear before me like tortured demons, and are transformed by the dancing flames into the new year's dreams.

And the sun, frozen in the sky, is coaxed by the warmth to begin its long journey back. It's called sympathetic magic, the faith that from small actions and causes, great things can come,, like a small ember that bursts iijto a great flame. Perhaps the sun would return without my gesture, but by doing it I've become a part of that ancient rhythm again. I've left my past behind, and become a part of the future. That's how we got here, I think. By seeing how things might be. We certainly weren't as well equipped for survival as some of our cousins.

But we endured by using our one unique gift — the ability to imagine the unreal. To prepare for winter while the days are still long, to remember summer in the midst of winter, and so have reason to hope and persevere. As I sit in front of the fire tonight, I'm remembering the words of John Lennon, whose life ended about this time of year, but whose influence is still very much with us. He urged us to resist accepting the world as it is, and to make use of our imagination. He told us that each and every one of us was a superstar, one of the beautiful people. Your imagination is a remarkable gift — and you have it in abundance, more than almost anyone you know.

If you don't like the world in which you're living, what are you going to do about it? Imagine the world you'd like to be living in. Close your eyes and see it clearly. Light your flame. Move the sun. Christopher Karwowski The clock has stopped in the dark. A Change of Hobbit, located in Santa Monica, California, now holds seventy-five thousand books and encompasses forty-eight hundred square feet. They take mail orders from all over the world and hold frequent "autograph par- ties" with renowned authors like Arthur C.

Clarke, Stephen King, and S. The idea for the fourteen-year-old bookstore came about when Gotlieb decided that she wanted a change of habit from her old lifestyle. They give Sandhaus "in- teresting constraints, which means we have to come up with interesting answers. Eliot brilliant potential for laser "sculpting and painting' without a corporate log doodled on a cloud. One of the more interesting applications is the planned installation next year of a ninety foot "light tower" at the newly redeveloped Bay Front Park in Miami.

Thinking on a scale a bit bigger, Sandaus imagines large scale performances — really large scale, as in geomet- rical figures rotating over Sao Paulo, Brazil, or oscillating walls of light over the island of Manhattan. Possible future events? They may include exhibits at the Egyptian pyramids, a laser reconstruction of the Templo Mayor in Mexico City, the Parthenon in Greece, or an exhibit in China. What does Sandhaus consider the ideal canvas for his astounding light performers? After a short pause he answers: "Times Square" his daily view from his 52nd Street office , because of its accessibility to large crowds, and the huge surface areas of the surrounding skyscrapers.

Indeed, if Sandhaus has his way, the phrase 16 Twilight Zone Corporation, uses argon and krypton lasers to cast everyday sights in a new light. Fascinated since childhood with holograms, Sandhaus has begun to move lasers out of the realm of Star Wars and Star Wars in- to new areas of com- merce and art. With a staff of twelve dynamical- ly creative researchers. Science Faction constantly pushes the limits of laser technology, incorporating dazzling new laser effects which would have been impossible only six months prior into their repertoire.

Visitors to the SFC offices in New York witness stunning sights: tunnels of light, fleeting cages, as well as a head- spinning thirty-second, "top-forty" of corporate ads designed by SFC. Exhibits for such corp- orations as Arco, Kodak, and Phillips are, perhaps, the most visible and cre- ative performances that Illuminations continued from page 16 rapidly the interest :n science fiction and fan- tasy is expanding.

Do they, like us, dream of strange and wonderful worlds — better, happier places? This is the Twilight Zone, and here the im- ponderables often become concrete. A letter arrived on our desk a few days ago — a letter written in friendly if ungainly English from a citizen of the Soviet Union. It said that he'd been a lovei- of fantastic fiction all his life, and that he wanted the chance to read our magazine. I hope you like them. The cards are bold, imaginative, and hold up well against American sf illustration.

They show futuristic spacecraft and far-away, exotic worlds. Some depict the achievements of the Soviet space pro- gram; others, achieve- ments and events yet to come. It's hard not to see the similarity to American sf's own fantasies and dreams. They have the same bug we have, those Soviets do; no one, it seems, is immune. There's a strange and mysterious doorway, it seems, even in the hearts and minds of the children of Mother Russia.

And when that disturbing but somehow familiar door to the di- mension of the imagina- tion is open, they too step into. Perhaps that is the common ground we've all been looking for. Emshwiller "If you kill imagination, that is a kind of long-term suicide. How did it happen? It wasn't a case of over- night success. Cameron worked his way up through Roger Gorman's New World Pictures, supervised special effects on John Carpenter's Escape from New York, and made his directorial debut with Piranha The Spawning in , before he had a chance to make The Terminiator in , a sleeper hit that became the number one film in the U.

Cameron went on to write the original script for Rambo — a script which Stallone later re- vised. In fact, it was the other way around. Cameron wrote the first draft of Aliens before he wrote Rambo. Ripley, in a sense, was Rambo's mother. The challenge for Cameron was to come up with something new. And it had a lot of violent, twisted sexual imagery.

Ours was much more of an action film, although we did come up with a battle between two fe- males of the species that is a completely different and yet similarly primal struggle. But gone are the days of the almost minimalistic stage sets, black and white film, and, unfor- tunately, Rod Serling himself. To compete with the glitzy style of Dynasty and Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, the look of the new TZ has been updated to give new meaning to the term "eye- catching.

It's as crisp and full of pop graphics as any Pepsi commercial or music video. The opener is, in fact, a well- produced ad for the episodes which follow. Besides employing the latest in film technology for the credits, Phil DeGuere, executive pro- ducer of the series, also employed the Grateful Dead. Yes, the very ones who sang "Sugar Mag- nolia" are the ones who composed and play the new TZ theme. For DeGuere to take such a chance was considered a pretty daring move in that Capitol of Bland known as Hollywood. Drew Takahashi — their creative heads. After a rough track from the Dead was recorded.

Tarantulas and ghoulish dolls were rented, crystal balls and Rorschach ink blots called up and high- tech effects were con- jured. The end result is anything but traditional. But DeGuere wanted to remind those viewing of the program's roots, so Serling himself is shown drifting through clouds of liquid nitrogen , and a few strains of the old TZ theme are heard just before the image resolves into the new series logo, DeGuere and the staff who created and produced this sequence have succeeded in bring- ing a vintage classic into the 80s with class, while still retaining many of the elements which have given it its unique quality.

That of the myraids who Before us pass'd the door of Dark- ness through. Not one returns to tell us of the Road, Which to discover we must travel too. If that were true, we'd stop get- ting involved with approximately the same kind of wrong lover each time, we'd learn the lessons of history, the death penalty would discourage those plotting murder, and George San- tayana's famous quote would be about as popular as "the bee';3 knees. Strange Wine in which I vowed on peril of losing my immortal soul that I would never again work in television , there may be at least tens of thousands of readers of this essay who remain unaware of my loathing for the coaxial medium, and who know not that my going to work in November of for CBS's revival of The Twilight Zone caused some small, but significant, tremor of confusion among the faithful.

After all, hadn't I inveighed against television for a decade and more? Hadn't I advised viewers to kick in the picture tubes and use their sets as planters? Hadn't I grown to be the specter at the banquet, doomsaying brain damage and tertiary blandness for all of you out there sucking up them good ole phosphor dots?

Well, you can just imagine what happened when it was announced that I was returning to tv, to work as Creative Consultant on The Twilight Zonel Such hue and cry, such sturm und drang, such death and transfigura- tion! Explaining what I was doing toil- ing for a year in the hold of the televi- sion trireme, for those who don't re- member and don't give a hoot , leads to an explanation of why I left The Twilight Zone's employ, for those who are delighted to see the teleplay of "Nackles" published here.

And all of it, from joyous opening credits to shabby fadeout, circumnavigates the core fact that neither you nor I remember the past and thus are condemned to repeat it. I worked for more than a decade in tel- evision. I won a number of awards doing it. The number of awards I won, counted on the fingers of the left hand, total more than the number of happy days I had worked in the medium dur- ing that period, counted on the fingers of the right hand. And if my left hand had suspected what my right hand was up to, my left hand would surely have crushed the unhappy fingers of my right hand between the jaws of a bench vise.

But perhaps I exaggerate. I recall at least two personal experiences that were more unpleasant than working in television: passing forty-eight kidney stones in the space of eight hours without benefit of anaesthesia, and a sigmoidoscopy that left me walking funny for a week. Writing television ranks right in there somewhere. The angst comes not from the ac- tual vfriting, which is usually pleasur- able— as long as one selects shows on which one can work with a sense of craft, art, and honor — but from fighting the soul-crushing apparat placed be- tween creators and viewers by net- works, studios, production companies and their feckless apparatchiks.

By the time anything one has written gets on the little screen, the misery one has been put through has flensed even the joy of the writing, and all one is left with is money. Which is what they pay you for — the privilege of telling you that they know how to write what you've written better than you can. One never asks: if you can do it so much better, schmuck, why don't you just do itl One never asks, for answer came there none. He said TZ wanted to pur- chase rights to my story "Shatterday" for teleplay adaptation by then- freelancer Alan Brennert soon ta be Ex- ecutive Story Consultant Brennert.

I told him to forget it. He asked my why. I said I thought Alan would likely do a spiffy job with "Shatterday. That led us into a conversation during the course of which I unloaded all my long-gathered thoughts about why fantasy so seldom worked when transferred to the video screen.

Three Science Fiction Stories by Fritz Leiber (FULL Audiobook)

It was a long chat, and when I was finished lecturing, Jim said he and the Executive Producer, Philip DeGuere, had put together a "bible" of guidelines for writers intending to work on the series, complete with story-outlines. He asked me if Id mind taking a look at it, to give him and DeGuere my feelings about whether they were on the right track or not. I said yes. Mostly because Jim Crocker is one of the most decejit, char- ming men I have ever met.

Honest and talented and compassionate to a fault, Crocker's patience in listening to my babble, and his genuine sense of con- cern that TZ be done properly, had won me completely. So I said yes. I'd look at the "bible. But 1 digress. I read the "bible" and a day or so later called Crocker to give him my comments about the proposed stories to be filmed. I was not entirely laudatory. In fact, when Jim tells this part of the story the words brutal, barbaric and of- fensive are prominently featured. Nonetheless, he suggested it would be a salutary thing for him and DeGuere to meet me, to discuss further the opinions I'd ventured.

On November 6th, DeGuere and Crocker came to my home and we sat in the Art Deco Dining Pavilion for three hours, with Crocker silently smil- ing at the first confrontation between me and the legendary DeGuere. I liked DeGuere at once. By the time they left, I had not on- ly agreed to let Alan do "Shatterday," but I had agreed to write an original story for the show. Well, one thing led to another.

Like you, I forgot the lessons of the past. I was so charmed by Crocker and DeGuere, so filled with hubris that I, alone of all the wretches crawling across this planet, had the special wisdom to bring superlative fantasy to the small screen, that I allowed myself to be seduced. No other word works as well. I was seduced. By respect, and friendship, by the challenge, and by that "It is not whimsical that the Falwells and Swaggerts and Meeses of the world seek to burn books: they correctly perceive them to be dangerous.

Bread, I had discovered, no longer cost 13c a loaf; and 37c no longer bought a tank of gas; and one forgets how nice it is not having to consider selling one's record collection to make the mortgage payment. But for that year of employment the longest job I've ever held in my entire life I did not work in television, rather I was permit- ted to caper and whistle through Camelot. It was by no means all lightness and joy and iTeedom to create.

There were days and nights of genuine hor- ror, of pain suffered by one or another of our little cadre that was a nasty palliative to our cockeyed camaraderie and the sweetly exhausting months of round-the-clock work. I have no regrets about working that year in the bowels of the beast televi- sion. And would have happily gone on to a second season, ratings be damned. So why, the impatient reader asks after all this history and bonhomie, did the hardcore-unemployable Ellison walk off the best job he'd ever had? In a word: Nackles. Martin brought the story to the attention of DeGuere.

George's excellent novel The Armageddon Rag had been optioned as a feature film by DeGuere several years earlier, and they had become fritmds. It was natural that when Phil signed to do TZ that he would solicit vmrk from George; and George sent him Xerox copies of the story; and Phil optioned it for George to turn into a teleplay for the show. By the time 1 came to TZ, George had noodled the idea that formed the core of "Nackles" to a point where he could write it up as a story outline.

Those of you who have read "Nackles" in its print medium incarna- tion, will perceive that what works on the page would not work on the screen. The core idea, the anti-Santa, was so strong, that it obliterated the rest of the story for visual adaptation. George, who at that time had had very little experience with the script idiom, though he has gone on to do some excellent teleplays and is now Story Editor on TZ, stubbed his toe on the piece, and no one George included was par- ticularly happy with the result. At the same time, we were trying to breathe life into an idea submitted by a writer named Bi-yce Maritano; a story about an Elvis imitator who goes back in time to meel: The King.

The story meetings we held, in which we sat for hours trying to make either silk purses out of sow's ears or sow's ears out of silk purses, invariably foundered on Maritano's story, "The Once and Future King. There was talk of pul ting the story in abeyance, but with one of those rare insights my wife refi! One of the basic pro- blems of this script is that Maritano doesn't have the feel for rock'n'roll.

He's even got Elvis playing an electric guitar, and everybody knows Presley played only acousticals. Give the story to George. He's perfect for it. He's got the smarts for this one if anybody has! But we still needed someone to write "Nackles' for the special Christmas show. Since it was my big mouth that had freed the job for a new writer, and since it was my big mouth that ven- tured ways in which Westlake's gruesome little bon met could be altered to work visually, it was into my big mouth that Crocker, O'Bannon, DeGuere and Brennert wadded the script.

It was Summer before I got to it. I began by doing research. Richard Finkelstein, Director, Bureau of Client Fraud Investigation, New York City Human Resources Administration, spent several hours on the long distance phone with me, explaining how the welfare setup worked these days in Manhattan. Then I went back to all the stories I'd written about tenement life in New York, and refreshed the recollections, the smells and sounds.

Understand: 1 am no part of the shared delusion that if one merely enter- tains with television, that it is a job worthy unto itself. Entertain, yes! That goes without saying. But a good writer does that automatically, it's built into the machine. Telling a thumpingly good, mesmerizing story is what one does without question. It is guerrilla warfare against the status quo. It is not whimsical that the Falwells and Swaggerts and Meeses of the world seek to burn books: they correctly perceive them to be dangerous. Kafka tells us, "I believe that we should read only those books that bite and sting us.

If a book we are reading does not rouse us with a blow to the head, then why read it? But it isn't so. And televi- sion is merely entertainment, at best; for the most part it is as memorable and meaningful as what Aquinas called ' "a fart in the wind. And I am one with Joseph Pulitzer, who said, "The purpose of journalists should be to afflict the comfortable. You read it, and see if it is a strong statement. It was certainly intended to be strong.

Clarke's "The Star" in a tripartite holiday package that would make a viewing ex- perience no one would soon forget. My first draft teleplay was handed in on July 15th, and by September 25th, when I had completed a rewrite, we knew we had something in the oven that might be difficult to get past the network, but if it could be done.

I sent the script to Don Westlake, to get his feeling about it, and on Oc- tober 25th he wrote me in part : "Okay. In fact, okay! It's different, God knows, but it would have to be, wouldn't it? When this idea first came along, I said to myself, well, if they want to, but I don't think it's possible.

I looked at the story again at that time, and it seemed to me it wasn't a story at all, it was just an essay with incidents. I wouldn't have had the slightest idea how to turn it into a real-life narrative, and I'm amazed that you not only believed there was a way, but found it. A final draft was handed in on Novefnber 3rd, followed by a "revised final" on the 13th of that month.

Christmas was coming at us steadily, and we had to get moving or we'd never get the segment into that triple-play package. Another revised draft: November 14th. A third revised final: November 20th. For some time on the show, DeGuere and Crocker and Harvey Frand and Alan and Rock had been try- ing to convince me that I should try my hand at directing.

I'd resisted, because I'm a writer, and that's what I like to do. But in the course of the season I'd seen so many lame directors mess up so many sweet scripts, that by the middle of November I was con- vinced a talented mollusk could direct decently. So on the 21st I told Harvey and Jim 1 wanted to direct "Nackles. They'd seen it as a dangerous script, but we'd bartered a word here, an epithet there, and it continued on page 88 Twilight Zone 25 5 , ir You'd better watch out.

You'd better not cry. Nacklea, is coming to town. I don't know, and if it hadn't been for my rotten brother- in-law the question would never have come up. My late brother-in- law? Nackles knows. It all depends, you see, like the chicken and the egg, on which came first. Did God exist before Man first thought of Him, or didn't He? If not, if Man creates his gods, then it follows that Man must create the devils, too.

Nearly every god, you know, has his corresponding devil. Good and Evil. The polytheistic ancients, prolific in the creation? The Greeks, those incredible supermen, combined Good and Evil in each of their gods. And we ourselves know God and Satan. But of course it's entirely possible I have nothing to worry about. It all depends on whether Santa Claus is or is not a god. He certainly seems like a god. Consider; He is omniscient: he knows every action of every child, for good or evil.

At least on Christmas Eve he is omnipresent, everywhere at once. He administers justice tempered with mercy. He is superhuman, or at least non-human, though conceived of as having a human shape. He is aided by a corps of assistants who do not have completely human shapes. He re- wards Good and punishes Evil. And, most important, he is believed in ut- terly by several million people, most of them under the age of ten. Is there any qualification for godhood that Santa Claus does not possess? And even the non-believers give him lip-service. He has surely taken over Christmas; his effigy is every- where, but where are the manger and the Christ child?

Retired rather for- i,. Santa's power is growing, too. Slowly but surely he is usurping Chanukah as well. Santa Claus is a god. He's no less a god than Ahura Mazda, or Odin, or Zeus.

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Think of the white beard, the chariot pulled through the air by a breed of animal which doesn't ordi- narily fly, the prayers requests for gifts which are annually mailed to him and which so baffle the Post Of- fice, the specially-garbed priests in all the department stores. And don't gods reflect their creators'? The Greeks had a huntress goddess, and gods of agriculture and war and love. What else would we have but a god of giving, or merchandising, and of consumption?

Secondary gods of ear- lier times have been stout, but surely Santa Claus is the first fat primary god. Which brings me back to my brother-in-law, who's to blame for whatever happens now. My brother- in-law Frank is — or was — a very mean and nasty man. Why I ever let him marry my sister I'll never know. Why Susie wanted to marry him is an even greater mystery. I could just shrug and say Love Is Blind, I suppose, but that wouldn't explain how she fell in love with him in the first place. Frank is — or was — I just don't know what tense to use.

The present, hopefully. Frank is a very handsome man in his way, big and brawny, full of vitality. A football player; hero in college and defensive linebacker for three years in pro ball, till he did some sort of irreparable damage to his left knee, which gave him a limp and forced him to find some other way to make a living. Ex-football players tend to be- come insurance salesmen; I don't know why.

Frank followed the form, and became an insurance salesman. Because Susie was then a secretary for the same company, they soon became acquainted. Was Susie dazzled by the ex-hero, so big and handsome? She's never been the type to dazzle easily, but we can never fully know what goes on in- side the mind of another human being. For whatever reason, she decided she was in love with him. So they were married, and five weeks later he gave her her first black eye. And the last, though it mightn't have been since Susie tried to keep me from finding out.

But she sounded so upset that I knew immediately something was wrong, so I took a demonstration car and drove over, and when she opened the front door there was the shiner. Nackles is the new Evil. Frank, it seemed, had a terrible temper. So I decided it was up to me to let Frank know he wasn't to vent his pique on my sister any more. Unfortunately, I am five feet sev- en inches tall and weigh one hundred thirty-four pounds, with the Sunday Times under my arm.

Were I just to give Frank a piece of my mind, he'd surely give me a black eye to go with my sister's. Therefore, that afternoon I bought a regulation baseball bat, and carried it with me when I went to see Frank that night. He opened the door himself and snarled, "What do you want? Then, having unethically gained the upper hand, I clouted him five or six times more, and then stood over him to say, "The next time you hit my sister I won't let you off so easy. After which I was Frank's best friend. People like that are so impossible to understand.

Until the baseball bat episode, Frank had nothing for me but undisguised contempt. But once I'd knocked the stuffing out of him, he was my comriide for life. And I'm sure it was sincere:; he would have given me the shirt off his back, had I wanted it, which I didn't. Also, by the way, he never hit Susie again. He still had the bad tem- per, but he took it out in throwing furniture out windows or punching dents in walls or going downtown to start a brawl in some bar. Then came the children, three of them in as many years.

Frank Junior came first, and then Linda Joyce, and finally Stewart. Susie had held the forlorn hope that fatherhood would settle Frank to some extent, but quite the reverse was true. Shrieking babies, smelly diapers, disrupted sleep, and distracted wives are trials and tribula- tions to any man, but to Frank they were — like everything else in his life — the last straw. He became, in a word, worse. The children, of course, didn't like him very much, but then who did? L ast Christmas Was when it started. Junior was six then, and Linda Joyce was five, and Stewart four, so all were old enough to have heard of Santa Claus and still young enough to believe in him.

Along around Octo- ber, when the' Christmas season was beginning, Frank began to use Santa Claus's displeasure as a weapon to keep the children "in line" — his phrase for keeping them mute and immobile and terrified. Jdany parents, of course, try to enforce obedience the same way: "If you're bad, Santa Claus won't bring you any presents. In the old days, Santa Claus would tnjat bad children a bit more scornfully, leaving a lump of coal in their stockings in lieu of presents, but I suppose the Depression helped to change that.

There are times and situations when a lump of coal is nothing to sneer at. In any case, an absence of pres- ents was too weak a punishment for Frank's purposes, so last Christmas- time he invented Nackles. Who is Nackles? I think Frank really enjoyed creating Nackles; he gave so much thought to the details of him. Accord- ing to Frank, and as I remember it, this is Nackles: Very very tall and very very thin. Dressed all in black, with a gaunt grey face and deep black eyes. He travels through an intricate series of tunnels under the earth, in a black chariot on rails, pulled by an octet of dead-white goats.

And what does Nackles do? Nackles lives on the fl? This is what Frank was tell- ing his children; can you believe it? Nackles roams back and forth under the earth, in his dark tunnels darker than subway tunnels, pulled by the eight dead-white goats, and he searches for little boys and girls to stuff into his big black sack and carry away and eat. Santa Claus is stronger than Nackles, and keeps a protective shield around little children, so Nackles can't get at them. But when little children are bad, it hurts Santa Claus, cind weakens the shield Santa Claus has placed around them, and if they keej?

Frank was very proud of his in- vention, actually proud of it. He not only used Nackles to threaten his chil- dren every time they fiad the temerity to come within range of his vision, he also spread the story around to others. He told me, and his neighbors, and people in bars, and people he went to see in his job as insurance salesman. I don't know how many people he told about Nackles, though I would guess it was well over a hundred. And there's more than one Frank in this world; he told me from time to time of a client or neighbor or bar-crony who had heard the story of Nackles and then said, "By God, that's great.

And would any of the unfortunate children thus introduced to Nackles believe in this Evil Being any less than they believed in Santa Claus? Of course not. This all happened, as I say, last Christmastime. Frank invented Nackles, used him to further intimidate his already-intimidated children, and spread the story of him to everyone he met. On Christmas Day last year I'm sure there was more than one child in this town who was relieved and somewhat surprised to waken the same as usual, in his own trundle bed, and to find the presents downstairs beneath the tree, proving that Nackles had been kept away yet another year.

N ackles lay dormant, so far as Frank was concerned, from De- cember 25th of last year until this October. Then, with the sights and sounds of Christmas again in the land, back came Nackles, as fresh and vi- cious as ever. Frank wasn't doing as well financially as he'd expected, and then early in November Susie discovered she was pregnant again, and what with one thing and another Frank was headed for a real peak of ill-temper.

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He screamed at the children constantly, and the name of Nackles was never far from his tongue. Susie did what she could to coun- teract Frank's bad influence, but he wouldn't let her do much. All through November and December he was home more and more of the time, because the Christmas season is the wrong time to sell insurance anyway and also because he was hating the job more every day and thus giving it less of his time.

The more he hated the job, the worse his temper became, and the more he drank, and the worse his limp got, and the louder were his shouts, and the more violent his refer- ences to Nackles. It just built and built and built, and reached its crescendo on Christmas Eve, when some small or imagined infraction of one of the children — Stewart, I think — resulted in Frank's pulling all the Christmas pres- ents from all the closets and stowing them all in the car to be taken back to the stores, because this Christmas for sure it wouldn't be Santa Claus who would be visiting this house, it would be Nackles.

By the time Susie got the children to bed, everyone in the house was a nervous wreck. The children were too frightened to sleep, and Susie was too unnerved herself to be of much help in soothing them. It was nearly eleven o'clock be- fore Susie got the children all quieted down, and then she went out to the car and brought all the presents back in and ranged them under the tree. Knowing and applying the creative success mindsets of geniuses and creative leaders helped me survive my recent heart attack.

And maybe, some of the creative mindsets and exercises that I described above may also help you one day to keep your calm when confronted with a possibly life-threatening situation. To find out more about our Genius Journey training courses , contact us to tell us more about how we may creatively inspire you and your colleagues. Demographic shifts primarily in the United States and Europe, but also in Asia and increasing demand for highly skilled knowledge workers are responsible for the predicted talent shortage. In response to the call to win in The War for Talent, the talent management industry gained momentum and grew in popularity.

Twenty years later, we may ask in hindsight: Have many organizations suffered from a shortage of talented people during the past two decades? Indeed, companies face difficulties to find enough talents for specific roles in certain industries e. In most areas and countries, talents abound. Then, strategic plans plot how to meet those talent needs effectively. Talent management includes all activities to plan, recruit, onboard, manage, develop, reward, and set free talented managers and employees.

The literature on human capital management presents these key activities along with a lifecycle model: the talent management lifecycle. While various concepts differ in detail, there is a widespread consensus on certain stages that talents pass through while working for an organization. In the following, I outline how TIPS can support the talent management efforts of the human capital function. Thereby, I move along the various stages of the talent lifecycle and its three main objectives recruit—retain—release talent.

Talent planning is a strategic approach that involves identifying key positions and roles, understanding critical skills requirements and gaps, and creating transition and succession plans to keep critical roles filled with top players today and in the future. Depending on the industry and the evolutionary phase in the business cycle, a company or strategic business unit needs more talents with specific personality profiles and related cognitive styles.

For example, banks or accounting firms have a greater need for quantitative, analytical thinkers, while agencies in the creative industries need a high proportion of qualitative creative thinkers. With regards to the business cycle phase, a fast-growing company needs to focus on bringing in more operational knowledge workers to solidify its backend, while a company threatened by digital transformation needs to look for agile, creative talents who drive change as the organization begins a new business cycle to avoid disruption and creative destruction.

Talent acquisition is all about hiring the right person for an open position. How can TIPS help organizations to acquire the right talents who cognitively fit the requirements of a particular job and prevent them from hiring the wrong people? In a TIPS talent acquisition project, we use a gamified approach to help a human resources team translate the job description for each open position into compatible TIPS profiles. Typically, every role has a primary TIPS profile representing an ideal cognitive fit and secondary profiles that are possibles.

Next, we check for the cognitive job fit of each candidate. When the recruitment committee members conduct the final job interviews with the shortlisted top candidates, they can ask specific questions to validate the cognitive suitability of each candidate further. Finally, they decide on the best candidate considering all position-specific competencies knowledge, skills, expertise, and cognitive profile. Would you like to get more details on a TIPS-empowered talent recruitment process? When a new talent joins an organization, they often first go through an orientation program that helps to familiarize them with their new organization.

One onboarding approach to help new talents to integrate into their new organization successfully, and avoid disillusionment, is to assign them a mentor. Why is this useful? People with the same or similar profiles and cognitive preferences tend to like each other. They share similar viewpoints and cognitive styles. One of the best ways for an organization to retain their top talents is by putting them in a role that they love and can do well.

One sentence captures the essence of talent re- alignment: Put the right person into the right job. Organizations that ensure hiring the right new talents for a vacant position tend to comply with this maxim in stage 2: talent acquisition. Either they work in a slightly wrong role within the right work team, or in a wrong business function. How can TIPS help here? So, invite all your incumbent talents to take the TIPS online personality test.

Then, check how closely the role that each person works in fits their TIPS profile and preferred cognitive styles. Next, discuss the results with each talent and their manager. Do you want more details on how this works? Take a look at an earlier blog post article titled How to put the right people into the right job. Different talents vary in the way they prefer to be managed by their superior team manager or senior executive. These differences go back to different personal preferences in cognitive styles that relate to the four TIPS styles to think, work, interact and live.

The article Manage people better by relating to their personal styles discusses these differences in how people like to be managed in greater detail. Do you see the value in this credo? Then focus the upskill training initiatives for your talents on developing their strengths further, and not on eradicating their weaknesses. Read the article Who should be trained in what? Different types of talents tend to excel at producing certain kind of outputs. For example, a person who is good at closing deals typically is poor at writing code. TIPS can help you understand who has a talent for producing what kinds of outputs.

The target outputs that come naturally easy to a person reside in their talent sweet spot. An earlier blog article titled How to boost work productivity and performance with TIPS outlines examples of primary and secondary target outputs for each of the 11 TIPS profiles, as well as the process steps of effective performance management for your talents. Who is the best talent to lead a business unit — or even the entire organization as CEO?

As explained in an earlier article , specific TIPS profiles come to the fore at different development stages as a company gradually evolves from a start-up venture to a large or even multinational corporation. For example, nowadays, many corporations are threatened by digital transformation and new technologies especially in some industries such as banking or automotive.

They need to start a new creative cycle to avoid the fate of creative destruction. At some point, talents depart from an organization. In the past, most people stayed with one organization from recruitment until retirement. Nowadays, the end of one talent lifecycle is the beginning of a new one. In some cases, talents transition into a new organization by their own volition to hike up their compensation or career prospects.

In other cases, however, organizational restructuring and automation of business processes force organizations to make some of their talents redundant. Here, TIPS can become an invaluable tool to ensure that departing talents can smoothly transition into a new role or career. TIPS allows them to learn more about their personality profile and preferred cognitive styles.

By gaining greater self-awareness of their TIPS profile, departing talents can align their next career move to a proper role, industry, organizational type, and business cycle stage, regardless of whether they sign on at a new company or consider starting their own business. TIPS can provide organizations with greater talent awareness. Our cognitve profiling tool can support human resources managers to more effectively manage human capital along all stages of the talent management lifecycle.

If you focus is on creating value for your customer instead of just making money, innovation becomes a lot easier. X-IDEA allows you to be more innovative in less time with less risk. In the process, we have developed a greater variety of innovation training courses that go more in-depth concerning a specific aspect of innovation.

Unfortunately, greater variety also means greater choice, which makes it more difficult for prospective clients to select the most suitable innovation training for their people if they browse our website. So today, allow me to share with you what factors we consider while developing a new survey-tool for our website that we hope helps prospective clients find —and settle on— a training course that fits their innovation training needs and constraints.

You strongly believe in the value of continued education, and in the era of the innovation economy, you want to provide more creativity- and innovation-related training programs to your employees. But how to get started in finding suitable training courses. Of course, you need to identify suitable vendors from whom to source the training. Check the track record of possible innovation training providers. Separate the wheat from the chaff by rating potential training providers on both the methodological underpinning of their courses and their real-life innovation experience.

Ask: What innovation methods do they use in training? How many years have they been running creativity and innovation training courses? Do they only talk the talk or also walk their innovation talk themselves? More importantly, however, you need to answer a few questions that help you clarify your wants and needs concerning a couple of critical training parameters: number and background of the delegates; innovation focus area; training duration; and budget.

How many people overall do you want to provide with a particular innovation training? Into how many training cohorts would you like to split this total number of delegates? Here, note that if you put too many learners into one cohort, then the quality of learning tends to suffer. Big training cohorts are more challenging to control, especially if you do a lot of practical exercises. The optimal class size for most innovation training courses is 24 delegates, but for specific training programs, we recommend smaller cohorts of 16 and larger groups of 30 delegates.

To what organizational function or business unit, as well as what hierarchical level, do the delegates mostly belong? For example, do you want to train more operational people working on a factory floor in creativity and innovation? Do you want to organize a training only for senior executives, or for up-and-coming young management talents? Do you intend to mix different hierarchy levels e. Your answers to these questions tend to inform how much time and budget you can commit for the respective training.

Within the domains of creativity and innovation, most companies face challenges in four areas:. We offer a range of training courses for each of these key innovation topic areas based on our proprietary innovation methods. We also offer a range of innovation keynote talks. Finally, we have designed a range of Business Thinking Skills training courses to equip staff and lower management with critical functional skills Creative Thinking, Analytical Thinking, Visual Thinking, Entrepreneurial Thinking, and Decision Making. How much time are you and the delegates you target able and willing to dedicate to an innovation training?

Based on our experience, typical time commitments range from short time intervals hours, half a day over medium-term 1-day or 2-days to more long-term commitments 3 days or more. Know that the more time you make available, the more chances to give your innovation trainer to apply the contents in practical exercises or —even better— on simulated realistic innovation cases.

Interestingly, within Asia, there are noticeable differences with regards to how much time training can last. What budget do you have available for training your delegates in creativity and innovation? Your budget needs to relate to the overall number of delegates you want to train in innovation in a given period. Moreover, the higher your budget, the more training days overall can you buy, thus allowing you to book longer training courses with more practical exercises and real-life case scenarios.

Finally, please bear in mind that high-quality innovation training courses typically charge a premium, which compensates the training providers for the higher cost related to licensing or developing premium contents. Apart from the aforementioned, other factors you may want to consider are the context of the training e.

When a prospective client is interested in learning more about our training courses, we typically meet with them to ask them a series of questions to help us recommend one or a few training courses that cater to the identified training needs. We noticed that in the last couple of years, it takes longer to find a time slot for a prospective client meeting as businesspeople and managers face evermore demands on their time and are busier and busier.

Many companies feel compelled to offer a variety of products to their clients to cater to specific wants, needs, and desires; on the other hand, more choice makes it more difficult for customers to settle for one offering, and may even make them walk away and look somewhere else for another offer. How to best resolve this dilemma? Schwartz argues that eliminating consumer choices can significantly reduce anxiety for buyers, so offering fewer products and variations is one possible resolution. For example, when Steve Jobs returned to Apple in , he decided to cut down the number of computers that Apple offers from roughly three dozen to just four.

An alternative way is to use either personal advice and technology as an aid to guide customers to the best choice for a specific need. Have you already played with our new survey tool? If so, did you find an enticing course within our range of innovation training courses? Then, contact us to so that we can jointly explore how we may best edutain you with our experiential Thinkergy innovation training courses. Creativity is the ability to make new connections and see things from new perspectives.

Ideas matter more now than ever! X-IDEA helps you develop a great quantity and quality of ideas in less time. Marketing and innovation both take great ideas and fresh approaches in order to be successful. X-IDEA makes it easy to create breakthrough ideas. If you were to grow a prize flower you wouldn't just plan one seed, you'd plant a whole field full of seed and select the best one. The same is true for ideas. X-IDEA makes it easy! What's going on when "creative awesomeness" meets "know how to wow"? As VIVA is already a bold creative agency full of creativity, the training focused more on the many business applications of TIPS and not so much on its innovation applications.

We talked about how to better manage people in line with their preferred cognitive styles, how to resolve conflict at work, and how to empathize with people from a different TIPS home base theories, ideas, people, systems , among others. Want to know how TIPS can benefit your team?

Contact us to learn more about TIPS workshops. Demographic shifts and increasing demand for highly skilled knowledge workers are responsible for the predicted talent shortage. Today, I have explained how TIPS can support the initial recruitment phase of the talent management lifecycle with its three stages of talent planning, talent acquisition, and talent onboarding. In two weeks, part 2 of this article will explore how companies can better manage the remaining two phases of the talent management lifecycle: talent retainment with the five stages talent re- alignment, management, development, performance, and leadership and talent release with the final lifecycle stage talent transition.

Because he successfully practiced a systematic innovation approach, the legendary inventor Thomas Edison was well aware that innovation is largely a numbers game. In Thinkergy's X-IDEA innovation method, we also track the innovation outputs at each stage of the process, thus making sure that you first produce a lot of raw ideas during Ideation before you design the most intriguing ones into great ideas in the Development-stage. How do you profile in TIPS? TIPS is Thinkergy's new cognitive people profiling tool for business and innovation.

Brainstorming is arguably the most widely used creativity technique ever since Alex Osborn introduced the tool in his classic book Applied Imagination. Need some evidence? Brainstorming has played a central role in every book on creativity techniques. Some people even use the word brainstorming synonymously with creativity. A search on Google delivers about Take the simple Google popularity test as a warning sign: It suggests that brainstorming is often used in a context different from its original scope of being an idea generation tool.

Here we arrive at some of the problems with brainstorming. With reference to the title of the classic western movie The Good, the Bad and the Ugly , you need to understand the good, bad and ugly side of brainstorming to produce creative results for your company when using this tool. Most companies start on the correct path by assigning a facilitator to run the session and a recorder to jot down the ideas of the group in an appropriate size eight plus minus two is a good rule of thumb here.

However, they fail when it comes to following through on the all-important four Ground Rules of Brainstorming:. Moving on to the bad sides of brainstorming: Many research studies confirm that brainstorming is an inferior technique with regards to producing a high idea quantity.

Researchers attribute this result to three effects that explain the deficiencies of brainstorming:. Brainstorming is a crucial ingredient in the creative culture of the industrial design powerhouse IDEO , and the innovation results delivered by this company speak for the benefits of this technique if used appropriately.

So how can we cure the bad and ugly sides of brainstorming while continuing to enjoy the benefits of its good side? Here are five recommendations on how you can develop a correct brainstorming culture in your company:. Unfortunately, most of us have no recollections of our early childhood. Infants and the very young children are still closest to their true selves.

So, observe their behaviors to get a better grasp of the concept of genius. But I noticed that most other babies exhibit the same ways and behaviors. And I invite you to observe infants in your family or environment to form your own opinion on the ingenious ways of very young children. She persists in the face of —at times painful— temporary failure until she succeeds. Take the example of how infants learn to walk. Babies spend most of their early days laying flat on their back or being carried around.

All the while, they see their parents and other humans walking on two legs. Babies seem to have an inherent belief that they too can master the art of walking. So, they take action one step at a time: First, they learn to sit. Then, crawl. Next, they pull themselves up.

At some point, they stand. Finally, they begin to walk their first steps. In the process, they fall many times. According to some books, babies fail a couple of thousand times while learning how to walk. Are you? Very young children tend to exhibit the foundational success mindset of genius. Start to be a courageous, action-oriented and persistent believer. She is original and insists upon herself. Unlike most adults, she has no desire to hide her true essence behind a mask.

She has no intention to play a role that pleases the expectations of others. She confidently shows her talents, ideas, feelings, and true colors. She just is. Why do babies and young children learn so much so fast? They are open, curious, and playful. She embraces her world full of curiosity. She openly approaches a person, animal, plant or other new experience with a spirit of wonder and awe.

She wants to play with all other young kids without judging them based on their color of skin, nationality or religious belief.

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She displays an open body language. And very soon, she is likely to bombard her parents with lots of questions about this wondrous world. She plays with toys and stuffed plush animals, pans and pots, bottles and boxes, in short: everything she spots and deems worthy of playing.

She loves to laugh and have fun with her parents, other caretakers, and other kids. She enjoys dancing and humming along with a song in her baby language, as we expose her to English, German and Thai. She loves to run around and ride on every toy on wheels. They often critique and lecture others instead of listening to ideas and asking questions. Many go through their days with closed minds and bodies. Their hands, arms, and legs are crossed when encountering people or a new situation.. After all, many consider life and work to be serious affairs, and tend to see the glass to be half empty.

All these observations connect to the creative mindsets at Destination Stops 3 and 4 of Genius Journey:. Start being curious and open -minded. She immediately runs to her indoor playground, where she enthusiastically greets, kisses and hugs her teddy bear. She radiates joy and love from the word go. She enjoys messing up the room as much as tidying it up again. She takes pleasure in giving a hand to her parents or grandparents. How does this contrast with how the average working adult approaches a new day?

Many businesspeople drag themselves out of bed in the morning, especially on Mondays. These people hardly can wait for the weekend to begin. What does this tell us about their attitude towards their work? Start being passionate and love what you do. I share my observations solely on our baby girl. But I noticed that most other babies behave and do things in the same way.

I invite you to observe infants in your family or environment to form your own opinion on whether the very young children carry the spirit of genius inside. But observing her gives hints of what may be going on in her mind, and what interests her. So what have I noticed? Young kids take an interest in almost everything. They enjoy learning broadly about the world, instead of profoundly focusing on one subject as most experts do. In their early years, young kids engage in a broad range of activities: playing alone and with other kids; running and riding wheeled toys; dancing and singing; and drawing and building things, among many others.

In many situations, I can spot how she uses her innate creativity to have fun and get her way. When watching her playing with her doll and plush pets, I am positive that she imagines them to be real. For example, one morning, she carried my mobile phone to our bed in an affectionate attempt to wake me up. Then, she fetched the backpack we carry along when taking her out. Then, she can still play with her friends there before they all go for their morning nap.

So, I complied, got dressed and walked to the door, and she followed me all smiles and bright-eyed. How does this all compare to the world of business? Over the past two centuries, our western education system has emphasized the development of logical-mathematical intelligence IQ and a predominantly rational, analytical mind. This focus equipped workers and managers with functional knowledge and skills needed to function well in the industrial and knowledge economies.

Moreover, the modern western education system encourages and celebrates domain expertise. Many experts are so specialized that they know everything about their tiny niche — and almost nothing about the world. In contrast, a classical education used to favor a polymath or homo universalis. Stops 6 and 7 of Genius Journey advocate to live and learn both deeply and broadly, and to cultivate a balanced, integrated mind:.

Start thinking integrated with your whole mind. Start collecting and connecting the dots both deeply and broadly. Most parents try to establish daily routines for their little ones e. Why is it advisable to create such an orderly framework? Regularity counter-balances the innate drive and high energy of young kids. Infants tend to move, play and do something continually. Such sustained activity allows them to practice and learn new things. Young kids are very flexible in their body and minds, enabling them to evolve so rapidly. Babies personify continuous change.

They embody the creativity-empowering mindset at Destination Stop 8 of Genius Journey:. How does this compare with a typical businessperson? Many not only do not adhere to healthy routines but rather are slaves to their daily habits. They do the same things over and over again without embracing the variety of life. While habits can simplify life, they also tend to make our bodies and minds inflexible and inert. They prevent us from trying something new in an ever-changing world.

So, avoid the creativity-inhibiting, limiting mindset at Stop No wonder that the child shows an insatiable curiosity. Very young children perceive and interact with the world using all their senses. They not only see and hear but also want to touch, smell and taste everything. Ask any parent how often babies put things in their mouths.

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Young kids are also fully present in the now. Neither do they reminisce of what they did yesterday nor do they worry about, or look ahead to, tomorrow. At other times, they look forward to the future, either full of worries whether they will still have enough money or good health, or in hopeful anticipation of what they will do when reaching a certain point in future such as, when the kids flee the nest, or when they retire. Most adults overemphasize their visual and auditory senses, while neglecting the others.

Start focusing on the now with all your senses. Be mindful. When she reawakens, she goes back to active mode right away. She applies herself to the activity of the moment until her battery runs down. Our little ones seem to intuitively balance periods of intensive action and total relaxation sleep. Thereby, complete application and relaxation alternate in a harmonious rhythm. In comparison, modern businesspeople are busy almost all the time.

They engage in countless activities at a frantic pace. Nowadays, even if they get a moment to take a breath, they glance at their smartphones. So, she naturally embraces the lesson of Destination Stop 10 of Genius Journey:. Stop doing, doing, doing something all the time. Start balancing doing and being in a harmonious rhythm to induce states of flow. Being a genius himself, Goethe recognized genius in the eyes of very young kids. So, I invite you to do as the German playwright and philosopher.

Openly and curiously observe the ways of babies and young kids. And by recognizing and appreciating the ingenuity of very young kids, you take the first step to acknowledge your genius that you exhibited as a very young child, too. Are you interested in reconnecting to your inner genius? Contact us to learn more about Genius Journey and our creative leader development programs. In times of exponential change, what keeps us employable and our knowledge and skills base relevant and up-to-date?

Continuous learning. Of course, life-long learning is first and foremost and individual responsibility. But to continuously develop their human capital to meet the requirements of the workplace of the future, companies need to invest in up-skilling training, too. Here, a couple of exciting questions arise: Who should undergo what kind of training programs? And how can you get more out of your time and monetary investments in training? Talent development is the fourth and last element of how to manage your human capital with the help of TIPS. So what are the other factors that we already discussed separately in earlier TIPS articles :.

Naturally, the scope and topic range of learning and development programs vary by industry and organizational type. As such, the training topics I suggest below are more general and apply to a wide range of industries. Moreover, I believe in providing training in critical business thinking skills for the 21st century to all of your human talents such as Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Visual Thinking, Problem Solving, Decision Making. With this in mind, what training courses and directions cater to the natural talents of each of the 11 TIPS profiles?

Starting on the top left corner of the TIPS Profiling Map, and then moving around clockwise, let me introduce the different TIPS profiles and suggest sample training courses that these people tend to find appealing:. Maximize your return on training investment by aligning the course contents with the cognitive preferences and natural interests of each of your talents.

How can you start the process? With a history as successful serial innovator, Grant created "Reality Based Innovation" as a proprietary method to guide Fortune companies towards tangible, "reality-based" innovation results. Grant believes that "Real innovation cannot happen outside the CEO's office", which is why he insists that the CEO is at least Indirectly involved in every important innovation project. Experience TIPS for your organizations. Next week, we will celebrate once again Chinese New Year. According to Chinese legend, the pig is the twelfth and last animal of the Chinese Zodiac.

As such, the Year of the Pig closes the cycle of animal signs in the Chinese Zodiac. And this year, I close this cycle, too. Chinese astrologists assign the traits and behaviors observed in each animal of the Chinese Zodiac to describe personality characteristics of people born in the corresponding year. How are people born in the Year of the Pig said to be? They are also characterized as being harmonious, empathetic and warm. Because they are generous, empathetically care for others and like to help others, they are at times taken advantage of and are said to be easily tricked and scammed.

Finally, they are said to stay comparatively calm when confronted with trouble. In the Year of the Pig, consider emulating the ways and characteristics of a person born in the pig-year. Explore new ways to care for and help your customers, so that they will also help you and think of you when they look for vendors for their future projects. Be generous to your suppliers, but beware of falling for pretenders and tricksters who promise you the earth, and in return give you nothing or worse.

Finally, keep your cool when facing troublesome situations in such as high volatility in the FX markets, or a sudden slump in the stock market. Almost 1 billion pigs live on our planet, making it the third largest population of livestock in the world on a par with sheep and behind chicken and cattle. Humans also use pigs for medical experiments and, more recently, as potential donors of living cells, tissues and organs to humans. We make paint brushes from the short, stiff and coarse hair bristles of pigs.

We enjoy hunting boars and escaped or released feral pigs. Finally, the French use trained pigs to search for truffles. Ponder these questions: How can you be of more value to your clients? How may you serve them in new ways? How could you make one of your core competencies available to your clients to allow the discovery and creation of new value? But did you know how smart they really are? According to recent research , pigs often outsmart dogs and have the same cognitive capacities as chimpanzees. Researchers found that pigs have excellent long-term memories; easily maneuver mazes and similar tests requiring spatial orientation; can understand a simple symbolic language; can learn complex combinations of symbols for actions and objects; love to play and tease each other; live in complex social communities where they cooperate with and learn from one another; and show empathy when witnessing the same emotion in another individual, among others.

Who do you regularly deal with without really appreciating how smart they are? How to increase the smarts of yourself and your colleagues in times of rapid change? One possible explanation: Pigs are notorious for being dirty animals. Moreover, being omnivorous scavengers, pigs frenziedly munch on virtually anything while foraging the ground with their snouts which is why we call a binge eating a pig-out. How can you do this?

Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. He has a point. Not only do some piggy humans emulate the ways of swine as discussed earlier, but interestingly, pigs equal humans in that we have an imminently destructive effect on nature. When pigs were brought to countries or environments where they are a non-native species, and then some of them accidentally escaped or were deliberately released as prey for hunting, they have caused extensive environmental damage. Pigs tend to severely transform ecosystems that are new to them because of their omnivorous diet and their feeding method of rooting in the ground.

In what ways do you and your organization cause excessive damage to the environment? Pondering these questions is well worth your time: In , humanity is due to start the Sixth Wave of technological development — and clean technologies in a wide range of industries such as energy, transportation, food, etc. For Jews and Muslims, eating pork is a taboo and only permissible in emergency situations when no other food is around. Why did these world religions restrict the consumption of pork? However, some anthropologists argue that simple economic-ecological considerations may mainly have led to these religious restrictions on the consumption of pork: Both Judaism and Islam originated in the Middle East, where water and vegetation are scarce.

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Pigs require water and shady woods with seeds, and a Middle Eastern society keeping large stocks of pigs would destroy their ecosystem as also discussed in the previous point. Humanity is living beyond our means. Currently, we consume roughly double the resources that planet Earth can sustainably reproduce. So in view of this imminent ecological and economic crisis, how can we effectively create a social taboo for overconsumption?

It takes years of hard, dedicated work for a farmer to breed, raise and fatten a pig before being able to sell it at the market for a high price. It requires many, many months or even years of sustained creative effort before you can release an innovation that wows the world into the market. In the Year of the Pig, consider beginning an ambitious innovation project that aims for creating a disrupting innovation that can take the market by storm in a few years, and promises you sustainable high margin-revenues.

Are you ready to get creative in the Year of the Pig? To think, create and play hard? Then enroll your company or team in one of our Thinkergy training courses, or consider doing an X-IDEA innovation project with us. Rather, it means that you used an ineffective process — if you used a process at all. Today, let me explain how you can move from ordinary ideas to extraordinary ideas by adding a second creative stage to your innovation process. Most innovation process methods have only one creative process stage. In all these process methods, this sole creative process stage is directly followed by a stage used to critically evaluate the ideas and select the best ones for further implementation.

When generating ideas, innovation project team members are supposed to follow four ground rules of ideation suggested by Alex Osborn, the famous advertiser and inventor of Brainstorming and other creativity techniques:. If idea generation is going to be followed directly by evaluation, how likely are you adhere to all ground rules of ideation? Quantity over quality, no idea too wild or crazy? Most probably not. As such, you end up with fewer ideas overall — and most of them are ordinary or even boring.

There is another problem related to using only one creative process stage: Suppose that against all odds, you had really mastered all your courage to adhere to the ground rules of ideation. If there were only one creative stage, would you be likely to select any wild idea for further in-depth evaluation? No way! You would kill all wild ideas right at the beginning of the critical evaluation phase, as you regarded them as useless to resolve your innovation challenge.

Interestingly, a wild idea is often the seedling of a truly outstanding idea. In the Development-stage, we Discover , Design and Develop to turn idea quantity into idea quality:. Just like during Ideation, we also must follow four ground rules in the Development-stage. While ground rules 1 and 4 stay the same as before, two rules are changed compared to Ideation to reflect the altered objective of the Development stage:. A creative process can unfold its magic only once it consists of two creative stages.

Continue using a conventional, ordinary innovation process method with one creative process stage if you only want conventional ideas. Or switch to an unconventional innovation process method with two creative process stages like X-IDEA if you want to get unconventional, extraordinary ideas. Contact us if you want to learn more about how the two creative stages of X-IDEA may help your innovation teams to make the leap from ordinary to extraordinary ideas.

While as a creative leadership coach, I can observe the actions of disciples, I cannot directly intercept their thoughts. Fortunately, however, I can get valuable hints about the thoughts of potential creative leaders by paying close attention to, and intently listening for, the words they regularly use. Why are certain keywords so revealing? Watch your words, they become your actions. Watch your actions, they become your habits.

Watch your habits, they become your character. Words are verbalized thoughts that have positive or negative energy that sooner or later translate into life-enhancing or -diminishing actions. Suppose you work at the head office of a large corporation undergoing a leadership transition phase. Your supervisory board has asked the two shortlisted candidates to introduce themselves as potential new CEO to all head office staff at a town hall meeting. Who do you think is more of a creative leader? I feel privileged of the chance to serve you as your new leader.

I believe that we are eternal, egalitarian spiritual beings on a human journey. All of us are created equal, and all of us are significant to our future success. We optimistically envision making meaning by inventing ingenious, beautiful new products that empower our customers and make the world a better place. We optimistically believe that we can invent excellent new value offerings that are natural, essential and timeless.

How will I strive to lead you? By being an ethical, principled, tolerant and consciously aware leader. By being self-confident and humble, unselfish and modest. By sharing my experience, educating you and being helpful to you. By being thoughtful and considerate. By treating you respectfully, fairly and truthfully. By confronting you kindly, honestly and candidly when your ego takes over, and by patiently and gently healing conflict with humor and harmony. By cherishing your work and appreciating and accepting your constructive opinions.

By openly and impartially inviting your brilliant ideas, and then being agreeable to them and approving them as much as is possible and feasible. By encouraging you to courageously try something new, and when you fail, by not only forgiving but praising you for taking initiative. By valuing your virtuous efforts and trusting in your intuitive decisions. By being determined to our noble, holistic goals while staying flexible to our actions and spontaneous in our responses. By diplomatically defending our peaceful, democratic ideals and emphatically, generously and charitably caring for all of our stakeholders,.

I am proud to be your new superior. I am important and ambitious. After all, I am indebted to being part of a small, arrogant, dogmatic and luxurious elite who is entitled to call the shots and to enjoy the pleasures of life. I forcefully insist on being the boss. I urge and coerce you to follow me. At times, I may be flattering to persuade you. But most of the time, I will be dictatorial, condescending, harassing and belligerent. Take note that I am rigid and hard, rough and punitive. Because I am impulsive and easily irritated, I can be critical, cynical and at times even cruel.

Better beware. Expect me to reject and attack your ideas, and to resent you if you argue with me. What is my false, calculating scheme? Picture the company promoting the latest fads that persuade unaware consumers to feverishly buy our ordinary, artificial and cheap products. We immediately grab their money and use some of it to seduce nationalistic regulators to legally restrict better competitors.

That way, we can recklessly exploit the local market, and I can get an excessive bonus. After all, I am a selfish, lustful and materialistic taker who hoards all I have. What candidate would you prefer as your new CEO? And who is more of a creative leader? Of course, the two speeches are fictional and intentionally exaggerated to make a point. I wrote them by using a list of word pairs from David R.

Force , which discusses the consequences of operating on different levels of creative consciousness. These powerful words indicate that she qualifies as a genuine, creative leader to successfully spearhead a company in the innovation economy. In contrast, Candidate B relies almost exclusively on forceful , life-diminishing and negative words located on the rudimentary lower consciousness levels, expressing negative emotions such as pride, anger, desire and fear.

So what can you learn from this? Lao Tzu is right: Watch your thoughts and your words, as your acts, habits and destiny flow from them. Become aware of negative words you regularly tend to use. Then, whenever you catch yourself thinking the negative thought preceding such a negative word, replace it in your mind and communicate the positive equivalent.

Becoming aware of the negative, destructive vs. These linguistic communication tips were also featured in an early Thinkergy blog article published in January When are you ready to develop into a creative leader? Contact us to find out more about Genius Journey and our related creative leadership development programs. In November , Brand Connect invited all staff from all offices and across all business functions to a regional offsite in Phuket to translate its growth mission into concrete strategic objectives and action plans for each office.

What were outcomes of this TIPS powered-strategy offsite? Here are three out of many other results:. Having worked with Thinkergy before with my previous company, I asked them to support Brand Connect at our regional offsite. To live up to our mission and desired growth objectives, we need to get the people-mix of our business right. TIPS helped us to better understand what people we have on the team now, how to realign some of our talents to cater to their strengths and cognitive styles, and to identify critical people delivery gaps that we need to deliver on our regional growth strategy.

However, I believe that in comparison, TIPS has more concrete applications for business and innovation. Welcome to all of you in the New Year ! How can you skyrocket your career and improve the odds of success of your company in ? By innovating. But how can you best contribute to corporate innovation with your natural talents and unique strengths? By understanding —and innovating in harmony with— your personal innovator type. In the following in alphabetical order , I introduce you to the 11 innovator profiles that we distinguish in TIPS.

Finally, you will learn what famous leaders exemplify the base orientations and preferred cognitive style of the 11 innovator types. Here we go:. They are broadly talented. They can do almost anything well, and enjoy working in many different roles and on many different projects. All-Rounders can juggle many balls at the same time without dropping a single one, which makes them a valuable and well-liked team member in any innovation project. Coaches care about the full development of the human potential. So, they prefer to direct their innovation efforts to the theory-based creation of educational, humanistic, or even spiritual products, services or solutions that elevate people to a higher level.

Conceptualizers are geeky, brainy big-picture innovators who are all about the knowledge-based creation of concepts, methods and tools. These fast learners and thinkers quickly pick-up fresh knowledge and emerging technological trends springing out of the Theories-base, and transform these into new concepts, products and solutions. Experimenters are innovators who enjoy improving existing things products, processes, business models, etc.

Finally, they re-assemble the reconfigured parts into a new, improved and better whole. For Ideators, life is all about ideas, innovation and change. Among the 11 innovator profiles in TIPS, they are the most daring, radical and dynamic innovator type.

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While Experimenters create something better out of something, Ideators have the drive and energy to create something new out of nothing — be it a new product, service, solution or experience, a new brand, or a new venture. Leonardo da Vinci, Walt Disney and the older Steve Jobs are fine examples of this progressive innovator type. Organisers are hands-on, practical innovators who are all about organized service and operational excellence.

Being grounded and down-to-earth, they naturally focus with all of their senses on all the small details of an operation. They prefer to innovate as part of a team, and are more adaptive in their style to innovate, meaning that they prefer to gradually and steadily improve on an existing process or service rather than creating it from scratch.

Partners are experiential, empathetic innovators who deeply care about people and relationships.

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Among all innovator types, Partners are the ones who best know what your customers think, say and —most importantly— feel about your value offerings and brand. They equally enjoy working on innovation projects that are more adaptive targeting continuous or incremental improvements or more innovative aiming for producing an evolutionary or even revolutionary innovation for as long as they can tackle the challenge together with others in a harmonious team. Willard Marriott, Lee Iacoccia and Herb Kelleher are possible examples of this most empathetic innovator type.

Among all 11 innovator profiles, Promoters are the best of spreading the word about, and creating a buzz for an innovation. These creative, charismatic and witty communicators are able to find the right words that inspire people to take a desired course of action, such as rallying behind a new social or political idea, buying a new product, or falling in love with a cool new brand.

Promoters enjoy working on more progressive innovation projects together with others in a team. David Ogilvy, Mark Twain and the young Steve Jobs are role models of this communicative innovator type. This is because they prefer stable systems and processes, cherish traditions and favor preserving the status quo. Systematizers practice an adaptive style to innovate, pardon me, renovate, and are indifferent working on such a project alone or together with other members of a trusted group.

Andrew Carnegie, Lakshmi Mittal and George Washington are exemplary role models for this preserving innovator type. Technocrats enjoy applying bits and pieces of a well-established body of domain knowledge e. For Theorists, life is all about theories, knowledge and the truth. These rational big picture thinkers love to work on abstract, logical and often numerical challenges. They prefer to work alone by either adapting an existing theoretical concept, or expanding the existing base of knowledge with a new theory or technological concept.

As such, Theorists operate at the front end of innovation, often inspiring new innovation initiatives of others with their theoretical, conceptual contributions. Isaac Newton, Stephen Hawking and Thomas Jefferson may exemplify this evidence-driven innovator type. I am a clear-cut Ideator. I love change. And you? What innovator type are you? Are you more like Bill Gates or Herb Kelleher? Steve Jobs or Warren Buffet? Walt Disney or Andrew Carnegie? Is that a lucky number? You bet. Do we ask you to surrender your next bonus to shine light on your innovator profile?

Given the bearish outlook for the stock market for the year ahead, it may well be the best investment you make in Click here to get TIPS-ed and discover your innovator type. What comes to your mind when you hear the terms assets and liabilities? Most businesspeople think of a corporate balance sheet. But as a person, have you ever noticed that you have assets and liabilities, too?

Here, I am not talking about those financial positions you personally own or owe someone. After all, each of the 11 TIPS profiles comes with a unique mix of assets and liabilities. When we put these key ideas together, we can say that your personal assets are those good, beneficial qualities that you mainly use to create value and make a positive difference to yourself, your business, and society.

In contrast, your liabilities are those disadvantageous behaviors and qualities that set you back and prevent you from realizing your full potential. Together, your positive and negative qualities form your personal balance sheet.