Make innovation a study and you inevitably will run into one name: Jeff DeGraff. Dr. DeGraff is a professor at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. He’s been called the Dean of Innovation. Before moving to Nashville, I lived in Ann Arbor and had the opportunity to meet him and see him in action. Jeff has worked with some of the biggest global corporations including Apple, Visa, GE, Coca-Cola, and Johnson & Johnson.
I recently had the opportunity to talk with Jeff when I visited the University of Michigan. He has created an innovation laboratory called the Innovatrium.
NOTE: Sadly, in July 2012, Jonah Lehrer resigned from The New Yorker and Wired after accusations of plagiarism and making up quotes. The book Imagine was pulled from bookstore shelves and thus is not available.
One of my favorite thought leaders is Jonah Lehrer. He’s a Contributing Editor at Wired, writes frequently for The New Yorker and Radiolab, and I never miss his “Head Case” column in The Wall Street Journal. His book How We Decide was an instant bestseller. On a plane the other day, I struck up a conversation with someone engrossed in his first book, Proust Was a Neuroscientist. My seatmate was sold on getting his newest book, Imagine: How Creativity Works, as soon as he could get his hands on it.
Recently, Jonah answered a few questions about creativity and innovation.
Erin Morgenstern debuted as an author last year with a most creative book, The Night Circus (it’s also one of my favorite book covers of 2011). In addition to receiving numerous rave reviews, the book was recently awarded the Alex Award by the ALA, which is given to the top ten adult books that also appeal to young adults.
As I talked with Erin about her achievement, I was struck by three success themes:
Diana Gabaldon is the bestselling author of the Outlander series and the Lord John novels. (Outlander fans, she is currently working on the eighth of the series Written in My Own Heart’s Blood. The latest Lord John novel was recently released.) She is a fascinating person with a diverse background. I’ve known Diana for a few years and, when I visited Scottsdale, I interviewed her about her insights on her successful writing career. I quickly realized that some of her suggestions are applicable not just for authors, but also for all of us. Here are a few success tips that I gleaned from Diana Gabaldon: