The Idea EnthusiastThe Idea Enthusiast

Newsletter Stories from August 2018

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by Greg Roth

Each Wednesday, I send out a newsletter with links to “idea enthusiasm” stories from around the web. Here is a compilation of stories from August 2018. You can sign up for the newsletter here.


“What I learned from 30+ years of measuring myself like the stock market.” Condensed into one chart. [8-1-18]
Choir singing improves your health and happiness. [8-1-18]

The business challenge of our time, and what your “work culture” should be addressing, is creating meaningful work for everyone. [8-1-18]

11 “great ideas” that went horribly wrong. Some lessons learned. [8-1-18]

10 ways to prevent admin tasks from draining your creative energy. [8-8-18]

The cognitive biases that trick your brain and delude you. [8-8-18]

7 design lessons from Silicon Valley’s most important failures. [8-8-18]

How catalog-loving retailer Hammacher Schlemmer survives in the age of Amazon. [8-8-18]

The fine line between self-care and self-sabotage. [8-15-18]

Findings from 300 interviews with people about their morning routines. #1: quit social media in the am. [8-15-18]

Here’s how to prep your calendar for a productive workweek, from the folks at Slack. [8-15-18]

The tricky art of rewiring your own brain. A look at mental placebos, nocebos, and “defensive pessimism”. [8-22-18]

QUIZ: What’s your creative type? Meta Wagner (actual name), Emerson College professor and author of a book by the same name, offers a chance to self-diagnose your abilities. [8-22-18]

Introducing Couch Potato: keep track of all the time you spend doing absolutely nothing. [8-22-18]

Planning where you’re going vs seeing where creativity takes you: How JK Rowling used a hand-drawn spreadsheet format to map out the plot of Harry Potter. My feeling is, this only works if you are working solo. [8-22-18]

There are 3 types of “failure”, but only one you should feel bad about. Related: The best #ShareYourRejection stories are the ones that aren’t just strategic humblebrags. [8-29-18]

Giphy has launched the first-ever film festival dedicated to GIFs. Hope Kanye wins something and it drives him nuts. [8-29-18]

Using a “noting” practice to control negative thinking. [8-29-18]

CHOICE: How Blue Bottle Coffee started as a side hustle to 40 locations around the world or the inside story of how McDonald’s innovated the Quarter Pounder[8-29-18]



Why ethical people eventually become unethical negotiators. [8-1-18]

10 principles for the personal care and feeding of ideas. Establish a personal knowledge management system. [8-1-18]

Fight to win: how friction sparks innovation, a Wharton interview with author Shane Snow. [8-1-18]

What to do when each department uses different terms to describe the same thing. [8-1-18]

IDEO’s 5 tips for running a design sprint. [8-8-18]

Your teammates are like a bowl of Skittles“. Seems unscientific (or just made up), but I do like using Trello. [8-8-18]

This week’s choice: “team building is easier than you think” or “The most cringe-worthy team building exercise I ever participated in”. [8-8-18]

Is the right group leading your digital initiatives? [8-8-18]

TV’s writers’ rooms have a “mother” of a problem, a 2-part CNN report on workplace challenges for pregnant women. [8-8-18]

At Drexel U, a creative approach to teaching creativity. No surprise that it involves each member of the class teaching for a half-session. [8-15-18]

Meet the team that ensures an Australian ski resort stays open and functioning. [8-15-18]

A look by EY at a few companies’ methods for inspiring their people to pitch and pursue new ideas. [8-15-18]

Oklahoma State football players introduce themselves humorously to forge team chemistry. The team’s new defensive coordinator documented the intros on Twitter. [8-15-18]

A look at the numbers behind making friends, according to science. The avg person trusts only 10-20 people. [8-22-18]

Why innovation is a team sport. Results from 800 companies through the Great Place to Work study. [8-22-18]

5 tips from IDEO for running a successful design sprint with your creative team. [8-22-18]

The 4-Day Work Week: Employees at the New Zealand trusts firm Perpetual Guardian demonstrate positive results from an eight-week experiment. [8-22-18]

What the tango (the dance) can teach us about high-performing teams. [8-29-18]

Stories of terrible corporate team building encounters. [8-29-18]

We all live in a parasocial hell. A look at “fake friends” a new web series explaining modern day interpersonal interaction. [8-29-18]

Why Hollywood exec Barry Diller believes in cultivating creative conflict. [8-29-18]



A guide to midwestern conversation, from McSweeney’s. A few F-bombs in the translation, presumably from the East Coaster who is decoding the typical Midwesterner. [8-1-18]

VIDEO: How to change someone else’s mind. [8-1-18]

Telling a good innovation story means choosing one of 3 narratives, according to this McKinsey study. [8-1-18]
INFOGRAPHIC: 10 types of visuals that our brains like. Employ for your next presentation. [8-1-18]

To reach an audience of millions, create for an audience of one. [8-8-18]

How Judd Apatow used email to give himself notes and write Knocked Up. [8-8-18]

‘I can’t believe I’m going to do this’: The inside story behind Phil Mickelson’s viral dance video. [8-8-18]

Lessons learned from writing 7,000 artist bios. [8-15-18]

If you want to be a great listener (and better presenter), learn to paraphrase. [8-15-18]

We’ve become addicted to exclamation points in emails and texts, and going cold turkey freaks people out(!!) [8-15-18]

How political parties use tiny changes in words to influence your thinking. [8-22-18]

Deep dive: The dark side of persuasion and how to avoid crossing that line. [8-22-18]

The best headlines appeal to people’s self-interest or give news. Also handy in conversations, especially with the boss. [8-22-18]

Why we hate using email but love sending texts. The intertwined histories of both channels. [8-22-18]

FROM ME: 4 years ago, I wrote a 90-second Labor Day message delivered by NAR President Steve Brown. Here’s a look at my writing process behind that[8-29-18]

What’s the difference between persuasion and manipulation? [8-29-18]

Hold on to your BS filters, fake news is getting more sophisticated. [8-29-18]

How to give a better pep talk, one that motivates people. [8-29-18]


Greg Roth
About Greg Roth
Founder, The Idea Enthusiast. Speaker, Trainer, Facilitator, and writer about all things creative consulting. DC-based consultant to individuals who want to be more creative, teams who want to collaborate without fear, and anyone who wants to deliver the best pitches and presentations.

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Newsletter Stories from August 2018