6. Why choose a Neanderthal to be your protagonist?
No matter how many Blackberries, frequent flyer miles, or stock options we have, we’re all
dealing with the same stuff our ancestors struggled with. Our caves may now be air-conditioned,
but we’re still seeking shelter from the storm. Despite our seeming advances, we’re playing out
the same scripts as those who have come before us. Awake at the Wheel
is set in the least
sophisticated of ages because I wanted to show how absolutely fundamental the creative
7. Why do you include creative thinking techniques in the book?
Because Awake at the Wheel is more than just a fable about the creative process. It’s also a
“how to” book – how to get out of the cave and think more creatively. But not just think. Act, too.
Yes, the 35 techniques in the book help people conjure up big ideas, but they also help people
close the gap between thought and action. Creativity without action is useless – good for cocktail
party banter, but little else.
8. In the preface of the book, you encourage people to bring their hottest, new idea to
mind before reading any further. Why?
In a word, intention. The more intention a reader brings to the book, the greater their chances of
experiencing a breakthrough. Intention intensifies creativity. Awake at the Wheel is an idea
greenhouse. It intensifies the light and heat in order to help people grow their ideas. If a person
does not already have an inspired idea to focus on when they begin the book, I ask them to
identify one. Hopefully, they will.
9. What advice do you have for us who have Ogs in our lives – spouses, friends, children,
and co-workers smitten with a big idea?
Listen non-judgmentally and provide a safe space for them to express their ideas. Listening
amplifies the life of an idea. It creates the kind of fertile environment that makes it easier for it to
take root and grow. Another thing you can do is ask questions – not “yes or no” questions, but
open-ended questions that allow aspiring innovators to stretch their wings. Asking questions
demonstrates, in a more active way than listening, your positive regard – your genuine interest in
their idea. And while this may seem like a no-brainer, the expression of positive regard creates a
hothouse environment for the growth of a new idea. It also neutralizes unexpressed doubts in
the minds of the Ogs in our life – and doubt is one of the most lethal killers of creativity.
10. Is it true you are giving away $1,000 to the reader who submits the best, new creative
Yes. The contest is one way to create an online community of aspiring Ogs, one way to get
readers sharing their insights and wisdom with each other. Too many potential innovators out
there are struggling alone with their ideas, dreams, and inventions. The contest will stimulate
more connection, collaboration, and creative community.