There is a moment in the workshops I lead for business teams and organizations that changes everything. It’s not when I get up on stage with my guitar because who doesn’t want to sit and listen to a little music? Instead it’s the moment when I tell my audience that they’re going to be writing and singing a song. I love this moment for the way it politely but firmly pulls seasoned executives (or scientists or accountants or attorneys) out of their comfort zones. It’s a given that the groups I work with are all very accomplished in their chosen fields but I’m there to show them that by leaving their comfort zones for the duration of my workshop, they’re going to emerge better for the 90-minute experience. Below are a few of the reasons why.

1. It levels the playing field
Team dynamics can be tricky with some members clearly deferring to others whose expertise they require for a particular sought-after solution. However, when faced with a task that no one in the group knows how to accomplish, all of a sudden the paying field is leveled. Now, it’s not about prior expertise but, rather, about a willingness to dig in and explore a new and unfamiliar terrain with our peers. This is a very powerful dynamic and one that, in the very best way, humanizes all the members of a team so they can work together as equals to achieve something completely new.

2. It prevents perfectionism
With high-achieving individuals who are already good at a particular task, it’s often not enough to simply get that task done. It becomes about making that particular job “perfect.” However, when no one on a team has ever written a song, there aren’t any benchmarks for what is perfect. Instead, the creative process is allowed to run its course without being hampered by countless edits and “improvements.” I’m a big believer in the removal of our inner editors when it comes to innovation and creativity. So when a team leaves their comfort zone and has to keep the process moving forward, there’s just enough room for ideas but not enough for squeezing the life out of the process.

3. It’s a reminder that there is always more to learn
The danger in continually playing to our strengths is that we can fall into the trap of believing we’ve learned/grown enough to get by. Holding on to the status quo might feel comforting for a while but given that change is inevitable it can be a genuinely dangerous way to approach not only our businesses but our lives. One of my favorite quotes is “change is what happens to us but innovation is what we do to them.” Taking my teams out of their comfort zones and teaching them a new approach to problem-solving is my way of showing them that there’s always more to learn.

4. It’s exhilarating to achieve something “impossible”
Finally, let’s not forget how thrilling it can be to achieve something new that we’ve previously considered beyond our capability. I get a vicarious thrill from showing bright executives who don’t consider themselves creative that, given the proper guidance, they are indeed deeply creative. It’s always a pleasure to see the faces of my participants – so somber at the prospect of leaving their comfort zones – light up with the joy of accomplishment once they’ve done so.

All of this to say, it is never my intention to make business teams and organizations uncomfortable for an extended period of time but, rather, just long enough to reap the benefits of exploring unfamiliar territory in a curated and constructive manner. And, of course, one of the best parts of leaving our comfort zones is when we come back, we’re stronger for the experience.


Find out more about Cliff’s innovation & creativity workshops for business teams and organizations.

When we talk about “future-proofing” something, the understanding is that we can’t predict the challenges that will face us in the days, months and years to come yet we still want to prepare. While we’d all like to think that our past problem-solving approaches will work for any future issue, the reality is that we can’t possibly know what’s around the bend and whether our problem-solving “hammer” will be ready for an issue that isn’t a “nail.” This is why developing your innate creativity is an essential preparation for the unexpected. Below are three ways that creativity can help handle unanticipated future problems.

1. Creativity allows for comfort with ambiguity

As with any unexpected challenge, there will be a period of chaos and confusion after we realize that traditional problem-solving methods aren’t helping. The creative process is about living with this ambiguity for a period of time as we explore novel approaches in search of a solution. The simple understanding that there will be a period where things are messy, goes a long way towards keeping us calm and focused on the issues at hand without our getting overwhelmed or seizing the first fix that comes to mind. Creativity makes room for – and actually thrives in – uncertainty because it is an indispensable part of the creative process.

2. Creativity encourages lateral-thinking

Creativity isn’t bound by linear or predictable patterns. In fact, it is the act of departing from existing patterns that leads to creative breakthroughs. Otherwise put, thinking “laterally” instead of “linearly” can lead to insights and perspectives that might not otherwise come to light. It is exactly this kind of non-linear approach that allows for new ways of looking at problems that don’t have obvious links to prior problems or challenges. By being willing to depart from the orthodox approach, we open ourselves up to brand new ways of solving brand new future problems.

3. Creativity involves a willingness to take risks

A hallmark of any creative endeavor is that it involves a certain amount of risk. This could be anything from risk to our reputations or even the bottom line of our businesses. However, as we develop our creativity, we become less afraid of risk for multiple reasons. First, we understand that failure is an essential part of the creative process and second, the rewards – more often than not – far outweigh the risks taken. While I’m not suggesting outrageous risk, I am saying that being completely risk-averse is the antithesis of creativity and the solutions it can yield.


We have no way of knowing what challenges await us. But by making the effort to re-kindle our innate creativity, we stand a much better chance of navigating towards novel and satisfying solutions. Creativity isn’t the domain of a gifted few but, rather, an essential survival skill that we all possess and need to nurture. A creative mindset is as critical as a willingness to do hard, productive work when it comes to facing whatever problems the future holds for us.


Find out more about Cliff’s innovation & creativity workshops for business teams and organizations.

My experience in working with leadership teams is that confidence, in a general sense, is practically a prerequisite for top business performers. However, there’s a difference between the confidence that comes from countless hours of work and years of experience in a chosen business field and believing in yourself creatively. My work is centered around showing bright, high-achieving individuals that creativity and the confidence that comes from uncovering – and trusting – that creativity, can yield dividends that elevate even the most productive performers. Below are three significant areas where creative confidence leads to long-term gains.

Increased problem-solving skills

In the – slightly paraphrased – immortal words of Abraham Maslow, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail.” Problems come in all shapes and sizes and solving them all via the same approach is a recipe for sub-standard results. Given that there are problems and challenges you will face that don’t even exist yet, it’s unreasonable to think that your existing problem-solving approach will automatically be viable. With increased creative confidence, you’ll be willing to explore new and innovative ways of solving future – and even current – problems. Creative confidence adds new tools to your toolbox along with the effective but not foolproof “hammer” mentioned above.

Improved Collaborations

In order to make the most of any collaboration, faith in your own creative ability is a must. It is only with a belief in your own creative capabilities, that you can not only contribute your ideas but also comfortably make room for the creative contributions of your team members. And, just as important, the creative confidence of your collaborators will allow them to feel good about adding their insights and points of view to the mix. An environment of creative confidence and trust can yield results far beyond the individual contributions of each team member.

Willingness to take risks

Innovation is consistently referred to as a critical part of a healthy business but, again and again, there is resistance to new, creative approaches when the current business model is working well. This is simply because taking new approaches feels risky. However, it is precisely when things are going well that your creative confidence will encourage you to explore new and innovative ideas in spite of the apparent risk. There is an institutional belief that the status quo is safe but over and over it has been proven that it isn’t. As I’ve heard it put, “Change is what happens to us and innovation is what we do to them.” Change is inevitable but with creative confidence and the subsequent willingness to take calculated risks, you can successfully navigate the ever-changing landscape of your particular business.


Creativity is not the domain of a gifted, chosen few. We are all creative. Whether or not you choose to honor and develop your innate creativity could be the difference between feeling stuck and exploring new and exciting horizons. A seemingly small daily investment in your creativity can, over time, result in a renewed sense of creative confidence which will broaden and significantly improve the quality of your work and life.


Find out more about Cliff’s innovation & creativity workshops for business teams and organizations.

One of the best parts of working as a creative for as long as I have is that I’ve gotten to observe – up close – the way my successful creative peers manage their day to day lives. Beyond their obvious creative talent, there are lots of other things that these people do day in and day out in order to make themselves successful. I thought I’d list a few things that are worth adding to your daily routine if you’re serious about moving your creative practice forward.

1. Read
As creatives, we spend so much time in “output” mode that it’s easy to forget that we need to feed our creativity, too. Reading great writing and reading about great ideas is just as important as the actual process of creating itself. Make sure you remember to go on “input” from time to time to stoke the fires of your own creative process.

2. Write
This may sound obvious but now matter what your creative medium, it’s a good idea to do some kind of writing. A journal is a simple and easy way to make sure you’re writing at least a little each day even when you don’t have time to dig deeper into your own creative pursuits. I think of writing as a muscle and the more you work it the stronger it gets.

3. Network
I know for a lot of people, networking is an uncomfortable concept. It conjures up images of schmoozing, staying up late and hanging out in bars. That’s really not what I mean. I think of networking as simply building relationships. If I’ve learned anything in my years in the creative world, it’s that relationships are what keep you moving forward and connected to the industry. Networking can mean finding new collaborators, taking the time to send a nice email to a speaker you enjoyed hearing at a conference or any one of multiple ways of reaching out and connecting – either in person or online – with people in our chosen creative arena.

4. Pitch their own projects
Most creatives, especially early on in their careers, think of representation as the answer to all their problems. After all, now they’ve got people who are going to spread the word about them and their work. While, strictly speaking, this is true, the most successful creatives I know don’t sit around hoping that their manager or agent is going to pitch their ideas or material, they’re actively doing it themselves. It’s best to think of representation as an additional means of getting the word out but, in the end, no one is going to care about your creative work as much as you do.

5. Follow up
Ready for a little more unromantic news about the day to day of successful creative people? They tend to spend a lot of time following up on emails, phone calls and other opportunities that they’ve been pursuing. There’s a myth that the more successful you are the more opportunities present themselves to you. My observation has been the exact opposite. In other words, the more work you do, the more opportunities you create. Waiting around for opportunity is not something successful people in any field tend to do.

6. Practice patience
A career in creativity is all about the long game. There is very rarely an immediate result from the effort you make. Being impatient in the creative industry is a recipe for discouragement or regrettable behavior. While we would all like an immediate payoff for our efforts, it is often years between the time an idea is hatched or a project is completed and the time it actually generates any income for the creator. That being said, the better your work ethic and the more patient you are, the more likely you are to have success and enjoy the journey along the way.

If there’s one single point that I’d like to make in this article, it’s that you shouldn’t wait until you’re a successful creative to behave like one. There’s a tendency to think that once you start doing well with your work, then you’ll start taking care of all the other stuff. I’m here to tell you that it’s by taking care of all that “other stuff” that you’ll be giving yourself the best chance of success.


Find out more about Cliff’s creativity & innovation workshops for business teams.

In any business, your reputation and the impression that you make plays a major part in the success of your career. Being well-respected and taken seriously as a creative will, in time, open doors and lead to work that will get your ideas and creations (whatever they may be) to a wider audience and generate income as well. However building your reputation takes time and conscious effort. Below are a few things you can do to begin building your all-important reputation as a creative.

1. Develop quality material

It should go without saying – but I’m saying it anyway – that you should be actively working on your creative craft. Coming up with consistently good ideas and results of any kind takes lots of practice. Don’t let the myth that “all you need is one good idea” distract you from working on improving your work every day. I’m of the belief that creativity is a muscle requires constant exercise in order to stay strong.

2. Present your ideas professionally

Whether it’s is fair or not, you’ve only got one chance to make a first impression with your work. Even though, strictly speaking, a good idea is a good idea, the way you present that idea counts. Creative industry professionals are exposed to a lot of ideas every day. Don’t give them a reason to discount yours by pitching a poorly prepared concept. Remember, you’re running a business and you need to make sure your product (in this case, your creativity) is polished and marks you as a pro.

3. Develop your people skills

I think it’s important to remember that your ideas don’t exist in a vacuum. Your best bet for finding a receptive industry audience for your work is to remember that interpersonal skills count. Being friendly and taking an active interest in the people you’re meeting makes a big difference. For example, if you’ve got a meeting with someone in the creative industry, do a little homework and find out about the person and their company. Take the time to get to know someone before you begin asking them to do something for you. This can also be as simple as asking the person you’re meeting with what they’ve been working on instead of immediately telling them about you and your projects. And, although I’m not your mom (I don’t think…), I’m going to remind you say “thank you” when someone has taken the time to meet with you and/or answer your questions.

4. Take criticism well

Creativity is subjective. Everyone has their own sense of what they like and what they’re looking for. If you’re hoping to get one of your ideas or projects accepted, then listening to the comments of an industry decision maker about your work can give you real insight into what they’re looking for. Responding defensively to these comments won’t get you anywhere. You certainly don’t have to agree with every comment or critique but it’s in your best interest to give them real thought and consider the source. Remember, these are the people who make the decisions about whether your creations will be put in the position to succeed. Pay attention and see if there’s a way to give them what they’re looking for without feeling like you’re compromising your creative approach. I believe it’s possible to do both.

5. When pitching your work, remember that “less is more” on every level

I understand how passionate creatives are about their projects. It’s incredibly tempting to want to show any interested person A LOT of your material. Don’t. Only present the idea or project that is most appropriate for the pitch. There’s no good reason to add a “bonus idea.” Believe me when I tell you that if an industry exec wants to know more about your work, they’ll ask. Here’s an example, if at the end of their work day, an industry decision maker sees two portfolios, and one has one concept/project in it and the other has nineteen concepts/projects in it, which portfolio do you think they’re going to review? Also, once you’ve submitted your idea, be prepared to follow up. Again, less is more. A very brief email or voicemail about two weeks after your submission is just about right. You might need to do this a couple of times (with at least a two week space between each successive contact) before you get a response. However, if you’re polite and to the point, you’ll almost always get a reply eventually.

6. Be dependable

It’s essential for people in the industry to know that they can count on you to do what you say you’re going to do. By showing up to meetings on time, following up on things you’ve discussed and generally being reliable, you can go a long way towards developing a bond of trust. When people on the creative industry side feel they can trust you, it’s amazing how many opportunities present themselves. It sounds simple but by consistently delivering on what you promise, you’ll stand out from the crowd.


There’s really no way around it. Building a solid reputation as a creative takes time and effort. That being said, a healthy dose of patience and humility will ease your path. The good news is that once you’ve established yourself in the eyes of the creative world as a solid, reliable professional, the benefits far outweigh all of the work it takes to get there. 


Find out more about my creativity & innovation workshops for business teams.

I’d like to begin by saying that I’m not a cynic. On the contrary, I’m a big believer that if your dream is to have success with your creative endeavors, then, in time, you will find that success. However, I am also a realist. There are rarely shortcuts in our line of work and being a gifted creatively, in my experience, simply isn’t enough to guarantee your success. It takes a combination of factors including patience, perseverance and, most importantly, an undeniable work ethic to rise above the masses of talented creatives all hoping to get their ideas out into the world.

  1. There are lots of talented people

If I’ve learned anything after living in Nashville and New York City over the past almost twenty years, it’s that at a certain point, creative talent is the least common denominator. In fact, the pool of gifted creatives is deeper and wider than we can possibly imagine. This is a good thing. It gives us ample opportunities to learn from each other and improve but the flip side is that talent is only a starting point. It’s all of the other things you do that will eventually separate you from the pack.

  1. Talent is something that you’re given, it’s up to you to develop it

There’s a reason talent is also referred to as a “gift.” The spark that makes us creative and intuitively wired is something that we don’t choose, we just have it. But just because you’ve got a gift doesn’t mean that you don’t need to develop it or spend time understanding it. That’s the actual work. Then, what happens when you do this work is that you will develop the ability to turn something that was previously mysterious and unpredictable into something you can do consistently in order to make your living.

  1. You’re running a business

Being a talented creative without taking the time to understand the business world is the equivalent of a company that makes a great product that no one will ever hear about because they have no marketing department. In other words, your creative output is just the tip of the iceberg. You need to remember that like any business, you’ve got to know the landscape, who the major players are and set specific goals along the way in order to get to the next level. I’m not saying this is easy but I am saying it’s essential.

  1. Your work ethic is everything

The dangerous myth about the creative world is that it’s an exciting, inspiring place where people have brilliant ideas, create beautiful things, go to parties, and then one day they wake up and they’re well known. The gritty, unglamorous truth is that just like any business, there are mundane, yet necessary, things you have to do day in and day out in order to get your creative projects out into the world. Having a solid work ethic and a willingness to get up every day and work toward your creative goals will eventually get you there. It’s not always clear along the way how these little things help but believe me when I tell you that they absolutely do and, in the end, make all the difference. There is, of course, glamor and excitement in the creative world but there’s a lot of good, old-fashioned work for you to do as well.


Creative talent is a wonderful thing and should never be taken for granted. I’m here to remind you to enjoy your gift for the amazing thing that it is. However, I’m also suggesting that talent is only one part of a bigger set of conditions that need to be met in order for you to successfully get your ideas and creative projects out into the world and to make a living doing it.


Find out more about my creativity & innovation workshops for business teams.

Learning to write songs as a way of exploring and solving problems has the additional – and powerful – benefit of providing you with a set of critical skills for facing problems you haven’t yet anticipated.  In essence, the more we open ourselves up to the creativity that songwriting introduces into in our lives and work, the more we’ll be future-proofing our problem-solving approach. Below are four ways that learning to write songs will help us with any and all issues that can – and undoubtedly will – arise in the future.

The ability to think laterally

Problem-solving approaches are infinite but it’s also human nature to rely on one particular approach which has served us well in the past. The problem is that as brokerage houses are fond of saying, “past results are no guarantee of future success.” Using songwriting to explore different ways of looking at the same problem can open up a variety of solutions that a prior “go to” approach might not reveal. Instead of thinking in our accustomed linear way, learning to write songs encourages lateral thinking which will allow us consider alternate approaches and paradigms in service of a novel solution to a novel problem.

Enhanced communication skills

Songwriting is one of the oldest and most effective forms of communication that humanity has. There’s a good reason that songs have lasted this long. They are a miraculously compact and meaningful way to communicate an idea. When it comes to solving problems, communication is a key factor in how a problem is not only described but also in how possible answers to your questions are presented. The better our ability to communicate, the greater the likelihood of convincing others to join us in our search for a solution.

Better collaboration

The use of co-writing to create a song better than any one of the individual writers could have written on their own is a direct mirror of how effective collaboration works in a business context. Bringing in diverse experiences and points of view and allowing each participant to contribute their particular set of strengths to the effort increases by an order of magnitude the likelihood of a solving a future problem that lacks the precedent of an easy or familiar solution.

A willingness to take risks

When a business team steps out of their comfort zone to learn a new skill like writing a song, they are clearly taking a risk. This risk takes the form of vulnerability, the loss of control and the introduction of a certain amount of chaos into a well-ordered and productive routine. However, when my business teams complete their songwriting assignments and end up with a finished song just an hour or so after they’ve begun, it serves as a reminder that the reward on the other side of risk can be exhilarating. Signing on to solve an unknown problem can feel equally risky but the positive experience that a successful songwriting session brings provides an increased willingness to face the challenge – and risk – of solving a new problem.


The creativity, empathy, improved communication and collaborative skills that learning to write songs brings are a set of versatile and powerful tools. These tools work both for solving current “known” problems and, more importantly, they will work for future “unknown” problems where past solutions no longer apply. 


Find out more about my creativity & innovation workshops for business teams.

The evolution in any career from novice to expert looks a little different for everyone but one thing remains the same. If you’re paying attention to your work and skillset, over time you’ll develop an opinion about what works well for you and what doesn’t. That’s very much how I came to the realization that I had something to say about creativity. After thirty years of writing songs, articles and books, I’ve found that there are certain behaviors and practices that consistently deliver the results I’m seeking. In examining my journey to this point, I’ve identified three specific reasons I came to teach creativity that might offer some insight into my process.

1. I’m not a creative genius

In my years of writing songs, I’ve come across a handful of songwriters who are so naturally gifted that it’s almost as if a finger came out of the clouds and bestowed them with a level of insight and inspiration that is far beyond what can be taught or learned. I can safely say I’m not that guy. Instead, I’ve spent decades slowly but surely developing my craft and learning how to improve my admittedly weak early creative efforts. However, my path is exactly the reason I have a deep understanding of my creative process and creativity in general. Over the years, I’ve had to learn how to consciously access and shape my inspiration in order to make it my livelihood. It is my painstakingly gradual growth that has allowed me to understand what creativity looks like from the inside and enhanced my desire to share it with others.

2. I’ve learned to break down creativity into its component parts

Creativity as a monolithic goal can feel overwhelming. For example, the task of writing a song feels impossible to my business teams at the outset of my workshops. However, I’ve found that breaking down songwriting into its component parts of metaphor, verse and chorus immediately inspires the confidence of my workshop participants to participate and, ultimately, write their songs. I’m a big believer in taking small yet consistent steps forward towards any goal and creativity is certainly no exception. I love the vicarious exhilaration I feel as my business teams celebrate their creative wins.

3. I’ve deeply examined my own process

There’s nothing like putting together a lesson plan or workshop outline to bring you face to face with what you’ve learned and how you plan to explain it. The quote attributed to Albert Einstein applies here. “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t know it well enough.” I’ve spent my entire working life examining the creative process so that I can break it down and explain it to business teams. Taking bright people who don’t think of themselves as creative and showing them that they are never gets old.


Teaching creativity to business teams provides me with an endless source of joy and satisfaction. It is precisely my years of effort including countless mistakes and failures along the way that give me the motivation to stand up in front of groups of  smart and accomplished professionals from varied disciplines and introduce them to the world of creativity. I take their trust and bravery seriously and I’m always grateful for the opportunity.


Find out more about my creativity & innovation workshops for business teams.

Creativity is scary. I know this to be true. Even after sitting down to write over 1,000 songs, I still hesitate just slightly before I start writing the next one. As if that weren’t proof enough, I’ve even been dreading sitting down to write this article about why we’re averse to creativity. However, I’m also living proof that there are things we can do to get past our initial reluctance. The observations and tips below have helped me over the years and I hope they’ll do the same for you on your creative journey.

Why we’re averse to creativity

1. Creativity means departing from the status quo

The status quo is comfortable. It’s working just fine. Why mess up a good thing? It’s never appealing to depart from the norm especially when the results are uncertain. Doing something different from the way it’s “always been done” is a risk and there’s a part of our survival instinct that tells us to avoid risk. The reality, though, is that while the status quo may appear safe, it isn’t. Our world is constantly changing. The real risk is in failing to evolve and change.

2. Being creative risks appearing foolish in front of your colleagues

The workplace is its own universe with its own hierarchy and aspirations. The goal is to do good work, demonstrate competence and control and move ahead. Stepping away from our areas of mastery risks showing a side of ourselves that might compromise the façade of control which is unappealing at best. It should help to remember that we’re all human and failure and mistakes are a part of the learning and growing process. It takes genuine courage to put ourselves out there in a creative way.

3. It takes real effort to be creative

Creativity requires an initial investment of energy and attention – or as flow expert Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes it “activation energy” – to get started. In other words, it’s not as simple as sitting down to do a task that we already understand and control. Creativity requires focus and a willingness to accept the uncertainly around the outcome. This can be discouraging but, in my experience, it’s only tough for a moment and then the benefits of exploring your creativity begin to accrue.

What we can do about it

1. Design an environment that is conducive to creativity

Creating a physical space that is designed to lessen distractions and increase your focus makes the creative act much more accessible. But it’s not just the physical space, it’s the headspace as well. Designating a time of day – even just ten minutes – to work on your creative projects also will make it easier to dig in.

2. Break your creativity down into manageable pieces

One of my favorite expressions when it comes to any daunting task is “eat the elephant one bite at a time.” Looking at creativity as a monolithic goal or event can be too much to contemplate but breaking down your creative efforts into small pieces can make them more manageable. Another benefit of starting small is that you’ll begin to develop a tolerance for creativity making it possible to eventually do more and more without feeling overwhelmed. But, again, it helps to start small.

3. Get clear on how you’d like to approach your creative goals.

As George Leonard states in his book “Mastery,” “clarity creates energy.” The better we understand what our creative goals are, the more motivated we are to achieve them. Early on, we might not yet have refined how we’d like to use our creativity but the more we explore, the more clear the big picture will become. When this happens, the boost of energy we receive makes overcoming our aversion significantly easier.


While it may be common to discuss the benefits of creativity, it can be useful to acknowledge that we’re also averse to creativity at some level. By simply recognizing that this is the case, some of the power of our aversion is diminished and creativity itself becomes more accessible. And, by the way, no one ever said that significant rewards – like the kind that creativity offers – were supposed to be easy. If being willing to make the effort to get past your aversions is the work, then you will have earned the amazing benefits that creativity provides.


Find out more about my creativity & innovation workshops for business teams.

I’ve heard it said that the keys to creativity are practice and intention. To that end, it can help to know what to practice once you have the intention to develop your creativity. Having a songwriter’s mindset is a great place to start as many of the skills that make for good songwriting are the same skills that enhance all creativity.


Songwriters are, first and foremost, observers. By developing a keen eye for the human condition, songwriters learn to put themselves in the place of the subjects of their songs. This is the very definition of empathy. And above and beyond the intrinsic relationship value of having empathy, it’s a shortcut to improved innovation and creativity as it allows us to more deeply understand and attend to the needs of our clients.


Creativity requires a willingness to leave our comfort zones in the service of putting something new and meaningful into the world. Songwriting works as a way to inoculate ourselves agains the fear of taking risks by gradually encouraging us to show more of ourselves and our feelings…otherwise put, our humanity. This vulnerability comes with the reward of deeper connection and the motivation to take more risks in the service of your creative practice.


Learning to write songs is about the transformation of an idea or concept into a refined and compelling vehicle to convey your message. There is no better tool for refining your thoughts than the process of distilling them into a song lyric. Lyrics are about brevity and impact and all communication can benefit from those skills.


If I’ve learned anything in my three-plus decades of writing songs, it’s that my creative process benefits greatly from collaboration. By pairing myself with people whose songwriting strengths shore up my weaknesses and vice versa, I’ve built a catalog of songs that are far  better than any songs I could have written on my own. My co-writing experience mirrors any good collaboration and being open to sharing your process can lead to gains far beyond what we can do alone.

Problem Solving

Taking the seed of an idea and turning it into a finished song  requires a variety of different creative tools. Each attempt to “crack the code” of a song strengthens our problem solving muscles in a way that gives us increased confidence the next time we face a similar – or  different – challenge. Songwriter’s are wired to solve problems and simply thinking that way is half the battle.


You don’t need to be a professional songwriter to benefit from thinking – and behaving – like one. The simple act of learning the component parts of what makes songs work and trying for yourself can unlock your access all of the above skills. It’s always inspiring to see how quickly the business teams I lead through the process of learning to write songs not only catch on but also demonstrate each of the elements of the songwriter’s mindset to the benefit of their songs and their continued creativity.


Find out more about my creativity & innovation workshops for business teams.