Business leader, NY Times bestselling author, tech entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and keynote speaker on a mission to drive creativity, innovation, and reinvention.
Josh Linkner is a business leader, venture capitalist, tech entrepreneur, top-rated keynote speaker, and author of two New York Times bestsellers: Disciplined Dreaming and The Road to Reinvention. As CEO and Managing Partner of Detroit Venture Partners, he helps startups disrupt the old guard while helping to rebuild his hometown of Detroit, Michigan. Josh has twice been named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and is a President Barack Obama Champion of Change award recipient. He is a regular columnist for Forbes, The Detroit Free Press, and Inc. Magazine. His work on innovation has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, CNN, and more.
Josh is on a mission to drive creativity, innovation, and reinvention. And he also plays a mean jazz guitar.
Innovation with a focus on Healthcare:
Josh Linkner – who started his career as a jazz guitarist – personifies creativity, entrepreneurship and disruptive innovation. He has been the founder and CEO of five tech companies, which sold for a combined value of over $200 million.
Josh is the author of four books, two New York Times Bestsellers: Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity, and The Road to Reinvention: How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate Transformation, as well as his latest book, Hacking Innovation. He is also the Founding Partner of Detroit Venture Partners, investing in and mentoring over 100 startups.
Josh has twice been named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and is a President Barack Obama Champion of Change award recipient. He is a regular columnist for Forbes, The Detroit Free Press, and Inc. Magazine. His work on innovation has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, CNN, and The New York Times. And yes, he still plays a mean jazz guitar.
BIG LITTLE BREAKTHROUGHS
How small, everyday ideas drive gigantic results
The pressure to generate big ideas can feel overwhelming. We know that bold innovations are critical in these disruptive and competitive times, but when it comes to breakthrough thinking, we often freeze up.
Instead of shooting for a $10 billion IPO or a Nobel Prize, the most prolific innovators focus instead on Big Little Breakthroughs – small, creative acts that unlock massive rewards over time. By building a daily habit of creativity, leaders and organizations not only enjoy a high volume of small wins, but also the daily practice of micro-innovations — the fastest route to discover the massive breakthroughs we seek.
How did a convicted drug dealer use a Big Little Breakthrough to launch and scale a massively successful fitness company? Why was a nurse practitioner able to use daily micro-innovations to solve healthcare problems that the biggest corporations couldn’t crack? How did a tattoo lead to a 30% boost in performance for a publicly traded restaurant company?
Big Little Breakthroughs isn’t just for propeller-head inventors, fancy pants CEOs, or hoodie-donning tech billionaires. Rather, it is a simple yet effective method for all of us to cultivate the power of human creativity. Focusing on a simple and deliberate approach to daily practice, the system enables people from all backgrounds, training, and walks of life to expand their creative skillset and mindset. It helps everyday individuals and leaders unlock inventive thinking and harness innovation to tackle tough challenges and seize bold opportunities.
The Big Little Breakthroughs framework provides a specific and practical approach to unlocking dormant creative capacity. Instead of wild, risky and expensive moonshots, participants learn to unleash small, daily creative acts to drive gigantic results over time. In fact, cultivating high volumes of micro-innovations not only de-risks the creative process, it builds the much-needed skills that lead to colossal transformations…and the creative confidence to take responsible risks.
FIND A WAY
Expand creative problem solving to tackle the challenges of COVID-19
In these uncertain times, we can no longer rely on the models of the past and expect the same results. How can we confront the new realities of the COVID-19 era and emerge stronger and better equipped?
Creative problem solving has long been the core ingredient in overcoming adversity and seizing new opportunities. In this inspiring keynote, famed tech entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author Josh Linkner explores the realities, challenges, and opportunities created by COVID-19 and delivers an inspiring path forward. Participants will learn specific techniques and leave both energized and better equipped to conquer challenges and seize possibilities.
How can leaders bounce back and recover after facing painful setbacks? How can creative resilience be harnessed to conquer adversity? How can we rewrite the rules after a massive sea change like the coronavirus?
In this high-energy session, participants will see how creative problem solving can become their most powerful resource. They’ll uncover practical tools to unlock inventive thinking and win even against daunting odds and unprecedented challenges.
THE 5 MINDSETS OF INNOVATION
How the world’s most innovative leaders think and act
Having interviewed hundreds of top innovators, leaders and organizations around the world, New York Times bestselling author and tech entrepreneur Josh Linkner uncovered the five most powerful mindsets that are the building blocks for jaw- dropping innovation. In this high-energy keynote, your audience will learn to embrace these powerful approaches in order to conquer adversity and fuel growth.
How did an oddball idea save the cattle industry over $1 billion? How did a large hotel chain create a new revenue stream and drive competitive differentiation without investing a penny? How did the leaders of a small organization stave off a near-certain extinction, even when they were overwhelmingly outmatched by a powerful enemy?
Each mindset is reinforced through surprising, real-world examples, laugh out loud moments, and practical takeaways. The five mindsets are portable and can be applied immediately to any role, job function, or industry. This memorable session will leave your audience inspired, moved, and better equipped.
THE MUSIC OF BUSINESS
Problem solving, collaboration and agility from the dangerous world of jazz music
Live jazz is an art form that equates to real-time innovation. To even navigate through a single song, jazz musicians must collaborate, adapt to rapidly changing circumstances, and make decisions in the face of ambiguity. As the baton of leadership gets passed from one musician to the next, individual contributors are constantly course correcting, inventing, and creatively solving problems.
Sounds just like your organization, doesn’t it?
In this unique and memorable keynote, jazz guitarist and tech entrepreneur Josh Linkner uses a live musical performance as a metaphor for modern, innovative collaboration. Josh and his fellow musicians lead the audience on a musical journey, sharing an insider’s look at this stunning art form. Through the lens of a jazz musician, participants will gain a fresh perspective and new techniques for creative problem solving, improved collaboration, and real-time agility.
This mesmerizing session’s finale features live audience participation. After helping to ”compose” a new jazz song, three audience members join the band and perform their new composition live in front of their peers (no musical experience necessary). Participants are given handheld percussion instruments – along with some fun props and costumes – and together with Josh and his fellow musicians, the group performs for the audience. This live performance brings the key learning principles to life, always ending in a cheering crowd and terrific pictures for social media.
THE CREATIVITY UPGRADE
Lead your team to the next level of innovation, growth, and sustainable success
On a regular basis, we upgrade our cars, software, and wardrobe. But when was the last time you upgraded your imagination? Isn’t it about time to give your team a boost of inventive thinking, creative problem solving, and everyday innovation to drive better outcomes?
From your upgrade, you will:
- Learn and understand the mindsets of innovators
- Grasp the need for – and urgency – of change
- Become inspired to take action and forge a new path
- Acquire specific techniques for creative problem solving
- Leverage human imagination to outpunch the competition
- Understand how and where to use inventive thinking to fuel growth
- Discover fresh possibilities with heightened level of creative awareness
- Recognize that we are all creative, and that everyday innovation is accessible for every role and job function
- Demystify the creative process
- Emerge with specific tools to close the Creativity Gap to achieve full potential
- Launch a new version of you – as a powerful creative force
In this inspiring keynote, Josh will help your team grow, as both business leaders and as people. Your audience will learn to solve problems in creative, non- traditional ways and expand their creative capacity to drive growth and sustainable success.
Your group will laugh hysterically, feel thoroughly energized, get deeply inspired, and leave better equipped. Now that’s an upgrade that’s simply irresistible.
THINK AND ACT LIKE A STARTUP
How celebrity entrepreneurs generate game-changing solutions
Have you ever wondered how Oprah and Bill Gates think and act behind the scenes? How do the entrepreneurs we revere invent bold ideas, do more with less, and change the world as a result? What would happen if the founder of Snapchat or Zoom joined your organization?
Tech startups aren’t the only ones who can think differently. We can all use this same creative thinking in our own careers, companies, and communities.
In this energizing and surprising keynote, five-time tech entrepreneur and venture capital investor Josh Linkner demystifies startup thinking and shares a specific methodology that we can put into practice immediately. Audience members will learn to embrace the creativity, grit, and vision of a startup and then channel this approach to drive growth, innovation, efficiency, and customer delight. Participants get an insider’s look as Josh Linkner decodes startup thinking to help leaders of any size company in any industry or profession:
- Understand how an entrepreneur would attack their organization with the specific goal of dislodging it
- Reimagine their role through the lens of an entrepreneur
- Harness the ferocity of entrepreneurial thinking
- Embrace “startup speed” to increase velocity in their own organizations
- Learn the five best approaches used by startups to create disruption
- Avoid the weaknesses that plague entrepreneurs by exposing the four biggest startup death traps
You were amazing!”
~Sandra E. Pierce, CEO, Charter One Bank, RBS Citizens, N.A.
“In today’s fiercely competitive global marketplace, the most important resource any business has is the creative thinking of its people. Josh Linkner lays out a road map that will guide individuals, teams, and companies to higher levels of creativity. It is a journey that will lead to better ideas and breakthrough thinking—and those who take it will also have a lot of fun along the way.”
~Bill Ford, Executive Chairman, Ford Motor Company
“Josh, thank you again for presenting today at the CMO Summit. You were fabulous and we have received wonderful fedback! ”
~Katherine Twells, Group Director, The Coca-Cola Company
“Linkner hit the ball out of the park!”
~Marco Forte, Vice President, ABC Television Network
“Josh’s presentation was perfect. The content was spot on and you could tell he really prepped. I would highly recommend Josh to other clients if they are looking to unlock the power of creativity across their organization.”
~Stuart Beck, Frito-Lay North America
“Josh, everyone had nothing but great things to say about your presentation. You did a wonderful job at entertaining and enlightening the crowd with your message. Thank you so much!”
~Julian Hua, Visa
“I felt compelled to send you on a short email to let you know quite how blown away I was by your presentation to us yesterday in London. It was quite literally one of the most motivating and thought-provoking two hours of my professional career.”
~Robert Cunningham, Heineken
“Josh brought a great source of refreshing content about creativity in business that was just what our Inc. GrowCo Conference needed. His energy and enthusiasm about the topic inspired attendees and gave them takeaways to implement in their own companies. Josh has a strong stage presence and was extremely easy to work with.”
~Karlie Krieger, Director of Events, Inc. Magazine
“On a dreary winter afternoon, Josh raised the energy level at our quarterly team meeting with thought-provoking discussion on creativity and leadership. His passion is contagious. The concepts discussed were supported with both qualitative and quantitative data so it appealed to both left and right-brained colleagues. We were engaged throughout and left the meeting fired up!”
~Lauren Rosinski, Deloitte Consulting
“Your presentation was fantastic and really delivered on our theme. We’ve heard nothing but great feedback about the information you shared and have no doubt many of our teams will be using the role-storming model for future brainstorming sessions. It was a pleasure working with you and we appreciated the effort you put in to ensuring the presentation met the meeting objectives and was relevant and entertaining for our broad audience.”
— Traci Plate,
Chief of Staff, North America
GSK Consumer Healthcare
“Thanks again for giving a very inspiring and thought provoking speech. Members of the team were blown away by your message and walked away with tools to succeed in their role as innovators.”
— Jessica L. Locke,
Director, Office of the President
Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, P.C.
“Awesome! Best speaker in 15 years! Just what our group needed.”
— Tina Braid,
Director, Administration, Governance and Board Relations
“We were thrilled with Josh! He set the tone for a great conference!”
— Jenna Dodge,
“Thank you delivering a truly inspirational keynote. The true test that your messages stuck surfaced when our internal speakers echoed your words in their own presentations over the week. We heard everything from Judo flip to the red zone to getting scrappy and much more. I expect to see many of your ideas implemented into our projects over the year.”
— Cathy Carter,
Manager, Talent Engagement and Development
“It was an absolute pleasure to meet you, and a huge THANK YOU to you for the invaluable pearls you left with our team. Rob and I both discussed that this meeting was our best one since inception, and YOU were a major contributor to that success. I’ve received rave reviews about your talk from multiple people on our team so, again, thank you.”
— Cory Sinning,
Director, Physician Education & Sales Training