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Josh Linkner      

Five-Time Tech entrepreneur, Hyper-Growth CEO, New York Times Bestselling Author, Venture Capitalist, Professional Jazz Guitarist, host of Creative Troublemakers Podcast, Keynote Speaker

Josh Linkner is a Creative Troublemaker. He passionately believes that all human beings have incredible creative capacity, and he’s on a mission to unlock inventive thinking and creative problem solving to help leaders, individuals, and communities soar.

Josh has been the founder and CEO of five tech companies, which sold for a combined value of over $200 million and is the author of four books including the New York Times Bestsellers, Disciplined Dreaming and The Road to Reinvention. He has invested in and/or mentored over 100 startups and is the Founding Partner of Detroit Venture Partners.

Today, Josh serves as Chairman and co-founder of Platypus Labs, an innovation research, training, and consulting firm. He has twice been named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and is the recipient of the United States Presidential Champion of Change Award.

Josh is also a passionate Detroiter, the father of four, is a professional-level jazz guitarist, and has a slightly odd obsession for greasy pizza.

Speech Topics


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 jawdropping 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, nontraditional 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

News


Josh Linkner to keynote at Penton Technology's Channel Directions Live event

Penton Technology has announced Josh Linkner as the keynote speaker at Channel Directions Live, a three-day event designed to tackle the tough IT channel challenges of today and map out the future direction of the tech industry.

Josh Linkner - Speaker, Author, VC and Entrepreneur

Josh Linkner: Making the world more creative as an innovation speaker, author, figure in the business world, and musician. @joshlinkner.

Josh Linkner: 24-hour clock can be brutal foe

We all smack up against the same obstacle: time. The 24-hour clock is a brutal and unforgiving foe.

Josh Linkner: Adopt 7-step firefighter approach for your business

The blaring shrill from the station bell startles the team into action. Within minutes, the crew is speeding down the road, racing to challenge a raging blaze to a ...

Linkner to speak at annual Asheville chamber meeting

Nationally renowned entrepreneur and business leader Josh Linkner will deliver the keynote address at Thursday evening's Asheville Area Chamber of ...

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