The Intelligent Workplace

The Intelligent Workplace

Episode 33

What to do when everyone looks to you for answers during a crisis

​Grant Chisnall
Crisis Advisor & Trainer
Left of Boom​​

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Have you ever been in a room full of people during a crisis? Have you ever been that person that everyone is looking to for answers? My guest on this episode has been in that position many times.
Grant Chisnall is an expert crisis advisor who advises businesses on crisis management. His company, Left of Boom has been working with many companies during the COVID crisis. Grant has supported some of the world’s leading organizations through crisis events. He has seen cyber attacks, air crashes, natural disasters and workplace fatalities.
Grant joins me on this episode to to share the insight he has gained from 20 years working in crisis management. He also shares in detail his experiences from the infamous Sundance Resources plane crash.

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Chris:                     Listeners of The Intelligent Workplace podcast, I have a special treat for you all today. Joining me on the podcast is a world renowned creativity expert, and inventor of The Creator Mindset, Nir Bashan. Nir has worked with thousands of leaders across the globe, teaching them how to harness the power of creativity. He has spent 20 years working on a formula to codify creativity, and he has just released his first book on the subject, The Creator Mindset. With experiences ranging from teaching undergraduate courses at UCLA, to working with global businesses, such as Microsoft, EA Sports and AT&T, to being nominated for an Emmy while working in the arts and entertainment world, I get the feeling that this session is going to be a lot of fun. So welcome to The Intelligent Workplace, Nir Bashan.

Nir Bashan:         Hey, thanks Chris. Thank you for having me, this is fun.

Chris:                     Absolute pleasure. I’ve got to say, you have got a pretty interesting backstory from what I can tell. Do you want to fill us in a bit on your history?

Nir Bashan:         Yeah, sure. So I was born in Israel, raised in Los Angeles, started my own business when I was nine years old, going door to door doing car washes, in the 80s in Los Angeles.

Chris:                     Oh, wow. That was a different time back then.

Nir Bashan:         Totally. For real. So I ended up learning a lot about creativity on that first job and since then I’ve been a serial entrepreneur, having started and sold off some businesses, having started and completely ruined some businesses and running other people’s businesses for a while, until I came up with a way to spread creativity to the masses. So that’s my short background.

Chris:                     Yeah, I like it. I’ve got to ask, the Emmy nomination, what was that for?

Nir Bashan:         I got nominated for an Emmy for a commercial I did. So I owned a production company in Hollywood. This is one of those stories where I burned the company to the ground, right? This isn’t like, it was an amazing thing. Yay. But basically that was the highlight of the company and then the low light of the company is when we had to fire everyone because we couldn’t make payroll. So that’s the highs and lows of Hollywood.

Chris:                     And I’m tipping you learned from those experiences, but we might get onto that a little bit later. I’ll give you one more chance to have a humble brag. Who’s the biggest name you’ve ever worked with in music or movies?

Nir Bashan:         In music, I worked with Rod Stewart and then in the movies I worked with a bunch of actors. I think the one that stands out most is probably, I would say Woody Harrelson. He’s probably the one that’s left the biggest impression.

Chris:                     Yep. And you’ve got a dog named Waylon Jennings, I read. That’s fantastic.

Nir Bashan:         Yeah. That’s my puppy. He’s a 106 pound Bernedoodle, which is a Burmese mountain dog and-

Chris:                     A mountain dog. Oh wow. That’s a serious dog.

Nir Bashan:         It’s a very serious dog. He’s a big boy.

Chris:                     Fair enough. Well, let’s get on. Let’s straighten this thing up a bit. Now look, I want to knock all the time and effort, the years of dedication that you’ve put into your career. But as someone who works in the world of marketing with creatives, I think if I told them that I was going to … if I was working with a creative and I said to them, “I’m going to learn how to be creative.” They would laugh at me and tell me that that’s their gift, that’s something that they’ve been born with, you can’t manufacture it. What would you say to them with that response?

Nir Bashan:         So I get that a lot, right? People think that you either have it or you don’t, right Chris? So they’re like, “I’m creative and you’re not.” And they build walls between you. And for me, that’s a destructive force because what I’ve found through 20 years of research and getting it wrong and all of this stuff that it takes to properly learn something, is that anybody can be creative, it just takes the will to try.

Chris:                     So there’s a bit of a difference between creativity in an artistic sense and say creative thinking, am I right?

Nir Bashan:         Big time. So the creativity that maybe some of your marketing friends are talking about, is art and art is, I would say, less than 1% of the creativity cycle, the creativity pie chart. But we’re so used to equating creativity and art together because that’s how we’re exposed to creativity, we’re exposed to it through art. But in fact there is so much more to creativity than just art or music or painting or dance or sculpture or things like that. There’s so, so, so much more than what people generally believe.

Chris:                     So are those traditionally creative people, such as the artists, are they naturally better than the rest of us at this creative thinking idea?

Nir Bashan:         So absolutely not, right? So this is what I found working in Hollywood. Now I’ll give you a couple of stories and bore you and your listeners to tears.

Chris:                     No, love a good story.

Nir Bashan:         This is the part where everybody hits the snooze button, they’re like, “Oh, you’re getting all long-winded now.” So I worked in recording studios all around Los Angeles and I happened to have worked with hip hop artists, right? Hip hop, I don’t know how that happened, but I fell into that loop and I worked on a bunch of cool albums. I worked on a album that Cypress Hill put out. Do you remember them?

Chris:                     Yeah, I’m a big 90s hip hop fan, so you’ve got me.

Nir Bashan:         There you go. So Cypress Hill, I worked on a KRS-One album, all these kind of really, really big names. And I remember sitting in a recording studio with somebody on the microphone, just with energy and grit and determination, just laying down the most hardcore hip hop you can imagine, right? And I’m sitting there like, “Wow.” Everyone’s bouncing their heads in the beat and just like an amazing line. And then the gentleman comes back in, I won’t tell you who it is because he’s pretty famous and he probably doesn’t want me to tell you the story, but he comes back in, “Guys, how did that sound?” We’re like, “Yeah man, that sounded good. This part you might want to retweak and stuff like that.” He’s like, “Cool. Let’s do it after a break, let’s take five minutes.”

Nir Bashan:         And then he gets on his phone and he called his wife to tell her, “Hey, kiss the kids goodnight.” His daughter’s actually famous now, but, “Kiss the kids goodnight. I’m going to be late. Yeah, it’s another day at the office. Of course I’ll pick up milk on the way home.” That kind of stuff. You’re trying not to listen, but the guy’s famous and you want to hear what he has to say. You’re expecting like hardcore stuff, just like what he rapped, but it was the furthest thing possible from that Chris. It was just a human being, talking to his wife.

Nir Bashan:         And what I learned from that was that no matter what you do, whether you’re an actor in Hollywood or you work in manufacturing, the creativity that you generate is something that you are able to make in any situation that you want, if you choose to want to make it. So for this particular guy, he was a rapper and he had a binder full of rap and he was able to turn it on and turn it off when he needed to do it. It’s the same with a manufacturing company that wants to be creative. They’re able to turn it on when they want and turn it off when they don’t, so that they can use creativity throughout their lives.

Nir Bashan:         And most of us spend our entire life thinking that we either have it or we don’t and most of us don’t and we wish we did. And I got really tired of that perspective being out there because I saw time and time again in Hollywood, in music, in everything that I did, I had a furniture refinishing business at one point, which is not all that creative, but I saw that when you apply the principles of creativity, which can be taught and learned by anybody, you get repeatable success, repeatable and predictable success.

Chris:                     Yep. So you’re all about awakening that creativity in all of us then, are you?

Nir Bashan:         No doubt. I feel like we’re all born with it and we just whittle it away as we get older, right? So we go to school, you and I are drawing a picture of a tree. You draw a purple one, I draw a pink one. And the teacher comes around and says, “Chris, trees aren’t purple.” And then you go, “Oh yes, sorry Ms. O’Brady, they’re brown.” And so you slowly get it beat out of you, right? And then you remember of boxes when we were kids, like having a box with like-

Chris:                     Played with it all day.

Nir Bashan:         It was the ultimate. It didn’t matter what toy came in it, it was the box itself, right? And you would be able, “Oh, it’s a time machine. Oh, it’s a space capsule.” And all this stuff. And that imagination is now gone. Dude, when I look at a box, I’m like, “Ah, it’s a box.” It’s something I have to break down and recycle, why did we order so much crap on Amazon? Now I have to break it, I have to recycle it. But when I was a kid, I looked at that as what it could be, not what it was. And as adults we’ve stopped looking at the world as it can be and now all we see is what it is. So there’s a major deficit in our thinking, you apply that now to business and we’re up shit creek, literally because we need to come up with ideas, especially now with COVID and everything going on in the world, now is high time to use creativity in everything that we do. And most businesses out there, man, they’re suffering.

Chris:                     Yeah. I feel like all through my schooling career, it’s been all about developing those hard skills, the analytical side of our brain, that maybe I feel like there’s a bit of imbalance now that those soft skills, you’ve got to relearn them later because it’s been all about those hard analytical skills for your entire schooling life.

Nir Bashan:         No doubt. Yeah and those hard skills are taught, Chris, because they’re easy, it’s easy to teach you how to do math. I mean, two plus two is four. It’s easy to teach skills that are analytical. It’s far harder to teach soft skills, it’s far harder to teach empathy and understanding and listening, humor and courage, it’s very, very, very hard to teach, so schools don’t do it. They teach you things that they can test. And I am willing to bet that everything that you can be tested on, is not what gets you and your business to where you need to go. It just doesn’t.

Chris:                     Oh, I like that line of thinking. So creativity or creative thinking is a soft skill and as you said, it can be learned. What’s the most important lesson that you teach your clients about creative thinking?

Nir Bashan:         I think the most important lesson that I teach the clients, I consult with clients, I do a lot of keynote speaking and I think the most important lesson is that anybody can do it, it just takes the will to learn. It’s a tool like any other tool, right? Just like having a reserve of cash, it’s like having a piece of equipment that does a particular thing, it’s like having project management teams that are able to deliver on project management. It’s just like any other tool in your business, but it’s a tool that sadly, very, very few of us use. And what I want people to understand is that really, it doesn’t matter if you’re a florist or a farmer, you can gain by using the principles of creativity, you can gain very, very tangible benefits by using creative thinking, that you’ll never ever gain from the analytical alone.

Chris:                     Yeah. Well, look, I think there’s going to be people listening to this that would agree that the idea of creative thinking is fantastic. But when they hear the words, soft skills, they might struggle to draw the line between the concept and how it’s going to drive change in their business, or maybe even struggle to draw the line between change and ultimately the driving of new revenue. How do you convince people of that?

Nir Bashan:         So I’ll give you a good story. This is the point where more listeners will fall asleep. They’ll be like, “Oh no, not another story from Nir. Sweet God, help us.” But here, I’ll give you another story. I did a lecture right before this whole COVID thing hit. I don’t know, how is it with you guys? Is it pretty bad in Tasmania.

Chris:                     In Tasmania we’re okay because we’re separated from the rest of Australia, but there are pockets in Australia that are doing it pretty tough right now.

Nir Bashan:         Yeah. Yeah. I’m sure. I’m sure. Anyway, before the COVID thing hit, it puts it in the US like really February or late February or so. I did a talk at a disaster restoration event, those people that come to your house in case grandma burnt the chicken and then all the sudden, she burns everything around the stove and half the walls on fire and you had to put water on it or whatever, that kind of thing and the fire extinguisher or whatever. So they come in and they clean it up. And so this guy at the lecture that I did, and God bless him, he came up to me and he was so honest afterward, he was like, “Nir, I just sat in the audience for one hour and listened to you, go on and on about creativity and it was okay.” I was like, “Just okay?” He was like, “Yeah, just okay.”

Nir Bashan:         And the whole time, all I was thinking about was how many emails I had to send. I’m like, “Is that how inspiring I was?” So he’s like, “It’s just, I need practical skills that I can use. What can I possibly use that you have that would benefit my life?” And I said, “Okay, I like this. I love challenges. Let’s talk.” I said, “Tell me about your business.” He was like, “I’m in the disaster restoration business. Like all the other 450 people that are here.” I said, “Okay, give me a highlight. What’s your day like?” He’s like, “Well, my day is usually sending proposals off, which is what I would have been doing had I not been at your lecture.”

Nir Bashan:         And I’m like, “This is great. I love this guy.” I said, “Okay, what’s your process?” He’s like, “Get as many out to door as possible.” I was like, “Okay. What you’re talking about is volume and volume is an analytical construct.” He’s like, “Yeah. So what?” I said, “Well, basically volume is something that, it’s a means to an end, right? You can increase the volume, but unless you’re increasing other things, you’re just playing a numbers game, trying to get more people in.” He’s like, “Isn’t that what everyone’s doing?” I’m like, “I don’t know. I don’t know your business. Is that what people are doing?” He’s like, “Well, some people are doing better than me and I want to know why.” I’m like, “Ah, ha, there we go. Finally, I have something to work with.” I said, “Okay, what’s going on with your proposals? How many are you closing?” He’s like, “17%.” I can’t remember the number, Chris, but it was something like that.

Nir Bashan:         I said, “Okay, what do you want to close?” He’s like, “Well, that’s industry standard.” I’m like, “Are you happy with industry standard?” And he was like, “No, no. I never really thought of it that way.” I said, “Great. What’s going on with the proposal?” And he’s like, “It ain’t broke, so why fix it?” I said, “Okay, but you just told me that you’re not happy with how many you’re closing.” He’s like, “Why? Do you think it’s the proposal?” I said, “I don’t know. We’ve been talking for five minutes. I don’t know what the issue is with the business. But I bet that you can use some creativity injected at every one of these moments.” So we got to talking and he’d signed up for the minimal consultancy hours, just the basics, he was so skeptical, right? And I’m like, “Fine. Okay, cool. Let’s do five hours.” Or whatever we did. And then we started looking at the proposals, Chris, and they read like, I don’t know, like a lawyer wrote them in 1986.

Nir Bashan:         I was like, “Dude, when was the last time you updated these?” He was like, “We’ve never updated them.” I said, “Okay.” He’s like, “Nir, I have 2,500 employees and 100 and something trucks.” I can’t remember, he had a decent business, but he was unable to grow and he was unable to pass a threshold. So I said, “Okay, let’s look at the proposals. What about writing a story, Anne had a fire in her kitchen. Anne is just like you, she must have left something on for too long and lost attention.” And he’s like, “Do you think that’ll help?” He’s like, “I don’t think that’ll help.” I said, “I think it will. I mean, nobody wants to read a contract.” I said, “Call five customers and ask them how many people read the contract.”

Nir Bashan:         So he called the salespeople, the salespeople gave him five numbers and he called everybody. Everyone said they’d signed up, nonetheless here, Chris, they signed up. They said, “Yeah, I’ve never read it. I’m not going to read that.” And he was like, “Okay, cool.” So slowly but surely we started rewriting the contract to a story and then boom, 2% real uptick. The story was really around somebody who needed help. So I said, “Okay, what about your billing model?” He was like, “We are not touching that.” I’m like, “Why not?” He’s like, “Because it’s worked. It worked for 15 years Nir, why will it stop working?” And this is before the whole COVID thing and before all of that, and I’m like, “Well, because you need to constantly change things in order to stay relevant and stay fresh.”

Nir Bashan:         And so here we were, we changed the billing model to an a la carte, which nobody in the disaster restoration business was doing, they were all doing lump sum. So we changed it to a la carte so the customers felt more in control and more empowered and boom, all of a sudden sales went up again, the customers would order one particular item and then it would turn into them ordering more off the a la carte list, even to the point where they started ordering even more stuff than originally intended. So these are the things Chris, that you can find in your business, no matter what you do, that are creative and will enable you to compete in today’s marketplace.

Chris:                     I’m wondering whether you could spin that whole idea of missing out on revenue the other way, when maybe you talked to your clients about the cost to their business for not embracing creativity.

Nir Bashan:         Yeah, definitely. So for me, the cost of not embracing creativity, just might be the cost of losing your business because unless we are constantly innovating constantly re-imagining who we are and how we conduct our business, unless we constantly question every single part and every component of our product or service, we are forever relegated to the pages of history. We must inject creativity and creative thinking into every single actionable item that we do. And often when I consult, I look at the pipeline of sales, I do sales a lot. So I look at the sales pipeline, but I also look at the customer service pipeline and different methods that people have set up to track. A goes to B, B goes to C, C goes to D, so on and so forth of the bandwidth of the experience with that company.

Nir Bashan:         And I look at every one of those touch points and I inject creativity into all those moments by asking a lot of questions and then empowering the staff who runs that day to day, to ask a lot of questions too and to try to figure out, how can we do something different so that we’re able to keep up with changes, which are inevitable. And that takes a lot of guts, it takes a lot of courage Chris, that’s probably one of the things that I have the most difficulty with, with clients.

Chris:                     People being courageous. I think in the modern world, courage is difficult to find sometimes, people are so afraid to make mistakes, we’re so risk averse, we’re afraid of being sued. And I’m just actually wondering whether you can spin that whole thing around a little bit further and we talked a bit in the start about you failing at business, and that maybe learning from your failures in business, mixed in with a little bit of creativity, might actually be a really great way to succeed in your next endeavor.

Nir Bashan:         Oh, it’s so important, right? I’ve learned more in my failures than I ever have in my successes. We want to succeed so bad that when we fail, we tend to get upset at ourselves and we tend to look for blame and look for all of the things that went wrong, but what we really should be doing is celebrating a little bit, the fact that we have an opportunity to learn. And learning from failure and learning from things that go wrong, is incredibly important and in it is incredible creative value. And yet, so many of us, Chris, just steamroll past it.

Chris:                     Yep, yep, yep. I’m assuming fear is a big obstacle for you with all of this creative thinking, but are there any other obstacles that you need to overcome to get your clients on board with this whole idea?

Nir Bashan:         I get a lot of, “Nir’s coming. We got to buy expensive equipment.” I get that a lot. Like, “We’ve had consultants here before an Nir.” “Okay, cool. What have they said?” “Buy more shit.” I’m like, “Okay. Yeah, that’s not really what … I don’t want …” Everything that I talk about in my book is free Chris, every single thing in there is free. What I want people to do is take away a value that really comes from shifting your mindset. This isn’t in a piece of equipment that you need to buy or staff that you need to hire. This is literally shifting your mind to allow for creativity that you’ve developed as a child, to seep into your everyday reality and help you solve problems in your business that the analytics can not solve. That is really what my platform is all about, that is really what the message is all about.

Chris:                     In my world, innovation is a massive thing. In the tech world it’s all about trying to innovate to create the next great big thing. Creative thinking is a big part of that, is that something that you really sell to your clients, that if you’re going to be innovative, this has got to come with it?

Nir Bashan:         Yeah, definitely. So I spoke at a conference for software developers or end user software makers and I opened up the keynote by saying that most of the people in the room are currently working on a problem that nobody has. And I got a lot of boos and jeers and stuff like that. I said, “The software business is ripe with people solving problems that do not exist.” And to say that people were pissed off, I think it’s an understatement, right? But it’s true. The technology world believes that somebody needs that widget or that piece of gear because they’ve just convinced themselves thoroughly of it. But in reality, it’s not really what people need and it’s not what people are looking for.

Nir Bashan:         So for me, innovation cannot be a standalone byproduct. It has to be a result of a 360 degree approach to understanding your business and understanding every nook and cranny in what you do, no matter what you do, from medicine to software, understanding that this particular product or service has to live with a consumer, business to business or the general public or whoever is the buyer, that has to experience what it feels like to use and to particularly be part of that experience. And unless you’re taking all of these things into account, you’re developing something that someone does not want.

Chris:                     Yeah. COVID’s all around us at the moment, we mentioned it earlier and I’ve heard many businesses and business leaders lately, talk about times of crisis being the birthplace of innovation. Do you subscribe to this way of thinking as well?

Nir Bashan:         Yes, absolutely. So right now is the best time, it is the best time that we’ve had in the last probably 20 years or so, 30 years or so, to come up with innovation in your business, to come up with creativity in your business, because necessity is the mother of all invention. So people that are able to create and to do new and cool things, are able to stay alive and stay competitive in today’s marketplace and those who aren’t, are quickly going to go away. So I think it’s imperative for you to look at and for your listeners to look at the environment that we’re in right now, the global environment, and understand that there’s one of only two things that people can do.

Nir Bashan:         One is, pack it up and just throw in the towel, “I’m done, I’ve had enough. I’m not going to be able to get through this.” Which most people are doing. Or two, say, “You know what? This is time for me to change what I’ve been doing yesterday so that I can continue to be relevant tomorrow.” The choice is yours, Chris, it’s your listeners who need to decide what they want to do. And if they decide that they want to change, there is a whole world, a universe out there of opportunity for people right now, no matter what field you’re in, to do incredibly well during this crisis. But if you decide to throw in the towel, I mean, you’re done before you even left the gate.

Chris:                     Yeah. Do you think it’s possible to take a creative view of a crisis?

Nir Bashan:         Yes, absolutely. So I’ll give you an example. This is another time where your listeners are just going to go, “I’m totally done. Here we go. Falling asleep.” But in 1982 in the US, Johnson & Johnson had a big terrorist event. I don’t know if you remember this, Chris-

Chris:                     I was about six years old.

Nir Bashan:         Okay. So you might remember it, but they had a cyanide poisoning incident where some terrorists put cyanide in Tylenol. Nobody knew where the cyanide was. So what Johnson & Johnson did, the makers of Tylenol, it was unprecedented at the time and something that we can still use as lesson today. One, they communicated vulnerability. They said, “Hey, we don’t know what happened and we’re hoping to figure it out, but please call us if you know anything.” And people were calling. They were saying, “Oh, my neighbor is a jerk. I think he put the poison in.” And they took all the leads seriously and all that, they sent out coupons to tell everyone to throw away their Tylenol. And they sent coupon saying, “Hey, you can buy Tylenol back later, on us, when this thing is over.”

Nir Bashan:         They did everything and anything imaginable. They worked with police, they let people inspect their plants, all of this stuff, they were an open book. And the public said, “You know what? These guys, they’re really being honest with us.” And they were able to build in honesty by being transparent and straightforward. They effectively developed the first recall in history. The first recall in history happened in 1982 during this thing, right? And then they found the wacko, it was only in Chicago. They never found that the actual guy who did it, but they effectively came up with innovation that helped the crisis to be almost something that is unheard of today.

Nir Bashan:         What did they do? They came up with safety wrap, little plastic tab that you have to pull off. You can’t buy cottage cheese these days without having a plastic wrap to pull off that protects it. And if you open it once you get home and it’s cut or whatever, you close it up quickly and you go back to the store, “Here, I want my money back.” All of that started in 1982 because Johnson & Johnson came up with amazing innovation because they had to and because they wanted to build trust. How many countless lives across the world, has that saved? Yes, some people died and it’s super horrible, but listen, some people are dying from COVID too, and that’s super horrible and it’s an incredible shame, but what is your business doing? What are you doing in your everyday life to take this incredible tragedy and to turn it around and do something positive with it? And from that, I think comes amazing creative potential, we just have to want to do it.

Chris:                     Mate, I’m loving your stories, this is fantastic. I mentioned in the opener, you’re here, you’re about to launch a new book, The Creator Mindset and obviously I’ll leave links in the show notes for everybody to be able to find that. But I noticed that on your website, there are a lot of elements that are supported by stories, such as the ones you’ve told today. And I’m a huge fan of storytelling and I’m just wondering, do you find that storytelling is a key component in developing a creative mindset?

Nir Bashan:         It’s a very good component of developing a creator mindset. I like stories because people can tend to remember them. The way that we really learn is through stories because they touch upon things that make us human. A good story has some wonderful components in it that build drama, that build suspense and that tie into how we like to learn and I think it’s a very important part of creativity.

Chris:                     I’m wondering whether maybe there might be a followup to your book, which is the children’s book version of The Creator Mindset, which could go into every school and teach them about it and maybe bring those soft skills back to early learning perhaps.

Nir Bashan:         I love it. That’s a great idea.

Chris:                     If you write that and you sell that, I’ll need a clip of the ticket, thanks very much, mate.

Nir Bashan:         Yeah, for sure. You’ll get a cut.

Chris:                     No worries. So mate, just a fantastic chat with you today. I’ve really enjoyed that. The book, The Creator Mindset is out now and it’s aimed at everyday people, not just CEOs or non-creative people, isn’t it?

Nir Bashan:         Yeah, that’s right. It’s for leaders and professionals who are wondering why they can’t get where they’re going. Listen, the analytical mind really is only a half of our potential and I’m not saying to get rid of it, a lot of people are like, “Oh, I got to where I am because I’m analytical. I’m not throwing that away sonny.” But I’m not really saying that. I’m saying combine that with the creative side so that you can use your mind the way that God intended us to use it, which is in balance between the creative and the analytical. Listen, the world has gone to the extremes, man. I don’t know what it’s like in Tasmania or in Australia at large right now, but the least in the US man, everybody’s extreme left, extreme right and everybody is so passionate about their positions and stuff like that.

Nir Bashan:         Whatever happened to the middle man, whatever happened to some ballots? And for me, it’s a symptom of the fact that we are so deeply ingrained in the analytical, that we’ve stopped to even use our brain properly and to use our brain in a holistic and whole manner. So I advocate a little dang creativity in our day to day lives, so that we can start to use our brain, our equipment that we’re born with, in a bit of balance. And I just wonder what other things we can start to use and balance, once we start applying that in our businesses and how the world can change, if we’re able to do that.

Chris:                     I love it. I’m going to leave you with a fantastic quote by the late great Robin Williams and it goes something along the lines of, “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”

Nir Bashan:         You’re right. He was right.

Chris:                     I think he was. I think he was and it certainly backs up everything we’ve been speaking about today. Nir Bashan, thank you so much for your time today. It’s been a fantastic chat and I’ve loved your stories. So thank you for sharing with us.

Nir Bashan:         Thanks buddy. Thanks for having me. I really appreciate it man.

Chris:                     Absolute pleasure.

Nir Bashan:         Thank you.

Chris:                     Cheers.


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Stephanie Donahue is both a Microsoft MVP and RD who has a focus on helping organizations leverage their investment in SharePoint to create and maximize ROI. She believes that setting a strategic path using an innovative road map and consistent methodology is the key to a successful implementation. Stephanie is an active blogger and event speaker with over 17 years in the I.T. industry and over 8 years of experience with SharePoint.

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How to land a job that hasn’t been created yet.

Christopher Bishop is a nonlinear, multimodal careerist who has had eight so far, including rock musician, jingle producer and web site project manager. Chris also spent 15 years at IBM in a variety of roles including business strategy consultant and communications executive driving social media adoption and the use of virtual worlds for training and events.

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Loving your work, and stories of triumph, during a pandemic.

Steve Clayton is Microsoft’s Chief Storyteller and General Manager of Microsoft’s Innovation, Culture and Stories team. The team is responsible for the company’s storytelling with a focus on employees, media, customers, partners and candidates. Steve and his team have a history of innovation in storytelling to bring the company’s mission to life for these audiences.

Steve was the architect of the acclaimed “88 Acres” story that heralded a new direction for Microsoft’s corporate storytelling and led to the creation of His team creates a wide variety of content including keynote demos for Satya Nadella, Microsoft Life, the company intranet, social channels and wide range of storytelling that has helped transform the culture of Microsoft.

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