ONLINE SEMINAR: Brain Power – Improve Your Mind as You Age

Sponsored by en*theos academy

Starts SATURDAY April 28, 2012!

Time: 4 Saturdays at 9:00 AM PT / 12:00 PM ET
Dates: April 28 + May 5, 12, 19

Can’t make the calls? No problem! Download an MP3 of the class the next day.

Tuition: $125
(If cash is tight, we offer a “Pick Your Price” model where you can choose to pay $125/$100/$50. And, if cash is *super* tight, you can apply for a scholarship! )

Enroll Now!

Course Overview:

In the last 30 years the scientific evidence supporting the notion that your mind can improve through the years has become overwhelming. Clearly, the question is no longer whether your mind can improve with age, but rather how you can optimize your mental powers as you get older.

This program presents practical, evidence-based information on improving your mind throughout life.

Just as Copernicus overturned the myth that the earth was at the center of the universe, so contemporary neuroscience has revolutionized our understanding of the potential to improve mental functioning as we age.

In this compelling, inspirational and supremely practical 4-week program you’ll be presented with the evidence for this new paradigm and, most importantly, you will learn to incorporate this new way of understanding aging so you can improve your mind every year of your life.

Enroll Now!

What You’ll Learn Each Week:

  • Week 1 – Intro to The New Paradigm + Think Counterclockwise
  • Week 2 – Be a Life-Long Learner + Exercise for More Brain Power
  • Week 3 – Mind Your Diet, Your Environment + Your Social Wealth
  • Week 4 – Conclusion + Applied Neuroplasticity

Textbook for the Course:  Brain Power: Improve Your Mind as You Age  by Michael Gelb & Kelly Howell

Learning to Think Like Leo

Laura Rafaty | Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2012 12:00 am



Michael Gelb thinks you’re a genius. Or thinks you can be if you follow his program, which teaches the creatively challenged thinkers of today how to emulate “the greatest genius of all time.” And that very model of a modern innovative thinker is not Steve Jobs or Stephen Hawking; it’s Leonardo da Vinci.

So explained Gelb, a best-selling author, motivational speaker and self-made Renaissance man, at the recent Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood, co-hosted by the resort and the Napa Valley Vintners. Convening for four days in February, the symposium attracted some 70 speakers, panelists and attendees, including Joshua Greene, editor of Wine & Spirits Magazine; Eric Asimov, chief wine critic for New York Times; Guy Woodward, editor of Decanter Magazine; and Antonio Galloni of Wine Advocate.

This group of top editors and wine writers met to polish their wine writing, deepen their wine knowledge and experience their own creative renaissance with Gelb’s guidance, based on his book: “How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day.”

Da Vinci was a hero of Gelb’s since childhood; a real-life Superman who “embodied all we know about human potential.” And so in 1994, armed with a fascination for the artist and a free ticket to Florence, Gelb followed in the footsteps of the master, studying da Vinci’s notebooks, inventions and artworks and developing a renaissance roadmap for the journey from intellect to inspiration. Gelb distilled from da Vinci’s work seven universal principles of the creative process — “the essential elements of genius,” he said — which include:

Curiositá: An insatiably curious approach to life and unrelenting quest for continuous learning.

Dimonstratzione: A commitment to test knowledge through experience, persistence and a willingness to learn from mistakes.

Sensazione: The continual refinement of the senses, especially sight, as the means to enliven experience.

Sfumato: A willingness to embrace ambiguity, paradox and uncertainty.

Arte/Scienza: The development of the balance between science and art, logic and imagination.

Corporalitá: The cultivation of grace, ambidexterity, fitness and poise.

Connessione: A recognition of and appreciation for the interconnectedness of all things and phenomena.

Exploring these elements will kick-start creativity, although this requires concentrated effort and diligent capture of your every fleeting and potentially brilliant thought, Gelb asserted. It also requires hand-gestures, and Gelb coached the crowd on how to punctuate each Italian phrase with the appropriate wave of the arm, flip of the wrist and twist of the tongue.

Gelb would seem the ideal creativity coach for this group, having previously written the book “Wine Drinking for Inspired Thinking: Uncork Your Creative Juices.” Appealing to these oenophiles, Gelb celebrated the role wine can play in unlocking genius potential, or at least in loosening it up a bit.

“Wine is the elixir of genius … the preferred libation for many of the finest minds who ever lived,” he said. “All the great thinkers met at the palace of the Medici, where they drank wine and talked about truth and beauty and goodness.”

In fact, the word “symposium,” he explained, means “to drink wine together.”

Not surprisingly, Gelb said he found the Napa Valley to be a particularly conducive atmosphere for creative thinking, as it embodies the joie de vivre and la dolce vita he advocates. “This is one of the most beautiful places in the world … a temple to the elixir of genius.”

Of course, even da Vinci grew older, and some might worry that it may be too late to teach an old brain new tricks. Not so, assures Gelb, whose latest book, “Brain Power: Improve Your Mind as You Age,” promises that even a mature mind can become better, if properly challenged and exercised.

“We grew up thinking that the brain declines after age 30. We now know that it was intended to improve with use,” he said.

As Gelb sees it: “Iron rusts from disuse and water that does not flow becomes stagnant. … It is the same with the human mind.” With a knowing smile, he suggests that adopting da Vinci’s creative strategies for genius thinking might operate like RustOleum for the brain that, when paired with Resveratrol from fine wine, will keep the mental machinery humming.

Watching Gelb, who, despite having some gray hairs, displayed an infectious youthful charm — juggling fruit, spouting limericks and bouncing around like a precocious teenager — it doesn’t take a genius to see that he’s on to something.


Vinography: How to Think & Drink Like Leonardo da Vinci


by Vinography: A Wine Blog – Alder Yarrow

What Wine Drinkers Can Learn from Leonardo Da Vinci


As some of you know, I was in Napa last week at the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers. The keynote speaker was Michael Gelb, the best selling author and speaker, whose most popular book How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci, served as the primary subject for his talk. Gelb is a passionate wine drinker, who also has written a book called Wine Drinking for Inspired Thinking, so a talk on creativity from him didn’t come entirely out of the blue. Even though wine was not his subject, he wove several wine anecdotes into his speech.

His talk was focused on using the principles outlined in his book to help those in attendance with their work and career as writers. But it struck me that these principles, which Gelb gleaned from Leonardo’s writings and works, are a wonderful map for aspiring wine lovers. So with Gelb’s permission, I’d like to explore how Leonardo Da Vinci (as interpreted by Gelb) can teach you a deeper appreciation for wine.

From Da Vinci’s life and works, Gelb distilled seven principles that he feels embody “genius thinking.” Each offers something to the wine lover.



Brain Power – Improve Your Mind as you Age featured in The Times London chess column

by Grandmaster Ray Keene OBE

Viktor Korchnoi, now 80, is still performing at a high level, as can be seen from his 60% score in the Tradewise Gibraltar tournament which finished earlier this month. Korchnoi’s gerontological feat might be considered amazing but it should be borne in mind that Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is generally considered superior to his first while Shakespeare’s Tempest (also his last masterpiece) is regarded as one of his best.

A new book Brain Power – Improve Your Mind as you Age (New World Library) by Michael Gelb and Kelly Howell gives concrete examples of superlative achievements in great age and offers tips, advice and instruction as to how to keep the brain healthy. Chess is given particular prominence since medical research indicates that the game is a powerful remedy against the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The authors quote Leonardo da Vinci, often regarded as the illustrator of the chess treatise De Ludo Schacorum, by the renaissance mathematician Luca Pacioli (see article in The Times of 10 March 2008), “Iron rusts from disuse; stagnant water loses its purity… even so does inaction sap the vigour of the mind.”


Brain Power: Improve Your Mind As You Age – The Aging Brain: Now It’s Serious

I’ve been teaching people to improve their minds as they get older since the beginning of my career.  I led my first seminar on the subject back in 1978 when I was just 26 years old.  Well, I’m approaching 60, and now, it’s SERIOUS!  When I first started leading seminars I was usually the youngest person in the room, and now I’m almost always the oldest.

Although I’m blessed with abundant energy and passion for my work, I also experience the challenges of aging. For example, a few years ago my right hip began to hurt.  Despite my positive attitude and holistic health practices, (and my access to many world class complementary medicine practitioners and energy healers)  my hip joint continued to degrade.  Thanks to the brilliance of contemporary medical technology I was able to get a new hip joint.  Then, my right knee started to break down, and 5 weeks ago I had total knee replacement surgery.  The recovery has been difficult but I’m making progress and hope to be up and running (literally!) soon.

It’s clear that some of our parts, like hips and knees, do wear out with use.  The good news, however, is that the brain isn’t one of those parts. Indeed, the brain is designed to IMPROVE with use. So what’s the best way to use it to ensure improvement?

This is the intention behind my new book, Brain Power: Improve Your Mind as You Age - to explain, in clear and accessible terms, the research-validated, practical things that you can do, or stop doing, to improve your mind every year of your life.  The book is based on the confluence of timeless wisdom, practical experience, and the latest research. Contemporary science has established that you can improve your mind as you age, and you can begin that process of improvement now.

Start by embracing a positive, optimistic, attitude toward aging.  According to Becca Levy PhD individuals with a positive attitude outlive those with a pessimistic approach by an average of more than 7 years! Find a guiding purpose for your life and cultivate gratitude, forgiveness, and humor. Continuous learning is the true fountain of youth, so learn something new every day and embrace fresh challenges. Much of what passes for senility and memory loss over the years is a function of the depletion of the supply of oxygen to the brain, so oxygenate your brain and sharpen your wits by creating an approach to exercise that you enjoy, and practice the simple principles of healthy eating. Surround yourself with beauty and a positive, multisensory, stimulus-rich environment. Invest in your social wealth, and practice meditation daily. (Brain Power includes a free link to the brain wave synchronization technology developed by my co-author Kelly Howell. This free audio download will help you train your brain to effortlessly create the brain waves associated with deep meditation).

Imagine the wonderful new world that would emerge if a critical mass of people applied these simple principles. And imagine the huge savings in health-care costs!

Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr penned one of the wisest statements ever made about aging, and life in general.  His Serenity Prayer, adopted as a credo by AA and other groups, advises us to embrace:

 The serenity to accept the things we cannot change;
the courage to change the things we can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Since most of us were raised with ideas about aging that are inaccurate, such as the faulty notions that our mental capacity is fixed at age five and that our brain cells degrade yearly after the age of 30 — we tend to underestimate what we can realistically change.  The Serenity Prayer reveals the secret of aging gracefully and intelligently –serenely accept and embrace the transitory nature of life and the increasing vulnerabilities that present themselves over time –while wisely and courageously cultivating the vast possibilities of mind, body and spirit.

Find out more about Brain Power: Improve Your Mind As You Age

ONLINE SEMINAR: How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci

Sponsored by en*theos academy

Starts this SATURDAY NOVEMBER 19, 2011!

Dates & Tuition

Time: 5 Saturdays at 10:00 am Pacific
Dates: November 19, 26 + December 3, 10, 17

Can’t make the calls? No problem! Download an MP3 of the class the next day.

Tuition: $125

(If cash is tight, we offer a “Pick Your Price” model where you can choose to pay $125/$100/$50. And, if cash is *super* tight, you can apply for a scholarship!)

Enroll Now!

Course Overview

Thinking creatively, learning faster and staying centered, these abilities are at a premium in a rapidly changing and complex world. What if you could call on history’s greatest genius, Leonardo da Vinci, to be your personal mentor in cultivating these highly prized elements of human capital? Anatomist, architect, botanist, city planner, chef, engineer, equestrian, inventor, geographer, geologist, musician, painter, and philosopher, Leonardo da Vinci helped bring the Western world out of the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance. Now, his approach to optimizing human potential is more relevant than ever.

You will be guided to apply the 7 principles for thinking like Leonardo, through a proven series of practical exercises, to your deepest life questions. The da Vinci principles are:

• Curiosità – An insatiable quest for knowledge and continuous improvement
• Dimostrazione – Learning from experience
• Sensazione – Sharpening the senses
• Sfumato – Managing ambiguity and change
• Arte/Scienza – Whole-brain thinking
• Corporalità – Body-mind fitness
• Connessione – Systems thinking

Textbook for the Course

How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci by Michael J. Gelb

Who Should Attend?

This inspiring and practical look at the essential elements of Leonardo da Vinci’s genius will be great for all those committed to living an extraordinary life while enjoying the process.

What You’ll Get Out of the Course

In this dynamic, highly-interactive program Michael Gelb brings da Vinci’s genius to life. You will learn how to:

• Make a Mind Map that integrates your life vision, values and goals
• Nurture creativity and innovation
• Put more Dolce in your Vita
• Find opportunity in uncertainty
• Improve memory and problem solving
• Balance mind and body to reduce stress
• Access and apply the real spiritual teachings of Leonardo

Leonardo da Vinci invented the parachute before anyone could fly. That’s thinking ahead! Imagine what you will accomplish when you learn the approach of humanity’s supreme archetype for the fulfillment of human potential.

Enroll Now!



Create Like Leonardo, Innovate Like Edison, an interview with Investment Advisor Magazine

Need to differentiate? By studying what made da Vinci and Edison great, advisors can teach themselves to be more creative and innovative

Have you ever wished you could think as creatively as Leonardo da Vinci, who designed a flying machine, invented musical instruments and painted the Mona Lisa? Or that you could turn innovative ideas into profitable reality like Thomas Edison, the Wizard of Menlo Park, who developed the light bulb, phonograph and movie camera?


If so, Michael Gelb has some suggestions for you.

Gelb has extensively studied how “genius thinking” applies to personal and organizational development. In 1998, he published his analysis of Leonardo’s brilliance in the best-selling “How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day.” In 2007, he expanded the field of creative thinking with “Innovate Like Edison: The Five-Step System for Breakthrough Business Success,” co-authored with Edison’s great-grandniece, Sarah Miller Caldicott. He has also written 10 other books, leads a seminar on innovation at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, and is the director of leadership and creativity at the Conscious Capitalism Institute.

As part of this focus on creativity and innovation, Gelb has introduced the idea of teaching juggling to promote accelerated learning and team-building. A former professional juggler, he once performed with the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan.

I’ve known about Michael and his work for years. When I attended a workshop of his, long ago, I was blown away by his ability to help people unleash their creative selves. Financial advisors can learn a lot from Gelb’s observations on how to unlock their creativity, fine-tune their goal-setting skills and maximize their brainpower.

Olivia Mellan: How did you get into exploring the lives of Leonardo and Edison?
Michael Gelb:
 When I was a child my two biggest role models, my heroes, were Leonardo da Vinci and Superman. Eventually I discovered that Superman was only a comic book character, but Leonardo was real.

One of the great things about being human, once you’re a grown-up, is that you can choose who and what you want to imitate. So if you want to learn creativity, it makes sense to model perhaps the most creative person who ever lived: Leonardo da Vinci. And if you want to learn innovation, then you want to model yourself after the greatest innovator of all time: Thomas Edison.

Part of the reason why da Vinci and Edison make such a powerful one-two combination as role models for creativity and innovation, respectively, is that Leonardo was more interested in pure creativity, whereas Edison aimed to link his creativity to business.

OM: How can we apply Leonardo’s processes to our professional lives? Advisors want to help clients achieve the life they truly want, and find financial security and true serenity.
 For an advisor in a highly competitive world, the challenge is to add value by serving as more than just a resource for good stocks and bonds. The best advisors have the emotional intelligence to bond with their clients and help them take stock of their lives.

I’ve identified seven principles for thinking like Leonardo da Vinci that can guide advisors in developing an ability to integrate the big picture with the details. Not only can these tools help them better serve their clients, but they also constitute a program advisors can follow to integrate the personal and the professional and keep their own lives in balance.

[Click here to learn one way to think like a visionary.]

Q. Can you walk us through the principles for thinking like Leonardo?
 Absolutely. The idea is to first implement each principle in your own life, then see how you can use it to improve what you do for your clients.

  1. Curiosità (curiosity) is the first principle. Leonardo was on an insatiable quest for knowledge and continuous learning. What this comes down to on a personal level is seeking to understand yourself and fulfill your potential. Professionally, it means eliciting from your clients their most important life questions. Dig deep to find out what truly matters to them.
  2. Dimostrazione (demonstration), the second principle, refers to Leonardo’s insistence on learning by personal experience rather than taking others’ reports for granted. The lesson for advisors is to always think independently and critically, and to help your clients think more objectively about their current situation and their goals.
  3. Sensazione (sensation), which is related to the first two principles, refers to Leonardo’s ability to focus on sharpening his sensory awareness. He wrote, “The five senses are the ministers of the soul.” You can train yourself and your clients to be sharper by cutting through all the spam and identifying the most critically important information.
  4. Sfumato, the fourth principle, is a painting technique employed by da Vinci to create an ethereal quality in his work. To me, this ability to embrace ambiguity and change is probably the most important da Vinci principle for advisors and their clients. It suggests the importance of maintaining a sense of perspective and alignment with your principles in the face of grave uncertainty.
  5. Arte/scienza (the science of art) refers to Leonardo’s whole-brain thinking: his ability to be both imaginative and practical. Advisors too must practice their capacity to think both analytically and intuitively, and encourage their clients to develop the same balance.
  6. Corporalità, which literally means physicality, represents Leonardo’s belief that a healthy mind requires a healthy body. Even though an advisor isn’t meant to be a wellness consultant, you still need to have a healthy lifestyle and help your clients develop one. In big-picture terms, if your net worth goes up but your energy level and general health go down, you’re not a good investor.
  7. Connessione (connection) relates to Leonardo’s ability to weave multiple disciplines around a single idea. In other words, he was a systems thinker—which is one of the primary ways an advisor adds value. You have to see all the important connections in your clients’ lives, which means understanding their vision, values and goals. To advise them effectively, you have to be able to ascertain the most significant global forces that will impact the investments you recommend.

OM: I understand that USA Today asked you what Leonardo da Vinci and Thomas Edison would ask each other if they ever met. What did you say?
 Da Vinci would ask Edison about the nature of light, and Edison would ask da Vinci, “Do you want a job?”

OM: In “Innovate Like Edison,” you offer a system for cultivating innovation. Tell us more about the five competencies you’ve identified.
 Edison’s strategies for generating new ideas and finding promising business opportunities are especially relevant for advisors and investors. His five competencies of innovation, as I’ve determined them, are:

1. A solution-centered mindset. This means focusing on solving problems rather than being dragged down by them. This is the attitude that makes innovation possible.

Edison is famous for having said, “Results? I’ve gotten lots of results. I know thousands of things that won’t work.” He continually focused on finding solutions and learned from things that didn’t work. The message for advisors is not to get bogged down by dwelling on past mistakes and regrets, and to concentrate instead on applying the lessons learned.

2. Kaleidoscopic thinking. Edison said, “If you want to get a good idea, get a lot of ideas.” Open your mind to a broad and expansive range of possibilities, then home in on the most compelling ideas.

3. Full-spectrum engagement. This involves the ability to manage complexity—a skill that’s even more important now than it was in Edison’s time.

Edison believed in Occam’s Razor, the principle that when there are a number of possible answers, it’s advisable to chose the one that makes the fewest new assumptions. He sought simplicity in the midst of complexity. In the complicated world of investing, this is a valuable instinct to cultivate. For example, if you can’t understand what a company does or why it’s valuable, don’t buy it!

Also, both da Vinci and Edison were deeply contemplative. Leonardo said, “Men of genius sometimes work best when they work least.” Here he’s expressing the importance of receptivity and deep relaxation in the process of creation. Edison would go off in the middle of a workday to a nearby pond where he would fish with a baitless hook. Why? Because he was really “fishing” for breakthrough ideas, and he knew that relaxation made him more receptive to intuitive insight. He once said, “To do much clear thinking, a person must arrange for regular periods of solitude when he can concentrate and indulge the imagination without distraction.”

These modes of consciousness are critically important to investment success and success of any kind. The key is to find your own natural rhythm, balancing intense focus and concentrated work with reflection and receptivity.

4. Mastermind collaboration. In order to create his amazing innovations, Edison assembled a team of brilliant people from diverse and complementary backgrounds. As an advisor, one of the best things you can do to be more innovative is to create your own “mastermind” group of specialists with different backgrounds and viewpoints.

5. Super-value creation. All businesses are based on the idea of creating value for a customer or client. Edison believed he had to create value for his customers in a manner that was dramatically superior to his competitors—hence the term “super”-value creation. Of course, discerning opportunities for value in the investment landscape is critical for long-term success. But in addition to beating numerical benchmarks, advisors can add value by cultivating relationships with their clients that result in continuity, even during periods of underperformance.

OM: What’s the single most important thing for advisors who want to innovate like Edison?
 I think the most important thing is to align your goals with your passion. Edison said, “I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.” The best financial advisors I’ve ever met are by far the most passionate and engaged and caring. They love what they do.

[Click here to learn how to use Edison’s principles to help shape your goals.]

OM: I understand you have a new book coming out soon called “Brain Power: Improve Your Mind As You Age.” Since much has been written about the graying of the advisory profession, planners will be hungry to learn from this book. Can you tell us a little about it?
 I’ve been teaching people how to improve the mind with age throughout my career, but now it’s serious. The exciting news is that scientific evidence that you can improve your mind as you age has become overwhelming.

Most of us grew up believing that our brain power was fixed at age five, and that the mind would inevitably begin to decline after age 30. We now know that that’s not true. The brain, as neuroscientist Dr. Richard Restak explains, is designed to improve with use. Your brain is flexible and adaptable, and is designed to continue evolving over time. As Leonardo da Vinci wrote in his notebooks 500 years ago, “Water that does not flow becomes stagnant. Thus it is with the human mind.”

Contemporary science demonstrates that the question is no longer “Can your mind improve with age?” but rather “What are the best ways to improve your mind over time?” In the new book, I’ve identified the most essential, research-validated and practical approaches to continuous neural development.

OM: As someone about to turn 65, my curiosity is running wild. How about a hint?
 Interesting you should say that: Maintaining your curiosity and a positive attitude towards aging makes a tremendous difference in mental acuity and even actual longevity. “Brain Power” also covers diet, nutrition, exercise, attitude, continuous learning, the importance of social interaction, nurturing what I call a “brain-enhancing environment”—making your home and workplace an environment filled with beauty, music and enjoyment—relaxation, rest and meditation.

Many people are familiar with some of these, but what this book does is take a systematic approach to help readers get the most out of these practices. It also includes something unique: My co-author, Kelly Howell, is one of the world leaders in brainwave training technology. So “Brain Power” comes with a free download of training programs that will help readers experience the brainwave states associated with rest, relaxation and deep meditation.

OM: Something you once wrote inspires me personally: “Aging well is the supreme expression of wisdom. If you want to age well, nurture your wisdom by studying the lives of great men and women from all walks of life who continued to be productive and fulfilled in their later years.” To me, these words have the ring of truth.
 That says it all for me, too.

Adventures with Genius: A Seminar with Murray Gell-Mann and Michael J. Gelb


Murray Gell-MannIn a field cluttered with misinformation, Michael Gelb is an authentic source of practical wisdom for those who seek to develop their creative powers. ~ Murray Gell-Mann

Murray Gell-Mann

Winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics (1969), Murray Gell-Mann is a unique intellectual powerhouse. In addition to being a theoretical physicist he is also a passionate student of linguistics, cultural evolution, archeology, history, ornithology and the psychology of creative thinking. Gell-Mann is a co-founder and one of the prime movers of the renowned think tank, the Santa Fe Institute.


In March 2011 I had the opportunity to entertain Murray at my home in Santa Fe.  We enjoyed some superb wines and a very lively conversation.  In 2002 I released a book entitled Discover Your Genius: How to Think Like History’s Ten Most Revolutionary Minds. Murray was curious about who was on my all-time genius roster; so, I gave him the selection criteria and invited him to guess.  As you might imagine, he did rather well.  And, he had met one of the figures in the book-Albert Einstein. In the course of the evening Murray shared stories of his interactions with Fermi, Feynman, Oppenheimer, and many other great minds.

After we said goodbye I reflected on our conversation and in a blinding flash of the obvious I realized that a marvelous opportunity was at hand.  For the last 30 years I’ve studied the workings of great minds and aimed to make their wisdom accessible to you.  In studying Leonardo da Vinci I traveled to his birthplace and to the place he died.  I read his notebooks and interviewed many of the great da Vinci scholars, including Professor Martin Kemp. In researching Innovate Like Edison I worked closely with Sarah Miller Caldicott, the great-grandniece of Edison and visited the Edison Papers Project at Rutgers where I was able to interview Dr. Paul Israel, the renowned Edison scholar.  I also visited many historical sites including his estate in Ft. Myers, Florida and the extraordinary re-creation of his laboratories in Dearborn, Michigan at the Ford Museum.

Of course I obviously wasn’t able to actually meet with and interview either Edison or Leonardo.  But, here, in my kitchen, I had just shared some Volnay with a genius who revolutionized our understanding of the nature of the universe.

Since our initial get together, I’ve hosted Murray at a series of dinners to continue our conversation about the nature of the creative process and to explore how, in the words of Leonardo, we can “quicken the spirit of invention.”  I’ve invited other passionate creative thinkers, such as Pulitzer-prize winning playwright Sam Shepard and archaeologist and head of the Santa Fe Institute, Dr Jerry Sabloff, to join in the festivities.   I’m recording these discussions and will eventually turn them into a book.

Meanwhile, Murray and I have agreed that it would be fruitful, fun, and interesting to share our conversations with others who are interested in a deeper understanding of the nature of creativity and systems thinking.  We’ve developed a simple, powerful program for you to take advantage of and participate in this delightful dialogue.

There are several offerings we can make. One option is that during the day I will take your group through the principles for thinking like a genius, and in the late afternoon and evening you will have the opportunity to drink wine and dine with a living genius and discuss how he brings these principles to life. Another option is that we both deliver perspectives on creative thinking and then invite the group into the larger conversation while wining and dining.

You’ll be inspired by the depth and breadth of Murray’s knowledge, his amazing stories of interactions with many of the great minds of the past 80 years, his delightful sense of humor and unrelenting intellectual curiosity.

To arrange a program with Murray and Michael for your organization, Please contact Michael or call 505-438-1181.

View Gell-Mann’s TED talk.

Leading Innovation: Thinking Creatively for Positive Change


September 13 – 16, 2011


University of Virginia Darden School of Business

100 Darden Boulevard, Charlottesville, VA 22903 USA,  +1-434-924-3900

Register HERE


James G. Clawson
Photo by Michael Mahoney, Hat Head Studios
James G. Clawson
Johnson & Higgins Professor of
Business Administration
Michael J. Gelb
Internationally renowned author,
speaker, and consultant


“All organizations require one core competency: Innovation.”
– Peter Drucker

As Peter Drucker emphasized, innovation is the core competency for dealing with the aggressive pace of change. More than ever, businesses need people who can think creatively and work together to promote a culture that supports innovation. Through dynamic, interactive learning experiences, participants in Leading Innovation: Thinking Creatively for Positive Change will measurably improve their creative thinking skills and leverage those skills for positive change. Executives and managers will learn how to lead innovation, and return to the workplace with an innovation plan for their organizations. The program features Michael Gelb, internationally renowned author, speaker, and consultant. Discover why the Process of Systematic Innovation is considered to be Thomas Edison’s greatest invention, and explore the components of the Five Competencies of Innovation.


Executives, managers, and directors who want to:

  • Strengthen their abilities to think creatively and to implement innovation in their organizations.
  • Use innovative strategies to lead positive change and increase opportunities for growth.
  • Overcome organizational inertia and resistance to innovation.

Participant Profile

  • Direct Marketing Manager
  • Director, Business Analysis and Strategy
  • General Manager
  • Manager, Business Strategy
  • Research Manager, R&Dd
  • Strategy and Innovation Advisor
  • Vice President, Engineer Manager
  • Vice President of Marketing


Participants will identify their critical innovation challenges and discover how to generate solutions. They will learn how to:

  • Think outside of habitual patterns.
  • Understand the common barriers to innovation and how to overcome them.
  • Develop strategies that create more value for all stakeholders.
  • Leverage collaboration to “get out of silos” and create team synergy.
  • Apply the communication skills necessary to overcome resistance to innovation.

This program counts as one week toward earning a Certificate of Specialization.


  • Challenges to Innovation
  • Developing a Solution-Centered Mindset
  • Collaborating for Innovation
  • Creating Super Value
  • Full-Spectrum Engagement
  • Innovation and World-Class Performance
  • Innovative Action Planning

Special Features








  • Participants will receive two books: Innovate Like Edison: The Success System of America’s Greatest Inventor by Michael Gelb and Sarah Miller Caldicott, a descendant of Thomas Edison, and Level Three Leadership by James G. Clawson.
  • Innovation Plan: Applying the learning and thinking from each day to their own work environments, attendees will return to the workplace with an actionable 90-day innovation plan.



The fee covers all program materials, program-related meals, and housing in a private room at Sponsors Executive Residence Center for the specified program dates.

Register HERE


Santa Fe Soul - Gelb:  Integrating & Masculine and Feminine, July 23 2011

Click the image to view the flyer for this event. Santa Fe Soul - Gelb: Integrating & Masculine and Feminine, July 23 2011

In this engaging, thought-provoking and humorous presentation Michael will lead us through an exploration of the implications of the shifting archetypes and expectations for both men and women in the contemporary world.


2905 Rodeo Park Drive East, Bldg. 3,  Santa Fe, New Mexico

Phone: 505-474-8555

July 23, 2011, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Sun Room Events & Movement Studio

Advance registration: $20

Call Santa Fe Soul 505-474-8555.