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Ideas with Legs

Ideas with Legs innovative thinking to get ahead at work and ways to turn ideas into income It’s hard to become indispensable if you can’t think on your feet. From mindset tips and idea generation to trend spotting and innovation hacks. Each week Nils Vesk an innovation futurist unpacks the rapid growth innovation techniques he shares with fortune 500 companies around the world. If you want to become that go to’ person who’s constantly sought out for their ideas or invent that side hustle project that brings in cash and kudos, this is the podcast you need.

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#14 How to think like a futurist

Futurists’ key principles are:1. SCAN - The higher you climb the further you see. Scan for emerging socio-cultural, technological, economic, environmental, & political trends that relate to us and our customers.2. PLOT - Trends drive uncertainties and drivers create new trends. Set a time frame; identify the key trends and uncertainties that will affect you. Prioritise which ones to use, and create an x, y axis to plot the future.3. IMAGINE - Constructing the future starts with imagining the future. Be a science fiction writer and imagine what each future world would look like according to the plot lines. This is called the scenario principle.4. DESIGN - Design contingencies to deal with the future possible scenarios and opportunities


13 Nov 2019

Rank #1

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#13 Decode your customer to double your income

The nine keys to discovering what drives your customer spend.In this podcast session you’ll go from feeling stumped and clueless about what your customer wants next, to feeling crystal clear and confident about what they really want. You’ll finally be able to experience the excitement of discovering what makes your customer tick and therefore make it so much easier in designing the perfect product or service offering that has customers opening their wallets.


1 Nov 2019

Rank #2

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#12 Four Simple Yet Effective Steps to Rewire Your Brain

4 Simple Yet Effective Steps to Rewire Your BrainHi ,You've done well in life and business yet there's something more, something bigger and better you want to do. Yet despite the desire and no matter how hard you try, there seems to be something that stops you from starting or finishing. Sounds familiar? Mea culpa, I've been there too! The big idea I'm itching to share in this podcast is that you can rewire your self-limiting stories into empowering neural connections by mirroring your harmful self-talk. I'll unpack this in four simple steps. I can also promise you that it's possible to rewire any mind and you can start right now. Yes, any mind, no matter how old or how stubborn can be rewired.Before you say to yourself, "maybe later", I reckon I've got a good handle on what your world is like. You're time-poor, under pressure, and fending off lots of competition. One of the biggest challenges we have in our current environment is to have a flexible mind that's uninhibited by our performance-limiting beliefs and stories.Sure, we can do nothing and follow on with "business as usual" yet the consequences are assured. Same results, lost opportunities, lost income, regrets of not having capitalised on a "sure thing".However, if you take up the challenge to rewire yourself, some of the benefits likely to come your way will include faster and bigger results. Not to mention increased effectiveness, sharper focus, achieving results you've dreamed of for years, reduced paralysis of fear, minimal procrastination and a sense of contentment.What are we waiting for? Let's rewire the mind in 4 simple steps.Step #1: Identify and record your limiting self-talk and stories. (estimated time 60 seconds)Your limiting self-talk and stories are most likely to pop up when we're either in an anxious or stressed out state. When this happens next time, recognise what's going on and record by writing, typing or dictating the thoughts, stories or beliefs that may be arising.For example, "I'm never going to be top dog. There's always going to be someone smarter and better that gets ahead of me."Step #2: Write out the counter evidence. (estimated time 2 minutes)We want to give our brain some evidence to create an alternative neural connection compared to the one that is preventing us. List as much evidence as possible. The more evidence we can provide, the more we can bring the limiting stories, behaviours and actions out of the subconscious into the conscious so that we can challenge it rather than let it operate on autopilot.For example, "I beat 27 people to gain my current position. I headed up that project team when no one else could..."Step #3: Imagine you are directing your limiting self-talk and stories onto a loved one. (estimated time 2 minutes)If you're anything like me, sometimes, we leave our emotions at home and find that no matter how strong the counter evidence we can find to reduce or stop our self-talk, it just doesn't work. The reason why it's so hard is that there's not enough emotional charge behind the counter evidence to fire the evidence for a more supporting story. In short, an event plus emotion results in a long-term memory. The more we recall it, the more we strengthen the neural connection and, finally, our subconscious automates the decisions and behaviours in order to save us effort. Which is why a self-defeating thought or story perpetuates itself over and over again.However, when we imagine we're telling these stories to someone we love, the emotional region of our brain fires up and says, "This is totally wrong! How dare I treat my loved one this way by telling them that?!"For example, I will imagine I'm telling my wife Anna a limiting story such as, “Anna, you're never going to get ahead. There's always going to be someone else who can do a better job than you in dealing with other people, leading them. You don't have the right people skills, not enough techniques or tools to..."As you can imagine, I'm going to feel pretty horrible speaking to someone like this and the emotional regions of my brain fires up and quite rightly. So I start to refute these horrible accusations and the mind can't help but find evidence and a heightened level of emotion to counter these accusations. In short, it's a reality check as to how destructive our self-talk is and gives our mind the opportunity to forge a new neural connection.Step #4: List the resulting counter evidence that comes from having the imaginary attack on your loved one. (estimated time 90 seconds)List the counter evidence and the next time that limiting self talk or story appears, repeat the activity, especially the imaginary attack on a loved one. The more we create and revise the evidence while elevating our emotions, the more we start to strengthen the neural connection and prune away the old unwanted connections of the limiting belief or story.ConclusionThat's it. You've just learnt one of the most effective, fast and powerful ways to rewire your mind in only 7 minutes..Remember that the more evidence you keep discovering to counter a self defeating belief or story the faster we can eliminate it.You can start this today, right now with those four simple steps:Step #1: Identify and record your limiting self talk and stories (estimated time 60 seconds)Step #2: Write out the counter evidence (estimated time 2 minutes)Step #3: Imagine you are directing your limiting self talk and stories onto a loved one (estimated time 2 minutes)Step #4 : List the resulting counter evidence that comes from having the imaginary attack on your loved one. (estimated time 90 seconds)I'd love to find out how you go with this technique. Please shoot us through an email with any of your successes or challenges.

18 Oct 2019

Rank #3

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#11 What stops you from thinking on your feet?

What stops you from thinking on your feet?You’re in that big meeting and you’ve got the opportunity to shine. There’s a big juicy problem that needs to be solved and for the person who can solve it there’s glory to be had, bonus and promotion opportunity, not to mention the kudos too. The only problem? You’re scared shitless about stuffing up and making a fool of yourself, so you keep quiet and play it safe and kiss that bonus and promotion good bye. That is unless you can overcome those fears and obstacles that stop you from thinking on your feet and saving the day.In today’s tips, I’m going to identify the biggest obstacles to thinking on the fly and reveal the ways we can overcome them to be the star of the meeting.There’s four key obstacles to thinking on your feet like a genius:Obstacle #1. PoliticsObstacle #2. Half baked ideasObstacle #3. Public speaking nervesObstacle #4. RejectionObstacle #1. Politics - Say one thing that disagrees with one of the execs in the room and you’ve created an enemy. You can see they’re missing the point, but if you steer them in another direction you’re worried that they’ll think you’re making them look bad. How can you get them back on course without making enemies and being relegated to obscurity in the process?Obstacle #2. Half Baked ideas - You’re worried your ideas will fall flat and they’ll suggest you go and become a performer at ‘Cirque de so lame’ with your half baked ideas. How can you shoot an idea from the hip, even if it’s off target without getting shot down?Obstacle #3. Public speaking nerves - Even though you know your stuff, and you’ve got a killer solution to the problem at hand, because there’s some heavy hitters in the room your throat’s gone dry, your palms are sweaty and you know your voice will sound like that of a breaking teenager’s. How can you speak like a pro without letting your nerves debilitate your presentation?Obstacle #4. Rejection - You know that no matter how good your solution is, it’s likely to be shot down because of the risk averse culture. How can you flip a potential rejection into a win? Or walk away after the rejection without feeling you need to go to a self esteem building workshop to recover your confidence.Prescription #1. Taking the politics out of the situation to make it safe to share - the quickest way to make an enemy in the meeting room is to stomp all over someone else’s idea. Even if someone else’s idea is way off course, the smartest most effective thing to do is to piggyback on their idea. ‘Piggybacking’ is when we add to someone else’s original idea, even if it takes a new direction. For example you might say “Piggybacking on Lisa’s idea we could consider adding a…” or “spring boarding off Raj’s idea we might consider combining this with a…” The power of piggy backing is that it acknowledges the other person’s idea and contribution which makes your solution or idea seem like a team effort, which in turn makes the other person look good and be more amenable to your idea. It’s that simple.Prescription #2. Making the space uncritical of half baked ideas - It sucks when you share an idea but it gets shut down before others can work with it to develop it into a better idea. Our brains are association machines and believe it or not sharing ideas (even when half baked) make it easier for someone to come up with a better idea, the only challenge is we need to be able to create the space where people are thinking of how to add to an idea versus shoot it down.An effective way to make the space safe for this, is to frame up the space before sharing your ideas. ‘Framing up’ is in some ways similar to the movie classification that you may see before a movie e.g. “The following movie is rated ‘M’ for mature audiences, it includes frequent coarse language…” This prepares the audience for that upcoming language and reduces their objections to it. We can use the same approach when sharing our thoughts by simply saying “It’s likely that we all have some ideas today that might be left of centre and yet it’s important for us to share these as even if they don’t solve the problem straight off, they’re likely to help us piggyback to create even better ideas. So to kick things off here’s a couple of ideas…”Prescription #3. Diluting public speaking nervousness - Everyone experiences a level of nervous tension when speaking to a crowd. I get the same nervous energy whether I’m speaking to 3000 people or to a board of directors, it doesn’t go away but it’s impairment on me is minimal, thanks to inclusive language.Put on the spot most of us will use dictatorial language including phrases such as “I think that…”. “I know that…”. “It seems to me that the big problem is..” Dictatorial language includes the words I, me, myself. The problem with this language is that it subconsciously creates an arrogant undertone to the message that says ‘it’s all about me’. The others in the room subconsciously start to judge the person using these words thinking to themselves “who’s this upstart who thinks they can solve this problem? What would they know about the problem?” This subtle energy is projected by the audience to the speaker in the form of crossed arms and a closed attitude which is often picked up by the speaker. This increases the speaker’s nervousness which in turn increases the use of the words I, me, myself and things go downhill quickly.Accusatorial language is the other language we can default to when under pressure. This is when we use phrases such as “What you’ve failed to see is…” “what they haven’t done is..” What you need to do is…”. Accusatorial words include you, she, he, they.As you might imagine this accusatorial language sets an undertone to the message that puts the audience on defence and they become resentful that you are pointing the finger at them for the problem (often people will unconsciously point a finger when this accusatorial language happens) and the audience therefore shuts down to your ideas or solutions.The language that will not only reduce the nervousness as well as open the minds to the audience is to use inclusive words such as we, us, ours, together and an example would be to create a phrase such as “We are facing a challenge…” “Our problem has been…” “Together the best we we can approach this issue is..” For the audience hearing these words sets the mind-set that this person’s one of us and they’re in this together. It becomes more of a conversation than a presentation in their mind, even though you might be the only one who is speaking. The most important part is that because of using the words such as us, ours, together, we makes the speaker feel it’s more like a conversation and therefore the nervous tension is a lot less, because you’re just having a conversation. This might seem to be an absurd technique and yet it works. It works for an audience of 3000 or an audience of 3.Prescription #4. Turning a rejection into an approval or keeping your head held high if you get a ‘no’.Getting a ‘no’ for an idea happens often, yet we can often turn this into either a ‘yes’ for a modified idea or at least get a good reason for the ‘no’ and a possible path to another solution. To start with, if you get a ‘no’ ask why specifically it’s a no go. If they can’t do your first solution could you get away with something close to it, what would be a compromise? Use this as an opportunity to collaborate around the new solution. If you think the idea is a good one but could be used elsewhere it never hurts to ask if there might be another department or area that the solution might be applied. Remember that every rejection will have a number behind it. Keep coming up with enough solutions and you’ll usually get a ‘yes’ in the end.Rejection happens everyday, we simply need to desensitise ourselves to it. Get better at handling it by asking for an unusual request where you expect to get knocked back. For example “Could we recruit for another team member to help us in our next project?” You might get knocked back, but you were expecting it so it’s no biggie, and yet sometimes you’ll be surprised and get a yes. Preface the request with a way out for the person by saying “I think this is an unusual request and it’s totally fine to say no, yet I’d like to ask…”.Finally give them a reason for your request. Research shows that when we add a reason simply by adding the word ‘because’ we can increase the chance of a the request being accepted. For example “Can we poach Samara for the next project, because we’re adamant that she’ll be able to help us nail this project in half the time with her help…”ConclusionWhile there’s a number of obstacles to thinking on your feet like a genius, remember there’s a prescription to flip the situation:Obstacle #1. Politics - counter with ‘Piggyback’ on someone else’s original idea.Obstacle #2. Half baked ideas - counter by framing up the space before sharing your ideas. It’s important for us to share all our ideas even if they don’t solve the problem straight off, they’re likely to help us piggyback to create even better ideas.Obstacle #3. Public speaking nerves - reduce the nervousness and open the minds to the audience by using inclusive words such as we, us, ours, together. For example “We are facing a challengeObstacle #4. Rejection - counter the rejection by asking why specifically it’s a no go. Then see if you could get away with something close to it, what would be a compromise?Having these tactics up your sleeve will give you much more confidence and success in ‘thinking on your feet’ and being the star of the meeting.If you’re interested in a workshop or mentoring on this crucial skill of thinking on your feet. We’re here to help, contact us or check out our workshops or mentoring offer.Carpe DiemCheers,Nils


3 Oct 2019

Rank #4

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#10 Overcome your internal obstacles with high self efficacy

Obstacles, we all have them and yet the most common obstacle my clients (and myself) come across are those created by our own mind. In this podcast we deep dive into the power of self efficacy theory and how you can use it to overcome those mental obstacles to being that better professional, creating that big idea, hitting those targets you dream of and much much more.

20 Aug 2019

Rank #5

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#09 World Creativity & Innovation Week

www.Ideaswithlegs.com/giveawayThis week is the United Nations World creativity and innovation week and it’s important because it’s all about how to encourage creative and innovative thinking. And if the United Nations think it's important, I think we should all think it's important as well.Creativity and innovation play a major role on the economy. The Creative Economy is worth around $2.5 billion a year, and relates to the visual arts, design, new media performing arts, and publishing and generates close to about 13 million each and every year.The innovation economy is what the worlds business powerhouses are playing. Businesses such as Google and Facebook for example. So what that means is that innovation is extremely important not only to us as individuals as either knowledge workers or members of the community or business owners or people working organisation, it's also what we can do for society. The UN believe that innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship is one of the key catalysts for providing momentum to economic growth for job creation and expanding opportunities. Opportunities for everyone. That means workers, children, mothers, women. It means trying to provide solutions for big issues such as poverty and hunger.Innovation and creative thinking is one of the ways that we can help to solve these problems. Innovation can help us to solve existing problems that exist right here right now, and innovation can help us to prevent any future problems that might be arising in the future. Most importantly, innovation can help us to make the world safer for everyone.What I thought would be really cool was to share with you some classic Australian inventions and innovative thinking, because for many of our readers who are based in Australia, we often say that we're not very innovative here in Australia.So let's get stuck into them.The first one I want to talk to you about is called the ‘black box voice recorder’. In the 1950s Dr David Warren was looking at ways of improving flight safety. He was investigating an Australian plane by the name of the comet that just kept crashing. Tragically also for Dr. Warren, his father and died in a aeroplane accident, way back in the 1930s and that prompted him to look at ways of making flight safety, more accessible. Subsequently he invented the ‘black box’ recorder. Nowadays they are all bright orange so that they can be recovered easily.Another invention worth being aware of, was by an Australian of the Year, Professor Fiona Woods in 1999, Professor Woods heads up the major burns unit in a Western Australian Hospital. She was responsible for saving many lives after the horrible Bali bombing, many years ago. She invented ‘spray on skin’. Basically they take a certain amount of fresh skin and and put that into a petri dish and grow more skin from it and then spray this onto the burnt skin so that the damaged skin would repair it faster, reduce scarring and also reduce infection.Here's another one. Now this is going way back into the 1920’s, and it was the first pacemaker ever invented. Dr. Mark Lidwell and physicist Edgar Booth created a pacemaker that was attached to a needle and by injecting that needle into the heart, after 10minutes minutes of electrical stimulation a heart could be beating on it’s own an in correct rhythm.Google Maps is another invention that came out of Australia. Back in early 2000 there were two Danish brothers by the name of Lars and Jen's Rasmussen living in Sydney and they teamed up with two Australians Stephen Ma, and Neil Gordon, and together they founded a company called Where 2 technologies. Three years later, in 2003, Google bought them up and they continued to work on developing what is now known as Google Maps.Another Australian invention that I guarantee you use every day - Wi Fi. In 1992 john O'Sullivan and the CSRI developed Wi Fi.And for those of you who may be expecting a baby ultrasound scanning was another Australian invention. ‘Ausonics’ was a spin off of an Australian research team which was looking at the use of ultrasound, way back in the 1950s, but it was in 1976 when they first commercialised the ultra sound scanner and the rest is history. So if you're wondering where those scans come from. you can think the Australians for that one.The worlds first anti cancer vaccine was developed by two people in Australia in 2006. Professor Ian Fraser and Dr Jian Zhou created the research that led to the cervical cancer anti vaccine drug by the name of Gardasil.Some of you might be thinking, Oh it’s easy for professional inventors scientists and researchers to be innovative.The good news is that we can all be innovative and we all already have creative, and innovation skills. Yes you do. Remember when you were a kid you were a very curious creature. You asked questions, “Why…?’ You experimented by doing, and combining new things. Taking food and adding it to dirt.That's what innovation is. It's about combining things not usually combined before, it’s about pulling things apart and exploring. And the only reason why we've lost this is we are taught more about conformity, rather than creativity and that's what stifles so much about innovative thinking.So how can we bring back creative and innovative thinking? Simply put, first one would be to ask more questions. The power of your questions determines the quality of the solutions that you create. If you're not getting great ideas it’s probably because you're not asking the right type of questions. So get better at asking questions.Ask why do we want to solve this problem? Why is it not working at the moment? What would be a better solution?The second thing that we can do is get really good at experimenting. The motto for experimenting is ‘spend a little, learn a lot’.Chances are you’re up against some obstacles in your organisation. We have the CIK the chief ID killer at the top, and then we have the COO, the chief obstacle officer. We've got the CTO who is the chief thwarting officer and then we've got the CFO, the Chief Fear Officer, then underneath that we've got the misinformation manager, we've got the the risk analyst, the blame others technician and the process complexity advocate.If you're in an organisation like this It's time that you start to stand up for your right to innovate stand up for creating a better future, not only for your yourself, not only for your organisation, but for the industry and for the world that we live in there, when we can do that, we're going to create a better environment for all of us.One of the ways that we're celebrating this international creativity and innovation week is by giving a couple of giveaways.We're going to give away a number of innovation mentorship and number of innovation of our innovation books. To find out more about these him to www.ideaswithlegs.com/giveawaySo that's it for me. I hope that's given you some value by getting you to think about how innovation and creativity is important. Thanks for reading.Cheers,NilsFounder of Ideas with Legs | Innovation speaker | consultant | author

23 Apr 2019

Rank #6

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#08 Reinvent your message

Ever wondered why some messages get more cut-through and buy-in than others? 90% of the time it’s because they are unique, respond to an insight, and prompt an emotional response. The other 10% of the time is because it’s laden with humour.In this podcast I share some of the secrets to help you reinvent your message making. Whether you have a presentation to the boardroom, a pitch to a customer, or a keynote at a conference, the tips I share will help you nail it.


20 Mar 2019

Rank #7

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#07 Discover your innovative strengths

www.ideaswithlegs.com/innovation-strengths-finderEver wondered how innovative you are, or more importantly what ways you could become even more innovative by working in your strengths and working on your weaknesses? If you answered in the affirmative, then this podcast is for you. Nils Vesk unpacks how to assess your strengths and shares a prescription on how to improve to that next level.


7 Mar 2019

Rank #8

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#06 Profitable Pitches and Presentations

You have a great idea, and your boss or potential investors are waiting for your pitch. You have one chance to make a good first impression. Do you have what it takes to deliver a winning pitch? 🤔 Watch this video by innovation expert Nils Vesk as he shares his secrets to a compelling & effective presentation. You may also download our pitch & presenting tools for FREE on our website: http://bit.ly/2EBlfUl :)


5 Mar 2019

Rank #9

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#05 From boardroom panic to boardroom pay-rise

Ever been in a meeting where the pressure as on to create ideas on demand? Yet either you felt flat on your feet & failed to create any ideas, or the ideas you created were too lame to be useful.Sound familiar? I come across countless number of people who share with me the panic, fear and stress that can come when they have to create ideas and solutions under pressure.In this podcast I share some of my most successful step by step techniques on how to create insights and ideas to complex problems in rapid succession. Meaning you can save your job, increase your reputation, and increase your pay-packet.


20 Feb 2019

Rank #10