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Josh Linkner

Award-Winning Entrepreneur & Creativity Expert

Bio

Josh Linkner personifies innovation, entrepreneurship, and breakthrough disruption. Beginning his career as a jazz guitarist, Josh has now been the founder and CEO of five tech companies, which sold for a combined value of more than $200 million. Through his inspiring keynotes, Josh delivers a clear call to action — organizations must innovate and disrupt before their competition does.

A New York Times bestselling author, Josh is an internationally recognized expert on innovation, disruption, hyper-growth leadership, and applied creativity. His first book, Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity, became one of the most definitive works on the topic of innovation, and has since been published in 13 languages. His other two books, The Road to Reinvention: How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate Transformation and Hacking Innovation: The New Growth Model from the Sinister World of Hackers, have both received critical acclaim for pushing the boundaries of business leaders worldwide.

Josh is the founding partner of Detroit Venture Partners, where he invests in and/or mentors more than 100 startups. He also serves as chairman and co-founder of Platypus Labs, an innovation research, enablement, and consulting firm.

Josh has twice been named the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year and is a President Barack Obama Champion of Change award recipient. He is a regular columnist for Forbes, The Detroit Free Press, and Inc. His work on innovation has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, CNN, and The New York Times.

Topics

Josh Linkner delivers inspiring and actionable keynotes to drive meaningful outcomes worldwide. He is the perfect balance between energizing and practical; entertaining and result-focused; fun and impactful. As an innovation keynote speaker, New York Times Bestselling Author, successful five-time entrepreneur, venture capitalist, national columnist and well-respected jazz musician, Josh blends deep, real-world experience with a magnetic stage presence to help people and organizations thrive. Every talk is customized to drive the biggest possible impact, combining engaging stories, gorgeous visuals, and practical techniques that push audiences to jumpstart their creative energy and solve challenges in fresh, innovative ways.

Speaker Categories:

  • Disruptive Innovation
  • Innovation and Creativity
  • Leadership
  • Entrepreneurship & Small Business
  • CEOs, Upper Management & Business Leaders

FIND YOUR SPARK: INSPIRING GROWTH, INNOVATION, DISRUPTION, AND ACTION +

A spark. A flash of creative brilliance. A new beginning. The energy to forge ahead when things get tough.

What if we could cultivate and deploy this white-hot, mighty force? What if we injected sparks of innovation, competitive advantage, and sustainable growth into our organizations? Whether it’s mustering the courage to take that first step, or harnessing the creative soul of your team to ignite wide-sweeping transformation, it’s time to create sparks so powerful they can’t be ignored.

The long-awaited breakthrough idea. The inspiration to drive change. The unexpected solution to a burdensome problem. The beginning of unstoppable momentum.

In this inspiring and actionable keynote, famed tech entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author provides a memorable performance to help you cultivate those powerful, combustible forces. Through real-world examples, hysterically funny stories, and practical takeaways, Josh will help you and your organization find your spark.  --

HARNESSING INNOVATION: TURNING RAW IDEAS INTO POWERFUL RESULTS +

As a four-time successful tech entrepreneur and investor in dozens of startups, Josh Linkner has seen thousands of companies loaded with creative buzz and big ideas. How is it that some harness their imagination to create game-changing drivers of growth and innovation while others miss the mark?  The answer: the best companies have a systematic process to focus their team’s creativity into practical outputs – something Linkner discovered by founding and building companies that collectively sold for over $200 million. As a professional-level jazz guitarist, Linkner blends the improvisational qualities of a jazz ensemble with bleeding-edge business savvy to bring a completely fresh perspective on unleashing creativity in the organization.  His inspiring presentation delivers practical tools that can be used immediately to increase creative output and deliver bottom-line results.  You’ll learn to:

  • Use specific techniques to harness your most powerful ideas;
  • Apply creativity on a daily basis across all business activities and roles;
  • Break free from the three biggest blockers of creativity;
  • Apply best practices from the world’s most innovative companies;
  • Avoid the five biggest creativity killers;
  • Master the three most powerful brainstorming techniques that you’ve never even heard of;
  • Build a culture that celebrates fresh thinking and embraces new ideas. --

HACKING INNOVATION: THE NEW GROWTH MODEL FROM THE SINISTER WORLD OF HACKERS +

With intense competitive pressures and mind-numbing speed, leaders seek fresh approaches for growth and innovation. As old methods become commoditized, new creative problem-solving techniques are needed more than ever. Drawing inspiration from the unlikely world of hackers, NY Times bestselling author and 5-time tech entrepreneur Josh Linkner has discovered a new and powerful model for leadership and organizational success. The underworld of cybercriminals contains some of the most creative people on the planet, despite their illicit motives. In this thrilling and provocative talk, Linkner takes the audience on a mind-opening journey, showing how hacking techniques can be deployed to drive legitimate business outcomes. Learning how hackers would solve your most pressing challenges using unorthodox approaches will give you a new framework for creative problem solving, growth, and innovation. You’ll learn:

  • Specific tools and techniques from the Five Core Mindsets and Ten Primary Tactics of Hackers
  • Fresh approaches to complex problem solving
  • How a hacker would approach your work if he or she had your job
  • Why unorthodox moves can lead to the best business outcomes
  • How to protect yourself and your company from innovation hackers of all sizes and types --

THE GRAVITY-DEFYING LEADER: INNOVATIVE APPROACHES TO HYPER-GROWTH LEADERSHIP +

With disruptive forces assaulting business from every direction, creativity has been labeled the single-most important business attribute.  To succeed, leaders must be focused on creating a resilient culture where everyone’s engaged; a torrent of fresh, creative ideas needs to flow from every level of the organization.  Top leaders then employ a secret weapon: a systematic approach to selecting and launching the ideas that will best drive growth and innovation.  Josh Linkner weighs in with a fresh perspective on this critical leadership challenge.  A highly successful serial entrepreneur and now a tech investor, Linkner shows leaders how to employ his simple but effective framework to ramp up the creativity and identify/launch ideas that will break through and defy gravity. This presentation will help leaders:

  • Challenge assumptions and conventional wisdom;
  • Build courage to foster responsible risk taking;
  • Authentically express your own creativity and tap into the hidden creativity of your team members;
  • Develop "everyday creativity" to attack business problems of all sizes;
  • Deploy creativity beyond R&D to reimagine processes, drive efficiency, and improve operations;
  • Uncover fresh approaches for reinvention and growth. --

ENTREPRENEURIAL FIRE: THINK AND ACT LIKE A STARTUP (EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT) +

Entrepreneurs look at the world differently.  We celebrate them for their bold vision and courage - they drive game-changing innovation that creates enormous economic success while making a profound impact on the world. What is it about the entrepreneurial mindset that helps these mavericks seize opportunity that others miss? A five-time successful tech entrepreneur, Linkner shows leaders and organizations how to embrace the creativity, grit, and vision of a startup and then channel this approach to drive growth, innovation, efficiency, and customer delight. Josh Linkner decodes the entrepreneurial DNA to help leaders of any size company in any industry or profession:

  • Understand how an entrepreneur would attack their organization with the specific goal of dislodging it;
  • Reimagine their role through the lens of an entrepreneur;
  • Harness the ferocity of entrepreneurial thinking;
  • Embrace “startup speed” to increase velocity in your own organization;
  • Learn the five best approaches used by startups to create disruption;
  • Avoid the weaknesses that plague entrepreneurs by exposing the four biggest startup death traps. --

THE MUSIC OF BUSINESS: TRANSLATING IMPROVISATIONAL THINKING FROM THE JAZZ STAGE TO THE BUSINESS WORLD +

Be prepared to be amazed. Josh Linkner, a jazz guitarist since age 14, credits a musical background for giving him a different way of looking at business. In this stunning interactive presentation, a live jazz performance by Josh and his band is woven with stimulating dialogue.  You’ll actually hear, through their music, fresh ways to unleash your organization’s creative mojo.  In jazz, 99% of the notes are improvised; created in real-time. Yet it’s the structure of a jazz combo – not the inherent talent of individual musicians – that allows for such breathtaking creative expression. In today’s business landscape of dizzying speed, exponential complexity, and ruthless competition, we can no longer just play the notes on the written page. You will learn powerful lessons inspired by jazz musicians (a/k/a "real-time innovators") to help you:

  • Develop your own ability to improvise, no matter what job title you hold;
  • Establish team dynamics that foster creative thinking and risk taking;
  • Uncover fresh approaches to previously unchallenged assumptions;
  • Break free from traditional thinking and uncover vast new possibilities;
  • Learn 5 secret techniques used by jazz musicians to foster creativity, which can easily be adapted to your own organization;
  • Expand your ability to deal with ambiguity and recover from setbacks. --

Josh Linkner is represented by K&M Productions. For more information, Josh Linkner's speaking schedule, fees & booking speaker Josh Linkner, contact us.

What Clients are Saying

Thank you a million times over—you nailed it with the presentation yesterday and it was spot on for our team! You sparked so many follow-on discussions yesterday and were a continued theme throughout our meeting—people are already brainstorming great new ideas about how to implement small innovations and use your tips to break down barriers on our teams.

–American Express

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Thank you a million times over—you nailed it with the presentation yesterday and it was spot on for our team! You sparked so many follow-on discussions yesterday and were a continued theme throughout our meeting—people are already brainstorming great new ideas about how to implement small innovations and use your tips to break down barriers on our teams.

–American Express

The message about creativity and innovation was excellent. It was clear, well researched, engaging and kept the attention of the audience. Your use of stories, facts and humor made the time fly by. I had several people come up to me afterword and thank me for having you come in and speak to the group. They were energized and excited to put the principles in play.

–Quicken Loans

We truly appreciate how your keynote talk set the stage for the day and inspired the audience with innovative ideas, empowered them with the knowledge we can all be creative, and how you customized your session so we all felt that you knew FedEx intimately and were talking directly to us. Great job! Really enjoyed it.

–FedEx

I felt compelled to let you know how blown away I was by your presentation to us yesterday in London.  It was quite literally one of the most motivating and thought provoking 2 hours of my professional career.

–Heineken

Josh did a tremendous job and his creativity message resonated perfectly with the audience and was right on target.

–National Association of REALTORS

Thank you for not only a great presentation but for challenging our team to make that next step forward. I got stopped multiple times and the feedback was very positive, 'That was great', 'Wow – he really got us', 'A great wake-up call', 'Makes me want to do better’. A big thank you for your straight forward handling of the questions. Even the questions were a bit of a wake-up call for the team. Your energy, story, tips and drive were exceptional.

–Steve Smith, Vice President IT, GEICO

Josh has unmatched ability to embrace innovation. At his repeated visits to Viacom, Josh has consistently offered the strategic ideas and practical techniques necessary to drive creative thinking.

–Nia Bates, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Viacom

On a dreary winter afternoon, Josh raised the energy level at our quarterly team meeting with thought-provoking discussion on creativity and leadership. His passion is contagious. The concepts discussed were supported with both qualitative and quantitative data so it appealed to both left and right-brained colleagues. We were engaged throughout and left the meeting fired up!

–Deloitte Consulting

I just wanted to drop you an email to say a big thanks again for the input today. The feedback I have heard has been incredibly positive, and I think it really contributed to the strong outcomes for the real work we went on to do over the day.  It was definitely the first time I’ve heard someone from Sony Japan feedback to a room as Yoda! I also really appreciated how you tailored you message to the audience from the discussions in the weeks prior to the program.

–Sony

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