Ask about Josh Linkner
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Key Points
  • Josh Linkner is a five-time tech entrepreneur and hyper-growth CEO.
  • New York Times bestselling author, venture capitalist, professional jazz guitarist.
  • Host of Creative Troublemakers Podcast.
  • Keynote speaker on a mission to drive creativity, innovation, and reinvention.
Topics
  • Big little breakthrough
    How small, everyday ideas drive gigantic results The pressure to generate big ideas can feel overwhelming

    We know that bold innovations are critical in these disruptive and competitive times, but when it comes to breakthrough thinking, we often freeze up.

    Instead of shooting for a $10 billion IPO or a Nobel Prize, the most prolific innovators focus instead on Big Little Breakthroughs – small, creative acts that unlock massive rewards over time. By building a daily habit of creativity, leaders and organizations not only enjoy a high volume of small wins, but also the daily practice of micro-innovations — the fastest route to discover the massive breakthroughs we seek.

    How did a convicted drug dealer use a Big Little Breakthrough to launch and scale a massively successful fitness company? Why was a nurse practitioner able to use daily micro-innovations to solve healthcare problems that the biggest corporations couldn’t crack? How did a tattoo lead to a 30% boost in performance for a publicly traded restaurant company?

    Big Little Breakthroughs isn’t just for propeller-head inventors, fancy pants CEOs, or hoodie-donning tech billionaires. Rather, it is a simple yet effective method for all of us to cultivate the power of human creativity. Focusing on a simple and deliberate approach to daily practice, the system enables people from all backgrounds, training, and walks of life to expand their creative skillset and mindset. It helps everyday individuals and leaders unlock inventive thinking and harness innovation to tackle tough challenges and seize bold opportunities.

    The Big Little Breakthroughs framework provides a specific and practical approach to unlocking dormant creative capacity. Instead of wild, risky and expensive moonshots, participants learn to unleash small, daily creative acts to drive gigantic results over time. In fact, cultivating high volumes of micro-innovations not only de-risks the creative process, it builds the much-needed skills that lead to colossal transformations...and the creative confidence to take responsible risks.

  • Find a way
    Expand creative problem solving to tackle the challenges of COVID-19

    In these uncertain times, we can no longer rely on the models of the past and expect the same results. How can we confront the new realities of the COVID-19 era and emerge stronger and better equipped?

    Creative problem solving has long been the core ingredient in overcoming adversity and seizing new opportunities. In this inspiring keynote, famed tech entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author Josh Linkner explores the realities, challenges, and opportunities created by COVID-19 and delivers an inspiring path forward. Participants will learn specific techniques and leave both
    energized and better equipped to conquer challenges and seize possibilities.

    How can leaders bounce back and recover after facing painful setbacks? How can creative resilience be harnessed to conquer adversity? How can we rewrite the rules after a massive sea change like the coronavirus?

    In this high-energy session, participants will see how creative problem solving can become their most powerful resource. They’ll uncover practical tools to unlock inventive thinking and win even against daunting odds and unprecedented challenges.

  • The 5 mindsets of innovation
    How the world’s most innovative leaders think and act

    Having interviewed hundreds of top innovators, leaders and organizations around the world, New York Times bestselling author and tech entrepreneur Josh Linkner uncovered the five most powerful mindsets that are the building blocks for jawdropping innovation. In this high-energy keynote, your audience will learn to embrace these powerful approaches in order to conquer adversity and fuel growth.

    How did an oddball idea save the cattle industry over $1 billion? How did a large hotel chain create a new revenue stream and drive competitive differentiation without investing a penny? How did the leaders of a small organization stave off a near-certain extinction, even when they were overwhelmingly outmatched by a powerful enemy?

    Each mindset is reinforced through surprising, real-world examples, laugh out loud moments, and practical takeaways. The five mindsets are portable and can be applied immediately to any role, job function, or industry. This memorable session will leave your audience inspired, moved, and better equipped.

  • The music of business
    Problem solving, collaboration and agility from the dangerous world of jazz music

    Live jazz is an art form that equates to real-time innovation. To even navigate through a single song, jazz musicians must collaborate, adapt to rapidly changing circumstances, and make decisions in the face of ambiguity. As the baton of leadership gets passed from one musician to the next, individual contributors are constantly course correcting, inventing, and creatively solving problems.

    Sounds just like your organization, doesn’t it?

    In this unique and memorable keynote, jazz guitarist and tech entrepreneur Josh Linkner uses a live musical performance as a metaphor for modern, innovative collaboration. Josh and his fellow musicians lead the audience on a musical journey, sharing an insider’s look at this stunning art form. Through the lens of a jazz musician, participants will gain a fresh perspective and new techniques for creative problem solving, improved collaboration, and real-time agility.

    This mesmerizing session’s finale features live audience participation. After helping to ”compose” a new jazz song, three audience members join the band and perform their new composition live in front of their peers (no musical experience necessary). Participants are given handheld percussion instruments - along with some fun props and costumes - and together with Josh and his fellow musicians, the group performs for the audience. This live performance brings the key learning principles to life, always ending in a cheering crowd and terrific pictures for social media.

  • The creativity upgrade
    Lead your team to the next level of innovation, growth, and sustainable success

    On a regular basis, we upgrade our cars, software, and wardrobe. But when was the last time you upgraded your imagination? Isn’t it about time to give your team a boost of inventive thinking, creative problem solving, and everyday innovation to drive better outcomes?

    From your upgrade, you will:
    • In this inspiring keynote, Josh will help your team grow, as both business leaders and as people. Your audience will learn to solve problems in creative, nontraditional ways and expand their creative capacity to drive growth and sustainable success.
    • Your group will laugh hysterically, feel thoroughly energized, get deeply inspired, and leave better equipped. Now that’s an upgrade that’s simply irresistible.
    • Learn and understand the mindsets of innovators.
    • Grasp the need for – and urgency – of change.
    • Become inspired to take action and forge a new path.
    • Acquire specific techniques for creative problem solving.
    • Leverage human imagination to outpunch the competition.
    • Understand how and where to use inventive thinking to fuel growth.
    • Discover fresh possibilities with heightened level of creative awareness.
    • Recognize that we are all creative, and that everyday innovation is accessible for every role and job function.
    • Demystify the creative process.
    • Emerge with specific tools to close the Creativity Gap to achieve full potential.
    • Launch a new version of you – as a powerful creative force.

      In this inspiring keynote, Josh will help your team grow, as both business leaders and as people. Your audience will learn to solve problems in creative, nontraditional ways and expand their creative capacity to drive growth and sustainable success.

      Your group will laugh hysterically, feel thoroughly energized, get deeply inspired, and leave better equipped. Now that’s an upgrade that’s simply irresistible.

  • Think and act like a start up
    How celebrity entrepreneurs generate game-changing solutions

    Have you ever wondered how Oprah and Bill Gates think and act behind the scenes? How do the entrepreneurs we revere invent bold ideas, do more with less, and change the world as a result? What would happen if the founder of Snapchat or Zoom joined your organization?

    Tech startups aren’t the only ones who can think differently. We can all use this same creative thinking in our own careers, companies, and communities.

    In this energizing and surprising keynote, five-time tech entrepreneur and venture capital investor Josh Linkner demystifies startup thinking and shares a specific methodology that we can put into practice immediately. Audience members will learn to embrace the creativity, grit, and vision of a startup and then channel this approach to drive growth, innovation, efficiency, and customer delight. Participants get an insider’s look as Josh Linkner decodes startup thinking to help leaders of any size company in any industry or profession:
    • Understand how an entrepreneur would attack their organization with the specific goal of dislodging it.
    • Reimagine their role through the lens of an entrepreneur.
    • Harness the ferocity of entrepreneurial thinking.
    • Embrace “startup speed” to increase velocity in their own organizations.
    • Learn the five best approaches used by startups to create disruption.
    • Avoid the weaknesses that plague entrepreneurs by exposing the four biggest startup death traps.
Testimonials

Josh, as always you are amazing. It is quite obvious that you took the time to prepare to bring everything you have. Thank you for your coaching and support throughout. I am sending you so much gratitude. You amaze me…always!
Vice President
The Coca-Cola Company

When Josh speaks, business improves.
Earvin “Magic” Johnson

Linkner hit the ball out of the park!
Vice President
ABC Television

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

Terrific! Our people were very engaged and had some great takeaways. You definitely make an impact.
ESPN

Powerful!
Co-Founder
AOL

A journey that will lead to better ideas and breakthrough thinking.
Executive Chairman
Ford Motor Company

Great flair and skill.
Land O’ Lakes

Josh, you did an incredible job! What a wonderful way to kick off our 2nd day.
Senior Talent Consultant
Lincoln Financial Group

We were thrilled with Josh! He set the tone for a great conference! Thanks for all of your help!
Operations Manager
Pfizer

Thank you for everything, Josh! You did great as always and everyone was very happy. Look forward to working with you again very soon.
Program Manager
American Express

Awesome, awesome, awesome!!! Thank you, Josh, you nailed your message and nicely incorporated our company into your talk.
Gregory F. Molinar, Ph.D.
Medtronic

Thanks again for giving a very inspiring and thought-provoking speech. Members of the team were blown away by your message and walked away with tools to succeed in their role as innovators.
Director, Office of the President Mid-Atlantic
Permanente Medical Group, P.C

Josh Linkner is a truly special entrepreneur; Part of a rare breed.
CEO
Groupon

Josh – I wanted to send you a quick note and thank you for your involvement at our Leadership Conference. Your presentation was critical and signaled our commitment to a different approach. I received positive feedback from many who attended the conference. You made a difference which is what we all try to accomplish each day. Thank you again!
Sr. Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Key Safety Systems

Josh, I just wanted to send a sincere thank you for your participation in our OC event. You were an undeniable smash hit! There were tons of comments on how useful your talk was, and they were even using your language (the judo chop, getting scrappy etc…) the rest of the day. I look forward to collaborating in the future!
Head of Leadership Development
Avanade Inc

Entertaining and enlightening.
Visa

Thank you so much! You were a pleasure to work with and a meeting planner’s dream. Thank you for being so flexible and being so great and delivering an exceptionally tailored talk to our group. People are still raving about it today. Thanks again!
CMP Event Program Manager, International
Facility Management

You’ve had a huge impact on our group and the way I approach business.
CBRE

Josh, great talk the other day. Thanks for being a part of the overall experience. I can definitely say you left a terrific impression with my team. Lots of good discussion later that evening at dinner and the next day on your messages and the way you delivered them.
Group President
Magna Exteriors

Josh, you were fantastic and an absolute delight to work with. Wow – what can I say except a huge THANK YOU. Your presentation was so excellent and a wonderful way to kick off our Annual Meeting. I heard so many of our members making reference to your presentation throughout the Meeting. And, signing books for two hours was a true testimonial to how well your presentation resonated with our members. Plus, you were a pure delight to work with... very low maintenance.
Chief Learning Officer
ASAE

Josh is an outstanding public speaker and leader. His creativity and experiences as a business leader, entrepreneur and artist comes through in his topics and speeches. He is able to create innovative subject matter from today’s issues and make them relevant and interesting to all audiences. Josh uses relevant facts about today’s market challenges, industry and your company to adapt his discussions to be truly impactful to the audience which he is presenting. I think he is a unique talent who is challenging the norms of public speaking. I work with Josh directly and would highly recommend him to any leader looking to motivate and challenge their people.
Global Coordinating Service Partner
EY

We very much enjoyed your talk and workshop. You created just the right finish and exclamation point in our program. The feedback from our team – amazing, energizing messages, entertaining and humorous, actionable learnings, things people can do right away.
Managing Director
Intel Security

The State Department would like to express our sincere thanks. It has truly been a great success working with Josh.
U.S. Department of State

Thank YOU!! You were incredible, everyone loved you!!!
Senior Director, Education & Accreditation
NACHA

Josh, it was a pleasure meeting you backstage at ACUC. You did a fantastic job in your presentation. We received lots of positive feedback.
Chief Operating Officer & Chief of Staff
Credit Union National Association, Inc.

Your speech was incredibly relevant for us and brilliantly funny.
Avanade Inc.

Josh was a hit! He really engaged the audience while sharing a message of value to help release their creativity. Thank you for a successful event!
President
The National Society of Leadership and Success

More impactful than you can imagine.
Evanta

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.
Director Public Affairs
American Express

I just wanted to drop you an email to say a big thanks again for 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 give feedback to a room as Yoda! I also really appreciated how you tailored your message to the audience from the discussions in the weeks prior to the program.
Sony

You were amazing this morning! I heard so many positive comments from customers that it was interesting, inspiring and they found some practical things they could use. Plus, you incorporated our industry and audience so well! Great job!!! You rocked it.
Transitions Optical

Thank you for inspiring our Licensed Operators and our Leadership Team to think differently about the business and about what’s next. Your insights and perspectives complimented our team’s message and it strengthened the company’s position with our owner-operators.
Pearle Vision Centers

I again want to tell you how inspiring your words were. Your passion was absolutely magnetic.
Gannett

It was our pleasure to have you and a personal thrill to not only meet you, but to get a chance to talk to you a bit. I really appreciate that and can honestly say you are the most gracious speaker I’ve ever worked with. I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews and positive feedback on your address, and I’ve been stopped multiple times by people wanting to thank us for having you speak. Thanks again for everything. It’s very much appreciated.
Conference Manager
American Society for Quality

Josh … I’m sure I speak for everyone in the GEICO IT organization when I say that we thoroughly enjoyed your presentation. Your talk was both inspiring and motivational; and far exceeded our expectations. Thank you again for doing a great job and it was a pleasure to meet you.
Manager IT Training & GEICO University
GEICO

Josh was great! His message was a perfect fit. I heard nothing but wonderful compliments from our attendees about Josh’s presentation. Everything tied together really well throughout the entire conference. Josh’s opening keynote was an amazing start to our very successful conference!
Director of Professional Development
LeadingAge, Michigan

Josh Linkner made a huge impact on our organization. His message on creativity and innovation was spot-on and his work has had a lasting effect. After hiring him for one conference where he was voted the top speaker by far, we promptly invited him back to present to a larger audience. His keynote was high-energy, interactive, and left us with specific tools and techniques to improve our creative output.
CEO
Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Australia

I thoroughly enjoyed your talk yesterday – as I said I have seen many speakers and you stood out as one of the best.
CEO
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services

Josh’s energy, enthusiasm and love for what he does really shines through. He also puts the right balance of simple, concise messages with humor. Yet at the same time you know he is serious by the examples of what he does with his own business. The presentation and content were both a ‘10’.
VP Events
Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Awesome! Best speaker in 15 years! Just what our group needed.
Director, Administration
Governance and Board Relations at Beaumont Health

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.
Director of Strategic Partnerships
Viacom

Josh, THANK YOU… You knocked it out of the park for us. It is a great honor to have had you speak.
Director of Marketing
Lean Logistics, Inc.

OUTSTANDING. Every example resonated. We need to have you back. You nailed it. Exactly what we wanted.
CEO
US Bank

We have worked with Josh Linkner many times in the past, and he never ceases to amaze or please us. He is one of the easiest speakers in the industry with whom to work. Add on top of that that he is scary smart, incredibly engaging, and the consummate performer – and the combination is unbeatable. Each time we work together he brings something new to the table – this year hiring local musicians to round out a jazz trio that he led on guitar. Weaving the musical element into his presentation on creativity really elevated the entire experience. We love Josh and look forward to our next adventure together.
CEO
ManageCamp, Inc.

Your presentation was phenomenal. I’m leaving today with renewed energy, ideas and enthusiasm.
Associated Financial Group

THANK YOU!!!! Your session was fantastic and based on all the comments I received onsite it was the top-rated session.
Senior Manager Business Solutions
PPG Industries

It has been such a great experience and opportunity to work with you. Our entire team and our clients have totally and thoroughly enjoyed your presentation and have taken so many great ideas away from it. Your feedback scores average 98% so far from D.C. to Atlanta! You are a huge hit with everyone and we so appreciate the energy, enthusiasm, excellent content and delivery that you bring to each conference. It has been an honor and a pleasure meeting and working with you. You are so accomplished and yet so humble. You are truly unique. A great leader and a wonderful example for so many.
Marketing Manager
Fidelity Investments

I am sure you hear it a lot, but you were fantastic – truly inspired the audience and I continue to hear great things. Thanks for taking the time to make your message Genesys and industry specific — really nailed it.
Genesys Telecommunications

One of the most creative thinkers on the planet.
President
Public Words

Your presentation was filled with great energy and new ways of thinking. It created a buzz throughout our team. I cannot even count how many commented on your presentation and how great it was and that they really needed to hear this type of content.
NOKIA

Compelling, insightful, and practical.
eBay

Josh, 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 straightforward 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.
Vice President IT
GEICO

Your presentation was fantastic and really delivered on our theme. We’ve heard nothing but great feedback about the information you shared and have no doubt many of our teams will be using the ‘role-storming’ model for future brainstorming sessions. It was a pleasure working with you and we appreciated the effort you put in to ensuring the presentation met the meeting objectives and was relevant and entertaining for our broad audience.
Chief of Staff North America
GSK Consumer Healthcare

Josh Linkner is the perfect model of what one should want from a speaker. During the planning and preparation period, he is accessible, flexible, engaged, attentive, and truly invested in understanding the client, the objectives, and the desired outcomes. He makes himself available for phone calls, answers emails, and generally provides a level of confidence that he is going to deliver the goods. And then he does. His passion and love for championing and teaching creativity is clear in his energy, his well-designed stories/case studies, and in the overall presentation of his topic. Add his pleasant demeanor and overall likeability to his deep subject matter expertise and you’ve got the total package. If you are thinking of working with Josh, stop thinking – just do it.
CEO
Brand Manage Camp

Energizing!
CEO
Quicken Loans

Hey Josh, you were AMAZING! Thank you so much for your awesome message, it is exactly what our community needed. I have already heard so many people say it was great and made an impact on them. Thank you again, you are a rock star.
Executive Director
Asheville Chamber of Commerce

Thank you so much for keynoting The Marketing Forum. Your presentation was perfectly on target! It was just what we had discussed; targeted for this audience, combining a 30,000-mile view with specific takeaways to implement now.
Conference Manager
Richmond Events

Josh brought a great source of refreshing content about creativity in business that was just what our Inc. GrowCo Conference needed. His energy and enthusiasm about the topic inspired attendees and gave them takeaways to implement in their own companies. Josh has a strong stage presence and was extremely easy to work with.
Director of Events
Inc. Magazine

Hi Josh. I just wanted to reach out and tell you how much I enjoyed working with you and your team in preparation for our event. Our members really enjoyed what you had to say and the inspirational manner in which you expressed yourself. I was standing in the back during your keynote, and one of our long-time members who often facilitates for us, turned and gave me a thumbs up, whispering “He’s
gooooood.
Association for Retail Environments

Amazing!
Group M

Josh, I can tell you with a 1000% confidence that you have opened minds of our people. The buzz and excitement following your presentation was palpable.
Innovation Program Senior Manager
Moss Adams

His passion is contagious.
Deloitte Consulting

Josh, Thanks for a simply magnificent job yesterday with our Cox Automotive leadership team. You hit it outta the park. Folks were still talking about you last night. This was dynamic for all.
CEO
Cox Automotive

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

I want to personally thank you for keynoting our industry event and delivering the most dynamic presentation I have seen in the 21 years since the event was started. Large events like these require audience engagement and you were able to deliver that through your multi-media presentation, Q&A, and sheer force of personality. Your creativity topic hit home to every leader in the room. My only regret is we should have had you address the attendees at the very beginning of the conference to set the tone for our entire event. Thank you again for sharing your energy, passion, and skill to our industry conference.
Publishing Director
Industry Week

It was quite literally one of the most motivating and thought provoking two hours of my professional career. I was blown away!
Heineken