tim hurson

Speaker, L&D


Tim Hurson

Creative Problem Solving and Productive Thinking

With an energetic blend of insight, humour, and practicality, Tim Hurson teaches audiences around the world the why and how of developing and applying creative intelligence. Whether you’re a manager or an artist, whether you work alone or in a group, you can think better, do better, and be better by unlock your creative intelligence. Creative intelligence transforms good work into great work, and potential becomes reality.

Throughout his career, Hurson has helped global organizations—in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia —with innovation, new product, and business model-transformation programs. He has presented on productive thinking and creative leadership to business, government, academic, professional, and not-for-profit audiences in more than 40 countries.

Hurson is a faculty member of the Creative Education Foundation, the European Creativity Association, and the South African Creativity Association. He is an executive advisor to several incubator/accelerators, and he chairs the Sidney J Parnes Fellowship Program of the Creative Education Foundation.

Hurson’s book, Never Be Closing, was selected as one of the fifteen best self-help books of 2014 by the Oprah Winfrey Network and named one of the seven most useful how-to-sell books of 2014 by Inc magazine. His book, Think Better, is used in business schools around the world, has been translated into 8 languages, and was named as one of The Globe and Mail’s “Ten Best Business Books” in 2008. He is currently working on his third book. PRAXIS: the art of doing anything better.


The Shock of the Possible: transforming the impossible into the inevitable

What’s Impossible? Look around you. Most of what you see was made by human beings (or our machines). And every single one of those things was once thought to be impossible. Every one — from the computer you’re using to the chair you’re sitting on, to the controlled climate you’re sitting in, to the clothes you’re wearing. Once impossible — now as normal as breathing in and out.

There is only one definition of impossible that makes any sense. Impossible doesn’t define what can’t be done. It simply labels what hasn’t been done yet.

In this inspirational session Tim will tell you stories that will shock you — not with the horror of war or the misery of poverty or the tragedy of loss — but with the infinite creativity of people who refused to submit to impossibility.

He’ll also offer you a set of creative keys that anyone can use to unlock the potential hidden in any challenge — to transform the impossible into the inevitable.

Throughout history, our greatest thinkers and leaders have always known that impossible is temporary, impossible has no staying power, impossible is no match for human ingenuity. All we need is the will. The only chains that shackle us are the chains we ourselves have forged. And as Tim will demonstrate, recognizing those chains is the first step to breaking them.

The Structure of Creativity: Seven Keys to Unlock Productive Thinking

In 490 BCE, a young soldier named Pheidippides, ran to Athens to report the victory at Marathon 40k away. He dropped dead as soon as he delivered the news.

Today, over 800,000 people complete marathons every year. Half of them are middle aged and older. Not only don’t most of them drop dead, but many complete the distance faster than Pheidippides did.

How can 50+ year-olds perform better than Athenian warriors? The answer is simple: Structure. Human beings have figured out structures to train more productively, run more efficiently, and hydrate more effectively. If we can develop structures to help us perform better physically, doesn’t it make sense that we can develop structures to help us think better too?

Let Tim show you the simple Productive Thinking structures he and his ThinkX colleagues use to help innovation clients think more productively, more effectively, and more creatively. By using these straight-forward tools, you and the people you work with will have more ideas, better ideas, and more implementable ideas — more of the time. Guaranteed.

PRAXIS: Lead Better by Helping Others Do Better

In both our business and personal lives, we often overestimate what we can achieve overnight—and underestimate what we can achieve over time. We fail to leverage the simple truth that the process of getting better—at anything—is in fact a process.

By learning the steps to that process and deploying appropriate tools, people at any skill level can improve their performance in any area of their work and personal lives. We can learn to collaborate better, lead better, or perform better. Human beings are learning organisms. We are programmed to improve. We just need to know how.

The PRAXIS methodology—built on the work of thinkers and scientists from Socrates to Carl Rogers to Hannah Arendt to David Kolb—offers leaders a framework and tools to lead better by promoting and modeling a simple, repeatable process for helping their reports do better—become better followers, better thinkers, better collaborators, and better leaders themselves.

Never Be Closing: A Step-by-Step Guide to Productive Selling

In this keynote, based on his book Never Be Closing *, Tim outlines eleven key steps in transforming run-of-the-mill sales call into productive selling experiences — from getting a yes to your request for a meeting, to establishing credibility, orchestrating a productive conversation, and delivering USE-fulness — Understanding, Sourcing, Exchanging — to build not just sales, but relationships. In the end you’ll see why Tim says, “From the outside, it looks like natural selling. From the inside it just looks like the next step.”

 

* Penguin Portfolio (NY), 2014. Never Be Closing: How to Sell Better Without Screwing Your Clients, Your Colleagues, or Yourself has been called the most important advance in sales since Neil Rackham’s SPIN Selling.

The Sales Conversation — How Star Wars Can Help You Sell Better

In this keynote, based on his book Never Be Closing *, Tim demonstrates how a productive sales conversation is like Star Wars, and how using a three-act story-telling structure can transform your sales meetings into value-adds for both you and your clients. Tim shows you how you can earn the right to ask probing questions (with one of eight proven pathways to credibility), design discoveries that reveal client needs, ask catalytic questions that reframe client perceptions, and deliver USE-fulness — Understanding, Sourcing, Exchanging — to build not just sales, but relationships.

 

* Penguin Portfolio (NY), 2014. Never Be Closing: How to Sell Better Without Screwing Your Clients, Your Colleagues, or Yourself has been called the most important advance in sales since Neil Rackham’s SPIN Selling.

Never Be Closing: The Tools of the Trade

In this keynote, based on his book Never Be Closing *, Tim outlines the key tools for turning run-of-the-mill sales calls into productive sales conversations. You’ll learn how to transform your meeting notes into meeting drivers, how to ask catalytic questions that reframe your clients’ perceptions, how to conduct After Action Reviews that make every sales experience a growth opportunity, and how to deliver USE-fulness — Understanding, Sourcing, Exchanging — to build not just sales, but relationships.

 

* Penguin Portfolio (NY), 2014. Never Be Closing: How to Sell Better Without Screwing Your Clients, Your Colleagues, or Yourself has been called the most important advance in sales since Neil Rackham’s SPIN Selling.

PRAXIS: Lead Better by Helping Others Do Better

In both our business and personal lives, we often overestimate what we can achieve overnight—and underestimate what we can achieve over time. We fail to leverage the simple truth that the process of getting better—at anything—is in fact a process.

By learning the steps to that process and deploying appropriate tools, people at any skill level can improve their performance in any area of their work and personal lives. We can learn to collaborate better, lead better, or perform better. Human beings are learning organisms. We are programmed to improve. We just need to know how.

The PRAXIS methodology—built on the work of thinkers and scientists from Socrates to Carl Rogers to Hannah Arendt to David Kolb—offers leaders a framework and tools to lead better by promoting and modeling a simple, repeatable process for helping their reports do better—become better followers, better thinkers, better collaborators, and better leaders themselves.

Participant Feedback

The following are 25 selected verbatim comments from participants in four recent half-day Praxis sessions (conducted in October 2015, for 160 total participants, 96.5% rated the program excellent):

  • So inspired–could relate and learned about the process, tools and charts
  • Powerful–need to take risks
  • Excellent–a new experience, beyond my expectations
  • I’m leaving with so much
  • Made me think many uncomfortable thoughts
  • Practical, useful, fun
  • Stretch and stretch a bit more–excellent content
  • Amazing presentation–didn’t want it to end
  • Practical info for application in my space
  • Great tools, streeeeetched my thinking
  • Brilliant, thought provoking, life changing
  • Taking GPS home and will use it every day in my personal and business life
  • Made me realize my mistakes in business and my personal life
  • Learnt a lot and absolutely inspired to try things without the fear of failure
  • Life changing, 3 hrs flew by
  • Very practical and informative–will be able to implement in my life
  • Brilliant–can be used in teams and individually
  • Appreciated how the practical exercise can fit into everyday situations
  • Wonderful, fun variety of methods, theory, practical, games, buzz, really valuable
  • Enjoyed every bit of it–lot of meaningful material to apply
  • Best session so far–I can immediately apply this into my life and work
  • Fabulous, well explained, good application and experiential learning
  • Fantastic presenter–lots of good time to practice
  • Can use this in all spheres of life–will definitely use this tool
  • Great eye-opener–brilliant and simple tools

Productive Selling — How to Sell Better

Duration: One and Two Day Workshops
Target Audiences: Senior Executives, Managers

Grounded in 60 years of research, Productive Thinking is a problem-solving and innovation model used in businesses and MBA programs around the world. Over the years, many sales professionals have asked us to adapt Productive Thinking tools and approaches to the sales environment.

The result of that work is Productive Selling. Based on the forthcoming book, Sell Better (New York: Penguin  2104), by Tim Hurson and Tim Dunne, Productive Selling workshops offer a six-step structure that anyone can use to sell more effectively and develop more productive relationships with clients, colleagues, and prospects.

Sales are the lifeblood of business. Even if your job isn’t selling per se, your success unquestionably depends on your ability to sell something to someone sometime — whether it’s a product, a service, an investment, an idea, or a rationale for a promotion. Large or small, businesses that can’t sell, don’t survive. In business or out, if people can’t sell, they don’t thrive. The principles and tools in this workshop can help anyone sell better.

You will learn:

  • How to apply the overarching principle of Usefulness in all your sales activities
  • How to master the art of Waiting Room Zen and convert small talk into big talk that pays off in more productive relationships
  • How to design, conduct, and chart sales conversations that use the powerful Three Act structure
  • How to use the principle of Analogizing to connect with your clients and create new insights
  • How to use the principle of Catalyzing to ask questions that open new areas of opportunity
  • How to demonstrate usefulness by using Reframing and the RITE approach
  • How to conduct powerful After Action Reviews to analyze and learn from your experiences and those of others.

Productive Thinking Fundamentals

Duration: Half Day
Target Audiences: Senior Executives, Managers

Productive Thinking Fundamentals is a half-day program for executive and manager level professionals that provides an overview of the Productive Thinking model, process, and selected tools. Productive Thinking provides a set of skills to help organizations develop new products and processes, new organizational structures, and new marketing and business strategies. The Productive Thinking Model has been demonstrated to help people develop the skills needed to generate more ideas, better ideas, more often.

Productive Thinking Fundamentals is a half-day program that provides an overview of the Productive Thinking model, process, and selected tools. The Productive Thinking Model has been demonstrated to help people develop the skills needed to generate more ideas, better ideas, more often. Productive Thinking provides a set of skills to help organizations develop new products and processes, new organizational structures, and new marketing and business strategies. Participants require no previous experience in creative or productive thinking. The program can be delivered to groups of up to 60 people, given appropriate venues. The program includes a basic productive thinking manual.

Who should attend: Executive and manager level professionals who may be asked to identify profitable areas for product or process improvements, offer recommendations for product or process improvements, and/or look for innovation opportunities.

This program offers five key learning outcomes. At the conclusion of the program, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the underlying principle of productive thinking
  • Name the two most common barriers to productive thinking
  • Recognize the six-step productive thinking model
  • Explain the use of three key productive thinking tools
  • Make effective contributions during facilitated productive thinking sessions

Productive Thinking Intensive

Duration: One Day
Target Audiences: Senior Executives, Managers

Productive Thinking Intensive is a full-day program for executive and manager level professionals. This program starts with the Productive Thinking Fundamentals program, then goes into more depth and hands-on practice. Participants apply the model to a mock problem to demonstrate how it can be used in practical applications. Productive Thinking Intensive is for individuals who are required to identify profitable areas for product or process improvements, team members mandated to propose recommendations for product or process improvements, and to explore innovation opportunities.

Productive Thinking Intensive is a full-day program that starts with the Productive Thinking Fundamentals program, and then goes into more depth and hands-on practice. Participants apply the model to a mock problem to demonstrate how it can be used in practical applications. Productive Thinking Intensive is for individuals who are required to identify profitable areas for product or process improvements, team members mandated to propose recommendations for product or process improvements, and to explore innovation opportunities. Participants do not require any previous experience in creative or productive thinking. The program is suitable for groups up to 30 people and includes a comprehensive 130-page Productive Thinking Manual.

Who should attend: Executive and manager level professionals who are required to identify profitable areas for product or process improvements, who work in teams mandated to propose recommendations for product or process improvements, and/or who work in teams mandated to explore innovation opportunities.

Productive Thinking Intensive offers seven key learning outcomes. At the conclusion of the program, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the differences between reproductive and productive thinking
  • Identify personal strategies to overcome the two most common barriers to productive thinking
  • Describe and apply the underlying principle of productive thinking
  • Outline the six-step productive thinking model
  • Apply the primary characteristics of creative and critical thinking to simulated problems
  • Understand and apply work aids for five key productive thinking tools
  • Make effective contributions during facilitated productive thinking sessions

Productive Thinking in Practice

Duration: Two Day
Target Audiences: Senior Executives, Managers

Productive Thinking in Practice is the one-day Productive Thinking Intensive program with the addition of an applied problem-solving session on the second day in which participants work on an organization’s actual issues. This program is geared toward executive and manager level professionals who are required to identify profitable areas for product or process improvements, team members mandated to propose recommendations for product, process, or innovation opportunities, or those tasked with solving specific innovation challenges.

Productive Thinking in Practice combines the one-day Productive Thinking Fundamentals Program with an applied problem-solving session on the second day in which participants work on an organization’s actual issues. The program requires no previous experience and is appropriate for groups of 30. The program includes the comprehensive 130-page Productive Thinking Manual.

Who should attend: Executive and manager level professionals who are required to identify profitable areas for product or process improvements, who work in teams mandated to propose recommendations for product or process improvements, who work in teams mandated to explore innovation opportunities, and/or who work in teams tasked with solving specific innovation challenges.

Productive Thinking in Practice offers eight key learning outcomes. At the conclusion of the program, participants should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of the differences between reproductive and productive thinking
  • Identify and practice personal strategies to overcome the two most common barriers to productive thinking
  • Apply the underlying principle of productive thinking in a wide range of personal and business situations
  • Employ strategies to generate robust lists of highly creative ideas
  • Employ strategies to quickly and effectively evaluate and select ideas with potential for further development
  • Understand and apply work aids for at least seven key productive thinking tools
  • Make significant contributions during facilitated productive thinking sessions
  • Apply the full productive thinking model to practical challenges (such as new product or development, organizational change, marketing issues, or strategic challenges)