The Art of Thinking
Monday April 21st 2014

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What Is The Endleofon?

(from the Introduction to The Genius Machine)

My work is to help people think. My clients write books, create innovative solutions, develop brilliant breakthroughs, and endeavor to make the world a better place.

One of the great challenges in getting new and valuable ideas accepted is that many intended users, even those who would benefit enormously from what is being offered, spend a lot of energy and time trying to figure out who the person is behind the innovation. Until we feel comfortable that we know the answer, it’s hard for us to accept advice, no matter how valuable it might be. I often suggest to my clients that they help their intended users get past this barrier by being as explicit about themselves as they can be, as soon as they can. This goes for companies, too. We’re Acme, we stand for discovering the colors that will bring joy to your life. Okay, got it: Acme equals colors of joy. Now I can forget about you and look at your palette.

So let’s get me out of the way: I was in the film business for the first decade and a half of my professional life, and then migrated to book publishing. In film, as a director, writer, and editor, I learned about pacing and storytelling. And as an entrepreneur, I learned about being creative on time and within a budget.

When my brother and I made our first full-length feature motion picture, Double-Stop, I was constantly haunted by the fear that the moment the film’s principal photography finished, and the cast and crew dispersed, I would suddenly come up with some brilliant idea that should have been part of the movie, but now never could be. That concern stayed with me, and guides all the intellectual property development I engage in, including the development of this book. We must have our brilliant ideas now, in the development stage. Fully developing our best ideas after our work has gone into production or to market is way too late.

I also learned how to market movies from some of the best people in the business. As a publisher and book developer, I employed those same skills to help authors become better storytellers, and to find better ways to get new and valuable information into the marketplace of ideas.

During the last twenty years of working with business leaders to build their personal reputations and enhancing the profile of their organizations, I created a system for developing intellectual property — ideas. Not long ago a number of my clients turned the tables on me and suggested I take a little of my own medicine by organizing my methodology. I eventually distilled my process down to eleven essential steps. That system is The Endleofon, an old English word for eleven.

Using this process I have helped dozens of authors create books that have sold many millions of copies. I have helped leaders in many fields learn to articulate their core knowledge so they could better share it with others. Recently I worked with one of the top two Internet companies to help them complete the development of a core knowledge area, and to turn that into a book that may soon help millions of people all over the globe. What’s so good about the process? It’s fast, it’s complete, it helps people quickly get to the bottom of what they need to think through, and begins the outreach part of innovation from the very beginning. It is not unusual for an individual or group working with the process to suddenly realize that they can speed through a development cycle in days, not in the months or years. And with the Endleofon, innovations are always developed with the understanding that it’s tough to get new ideas accepted.

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