Josh Linkner

Five-time successful tech entrepreneur; CEO/Managing Partner, Detroit Venture Partners; bestselling author, Disciplined Dreaming - A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity.
Travels from MI
$20,000 - $30,000

Josh Linkner

Five-time Successful Tech Entrepreneur and Bestselling Author, Disciplined Dreaming.

Why Josh Linkner?

Josh Linkner is on a mission to help business discover its creative mojo.  His call to action — it’s better to reimagine what’s possible and disrupt your organization before your competition does; hugging the status quo is the fast road to obsolescence. Linkner shakes things up and explodes the myths about creativity.  He shows how to systematically harness the imagination of individuals at every level to find new routes to growth, profitability and innovation.  He wraps actionable insights, powerful anecdotes and proven techniques with energy, fun and inspiration to deliver presentations that ignite immediate results and fresh thinking in every setting.  Linkner comes to this discussion with a unique combination of backgrounds.  He’s a five-time successful tech entrepreneur and now CEO/Managing Partner of Detroit Venture Partners who’s been a jazz musician since age 14.  Improvisation, the hallmark of jazz, taught Linkner vital lessons about risk, resilience and the creative process that helped him look at business differently.  He built a $150 million business from scratch, had four successful exits, raised hundreds of millions of capital, hired/fired thousands of employees and landed the biggest brands in the world as customers.  Linkner outlined the lessons he learned along the way in hisfirst book, Disciplined Dreaming – A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity, a New York Times and Wall Street Journalbestseller that was named one of 2011’s top ten business titles by Amazon.  He is a regular contributor to Forbes and Inc. magazines. 

Compelling Keynotes 

“Executing Imagination:  Turning Raw Ideas Into Powerful Results”

As a five-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

“Gravity Defying Leadership: Unleashing Your Organization’s Creative Mojo”

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

“A Streetfighter’s Guide to Reinvention – Lessons from the Front Lines of Detroit’s Rebirth”

Detroit’s fight back from the brink is an inspiring tale of resilience told first-hand by Josh Linkner whose grit and passion are playing a critical role in the city’s revitalization.   Linkner is a driving force in Detroit’s comeback; among his many honors – “Detroit Executive of the Year”, the region’s “CEO of the Year” and “Michiganian of the Year.”  As the CEO of Detroit Venture Partners, he is helping the city he loves rise from the ashes and reconnect to its entrepreneurial and technological roots.   Linkner’s heartfelt talk energizes audiences with the power of possibility.  It’s also a cautionary tale of how Detroit, once a birthplace of innovation and a vibrant city, succumbed to the evil forces of protectionism, blame, and bureaucracy.   The lessons in this powerful comeback story – still in progress - help you: 

  • Understand the 4 most common reasons organizations decay
  • Connect the dots between urban renewal and business reinvention, and learn how to apply the same approaches to your own organization
  • Embrace the 5 unexpected lessons of underdogs and learn to fight out of seemingly impossible situations
  • Gain inside perspective from the passionate leaders who are leading Detroit’s courageous turnaround
  • Uncover best practices from ‘streetfigher’ mentality – on scrappiness, determination, resilience and conquering adversity

“The Music of Business: Translating Improvisational Thinking from the Jazz Stage to Business”

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