What do a pig auctioneer, Jane Goodall, Vaclav Havel, a billiard ball and Paul McCartney have in common? They were all brought up as examples to explain and bring to life Dr. Bob Deutsch’s fascinating views on ideation, creativity and the human condition. Welcome to the Ideasicle Podcast, where our host, Will Burns, founder of Ideasicle, relentlessly untangles the mysteries of the elusive idea.

Dr. Robert Deutsch is a specialist in communication and culture who has worked on Pennsylvania Avenue, Madison Avenue and in the primeval forest. The Ad Club of New York has referred to him as “a truly revolutionary thinker.” And Adam Morgan, in his book, Eating the Big Fish, has called Bob a profound analyst of human nature and American culture.

Dr. Deutsch has written and spoken widely on what one sees when casting a “primal eye” on modernity, including its rituals and mythologies. He has contributed articles on human nature, the cultural moment and marketing to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe and The National Geographic Magazine. His commentaries have appeared on ABC’s Nightline, Good Morning America, and on the PBS series, Rights & Wrongs. He also lectures and is on the roster of the Washington Speakers’ Bureau as a keynote speech maker.

Dr. Deutsch’s academic training and experience has been interdisciplinary in scope, combining anthropology, cognitive science and media studies. Dr. Deutsch received a doctorate in cognitive neuroscience from the Albert Einstein School of Medicine.

And he can be found at www.brain-sells.com.


  • He starts by defining creativity and its role in human evolution.
  • Tradition and Innovation – the importance of having both in attaining sustainable innovation.  Pure innovation isn’t useful at all. It has to be related to something familiar.
  • The barriers to human creativity, including time.
  • Paul McCartney as an example of innovation at work.
  • The importance of raw talent in ideation.
  • Dr. Bob discusses his “12 Qualities of Mind Required for the Innovative Corporation.”
  • He describes a study he did around “expertise” – what it is, what it means and how we can apply expertise to the ideation space.
  • The role of serendipity in the creative process.
  • Vaclav Havel’s living in the experience in its own unfolding vs watching it from the outslde.
  • Leave the data behind. The importance of story-telling, or creating a narrative, in developing ideas.
  • The new “corporate creative” person.