Entries by Mike Thomas

The Art of Collaborative Creative

  Over the past few years, I’ve had a growing passion for writing. As a guy who spent most of my early years labeled as the “math nerd” (which, to be fair, is still a fairly accurate descriptor), I have truly enjoyed stepping out of the numbers as a blogger and the published author of […]

kNOw Sweat. The Six Word Story.

Throughout the month of November, our team at Upstream 360 has helped to support the inaugural Hyperhidrosis Awareness Month. Hyperhidrosis is a debilitating disease in which the body’s mechanism for cooling itself is overactive — so overactive that sufferers may sweat uncontrollably, often four or five times more than is necessary. This disease impacts nearly […]

Upstream 360 And The Elephant In The Room

I started my adventure as the Innovation Director at Upstream 360 just over eight months ago and it has been quite a ride.  Partnering with companies, brands, and teams around the world to invent ideas, craft concepts, strategize social media, create copy, and so much more… it has been a whirlwind of strategy, creativity, and […]

Take Your Eye Off the Ball

Keep your eye on the ball! I have coached youth softball for the past five years, and have uttered those 6 words more times than I can count. Particularly when the girls were very young, it was important to help them push past irresistible distractions like building sandcastles in the infield and picking dandelions in […]

Blood, Sweat, and Beers

Our team was at a crossroads. What had begun as a small, impassioned, spirited team, was rapidly devolving due to corporate turf wars, petty arguments, and power struggles. Once a scrappy, under-the radar project, our achievements had quickly led to our work becoming high profile, highly visible, and thus highly contested. Our cross-functional group of […]

Fathers, Daughters, and Career Advice

My oldest daughter, Mara, started junior high earlier this month, and I am still reeling from the fact that she is growing up so fast.  This has further fanned the flames of what has become a “Year of Reflection” for me (sounds more aspirational than “mid-life crisis”), as I have turned 40, changed careers, and […]

Ideas are Easy. Insights are Hard.

In previous blog posts, Mark Smith and I have emphasized the power of the 6-word story, as well as the 6-second message. The impetus to create concise, pithy, and inspiring communication has only accelerated in our world of short attention spans and bombardment of stimuli. There is a virtually never-ending buffet of media around us, and being able to […]

What Are Magic Words?

There are countless anecdotes of words being used to enable a magical transformation.  A magician dealing out “Abracadabra” to turn a four of spades into the Ace of hearts.  Harry Potter’s bewitching use of “Riddikulus!” to turn fear into laughter.  A toddler’s longing “pleeaaassse” to turn dad’s anger into a cookie.  The right words at […]

How To Fill A Blank Slate

There is nothing more invigorating than the opportunity to start anew with a clean slate and a blank canvas. That moment the creative spirit dreams and yearns for most, is when the mind is engulfed with endless possibilities, the heart is filled with hopeful wonder, and the soul is electric with vibrant energy. That same moment […]