Michael Gelb

Creativity Innovation & Leadership Expert

Michael Gelb Fee Range
$20,001 to $50,000
(Inquire for virtual fee)

Travels From
New Jersey, United States

Michael Gelb Speaker Biography

Creativity Innovation & Leadership Expert

Michael J. Gelb is the world’s leading authority on the application of genius thinking to personal and organizational development. He is a pioneer in the fields of creative thinking, accelerated learning, and innovative leadership. Gelb leads seminars for organizations such as DuPont, Merck, Microsoft, Nike, Roche and YPO. He brings more than 35 years of experience as a professional speaker, seminar leader and organizational consultant to his diverse, international clientele.


Michael Gelb is the author of 14 books on creativity and innovation including the international best seller How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day. (1998) How to Think Like Leonardo has been translated into 25 languages and has appeared on the Washington Post, Amazon, and the New York Times best seller lists. Published in 2010, Wine Drinking For Inspired Thinking: Uncork Your Creative Juices, offers a unique, original and very enjoyable approach to team building. In January 2012 Michael released Brain Power: Improve Your Mind As You Age, (New World Library). His new book Creativity On Demand: Ignite and Sustain the Fire of Genius is published by Sounds True. In 2007 Gelb released Innovate Like Edison: The Five Step System for Breakthrough Business Success, co-authored with Sarah Miller Caldicott, the great grand niece of Thomas Edison. As Professor Vijay Govindarajan, author of Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators noted, “This book is a must have for anyone who wants to turn creative ideas into profitable reality.”


In 1999, Michael Gelb won the Brain Trust Charity’s “Brain of the Year” award; other honorees include Prof. Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, Garry Kasparov and Gene Rodenberry. In 2003, Michael was awarded a Batten Fellowship by the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business. Michael co-directs the acclaimed Leading Innovation Seminar at Darden with Professor James Clawson. From 2008 to 2012, Michael Gelb also served as the Director of Creativity and Innovation Leadership for the Conscious Capitalism Institute.

Learning Expert

A former professional juggler who once performed with the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, Gelb introduced the idea of teaching juggling as a means to promote accelerated learning and team-building. He is the author of The 5 Keys to High Performance: Juggling Your Way to Success. A fifth degree black belt in the Japanese martial art of Aikido, Gelb is co-author with International Grandmaster Raymond Keene, of Samurai Chess: Mastering Strategic Thinking Through the Martial Art of the Mind. Michael Gelb is also a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, (the method taught at The Juilliard School for cultivating commanding stage presence), and the author of the classic work: Body Learning: An Introduction to the Alexander Technique. Michael’s 1988 release Present Yourself! Captivate Your Audience with Great Presentation Skills guides readers to develop the communication strategies they need to generate support for their innovative ideas.

Personal Development Authority

Michael has also created many best-selling audio programs, including: Mind Mapping: How to Liberate Your Natural Genius, Work Like Da Vinci: Gaining the Creative Advantage in Your Business and Career and The Spirit of Leonardo. Michael’s passion for applying genius thinking to personal and organizational development is also expressed in his Harper Collins release (2002) Discover Your Genius: How To Think Like History’s Ten Most Revolutionary Minds.

Michael Gelb Speaking Topics

Creativity On Demand: How to Initiate and Sustain the Fire of Genius

Michael Gelb will guide you to a deeper understanding of the creative process and empower you to raise your baseline of creative energy. In a dynamic, compelling and unforgettable way Michael will help you realize that you have an infinite capacity for creativity. The program guides participants to discover that creativity is a skill that can be learned and developed throughout life. After a self-assessment exercise they learn the 7 key elements of a creative mindset. Research demonstrates that people who think of them selves as creative score significantly higher on creativity tests than those who do not. After learning the elements of the creative mindset everyone begins to adjust their self-perception to realize that their potential for creativity is unlimited.

Innovate Like Edison: The 5-Step System for Breakthrough Business Success

In addition to creating the world's first Industrial Research and Development laboratory,Thomas Edison was also a master at promoting a culture of innovation. He understood that the principles of personal success and organizational innovation go hand-in-hand. In this program, Gelb will discuss personal success and fulfillment and how they require you to learn how to think like an innovator. This program introduces Edison's Five Competencies of Innovation: Solution-Centered Mindset, Kaleidoscopic Thinking, Full-Spectrum Engagement, Master Mind Collaboration, and Super-Value Creation. Each competency will be brought to life with specific, practical "take-home" applications. This program is readily adaptable to specific organizational challenges and can also be combined with "How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci" to focus on optimizing creativity AND innovation.

How to Think Like Leonardo DaVinci

Based on his best-selling book, Gelb offers a revolutionary approach to learning and creativity. Drawing on Leonardo's notebooks, inventions and legendary works of art, this program introduces seven principles for thinking like history's greatest genius. From the notebook's celebration of an insatiably curious approach to life (curiosita') to the willingness to embrace uncertainty and paradox (sfumato) embodied in Mona Lisa's smile, these principles will seem at once intuitively familiar and surprisingly powerful. Offering an abundance of interactive, entertaining exercises to help you master each principle, you'll learn how to apply then at work, home, and everywhere else!

Executive Presence and High-Performance Leadership

What are the essential characteristics of great leaders? How can you build an organizational culture that inspires people to give their best everyday? This inspiring session answers those questions and addresses a number of other areas, including: "Defining and communicating visions, missions, and values;" "Aligning visions, missions, and values with training and development, incentive and compensation, and recruiting and hiring;" " Balancing leadership and management;" "Guiding change;" " Keys to teamwork."

Aikido at Work: An Innovative, Practical Approach to Leadership, Negotiation and Inter-personal Problem-solving

This dynamic, highly-engaging program will show your people how to stay centered and choose the most creative response to a variety of challenging situations. Participants will develop new and effective ways of perceiving, understanding and responding to conflict to create win/win outcomes. The highlight of the workshop will be a demonstration of the martial art of Aikido ("the way of harmonious energy"), including audience participation (safe, fun and team-building!). This unique approach to conflict management will then be applied to specific business issues related to negotiation, inter-personal problem-solving and leadership.

Brain Power: Improve Your Mind as You Age

In the last 30 years the scientific evidence supporting the notion that your mind can improve through the years has become overwhelming. Clearly, the question is no longer whether your mind can improve with age, but rather how you can optimize your mental powers as you get older. This program presents practical, evidence-based information on improving your mind throughout life. Most of us were raised with faulty ideas about our mental capacity – such as the notion that IQ is fixed at age 5, that brain cells degrade yearly after age 30, and that memory and learning ability inevitably decline with age. These notions, based on the scientific understanding that was prevalent in the 1950s, are myths – dangerous myths that can stifle our ability to flourish in the second half of life. Just as Copernicus overturned the myth that the earth was at the center of the universe, so contemporary neuroscience has revolutionized our understanding of the potential to improve mental functioning as we age. We now know the following: •Our mental abilities, including memory, are designed to improve throughout life. Neuroscientists call this-Neuroplasticity. (Neuro refers to “neuron,” aka “nerve cells,” and plasticity means “changeable, malleable.” ) •Although some brain cells die as we age, we can generate new cells.Neuroscientists call this-Neurogenesis. •The brain is not, as was once thought, a compartmentalized, hardwired static machine whose parts eventually wear out. Instead, it is a highly adaptable and dynamic organ, capable of generating new neurons, and changing and evolving as we get older. •People of average intelligence can, with appropriate training, raise I.Q., improve memory, and sharpen intelligence throughout life. In this compelling, inspirational and supremely practical program you’ll be presented with the evidence for this new paradigm and, most importantly, you will learn to incorporate this new way of understanding aging so you can improve your mind every year of your life!

Michael Gelb Books

Creativity On Demand: How to Ignite and Sustain the Fire of Genius
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Brain Power: Improve Your Mind as You Age
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Da Vinci Decoded: Discovering the Spiritual Secrets of Leonardo’s Seven Principles
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Innovate Like Edison: The Success System of America’s Greatest Inventor
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How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day
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Discover Your Genius: How to Think Like History’s Ten Most Revolutionary Minds
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Michael Gelb Videos

Michael Gelb Speaker Testimonials

"You are our secret weapon in our never-ending quest to create an innovative culture."

- Marv Damsma | BP, Director of Trust Investments

"We are at least twice as productive as before. We plan, document and communicate with greater efficiency. Our organization's productivity improvement has been phenomenal."

- Dr. Thomas Jenkins | DuPont

"You gave participants an experience that they are the creators of their own future. Four of my people were able to step up to the challenges of the next grade/role as a result of your program."

- Ketan Patel | Goldman-Sachs, formerly of KPMG

Michael Gelb’s training, ideas and motivational techniques have forged a high performance team here at C & P Telephone. I’ve been impressed with Michael’s ability to understand our business challenges and to tailor techniques and methods to help us solve those problems.

- C & P Telephone | President

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Recent Books

Creativity On Demand: How to Ignite and Sustain the Fire of Genius
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Brain Power: Improve Your Mind as You Age
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