Expert Spotlight: Tamara Kleinberg

Imaginibbles…Chief Imaginator…Creativi-Tees…these are words that originated from the creative mind of Tamara Kleinberg – an idea tinkerer, serial entrepreneur, nationally published author, innovation artist, and martial artist. She is also a speaker and trainer who helps organizations and associations looking to ignite innovation, provoke new ideas, and challenge people to unlock their creative potential.

We asked Tamara what motivates her to maintain that quirky, creative edge, and to inspire the same in others.

What are your most popular presentation topics?

“Think Sideways” and “Playing on the Fringes.” “Think Sideways” gives people a rich understanding of how imagination is the competitive advantage as well as dozens of tools to strengthen the imaginative spirit and get into a creative state of mind daily. It’s for people who want the courage to dream big and act entrepreneurially. “Playing on the Fringes” is about the expectations of the new economy and the top tools for breaking free from old patterns of thinking. It gives participants a road map to the fringes for unique and ownable ideas.

Why did you become a speaker/trainer?

After climbing to the top of the corporate ladder as an innovation and brand consultant for Fortune 500 – Procter and Gamble, General Mills, Clorox, etc. – I realized a few things. First, that many of my colleagues had lost the ability to imagine. Second, that lost talent made it hard for people to do more with less, adapt better to change, engage creative problem solving, see and create ideas and opportunities, and dream big. I wanted to help people unlock their imaginative and innovative side so that they could get all those wonderful benefits back. Speaking and training was a natural fit and I’ve loved every minute of it.

Do you have a favorite quote? What/why?

“Do or do not, there is no try” – Yoda. I am a free spirit wrapped in a type-A personality. That means I love action. I love to put imagination to work and to see innovation come to life.  I hate excuses and love challenges. I think Yoda sums it up very well.

Tell us a recent book you’ve read and would recommend:

I love imaginative fiction like “Water For Elephants” and “Harry Potter.” For me, there is nothing more powerful than suspending belief and being transported to a different world. And, while I love a great business book, I also like to follow entrepreneurs and leaders that I think are doing amazing things right now. I don’t want to wait five years for the book to come out. I want to learn from them while they are doing it. Today, I am following Johnny Cupcakes, Tony Hsieh from Zappos, and Steve Spangler Science.  I go to their websites, read their blogs, and look for news about them. I’ve learned a lot just from paying attention and keeping my antennas up.

What are you most grateful for in life?

I’m grateful that every day I wake up excited to get the day going. I love my family time, my work time, and of course my “me” time.  I’m grateful that I’ve been able to build a business that fosters imagination in people young and old. I’m grateful for the big and small things every day, like my hot cup of coffee in the morning.

Where do you see yourself ten years from now?

I love this question. I see myself overseeing an empire that includes creative apparel, TV shows, keynote speaking, training, and my dog sitting next to my desk. I started this dream a few years ago and every day gets me a step closer. This is why imagination and innovation are so important. Every day you have to create what hasn’t yet been created and visualize and make your dreams come true.