It takes a leap of faith to unplug and stop moving from crisis to crisis. Yet the rewards are many, especially when you bring that mindset to work. Yes, work.

Many senior marketing leaders and CEOs whom I’ve met think of their lives as an “either/or” proposition. They are either relaxed and unplugged, OR overworked and hyper-connected.

This is not how I see the world. It’s about living a “both/and” life. We are human beings, not human doings….

It’s finally summer here in the Washington, DC region. Now is the time to schedule “innovation vacations” to unplug, reflect, and savor the great outdoors.

Instead of asking you “what’s on your reading list?,” I’m curious to know “What’s on your watch list?”

You will find some cool videos below that we just released. Check out the three complimentary marketing innovation videos below from our annual CMOs Leading Innovation Conference. …

We just hosted the Atlanta CMO Innovation Breakfast.

The purpose of the interactive session was threefold: to outline the fundamentals of marketing innovation, assess the participants’ readiness to foster an innovative culture, and deliver fresh insights to kick start innovation in their organizations. For four consecutive years, our CMO community has asked “How will we make the shift from order taker to innovator?” We helped participants take away specific action steps to address this persistent issue….

Marketing leaders often ask me “how do you stay centered and focused? What can I do to create more “white space” on my calendar? My schedule is very hectic, and I seldom make time to reflect.” Mindful marketing techniques have really helped me in this area.

I recently sat down with “Shareology” author and Purematter CEO, Bryan Kramer to further explore this topic. We had both discovered that we are mindfulness practitioners.

Check out this 19 minute podcast to hear:

The importance of daily white space
The 3 main sources of my creativity
How removing yourself from your normal routine and surroundings leads to a more creative life
Bryan’s favorite sources of creativity
How over-reliance on technology leads to missed cues and muted intuition
Why pets are one of my favorite mindfulness reminders
The number one question every marketing leader needs to ask to increase their efficacy

Four quotable moments from this discussion include (and feel free to tweet):

“That is what wealth is about… creating discretionary time to do the things you love with the people you enjoy.” —@lisa_nirell #mindfulmarketer

 “You’ve only got now so live and love fully.” —@lisa_nirell #mindfulmarketer

 “When I rely only on technology and data, I seem to always get myself in trouble or miss some important cues.” —#mindfulmarketer @lisa_nirell

 “Create and design the life you really want….

In our 3rd annual CMO Innovation Trends study, participants told us their two biggest challenges are 1) a lack of talent to address business imperatives and 2) effectively building a strong brand across online and offline touch points. What’s a CMO to do when resources are this scarce, yet growth is an imperative? Many turn to partnering.

Today, partnering is often the first strategy CMOs evaluate to help their organization reach new audiences, test new products, accelerate domain knowledge or IP, expand geographically, access capital sources, and close revenue shortfalls….

If you are a CMO or VP of Marketing in the Atlanta area, please join our Atlanta CMO breakfast at The Commerce Club of Atlanta on Wednesday, May 11 from 8:00-9:45 am. This complimentary session is entitled “From Order Taker to Innovator: How CMOs Will Thrive in a Modern Marketing World.”

Today’s marketing leaders are doing their best to adapt to unprecedented changes in customer behaviors, pricing models, and digital landscapes….

The early-bird rate for our 2nd annual CMOs Leading Innovation Conference (CLIC ’16) will end this Friday, April 15. This year, our conference happens at the historic Airlie Retreat Center in Warrenton, Virginia October 20-21 (just 45 minutes from Dulles Airport).

You will be joined by CMOs from Bozzuto, Informatica, Hilton, Gannett, NACD, and RES Software (to name a few). The 1 ½ day private conference features an evening reception, three panels, and a handful of top notch interactive sessions….

Here’s something that all marketing professionals understand but that many marketing organizations have forgotten: the most sophisticated customer analytics tools cannot replace the insights we gather through genuine human conversations.

Humans possess the ability to be empathetic, compassionate, and intuitive. As of this writing, computers lack these abilities.

This is why no matter how powerful your data tools, you still need to talk with your customers.

We recently completed our third annual CMO Innovation Trends study….

Are you overwhelmed by the number of marketing innovations and software products available today?

You are not alone. When I last counted, I discovered over 1,400 marketing and analytics tools. How can any marketing leaders stay abreast of the latest trends that will propel their businesses forward when the rate of change is this fast?

Before you cry “uncle,” remember the fundamentals of marketing innovation:

1. Innovation is defined as applied creativity. I learned this definition from Alan Weiss….

Many of us have returned to business as usual this week. Thanks to the downtime, extra sleep, and extra meditation time, I had a huge insight: Reflection is more essential than making resolutions.

When working with my clients, I consistently find that they are stellar at hopping from one meeting to the next. They have sophisticated dashboards outlining their goals and progress against those goals. Some even revel in their ability to multitask. Before they know it, their calendars are completely filled with project work and meetings….