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Courage, Creativity and the Power of Change

with Beth Comstock

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  •   Trailer

  •   01 Class Introduction

  •   02 Permission


Class duration: 2h 34m

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About The Class

Develop and Defend Innovative Ideas


  • Make room in your business for discovery and new ideas
  • Challenge yourself to find ideas that contradict what you know
  • Stop waiting for change and be a leader in presenting it
  • Adapt your ideas into a narrative to communicate to your business
  • Navigate conflict when presenting your ideas
  • Leverage failures into future successes


Beth Comstock reminds us that the world will never be slower than it is right now. Technological and business innovations move at a breakneck speed, yet behind every Fortune 500 success lies countless failures. In a culture of ever increasing optimization and falling back to the “tried and true”, Beth teaches you how to become a changemaker by leading with imagination.

In this course, you will learn how to gain the courage to develop and defend new creative ideas. Beth walks through the elements of discovery to not only unearth new ideas but apply strategy to bring them to fruition. She lays out how to organize your business to make room for discovery and how to apply storytelling concepts to make your vision into reality.

Drawing on nearly three decades at General Electric as Chief Marketing Officer and Vice Chair of Innovation, Beth gives you the tools to challenge yourself and your team to ideate, strategize, fail forward and emerge with truly innovative creations.


  • Business owners
  • Members and managers of teams
  • Marketing teams and entrepreneurs looking to shift mindsets to embrace change


Beth Comstock’s mission is to understand what’s next, navigate change and help others do the same. In her three decades at GE as Chief Marketing Officer and Vice Chair of Innovation, Beth led efforts to accelerate new growth, develop digital and clean-energy futures, seed new businesses and enhance brand value. Before heading GE ventures, Beth led teams at NBC Universal and Turner Broadcasting, overseeing new growth in integrated media and the early development of In her candid and personal book Imagine it Forward: Courage, Creativity, and the Power of Change, Beth shares how to navigate and master change to lead at the forefront of a rapidly evolving world.

Lesson Plan

  1. 01

    Class Introduction

    Meet Beth Comstock: in her words, change is her job. Creativity and change are necessary for innovation and Beth shares how to close the imagination gap to cultivate emergent change. Learn how this course is structured and what you’ll learn.

  2. 02


    How do you grant yourself, your team and your colleagues permission to take risks? You are often your biggest obstacle in facing your fears and taking that jump of faith. Beth shares examples from her time at NBC and leads you through the course’s first exercise: give yourself a permission slip. Learn how to navigate “gatekeepers” and “goalkeepers”.

  3. 03

    Learn Courage

    Being the first female vice chair of GE does not guarantee confidence: Beth shares her challenges as an introvert at networking events and introduces the second exercise in learning courage and ensuring accountability.

  4. 04

    Job Crafting

    A CMO may have more flexibility than most to shape their role; however, all positions arrive with set responsibilities. Learn what Beth calls job crafting as she leads you through the next exercise in pushing boundaries and shaping a job to your interests.

  5. 05

    Mentor Coach Champion

    We all need a team in our corner: Beth explains the difference between a champion, mentor and a coach. How can they help hold you accountable when challenges arise? Beth answers questions about stereotypes and storytelling.

  6. 06

    Discovery and Fringe Futures

    Would anyone 50 years ago have imagined clean-energy, LinkedIn or Hulu as the norm? In this class, Beth leads you through an exercise in imagining fringe futures and embracing the weird as a possible future norm.

  7. 07

    Field Trips

    How do you structure time, place and energy for creativity? Beth shares the value of field trips during her NBC and former GE roles and how they aided in cultivating innovation.

  8. 08

    Going on 3s

    Beth introduces the next exercise: where will you go on your next field trip? She shares a protocol for igniting creativity through observation and pattern recognition. Beth challenges you to find “interestingness” in your daily routine - the New York subway offers as many opportunities as the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum.

  9. 09

    Constraints and Other Scenarios

    How do you find your way around constraints? Participate in a thought exercise and learn methods to imagine other scenarios to solve inevitable problems you will face. Beth shares a discovery mission she employed as GE Vice Chair during the clean tech revolution.

  10. 10

    Find Your 10 Percent

    Ideas and strategy take time: Beth shares how to find the balance between day to day optimization and what’s new and next. She answers audience questions about how to filter through ideas and get team buy-in.

  11. 11


    What is the relationship between strategy and story? How does storytelling influence not just ad revenue but your own personal brand? In this class, you will participate in a press release exercise and a storytelling challenge to push you to make the invisible visible.

  12. 12

    Agitated Inquiry

    Beth leads you through the hardest part of changemaking. Learn how to “agitate”, ask the right questions and create healthy and intentional conflict to mature your best ideas.

  13. 13

    How to Deal With Conflict

    Conflict can be managed in a damaging or healthy way; learn how to invite criticism and deal with conflict in a way that yields innovation. Beth shares lessons she learned and how to handle conflict as an introvert.

  14. 14


    Do you have the right feedback mechanisms in place to ensure constant improvement? Beth shares her own struggles with feedback and how the feedback loop has evolved. She leads you through an exercise to examine your own feedback loop and shares examples of effective feedback systems.

  15. 15

    3D Budgeting

    In this lesson, Beth expands upon finding your 10% and introduces 3D budgeting: budgeting your time and resources for the now, the next and the new. She shares an exercise to examine and navigate your constraints.

  16. 16

    Fail Forward

    Failures are often emotional and difficult to manage, yet success is impossible without failure; Beth explores the value in failure by “failing forward”. Learn an exercise to fail forward and strategies to approach failure as a team. Beth closes the course in summary and posits the question: are you ready to emerge?


Meet Your Expert

Beth Comstock

Beth Comstock’s mission is to understand what’s next, navigate change and help others do the same. By cultivating a habit of seeking out new ideas, people and places, she built a career path from storyteller to chief marketer to corporate Vice Chair.

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Bonus Material

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  • pdf Imagine It Forward Toolkit

100% of students recommend this class.
See what some of them have to say.

  • Julie Hankes

    May 2019

    Wow, this class was such a privilege to be a part of! There are so many gems in here, but what I loved most, is that she opened my thinking even bigger and offered me tricks and tips to facilitate that for myself and others long into the future. This is a tremendous gift as I'm already pretty outside of the box (i.e. I just took a client kayaking and then out in a seaplane yesterday for a visioning session) and creative in my work, so yes, what a gift! She also profoundly underscores the vital role the creative/imaginary mindset plays in the role of innovation and greeting our world's most wild challenges and opportunities. What a joy, have shared her work with many since this class took place. Thank you Beth for your courageous offering of imagination and championing it's vital role in our everyday work place and in our world's next steps into a more thriving, creative and innovative future!

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