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John Emmerling is an author, an “innovational speaker,” and a visual facilitator of Visual Brainstorming and SuperS.W.O.T.™ sessions. As a former ad-agency creative director, he facilitates groups by reaching into his creative-director’s tool kit to use quick sketches and graphic exercises. These exercises involve participants and help them explore innovative strategies and generate unexpected ideas.

John is an experienced advertising and marketing professional. His career began as an award-winning copywriter at Young & Rubicam, working on major national accounts such as Procter & Gamble, Time Inc. and Goodyear. He launched his own ad agency in 1976 and was later elected Secretary/Treasurer and board member of The American Association of Advertising Agencies.

In 2001, he founded the Innovation Consulting Group, Emmerling Communications. The firm does innovation consulting and group facilitation for a number of national enterprises including General Motors, United Airlines, The Wall Street Journal, and the Army War College Foundation.

Simon & Schuster published his business book, IT ONLY TAKES ONE: How To Create The Right Idea—And Then Make It Happen.  The book features face-to-face interviews with many innovators, including material from a lengthy interview with Bill Gates.

John has two quotations that are now securely lodged in online “Top Picks” lists. One quote is on a site that collects definitions of innovation. It was picked up from John’s speech titled “Innovation—Unleashed!”


“Innovation is creativity with a job to do”
 —John Emmerling 


(BTW, John shares top billing with Machiavelli.) http://www.creativeadvantage.com/innovation_definition.html

The second quotation comes from his book:


“Study well what the billionaire does.
It may make you a millionaire.”

—John Emmerling 


This site features the “Top-40 Quotations on Wealth.” John is listed along with the likes of Ben Franklin, Abe Lincoln and Ralph Waldo Emerson


John is a frequent guest opinion columnist for Advertising Age and is working on his second book.


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