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Mike Bonifer
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Mike Bonifer is the CEO and co-founder of GameChangers, LLC, which uses improvisation techniques, game structure and quantum storytelling to help its clients improve communication and build brand narratives.

Entries by Mike Bonifer

Red and White: A Love Story

(0) Comments | Posted March 27, 2013 | 5:13 PM

Red met White in a Keith Haring painting in 1982. They saw each other again that same year in one of the light cycles from the movie, Tron. Red was like, call me, and White was all like, I don't call, I return. So Red called, and White returned, and...

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Guns of My Father

(2) Comments | Posted January 17, 2013 | 11:14 AM

To this point in time, and I hope this never changes, the person with more gun experience than anyone I have ever known, was my father, Robert Lee Bonifer. In World War II, "Cowboy Bob," (as he was known back home in Ireland, Indiana, for his love of horses and...

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Election 2012: Ayn Rand vs Viola Spolin

(11) Comments | Posted November 5, 2012 | 11:22 AM

Ayn Rand, you say? Is that what you say?

When it comes to productive avenues for innovation and growth, especially in the current economic climate, the Rand approach is a recipe for personal and organizational chaos and aimlessness. Here's why:

What Ayn Rand created was, and still is, fiction. It...

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Slow Playing The Whale

(3) Comments | Posted September 19, 2012 | 11:38 AM

With 48 days to go before the presidential election, we need to dial down our narrative hysteria over Romney/Ryan's careening choo-choo, and just let it derail of its own confused accord. Those of us who see how the ol' R& R has completely uncoupled from reality don't ride that line...

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The Amish Antidote

(0) Comments | Posted September 7, 2011 | 6:08 PM

This weekend, we will see billions of dollars in media time, politician time, Homeland Security time, Pentagon time, NFL time, and the cost of our collective attention, spent on remembering 9/11. Most of it will be the 'Never Forget, Never Forgive' kind of remembering. We can already hear...

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Cenk Uygur Has a Tree in His Head

(40) Comments | Posted September 2, 2011 | 7:22 PM

Cenk Uygur has a tree in his head.

I am currently studying the world-shaking work on storytelling in organizations by Dr. David Boje, who teaches at the College of Business at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, N.M.

In the draft manuscript for his...

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Drew Westen's Tension

(5) Comments | Posted August 11, 2011 | 11:53 AM

In a cosmetic sense, I agree with some of some of what Drew Westen wrote in his widely-circulated New York Times piece this week about President (vs. Candidate) Obama's 'passionless' storytelling since getting elected. Westen's essay, however, has one glaring omission that pretty much neuters his entire argument,...

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Analysis: 'The Birth Certificate Scene'

(2) Comments | Posted April 28, 2011 | 4:20 PM

To understand the leadership style modeled by President Obama, it helps to look at it through the lens of improvisation. Not improvisation as in Second City comedy, or 'making it up as we go along.' Improvisation as collaborative problem solving. Like jazz. Questing after the music that only our combined...

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Letter From an Angry Mother

(2) Comments | Posted April 14, 2011 | 10:19 AM

Dear Children,

I know you are busy with your lives and your careers and such, and you know I'm not one to meddle or nag. Live and let live, that's my motto. But as your Mother I've got to tell you that your behavior lately has...

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How to Kick Yeahbut

(0) Comments | Posted March 21, 2011 | 3:19 PM

A business narrative, like a theater performance, consists of a series of scenes. These scenes can often go on for extended periods of time, and take place concurrently (Operations) intermittently (Reviews) or asynchronously (Help Desk). They always have an audience. The audience can be 'internal' (inside the company),...

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Revolution 2.0

(0) Comments | Posted February 11, 2011 | 4:40 PM

Wael Ghonim, Google's marketing manager for the Middle East and North Africa, had been held captive by the Egyptian government for 12 days. Recently released, he has been doing interviews describing what's going on his country in which he describes it as an internet revolution, 'Revolution 2.0' is the name...

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Egypt Needs the E-Team

(1) Comments | Posted February 1, 2011 | 3:00 PM

T.H. Culhane rocks the Middle East like no one else I know. I mean he literally rocks the Middle East. A few years ago, on a U.S. State Dept.-sponsored tour, he road-tripped through Egypt and other Middle East countries with Solar Circus, a rock band formed by his brother Michael...

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Power Moves

(0) Comments | Posted November 30, 2010 | 9:26 PM

2010-12-01-HPSharingPower1.jpg

This photo, featured on the 11.30.10 HuffPost landing page, is one of my favorite politically-themed photos of the year. It depicts a perfect little scene. Whoever took it for Getty Images deserves a prize. Its composition is precise, balanced and economical. In terms of...

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Who's That Guy Behind Colbert?

(3) Comments | Posted September 27, 2010 | 4:08 PM

2010-09-25-ColbertOpusMontage.jpg
Last week, our mutual friend, the fabulous Eve Serena Fizzinoglia, posted a link on Facebook congratulating Opus Moreschi for his appearance during Stephen Colbert's funny-with-a-purpose Congressional testimony on the status of immigrant farm workers. Opus performing? What was Eve talking about? Definitely...
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Social Media Week: Shift Will Happen

(1) Comments | Posted September 17, 2010 | 5:26 PM

It's human nature to name things, so we had to come up with a name for what we turned around one day and discovered everyone else doing -- Tweeting, Facebooking, YouTubing, Digging, Etsying, You-Name-It-ing, basically platforming the hell out of the internet as a way to participate in the new...

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Breitbart's Game

(18) Comments | Posted September 16, 2010 | 6:00 PM

An analysis of Andrew Breitbart's game, after his talk at the METal (Media, Entertainment & Technology Alliance) breakfast this past August in Marina Del Rey, California...

Impressively balancing a thick databook on a chunky thigh while half-sitting on a barstool, Breitbart waves his hands a lot when he talks. He's...

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The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Game

(0) Comments | Posted August 9, 2010 | 11:47 AM

In tangling with a subject that's loco, one runs the risk of going loco oneself. It's probably why I've been struggling with this post, to the point of being driven crazy by it, for a week. Here we go, this time for sure, hoping that some semblance of sanity awaits...

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How to Win in Afghanistan

(4) Comments | Posted July 21, 2010 | 12:33 PM

This is an analysis of the Afghanistan War through the lens of improvisation. (The analysis is further informed by conversations with Afghan and American journalists, social entrepreneurs working in Afghanistan, members of the American military who have fought on the ground in Iraq, Afghanistan, or both, and, in some cases,...

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Relatively Tiny Tony

(3) Comments | Posted May 17, 2010 | 2:02 PM

Here's the quote by Tony "Relatively Tiny" Hayward, the CEO of BP about the mess it has made of the Gulf of Mexico from a story on May 13th in the Guardian that's getting cited all over the interwebs"

"The Gulf of Mexico is a very...

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Goodbye, Consumer

(2) Comments | Posted April 5, 2010 | 11:40 AM

This is an important distinction for brands to make:

Say goodbye to consumers.

Create customers instead.

Here's why:

Consumption is so last century. Consumer-oriented brands' only meaningful metric is how much merch they move, and consumers tie their status to how much of a scarce resource they...

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