Neil Butler, The Art and Science of Transformagination – InnovaBuzz 348

Neil Butler

Neil Butler, Untypical

In this episode, I’m really excited to have as my guest, Neil Butler, the Director of Untypical and a self-described Untypical Thinker. Starting his professional life as a secondary school teacher in regional Victoria, he left teaching for “six months” in 1988 to see what was going on in the outside world and how that could be applied to his teaching.

Now, over 30 years later and the six months break from teaching continues. He has gained experience in a wide variety of local, regional and global roles including education and training, business and technical support, credit management, business process improvement, business analysis, change management, and most recently, transformation leadership. In 2011, he started Untypical, serving the needs of small business owners. Neil is very active in community radio, runs a broadcasting service for the Victorian State Aussie Rules football league and hosts 4 podcasts – WOWpod, Untypical Thoughts, Home Buyers Q & A, and 2 Blokes Chatting.

In our discussion, Neil talked to me about:

  • Moving from necessity-driven thinking to possibility-driven thinking
  • How to combine imagination and transformation
  • Forget outside the box – let’s burn the box

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

Listen to the Podcast

Transformagination is where transformation meets imagination. @NeilAButler on #InnovaBuzz podcast Share on X

Show Notes from this episode with Neil Butler of Untypical

Key points and takeaways from this episode include:

  • Forget about thinking outside of the box, let’s burn the box!
  • Forget about stepping outside of your comfort zone. If you take a step out of your comfort zone, you can step back into it. Fly and leap out of your comfort zone!
  • Wherever you use the word “should”, take it out and replace it with “could.” Think of what you COULD do to make things easier rather than what you should do.
  • “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein
  • Be more creative. Rather than turning to the same people and thinking about how you can get things back to where things were before, turn to people who might be younger or might have come from another industry, that might certainly have fresher ideas. Forget about what you used to do. Start connecting those dots and think about what you could do to move things forward.
  • Give people permission to imagine and present their imaginative thoughts. 
  • If you don’t imagine, you’ll continue to base on your past experiences and that’s not going to get you anywhere.
  • Transformagination is where transformation meets imagination.
  • Learn to accept that things will never be the same again. 
  • Conventionality belongs to yesterday. You’ve got to start thinking unconventionally. 
  • It’s ok to start smashing the paradigm that we’ve lived in.
  • People at the top should learn how to abdicate some degree of influence. Start asking other people. As soon as people start to abdicate that responsibility to other people, that is where the mind shift begins. 
  • Corporate inertia – Inertia is the tendency for something to stay in the same state, at the same speed and in the same direction unless it is acted upon by an external force. The real trick towards getting mindset change in business is how big an external force you need to apply. The bigger the business, the bigger the external force must be.
  • Reset, Re-establish, and Regenerate!
  • Step up and bring your ideas. Now is the time to re-establish yourself. 
  • It’s not true that video killed the radio. Radio is as healthy now as it has ever been.
  • Radio is a great medium. It is very personal. The only problem with the radio is timing. Podcasting gives an added advantage of being on-demand. The listener can choose what they listen to and when they listen to it. 
  • Podcasting gives anybody the opportunity to be a broadcaster.
  • If you have something say, go into a presentation format, however, you have to make sure that there is something different about your message in order for your podcast to stand out.
  • A conversational podcast allows you to be unique. You don’t know what you’ll end up with. Each episode is always going to be different.
  • Think of your podcast as another product. You have to figure out who’s going to buy it, why they would want to buy it, and what makes it different from others. 
If you don't imagine, you'll continue to base on your past experiences and that's not going to get you anywhere. @NeilAButler on #InnovaBuzz podcast Share on X

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are Neil’s answers to the questions of our innovation round. Listen to the conversation to get the full scoop.

  1. #1 thing to be more innovative – Eliminate “should” and eliminate the “apostrophe.” Start thinking beyond “should” and start thinking towards “could”, and unless you can come up with a really good contracted word that has an apostrophe in it, that is positive, get rid of it. 
  2. Best thing for new ideas – Imagine. Forget what used to work. Start focusing on the “could’s” again. Keep trying new ideas until something clicks.
  3. Favourite tool for innovation – People. Engage with people who demonstrate a transformaginative mindset.
  4. Keep project/client on track – Constant engagement with people. Work with people not for people. Don’t work for the client, work with the client. Make sure they are on the ride with you.
  5. Differentiate – Don’t think outside the box, burn the box. 

To Be a Leader

Have a crack. Instead of worrying about what might go wrong, think about what might go right. Be authentic. Be YOU.

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Neil through their website

Suggested Guest

Neil suggested we have a conversation with James Mulvaney of and Buyers advocate and LinkedIn specialist Emily Wallace. So James and Emily, keep an eye on your inbox for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz podcast, courtesy of Neil Butler.


Cool Things About Neil

  • He has been a paid-up member of the Fitzroy and, subsequently, the Brisbane Lions AFL club for almost 40 years.
  • He sponsors a young Lions footballer each year via Untypical.
  • In 2003, he was awarded the Regional Auskick Coach of the Year – AFL Victoria, Oakleigh Region.
Don't think outside the box, burn the box. @NeilAButler on #InnovaBuzz podcast Share on X

Listen to the Podcast

Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is The World's Best Human-Centred Podcasting Coach and the only Podcast Innovator with the signature bright yellow headphones, who masterfully crafts human connection for high-impact achievers in a vibrant community. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Flywheel Nation Community as well as on Innovabiz' InstagramTwitter, Facebook pages and his personal Photography website.  

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