Creativity Rock Star Consulting LLC

Creativity Rock Star Consulting


Through innovation workshops, brainstorming sessions, strategic research, and training programs, Dr. Michelle Chappel – CEO of Creativity Rock Star Consulting – helps companies spark ideas for breakthrough products, services, and marketing campaigns.

Corporate Clients:

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The Synergy Effect

mchumanist1Michelle discovered that when she combined teaching psychology with conducting research and performing music, she became a powerhouse at helping people blast through their blocks. Something new came forth, a third power, a sweet spot she didn’t know she had. Michelle calls it the “Synergy Effect.”


In the same way that cross-functional teams ignite innovative ideas, individuals who bring multiple parts of themselves together create a power that is greater than the sum of its parts. Studying calligraphy gave Steve Jobs an aesthetic sense that still distinguishes Apple products. Arthur Fry conceived of Post-it notes while singing in a choir. Blending our strengths and passions enables us to become total rock stars at everything we do.


Brainstorming and Strategic Research



We prime teams to generate high-quality, innovative ideas by using techniques for producing great music, creativity principles from cognitive psychology, and histories of groundbreaking products and services. This creates a Synergy Effect that stimulates analogical thinking in individuals that cuts across different disciplines and leads to breakthrough ideas. We then use a specialized rating system to filter these concepts down to the most promising concepts and develop testable prototypes and advertising campaigns. This process can be used to stimulate new thinking in any type of group, from high-tech companies and advertising firms to non-profit organizations and schools.


Customized for large organizations, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and other groups.


Strategic User Experience Research

mchumanist1Michelle has two decades of experience building strategic qualitative and quantitative research programs and teams. She has a strong background in consumer insights for web-based services, mobile devices, TV, and advertising. Her expertise includes usability testing, RITE tests, cognitive walkthroughs, remote testing, field studies, focus groups, diary studies, surveys, contextual inquiries, prototype evaluation, competitive analysis, ethnographic research, design thinking, card sorting, personas, and heuristic evaluations. Examples of screener, guide, and report.


Workshops and Keynote Talks


Igniting Innovation Through the Synergy Effect

Using the Synergy Effect can boost your company’s ability to develop innovative products and services by combining concepts and insights across different fields and disciplines. We will show you how to harness this creative sweet spot by building a culture that encourages employees to bring their whole selves to work. By sharpening each individual’s unique creative edge and putting these multiple perspectives together, you will:

  • Create highly productive, innovative teams
  • Increase employee engagement and reduce work-related stress
  • Generate breakthrough products and services
  • Improve cost, quality, and time to market
  • Attract and retain the best talent



Customized for large organizations, small businesses, and entrepreneurs. Available as a keynote (45-75 minutes), half-day or full-day workshop (includes hands-on exercises and brainstorming).


Turn Your Workforce into Creativity Rock Stars

What does it take to be your creative best self? What could your organization accomplish with fully-engaged creative employees? In this highly inspiring talk, Michelle Chappel will share her path to world-renowned creative mastery in business and music to help your organization boost innovation and succeed in this quickly-changing global market.

You will learn how to:

  • Unleash creativity in your workforce from the bottom up and top down
  • Produce a higher quantity and quality of work in less time with less effort
  • Boost your superpowers by harnessing your team’s diverse skill set
  • Turn obstacles into opportunities by using proven problem solving techniques
  • Shake up outdated routines and invent groundbreaking products

Customized for large organizations, small businesses, and entrepreneurs. Available as a keynote (45-75 minutes), half-day or full-day workshop (includes hands-on exercises and brainstorming).


The 10 Top Skills of High-Performance Teams

This talk will present 10 creative best practices to stimulate innovative thinking in high-performance teams based on techniques for producing great music. Learn how to produce highly-effective, well-functioning business teams that generate pitch-perfect ideas. These techniques can also improve the creative dynamics of sports teams, churches, non-profit organizations, schools, families, and other groups. Appropriate for non-musicians and musicians.



Creative Music Best Practices™:

C amaraderie It takes more than one note to create a song. Even if that one note is amazing. Cellos, violins, clarinets and other instruments blend together to make a great symphony. It’s the same in the corporate world. Everyone on a team has a vital role to play and can make a significant contribution. Team members can work harmoniously together by embracing their differences.

R esponsibility Remarkable music happens when every member of a band takes responsibility for creating parts, practicing songs, taking care of their instruments, and listening to each other as they play together. By taking ownership of your place on a team, and having dedication and compassion for your team members, you do your best work.

E xcellence Miles Davis said “there are no mistakes.” Whenever one of his musicians would play a sour note on stage, the entire band would incorporate it into the song and make it work. To achieve excellence, it’s important to build a strong foundation and set your sights high, but it’s equally important to take risks. Some of the most innovative products come out of “mistakes.”

A dversity When Wolfstone (Scottish rock band) toured California, their electric guitars and amps didn’t make it to one show, and they ended up playing an impromptu acoustic set that was truly inspired. Adversity can be the threshold to greatness. It builds character and helps you understand your limits and strengths. It also makes you stronger. We all suffer setbacks. It’s how you deal with obstacles that determines how successful you are in work and life.

T alent Eric Clapton wasn’t an amazing guitarist when he first picked up the guitar; his innate talent grew with practice and hard work. Paul McCartney taught himself how to play piano later in life. Everyone has talent. Teams are most effective when they maximize the unique gifts every member brings, and promote the discovery of hidden abilities.

I nspiration Music is created by blending space and notes together, not just playing notes all the time. You can access inspired thought by building slack time into airtight schedules, and learning how to quiet the mind. The end result is focused attention that cuts down the time to accomplish goals and boosts the outcome.

V iewpoints Music is boring when the same tracks get laid down over and over again in a studio. To get out of a rut, musicians often riff off of each other (throw musical ideas back and forth in rapid exchange). In the same way, you can break set ways of thinking and leap ahead of the competition by encouraging collaborative problem-solving and regular brainstorming sessions.

E njoy U2 and The Rolling Stones are still going strong because they enjoy what they do. Avoid burn out and foster creativity by cultivating a sense of play and passion about what you do. Research shows that happy people are more effective at work, take fewer sick days, are loyal to their employers longer, get better evaluations from managers and customers, show more helpful behaviors, and are more creative than people who aren’t happy.

Customized for large companies, small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and other groups. Available as a keynote (45-75 minutes), half-day or full-day workshop (with interactive improv exercises and brainstorming).

To schedule workshops, keynote talks, and consulting, email:


Business Experience

Initially serving as a lead user researcher at Interval Research (Paul Allen’s think tank), Chappel eventually became Senior Director of User Research at Alta Vista, and VP of Customer Insights at WeeWorld, a social networking site for tweens and teens. She currently gives innovation talks and workshops and serves as an international user experience consultant for companies such as Google, eBay, Yahoo, and TiVo.

Upcoming Book: “The Superhero in You: A Creative Path to Greater Purpose, Power, and Happiness” is due out in 2026. Pre-order Today!



    • Michelle Chappel’s simple and practical lessons will unleash creativity in all areas of your life. I would not only recommend this book to people who want to reach their creative potential, but to business leaders who want to give their companies a competitive edge by igniting innovation. Jon Gordon, business best-selling author of The Energy Bus and The Seed
    • Everyone found Michelle’s ideas very interesting and thought provoking. We’d really like to get her back. Tom Wailes, Senior UX Director, Yahoo!
      • This is the most compelling workshop I’ve seen in years. The music analogy really works. Adam Bates, Director of User Research, TiVo
    • One thing that really impressed me about Michelle is the multidimensionality of her personality. She is very creative and also has a sharp research mind. Christian Rohrer, Director of User Research, eBay
    • Michelle’s session on brainstorming techniques was really great – inspiring and fun. We’d love to have her back for the next UX SIG session! Esther Raice, Sr Director of Product Design, CA Technologies (Fortune 500 company)
    • Michelle’s presentation at Tech Girls Rock was fantastic. Her freshness and enthusiasm is seriously contagious – especially when it comes to women in tech, something she was able to make so accessible to those girls… and even a little more so for me. So truly: thank you! Anna Wagner, Product Marketing Manager, CA Technologies (Fortune 500 company)
    • Michelle gave a great presentation on finding your whole self through creativity, connection, and reinvention. Everyone really enjoyed her message and the energy she brought to the room. Carrie Birkhofer, President and CEO, Bay Federal Credit Union
    • Michelle’s creativity talk for the UX SIG (with 300 participants from around the world) was excellent and interactive! Rebecca Baker, PhD, Manager of Product Design, CA Technologies (Fortune 500 company)
    • It was a pleasure to look at creativity from a different point of view through Michelle’s exercises. Personally, for me being in marketing/advertising 20 years I’m living proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks. Erik Fenberg, Marketing Manager, Marathon Petroleum Corporation
    • Michelle’s take on creativity was refreshing and definitely gave our group energy while brainstorming. Steven Kammeyer, Advertising Specialist, Marathon Petroleum Company