Joline Godfrey

Session I and III: “Wild and Wise”


A long-time friend of Fast Company and advocate of women’s rights and power in the workplace, Joline Godfrey first appeared in issue 11’s Unit of One: “How to Make Your Career Move.” Since then, the CEO of Independent Means, Inc. has joined us at RealTime New Orleans and RealTime Orlando, sharing her thoughts about infusing the new economy with social justice, thoughtful mentoring, and fearlessness. “(The children I work with) don’t know what they can’t do,” Godfrey said during a break-out session in Florida. “Kids aren’t hampered by rules, and they have ideas about things that people don’t ask about nearly enough.”


A proponent of economic independence for young women, Godfrey shared with RealTime attendees the truths she has collected through her work with Independent Means, including her “7 Secrets of Y-Generation Creativity:”
1. Embrace your weirdness through independence and respect.
2. Ask forgiveness, not permission, and learn when and how to break the rules.
3. Immerse yourself in design; stop to feel the lines.
4. Deny yourself control and suspend your inhibitions.
5. Stick close to your world; explore its depths.
6. Make ignorance work.

Following her session, Godfrey spoke with Fast Company about the brilliance of youth and the importance of trust:

Where do great ideas come from?

Ideas come from all places, even your own backyard and your own kids. I work primarily with Y-Generation kids, who display great imaginations and great ideas. We are learning to co-opt their processes for idea generation, and learn by example just as we did when we were teenagers.

What message do you hope to convey to the RealTime audience?


There is no mystery to great ideas. Innovation comes from trusting yourself and looking around for a font for great ideas.

Where do you stand on the Built to Last/Built to Flip issue?

I’m not sure that Built to Flip is a threat to the new economy. It is certainly a threat to investors and their real cash. Unless you’re building to last, what you’re doing probably isn’t all that important and it just seems boring to me — it’s not intellectually exciting, its not a contribution of any great depth.

Why are you joining us for a second RealTime?

RealTime is the best intellectual salon for business in the country. I come and I get re-charged. I bring back so many ideas to my own staff that I make them crazy when I come home.