June 30, 2012
16-Year Old Solves a 350-Year Old "Impossible" Math Problem

A few months ago, 16-year old Shouryya Ray blew the mind of mathematicians and the media by solving two "unsolvable" particle dynamics problems first posed by Isaac Newton 350 years ago.

How did he do it?

Explained Shouryya: "When it was explained to us that the problems had no solutions, I thought to myself, 'Well, there's no harm in trying."

Generations of scientists and mathematicians had tried their hand unsuccessfully at solving Newton's problem (for the technically minded, the problem was coming up with a mathematical formula to predict the fluid dynamics of a flying object taking into account the combination of forces including gravity and air friction).

That was until Indian-born Shouryya was on a school trip to Dresden University, and heard the professors mention the problem, and saying it was unsolvable.

Hearing this, Shouryya said "Why not? I didn't believe there couldn't be a solution."

So he got to work on it, and wouldn't give up until he had solved it and published his work.

Does he think it was genius that got him there? No. In fact, almost the opposite.

"I think it was just schoolboy naivety."

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Name three things in your business or life that you written off as "impossible". Now, like Shouryya, don't believe it. Get busy. Take a fresh look at the problem. Trust your instincts. Muse, contemplate, dream.

If you need to get your creative juices flowing, try this.

The problem Shouryya solved?

Let (x(t),y(t)) be the position of a particle at time t. Let g be the acceleration due to gravity and c the constant of friction. Solve the differential equation:

(x''(t)2 + (y''(t)+g)2 )1/2 = c*(x'(t)2 + y'(t)2 )

subject to the constraint that (x''(t),y''(t)+g) is always opposite in direction to (x'(t),y'(t)).

Finding the general solution to this differential equation will find the general solution for the path of a particle which has drag proportional to the square of the velocity (and opposite in direction). Here's an explanation how this differential equation encodes the motion of such a particle:

The square of the velocity is:

x'(t)2 + y'(t)2

The total acceleraton is:

( x''(t)2 + y''(t)2 )1/2

The acceleration due to gravity is g in the negative y direction.
Thus the drag (acceleration due only to friction) is:

( x''(t)2 + (y''(t)+g)2 )1/2

Thus path of such a particle satisfies the differential equation:

( x''(t)2 + (y''(t)+g)2 )1/2 = c*(x'(t)2 + y'(t)2 )

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:00 AM | Comments (1)

June 24, 2012
The Social Media Revolution Revelation

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:15 PM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2012
I Have a Webinarry Question for You

I've just noticed that a recent blog posting of mine has "gone viral" (not postal) and it dawns on me that it might be a good idea to turn it into a 60-minute webinar.

Of course, I've had a lot of "good ideas", in the past, that weren't, so I'm asking YOU for your big, fat, glorious opinion.

Good idea or not?

And if so, what would you pay for it if it included an annual subscription to our creative thinking app, Free the Genie?

Our other webinars

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:20 AM | Comments (0)

June 19, 2012
Free Overview of Our New Webinars

We are not officially "psychic", but there's one thing we know about you without having talked to you and it is this: you have a lot to do and very little time to do it in. Yes? We thought so.

Which is why we've created Idea Champions University -- a curriculum of 60-minute, content-rich webinars for movers and shakers in the fast lane.

It wasn't our idea. It was two of our clients' idea. They asked us, six months ago, to create a simpler, faster, less expensive way to deliver innovation-sparking content -- online -- to their time-crunched workforce. Towards that end, here's an overview of five of our new webinars -- voice over by Mitch Ditkoff, Idea Champions co-Founder and President.

Intrigued? Open to possibility? Breathing? Contact Sarah Jacob, our World Wide Webinatrix: sarah@ideachampions.com

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:08 PM | Comments (0)

June 16, 2012
Teamwork Tip for Today

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:28 AM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2012
A Tip for Team Players

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June 13, 2012
Find a Reliable GPS for Your Organization's Innovation Journey

ED NOTE: It has recently come to our attention that some of our most avid readers still don't know the full scope of what Idea Champions (that's us) does. Here you go:

For 25 years, Idea Champions has catalyzed organizational innovation -- guiding forward-thinking companies to both short-term and long-term success in their marketplace.

As a result of our work, our clients not only learn to quickly adapt to constantly changing markets, but also evolve and invent offerings that blow their competition out of the water.

These companies are committed to what we call the "Innovation Journey." Think of us as your GPS for the journey.

We provide innovation consulting, skill-building training, team facilitation, catalytic conferences, and products to help you create a strategic, systemic and sustainable innovation process -- one that fully engages your workforce.

We have the road map. We know the shortcuts. We know the detours. And we also know how to get you to your destination with the least amount of wheel spinning, frustration, and expense.

To build capacity for innovation, we provide services in five key areas:

1. Innovation Journey Consulting: Needs assessments, senior team alignment sessions, visioning, roadmapping, and a simple process for choosing and developing ideas.

2. Creative Thinking Sessions: Skills for opportunity finding, ideation, brainstorming, breakthrough thinking, and idea assessment. Includes creative thinking tools, support materials, and webinars.

3. Leadership Development Workshops: Customized meetings to increase the core competency of innovation for your organization's "best and brightest". Focuses on helping participants go beyond business as usual and establish a sustainable, culture of innovation.

4. Team Collaboration: Jump starts the process of groups becoming teams and teams becoming high-performing teams. Focuses on team culture, values, communication, collaboration skills, coaching, and how to create low-cost business incubators.

5. Catalytic Conferences: Innovation-sparking events focused on generating new revenue, reducing costs, incubating new business models, and establishing a sustainable culture of innovation. Includes interactive keynotes and conference design, and expert facilitation.

Idea Champions turns theory into practice in a way that is engaging, enlivening, and empowering. Top down. Bottom up. Inside out. And outside in.

Our approach is collaborative, empowering, creative, productive, and fun. Everybody commits to taking the journey together so innovation becomes a mindset, not a program.

We can start small -- with a team or department event. Or we can start BIG, with a series of Innovation Journey Roadmap sessions designed to align and enroll your senior team on their innovation strategies for the future.

Call us today to begin: 845.679.1066. Or email.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:42 PM | Comments (0)

June 12, 2012
What You Can Learn from WC Fields

WC Fields was always an exceptionally gifted performer. But some of his most unforgettable performances took place off-camera.

Like most actors in the start of their career, Fields found himself a little short of cash. A problem? Not for him.

The non-traditional Mr. Fields simply created a "Blue Ocean" job for himself in Atlantic City, one summer, as a professional drowner.

Here's how it worked:

Several times a day, Fields would swim out to sea, pretend to be drowning, and then be "rescued" by one of his accomplices, the lifeguard.

Invariably, a large crowd would gather on the beach as the no longer struggling actor was "resuscitated."

Once it was clear that this poor fellow was going to live, the suddenly relieved crowd would turn to Field's third accomplice, the hot dog vendor, (who just happened to be standing nearby) and treat themselves to an "I'm-so-glad-he's-alive" snack.

At the end of each water-logged day, Fields would split the take with his buddies -- the lifeguard and the hot dog vendor.

Brilliant!

Now, I'm not suggesting that you do anything to deceive your customers. Not at all.

But what I AM suggesting is that you take a fresh look at what you might do differently to get an extraordinary result.

Is there a new risk you need to take? An experiment you need to try? A non-traditional collaboration to enter into?

If your product, service, or venture is drowning, what can you do to resuscitate it?

My company, Idea Champions, once got a sizable contract from AT&T by teaching the Director of Training and Development how to juggle in five minutes -- something he'd been trying to learn for 25 years.

That's what I'm talking about: a new approach, a different twist, a non-traditional angle that will spark extraordinary results.

So... what is it?

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:49 PM | Comments (0)

 Who Are We? Idea Champions is a consulting and training company dedicated to awakening and nurturing the spirit of innovation. We help individuals, teams and entire organizations tap into their innate ability to create, develop and implement ideas that make a difference.
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