During the course of two years, Idea Champions facilitated more than 20 Banking on Innovation and Leading Innovation trainings for Goodyear's R&D (Tire Technology) Division. The purpose of these sessions was to catalyze the origination of breakthrough products, services, and process improvements — and also build the core competency of innovation. More than 250 "Big Idea" projects were launched as a direct outcome of the Idea Champions' intervention. In addition, a number of "culture of innovation" improvements were also made, including the launching of quarterly "Innovation Recognition" events, the launching of an innovation intranet, and the creation of think tank rooms. We also certified Goodyear's Professional Development Manager to teach both Idea Champions programs in-house, a relationship that continues to this day.
We designed and facilitated a series of ideation and teambuilding sessions for marketing teams committed to challenging the status quo and generating new product and service breakthroughs. One of the teams we worked with was responsible for originating and marketing a new, $250 million salty snack food (Wahoos!). In addition to providing real-time brainstorm/creative thinking facilitation, we also tapped the collective mind of Idea Champions virtual BrainTrust — an online network of creative thinkers who originated 75 new product ideas for General Mills. Based on our client's own assessment, Idea Champions was 50% responsible for GMI's marketing team success.
Idea Champions has worked with a wide variety of GE business units in the past 10 years, including GE Capital, GE Supply, GE Plastics, GE R&D, GE Industrial Systems, GE Crotonville (Management Development) and GE Financial solutions (formerly ERC). Our offerings have included the delivery of creative thinking trainings, facilitated ideation sessions, the teaching of Innovation and Business Growth (at GE's Crotonville campus), the certification of creative thinking trainers, and the creation of a wide variety of customized, consulting interventions. We also developed and facilitated a breakthrough thinking workshop ( i.e. Know Time) that became a vital part of GE's Six Sigma black belt development training. More currently, we are supplying GE Financial Solutions with content for their innovation intranet.
A new client of Idea Champions, Autozone — who has recently realized the need to develop the core competency of innovation — has engaged our services to teach Banking on Innovation and Leading Innovation to a cross-section of their merchandising managers, sales force, business leaders, marketing directors, and administrative staff. A series of pilot programs proved successful in February of 2004 and a longer-term rollout of our offerings will begin in early 2005.
Three or four times a year we provide innovation training to a cross-section of Michelin's R&D department, as well as most of their new hires. Additionally, Michelin has licensed two of our virtual products for their intranet: 1) Innovation Assurance (a series of 12 e-learning power point shows and; 2) Five Creative Thinking Guidebooks.
We have been working with this Kansas City-based business unit for the past few years, providing a mix of creative thinking trainings, customized interventions for their Product Innovation Team, and content for their Innovation Intranet. More specifically, GE Financial Solutions has licensed 20 of our creative thinking tools, and a variety of "culture of innovation" surveys.
During the course of four years, we provided a number of creative thinking and teamwork interventions for various MTV departments. We also facilitated a variety of brainstorming sessions for their interactive media group. MTV valued one of our processes (i.e. LCS) so much that they made it part of their new-hire orientation process.
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Storytelling at Work
Storytelling at Work is Mitch Ditkoff's newly published book about the power of personal storytelling in business – why it matters and what you and your organization can do to leverage the impact of storytelling in the workplace.
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Our Heart of Innovation blog is a daily destination for movers and shakers everywhere — gleefully produced by our President, Mitch Ditkoff, voted "best innovation blogger in the world" two years running.
Innovation is a team sport. Brilliant ideas go nowhere unless your people are aligned, collaborative, and team-oriented. That doesn't happen automatically, however. It takes intention, clarity, selflessness, and a new way of operating.
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If you're looking for a powerful way to jump start innovation and get your creative juices flowing, Awake at the Wheel is for you. Written by Mitch Ditkoff, Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions.
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