Give me the young man who has brains enough to make a fool of himself.|
Robert Louis Stevenson
Best start to a sales meeting in 20 years.|
Jeff Cohen, Rhone-Poulenc Rorer
Mitch Ditkoff, the Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions, has recently been voted a top 5 speaker in the field of innovation and creativity by Speakers Platform, a leading speaker's bureau.
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.
Enjoy a 7-minute interview with Mitch at the Ethical Sourcing Forum in NYC:
Guy Kawasaki's Alltop "online magazine rack" has recognized
Idea Champions' blog
as one of the leading innovation blogs on the web. Check
out The Heart of Innovation, and subscribe!
A totally unique brainstorming salon.
Great food. Great food for thought. Great people. Collaborate, have fun,
get out of the box.
"Inno-waiters With Whine Lists" – The Breakthrough Cafe featured in January 2006 issue of
Our Clients Speak
"Idea Champions is the firm I recommend for anything to do with innovation."
Melody Mahoney, Center for Leadership and Organizational Excellence, GE Capital
"Idea Champions continues to be a terrific partner as we proceed on our innovation journey. They are highly knowledgeable about developing an innovative culture, know what to do and, more importantly, know what not to do. They are also wonderful facilitators of group training — both entertaining and educational. I recommend IdeaChampions to any company looking to build their innovation capabilities!"
Darcy Smith, VP Subsidiary HR, Highmark
"As I reflect on your Ingenious Leadership session, I continue to find that the take-aways from that single day have proved to be much more valuable to me than some of the more extensive consulting inputs I have received from large brand name consultants my company interacts with. The practical emphasis you made on the human side of innovation hits the mark."
Harry Kiskaddon, Vice President, Alcoa
"Idea Champions made our annual conference on innovation a huge success. They not only expertly facilitated the process, but ensured that our company developed a culture that will foster innovation from here on in."
Rick Yockelson, SVP of People and Administration, Hudson Group
"Idea Champions is creative in their approach, experienced, willing to share their expertise readily, easy to work with, and delivers exactly what they promise."
Peter Clist, Head of Management Institute, Allianz (Munich, Germany)
"Idea Champions offers pragmatic tools and insights that enable innovation. Their approach is engaging, encouraging and creates an impetus for participants to apply the learning immediately."
Michael Serino, Senior Director, Merck
"We've used Idea Champions' Ideation Jump Start webinar to kick off nine virtual innovation events around the world. The webinars have been invaluable in helping diverse and remote teams around the globe focus on the essentials of great idea generation. Ideation Jump Start has been a cost effective and efficient tool that gets our teams right into the thick of idea generation and collaboration."
Jon Bidwell, Director of Innovation, Chubb Insurance
"As a result of Idea Champions' efforts we have implemented more than 250 value-added Big Idea projects."
Joe Belinsky, Professional Development Manager, Goodyear Rubber and Tire
"No organization, especially those in Health Care, can expect to thrive without drawing on the collective talent and ideas of their workforce. Idea Champions helped us discover and apply those talents and ideas in a highly productive and practical system."
Don Parker, President, AtlantiCare Health Care Systems
"My department has greatly benefited from our innovation workshop with Idea Champions. They did an excellent job making the workshop fun and empowering. We feel energized and believe we have tools now for making ideas real."
Tom Wheeler, Department Head, Battle Management Information Technologies, MITRE
"Your culture of innovation keynote at our annual conference was informative, inspiring, and entertaining. I know that keeping 128 executives, managers, engineers and manufacturing people engaged for five hours is a challenging task, but you pulled it off extremely well."
Gordon Thomas, VP (Hydrosystems)
"Idea Champions' highly engaging approach, combining creative energy and
business practicality, is a real winner. Their process and practical tools
helps people experience innovation in the moment, and more importantly, enables
them to apply the learning back home with their own teams."
Mike Canning, Managing Director, Duke Corporate Education
"Idea Champions has been a partner with the Chubb Business School for four years and has helped us drive the skillset and mindset of innovation throughout the organization. This partnership has resulted in an approach that focuses not only on the skill of creative thinking, but on the application of that learning. Several ideas from Chubb Business School have been pitched to our Venture Fund Team and received funding for development and implementation. Definitely solid ROI!"
Mary Ann Heenehan, Corporate Groups Development Manager, Chubb Insurance
"Your session was very engaging and helped participants derive significant understanding about how to solve the 'innovation conundrum' and how game changing practices need to be adopted in order to grow."
Krishna Nacha, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, EXL
"Idea Champions came to consult with M Booth just weeks after we were named
'Creative Agency of the Year' and helped us unlock an even greater level of
thinking for our clients across the board. The creative shift came almost
immediately after our sessions with Idea Champions began and continued to
grow exponentially with each session. Now, our thinking is more innovative,
more strategic and reached more efficiently."
Andrew Rossi, Creative
Director, MBooth & Associates
"I was highly impressed with the role Idea Champions played at
our recent offsite. They worked very diligently to understand
our goals, and more importantly, thoughtfully craft a customized
agenda and format to help us to attain those goals. Their tone,
demeanor, and presentation style were spot on and created an
open, supportive atmosphere that allowed us to maximize our
brainstorming efforts. I would highly recommend Idea Champions
to any company."
Rich Battista. President, Fox National Cable Networks
"The Idea Champions process not only worked, it exceeded our every expectation - from the resulting, first-ever employee generated AETN mission statement to the power of letting our workforce be a part of defining their own future. Idea Champions was at the heart of our success and masterfully made it comfortable and fun to leave our comfort zone. Our CEO has already received over 100 emails from employees thanking her for the process. What could be better than that!?"
Melinda McLaughlin, Senior Vice President, A&E Television Networks
"Idea Champions brings an infectious enthusiasm that
will win over even the most cynical person in your organization!"
Kevin Reilly, President, NBC Universal
"I want to note how impressed we all were with Idea Champions' insight and understanding of our business and creative needs, as well as the varied and constructive techniques you used to take us through the creative process."
Gabrielle Del Sesto, VP, MTV Networks
"Mitch Ditkoff's Awake at the Wheel keynote presentation was both
entertaining and informative. Over 1,030 Merck employees attended and
rated the session a 4.8 out of 5.0. In just two hours, Mitch not only got
participants "out of the cave" and generating a wide range of innovative
and powerful ideas, he also helped us understand what it takes to
establish a sustainable culture of innovation within our organization."
Jim Aubele, Associate Director of Organizational Learning, Merck
"Idea Champions helped us generate powerful new ideas and engage with such energy that, six months later, their impact still hasn’t worn off! As a direct outcome of the Idea Champions' session, students and faculty are actively working on several new projects that will make our College even more entrepreneurial! Thank you!""
Candida G. Brush, Chair: Entrepreneurship Division, Babson College
"Thank you! As a result of your efforts, I now have the most highly motivated, self-driven, creative and fun team this division has seen in recent history."
Karen Buczek, Marketing Manager, General Mills
"The Idea Champions team brings a creative, energetic and fun approach to idea generation. The tools and techniques they have brought to Atlanticare are enabling us to build a true Garden of Innovation."
Terri Schieder, VP, Clinical Development and Integration, Atlanticare
"Through your brainstorm faciliation, we gained more than 100 original ideas of high quality. The best of these will guide AT&T's development for years to come."
Robert Rubin, CCS Product Development, AT&T
"The two day retreat you designed and facilitated for our leadership team was excellent. You helped transform our meeting into a truly dynamic and worthwhile experience."
Abbe Raven, CEO, A&E Television Networks
"Participant feedback continues to be positive. Banking on Innovation ranks in our high satisfaction category — a rating of 95% or above."
Karlene Fletcher, Operations Manager, Lucent Technologies
"We found Idea Champions in a desperate search for brainstorm facilitation training and haven't looked back. During the past few months, they've helped us harness our naturally innovative spirit and significantly improved the way we execute our ideation process. We now have the tools and process we need to dig deeper into our creativity — adding a lot more value and power to our company culture."
Jody Johnson, Chief People Officer, M Booth & Associates, Inc.
"Idea Champions helped us take an idea for a two-day creative off-site and turn in into a high-energy, productive and meaningful session which they very skillfully faciliated. My senior staff is still raving about it."
Ryan O'Hara, President, TV Guide Channel
"Extremely engaging and enlightening brainstorming sessions"
Karen Lazan, Marketing Director, Pfizer
"In my interactions with the talented Idea Champions staff I witnessed
an uncanny ability to develop a coalesced, energized, and fun
environment that furthered the overall mission of our organization by
helping us define a series of practical solutions to key issues we are
constantly faced with."
Alan Colange, Manager Employee Benefits, Catholic Health Initiative
"What a wonderful Innovation event Idea Champions put together for us! Talk about out of the box thinking, it was out of this world!
Eric Birnbaum, Sr. Packaging Engineer, Kraft Foods
"You're great for business and that's the bottom line!"
Ed Bennett, President, VH-1
"Idea Champions' "Conducting Genius" training is a great program for learning the tools and techniques needed to run productive brainstorming sessions. I definitely recommend it."
Mike Donahoe, Mgr. Innovation Process Management, Alliance Data Systems
"Your programs were like an oasis in the desert creating a climate for people to rejuvenate and be creative."
Laura Harvell, HR Advisor, OXY USA
"The best start to a sales meeting in 20 years."
Jeff Cohen, Global Training and Development, Rhone-Poulenc Rorer
"Banking on Innovation is a superb training for new employees."
Ralph Hulseman, CTA Research, Michelin
"Thank you for doing such an outstanding job and encouraging participants to step outside their limiting assumptions. Your session definitely helped us generate lots of great ideas to activate our positioning around the world."
Charlotte Oades, Director, Brand Marketing, The Coca Cola Company
"I want to take this opportunity to tell you how well your Banking on Innovation program is going here. Each time the training runs, people leave with great new ideas to help them on the job."
Jamie Levinson, Training Consultant, TIAA-CREF
"Thank you very much for your recent program presented at our Worldwide Financial Manager's Meeting. Participants found the session fun and a great learning experience."
John Stromberg, NCR Corporation
"I want to thank Idea Champions for their fine work in support of our new
Benefits Strategy. You were able to elegantly design and facilitate diverse
large group sessions in a way that made our employees feel special and heard.
You got the results we wanted while doing it in an effortless, enjoyable way
that got everyone totally involved and task-focused, but left them energized
and invigorated as well."
Nada Vanous, Director, Health and Welfare Plans, Catholic Health Initiative
"Idea Champions' Innovative Problem Solving workshop has been a great aid to our employees - a great tool to help employees become more creative on the job."
Kelly Salita, Mgt. Training Specialist, Chicago Board of Trade
"Your enthusiasm for innovation is contagious. Our marketing management professionals continue to leave your course excited about their new implementable ideas and innovations re: new and existing products and services."
Jim Schultz, Managing Director, NYNEX
"We are very pleased with the results of Idea Champions creative thinking course. Our employees found it not only fun, but a great learning experience."
Marguerite Anderson, HR Group, Hitachi America
"Your techniques and style left our people with a better understanding and working knowledge of the most valuable tool we all possess - the creative mind."
Tom Gowan, VP Communications, Emmis Broadcasting
"Superb! Everyone was impressed with your ability to spark and harness the collective ingenuity of our group."
Craig Harden, Global Risk Manager, Scotia Capital
"Your presentation was received with the highest of ratings. I especially appreciate how your services, methods and products clearly reflect your understanding of adult learning and practice."
Carole Weinstein, Associate Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers
"I have received a number of compliments about your teaching style and the level of energy you are able to maintain. Our audience can be an extremely demanding one and you consistently manage to command their full participation. Thank you!"
David Crossen, MDC Program Manager, GE
"Idea Champions was able to help 30 learning-averse investment bankers, from more than 20 countries, take a deeper look at many of the issues we are facing - especially the need to innovate."
Linda Oldham, VP, Citibank
"I would be challenged to identify a seminar or event that has had more impact on my professional life of 21 years than Idea Champions Innovative Thinking seminar."
Anthony Wasson, SVP, Centimark
"Several of the ideas we came up with in the Idea Champions session are being developed into concrete projects that are looking like very profitable opportunities."
Rudy Villa, VP, GE/RCA Licensing
"Thank you for a wonderful presentation and taking the time to share your gift."
Maria Keesling, Dupont
Louis Scenti, Management Development Consultant, Merrill Lynch
"Excellent workshop! We now have a better sense of what effective teamwork can accomplish and have a better vision of where our unit is heading."
Rosemary Lindsay, Towers Perrin
"Idea Champions is nothing short of inspiring, challenging me again and again to champion change in my company and within myself."
Lorraine Papenberg, Supervisor, Orange & Rockland Utilities
"Your High Velocity Brainstorming sessions were wonderful. We achieved all the goals we set out to accomplish and more."
Sue Mongeon, Staff Manager, AT&T
"Great job! Well-planned. High energy. Outstanding value."
Samuel Bruce, Assistant Dean, Fuqua School of Business
"The Babson Entrepreneurship Club had such high expectations for Idea Champions' innovation workshop that I was unsure they could deliver. In one day, however, they not only delivered valuable tools for unleashing innovation and creating a culture of innovation, they also helped three of our teams identify start-up opportunities they are now pursuing."
John Meacham, MBA Student, Babson College
"Idea Champions has made an important contribution to our companywide effort to change how we work in order to better serve our customers and improve financial performance."
Tom Terfehr, VP Materials, Champion International
"Thank you for waking up a company to the opportunities created through the power of a unified team."
Richard Nugent, CEO, generalRoofing
"We were looking for a miracle…and then we found Idea Champions."
Paulette Esposito, Manager, Training and Development, Champion International
"Not only do you produce results, but people have fun in the process."
Scott Playfair, VP Quality, CSR America (now Rinker Materials)
"You are sowers of a wonderfully powerful seed that now has begun to germinate and revitalize our organization."
Candace Thompson, VP, First National Bank of Chicago (now Bank One)