November 25, 2014
Jump Start Innovation the Easy Way


Are you interested in raising the bar for innovation in your organization? Do you want to jump start creativity? Curious to explore new ways of upgrading the quality of your brainstorming sessions?

If so, here are eight short videos from Idea Champions' Co-Founder, Mitch Ditkoff, that very much relate to what you are interested in. May ring some chimes or open some doors or whatever metaphor you prefer that describes how to tune into new realms of possibility.

Brainstorm Champions
In defense of brainstorming

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:20 PM | Comments (0)

November 24, 2014
21 Awesome Quotes on Intuition

Dog with Hat.jpg

"The only real valuable thing is intuition." - Albert Einstein

"Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do." - Benjamin Spock

"Systems die; instincts remain." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

"It is through science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover." - Henri Poincare

"Intuition becomes increasingly valuable in the new information society precisely because there is so much data." - John Naisbitt

"A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something." - Frank Capra

Continue reading "21 Awesome Quotes on Intuition"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:24 PM | Comments (0)

November 19, 2014
The Carrot Clarinet

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:43 PM | Comments (0)

November 18, 2014


Do you know what the opposite of a "professional" is? A "confessional." And, at the risk of being unprofessional, here's mine:

One of the great secrets to manifesting anything on planet Earth is to act as if -- to proceed in the spirit of already having succeeded -- or what Steven Covey refers to as "begin with the end in mind."

Why is this important? Because you already are what you profess to be, even if it's not apparent yet.

This state of mind, which is the polar opposite of doubt, could easily be construed to be some kind of con game. But it's not.

Continue reading "CREATIVITY SECRET #8: Act As If!"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:17 PM | Comments (5)

November 14, 2014
100 Lame Excuses for Not Innovating


Do you have a great idea you want to manifest, but... er... uh... um... just can't seem to get things rolling? Chances are good your reasons why are on the list below. No problem. Join the club. Without making yourself wrong, simply note the ones that show up the most for you, then try the simple "go beyond excuses" exercise at the end of the list. Hey, it's time to get unstuck...

1. I don't have the time.
2. I can't get the funding.
3. My boss will never go for it.
4. We're not in the kind of business likely to innovate.
5. I've got too much on my plate right now.

Continue reading "100 Lame Excuses for Not Innovating "

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:53 AM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2014
The Five Regrets of the Dying


Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives.

She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called Inspiration and Chai, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

Ware writes of the phenomenal clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives, and how we might learn from their wisdom.

"When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently," she says, "common themes surfaced again and again."

Continue reading "The Five Regrets of the Dying"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:47 PM | Comments (0)

November 10, 2014
Sun Tzu on Preparation



- Sun Tzu

What do you need to prepare for? What project is looming that requires your due diligence before hand? What can you do, this week, to get ready?

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:04 AM | Comments (0)

November 07, 2014
The Dark Side of Innovation Initiatives


Most newly launched corporate innovation initiatives have a dark side, a not-much-talked-about shadow side -- the metaphorical alcoholic-father-in-the-basement side. And it is this... fascinating new projects are conceived, senior leaders get pumped, game plans are drawn up, but no one gives the "worker bees" any more time to devote to the newly launched projects. They are, in effect, expected to shoehorn their new efforts into their already overloaded schedules.

Bottom line, aspiring innovators' "day jobs" end up colliding with newly launched innovation initiatives and mayhem ensues. People either burn out, get cranky, triangulate to third parties, spend way too much time explaining the newly launched innovation project to their "day job" managers, or else go into martyrdom-mode -- all behaviors that do not bode well for the individual, the company, or its customers. And while every company DOES have a few superstar self-starters who dive in with both feet and a heigh ho silver, this is not a formula for sustainable innovation.

The solution? Either redistribute workloads, offer "innovation project sabbaticals", or provide your front line innovators with enough support services to unclutter their minds, ease their way forward, and allow them the time to focus on the innovation job at hand without frying.

If you don't, expect nothing but a whole lot of chaos, broken promises, unfulfilled expectations, and the kind of innovation backlash you wish you hadn't unleashed.

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:28 PM | Comments (0)

November 05, 2014
Our New Brainstorm Website

Man with bulb in hand.jpg
Our NYC showcase on 11/19

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:37 PM | Comments (0)

November 03, 2014
Thoroughly Thoreau


"I have learned,
that if one
in the direction
of his dreams,
and endeavors to
live the life
he has imagined,
he will meet
with a success
in common hours."

-- Henry David Thoreau

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:32 PM | Comments (0)

November 01, 2014
Einstein Wasn't Into Six Sigma



- Albert Einstein

Brainstorm facilitation training
Idea Champions
Free the Genie

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:11 AM | Comments (0)

October 31, 2014
Sink Your Teeth Into This

Very well done promo video by one of our favorite clients, United Concordia. Inspiring, clear, compelling -- and all in 98 seconds. And a special shout out to John Glindeman for leading the charge on WELLNESS!

United Concordia

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:01 PM | Comments (0)

October 29, 2014
Asking for Permission to Facilitate


Here's a useful tip for you the next time you find yourself standing in front of a group of people and about to facilitate a meeting of any kind.

Before you begin, ask people to give you permission to facilitate.
This may sound like a complete waste of time, especially if you've been brought in by the powers-that-be to facilitate the meeting, but it's not. It's essential. Here's why:

If your meeting is anything like the other 11 million meetings being held each day in corporate America, chances are good that there will be a time during your gathering when at least one person -- bored, cranky, distracted, or angry that they weren't asked to facilitate, will do something (consciously or unconsciously) to derail the session.

Continue reading "Asking for Permission to Facilitate"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:18 PM | Comments (0)

October 27, 2014
Why Train People to Become Masterful Brainstorm Facilitators

Our brainstorm website
Brainstorm facilitation training
What our clients say

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:39 PM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2014
Innovation Pipeline or Pipedream?


Innovation Keynotes

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:55 PM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2014
The Incremental Improvement Trap


In today's nano-second, downsized, caffeine-buzzed business world, corporations are increasingly demanding that "their people" redouble their efforts to find new and better ways of getting the job done.

If this were the 1950's, an efficiency expert might be called in, a bespectacled, uncharismatic gentleman with a fascination for predictability, order, and control. His motto? "A place for everything and everything in its place."

It wasn't a great leap of faith for upwardly mobile managers to buy into this trendy "consulting service" since it seemed like such a safe way to yield increased productivity and reduced costs.

And yes, sometimes it did...

Continue reading "The Incremental Improvement Trap"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:17 PM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2014
Why Does Your Company Brainstorm?


We asked 20 of our clients WHY their companies conduct brainstorming sessions. Here's what they told us, on a scale of 1-5.

4.27 Get different points of view

4.11 Spark creative thinking

4.11 Originate fresh approaches

4.05 Create new possibilities

4.05 Inspire original thinking

4.00 Challenge the status quo

4.00 Tap collective genius

3.94 Unlock fresh insights

3.94 Stir the creative juices

3.94 Generate bold, new ideas

3.83 Jump start innovation

3.77 Solve tough challenges

3.77 Free up creative energy

3.77 Think out of the box

3.72 Think up new solutions quickly

3.66 Accelerate solution finding

3.50 Awaken untapped brilliance

3.38 Quicken the ideation process

3.00 Delight your clients

We teach people how to lead breakthrough brainstorming sessions.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:51 PM | Comments (0)

October 22, 2014
The Perception of Ideas as Problems


Here's something I've been noticing lately:

Managers tend to respond to the introduction of a new idea by one of their direct reports not as an imminent solution to be nurtured, but as a new problem to deal with. Ideas, one would think, would be welcomed by managers, especially managers who are talking the talk about innovation. But all too often managers, time-crunched and overloaded as they are, perceive the introduction of a new idea as simply "more work" for them to do, the early warning sign of more emails to read, more meetings to attend, more requests for funding, and more conflicting opinions. Perhaps this is why so many managers respond to the articulation of a new idea with kneejerk naysaying instead of heartfelt open-mindedness. And you wonder why innovation in your organization is so sluggish...

One way to turn this around
And another way
Our new brainstorming website

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:05 AM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2014
What Does This Picture Mean to You?

Superman and sky.jpg

Idea Champions

Brainstorm Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:52 PM | Comments (0)

October 17, 2014
The Syndrome Syndrome


Here's a fun test for you: If you can read the rest of this paragraph without logging onto Facebook, tweeting, or thinking about crop circles, there's a good chance you do not have ADD, ADHD, or any other recently-identified medical condition.

That's the good news.

The not-so-good news? The overwhelming number of disorders, dysfunctions, and syndromes popping up daily make it almost impossible to understand exactly what condition you actually have.

As a concerned citizen, humanitarian, and Johnny Depp look-a-like, I've decided to go beyond my SAHS (Social Activist Hesitation Syndrome) and actually do something about it.

Continue reading "The Syndrome Syndrome"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:24 PM | Comments (0)

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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.

Top 5 Speaker
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.
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Top 5 Speaker
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.
Awake at the Wheel, Book about big ideas 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.
See Mitch's keynote address Enjoy a 7-minute interview with Mitch at the Ethical Sourcing Forum in NYC: 3/28/11
Featured in Alltop 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!
Face the Music Blues Band The world's first interactive business blues band. A great way to help your workforce go beyond complaint.

"In tune with corporate America." — CNN

Breakthrough Cafe.
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