January 19, 2020
13 Awesome Quotes on Planning

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"A goal without a plan is just a wish." -- Antoine de Saint Exupery

"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." -- Abraham Lincoln

"Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential." -- Winston Churchill

"No matter what the work you are doing, be always ready to drop it. And plan it, so as to be able to leave it." -- Leo Tolstoy

"Pray to Allah, but tie your camel." -- The Prophet Muhammed

"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." -- Benjamin Franklin

"If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else." -- Yogi Berra

"The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining." -- John F. Kennedy

"It's takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan." -- Eleanor Roosevelt

"Plan for what is difficult while it is easy. Do what is great while it is small." -- Sun Tzu

"A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow." -- George S. Patton

"Many people spend more time in planning the wedding than the do the marriage." -- Zig Ziglar

"All human plans are subject to ruthless revision by Nature, or Fate, or whatever one preferred to call the powers behind the Universe." -- Arthur C. Clarke

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:46 AM | Comments (0)

January 17, 2020
The Three Keys to Becoming a Masterful Brainstorm Facilitator

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As a former student of the martial arts, I have noticed a curious phenomenon in corporate America that is becoming increasingly troubling to me -- especially among "creatives" who aspire to become masterful brainstorm facilitators. I call it the "Bruce Lee Syndrome" or perhaps more correctly, the "I-Took-a-Karate-Lesson-at-My-Local-Shopping-Mall- and-How-Come-I-Still-Can't-Break-a-Brick-Yet" syndrome?

Well-meaning business movers and shakers expect that learning a new creative thinking technique is all they need to spark brilliance in a roomful of people. Not true. Not even close to being true.

Continue reading "The Three Keys to Becoming a Masterful Brainstorm Facilitator"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:38 AM | Comments (0)

15 Awesome Quotes on Collaboration

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1. "It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed." - Charles Darwin

2. "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." - Helen Keller

3. "If two men on the same job agree all the time, then one is useless. If they disagree all the time, both are useless." - Darryl F. Zanuck

4. "If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself." - Henry Ford

5. "Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

Continue reading "15 Awesome Quotes on Collaboration"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:27 AM | Comments (2)

January 14, 2020
Online Brainstorm Facilitation Training for the Time-Crunched

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In honor of the year 2020 and the classic meme it represents (i.e. clear vision), Idea Champions is thrilled to announce the launch of an exciting new offering -- an elegant way for its time-crunched, innovation-leaning clients to upgrade the impact of their brainstorming sessions.

We call it Ideation 2020 -- the simplest, most time-efficient way we can think of to help our clients become masterful brainstorm facilitators.

Bottom line, we've distilled down the best of what we've learned during the past 25 years of facilitating creative thinking sessions for these organizations, and translated it into a series of live, online 20-minute modules. No off-sites required. No two-day training sessions. No bad hotel muffins.

Continue reading "Online Brainstorm Facilitation Training for the Time-Crunched"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:11 PM | Comments (0)

January 13, 2020
A 90-Minute Online Brainstorm Facilitation Training

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Let's start with a few assumptions: 1) You are a "change agent," facilitator, or team leader; 2) Your organization's brainstorm sessions are lame: 3) You want to upgrade your brainstorm facilitation skills; 4) Your budget is tight; 5) You cringe at the thought of taking 1-3 days off to attend a training.

If this describes you, keep reading.

Idea Champions, a recognized world leader in the field of brainstorm facilitation training, is now offering a 90-minute online training -- a distillation of the very best of what we've learned, since 1987, leading creative thinking sessions for these organizations.

What can happen in 90 minutes? Enough for you get to the next level of brainstorm facilitation mastery, especially since the design for your 90-minute training will be customized, based on your current skill set, experience, and learning needs.

Client testimonials
What PR and Marketing Firms Say About Our Training

WHAT YOU RECEIVE IN ADDITION TO A 90-MINUTE TRAINING

1. Our 142-page workbook
2. An online subscription to Free the Genie
3. A deck of our Free the Genie Cards
4. Micro-Learning for Innovators
5. One hour of post-training coaching

Your next step? A 20-minute phone call with the Founder and President of Idea Champions, Mitch Ditkoff, in order for you to determine if our 90-minute online training is a good fit for you.

CONTACT: info@ideachampions.com

What to send decision-makers who doubt the value of brainstorming

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:17 PM | Comments (0)

January 07, 2020
GUY KAWASAKI on The Top Ten Mistakes of Entrepreneurs

This is absolutely brilliant! Fantastic content, authentic delivery, entertaining, and provocative. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, this is required viewing. But even if you're not trying to raise venture capital, you can still learn a lot from Guy simply by tuning into the way he makes his pitch. And his Art of the Start is a treasure.

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:26 PM | Comments (0)

January 06, 2020
Why Don't More People Share Their Best Practices with Each Other?

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If you are a member of a team, business, school, or volunteer organization, there's a good chance you want whatever project you are working on to succeed. Yes? Towards that end, you work hard, think hard, generate ideas, go to meetings, fight fires, and (hopefully) learn from your mistakes. If you are like most people, you sometimes get together with your team and talk about ways to increase your odds of success.

Continue reading "Why Don't More People Share Their Best Practices with Each Other?"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:12 PM | Comments (0)

January 03, 2020
The Perfect Online Brainstorm Facilitation Training for MCI Group

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In honor of the year 2020 and the classic meme it represents (i.e. clear vision), Idea Champions is thrilled to announce the launch of an exciting new offering -- an elegant way for its time-crunched, innovation-leaning clients to upgrade the impact of their brainstorming sessions.

We call it Ideation 2020 -- the simplest, most time-efficient way we can think of to help our clients become masterful brainstorm facilitators.

Bottom line, we've distilled down the best of what we've learned during the past 25 years of facilitating creative thinking sessions for these organizations, and translated it into a series of live, online 20-minute modules. No off-sites required. No two-day training sessions. No bad hotel muffins.

Continue reading "The Perfect Online Brainstorm Facilitation Training for MCI Group"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:25 PM | Comments (0)

December 26, 2019
One Lit Candle

Here's a very beautiful music video, featuring excerpts from Greta Thunberg, 16-year old Swedish climate change activist and a newly released anthem (One Lit Candle) written in her honor, by Anthems on the Rise (Jennifer Edwards and Stuart Hoffman).

The video has been produced by WAFA (Water Air Food Awards), a Copenhagen-based non-profit dedicated to recognizing and awarding silent heroes around the world whose low-cost, high-impact innovations are making a difference on planet Earth.

WAFA Youth Climate Award

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:09 PM | Comments (0)

December 14, 2019
The Challenge Creative People Face

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Here is one of the biggest challenges creative people face: finding the right balance between spontaneity and planning.

Spontaneity, while a huge part of the creative process, can also be a huge curse. The intoxicating nature of spontaneity -- and the likelihood that it will lead to more projects -- has a tendency to sidetrack. It's sparkly. It's fascinating. And it's fun. But it can also be a massive distraction.

The result? Many creative people have more projects "on the table" than they can execute. And while this often makes for good cocktail party conversation, it also makes for overwhelm, stress, and eventual self-loathing. Months go by (sometimes years) and the big, hairy, audacious goal remains just that -- a goal -- not a completion. The antidote? A renewed vision of what success looks like. Focus. Priorities. A game plan. A support team. And the day-by-day effort required to work the plan.

Bring your current, most fascinating project to mind? Now imagine that your efforts are totally successful. What does success look like? And how did you get there?

50 Awesome Quotes on Vision
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:15 AM | Comments (0)

December 11, 2019
On Creating an Innovation Mindset

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If you want to spark innovation in your organization and are looking for the diamond cutters stroke, consider storytelling. Since 1987, I've tried everything under the sun to help my clients raise the bar for innovation. What I've discovered is that innovation begins in the mind and that unless people are in the right mindset, innovation will never be more than a pipe dream. Storytelling, I've learned, is the simplest, fastest, most memorable way to get people into an innovation mindset. Here's how we do it. And if you only have 90 minutes, this is how we do it. Its also boosts employee engagement.

I wrote the book
The back story
In our clients words

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:10 AM | Comments (2)

December 02, 2019
Sound Advice for Public Speakers

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Inspired by Rebecka Forrester

A practical example
10 keys for giving a great keynote
MitchDitkoff.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:13 AM | Comments (0)

November 30, 2019
Are You an Idea Addict?

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There are lots of things in this world people get addicted to: alcohol, nicotine, heroin, sex, and iPhones, just to name a few. But perhaps the biggest addiction of them all is the addiction to our own ideas. Here's how it works:

We think something up. We feel a buzz. We tweak it, we name it, we pitch it, and POOF, the addiction begins.

At first, like most habits, it's a casual pursuit with a thousand positive side effects: increased energy, renewed focus, and a general feeling of well-being. Like wow, man. But then... we think about it in the shower. We think about it in the car. We think about it when people are asking us to think about other things. We even dream about it.

Continue reading "Are You an Idea Addict?"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:20 PM | Comments (2)

November 26, 2019
20 Reasons Why People Get Their Best Ideas in the Shower

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During the past 25 years, I've asked more than 10,000 people where and when they get their best ideas. I get all kinds of answers, but the one that has always fascinated me is "the shower" -- maybe because I also get so many of my good ideas there. And so, at the risk of overstating my case, I hereby offer you 20 reasons WHY the shower is so conducive to idea generation.

1. Showering signals "a new day" or "new beginning."

2. You're usually alone, with time to reflect.

3. Interruptions are rare.

4. The rush of water creates a kind of "white noise" that makes concentration easier.

Continue reading "20 Reasons Why People Get Their Best Ideas in the Shower"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:48 AM | Comments (4)

November 23, 2019
ANTHEMS ON THE RISE TAKES OFF

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Dominos delivers pizzas (547 million per year). FedEX delivers packages (3 billion per year). And Anthems on the Rise delivers custom songs (one, so far, this year).

One? Just one? Yes. But what a one it is -- One Lit Candle (Song for Greta) -- now featured on WAFA's (Water, Food, Air Awards) website in the Youth Climate Awards category.

Hoffman and Edwards' compelling anthem (with gorgeous vocals by Stephen Rivera) has found, in WAFA, the perfect partner to get its message out to the world. Indeed, both WAFA and Anthems on the Rise are kindred spirits, committed, as they are, to shining a bright light on the very best of what it means to be a conscious, caring, creative human being.

WAFA makes it possible for the environment's silent heroes to have a voice and Anthems on the Rise helps make that voice come alive.

If you are inclined to help WAFA accomplish its ambitious planet-saving goals, click here. If your organization would benefit from having its own inspired anthem, click here.

And if you don't feel like clicking on either of the above links, click here for some memorable quotes on possibility -- something which WAFA and Anthems on the Rise, thank God, are both wide open to.

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Illustration: gapingvoid.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:48 PM | Comments (0)

November 22, 2019
Why You Need to Ask Why

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Some years ago, there was a big problem at one of America's most treasured monuments -- the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC. Simply put, birds, in huge numbers, were pooping all over it, which made visiting the place a very unpleasant experience. Attempts to remedy the situation caused even bigger problems, since the harsh cleaning detergents being used were damaging the memorial.

Fortunately, some of the National Parks managers assigned to the case began asking WHY -- as in "Why was the Jefferson Memorial so much more of a target for birds than any of the other memorials?"

Continue reading "Why You Need to Ask Why"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:41 PM | Comments (2)

November 15, 2019
The Right Use of LCS

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Of all the techniques Idea Champions has invented and taught since 1987, there is one that continues to be acknowledged as numero uno -- LCS (Likes, Concerns and Suggestions).

LCS is a simple, effective, memorable, easy-to-use technique that has the power to build rapport, spark meaningful feedback, defuse negativity, spark creativity, and increase collaboration. But with one caveat: it needs to be used in the right way, at the right time, with the right people.

Continue reading "The Right Use of LCS"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:42 PM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2019
The Six Sides of the So-Called Box

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Unless you've been in a coma for the past 20 years, I'm sure you're familiar with the phrase "get out of the box." It's everywhere. Whole industries have sprung up around it, including mine.

No one can deny that getting out of the box is a good thing to do. Seems like a no-brainer, eh? Kind of like helping little old ladies cross the street. Or tearing down the Berlin Wall. But before you start planning your heroic escape, answer me this: What the heck is the box, anyway? What is this so-called thing that keeps us so contained, confined, caged, trapped, claustrophobic, and otherwise unable to create?

Let's start with the basics. A box has six sides, including the top and the bottom.

Continue reading "The Six Sides of the So-Called Box"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:44 PM | Comments (2)

October 25, 2019
If You Plan on Asking an Outside Innovation Consultant for Help

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If someone from your company's leadership team asks you to locate an outside consultant to help your organization raise the bar for innovation, stop for a moment and ask the person asking you to locate an outside consultant to answer the following questions.

If they answer "NO" to any of them or look at you as if you are ungrateful, uppity, or "not a team player", do not accept the assignment.

Really. I mean it. DO NOT ACCEPT THE ASSIGNMENT.

If you're afraid to decline the assignment, not only is the project doomed, but you will soon end up experiencing the kind of low grade corporate virus that leads people to drink too much, feel depressed, or become overly judgmental of their colleagues.

Continue reading "If You Plan on Asking an Outside Innovation Consultant for Help"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:43 PM | Comments (1)

October 06, 2019
A Real Life Example of the Power of Giving Feedback

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Most Fortune 500 companies have some kind of corporate strategy in place for ratcheting up their innovation efforts. Consultants are hired. CEOs give pep talks. And internal initiatives are launched.

Continue reading "A Real Life Example of the Power of Giving Feedback"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:46 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.

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Click here for the simplest, most direct way, to learn more about Idea Champions' semi-fearless leader, Mitch Ditkoff. Info on his keynotes, workshops, conferences, and more.
Storytelling for the Revolution
Storytelling for the Revolution is Mitch Ditkoff's newly published book about the power of personal storytelling to elevate the conversation on planet Earth. Provocative. Evocative. And fun. YOU have stories to tell. This book will help you tell them.
Storytelling at Work
"The world is not made of atoms," wrote the poet, Muriel Rukeyser. "It's made of stories." Learn how to discover, honor, and unpack the stories of yours that show up "on the job" in Mitch Ditkoff's award-winning 2015 book, Storytelling at Work.
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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Highly engaging learning experiences that increase each participant's ability to become a creative force for positive change
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High impact certification training that teaches committed change agents how to lead groundbreaking ideation sessions
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Your "best and brightest" are the future leaders of your company, but unless they know how to foster a culture of innovation, their impact will be limited. A one-day workshop with us is all they need to begin this journey.
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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.
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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.
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.
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