November 22, 2015
What Kind of Stories Will You Tell?


Here's a story you can probably relate to: You are walking down the street when a friend, coming the other way, stops, looks you in the eye, and asks "Whassup?" It's a question you've heard a thousand times before -- the default, in-the-moment, open-ended salutation.

Continue reading "What Kind of Stories Will You Tell?"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:52 PM | Comments (0)

November 20, 2015
Albert Einstein on the Intuitive Mind


"The intuitive
is a
sacred gift
and the
rational mind
a faithful
We have created
a society
that honors
the servant
and has
the gift."

- Albert Einstein

One way to tap into the intuitive mind
And another way
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:07 AM | Comments (0)

November 19, 2015
The Six Sides of the So-Called Box

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There's a lot of talk these days about the need for business people to "get out of the box", but very little talk about what the box actually is. Here's Mitch Ditkoff, President of Idea Champions, deconstructing the box in a 5-minute video.

One way to get out of the box

Another way
And a third way

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

November 12, 2015
"We're Moving in Another Direction"

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If you work for an organization that issues RFPs to consulting companies, I have one humble request for you:

Please cease and desist from using the phrase "we're moving in another direction" when it comes time to letting consultants know you've decided NOT to engage their services. It may seem like a small thing, but it's not.

"We're moving in another direction" is a totally bogus phrase. It's meaningless -- a euphemism with no soul that delivers no useful information or feedback to the person to whom you are supposedly communicating.

If you've asked a consultant to take the time to engage with you, learn about your company, and take the time to submit a proposal, the least you can do is find a more honorable way of delivering your feedback.

Continue reading ""We're Moving in Another Direction""

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:24 PM | Comments (4)

November 11, 2015
Lady Gaga Speaks!

Love this! Perfect timing for me to see, as I continually get hit on by companies wanting me to shill for them on this blog. Not gonna do it, folks. This is a commercial-free enterprise. No banner ads. No affiliate links. No hustling for the almighty dollar. Just innovation-sparking content and inspiration. Lady Gaga nails it. Her and Tony Bennett.

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:44 AM | Comments (1)

November 10, 2015
Kobe Bryant on Storytelling


Why create a culture of storytelling?
How to tell a good story
Excerpt from Storytelling at Work
The slam dunk of storytelling books
A story not by Kobe Bryant and not in my book
FAQ about Storytelling at Work

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:28 PM | Comments (0)

November 07, 2015
VOICE AMERICA RADIO INTERVIEW with Mitch Ditkoff on Fostering a Culture of Innovation


Here's everything you wanted to know about how to foster a culture of innovation in your organization -- a 56-minute VOICE AMERICA radio interview with Mitch Ditkoff, Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions and the writer of this blog. OK. maybe it's not everything you wanted to know, but at least it's trending in that direction. (Please forgive me for using the word "trending". I don't like that word. It just kind of slipped out).

The main thing? Click the link above and listen to the interview. Good food for thought -- something you might want to forward to you manager or other senior leaders in your company -- especially if they are claiming some interest in the "innovation thing."

Idea Champions
Culture of Innovation workshop
Info about my new book

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:54 AM | Comments (0)

November 05, 2015

Mitch book launch.jpg

A 4 minute video on why storytelling matters
Idea Champions
If you want to be notified when the book is published

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:20 AM | Comments (0)

November 01, 2015
Great Storytelling Quotes








Storytelling at Work: Published on 11/8
FAQ about my book

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:52 PM | Comments (0)

October 29, 2015
Why Create a Culture of Storytelling?


Unless you've been living in solitary confinement for the past few years, chances are good that you are a member of some kind of organization or community -- a gathering of people who have come together in service to a common goal. Whether it's a Fortune 500 company, a non-profit, or a softball team, we are all, whether we know it or not, involved in the process of creating organizational culture -- "a collective way of thinking, believing, behaving, and working."

How conducive the cultures we create are to the success of our missions is anyone's guess, but what is not a guess is the fact that high-performing organizations exhibit the same kind of mission-enabling qualities: trust, shared vision, collaboration, clear communication, diversity of thought, commitment to learning, freedom of expression, and a sense of belonging.

Continue reading "Why Create a Culture of Storytelling?"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:19 AM | Comments (0)

October 28, 2015
One Simple Reason Why Storytelling is So Timelessly Powerful

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Storytelling at Work, pub date: 11/12
FAQ about my book
25 quotes on the power of storytelling
Why create a culture of storytelling

The above quote is a classic Native American saying.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:44 AM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2015
What I Learned From Listening to Ravel's Bolero for 14 Hours Straight


During the course of a lifetime a human being goes through many rites of passage. Birth, for example. First love. The death of a loved one and enduring a Republican primary debate. For me, one of the most memorable rites of passage happened in college during my "pledge weekend" -- the weekend I was initiated into a fraternity.

I realize, of course -- especially in these politically correct times -- that college fraternities are rarely associated with anything remotely smacking of insight, awareness, or transformation. But for me it most certainly was -- at least on the rite of passage night I was initiated into Pi Lambda Phi -- an experience now permanently etched into whatever remains of my mind.

The initiation?

Continue reading "What I Learned From Listening to Ravel's Bolero for 14 Hours Straight"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:41 AM | Comments (1)

October 22, 2015
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.

Continue reading "Asking for Permission to Facilitate"

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

October 16, 2015
21 Reasons Why Creative People Like to Work in Cafes


Ever since I was old enough to realize there would never be a want ad in a newspaper that described a job I wanted, I've loved working in cafes. I never really thought much about it until a few days ago when a baffled friend of mine asked why I was so into it.

His assumption? That working in a cafe would be a distraction. A distraction? Dude, quite the opposite.

And so, at the risk of trotting out a few half-baked conclusions that my non-cafe-going critics will have a field day trashing, here goes:

Continue reading "21 Reasons Why Creative People Like to Work in Cafes"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:33 PM | Comments (5)

October 15, 2015
Creativity Has a Lot to Do With Being Able to Connect Seemingly Unrelated Elements

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If you google the phrase "definitions of creativity", guess how many references you will get? 33,600,000!. Given enough time and caffeine it will only be a matter of time before you find your favorite definition. But no matter what definition you decide is the best definition, there is still one, undeniable fact about "creativity" -- that one's ability to make new connections between seemingly unrelated elements is a big plus.

Continue reading "Creativity Has a Lot to Do With Being Able to Connect Seemingly Unrelated Elements"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)

October 14, 2015
In Defense of Brainstorming


In the past few years I have noticed a curious trend in the media -- one I can no longer ignore -- and that is the appearance of seriously derisive articles about brainstorming by self-declared pundits and free lance writers.

Citing selected research on the subject and paying brief homage to Alex Osborne, the father of brainstorming, they make bold assertions about the ineffectiveness of the method, often claiming that "it does not work" and making grand declarations like "people are more creative away from the crowd" and "over 50 years of research shows that people often reach irrational decisions in a group."

While the previous two quotes do have some degree of truth associated with them, likening a brainstorm session to a "crowd" is not only a poor choice of metaphors, it is patently untrue.

Continue reading "In Defense of Brainstorming"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:47 PM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2015
I'm from Woodstock. Yes, I Am.


I'm from Woodstock. Yes, that Woodstock, the famous Woodstock -- the most famous small town in the world, some people say.

Former home to Bob Dylan.

Jimi Hendrix lived here for a summer in the house right across the street from where I live now. John Sebastian still lives here, as do a ton of other musicians, artists, writers, healers, therapists, car mechanics, plumbers, electricians, and just about anyone else you'd expect to live in a small town.

Other than winter lasting six weeks too long, I love Woodstock. I've been a resident for 18 years and I'm proud to call it my home.

Continue reading "I'm from Woodstock. Yes, I Am."

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

October 10, 2015
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 07, 2015
George Bernard Shaw on Innovation


"This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy."

Idea Champions
Innovation through storytelling
What's the problem?

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:14 AM | Comments (0)

October 03, 2015
Sixty Second Stories


Here's a great resource for your organization, especially if you are looking for a creative way to integrate your brand messaging into video.

Sixty Second Stories is a design house that produces explainer videos, marketing campaign videos, and specializes in kinetic typography.

I love these people! Brilliant! High integrity! Fun!

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:26 AM | 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.

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.
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.
Workshops & Trainings
Highly engaging learning experiences that increase each participant's ability to become a creative force for positive change
Brainstorm Facilitation
High impact certification training that teaches committed change agents how to lead groundbreaking ideation sessions
Cultivating Innovation
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.
Our Blog Cabin
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.
What's the Problem
Einstein once said that if he had 60 minutes to solve a problem, he'd spend the first 55 thinking about the problem, and the next 5 solving it. This is the workshop he would have invented if time wasn't so relative.
Team Innovation
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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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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