The Path Is Made By Walking On It
Back in the late 1990s, in New York City, there lived a world-class architect who had just spent the last two years of his life designing and building what many people were claiming to be the best inner city housing project ever conceived.April 25, 2016
The Art of Using Story as a Way to Communicate Big, Hairy Ideas
A priest, a penguin, and a newspaper reporter walk into a bar. The penguin orders a shot of Red Eye. The priest starts juggling three flaming chain saws. The newspaper reporter turns to the bartender, smiles and says: "I know there's a story here somewhere."
And yes, there is. There are stories everywhere. As the poet, Muriel Ruykeser once said, "The world is not made of atoms. The world is made of stories."
Almost everyone in business these days -- at least the people responsible for selling big, hairy ideas -- knows that the difference between success and failure often depends on what kind of story is told -- and how well. Content may be King. But it is Story that built the kingdom. Or as Steve Jobs once put it, "The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller."April 23, 2016
12 Ways to Make Bad Decisions
There are three things that astound me about most organizations: The cro-magnon way performance reviews are done; the pitiful way brainstorm sessions are run and; the voo doo way decisions are made.
What follows is an elaboration of the third -- 12 common phenomena that contribute to funky decision making. As you read, think of the teams you work most closely with, which of these behaviors describes them, and what you can do to change the game.
1. Selective Search for Evidence: Gathering facts that support pre-determined conclusions, but disregard other facts that support different conclusions.
2. Premature Termination of Search for Evidence: Accepting the first alternative that looks like it might work.The Best Written 142-Page Book on Brainstorming That Is Not For Sale
This is the only 142-page book we know of that teaches people how to facilitate kick-ass brainstorming sessions -- including 18 creative thinking techniques, tips, tools, guidelines, checklists, rants, and the happy distillation of 27 years worth of what we've learned leading ideation sessions for companies like these who have all been very pleased with our services.
Oh, I almost forget, you cannot buy this book anywhere. It's not for sale.April 22, 2016
21 Awesome Quotes on Intuition
"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 HolmesApril 21, 2016
Cavemen with Briefcases in Need of a Wise Person's Story
April 19, 2016
How to Facilitate Breakthrough Brainstorming Sessions for Your Clients in Three Hours or Less
Here's the deal: You are one of the creatives in a high flying PR, Marketing, or Communications company and have been asked by one of your clients to lead an upcoming brainstorming session. That's the good news. The-not-so-good news? Even though you're an idea-generating machine, facilitating sessions that bring out brilliance in others is not your forte. And to raise the stakes even higher, your client wants more than just "ideas". Your client wants remarkable, actionable ideas and wants the session to be highly engaging, energizing, and worth their precious time. Get it? The heat is on, big time.April 18, 2016
You CAN Tell a Book by its Cover -- Especially If You Have 9 Choices
Ever hear the phrase "You can't judge a book by it's cover?" Of course you have. But what you probably haven't heard is how far back that phrase goes -- all the way back to June, 1867, as seen in the newspaper, Piqua Democrat. "Don't judge a book by its cover, see a man by his cloth, as there is often a good deal of solid worth and superior skill underneath a jacket and yaller pants."The Curious Origins of the Stop Sign
I've been doing some fascinating research lately on the origins of common objects in our lives -- things we see daily, but often take for granted. Like the Stop Sign, for example.
Most people think the Stop Sign was created to regulate traffic. Not true. According to Dr. Ellison Burke of the Global Institute for Slowing Things Down Before You Hurt Yourself, the origin of the Stop Sign has nothing to do with traffic -- and dates back several thousand years.April 15, 2016
Be Frightened of Old Ideas
April 12, 2016
When Dogs Spark Big Ideas
During the past 25 years I have facilitated more than 1,000 brainstorming sessions for a wide variety of heavy hitting organizations -- everyone from MTV to GE to government think thanks. I've worked with left-brained people, right-brained people, and reptilian-brained people.
As you might imagine, I've developed quite a few techniques to get people out of their heads and into a more robust realm of possibility. But the biggest breakthroughs I've seen have had less to do with my methods than they did with spontaneous occurrences.
Like the time a Porcelain Hotel Dog became the catalyst for a game changing product idea.April 08, 2016
Move the Hole!
I like what Edward deBono once said about the phenomenon of creative people trying to get results, but coming up empty (and I paraphrase). "If you are digging for oil and don't find any, move the hole!"
Pretty simple, eh? Sometimes, it seems as if aspiring innovators get fixated on a particular approach and, no matter what happens (or doesn't), they just keep doing the same old thing over and over again even when experience reveals that their approach is not working.
Of course, it's always possible that other factors are at play:
1. Perhaps the hole you've dug is too shallow and success is only a few shovelfuls away. Digger deeper, then, makes sense. Always possible.April 07, 2016
Upgrade Your Brainstorm Facilitation Skills the Simple Way
Want to upgrade the quality of your company's brainstorm sessions? Looking for a simple way to open the creative floodgates? Here's one way.
Read this if you think brainstorming is bogus.
Covers for our new 142-page facilitator guidebook
A fun read
When There's Only 4 Seconds Left
Sometimes, it seems as if the game is over, that time is running out -- but WAIT! It ain't over til it's over! No way! Kris Jenkins drains a long range jumper at the buzzer and Villanova wins the NCAA National Championship! Bedlam ensues! (PS: YOU still have at least four metaphorical seconds left. Go for it! Take the shot! Swish!)20 Reasons Why People Get Their Best Ideas in the Shower
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.April 04, 2016
What's the Key to Your Success?
Bring your most passionate project to mind -- the ONE THING you are excited about manifesting. Maybe it's just sitting there like a lump. Or maybe you are making progress every day. Whatever it is, take a look at the list below and CHOOSE the one quality you need more of in order to succeed. Once you've decided, consult our online GENIE. He can help. All you need is about 10 minutes. No charge.
10. Getting buy in
15. Letting go
17. Social media
PS: If what you need is not on the list above, it will be on THIS LIST.The Crowdsourced Birth of a New Book Beyond Business Innovation
Greetings! It's me, Mitch Ditkoff, author of this blog, President of Idea Champions, writer, speaker, husband, father, and dust particle. If you've been enjoying this blog, there is a good chance you will enjoy my forthcoming book. Towards that end, I have just launched a GoFundMe campaign and am inviting you to participate. We're talking crowd-sourced funding -- a way for me to buy the time and resources I need to write, produce, publish, and promote the book before hell freezes over. Hope you can be part of it! It takes a village... and a few village idiots!March 31, 2016
Allow More Time to Be Creative!
It doesn't get any simpler than this, folks! You want to be more creative? You want to create the conditions that allow other people you work with to be more creative? Stop rushing them! Go beyond the nanosecond! Allow more time!Want to Upgrade Your Company's Brainstorming Sessions?
"We found Idea Champions in a desparate 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
"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
Hero's Journey Retreats in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Mitch Ditkoff, Co-Founder of Idea Champions, is thrilled to announce that he will be co-facilitating a series of 5-day Hero's Journey Retreats in San Miguel del Allende, Mexico with Dr. Beverly Nelson, Founder of LifePath Retreats. The first session is scheduled for the week of August 15th. The second is scheduled for the week of November 7th. More info will be posted on both our websites in the next few weeks. Want to know more? Contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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