February 10, 2016
41 Ways Business Leaders Can Foster a Culture of Innovation

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Yes, we know you want your organization to be more innovative. And yes, we know you want to improve your organization's culture of innovation. The best place to start? With YOU.

1. Give up needing to be the smartest person in the room.

Continue reading "41 Ways Business Leaders Can Foster a Culture of Innovation"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:22 PM | Comments (0)

February 09, 2016
The Art of Evelyne Pouget

Idea Champions is proud to preview the fabulous art of Evelyne Pouget which will be premiering in San Miguel de Allende on February 20-21. If you are interested in purchasing any of Evelyne's oil pastels or oil paintings, either leave a comment below or send an email to mitch@ideachampions.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:36 AM | Comments (1)

February 01, 2016
10 Ways to Help Left Brainers Tap Into Their Creativity

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If your job requires you to lead meetings, brainstorming sessions, or problem solving gatherings of any kind, chances are good that most of the people you come in contact with are left-brain dominant: analytical, logical, linear folks with a passion for results and a huge fear that the meeting you are about to lead will end with a rousing chorus of kumbaya.

Not exactly the kind of mindset conducive to breakthrough thinking.

Do not lose heart, oh facilitators of the creative process. Even if you find yourself in a room full of 10,000 left brainers, there are tons of ways to work with this mindset in service to bringing out the very best of the group's collective genius:

Continue reading "10 Ways to Help Left Brainers Tap Into Their Creativity "

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:43 PM | Comments (5)

January 30, 2016
Welcome to the First Interspecies Book Marketing Campaign

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The book Chili recommends
If you don't believe my dog
A story from the book
Other dogs who also like the book
The Amazon reviews of the book

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:00 PM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2016
25 Awesome Quotes on Creativity

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"The things we fear most in organizations -- fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances -- are the primary sources of creativity." - Alfred North Whitehead

"The chief enemy of creativity is 'good sense.'" - Pablo Picasso

"Everyone who's ever taken a shower has had an idea. It's the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference." - Nolan Bushnell

"I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones." - John Cage

Continue reading "25 Awesome Quotes on Creativity"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:32 AM | Comments (5)

January 27, 2016
Picasso on the Act of Creation

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If you are trying to create something new, reinvent yourself, or accomplish a seemingly impossible goal, know that "things" may get worse before they get better. Indeed, what you already know and already do may need to disintegrate in order for the next form of your expression to be born. This does not mean you are doing anything "wrong" or have misconceived your dream. All it means it that you are deeply immersed in the often very challenging process of creating something new.

Idea Champions
Stories about the creative process
Creators on creating

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

January 26, 2016
Story as a Leadership Tool

Here's a lovely animated intro to why STORYTELLING is such a powerful communication and business tool -- by the author of Circle of the 9 Muses.

Storytelling at Work
More useful links about storytelling
And more

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:44 PM | Comments (0)

The Art of Self-Acknowledgment

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If you're a creative person regularly involved with starting new projects -- the kind unlikely to get results overnight -- here is a simple practice that will keep you in a positive frame of mind and save you from the all-too-familiar phenomenon of depressing yourself by focusing on the cup (or your life) being half empty.

At the end of each work day, acknowledge yourself for all of your accomplishments, small, medium, and large. But not just silently, in your head, verbally -- aloud.

Most cultural creatives, no matter how inspired they are at the beginning of a project, eventually end up feeling down in the dumps. They start focusing on everything they haven't done and everything that hasn't happened instead of focusing on their progress and the fact that they are actually getting closer to their goal.

Continue reading "The Art of Self-Acknowledgment"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:37 PM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2016
The Five Regrets of the Dying

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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)

January 21, 2016
One Stop Shopping for Great Links on the Art & Science of Storytelling

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If you are interested in the power of storytelling to engage, inspire, and spark the transfer of insight, knowledge, and wisdom you have come to the right place. Below are links to a variety of recent articles of mine and other story-mavens who inspire me on this most important topic.

Awesome quotes on storytelling
Storytelling is the trojan horse of wisdom
How to use storytelling to foster employee engagement

How to spark massive employee engagement in 90 minutes or less
The irresistible power of storytelling as a strategic business tool
Harnessing the power of storytelling
Jean Houston on the urgent need for transformative storytelling
Why your brain likes a good story
What stories will you tell?
How to tell a good story
Why create a culture of storytelling?
Radio interview: Storytelling as a way to change a culture
New storytelling blog
Wisdom circles
My recently published book on storytelling
The roots of fairy tales go waaaaay back
Why did I write my book on storytelling?

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

January 18, 2016
The Amazon Reviews Are In!

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In 2015, somewhere between 600,000 and 1,000,000 books were published. How many of them are YOU going to read? Probably less than ten. That's why I'm quoting the following people who have reviewed my book on Amazon. I want mine to be one of those ten.

Continue reading "The Amazon Reviews Are In!"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:31 PM | Comments (0)

January 14, 2016
How to Use Storytelling to Foster Genuine Employee Engagement

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Let's assume, for the moment, that you are a forward-thinking business leader charged with the responsibility of accomplishing extraordinary results. Although your strategy may not yet be completely clear to you, one thing most definitely is: You cannot do this alone. You know, in your bones, that if you want to achieve extraordinary results, you will need the full participation of a highly engaged, focused, and collaborative workforce.

Continue reading "How to Use Storytelling to Foster Genuine Employee Engagement"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:56 AM | Comments (0)

January 13, 2016
What You Can Learn From a Priest, on His Lunch Break, Checking His Smart Phone

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I'm not sure if this Turkish priest, on his lunch break, is reading a Kindle version of my new book, Storytelling at Work, or the new, glowing review of the book just published on Innovation Excellence, the most popular innovation web portal in the world. It really doesn't matter. What matters is that you click on the two links above and find out WHY storytelling in the workplace is such a big deal.

Who I am
My keynote and workshop on storytelling
Idea Champions

Photo: Jesse Pouget Ditkoff

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

January 12, 2016
How Storytelling Shapes Culture and Humanizes the Workplace

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More goes on in the modern-day workplace than meets the eye. Indeed, it's often the stuff that meets the ear that makes all the difference. Click here to listen to Mitch Ditkoff's 60-minute VoiceAmerica interview on the power of personal storytelling in the workplace.

THE BOOK: Storytelling at Work
THE KEYNOTE: Storytelling at Work
THE BLOG: Storytelling at Work

Photo by Jesse Ditkoff

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:50 AM | Comments (2)

January 03, 2016
The Syndrome Syndrome and the Rise of the New World Disorders

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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.

Below, you will find my guide to 14 of the most recently identified medical conditions. Study them carefully. If you have one of them, please check your health insurance policy immediately to see if it will cover the cost of the medicines you will soon feel compelled to buy.

Continue reading "The Syndrome Syndrome and the Rise of the New World Disorders"

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

December 23, 2015
27 Best Practices of High Performing Volunteer Organizations

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Unless you've been in a coma your entire life, chances are good that, at some time in your life (maybe now?) you've been a volunteer for a non-profit organization.

That's the good news.

The not-so-good news is that many volunteer organizations, without even knowing it, sabotage the value their volunteers bring to the table and you, as a result, may have backed off, gone south, or found yourself grumbling to the other volunteers.

I've recently done some informal research on the subject and have identified 27 "best practices" high performing volunteer organizations abide by. Take a peek. Then, volunteer to share the list with the leaders of whatever volunteer organizations you would like to see succeed at a higher level. Can do?

Continue reading "27 Best Practices of High Performing Volunteer Organizations"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:01 PM | Comments (1)

December 22, 2015
How to Spark Massive Employee Engagement in 90 Minutes or Less

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Since 1987, I have been working as an innovation provocateur for a wide variety of forward thinking organizations.

Bottom line, I help people wake up, get out of the box, and originate bold, new ideas to meet their ambitious business goals. Along the way, I've discovered quite a few methods to spark the innovation mindset -- even in the most conventional of thinkers.

But of all the methods I've discovered, much to my surprise, there is one that has proven itself to be the most powerful -- and that is storytelling. Yes, storytelling, the humane communication of memorable narratives that engage, energize, and inspire positive behavior change.

All my clients, no matter what their industry, want the same thing. They want their people to be "on top of their game" -- to be as creative, collaborative, and committed as possible.

Towards that end, they spend millions of dollars each year training their employees. And while these educational efforts do have some value, they often ignore a fundamental reality: that within each and every person they are trying so hard to "tool up" is an untapped, naturally occurring, business growth intelligence that does not need to be taught, only awakened.

Continue reading "How to Spark Massive Employee Engagement in 90 Minutes or Less"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:57 PM | Comments (0)

December 21, 2015
A Sneak Peak at a Book Likely to Spark a Renaissance of Storytelling

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Good news! The LOOK INSIDE feature has just been enabled on my Storytelling at Work Amazon page which means you can get a sneak preview of the book and decide if you want to buy it.

The Storytelling at Work blog

Why I Wrote the Book

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:21 PM | Comments (0)

December 20, 2015
How to Create an Idea Factory

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One reason why most BIG IDEAS don't manifest is because the idea originators don't have a team of allies on board to help them develop and execute their ideas. Idea originators either try to do everything themselves or spend so much time trying to enroll people on the fly that the idea loses momentum and eventually evaporates. Bottom line, conceiving the baby is easy. Delivering the the baby is not. Let's take a brief look at how you can change that...

Continue reading "How to Create an Idea Factory"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:54 PM | Comments (5)

December 19, 2015
Why Did I Write My New Book?

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In the past few weeks, quite a few people have asked me for the "elevator speech" about my book. I get it. These days, if you can't deliver your message in 60 seconds or less you're screwed. So here goes. Consider this my elevator speech (though the building you are riding in is a hundred stories high).

I wrote Storytelling at Work because I wanted to do everything in my power to unleash what I have come to realize is one of the biggest untapped resources on planet Earth -- and that is the collective insight and wisdom of human beings everywhere. No matter what our education, culture, or profession, each of us has a storehouse of brilliance inside of us -- a deep knowing (hiding in our stories) that, when expressed, has the power to uplift, inspire, and transform.

I'm not talking about the rote communication of book learning. Nor am I talking about the transmission of data, facts, and information. I'm talking about the communication of the very best of what human beings have to share with each other.

Continue reading "Why Did I Write My New Book?"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:47 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.

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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