September 13, 2021


Soon after launching my new online course on the creative process, I began talking with the people who enrolled. I was curious to learn, from their perspective, what kind of obstacles they were facing -- the "stuff" that got in the way of manifesting their own creativity.

No matter how different the people I spoke to, how unique their background, experience, accomplishments, gender, world view, or astrological signs, they all said the same thing -- what I later came to refer to as the "D" word.


That's what they all believed was missing from their lives. The lack of discipline was their Achilles heel, they confessed to me -- their problem, their weak spot, their #1 concern.

For the first few weeks of listening to their lament, I agreed. After all, discipline was important, right? I mean, who could write a book or start a business, or launch a product without discipline? Plus, I was disciplined, and if I, the creator of the course, was disciplined, then discipline must be important, eh?

Well, sort of. In the end, it all depends on WHERE this so-called "discipline" is coming from.


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September 12, 2021
Where Do Good Ideas Come From?

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September 10, 2021
What Does It Really Take to Learn Anything from Somebody Else?

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Since 1987, I have been providing consulting and training services to a wide variety of forward thinking organizations who have recognized their need to raise the bar for creative thinking, innovation, and teamwork. An optimist, by nature, I have always assumed that the people attending my sessions had an innate ability to benefit from whatever it was I was teaching, conveying, or imparting.

And while this optimistic point of view continues to be my default position, I have also understood that there are obstacles that often get in the way of people receiving the maximum value of what I (or any teacher, instructor, or facilitator) has to offer.

It is, shall we say, an occupational hazard.

Some of these learning obstacles are internal (i.e. participant mindset) and some are external (funky organizational culture). But no matter where these obstacles originate from, each of them can be decreased or eliminated with the right kind of effort.

Continue reading "What Does It Really Take to Learn Anything from Somebody Else?"

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September 07, 2021
100 Lame Excuses for Not Moving Forward With Your Great Idea


Do you have an inspired idea or project you want to manifest, but... er... 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 beating yourself up, simply note the ones that are your Achilles heel, then try the simple "go beyond excuses" exercise at the end of the list. You're welcome.

1. I don't have the time.
2. I don't have the money.
3. I have neither the time nor the money
4. Coronavirus!
5. I've got too much on my plate right now

Continue reading "100 Lame Excuses for Not Moving Forward With Your Great Idea"

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August 30, 2021
What Drives Creativity?


If you have 23 minutes to spare and want to get some insights into what drives creativity (and what gets in the way), I invite you to click this link and listen to Gil Hanson's interview of me on his BE YOUR BEST podcast (episode #33).

Gil is a master facilitator of the process that enables people to understand, embrace, and design their own personal brand, no matter what their profession.

The podcast will be especially interesting to you if you are thinking of enrolling in my two-month, online Year of Living Creatively course which begins on September 12th.

More about the course

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August 23, 2021
Everything You Need to Know About The Year of Living Creatively

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"Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." -- Helen Keller

The next Year of Living Creatively course begins on September 12th. If you are interested, but not yet certain if the course is right for you, the following links will help you decide.

The deadline to enroll is September 1st.

An invitation to dive deeper into your own creative process
Who is the course really for?
What is the real value of The Year of Living Creatively?
How to identify your Year of Living Creatively project
The Year of Living Creatively Manifesto
The underground we cover
Entering the movie theater of your own creative process
The self-inquiry pages
The back story -- origins of the course
More about the creator of the course
People's three biggest concerns about enrolling in the course

Ready to enroll in the course? Pay $449 via PayPal:

Want to talk?

50 awesome quotes on possibility

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August 21, 2021
Saying YES to Your Weirdness

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August 20, 2021
15 Quotes on the Importance of Asking the Right Question


As a facilitator of the creative process, I continue to be astounded by how few organizations have any kind of process is place to PAUSE, reflect, and make sure they are coming up with the right questions. Apparently, I'm not alone.

1. "It's not that they can't see the solution. They can't see the problem." - G.K. Chesterton

2. "There are no right answers to wrong questions." - Ursula K. Le Guin

3. "We thought that we had the answers, it was the questions we had wrong." - Bono

4. "Ask the right questions if you're going to find the right answers." - Vanessa Redgrave

5. "Asking the right questions takes as much skill as giving the right answers." - Robert Half

Continue reading "15 Quotes on the Importance of Asking the Right Question"

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August 18, 2021
People's Three Biggest Concerns About Enrolling in THE YEAR OF LIVING CREATIVELY


Here they are: 1) Time; 2) Money; 3) Identifying a specific project.

That's it, folks. Those are the three most common reasons why people hesitate to enroll in The Year of Living Creatively, even if they understand the value of the course and have been referred by a trusted friend.

Let's take a look at each of these concerns, one at a time, so you have all the info you need to decide whether to proceed or not:

Continue reading "People's Three Biggest Concerns About Enrolling in THE YEAR OF LIVING CREATIVELY"

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August 16, 2021
What People Are Saying about THE YEAR OF LIVING CREATIVELY


If you are in the process birthing (or wanting to birth) an inspired idea, dream, vision, goal, or creative venture, I invite you to consider enrolling in my upcoming YEAR OF LIVING CREATIVELY course -- a two-month, online learning adventure (starting on September 12th) designed to provide aspiring innovators with all the insight, mojo, and mastery they need to manifest their heart's desire. It's fun. It's engaging. And it works. Tuition is $449. Payment plans available.

Here's what recent graduates have to say about it:

"The course had a profound affect on my life." - Michelle Cameron

"I got my mojo back and made huge amounts of progress." - Maribeth Raullerson

"It set me on a very positive course of making miracles happen." - Joan Apter

"I not only enjoyed the course, I made major headway" - Tucker Robbins

"Every time I attend a session, I walk away full of renewed courage, energy, and trust." - Tina Lindgreen

"A catalyst that provided the guidance, support, and structure I needed to transform my dream of starting a business into reality." - Doug Stuke

"This course has been like the opening of the clouds after a storm and the joy of letting the warm sun shine into my skin." - Mercedes Garcia

"Helped me clarify my vision of what I want to accomplish and create a road map to get it accomplished." - Mark Stephen Miller

"There is a lot of humor involved in the course. And one of the things I want in life right now is to laugh a lot." - Barbara Drausal

"Provided me with the emotional support I needed to free my inner artist." - Tina Lipson

"I was humbled by experiencing my own humanity." - Gretel Rogers

"A unique program that helps unleash human potential in a full-fledged way. - Nim Lal Bhandari

"A safe and fun meeting environment where there are no wrong answers, but perhaps better questions to ask ourselves." - Linda Hurst

"Helped me choose a project that really sparked my passion and go after it in a big and bold way." - Janet Cook

"A truly amazing learning experience." - Gilman Hanson

"The Year of Living Creatively helped me take my project three steps up, making it feel beyond a dream to a reality." - MaryJane Fahey

"I'm so delighted in my enlightened-up experience as a result of The Year of Living Creatively course, that I've just re-registered for the next one." - Ellen Goldberg

More about the course

Who is the course really for?
What is the real value of The Year of Living Creatively?
The Manifesto
More about the creator of the Year of Living Creatively
The underground we cover

Want to talk? Need more info?

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:54 PM | Comments (0)

August 13, 2021

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Once a week, for eight weeks, participants in The Year of Living Creatively course receive three, online self-inquiry pages from the list below. This is an opportunity for them to pause, reflect, and dive into their own creative process -- a simple way to increase their odds of manifesting bold aspirations, big ideas, and their heart's desire. Most pages require 15-30 minutes of reflection time. Once submitted, the facilitator of the course responds, via email -- providing participants with yet another opportunity to dive deeper into their own creative process.

Continue reading "THE YEAR OF LIVING CREATIVELY Self-Inquiry Pages"

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August 12, 2021
The Year of Living Creatively Begins on September 12th

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If you are a reader of this blog, you most definitely are committed to becoming more innovative and creative. As the Founder and President of Idea Champions (and author of this blog), that has been my focus since 1987 -- providing innovation-sparking services to a wide range of forward thinking organizations around the world.

Covid-19, however, changed everything. My clients were no longer bringing in outside consultants or facilitators, as everything quickly went virtual. That's when I had the realization that the FORM of my work needed to change, as well as the AUDIENCE. Corporations were out. Individuals were in (even if those individuals worked in corporations).

And so I created The Year of Living Creatively -- a two-month online course -- a kind of greenhouse for grand possibilities... a GPS for the creative process... a chiropractic adjustment for creative mojo.

What follows are testimonials from recent graduates of the course.

If YOU want to enroll or would like more information before you decide, simply email me and I will respond ASAP (

Continue reading "The Year of Living Creatively Begins on September 12th"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:21 AM | Comments (0)

August 09, 2021
27 Best Practices of High Performing Volunteer Organizations

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)

July 30, 2021
Inside/Out Innovation


If you work in an organization that wants to establish a sustainable culture of innovation -- you have two basic choices: outside/in or inside/out.

Outside/in is the most common approach. It assumes that re-engineering systems or processes is the way to go. You know the drill: do a little Six Sigma, cost cutting, continuous improvement, hire a few consultants to give pep talks and you're off to the races.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you, but it's often just a slick way of repositioning the deck chairs on your own Titanic. It looks good. It sounds good. You feel like you're doing something, but the ship is still sinking.

Continue reading "Inside/Out Innovation"

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July 22, 2021

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If you're a creative person working on a project that is unlikely to get results overnight, here's a simple practice to save you from the all-too-familiar phenomenon of depressing yourself by focusing on the proverbial cup being half-empty.

Continue reading "THE CURE FOR THE CREATIVE BLUES: Self-Acknowledgment"

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

July 13, 2021
10 Ways to Help Left Brainers Tap Into Their Creativity


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 (3)

July 05, 2021
The Worlds' First Free the Genie Poem All the Way from Australia


This just in from Mohammed Azim, Director of the English Department at Al Siraat College in Melbourne, Australia. Mohammed is a certified facilitator of Idea Champions' online Free the Genie brainstorming tool and, in recognition of it's value, has just written the following poem.

Mohammed is one of my heroes -- a passionate, creative, committed educator with a great sense of humor and a sparkle in his eye.


The creative ideas that live inside us
Are mostly ungreased

Those bottled-up ideas jumping inside us
Ought to be released

A spark of brilliance is what it takes
A wand of opportunity taps and breaks
A thought to action is what shakes

Free the genie! Free the genie! is the buzz
Come forward and try at least
The catalyst is here and only magic it does
So don't be a procrastination beast

The game is here that truly awakes
So, turn gold -- all of your past mistakes
And use FTG and rid your emotional aches

Go beyond knowledge like some of us
And avoid the pain of what remains unreleased

Stand out from the rest is the voice within us
Leave the comfort zone, I say, last but not the least

Free the Genie testimonials
Idea Champions

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July 04, 2021
Six Rules to Simplify Business

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How to Spark Group Genius

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June 21, 2021
Online Brainstorm Facilitation Training for the Time-Crunched


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 (on-site) brainstorming sessions -- just in time, as some of our clients, post-pandemic, begin gathering together, in the flesh, again. Oh boy!

We call it Conducting Genius -- 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 30 years of facilitating creative thinking sessions for these organizations, and translated it into a series of live, online 60-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"

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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.
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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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.
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.
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.
Face the Music Blues Band The world's first interactive business blues band. A great way to help your workforce go beyond complaint.

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