September 22, 2017
The World's Best Blog Collection of Awesome, Memorable Quotes

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If you're on the prowl for inspiring quotes you can use for work, your book, speech, website, news report, blog, proposal, kidnap letter, or time capsule, look no further. What follows are 21 universal topics -- everything from Possibility to Failure to Change.

Continue reading "The World's Best Blog Collection of Awesome, Memorable Quotes"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:07 PM | Comments (4)

September 20, 2017
The Best Way to Share the Best of Your Best Practices: STORYTELLING!

12 other short videos on storytelling
Storytelling at Work
Storytelling as a way to spark the innovation mindset

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:09 PM | Comments (0)

September 08, 2017
100 Lame Excuses for Not Innovating

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Do you have a great idea you want to manifest, but... er... uh... 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 making yourself wrong, simply note the ones that show up the most for you, then try the simple "go beyond excuses" exercise at the end of the list. Hey, it's time to get unstuck...

1. I don't have the time.
2. I can't get the funding.
3. My boss will never go for it.
4. We're not in the kind of business likely to innovate.
5. I've got too much on my plate right now.

Continue reading "100 Lame Excuses for Not Innovating "

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:53 AM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2017
A Brainstorm Training that Works

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What follows is some juicy feedback we received from Blue State Digital, a client of ours who participated in brainstorm facilitation training:

"The three-day Conducting Genius training was engaging, fun and informative. I feel empowered as a facilitator and confident in my skills and ability. Mitch and Val were fantastic teachers -- I was sad when it was over!"

"We did the three-day version of Conducting Genius, and I wish it could've been even longer! By far the most fun, useful, productive, and engaging training I've ever attended."

"It felt like summer camp for creative nerds."

"After the session, I felt energized and empowered -- ready to lead a brainstorm, boss a meeting, and infuse my work with more creativity and thought. Val and Mitch are magicians -- and they passed some of that magic on to us."

The website
What other clients say
About the training
Tell us about your need

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:30 AM | Comments (0)

September 05, 2017
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)

THE ULTIMATE INNOVATION: Going Beyond the Jungle of Ideas

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TimelessToday

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:27 PM | Comments (0)

August 31, 2017
The Top 10 Reasons Why the Top 10 Reasons Don't Matter

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1. Reason is highly over-rated.

2. If you need more data to prove your point, you'll never have enough data to prove your point.

3. Analysis paralysis.

4. You're going to follow your gut, anyway.

5. By the time you put your business case together, the market has passed you by.

6. "Not everything that counts can be counted; not everything that can be counted counts." - Albert Einstein

7. The scientific method came to Rene Descartes in a dream!

Continue reading "The Top 10 Reasons Why the Top 10 Reasons Don't Matter"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:51 PM | Comments (2)

August 30, 2017
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 (3)

August 29, 2017
How I Won a Contract from AT&T By Teaching One Man to Juggle

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A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a good story is worth a million. Here's a five-minute story about how the company I co-founded, Idea Champions, won a large contract from AT&T by teaching the Director of Training and Development how to juggle in five minutes.

Read the full story in this book
A priest, a penguin, and a newspaper reporter walk into a bar
Me speaking about storytelling in business

Continue reading "How I Won a Contract from AT&T By Teaching One Man to Juggle"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:56 PM | Comments (0)

August 23, 2017
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.

Follow Your Muse
MitchDitkoff.com

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

August 22, 2017
A Great Brainstorming Technique

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Click here for a very lucid description of one of the most popular brainstorming techniques on planet Earth. Easy to remember. Easy to use. Easy to facilitate. A great way to spark creative thinking in your future ideation sessions. Brought to you by the extraordinary Chuck Frey -- long time aficionado of creative thinking, innovation, and business growth.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:35 PM | Comments (0)

August 18, 2017
The Good Thing About Bad Ideas

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One of the inevitable things you will hear at a brainstorming session is "there are no bad ideas." Not true. There are plenty of bad ideas. Nazism, for instance. Arena football. Bow ties.

What well-meaning "keep hope alive" brainstorming lovers really mean is this: Even bad ideas can lead to good ideas if the idea originators are committed enough to extract the meaning from the "bad".

Do you think that War and Peace was written in one sitting? No way. There were plenty of earlier drafts that were horrid, but eventually led to the final outcome.

The key? Finding the value in what seems to be a "bad idea" and then using that extracted value as a clue or catalyst for further exploration. The following technique, excerpted from Awake at the Wheel, shows you how...

Continue reading "The Good Thing About Bad Ideas"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:59 AM | Comments (13)

August 16, 2017
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)

August 13, 2017
The Samurai Guide To Managing Difficult Clients (and actually having a life)

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You are smart. You are creative. You are committed. And you have an awesome grasp of social media. Of course you do, you are a mover and a shaker in a hip, fast-moving, millennial-driven PR and Marketing firm. You are also going slightly insane.

Why? Because your clients routinely make insane demands on you, expecting miracles with very little notice. Part of you actually enjoys this phenomenon, given your fascination for big challenges and the ever-present potential to become heroic. Another part of you does not enjoy this phenomenon, often feeling like the deck is stacked against you. And guess what? It is -- not just because your client (older, higher paid, more experienced) is constantly disregarding the fact that you have a life outside the workplace, but because this kind of client-driven behavior, unfortunately, has become the norm these days.

Continue reading "The Samurai Guide To Managing Difficult Clients (and actually having a life)"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:58 AM | Comments (0)

August 12, 2017
The Idiot Savant's Guide to Emergency Ideation Under Ridiculous Time Constraints

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OK. Here's the deal. You are a PR, Marketing, or Communications firm and one of your clients has just asked for the impossible. Again. They need killer ideas from you within the next 48 hours. Maybe sooner. Your team is scattered to the four winds, you have no time to run a brainstorm session, and your anxiety level is through the roof.

What to do? Here's what to do:

1. Call your client immediately and get absolutely clear about their need. If they give you some kind of generic request, hold their feet to the fire and them to state their request in the form of a question, starting with the words "How can we?"

2. Find out if their so-called deadline is actually real or some kind of hallucination fueled by stress and too much caffeine.

3. Ask your client for the criteria by which they will evaluate the ideas you will be submitting.

4. Write a brief. Keep it brief.

5. Hand deliver the brief to each member of your team. If this is impossible, email it to them with the subject line reading: "STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND READ THIS NOW!" Tell them exactly what you need from them and by when.

6. Schedule a brainstorm session with anyone on your team within walking distance, even if it's just one person. Do this out of the office if possible.

7. Take 15 minutes to generate another wave of cool ideas by using Idea Champions' Free Genie tool.

8. In the next 10 minutes, jot down as many ideas as you can think of in response to your client's challenge. Do not censor yourself. Write everything down. Even the stupid ones. Especially the stupid ones.

9. Circle your favorite idea and "LCS" it. Note what you LIKE about it and what your CONCERNS are. For each concern, note SUGGESTIONS that will handle those concerns.

10. Pitch your favorite idea to one of your teammates. Ask them to LCS it. Then ask them to pitch you an IDEA and you LCS their idea.

Read this
And this
And this

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:21 AM | Comments (0)

August 11, 2017
The Perception of Ideas as Problems

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Here's something I've been noticing lately:

Business leaders and managers tend to respond to the introduction of a new idea not as an imminent solution to be nurtured, but as a new problem to deal with. Ideas, one would think, would be welcomed, especially by an organization's movers and shakers talking the talk about innovation.

But all too often a company's leaders, time-crunched and overloaded as they are, perceive the introduction of a new idea as simply "more work" for them to do, the early warning sign of too many emails to read, more meetings to attend, more requests for funding, and more conflicting opinions.

Perhaps this is why so many managers respond to the articulation of a new idea with knee jerk naysaying instead of heartfelt open-mindedness. And you wonder why innovation in your organization is so sluggish...

One way to turn this around
And another way
MitchDitkoff.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:05 AM | Comments (1)

August 10, 2017
Brainstorm Training Reinvented

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We could tell you how awesome our brainstorm facilitation training is, but we're not sure you would believe us. So here's what one of our favorite clients has to say about it -- the fabulous folks from Mirrorball. And, if you don't believe them (since they are one of our favorite clients), how about these people?

02.jpg"At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, Mitch Ditkoff's ability to quickly and effectively teach my colleagues and me how to facilitate brainstorming sessions changed the future of our business. We went from being viewed by our clients as their agency to being respected as essential teammates that help them arrive at BIG IDEAS. I can't wait to learn more from Idea Champions. So many good things to come!"-- Mandy Kalajian, Vice President

Continue reading "Brainstorm Training Reinvented"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:58 AM | Comments (0)

August 05, 2017
50 Awesome Quotes on Vision

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1. "If you can dream it, you can do it." - Walt Disney

2. "Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, and magic and power in it. Begin it now." - Goethe

3. "The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it." - Michelangelo

Continue reading "50 Awesome Quotes on Vision"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:34 PM | Comments (6)

August 01, 2017
Watch These Videos If You Want to Foster a Culture of Innovation

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If your organization (or any department, therein) is interested in establishing a culture of innovation, you may want to take a few minutes now to view the following brief (less than 8 minutes each) videos on the topic. The intention to raise the bar for innovation is, indeed, a noble one, and I applaud you for taking on the challenge. That being said, the effort required to achieve any kind of measurable results needs to be well-considered before jumping in with both feet.

Cultivating a Culture of Innovation
Organization Do Not Innovate. People Innovate.
The Six Sides of the So-Called Box
The Seed of Innovation Moment
The Dark Side of Innovation Initiatives

Our website

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:59 AM | Comments (1)

July 28, 2017
Service Beyond the Call of Duty

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Most companies trying to get a "competitive advantage" eventually realize that the key is customer service -- the ability to differentiate themselves from the competition by delivering their product or service in unforgettable ways. Here's a memorable example:

Continue reading "Service Beyond the Call of Duty"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:40 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.

MitchDitkoff.com
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 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.
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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