August 02, 2015
How to Attract a Big AHA!

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What is it that allows some people to get creative breakthroughs while others get only creative breakdowns -- alternately blaming themselves, society, their company, and their increasingly suspect astrological configurations?

Is it true that people who experience breakthroughs are "gifted"? Or are there other factors at work -- factors that we (the people) have more control over than we might think?

While nobody can deny that some people seem to be blessed with "creative leanings" (i.e. Mozart at 4), research has shown that anyone can have the much sought after AHA! experience -- that is, IF they immerse themselves in the little understood process of creation.

Time and again, the literature bears this out: great creative breakthroughs usually happen only after intense periods of intention, immersion, struggle -- even madness.

Continue reading "How to Attract a Big AHA!"

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

July 30, 2015
50 Quotes on the Power of Ideas

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1. "If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." - Albert Einstein

2. "If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself." - Rollo May

3. "An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." - Oscar Wilde

4. "Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen." - John Steinbeck

5. "The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas and throw the bad ones away." - Linus Pauling

Continue reading "50 Quotes on the Power of Ideas"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:20 PM | Comments (1)

July 27, 2015
WANT TO LEAD A GOOD MEETING? Begin with Facilitative Presence!

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Since 1987, I have been facilitating a wide variety of high octave business meetings for just about every industry on planet earth. These meetings have been variably referred to as leadership development programs, creative thinking trainings, innovation workshops, team building off sites, brainstorming sessions, strategic planning pow wows, senior team retreats, annual conferences, and business simulations.

Along the way, as you might imagine, I've developed quite a repertoire of approaches, methods, processes, tools, techniques, and skills to help me get the job done. All of them have worked if delivered in the right way at the right time.

But when push comes to shove (as it often does), the single most effective meeting facilitation ability I've discovered is the most mysterious one of all: presence. Yes, presence, -- the ability to be totally in the moment, no matter what the collective mood, mindset, or drama is of the people in the room.

Continue reading "WANT TO LEAD A GOOD MEETING? Begin with Facilitative Presence!"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:43 PM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2015
How to Foster a Creative and Sustainable Culture of Innovation

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Looking for inspiration and guidance on how to make your company more conducive to innovation? Here's some food for thought and action -- Idea Champions' ten most popular postings on the subject.

Continue reading "How to Foster a Creative and Sustainable Culture of Innovation "

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:17 PM | Comments (0)

July 23, 2015
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 (1)

July 21, 2015
Why You Need to Ask Why

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Some years ago, there was a big problem at one of America's most treasured monuments -- the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC.

Simply put, birds -- in huge numbers -- were pooping all over it, which made visiting the place a very unpleasant experience.

Attempts to remedy the situation caused even bigger problems, since the harsh cleaning detergents being used were damaging the memorial.

Fortunately, some of the National Parks managers assigned to the case began asking WHY -- as in "Why was the Jefferson Memorial so much more of a target for birds than any of the other memorials?"

Continue reading "Why You Need to Ask Why"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:41 PM | Comments (1)

July 19, 2015
Brainstorming vs. Braincalming

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If you work in a big organization, small business, freelance, or eat cheese, there's a good chance you've participated in at least a few brainstorming sessions in your life. You've noodled, conjured, envisioned, ideated, piggybacked, and endured overly enthusiastic facilitators doing their facilitator thing. You may have even gotten some results. Hallelujah!

Continue reading "Brainstorming vs. Braincalming"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:23 PM | Comments (5)

July 18, 2015
Mojo, Marshall Goldsmith, Face the Music, and the Blues

Let me know if your organization needs a mojo upgrade. Face the Music (a corporate blues band I co-founded in 1999) is up to the task -- a fun, empowering, participatory teambuilding event for conferences, retreats, or any business function wanting to do something different.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:57 PM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2015
A Creative Tip from Einstein

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One way to do so
Idea Champions
We talk our walk
Brainstorm Facilitation Training

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:30 PM | Comments (0)

50 Rules of Innovation

Nice slideshow. Other than the word "rules" in the title, this is an inspiring guide to what aspiring innovators need to be mindful of.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:34 AM | Comments (0)

July 16, 2015
Want to Move to Woodstock, NY?

Thinking of moving to Woodstock, NY? Looking for a great place to rent? Voila! We are renting the Blue Pearl Guest Cottage on our land, starting this November. Interested? Enter your email address in the comments box below and I will get back to you with details.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:37 PM | Comments (0)

July 15, 2015
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)

July 12, 2015
Sing For the Silenced: July 19th!

Guest post by singer, songwriter, and social activist, Marc Black.

Can you imagine somebody ruining your land, bringing disease to your home, and then offering you money in exchange for your silence? When we heard about that happening from hydro-fracking, we decided to sing for the silenced. And so we have.

Sing for the Silenced
is an artist movement that's out to stop Big Gas and Big Oil from first damaging the environment by fracking and then silencing their victims.

Continue reading "Sing For the Silenced: July 19th!"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:45 PM | Comments (0)

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)

July 08, 2015
100 Reasons Why You Don't Get Your Best Ideas At Work

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Since 1986, I've asked 10,000 people where and when they get their best ideas. Less than 2% have said "the workplace."

Based on my 25 years of working with a ton of innovation-seeking organizations, here's my take on WHY:

1. Too much to do, not enough time.

2. Too many distractions and interruptions.

3. You work in a risk averse organization.

4. Sleep deprivation.

5. Mental clutter.

6. Fear that someone will steal your idea.

7. You don't think of yourself as creative.

Continue reading "100 Reasons Why You Don't Get Your Best Ideas At Work"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:29 AM | Comments (5)

July 03, 2015
The Beauty of a Wandering Mind

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Do you have a tendency to zone out? Daydream? Follow the yellow brick road? Well, your day has come.

Instead of having to defend yourself from the army of people demanding you become more focused every second of the day, now you have some vital research, noted by the New York Times, to build a case for your wandering mind.

Explains, Dr. Jonathan Schooler, of UCLA:

"For creativity, you need your mind to wander, but you also need to be able to notice that your mind is wandering and catch the idea when you have it. If Archimedes had come up with a solution in the bathtub, but didn't notice he'd had the idea, what good would it have done him?"

Idea Champions

Facilitated wandering
Wanderlust

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:47 AM | Comments (2)

July 02, 2015
The Selective Attention Test

Related story
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:14 AM | Comments (0)

June 29, 2015
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Wonderful, touching, memorable movie. Go see it!

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:04 AM | Comments (0)

June 24, 2015
Leave Your Title at the Door and Remove the Door From It's Hinges

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When I co-founded my company in 1986, I had two business cards made. One said "President." The other said "Archduke." Whenever I gave clients a choice, they always wanted the Archduke card.

In time, I gave all the Archduke cards away and never re-ordered them -- in a pitiful attempt, I think, to seem more professional.

Fortunately, everything comes full circle. Last night, while enjoying a wonderful concert in my hometown of Woodstock, my next title was suddenly revealed.

Director of Public Elations (and, no, I did not forget the "R".)

In a flash, not only did I get an insight into what my focus will be for the next few years, I also discovered an entirely new field.

Continue reading "Leave Your Title at the Door and Remove the Door From It's Hinges"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:30 AM | Comments (13)

June 22, 2015
Need to Train People to Facilitate Effective Brainstorm Sessions?

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VIDEO: The eight dimensions of a brainstorming session

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:49 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.

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.
Storytelling at Work
Click the link above to receive an email alert when our new book on the power of personal storytelling is published in the Fall.
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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