August 22, 2016
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 (2)

August 20, 2016
50 Quotes on Risk Taking

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

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

3. "It's not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It's because we dare not venture that they are difficult." -- Seneca

4. "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far it is possible to go." -- T.S. Eliot

5. "What you have to do and the way you have to do it is incredibly simple. Whether you are willing to do it is another matter." -- Peter Drucker

6. "I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it." -- Pablo Picasso

Continue reading "50 Quotes on Risk Taking"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:31 AM | Comments (2)

August 15, 2016
Inside/Out Innovation

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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"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:01 PM | Comments (7)

August 10, 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)

August 05, 2016
Michelangelo on Genius

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Idea Champions

Ingenious Leadership
My new poetry blog

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:00 PM | Comments (0)

August 02, 2016
Share Your Story!

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Stories are powerful. They open minds, shift behavior, inspire, and are remembered -- unlike that last powerpoint show you saw. Stories are the simplest, fastest way to communicate meaningful messages -- an especially important thing for people in business to remember where "mindshare" is at a premium. But you already know that. Intrigued? Click here for 13 video excerpts from my book, Storytelling at Work -- none longer than seven minutes.

If you are intrigued by the presentation platform I am using (GlowDec), let me know. This cool online tool will officially launch on Labor Day. Tweaks are still being made. Viewable only in Chrome and Firefox for now. Here's your sneak peak.

Idea Champions
About Mitch Ditkoff

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:25 PM | Comments (0)

August 01, 2016
Announcing the launch of my new blog: UNSPOKEN WORD

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I am happy to announce the launch of my new blog: UNSPOKEN WORD: THE POETRY OF LIFE -- short blasts of inspiration, reflection, and gratitude accompanied by photographs, illustrations, and paintings of my Facebook friends and other unusual suspects. If you want to receive an email alert whenever there is a new post, simply subscribe (in the sidebar) and be sure to respond to the "verification" email that you will receive soon after. Enjoy!

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:03 AM | Comments (0)

July 30, 2016
Why Your Organization Needs to Create a Culture of Storytelling

Why create a culture of storytelling?
Storytelling videos, interviews and articles
Sparking innovation via storytelling
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:42 AM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2016
FINDING JOE: The Hero's Journey

This is a wonderful movie about the Hero's Journey -- the one we are ALL on. Sets the context beautifully for the 5-day Hero's Journey Retreat I will be co-facilitating with Dr. Beverly Nelson at the LifePath Center in San Miguel de Allende on August 15-19. Feeling THE CALL? info@lifepathretreats.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:17 PM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2016
Confessions of a Keynote Speaker

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Recently, I gave a keynote presentation to 150 people in the health care industry. After being introduced, I decided, as I usually do, to leave the safe confines of the podium ("a platform raised above the surrounding level to give prominence to the person on it"), dismount the stage, and "walk my talk" -- weaving my way in between the 20 round tables in the room, each with their own pitchers of water, tent cards, and little bowls of red and white mints.

For a keynote speaker, however, dismounting the stage and walking into the audience is always a risk -- the same kind of risk a person takes when they decide to get married, instead of just date. Or, why it's often easier to love humanity than just a single human being.

Continue reading "Confessions of a Keynote Speaker"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:16 PM | Comments (0)

Storytelling is a Great Way to Transmit Tacit Knowledge

Deciphering the secret code of tacit knowledge
Why storytelling matters in business
STORYTELLING AT WORK: The Book
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:39 AM | Comments (0)

July 24, 2016
I'm From Woodstock, Yes I Am!

This story in the Huffington Post
The Munich workshop
Idea Champions
Excerpted from Storytelling at Work
What our clients say

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:07 PM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2016
Five-Day Hero's Journey Retreats in San Miguel de Allende

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 October 30th. Click here for more or email info@lifepathretreats.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:38 PM | Comments (0)

July 19, 2016
Why Leaders Shouldn't Lead Brainstorming Sessions

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Here's one of the dirty little secrets of corporate brainstorm sessions:

When they are led by upper management, department heads, or project leaders, they usually get manipulated.

Because honchos and honchettes are so heavily invested in the topic being brainstormed, it is common for them to bend the collective genius of the group to their own particular point of view. Not a good idea.

Participants -- out of respect for the expertise (or position or parking space) of the facilitator -- will invariably moderate their input. The results? Same old same old.

Continue reading "Why Leaders Shouldn't Lead Brainstorming Sessions"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:18 PM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2016
The 60-Minute Brainstorm Training

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We are happy to announce our new strategic alliance with GenieCast, and the launch of our new 60-minute brainstorm facilitation training. Fast. Very fast. No caffeine required. Includes a custom set of self-study videos and articles. Like this.

Our GenieCast session
Our longer Brainstorm facilitation training
What our clients (briefly) say
What's next after Twitter

Continue reading "The 60-Minute Brainstorm Training"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:47 PM | Comments (0)

July 15, 2016
The 18th Camel

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A father left 17 camels as an asset for his three sons. When the father passed away, his sons opened up the will. The Will of the father stated that the eldest son should receive half of 17 camels while the middle son should receive one third and the youngest son one ninth.

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:10 PM | Comments (0)

July 14, 2016
Out of the Box, In the Box

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ED NOTE: I just checked the stats/hits on the last eight years of Heart of Innovation blog posts and was surprised to see that the following article about my father's death got the most attention (30% more views than anything else!). I've always assumed I was "supposed" to be writing about innovation and creativity, but maybe there's something else more essential I need to be writing about...

There is a time of life when the time of life is about to end -- the time of last breaths, the time of saying goodbye to everything you have ever known or loved, the time of letting go.

This is the time my father now finds himself in.

He is flat on his back in a hospital bed, but the hospital bed is in his bedroom in West Palm Beach which is where he has chosen to die -- and will.

Continue reading "Out of the Box, In the Box"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:32 PM | Comments (3)

July 11, 2016
ENERGY and FOCUS: Two Keys to Great Brainstorming Sessions

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A brainstorm session is a lot like trying to get from one place to another in a lighter-than-air balloon. With both of them, you have a destination, a vehicle, and the need to continuously make course corrections.

Fortunately, brainstorm facilitators have two dependable resources at their disposal to keep their "ideation balloon" aloft: Energy and focus.

Focus is the balloon itself. Energy is the helium that gets pumped into the balloon to provide it's lighter-than-air capability -- the element that gets it off the ground.

Continue reading "ENERGY and FOCUS: Two Keys to Great Brainstorming Sessions"

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

July 08, 2016
30 Ways to Know If You Have What It Really Takes to Innovate

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Do you have what it takes to innovate? I'm not talking IQ, degree, or job title.

I'm talking the curious confluence of behaviors that come with the territory of being someone who turns top of the line ideas into bottom line realities.


1. You come up with great ideas in the shower and car
2. You like to stay up late... or get up early... or both
3. You're comfortable with ambiguity and chaos
4. While your ducks are rarely in a row, they're happy most of the time
5. You're not worried about failing

6. You've invited at least one friend into your personal think tank
7. You test out your ideas on just about anyone who will listen
8. You know what you don't know, but can't always explain it
9. You like making connections between things that don't go together.
10. You're open to feedback and also don't care what anybody thinks

Continue reading "30 Ways to Know If You Have What It Really Takes to Innovate"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:58 PM | Comments (4)

July 07, 2016
Why Create a Culture of Storytelling?

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Unless you've been living in solitary confinement for the past few years, chances are good that you are a member of some kind of organization or community -- a gathering of people who have come together in service to a common goal. Whether it's a Fortune 500 company, a non-profit, or a softball team, we are all, whether we know it or not, involved in the process of creating organizational culture -- "a collective way of thinking, believing, behaving, and working."

How conducive the cultures we create are to the success of our missions is anyone's guess, but what is not a guess is the fact that high-performing organizations exhibit the same kind of mission-enabling qualities: trust, shared vision, collaboration, clear communication, diversity of thought, commitment to learning, freedom of expression, and a sense of belonging.

Continue reading "Why Create a Culture of Storytelling?"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:19 AM | 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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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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