March 27, 2020
Kindness is Contagious!

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You want to be innovative these days? Start with kindness! Now there's a good idea!

Idea Champions
Mitch Ditkoff
Storytelling for the Revolution
Illustration: gapingvoid

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:55 PM | Comments (0)

March 25, 2020
If Corona Doesn't Kill US, Distance Learning Will

Here's your comic relief for the day, especially if you are a teacher (or parent) faced with the challenge of transitioning from traditional classroom learning to online, distance learning. I tip my hat to the thousands of dedicated teachers around the world who are making a heroic effort, in a very short amount of time, to make the changes necessary to adapt to these challenging times. Here's to resiliency and adaptability! Here's to creativity and collaboration. And here's to keeping our sense of humor and good cheer all along the way!

A special shout out to the teachers and staff of Al Siraat College, in Epping, Australia, for the extraordinary effort they are making to rise to the occasion!

And big thanks to Mr. Vis for showing this video at Day #1 of Al Siraat's three-day teaching training.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:07 AM | Comments (0)

March 24, 2020
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...

What can you do to reframe the way you perceive ideas being pitched to you on the job -- from "problems" to "opportunities?"

MitchDitkoff.com
Idea Champions

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

March 16, 2020
The Leader Mindset

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ILLUSTRATION gapingvoid

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:49 AM | Comments (0)

March 10, 2020
TEAM LEADERS: Communicate Your Responsibilities to Your Team!

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If you are a Team Leader, one of the first things you will need to do (if you haven't done so already) is let your team know the full scope of your roles and responsibilities. You may think they know, but it's very likely that they don't -- at least not at the level of specificity that a high performing team requires. And if team members don't understand what you actually DO -- and WHY you do it -- chances are good that they will resist, rebel, or reject your efforts to play your role.

Continue reading "TEAM LEADERS: Communicate Your Responsibilities to Your Team!"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:39 AM | Comments (0)

February 28, 2020
Sun Tzu on Preparation

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"Every battle is won or lost before it is fought." - Sun Tzu

What challenge or opportunity is coming up for you that will require a higher level of preparation than you usually make? What extra effort are you willing to make in order to prepare? What might prevent you from making the kind of effort you know you need to make?

How can you create the support you need to ensure that your preparation efforts succeed?

MitchDitkoff.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:04 AM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2020
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)

February 11, 2020
What's Next After Twitter

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Ever since Twitter made its appearance on the scene in 2006, millions of people have become enamored with the prospect of delivering a message in 140 characters or less.

Short and sweet has become the name of the game. Brevity rules.

And why not? In a world ruled at least as much by ADD as by maniacal despots, who's got time for anything else?

These days, we don't have time. Time has us.

But according to industry sources, Twitter has become passe. Like the SONY Walkman. Like your father's Oldsmobile. Like the last two sentences of this paragraph.

Continue reading "What's Next After Twitter"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:21 AM | Comments (0)

January 29, 2020
How to Go Beyond the Team Leader Overload Syndrome

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Most people who are in a leadership position often find themselves overloaded and overwhelmed. "Too much to do and not enough time," is their mantra. And here's why:

1. They haven't established clear expectations with their team
2. They don't trust the people they lead
3. There are insufficient standards of excellence
4. They want everyone to like them
5. They don't know how to delegate
6. They have unclear boundaries
7. They are addicted to rescuing people
8. They think their way is always the best way
9. They are impatient for results
10. They don't know how to empower others

Not good for business. Not good for the team. And not good for the health of the leader. But it doesn't have to be that way. And the "fix" is way simpler than you think.

Next time a member or your team tries to dump a problem at your feet, shirks responsibility, or wants you to "save the day," STOP and ask yourself any of the following questions:

1. "Who's problem is this, really?"
2. "How can this issue be framed as a HOW CAN I question?"
3. "Does this person understand what I expect of them?"
4. "Is this person clear about their roles and responsibilities?"
5. "Do I have the time and interest to take on this project?"
6. "If I do have time, what support can I offer?"
7. "Who else, on the team, might be able to help with this?"
8. "How can I empower this person to own the project?"
9. "How can I let the person do it their way?"
10."What's the simplest thing I can do to lend support?"

PS: Leadership doesn't mean doing everything yourself. Leadership means helping other people lead -- and take ownership for results.

Idea Champions
WORKSHOP: Launching Project Teams
The two-hour, online brainstorm facilitation training

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:27 PM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2020
What Idea Champions Clients Have to Say About Us

Our clients
Contact us

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:40 PM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2020
50 Awesome Quotes on Possibility

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1. "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." - St. Francis of Assisi

2. "Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - Lewis Carroll

3. "I'm grateful for always this moment, the now, no matter what form it takes." - Eckart Tolle

4. "In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd." - Miguel de Cervantes

5. "The secret of life is to have a task, something you devote your entire life to, something you bring everything to, every minute of the day for the rest of your life. And the most important thing is, it must be something you cannot possibly do." - Henry Moore

6. "It's kind of fun to do the impossible!" - Walt Disney

7."I am where I am because I believe in all possibilities." - Whoopi Goldberg

Continue reading "50 Awesome Quotes on Possibility"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:11 PM | Comments (2)

January 23, 2020
THE CURE FOR THE CREATIVE BLUES: Self-Acknowledgment

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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)

ANYONE HERE FROM CLEVELAND?

If so, you are invited to register for my storytelling workshop, sponsored by the Institute for Management Studies, in your fair city, on June 10th. Click here for the particulars.

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My bio
Storytelling at Work
Storytelling for the Revolution

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:48 AM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2020
How Einstein Would Solve a Problem If He Only Had an Hour

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Other Einstein quotes
Our half-day workshop on this
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:51 PM | Comments (1)

January 19, 2020
13 Awesome Quotes on Planning

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"A goal without a plan is just a wish." -- Antoine de Saint Exupery

"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." -- Abraham Lincoln

"Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential." -- Winston Churchill

"No matter what the work you are doing, be always ready to drop it. And plan it, so as to be able to leave it." -- Leo Tolstoy

"Pray to Allah, but tie your camel." -- The Prophet Muhammed

"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." -- Benjamin Franklin

"If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else." -- Yogi Berra

"The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining." -- John F. Kennedy

"It's takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan." -- Eleanor Roosevelt

"Plan for what is difficult while it is easy. Do what is great while it is small." -- Sun Tzu

"A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow." -- George S. Patton

"Many people spend more time in planning the wedding than the do the marriage." -- Zig Ziglar

"All human plans are subject to ruthless revision by Nature, or Fate, or whatever one preferred to call the powers behind the Universe." -- Arthur C. Clarke

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:46 AM | Comments (0)

January 17, 2020
The Three Keys to Becoming a Masterful Brainstorm Facilitator

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As a former student of the martial arts, I have noticed a curious phenomenon in corporate America that is becoming increasingly troubling to me -- especially among "creatives" who aspire to become masterful brainstorm facilitators. I call it the "Bruce Lee Syndrome" or perhaps more correctly, the "I-Took-a-Karate-Lesson-at-My-Local-Shopping-Mall- and-How-Come-I-Still-Can't-Break-a-Brick-Yet" syndrome?

Well-meaning business movers and shakers expect that learning a new creative thinking technique is all they need to spark brilliance in a roomful of people. Not true. Not even close to being true.

Continue reading "The Three Keys to Becoming a Masterful Brainstorm Facilitator"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:38 AM | Comments (0)

15 Quotes on Collaboration

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1. "It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed." - Charles Darwin

2. "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." - Helen Keller

3. "If two men on the same job agree all the time, then one is useless. If they disagree all the time, both are useless." - Darryl F. Zanuck

4. "If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself." - Henry Ford

5. "Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

Continue reading "15 Quotes on Collaboration"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:27 AM | Comments (2)

January 14, 2020
Online Brainstorm Facilitation Training for the Time-Crunched

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In honor of the year 2020 and the classic meme it represents (i.e. clear vision), 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 brainstorming sessions.

We call it Ideation 2020 -- 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 25 years of facilitating creative thinking sessions for these organizations, and translated it into a series of live, online 20-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"

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

January 13, 2020
The Two-Hour Online Brainstorm Facilitation Training

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Let's start with a few assumptions: 1) You are a "change agent," facilitator, or team leader; 2) Your organization's brainstorm sessions are lame: 3) You want to upgrade your brainstorm facilitation skills; 4) Your budget is tight; 5) You cringe at the thought of taking 1-3 days off to attend a training.

If this describes you, keep reading.

Idea Champions, a recognized world leader in the field of brainstorm facilitation training, is now offering a two-hour online training -- a distillation of the very best of what we've learned, since 1987, leading creative thinking sessions for these organizations.

What can happen in 120 minutes? Enough for you get to the next level of brainstorm facilitation mastery, especially since the design for your minute training will be customized, based on your current skill set, experience, and learning needs.

Client testimonials
What PR and Marketing Firms Say About Our Training

WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THE TRAINING:

1. Our 142-page workbook
2. An online subscription to Free the Genie
3. A deck of our Free the Genie Cards
4. Micro-Learning for Innovators
5. One hour of post-training coaching

Your next step? A 20-minute phone call with the Founder and President of Idea Champions, Mitch Ditkoff, in order for you to determine if our two-hour, online training is a good fit for you.

CONTACT: info@ideachampions.com

What to send decision-makers who doubt the value of brainstorming

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:17 PM | Comments (0)

January 07, 2020
GUY KAWASAKI on The Top Ten Mistakes of Entrepreneurs

This is absolutely brilliant! Fantastic content, authentic delivery, entertaining, and provocative. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, this is required viewing. But even if you're not trying to raise venture capital, you can still learn a lot from Guy simply by tuning into the way he makes his pitch. And his Art of the Start is a treasure.

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:26 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 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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