September 19, 2014
26 Inspired Quotes on the Innovation Most Needed on Planet Earth -- PEACE!

You've heard of product innovation, process innovation, business model innovation, and disruptive innovation. Now it's time for PEACE INNOVATION -- and that's what's happening on September 21st all around the world as millions of people in cities, towns, and hamlets gather together to celebrate the International Day of Peace.

Want to know more? See more? Feel more? Tune into PeaceCast, a 48-hour livestream broadcast to celebrate the International Day of Peace. Starts at 8:00 am (EDT) on 9/20 and ends at 6:00 am (EDT) on 9/22.

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September 18, 2014
Michelangelo on Genius

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Idea Champions

Ingenious Leadership

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September 15, 2014
Is Peace the Innovation We Need the Most?

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"Innovation" continues to be a hot topic in corporate circles these days -- a "competitive edge" organizations are increasingly attempting to hone so they can not only differentiate themselves from the competition, but survive in today's topsy turvy economy.

That being said, there are some forward thinking organizations out there who are going beyond the status quo and seriously asking themselves what they can do differently to not only be "socially responsible", but use their corporate clout to help various peace-themed global causes truly impact positive change.

If that describes your organization, please contact us. Idea Champions, in 2015, will be launching a new innovation-sparking service to help corporations, world wide, figure out HOW they can leverage their resources, bandwidth, and brainpower to foster peace and well-being in the world -- and still make a profit.

International Day of Peace in the Huffington Post
Idea Champions

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September 13, 2014
JUST RELEASED -- Citizens of the Earth

Here's a powerful, 2-minute video, that supports the message of the International Day of Peace. If you would like to encourage your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and customers to pause for a moment and reflect on the need for peace, this is a good link to send them.

Idea Champions is proud to be one of Peace for People's partners.

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September 09, 2014
The Big, Hairy Moment of Truth

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There is a moment in everyone's life when all the cards are on the table, all the chips, too -- the moment of truth when the entire universe, it seems, is conspiring to call one's attention to the choice we have every single minute of the day to let go of our past and move towards what is truly calling us, even if we have no idea where it will lead.

One such moment happened for me in 1969, during my first and only semester as a graduate student at Brown University's prestigious MFA Creative Writing Program.

Continue reading "The Big, Hairy Moment of Truth"

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September 08, 2014
The DNA of Sparking Innovation

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Most people think that the ability to be innovative is a mystical state available only to the chosen few.

The effort, they imagine, takes a lot of time and hard work. And since they don't have time and don't like hard work, they reason that innovation just isn't in the cards for them.

But innovation is not a mystical state. It's a natural state -- a human birthright. The people in your organization, in fact, already are innovative. The only thing is: their natural ability to be innovative is being obscured by their own habits of mind and a variety of bothersome organizational constraints.

Continue reading "The DNA of Sparking Innovation"

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September 06, 2014
The Marriage of Zany and Practical

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This just in from Charter Manufacturing -- feedback from our August 20th Innovation workshop with 27 of their high potential leaders of the future.

"Idea Champions has the unique quality of being able to combine zany out-of-box thinking with a pragmatic approach that appealed to every participant in the session. Even those who relish the status quo and the proven way of doing things couldn't help but relax, laugh and lean into their untapped creativity. Participants left the session feeling hopeful and powerful about their individual ability to create and innovate."

Maureen Toshner, Director, Organizational Development & Learning

The workshop they are referring to
A related workshop
Balancing right and left brain thinking

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September 05, 2014
If You Are Planning on Asking an Outside Consultant for Help

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If someone from your company's leadership team asks you to locate an outside consultant to help your organization raise the bar for innovation, STOP for a moment and, with all due respect, ask the person asking you to locate an outside consultant to answer the following questions.

If they answer "NO" to any of them or look at you as if you are ungrateful, uppity, or "not a team player", do not accept the assignment.

Really. I mean it. DO NOT ACCEPT THE ASSIGNMENT.

If you're afraid to decline the assignment, not only is the project doomed, but you will soon end up experiencing the kind of low grade corporate virus that leads people to either drink too much, feel depressed, or be overly judgmental of the people around them, including those they claim to love the most.

Continue reading "If You Are Planning on Asking an Outside Consultant for Help"

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September 04, 2014
34 Awesome Quotes on Leadership

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1. "Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things." - Peter F. Drucker

2. "If you don't understand that you work for your mislabeled 'subordinates,' then you know nothing of leadership. You know only tyranny." - Dee Hock

3. "A leader is best when people barely know he exists. When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say 'we did it ourselves.'" - Lao Tzu

4. "The led must not be compelled; they must be able to choose their own leader." - Albert Einstein

5. "The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why." - Warren Bennis

6. "The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you." - Max DePree

Continue reading "34 Awesome Quotes on Leadership"

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September 01, 2014
REAL ROI: Return on Imagination!

If you're a champion of innovation, chances are good you've encountered the ROI beast more than a few times -- senior leaders looking at you cross-eyed and questioning the value of your efforts. Stop the madness! Change the game! Forward this slide show today!

First, get clear about your problem

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:26 AM | Comments (1)

August 27, 2014
How Einstein Looked at Problems

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Other related quotes
Why you need to ask why
Ask the right question
The art and science of framing the right question

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August 23, 2014
15 Great Quotes on the Importance of Asking the Right Question

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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

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

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August 22, 2014
How to Prepare for a Brainstorming Session

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Our latest Huffington Post article on how to prepare for a brainstorming session.

Brainstorm facilitation training

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August 20, 2014
How Many Dancers Does It Take to Screw in a Lightbulb?

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Here is
the answer
to a question
you probably
never asked before
because
the answer
seemed
too difficult
to figure out
(or you were at a meeting).
How many dancers
does it take
to screw in
a light bulb?

If you want your brainstorm sessions to be more like dancing than having everyone's feet nailed to the floor, click here.

Idea Champions

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August 18, 2014
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"

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August 10, 2014
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"

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August 07, 2014
The Beggar

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I have never been fired from a job. Except once -- a week after the man I wrote 350 speeches for in two years, Donald J. Manes, the Borough President of Queens, committed suicide in his kitchen because he knew he was just about to get busted for stealing more than one million dollars from the City of New York in what is now affectionately known as the Parking Violations Bureau scandal.

Continue reading "The Beggar"

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August 03, 2014
Innovation as a Happy Accident

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A little known fact about innovation is that many breakthroughs have not been the result of genius, but "happy accidents" -- those surprise moments when an answer revealed itself for no particular reason.

The discovery of penicillin, for example, was the result of Alexander Fleming noting the formation of mold on the side of petri dish left uncleaned overnight.

Vulcanized Rubber was discovered in 1839 when Charles Goodyear accidentally dropped a lump of the polymer substance he was experimenting with onto his wife's cook stove.

More recently, 3M's post-it was also the result of an accident in the lab. Breakthroughs aren't always about invention, but the intervention required, by the aspiring innovator, to notice something new, unexpected, and intriguing.

Continue reading "Innovation as a Happy Accident"

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August 02, 2014
The Challenge of Virtual Brainstorm Training

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For the past six months, Idea Champions has been delivering its Conducting Genius brainstorm facilitation training virtually as well as in person. We've learned a lot along the way and we'd like to take a few minutes, now, to share a little bit of that with you -- just in case YOU are thinking of doing more online training.

First of all, a lot of things you'd assume would be lost in translation by going the virtual route did not turn out to be an issue for us.

Continue reading "The Challenge of Virtual Brainstorm Training"

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

Unleashing Business Brilliance

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That's what we do. And below are five ways we do it.

Conducting Genius

Engaging Innovation
Ingenious Leadership
What's the Problem?
Team Innovation
What our clients say

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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.

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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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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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A totally unique brainstorming salon. Great food. Great food for thought. Great people. Collaborate, have fun, get out of the box.

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