March 17, 2018
30 Ways to Know If You Have What It Really Takes to Innovate


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)

March 15, 2018
Why Don't More People Share Their Best Practices with Each Other?


If you are a member of a team, business, school, or volunteer organization, there's a good chance you want whatever project you are working on to succeed. Yes? Towards that end, you work hard, think hard, generate ideas, go to meetings, fight fires, and (hopefully) learn from your mistakes. If you are like most people, you sometimes get together with your team and talk about ways to increase your odds of success.

Continue reading "Why Don't More People Share Their Best Practices with Each Other?"

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

March 14, 2018

LightningBrain4.jpgTHIS JUST IN FROM from one of our forward-thinking clients who recently licensed our Micro-Learning for Innovators service.

"Idea Champions' Micro-Learning for Innovators service provides us with an the ideal mix of easy to digest, thought provoking content. We have engineering and marketing team members participating in monthly meetings to share insights. I am pleased at their enthusiasm and the depth of their discussions. The videos and articles give folks a shared starting point for talking about a topic that normally isn't on their radar. People have let me know they are taking away some new tools and new ways of thinking. The Micro-Learning format made it easy for us to initiate learning in an area that was getting crowded out by other development initiatives." - Angelo Marasco, Director of Corporate Discovery, ODL

Idea Champions
Our creative thinking workshop
Brainstorm facilitation training

Continue reading "MICRO-LEARNING FOR INNOVATORS: A Testimonial "

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:47 PM | Comments (0)

Connect to Your Community!


On a scale of 1-10, how connected are YOU to your community? And if your reply is "8" or less, take a moment and ask yourself how you can become more connected. Speaking of which, here is a cool online creative thinking tool about the power of making connections.

Illustration: GapingVoid

Idea Champions

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

March 13, 2018
The End of the Meeting Blues


Yesterday, I attended a meeting and witnessed a very curious phenomenon just when it was about to end -- a phenomenon that is very common and a big reason why many meetings leave people's heads spinning.

Continue reading "The End of the Meeting Blues"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:19 AM | Comments (0)

March 10, 2018
Group Mind, Propaganda, Selfhood, and the Need to Belong

Big thanks to Val Vadeboncoeur for the heads up.
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:33 PM | Comments (0)

March 09, 2018
Deconstructing the Problems of Most Modern Day Schools

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:47 AM | Comments (0)

March 08, 2018
Sound Advice for Public Speakers


Inspired by Rebecka Forrester

A practical example
10 keys for giving a great keynote

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:13 AM | Comments (0)

March 06, 2018
Why Make the Effort to Create a Culture of Storytelling?


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, school, non-profit, or 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 Make the Effort to Create a Culture of Storytelling?"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:19 AM | Comments (0)

March 03, 2018
JEAN HOUSTON on the Need for Transformational Storytelling
Storytelling at Work
My storytelling blog

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:57 PM | Comments (0)

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


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)

March 02, 2018
Storytelling for the Revolution


Here is a possible cover of my forthcoming book on storytelling to be published in May. To pre-order and/or learn more about where I'm coming from, click here.

"The world is not made of atoms. It is made of stories." - Muriel Ruykeser

"A story is a way to say something that can't be said any other way." - Flannery O'Connor

"The most important question anyone can ask is: What myth am I living?" - Carl Jung

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:13 PM | Comments (0)

February 28, 2018
Teresa Amabile on the Importance of Acknowledging Progress

Why This Book from Teresa Amabile on Vimeo.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:10 PM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2018
How to Go Beyond the Email Blues


In 1999, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek blues song about email.
My purpose was to poke fun at some of the email madness going on at that time. (If you want to give a listen, click the link above).

It's 18 years later now and the email scene has become even weirder. If I was going to write a sequel, it wouldn't be the blues, it would be the black and blues -- because that's how bruised most of us are feeling these days about email. Bruised, abused, and beat up.

And so, in service to all of the loyal readers of The Heart of Innovation and all of Idea Champion's awesome clients, it is my privilege to share with you our own email survival strategies -- perhaps the most practical posting you will ever read on this blog.

Continue reading "How to Go Beyond the Email Blues"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:06 AM | Comments (0)

February 21, 2018
You're Right!


There is a scene from Fiddler on the Roof that has taught me more about life than most holy books I've read.

In it, two men are heatedly arguing over the age of a horse. When they see Tevye, the town milkman/sage, walking by, they begin passionately pleading their case.

"Tevye!" blurts the first, "I've been cheated! Last month a bought a horse from this sorry excuse for a man. He told me the horse was six, but it was 12!"

Tevye listens carefully, strokes his beard, nods his head, and smiles. "You're right!" he says.

"What!" screams the second. "No way! Not true! The horse I sold him was six years old and I have the papers to prove it!"

Continue reading "You're Right!"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:44 AM | Comments (2)

February 20, 2018
The Innovation Burnout Syndrome


Most newly launched organizational innovation initiatives have a dark side, a not-much-talked-about shadow side -- the metaphorical alcoholic-father-in-the-basement side. And it is this... fascinating new projects are conceived, senior leaders get excited, game plans are drawn up, but no one gives the "worker bees" any more time to devote to the newly launched projects. They are, in effect, expected to shoehorn their new efforts into their already overloaded schedules.

Bottom line, aspiring innovators' "day jobs" end up colliding with newly launched innovation initiatives and mayhem ensues. People either burn out, get cranky, triangulate to third parties, spend way too much time explaining the newly launched innovation project to others, or else go into martyrdom-mode -- all behaviors that do not bode well for the individual, the company, or its customers. And while every company DOES have a few superstar self-starters who dive in with both feet, this is not a formula for sustainable innovation.

The solution? Either redistribute workloads, offer "innovation project sabbaticals", or provide your front line innovators with enough support services to unclutter their minds, ease their way forward, and allow them the time to focus on the innovation job at hand without frying.

Oh, I almost forgot -- you can stagger the launch of new initiatives so not everything is happening at the same time.

If you don't, expect nothing but a whole lot of chaos, broken promises, unfulfilled expectations, and the kind of innovation backlash you wish you hadn't unleashed.

Three minute video on this phenomenon

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:28 PM | Comments (0)

February 14, 2018
The Path Is Made By Walking On It


Back in the late 1990s, in New York City, there lived a world-class architect who had just spent the last two years of his life designing and building what many people were claiming to be the best inner city housing project ever conceived.

Continue reading "The Path Is Made By Walking On It"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:15 PM | Comments (0)

February 10, 2018
CROWDSOURCING STORY: A Request for 3 Minutes of Your Time


DEAR HEART OF INNOVATION READERS: If you have been receiving any value from my blog, I invite you to respond to this newly posted poll of mine -- my grassroots effort to create the support I need from friends, fans, and clients to help me get the word out about my forthcoming book, STORYTELLING FOR THE REVOLUTION. Since my book is being self-published, I do not have a big marketing machine behind me -- or even a small one -- just the good will of people like you.

Knowing how time-crunched you are, I am not expecting massive efforts on your part. Indeed, some of the ways you can participate will take less than 30 seconds. Click here to respond to my poll. Thanks. It takes a village!

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:26 PM | Comments (0)

February 09, 2018
Welcome to the Wisdom Revolution!

thrive global.png

Click here for Mitch Ditkoff's (that's me, folks) first article published in Arianna Huffington's recently launched, cooler-than-the-Huffington--Post publication: THRIVE GLOBAL. It's my inspired rant about the emerging storytelling revolution on planet Earth. If you haven't heard about it, you will. The book will be published in May.
Idea Champions
Wisdom Circles coming to a city near you

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:23 PM | Comments (0)

February 08, 2018
Increase Your Company's Ability to Innovate in 15 Minutes Per Week


OK. It's true. We've belled the cat. We have. We've figured out how your organization can spark employees' ability to innovate in just 15 minutes a week. No trainings. No workshops. No online courses. We call it "Micro-Learning for Innovators." Click here to learn more. And if you're interested in raising the bar for organizational storytelling, click here.

Illustration: gapingvoid

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:29 AM | Comments (0)

Want more? Read our Archives:
March 2018, February 2018, January 2018, December 2017, November 2017, October 2017, September 2017, August 2017, July 2017, June 2017, May 2017, April 2017, March 2017, February 2017, January 2017, December 2016, November 2016, October 2016, September 2016, August 2016, July 2016, June 2016, May 2016, April 2016, March 2016, February 2016, January 2016, December 2015, November 2015, October 2015, September 2015, August 2015, July 2015, June 2015, May 2015, April 2015, March 2015, February 2015, January 2015, December 2014, November 2014, October 2014, September 2014, August 2014, July 2014, June 2014, May 2014, April 2014, March 2014, February 2014, January 2014, December 2013, November 2013, October 2013, September 2013, May 2013, April 2013, March 2013, February 2013, January 2013, December 2012, November 2012, October 2012, September 2012, August 2012, July 2012, June 2012, May 2012, April 2012, March 2012, February 2012, January 2012, December 2011, November 2011, October 2011, September 2011, August 2011, July 2011, June 2011, May 2011, April 2011, March 2011, February 2011, January 2011, December 2010, November 2010, October 2010, September 2010, August 2010, July 2010, June 2010, May 2010, April 2010, March 2010, February 2010, January 2010, December 2009, November 2009, October 2009, September 2009, August 2009, July 2009, June 2009, May 2009, April 2009, March 2009, February 2009, January 2009, December 2008, November 2008, October 2008, September 2008, August 2008, July 2008, June 2008, May 2008, April 2008, January 2008, December 2007, September 2007, August 2007, July 2007,
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.
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.
Authorized Reseller Logo –
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.
Webinars Powered by
Idea Champions University
Webinars for online training If you enjoy our blog, you will love our newly launched webinars! Our training is now accessible online to the whole world.
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.

"In tune with corporate America." — CNN