We Were Made for These Times!
What follows is an extraordinary call of the heart by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Not only is it worth reading, it's worth reading aloud -- so you hear it and feel it as well as see it. Then, you get to decide who you want to share it with -- and how. This is a piece of deep, soul-inspired, primal writing that deserves to travel to every corner of the Earth.December 04, 2016
25 Reasons Why Brainstorming Sessions Fail in Your Company
Whenever I ask my clients to tell me about the quality of their company's brainstorming sessions, they usually roll their eyes and grumble, noting several of the phenomena below.
Recognize any of them in your organization?
1. Lame facilitation
2. Wrong problem statement
3. Unmotivated participants
4. Hidden (or competing) agendas
5. Insufficient diversity of participants
6. Addiction to the status quo
7. Lack of clear ground rules
8. Sterile meeting space
9. No transition from "business as usual"
10. Lack of robust participation
WANT TO LEAD A GOOD MEETING? Begin with Facilitative Presence!
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.November 24, 2016
Service Beyond the Call of Duty
Most companies trying to get a "competitive advantage" eventually realize that the key is customer service -- the ability to differentiate themselves from the competition by delivering their product or service in unforgettable ways. Here's a memorable example:November 22, 2016
Time Is an Invented Thing. Invent It!
November 21, 2016
Trust What You Know, Then Speak
A 5:28 story of the time I overslept before a big presentation to 200 bankers. I learned something very valuable that day and I am honored to share it with you.November 20, 2016
Click Through to Kindness
HERE'S AN INTERESTING STATISTIC: The "click through" rate on negative headlines is 65% higher than positive headlines. People are far more curious about the negative than the positive. Parents, by the way, respond to their children with 10 times more "NO" statements than "YES" statements. No wonder why so many movies and TV shows are so full of conflict, violence, negativity, and scandal.November 14, 2016
The Wisdom Circles of San Miguel
Every human being, no matter what path they walk, skip, hop, or jump is a fountainhead of wisdom -- a deep well of insights, brilliance, and lessons learned. This wisdom, however, is often buried beneath the flora and fauna of our daily lives and, because it is, the full value of what we know to be true often remains unexpressed.
The good news? Our deepest wisdom is always available to us. It's just hiding. And where it's hiding is in our stories -- those memorable moments of truth we've all had that have, contained within them, meaning and inspiration worth sharing.
One of the simplest ways to get back in touch with the deepest part of who we are is a Wisdom Circle, a lightly facilitated sharing of life stories that provides the safety, guidance, and inspiration for participants to reconnect with best of who they are.
Lead by Mitch Ditkoff, author of the award-winning book, Storytelling at Work, LifePath's first-ever Wisdom Circle -- to be offered on January 18th in San Miguel de Allende -- promises to be a fun, engaging, life-affirming experience for everyone. Two hours long. Enrollment limited to 15.November 11, 2016
How Einstein Looked at Problems
November 06, 2016
The Six Sides of the So-Called Box
Unless you've been in a coma for the past 20 years, I'm sure you're familiar with the phrase "get out of the box." It's everywhere. Whole industries have sprung up around it, including mine.
No one can deny that getting out of the box is a good thing to do. Seems like a no-brainer, eh? Kind of like helping little old ladies cross the street. Or tearing down the Berlin Wall.
But before you start planning your heroic escape, answer me this: What the heck is the box, anyway? What is this so-called thing that keeps us so contained, confined, caged, trapped, claustrophobic, and otherwise unable to create?
Let's start with the basics. A box has six sides, including the top and the bottom.November 05, 2016
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.November 04, 2016
Why Storytelling is So Powerful November 03, 2016
You Have to Know WHAT IS Before You Can Figure Out WHAT'S NEXT
Many organizations say they want to create a bold new future for themselves -- and that is laudable -- but all-too-often their future-oriented efforts are launched without fully understanding their present reality. As a result, their forward thinking efforts are often ungrounded, unfocused, and unwieldy.
Bottom line, if you want to arrive at a new destination, it's useful to know where you're starting from. Which is precisely why Idea Champions is happy to announce that it is now offering its clients a simple way to assess the WHAT IS of their organization.
Idea Champions' Current Reality Check Up is a highly effective needs assessment process that provides senior leaders with deep insight into the mindset, perspective, and needs of their company's workforce. Metaphorically speaking, it's a kind of organizational X-RAY that reveals what exists beneath the surface -- strengths to leverage, weaknesses to address, and opportunities to explore.October 29, 2016
How to Sell Without Selling
A few years ago, my wife and I bought a Turkish rug from Mehmet, Istanbul's Steve Jobs of rug merchants.
If I could run my company as well he could sell, I'd be a very wealthy man.
Technically, speaking, Mehmet didn't really sell us anything. He simply created the conditions that allowed us to buy (which some people, I know, will think is really just a clever form of selling, but it wasn't.)
How did Mehmet work his magic, when all we did was sit down at his cafe to drink some coffee with no conscious desire to buy a rug?October 26, 2016
Deciphering the Secret Code of Tacit Knowledge
What is it that all human beings share in common other than the need for air, water, and the undeniable fact that they will answer this question in a wide variety of ways? Well, at the risk of disturbing the people likely to answer this question in a wide variety of ways, I would venture to say a deeply ingrained need to know -- a search for the kind of knowledge needed to thrive in this world.
How to Create a Culture of Storytelling in the Workplace
Want to bring meaningful storytelling into the workplace -- to share insight, wisdom, and tacit knowledge? Want to spark a culture of innovation, caring and collaboration? I'm your man.October 15, 2016
STORYTELLING AT WORK goes to college (and never took an SAT)!
Good news! My award-winning book, Storytelling at Work, is going to be used, in the Spring, as a textbook for a very innovative Business Communications course at The Sage Colleges in upstate New York.
The idea for this was the brainstorm of Dr. Haidy Brown, who was looking for a different way to introduce her students to the power of personal storytelling. I think Dr. Brown is a genius! The two of us will be meeting, in December, to explore various ways she can use my book as a catalyst for breakthrough in the lives of college students.
If YOU are affiliated with a college and want to explore the possibilities with us, contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org. I have a dream -- that Storytelling at Work will be the "go to" textbook for business communication courses all over the world within the next two years.
My story-centric podcasts, interviews, and articles
My storytelling blog
The Kindness-At-Work Manifesto
It has recently come to my attention that some of the most loving, passionate, well-intentioned people in the world have a tendency to treat their co-workers unkindly -- especially during times of stress or on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday.
Consumed by their need to do something extraordinary for humanity, they forget the people they work with are human.
And so, in an effort to restore a Culture of Caring to organizations everywhere. it is my honor to present to you the Kindness-At-Work Manifesto -- 40 daily opportunities to go beyond the imperfections of your co-workers and rise to a place of uncommon goodness.
Where does it begin? With your intention to maintain your commitment to kindness any time one of your co-workers does not.October 11, 2016
You Suck at Powerpoint!
October 09, 2016
SNEAK PREVIEW: A Bold, New Way to Do Corporate Conferences
Idea Champions is thrilled to announce it will soon be launching a bold new service to transform the way it's clients plan for, design, facilitate, and follow-up their company's conferences. Why? Three simple reasons: 1) Most corporate conferences severely under-deliver; 2) The time for incremental improvement is over; 3) The "moment of truth", for most organizations, demands that a critical mass of forward-thinking people are in the same room at the same time and prepared to go beyond the status quo. The time for chatter, chirping, and hotel chicken is over. It's time for change. And real change is not a function of pep talks, carrots, and sticks. It's a function of intention, intrinsic motivation, and the willingness to do something different -- real time. The question, or course, is HOW?
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