January 16, 2019
When You Love What You Do

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We love what we do -- helping forward-thinking organizations go beyond the status quo and tap into the collective genius of their workforce. Here's one way we do it. And here are some others.

What our clients say
Illustration: gapingvoid

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:26 AM | Comments (0)

January 10, 2019
Why You Need to Ask Why

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Some years ago, there was a big problem at one of America's most treasured monuments -- the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC. Simply put, birds, in huge numbers, were pooping all over it, which made visiting the place a very unpleasant experience. Attempts to remedy the situation caused even bigger problems, since the harsh cleaning detergents being used were damaging the memorial.

Fortunately, some of the National Parks managers assigned to the case began asking WHY -- as in "Why was the Jefferson Memorial so much more of a target for birds than any of the other memorials?"

Continue reading "Why You Need to Ask Why"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:41 PM | Comments (2)

January 09, 2019
INNOVATION MICRO-LEARNING (in less than 15 minutes per week)

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This. Just. In. None of Idea Champions clients have any time. And because they don't, we have recently launched an exciting, new micro-learning service to help them stay on top of their innovation game. In less than 15 minutes per week. Virtually. At whatever time is convenient for them. Click here to take our micro-learning poll and see what micro-learning topics we are offering in 2019.

More about it here

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:35 AM | Comments (0)

January 05, 2019
BRAINSTORM TRAINING: OnSite, Online, and On-the-Fly

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Do the people in your organization treat invitations to brainstorming sessions like jury duty summons? Do the ideas generated all-too-often underwhelm? Do people roll their eyes when the brainstorming is over, convinced that nothing new is going to materialize? If so, Idea Champions can help.

Brainstorming, in most companies, is seriously flawed, an exercise in wheel spinning, futility, and lost potential -- not because brainstorming, as a method, is flawed, but because the people who lead brainstorm sessions don't fully understand the art and science of eliciting group genius.

Continue reading "BRAINSTORM TRAINING: OnSite, Online, and On-the-Fly"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:04 AM | Comments (0)

January 03, 2019
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)

December 26, 2018
The DNA of Idea Champions Workshops and Trainings

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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 Idea Champions Workshops and Trainings"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:06 PM | Comments (1)

December 21, 2018
The Martial Arts of the Mind

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Ten years ago I was invited to teach a course on "Innovation and Business Growth" at GE's Crotonville Management Development Center for 75 high potential, business superstars of the future.

The GE executive who hired me was a very savvy guy with the unenviable task of orienting new adjunct faculty members to GE's high standards and often harsher reality.

My client's intelligence was exceeded only by his candor as he proceeded to tell me, in no uncertain terms, that GE gave "new instructors" two shots at making the grade -- explaining, with a wry smile, that most outside consultants were intimidated the first time they taught at GE and weren't necessarily at the top of their game.

I'm not sure how you say it in Esperanto, but in English what he said translates as "The heat is on, big time."

Continue reading "The Martial Arts of the Mind"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:58 PM | Comments (3)

December 16, 2018
SPEED TO KNOWLEDGE: The Curious Roots of Micro-Learning

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Being the first to come up with a good idea does not always make the path to success easy. In fact, often, it's quite the opposite.

For example, the idea of micro-learning may be all the rage these days, but it wasn't always that way. In fact, the company that created the first micro learning programs, AthenaOnline, was kicked out of quite a few offices for even proposing the idea.

The idea of micro-learning -- bite-sized bits of knowledge that are easy to digest and understand -- has been around for ages. It encompasses everything from viewing a short video to reading an article to taking a short quiz. Micro-learning, however, was never a form of enterprise learning until the visionaries at AthenaOnline released its MyQuickCoach application in 1999.

Continue reading "SPEED TO KNOWLEDGE: The Curious Roots of Micro-Learning "

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:12 AM | Comments (0)

December 12, 2018
Allow More Time to Be Creative!

It doesn't get any simpler than this, folks! You want to be more creative? You want to create the conditions that allow other people you work with to be more creative? Stop rushing them! Go beyond the nanosecond! Allow more time!

Carl Jung chimes in
Idea Champions
Allow more time for storytelling!
Play time at AT&T

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:07 PM | Comments (0)

December 11, 2018
10 Ways to Improve Your Company's Broken Ideation Process

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OK. You're busy. I get it. Which is why I just deleted the first four compelling, context-setting paragraphs to this blog post and will now simply cut to the chase: Your company's "ideation process" is either non-existent, seriously flawed, or a joke.

You know it. I know it. And 99% of the people you work with know it -- a longstanding phenomenon that spawns nothing but frustration, wheel spinning, and resignation. Few people want to deal with the Rube Goldberg-like natureof the beast. And so it continues. Does it always have to be this way? No it doesn't. But someone needs to step up and bell the proverbial cat. Like YOU, for example.

So read on. The following ten "ideation process best practices" are clues for you. It's not like you have to implement all ten of them. But even one or two, applied on the job, will make a huge difference. That is IF you want to increase the odds of new ideas actually making it out the door...

Continue reading "10 Ways to Improve Your Company's Broken Ideation Process"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:32 PM | Comments (0)

December 09, 2018
The Best Executive

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Al Siraat College
34 Quotes on Leadership
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:58 PM | Comments (0)

December 08, 2018
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)

December 06, 2018
Give the Gift of Creativity, Collaboration, and Storytelling

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As you enter into the holiday season, perhaps you are wondering what to give your boss, direct reports, teammates, co-workers, clients, customers, or mother-in-law. Look no further! Especially if you are looking for a way to shop online. Idea Champions' online store is now open for business -- offering a variety of mind-opening books, card decks, and innovation-sparking tools. Prices range from $9.95 -- $129.

Idea Champions

Our clients

Photo: unsplash-logoAnderson W Rangel

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

December 04, 2018
If You Call a Meeting, Please Call It By the Right Name

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Maybe it's just me. Or maybe it's the business I'm in, but I can't help but notice how often people with a pressing need to call a meeting find a way to work the "Let's get together and brainstorm" phrase into their invitation even when their meeting has absolutely nothing to do with brainstorming.

Continue reading "If You Call a Meeting, Please Call It By the Right Name"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:20 PM | Comments (0)

December 03, 2018
SOME THINGS TAKE A WHILE

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At last count, there were 7.6 billion people on planet Earth. The odds of any two people meeting, I believe, is something like 7.6 billion to one. And the odds of any two of those 7.6 billion people deciding to collaborate on a complicated, culture-changing project -- especially if one of them is an Australian Muslim born in Pakistan and the other is an American Jew born in New York -- is in the slim-to none-zone. But that's exactly what happened to me last year, a collaboration that took seven years to manifest, a classic span of years noted 700 times in the Bible and God knows how many times in the Quran.

Like any story, the one I am about to tell has a very juicy back story which, technically speaking, is part of the story, depending, of course, on how far back I decide to rewind the karmic tape -- the seemingly invisible, below-the-surface prelude to what I would only later discover to be one of the most fascinating collaborations of my life.

Ready? Here goes:

Continue reading "SOME THINGS TAKE A WHILE"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:28 AM | Comments (0)

December 02, 2018
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

Continue reading "50 Awesome Quotes on Possibility"

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

November 26, 2018
How to Disagree Productively and Find Common Ground

Idea Champions

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

November 25, 2018
Give the Gift of Creativity This Holiday Season

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With Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa fast approaching, I'd like to take this blogospheric moment to be the bearer of some good tidings -- especially if you are wondering what to get your significant other, friends, family, co-workers, boss, teammates, neighbors, clients, customers, or chiropractor.

Idea Champions
(that's us) has just opened its online store and is happy to announce that we are offering a wide variety of mind-opening products to spark creativity, innovation, collaboration, storytelling, and reflection.

Click here to see what your choices are. Prices range from $9.95 - $129.00. NOTE: We will be donating 10% of all profits, this holiday season, to our favorite humanitarian charity, TPRF.

Our team
Our values
Our clients
Our blog
A holiday story about giving

Photo: unsplash-logoTim Mossholder

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

November 24, 2018
Unlock Human Creativity

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Illustration: gaping void
That's what we do
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:27 PM | Comments (0)

November 22, 2018
What Porcelain Dogs Can Teach Us About Brainstorming

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Brainstorm Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:17 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.
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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.

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