July 25, 2017
THE DNA OF BRAINSTORMING and The Power of Three

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Every brainstorm session you will ever facilitate or attend, like any good movie you will ever see, can be divided into three parts: the beginning, the middle, and the end. No matter what the topic, who's in the room, or how stale the muffins, you will cycle through the same three phases again and again. How well you will cycle through these phases is another story.

Continue reading "THE DNA OF BRAINSTORMING and The Power of Three"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:49 PM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2017
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 (1)

July 17, 2017
12 Ways to See What's Not Immediately Obvious

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The above image is a good metaphor for business. There's something hidden in it that most people don't see at first glance. Looking at it the same way you always look at things won't help. If you can't see what's hidden, you've got to find a way to adjust the way you look...

Continue reading "12 Ways to See What's Not Immediately Obvious"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:10 AM | Comments (0)

July 16, 2017
A Simple Way to Get the Word Out

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MitchDitkoff.com
My HuffPost articles

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:42 AM | Comments (0)

July 15, 2017
Happiness Is It's Own ROI

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Illustration: gapingvoid
MitchDitkoff.com

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

July 13, 2017
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)

July 09, 2017
20 Awesome Quotes on Beginning

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1."Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

2. "There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth -- not going all the way, and not starting." - Buddha

3. "Be willing to be a beginner every single morning." - Meister Eckhart

4. "All great ideas and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning." - Albert Camus

5. "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." - Lao Tzu

6. "Beginnings are always messy." - John Galsworthy

7. "When there is a start to be made, don't step over! Start where you are." - Edgar Cayce

Continue reading "20 Awesome Quotes on Beginning "

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:26 AM | Comments (1)

July 06, 2017
Time to Let It Rip!

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MitchDitkoff.com
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:28 AM | Comments (0)

July 03, 2017
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)

June 29, 2017
Why Nothing Happens After a Brainstorming Session

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How many times have you participated in a brainstorming session, only to be underwhelmed by the utter lack of follow up? Unfortunately, in most businesses, this is often the norm. Here's why:

1. The output of the session is underwhelming.
2. No one has taken the time, pre-brainstorm, to consider follow-up.
3. No criteria is established to evaluate output.
4. No next steps are established at the end of the session.
5. No champions are identified.

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:04 AM | Comments (10)

June 27, 2017
When a Best Practice Isn't

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I'm a collector of best practices. I like to find out what forward thinking individuals and organizations have done to accomplish extraordinary results.

Sometimes I share these stories in my keynotes or workshops. Invariably, my stock rises when I tell these stories. People think I know stuff. They get giddy. They take notes. They think about how to adapt these best practices to their organization. But then things get weird.

People start becoming satisfied with emulating other people's lives. Instead of thinking up their own best practices, they imitate. Ouch!

Continue reading "When a Best Practice Isn't"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:47 PM | Comments (2)

June 25, 2017
Want to Vacation in Woodstock?

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If you are looking for a great place to rent in Woodstock, NY, consider renting my home -- just a 12 minute walk to town. Mountain views. Peaceful. Gorgeous. A great place to rest, renew, and rejuvenate. Short- term or long-term rentals available. Click here for the full monte. Or send me an email: mitch@ideachampions.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:16 PM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2017
25 Awesome Quotes on Creativity

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"The things we fear most in organizations -- fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances -- are the primary sources of creativity." - Alfred North Whitehead

"The chief enemy of creativity is 'good sense.'" - Pablo Picasso

"Everyone who's ever taken a shower has had an idea. It's the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference." - Nolan Bushnell

"I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones." - John Cage

Continue reading "25 Awesome Quotes on Creativity"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:32 AM | Comments (4)

June 18, 2017
Confessions of a Keynote Speaker

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Recently, I gave a keynote presentation to 150 people in the health care industry. After being introduced, I decided, as I usually do, to leave the safe confines of the podium ("a platform raised above the surrounding level to give prominence to the person on it"), dismount the stage, and "walk my talk" -- weaving my way in between the 20 round tables in the room, each with their own pitchers of water, tent cards, and little bowls of red and white mints.

For a keynote speaker, dismounting the stage and walking into the audience is always a risk -- the same kind of risk people take when they decide to get married, instead of just date. Or, why it's often easier to love humanity than just a single human being.

Continue reading "Confessions of a Keynote Speaker"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:16 PM | Comments (0)

June 16, 2017
Listen to Your Subconscious Mind

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If you study the lives of people who have had Eureka moments, you'll discover that their breakthroughs almost always came after extended periods of intense, conscious effort.

They worked. They struggled. They abandoned all hope. They recommitted -- and then the breakthrough came. And often at the most unexpected of moments.

They weren't buying lottery tickets at their local deli, hoping to win a breakthrough fortune. They were digging for treasure in their own back yard.

Continue reading "Listen to Your Subconscious Mind "

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:48 PM | Comments (3)

June 15, 2017
The True Definition of Comedy

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"Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." - Peter Ustinov

Clarence Darrow chimes in

Quotes on humor and playfulness
The Daily Show

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

June 14, 2017
The Most Important Ingredient to Ensure an Organization's Success

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In a recent survey of 246 CEOs from around the world, "having the right culture to foster and support innovation" was rated the most important ingredient to ensure a organization's success. In other words, if innovation is the big fish companies are trying to hook, culture is the ocean in which those fish are swimming.

Changing a company's culture, however, is not an easy thing to do. When you think about how difficult it is for just one person to lose five pounds or stop smoking, imagine the challenge of getting thousands of people to go beyond their old habits and outdated mental models. That being said, it IS possible.

The key to success? Beginning. And the key to beginning? Giving people a simple roadmap of what they can do, within their sphere of influence, to make a difference

Continue reading "The Most Important Ingredient to Ensure an Organization's Success"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:28 PM | Comments (0)

June 13, 2017
The Innovation Burnout Syndrome

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Most newly launched corporate 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 pumped, 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 their "day job" managers, 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 and a heigh ho silver, 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.

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
MitchDitkoff.com

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

June 10, 2017
Great Quotes on Customer Service

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The following quotes are dedicated to the good people of Nations Roof, a forward-thinking client of ours who continues to impress us with their commitment to providing extraordinary customer service.

"Always keep in mind the old retail adage: Customers remember the service a lot longer than they remember the price." - Lauren Freedman

"The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best, but legendary." - Sam Walton

"Make a customer, not a sale." - Katherine Barchetti

Continue reading "Great Quotes on Customer Service"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:23 PM | Comments (0)

June 07, 2017
It's Really Very Simple

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Illustration: gapingvoid
MitchDitkoff.com
IdeaChampions.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:33 AM | 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 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.
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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Featured in Alltop Guy Kawasaki's Alltop "online magazine rack" has recognized Idea Champions' blog as one of the leading innovation blogs on the web. Check out The Heart of Innovation, and subscribe!
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