February 14, 2023
Three Ways to Breathe Life Into Your Most Passionate Creative Venture


If you are on the cusp of a new venture that fills you with both excitement and doubt, welcome to the human race.

Most aspiring innovators on the brink of a breakthrough assume they need to be in a doubt-free state if they are going to succeed and that anything less is a sure sign that they are either imposters, fools or losers-in-waiting.

Not true.

The experience of doubt (and it's twin cousins, fear and dread) comes with the territory of starting a new venture. What's needed, wrote Rollo May in his extraordinary book on the topic, is courage -- the courage to create.

How will you develop the courage YOU need? In many ways.

Continue reading "Three Ways to Breathe Life Into Your Most Passionate Creative Venture"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:45 PM | Comments (0)

Happy Valentine's Day to You!

Here is an inspiring Valentine's Day slide show for you. Includes 21 wonderful quotes on love and vocals by Daya Rawat.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:27 AM | Comments (0)

Happy Valentine's Day to You!

Here is an inspiring Valentine's Day slide show for you. Includes 21 wonderful quotes on love and vocals by Daya Rawat.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:25 AM | Comments (0)

February 05, 2023
On Asking for the Help You Need


"You can do anything, but not everything." -- David Allen

Last year, I facilitate an online course whose purpose it was to help people transform their inspired ideas, dreams, and ventures into reality. It was ton of fun and very fulfilling -- my "calling", if you will (and even if you won't).

Baked into the learning process were some simple ways to help participants become aware of the places inside themselves where they may be tangled or challenged in their approach.

One tangle that has surprised me is how difficult it is for most people to ask for help.

Continue reading "On Asking for the Help You Need"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:22 AM | Comments (0)

February 03, 2023
100 Reasons Why You Don't Get Your Best Ideas At Work


Since 1987, I've asked 2,500 people where and when they get their best ideas. Less than 2% have said "the workplace."

Based on my 33 years of working with a ton of innovation-seeking organizations, here's my take on WHY you don't get your best ideas at work:

1. Too much to do, not enough time.

2. Too many distractions and interruptions.

3. You work in a risk averse organization.

4. Sleep deprivation.

5. Mental clutter.

6. Fear that someone will steal your idea.

7. You don't think of yourself as creative.

Continue reading "100 Reasons Why You Don't Get Your Best Ideas At Work"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:29 AM | Comments (5)

January 16, 2023
Entering the Theater of Your Own, Unique Creative Process


The creative process is a most mysterious one -- the inner journey a person takes to transform an impulse, idea, or inspiration into a manifested form that other people can enjoy.

For most of us, the creative process begins with the undeniable recognition that we are being called to express something -- to give shape to the invisible. Usually, the beginning of this process is quite intoxicating. The sky's the limit. Anything is possible. All systems are GO. Whoo hoo!

In time, however, things change. Our muse, once pristine, now has warts and we enter into the phase sometimes referred to as the "messy middles." Where once everything seemed clear, now nothing is. Confusion, distraction, and procrastination rule the day. The light at the end of the tunnel? Now more fluorescent than divine.

Continue reading "Entering the Theater of Your Own, Unique Creative Process"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:08 AM | Comments (0)

December 03, 2022
WHY FREE THE GENIE WORKS: Thinking Beyond the Pandemic


1. TWO HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE: No matter how creative you are, having the right person to brainstorm with -- at the right time and in the right way -- can often be the difference between success and failure. Human beings are social animals. We need to express ourselves. We need to be heard. We need connection, feedback, encouragement, fresh perspectives, and new ideas. This is not the time to be a lone wolf. You may be quarantined right now, but you are not in this alone!

Yes, it's true! You are onto something. You are being called! You feel it in your bones and have known it for a while. Simply put, you have a gift to share with the world or at least your family and friends -- a service to provide. Now is the time to get it out of you head and into the marketplace! Free the Genie can help facilitate that process. "If not YOU, who? If not NOW, when?"

3. ALL OF US GET STUCK FROM TIME TO TIME: This just in! All people with great ideas eventually run into walls. It comes with the territory of creating something new. But here's the thing: those walls are often no more solid than a thought, assumption or belief. Free the Genie is designed to help you go over, under, around, or through those walls -- and, on a good day, prevent you from building those walls in the first place.

Continue reading "WHY FREE THE GENIE WORKS: Thinking Beyond the Pandemic"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:38 AM | Comments (0)

November 30, 2022
My Top Ten Posts on Medium

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Recently, I've discovered MEDIUM -- a blogging platform with more than 100 million viewers per month. Not all of them have made it to my Medium abode yet, but word is getting out.

In case you haven't visited that part of cyberspace, now's your chance -- especially if you have been enjoying my writing over the years. Here are my ten most popular stories on Medium.

When an Email at 2:00 a.m. Changes Everything
Last Night I Googled Longing
What Have You Accomplished?
What I Learned in a Closet From My 3-Year Old Son
On Being Visited By an Angel
What It Really Means to Be a Friend
Here's the Problem with Reading Rumi
On Realizing the Nature of Pure Being
20 Poets and One Comedian on the Awesome Power of Poetry
A Small Bag of Red Berries

If you want to subscribe to my Medium blog and/or receive email alerts whenever a new post is published, click here. Then click on any story. At the end of each story is a simple way to sign up for email alerts. Easy peasy.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:52 PM | Comments (0)

November 22, 2022
THE BEAUTY OF FEEDBACK: It's Not a Weapon. It's a Mirror.


I want you to imagine, for a moment, that I am your manager and, while passing you in the hallway on the way to yet another meeting. I catch your eye, take a step towards you and, in a halting voice, say "Umm... uh... hi... I'm wondering if you have some time later today for me... er... to share a bit of feedback with you."

How are you feeling right now?

I'm guessing not so good -- especially since the word, "feedback", in most organizations, has become synonymous with, "I'm just about to chop your head off."

Continue reading "THE BEAUTY OF FEEDBACK: It's Not a Weapon. It's a Mirror."

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:48 AM | Comments (0)

November 18, 2022
If You Enjoy Reading What I Write


If you enjoy my writing, I invite you to click on any one of the six links below. These are the six most popular posts of mine on MEDIUM -- an online platform where I am publishing daily. If you like what you read, feel free to subscribe to my posts and request to receive an email alert whenever anything new of mine is published there. Enjoy!

What I Learned, in a Closet, from my 3-Year Old Son

What It Really Means to Be a Friend

On Realizing the Nature of True Being

Here's the Problem with Reading Rumi

100 Sure-Fire Reasons to Go Within

My Father's Last Breath

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:38 AM | Comments (0)

November 10, 2022
32 Inspiring Quotes on Mastery


"Mastery" is a fascinating phenomenon -- one that many people speak about, but few attain. Is it possible? Yes, it is. But what is it really? Ah... now that's the question, isn't it? The dictionary defines mastery as "possession or display of great skill or technique." OK. Good start. If you're fluent in French, for example, you have a mastery of the language. If you win every game of chess, you show a mastery of the game. Skill is necessary, of course, in order to be a Master, but it not sufficient. Something else, beyond skill, is also needed. What might that be?

"One can have no smaller or greater mastery then mastery of oneself." - Leonardo DaVinci

"It's easy to get on the path of mastery. The real challenge lies in staying on it." - George Leonard

"If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all." - Michelangelo

"Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person." - Albert Einstein

Continue reading "32 Inspiring Quotes on Mastery"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:18 AM | Comments (0)

November 03, 2022
101 Reasons Why You Definitely Won't Read This Blog Post

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I know you have no time. YOU know you have no time. I know you're not gonna do anything you don't wanna do. YOU know you're not gonna do anything you don't wanna do. We both know you're not going to read this blog post. It's too long and you have way more important things to do.

What follows are 101 reasons why you won't read this blog post.

Continue reading "101 Reasons Why You Definitely Won't Read This Blog Post"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:06 PM | Comments (11)

October 30, 2022
The Challenge Creative People Face

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Here is one of the biggest challenges creative people face: finding the right balance between spontaneity and planning.

Spontaneity, while a huge part of the creative process, can also be a huge curse. The intoxicating nature of spontaneity -- and the likelihood that it will lead to more projects -- has a tendency to sidetrack. It's sparkly. It's fascinating. And it's fun. But it can also be a massive distraction.

The result? Many creative people have more projects "on the table" than they can execute. And while this often makes for good cocktail party conversation, it also makes for overwhelm, stress, and eventual self-loathing. Months go by (sometimes years) and the big, hairy, audacious goal remains just that -- a goal -- not a completion. The antidote? A renewed vision of what success looks like. Focus. Priorities. A game plan. A support team. And the day-by-day effort required to work the plan.

Bring your current, most fascinating project to mind. Now imagine that your efforts are totally successful. What does success look like? And how did you get there?

Zoomstorming can help

50 Awesome Quotes on Vision
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:15 AM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2022
25 Simple Ways to Free Up Your Innate Creativity

Most people agree that creativity is a good thing. Accordingly, they want to know how they can become more creative. Makes sense, right? The question, however, is a tricky one, not unlike asking "How can I have a good marriage?" or "How can I become a better human being?" There are hundreds of answers and often different strokes for different folks.

Bottom line, there is no blueprint, no follow-the-dots instructions in this realm. But there are some simple principles and guidelines to consider. Below are 25 of them (and all it takes is ONE to get unstuck).

Continue reading "25 Simple Ways to Free Up Your Innate Creativity"

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

August 23, 2022
REST: The Art of Doing Less


I know you are super busy, so I am going to keep this book review super short.

Why do I know you are super busy? Because you are living in the age of information overload and, unless you are in a coma, traction, or jail, you are very likely feeling overwhelmed much of the time.

Or as the White Rabbit put it, "I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date."

Most of our ancestors thanked God for everything. The rest of us? We thank God for Friday -- the proverbial end of the workweek -- a five day sprint too often cluttered with meetings, technology, and to do lists.

Continue reading "REST: The Art of Doing Less"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:43 PM | Comments (0)

August 15, 2022
What Drives Creativity?


If you have 23 minutes to spare and want to get some insights into what drives creativity (and what gets in the way), I invite you to click this link and listen to Gil Hanson's interview of me on his BE YOUR BEST podcast

Gil is a master facilitator of the process that enables people to understand, embrace, and design their own personal brand, no matter what their profession.

The podcast will be especially interesting to you if you are thinking of enrolling in my two-month, online Year of Living Creatively course which begins on September 12th.

More about the course

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:29 AM | Comments (0)

August 04, 2022
Sun Tzu on Preparation


"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?


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:04 AM | Comments (0)

July 20, 2022
FACE THE MUSIC: Back on the Road After a Two Year COVID Hiatus


Face The Music is happy to announce that, since the arrival of Spring, we have been fully up and running -- providing in-person (and hybrid) programs after a two-year, COVID-induced virtual-only existence.

Like millions of people around the world and most of our clients, we have weathered the storm and are ready to work our magic in a world turned upside down.

Savvy business leaders, doing their best to adapt to the "new normal", are currently looking for innovative, effective and efficient ways to help their organizations find their mojo once again. That's what Face the Music is all about.

We help individuals, teams, and entire organizations turn the possibilities of the moment into the reality of tomorrow. We help them bond in new ways. We help people synergize thinking AND feeling and, by so doing, unleash the kind of positive energy that leads to increased creativity, commitment, and collaboration.

And it's all done in a fun, user-friendly way -- what our clients call "refreshing", "revitalizing", and "renewing."

Emails and memos from the CEO won't suffice. Nor will articles in your company newsletter or the same ol' meetings. Something else is needed -- an engaging, enjoyable, skillfully facilitated "all hands-on-deck" gathering with the power to reboot your workforce.

Here's what our clients say.

Founded in 1999, celebrated by CNN, and serving a wide range of forward- thinking organizations in 11 different countries, FTM is taking it on the road once again.

Yes, we adapted to these crazy times and provided our clients with virtual options (and still do); but there is nothing like real people in a real room having a real experience together -- and all for the purpose of connecting in new ways to work their magic in the world.

If you are looking for a powerful way to sharpen communication, boost morale, increase teamwork, and take a fresh look at your business challenges, contact Face The Music today:

1. Phone: 845-687-2100
2. email: info@facethemusicblues.com
3. Online form

"In tune with corporate America." - CNN

"An extraordinary opportunity for our group to bond, let down defenses, and take some much needed risks." - Con Edison

"A great energizer and enormous catalyst." - Cytec Industries

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:14 AM | Comments (0)

July 16, 2022
Creativity Requires Time

If you want to foster more creativity in your school, business, organization, community, or family, look for ways to give everyone more time. The difference between 10 seconds and 10 minutes can often be the difference between "same old, same old" and WOW.

In what ways can you give your students, teachers, staff, or employees more time to stretch their wings?

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:38 PM | Comments (0)

June 27, 2022


"There are no right answers to wrong questions." -- Ursula Le Guin

Effective team leaders sometimes suffer from the "monkey on the back syndrome" -- taking on other people's problems when, in fact, they need to be helping those other people solve their own problems.

One way to do this can be as simple as asking the right question at the right time. This gives the "problem dumper" a chance to step back, reflect, and think differently about their challenge -- a creative pause that increases the likelihood of them solving their own problem or, at the very least, taking responsibility for it instead of expecting you to be the savior.

Knowing what kind of question to ask a person in distress is an art, but it can be easily learned. What follows is a menu of questions for you to consider selecting from whenever anyone approaches you with a problem, frustration, or complaint and the expectation that it is YOUR job to save the day.

Continue reading "GETTING THE MONKEY OFF YOUR BACK: Asking the Right Question "

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:31 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.

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.
Authorized Reseller Logo – GoLeanSixSigma.com
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.
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