August 06, 2020
Those Who Trust Us, Educate Us


"Those who trust us, educate us." - George Eliot

NOTE: What follows is a guest post from Mohammed Azim, Secondary School Head of English, Teacher, and Coach at Al Siraat College, in Epping, Australia. Mohammed is one of 33 teachers and staff members participating in Idea Champions' four-month Team Leadership Training, one module of which focuses on trust.

"I like the above quotation by the English novelist, Mary Ann Evans, known by her pen name George Eliot!

I am also reminded of our beloved Prophet and Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him), who said: "When a man says something to someone and then turns to you, then it is a trust." Our religion demands that we all be characterized by the nature of trust.

Continue reading "Those Who Trust Us, Educate Us"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:00 PM | Comments (0)

20 Reasons Why People Get Their Best Ideas in the Shower


During the past 25 years, I've asked more than 10,000 people where and when they get their best ideas. I get all kinds of answers, but the one that has always fascinated me is "the shower" -- maybe because I also get so many of my good ideas there. And so, at the risk of overstating my case, I hereby offer you 20 reasons WHY the shower is so conducive to idea generation.

1. Showering signals "a new day" or "new beginning."

2. You're usually alone, with time to reflect.

3. Interruptions are rare.

4. The rush of water creates a kind of "white noise" that makes concentration easier.

Continue reading "20 Reasons Why People Get Their Best Ideas in the Shower"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:48 AM | Comments (4)

July 31, 2020
Why Tell Stories?

Wizard Storyteller copy.jpg
In the last 60 seconds, here's what happened:

168 million emails were sent, 700,000 Google searches were launched, and 60 hours of YouTube videos were uploaded, not to mention all the spam, banner ads, phone calls, Facebook posts, tweets, texts, and telemarketing calls that found their way to your doorstep.

A whopping 90% of all data in the world has been generated in the past two years alone. Think about this: Before the dawn of civilization, approximately 5 exabytes of information had been created. Now, that much information is created every two days!

The common term for this head-spinning phenomenon is "information overload" -- the inability to absorb and process all of the information we are exposed to.

Continue reading "Why Tell Stories?"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:10 PM | Comments (0)

July 30, 2020
ON TRUST: Do I Have Your Best Interests at Heart?

Here's a two-minute video on trust -- Jim Knight addressing a key component of this most important topic: "Do I have the best interests of the other person at heart?" In other words, are we being truly benevolent and caring towards "the other?" People can pick up on this vibe in a nano-second. It's not so much what we say. It's what we do. And it's not so much what we do. It's who we are. That's where trust emanates from. And if who we are is infused with authentic caring, selflessness, and empathy, everything else will follow...

Big thanks to Evla Han for the heads up

Brene Brown on Trust
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:24 AM | Comments (0)

July 29, 2020
BRAVING: A Deeper Dive Into What Real Trust Is All About

Here's a very lucid 10-minute video from Brene Brown on trust. "Braving" is her acronym for what she considers to be the key elements of trust: Boundaries, Reliability, Accountability, Vault (confidentiality), Integrity, Non-Judgment, and Generosity of intent (i.e assuming the best in others).

37 inspiring quotes on trust
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:41 PM | Comments (0)

July 28, 2020
37 Great Quotes on Trust

Trust is contagious.jpg

If you are a member of a team, there will be times when trust flies out the window. Your willingness to rely on others to do the right thing will shrivel. Such is life. But just because trust shrivels, doesn't mean it's gone. Smaller? Yes. Gone? Not necessarily. It can be restored. Indeed, it must be restored -- that is, IF you have any aspirations to enjoy life, your work, and the possibility of making a difference in the world.

"You must trust and believe in people, or life becomes impossible." - Anton Chekhov

"Earn trust, earn trust, earn trust. Then you can worry about the rest." - Seth Godin

"The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them." - Ernest Hemingway

"Trusting is hard. Knowing who to trust, even harder." - Maria Snyder

"He who does not trust enough will not be trusted." - Lao Tzu

Continue reading "37 Great Quotes on Trust"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:27 AM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2020
The Real Organizational Chart?


One reason why there isn't more innovation in most of our lives is because too many of us are working on our own. Not a good idea. Pause for a moment and identify at least one person with whom you need to collaborate. Who is it? What role will they play? And when will you ask for their support?

Start your idea factory
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:54 PM | Comments (3)

July 23, 2020
It's All a Matter of Perspective

Here's a two-minute video that delivers a very powerful message in a very simple way. If you are collaborating with anyone these days and tend to "see things differently" and your seeing things differently results in some interpersonal breakdowns, this one's for you.

Idea Champions

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

July 21, 2020
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.

Continue reading "The Six Sides of the So-Called Box"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:44 PM | Comments (2)

July 10, 2020
THE FIRST 20 HOURS: How to Learn Anything

Wanna learn something new? Good! Start here. This 19 minute TED Talk demystifies the process of learning anything new. No, you don't need 10,000 hours to master a new skill. Much less. HINT: The biggest obstacle to learning anything new isn't intellectual. It's emotional.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:42 AM | Comments (0)

July 09, 2020
The DNA of Idea Champions Workshops and Trainings

electric head2.jpg

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 07, 2020
DANIEL PINK: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

What does it take to learn anything some from somebody else?

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:48 AM | Comments (0)

July 05, 2020
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)

What Does It Really Take to Learn Anything from Somebody Else?


Since 1987, I have been providing consulting and training services to a wide variety of forward thinking organizations who have recognized their need to raise the bar for creative thinking, innovation, and teamwork. An optimist, by nature, I have always assumed that the people attending my sessions had an innate ability to benefit from whatever it was I was teaching, conveying, or imparting.

And while this optimistic point of view continues to be my default position, I have also understood that there are obstacles that often get in the way of people receiving the maximum value of what I (or any teacher, instructor, or facilitator) has to offer.

It is, shall we say, an occupational hazard.

Some of these learning obstacles are internal (i.e. participant mindset) and some are external (funky organizational culture). But no matter where these obstacles originate from, each of them can be decreased or eliminated with the right kind of effort.

Continue reading "What Does It Really Take to Learn Anything from Somebody Else?"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:50 AM | Comments (1)

June 27, 2020


This 15-minute talk by Prem Rawat, from his recent series of Lockdown talks, is absolutely brilliant. If you're wondering why the world is having such a hard time these days -- and what the simplest solution for its troubles might be -- here's the medicine.

PS: It doesn't matter what "path" you walk or what religion you practice, peace is peace for everyone. Just like water is water for everyone, no matter what their seeming differences might be.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:01 PM | Comments (0)

June 26, 2020
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)

June 23, 2020
What Is School For?

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:13 AM | Comments (1)

June 17, 2020
The School I Want to Begin


Now that I am officially an amateur in the field of education (six months working in an Islamic school, father of two, and a dropout from a poetry Masters program at Brown University), I am now extremely semi-clear about what kind of school I would start if I started a school in this lifetime or the next.

If what I describe below sounds interesting to you and you want to either teach, organize, fund raise or attend, let me know. But please do not send me your resume or CV. I don't care if you have a resume or a CV. I am not a big fan of paperwork and one of the cool things about the school I will be starting is there will be no paperwork. Also, there will be no boredom, no behavior problems, no grades, no tests, no tenured teachers, no angry parents, no unnecessary meetings, no bullying, and no overcooked spinach.

At least that's the plan. We will, I am guessing, have some plans, though I realize that "Man plans and God laughs." So... there will be a healthy dose of laughter after we recognize just how lame our so-called planning process is.

Continue reading "The School I Want to Begin"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:56 AM | Comments (2)

June 15, 2020
Art in the Age of the Coronavirus


Let me guess: Somewhere, deep inside, you have artistic sensibilities. Over the years, you have tried your hand at painting or drawing or sculpture or writing or dancing or music or cooking or sewing or who knows how many other forms of creative expression. Every time you dove in, you loved it. And other people benefited from it, too!

Of course, like most of us, you never seemed to have enough TIME to dive in fully. But NOW, during these crazy days of lockdown, semi-isolation, and quarantine, you have PLENTY OF TIME. Way more than ever. Yes, you do. This is one of the silver linings of Covid-19. TIME! Time to immerse in creative projects that you usually think you do not have.

All you need to do is something and say YES -- a way to express yourself and, perhaps, share it with others. Ball's in your court.

Continue reading "Art in the Age of the Coronavirus"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

June 13, 2020
Tuning Into the WHY and PURPOSE of Being the Leader of a Team


If you are the leader of a team in your school, business, or organization, you have your work cut out for you. Leading a team is a task that will take time, focus, resilience, patience, adaptability, and a good sense of humor. Towards that end, check out quotes below and choose one that most resonates with you. Then, contemplate it's meaning. How does it relate to your challenge of leading a team?

1. "He who has a why to live can bear almost any how." -- Nietzsche

2. "The person without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder." -- Thomas Carlyle

3. "Purpose is what inspires you to get up in the morning." -- Betsy Smith

4. "Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure." -- Paulo Coelho

5. "There's no better exercise for the human heart than reaching down and lifting someone up." -- John Holmes

6. "The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for." - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Continue reading "Tuning Into the WHY and PURPOSE of Being the Leader of a Team"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:35 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.
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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.
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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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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.
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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.
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