December 02, 2019
Sound Advice for Public Speakers

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Inspired by Rebecka Forrester

A practical example
10 keys for giving a great keynote
MitchDitkoff.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:13 AM | Comments (0)

November 30, 2019
Are You an Idea Addict?

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There are lots of things in this world people get addicted to: alcohol, nicotine, heroin, sex, and iPhones, just to name a few. But perhaps the biggest addiction of them all is the addiction to our own ideas. Here's how it works:

We think something up. We feel a buzz. We tweak it, we name it, we pitch it, and POOF, the addiction begins.

At first, like most habits, it's a casual pursuit with a thousand positive side effects: increased energy, renewed focus, and a general feeling of well-being. Like wow, man. But then... we think about it in the shower. We think about it in the car. We think about it when people are asking us to think about other things. We even dream about it.

Continue reading "Are You an Idea Addict?"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:20 PM | Comments (2)

November 26, 2019
20 Reasons Why People Get Their Best Ideas in the Shower

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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)

November 23, 2019
ANTHEMS ON THE RISE TAKES OFF

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Dominos delivers pizzas (547 million per year). FedEX delivers packages (3 billion per year). And Anthems on the Rise delivers custom songs (one, so far, this year).

One? Just one? Yes. But what a one it is -- One Lit Candle (Song for Greta) -- now featured on WAFA's (Water, Food, Air Awards) website in the Youth Climate Awards category.

Hoffman and Edwards' compelling anthem (with gorgeous vocals by Stephen Rivera) has found, in WAFA, the perfect partner to get its message out to the world. Indeed, both WAFA and Anthems on the Rise are kindred spirits, committed, as they are, to shining a bright light on the very best of what it means to be a conscious, caring, creative human being.

WAFA makes it possible for the environment's silent heroes to have a voice and Anthems on the Rise helps make that voice come alive.

If you are inclined to help WAFA accomplish its ambitious planet-saving goals, click here. If your organization would benefit from having its own inspired anthem, click here.

And if you don't feel like clicking on either of the above links, click here for some memorable quotes on possibility -- something which WAFA and Anthems on the Rise, thank God, are both wide open to.

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Illustration: gapingvoid.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:48 PM | Comments (0)

November 22, 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"

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November 15, 2019
The Right Use of LCS

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Of all the techniques Idea Champions has invented and taught since 1987, there is one that continues to be acknowledged as numero uno -- LCS (Likes, Concerns and Suggestions).

LCS is a simple, effective, memorable, easy-to-use technique that has the power to build rapport, spark meaningful feedback, defuse negativity, spark creativity, and increase collaboration. But with one caveat: it needs to be used in the right way, at the right time, with the right people.

Continue reading "The Right Use of LCS"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:42 PM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2019
The Six Sides of the So-Called Box

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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"

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October 25, 2019
If You Plan on Asking an Outside Innovation Consultant for Help

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If someone from your company's leadership team asks you to locate an outside consultant to help your organization raise the bar for innovation, stop for a moment and ask the person asking you to locate an outside consultant to answer the following questions.

If they answer "NO" to any of them or look at you as if you are ungrateful, uppity, or "not a team player", do not accept the assignment.

Really. I mean it. DO NOT ACCEPT THE ASSIGNMENT.

If you're afraid to decline the assignment, not only is the project doomed, but you will soon end up experiencing the kind of low grade corporate virus that leads people to drink too much, feel depressed, or become overly judgmental of their colleagues.

Continue reading "If You Plan on Asking an Outside Innovation Consultant for Help"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:43 PM | Comments (1)

October 06, 2019
A Real Life Example of the Power of Giving Feedback

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Most Fortune 500 companies have some kind of corporate strategy in place for ratcheting up their innovation efforts. Consultants are hired. CEOs give pep talks. And internal initiatives are launched.

Continue reading "A Real Life Example of the Power of Giving Feedback"

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October 02, 2019
The Five Regrets of the Dying

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Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives.

She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called Inspiration and Chai, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

Ware writes of the phenomenal clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives, and how we might learn from their wisdom.

"When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently," she says, "common themes surfaced again and again."

Continue reading "The Five Regrets of the Dying"

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September 21, 2019
Why Business Leaders Need to Pay More Attention to Storytelling

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Here's why -- spoken as clearly as possible in a 60-minute radio interview, hosted by Dr. Wanda Wallace, Founder of the Leadership Forum. Wanda and I cover a lot of ground, including how storytelling can change team and corporate culture for the better. If you curious about how storytelling can be used, as a business tool to spark more teamwork, innovation, and engagement, this one's for you.

About me
My storytelling keynote
My book on storytelling
My innovation and storytelling workshop

"The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller." - Steve Jobs

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September 13, 2019
What I Learned from Being Heckled at a Corporate Keynote Presentation

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Every person who has ever had a job has experienced at least one "moment of truth" in their life -- a time when all the chips were on the table and the decision of whether to go "all in" or not had to be made.

Continue reading "What I Learned from Being Heckled at a Corporate Keynote Presentation"

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How to Escape Education's Death Valley

Idea Champions

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September 12, 2019
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

6. "It's kind of fun to do the impossible!" - Walt Disney

7."I am where I am because I believe in all possibilities." - Whoopi Goldberg

Continue reading "50 Awesome Quotes on Possibility"

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

September 09, 2019
The Perfect Want Ad

Simon Sinek cuts to the chase. This is all you really need to know if you are trying to attract the right people to your team, project, or organization. And notice how he used the Earnest Shackleton story to make his point. Telling the right story is a very powerful way to deliver a message that sticks.

Big thanks to Fazeel Arain for the heads up!

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:02 AM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2019
Changing the Center of Power from the Boardroom to the Living Room

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Since 1987, Idea Champions has been delivering innovation-sparking services to a wide variety of forward thinking organizations in just about every industry on planet earth. Along the way, we have learned a lot about what works and what doesn't work in regard to helping people go beyond the status quo and enter into the kind of mindset that is conducive to meaningful change.

One of the surprising things we've learned is just how powerful storytelling is. Stories carry with them the DNA of whatever it takes for human beings to wake up, tune into their higher selves, and turn wisdom into action.

While the boardroom is one environment where storytelling can work its magic, the living room, in our experience, is the wave of the future. Which is precisely why Idea Champions is in the process of moving the center of its operations from boardroom to living room.

Continue reading "Changing the Center of Power from the Boardroom to the Living Room"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:29 PM | Comments (0)

August 31, 2019
One Simple Way to Ensure That Your Team Becomes High Performing

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If you are reading this, chances are good that you are currently a member of a team -- either at work, in your community, or as part of a volunteer organization. And if you aren't on a team now, chances are good that, at some time in your life, you were on a team. Yes? I thought so.

In any case, it's more than likely that whatever team you are on, or have been on, has had some challenges along the way.

There were speed bumps, fumbles, breakdowns, lost opportunities, inefficiencies, infighting, power struggles, control issues, boring meetings, personality problems, competing agendas, cliques, triangulation, disappointment, disenchantment, and disillusionment.

Continue reading "One Simple Way to Ensure That Your Team Becomes High Performing"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:24 PM | Comments (0)

August 29, 2019
Leave Your Title at the Door and Remove the Door From It's Hinges

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When I co-founded my company in 1986, I had two business cards made. One said "President." The other said "Archduke." Whenever I gave clients a choice, they always wanted the Archduke card.

In time, I gave all the Archduke cards away and never re-ordered them -- in a pitiful attempt, I think, to seem more professional.

Fortunately, everything comes full circle. Last night, while enjoying a wonderful concert in my hometown of Woodstock, my next title was suddenly revealed.

Director of Public Elations (and, no, I did not forget the "R".)

In a flash, not only did I get an insight into what my focus will be for the next few years, I also discovered an entirely new field.

Continue reading "Leave Your Title at the Door and Remove the Door From It's Hinges"

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August 26, 2019
21 Reasons Why You Like to Do Your Creative Work in Cafes

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Ever since I was old enough to realize there would never be a want ad in a newspaper that described a job I wanted, I've loved working in cafes. I never really thought much about it until a few days ago when a baffled friend of mine asked why I was so into it.

His assumption? That working in a cafe would be a distraction. A distraction? Dude, quite the opposite. I do some of my best work in cafes.

And so, at the risk of trotting out a few half-baked conclusions that my non-cafe-going critics will have a field day trashing, here goes:

21 REASONS WHY YOU LIKE TO WORK IN A CAFE

1. It doesn't feel like work.

2. It's a nice break from the office.

3. You don't have an office.

Continue reading "21 Reasons Why You Like to Do Your Creative Work in Cafes"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:33 PM | Comments (5)

August 22, 2019
The Innovation Burnout Syndrome

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Most newly launched organizational 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 excited, 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 others, 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, 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.

Oh, I almost forgot -- you can stagger the launch of new initiatives so not everything is happening at the same time.

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)

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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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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
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High impact certification training that teaches committed change agents how to lead groundbreaking ideation sessions
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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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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.
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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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