How to Radically Improve Your Brainstorming Sessions December 05, 2013
Ten Seconds of Your Time
Got ten seconds? Value my contribution to the field of innovation and creativity? If so, please consider voting for me as TOP 5 SPEAKER in the field. A leading Speakers Bureau has just nominated me. It's a big honor and now it's time to get out the vote.
Willing? All you need to do is click this link, scroll to the INNOVATION & CREATIVITY section and check the box next to my name (MITCHELL DITKOFF). Then scroll to the bottom of the page, enter your name and email address and click the SUBMIT button. That's it.
Thanks! Merci! Gracias! Much appreciated! Click this link to vote.December 03, 2013
The Real Flowering of Innovation
ED.NOTE: The following is dedicated to all the male readers of this blog -- especially those who are married, work too hard, and think about "innovation" just a little too much.
Today, in a sudden fit of love and appreciation, I bought a dozen roses and brought them home to my wife.
Usually, when I think of buying roses, I go through a predictable sequence of events. First, I surrender to a wonderful feeling of expansiveness that takes me over. Then I get curious and smell the flowers. Then I ask the shopkeeper how long she thinks the roses will last. Then I ask the per stem price, do the math, and reach the pitifully male conclusion that $46.95 is way too much too spend on something that won't last out the week and is probably less expensive somewhere else and it's obviously indulgent of me to be buying so many roses when I've got two kids to put through college in a few years and besides, beauty is within.November 30, 2013
THE SECOND ANNUAL "Cartesian Spinoff Tagline" CONTEST
Rene Descartes, the famous 17th century philosopher, physicist, and mathematician, is best known for having distilled his world view down to five words: "I think, therefore I am." Very pithy of him.
And so, in honor of The Father of Western Philosophy, I am pleased to announce the launching of the Second Annual Cartesian Spinoff Tagline Contest -- one that YOU could easily win with just a few minutes of creative effort.
HERE'S HOW IT WORKS:
Read the list of taglines below and let us know WHO you think that tagline should be attributed to. If you want your contest replies to be private, email your submissions to email@example.com. Otherwise, just post a comment below.November 28, 2013
What Are You Thankful For?
November 27, 2013
Excerpted from Prem Rawat's 11/24/13 event in Boston
Flower Prayer Illustration: Tim Gainey
The Prem Rawat Foundation
Forget THINK TANKS. The Time Has Come for THANK TINKS!
On this day of THANKSGIVING, I'm asking for your feedback on a new idea of mine which I have playfully named THANK TINKS.
The idea is for organizations to provide their workforce with a simple, dependable way to express their gratitude -- as a counter-balance to the all-too-common tendency many people have to focus on what's wrong.
In the same way that Quality Circles were a big hit in the 1980's, THANK TINKS ("Appreciation Circles"), might be just the right thing for these challenging times of ours.November 26, 2013
50 Awesome Quotes on Possibility
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. "The Wright brother flew right through the smoke screen of impossibility." - Charles Kettering
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 MooreNovember 24, 2013
Improv to Improve Idea Generation
It can be said that a brainstorm facilitator plays many roles during the course of a session. Conductor, diamond cutter, and traffic cop are three of them. But the most obvious role is that of actor, and not just any kind of actor, because there really isn't a set script... but an improv actor making theater magic out of a specific "situation" or "set-up".
In both brainstorm facilitation and improvisational theater, you're trying to tap the creative imagination of people in order to create something new. In both, you need to loosen up the habitual thinking and behaviors of the "audience" so they become more than just passive observers, but active participants.November 23, 2013
50 Awesome Quotes on Risk Taking
1. "Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it." -- Goethe
2. "Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." -- Helen Keller
3. "It's not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It's because we dare not venture that they are difficult." -- Seneca
4. "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far it is possible to go." -- T.S. Eliot
5. "What you have to do and the way you have to do it is incredibly simple. Whether you are willing to do it is another matter." -- Peter DruckerNovember 22, 2013
The Woodstock Festival of Thanksgiving!
Ask just about anyone on planet earth what comes to mind when they hear the word "Woodstock" and they will most likely say one of three things: Peace, Love, or Music. Makes perfect sense -- especially since that's what the world-famous Woodstock Festival was all about back in '69.
Forget the fact that Woodstock never actually happened in Woodstock, but 43 miles southwest in Bethel, NY. Facts were never what Woodstock was about. Not 44 years ago, when Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin walked this earth. And not now.
Woodstock is about something else -- something less quantifiable than facts, but far more meaningful. Woodstock is about feeling -- a feeling rooted in the recognition that there is something more to experience, in life, than initially meets the eye.November 21, 2013
Creating Buzz for the Buzzworthy
This, I do believe, should be the National Anthem for coffee lovers. If you know any movers and shakers in the coffee world who are looking for a creative way to focus attention on their brand, leave a message here and I'll pass your info on to Marc Black, the writer and singer of the song.The Art of Capturing Attention
How can you or the company you work for use video more effectively to deliver a message, promote a product, or capture the attention of the people to whom you are trying to communicate?November 19, 2013
The #1 Online Training in the World
Voted the #1 online brainstorm facilitation training in the world by an extremely biased selection of carefully selected people we've known for years.
Actual testimonials by real clients
A Non-Traditional Proposal
Your business, organization, team, department, or community can learn a lot from this video. What, specifically, is for YOU to figure out. To increase the odds, ask yourself: "In what ways might we infuse a key project of ours with more fun, creativity, and collaboration?"November 17, 2013
5 Inexpensive Ways to Jump Start a Sustainable Culture of Innovation
Trying to create a culture of innovation is a daunting task for even the most committed organization.
Cultures take decades to form. Changing them is not an overnight phenomenon, no matter how many outside consultants you've gotten on the case. You might as well try to end world hunger or wipe out Aids overnight. It's gonna take a while.
But if you and your colleagues are game, culture change is possible. The question, of course, is where to begin?November 16, 2013
The Top 18 High Tech Excuses
A few months ago I asked readers of this blog to tell me what they thought the most common high tech excuses were -- the modern day, techno-centric equivalents to "The dog ate my homework." Here's what they told me:
1. "The server's down."
2. "You're breaking up."
3. "Your email ended up in my spam folder."
4. "I'm out of range."
5. "My laptop crashed."
6. "I can't find my Smart Phone."
7. "I forgot to recharge my battery."
8. "I couldn't open the attachment."
9. "I didn't get a calendar reminder from Outlook."
10. "I don't remember which password opens that application."
One Reason Why Brainstorming Fails
Advertising executive Alex Osborn, frustrated by his employees' inability to come up with novel and creative ideas, invented the concept of brainstorming in the late 1930's. His 1953 book, Applied Imagination, described how to apply the concept in very simple terms. Osborne put forth two basic principles: Defer Judgment and Focus on Quantity.
These days, people attempting to lead ideation sessions are often mindful of the first principle, but they almost never remember the second. And this, quite simply is a big reason why most brainstorm sessions fail to produce even mediocre results.November 13, 2013
Real Innovation in Prisons
Here's a look at some fabulous innovation going on in prisons -- the last place you would think innovation is on the rise. The PEACE EDUCATION PROGRAM (PEP), created by The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF), is getting some remarkable results -- and rapidly getting the attention of the prison community around the world.November 10, 2013
Asking for Permission to Facilitate
Here's a useful tip for you the next time you find yourself standing in front of a group of people and about to facilitate a meeting of any kind.
Before you begin, ask people to give you permission to facilitate.
This may sound like a complete waste of time, especially if you've been brought in by the powers-that-be to facilitate the meeting, but it's not. It's essential. Here's why:November 09, 2013
Painting a Different Picture
Fascinating 7-minute TED video of a woman, with the aspiration to be a political scientist, following her instincts and becoming an artist instead -- but not just ANY artist -- one who is pioneering a new mode of expression.
How might you apply the essence of this video to your own life? What old forms do you need to challenge? What new forms of expression are calling to you?
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