December 01, 2020
One of the Biggest Obstacles to Genuine Communication

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"When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen." -- Ernest Hemingway

One of the biggest obstacles to good communication between two people can be summarized in four words: "I already know that."

This all-too-common phrase heads its ugly rear when the listener, having heard as little as a single sentence from the speaker, assumes they already understand what the speaker is going to say. It is this snap judgment, often made unconsciously, that subverts even the faintest hope of communication. But even more than that, it subverts trust, intimacy, connection, and the possibility of meaningful collaboration.

And while it's possible, of course, that the listener does know what the speaker is about to say -- especially if the two of them have a longstanding relationship -- all too often, the listener does not, at least at the depth of what the speaker wants to express.

Continue reading "One of the Biggest Obstacles to Genuine Communication"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:32 PM | Comments (0)

November 02, 2020
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 17, 2020
HOW MUCH DOES LUNCH COST? Pay What You Want!

During these economic melt down times of the Coronavirus, all bets are off. "Business as usual" just won't cut it anymore. Businesses and entrepreneurs are quickly changing business models, pricing models, staffing models, while simultaneously trying to figure out how to use ZOOM.

Forward thinking restaurateurs have been at this game for a while, as the above 2017 video makes abundantly clear.

Idea Champions is also experimenting in this realm. For example, instead of offering a two-week free trial of our online Free the Genie tool, we've decided to extend it to a free 10-year trial -- one way we can give back and be of assistance to people in need. Will we ever "profit" from this experiment? I have no idea. For now, it just feels like the right thing to do.

What can YOU or your business do to adapt to these radically changing times? What might you give away for free? How can you simplify your product or service? What might home delivery look like?

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:06 AM | Comments (0)

October 01, 2020
Skillset vs. Mindset

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A few years ago, as one of my clients introduced me to a roomful of people attending a leadership development workshop I was facilitating, something she said caught my attention: Innovation skills. That's what she was telling the 41 business leaders of the future they were going to learn from me.

Yes, it was true. I was going to help these people learn and practice some new skills. But that was only half the story. Actually, less than half. Much less.

If there's one thing I've learned these past 33 years of working as an innovation provocateur, it's this: mindset -- not skillset -- is the name of the game in business these days.

When a person's mindset (i.e. receptivity, curiosity, adaptability, enthusiasm, focus) is in the right place, skillset becomes secondary.

Continue reading "Skillset vs. Mindset"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:35 PM | Comments (0)

September 23, 2020
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 16, 2020
Great Quotes on Leadership

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"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." - John Quincy Adams

"Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things." - Peter Drucker

"To lead people, walk beside them. As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. When the best leader's work is done, the people say, 'We did it ourselves!'" - Lao Tzu

"Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence, and making sure that impact lasts in your absence."- Sheryl Sandberg

"Average leaders raise the bar for themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar." - Orrin Woodward

Continue reading "Great Quotes on Leadership"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:39 AM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2020
The Poop Revolution!

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:40 PM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2020
AL SIRAAT COLLEGE: Team Leadership Training Testimonials

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What follows is a sampling of testimonials from some of the 33 graduates of Idea Champions' Team Leadership Training, delivered to Al Siraat College, in Epping, Australia in 2020.

SHORT AND SWEET

"This is the best professional training I have ever done in my life. I wish I'd done it many years ago, so I could have incorporated its excellent ideas and practices earlier in my professional and personal life." -- Wayne Semmens

"An extraordinary experience." -- Rahat Arain

"Invaluable to my professional development. Will definitely be carried throughout my life." -- Gulcan Ayvaz

"Amazing. Gave me a different perspective on my role as a leader. I enjoyed the creativity of the program and how huge concepts were unpacked in a simplified manner." -- Shahidah Osman

"Fantastic. A great way to interact with other Team Leaders, share ideas, and learn from each other's experiences." - Misbah Aqeel

"Delivered in a very simple and unique way, making it easy to apply in my daily life. Helped me develop confidence in my leadership." - Maryam Omer

"Never a dull moment. A very enjoyable and relaxing experience that helped keep our minds open and look for creative ideas to improve ourselves and our teams." - Daniel Saleh

"An eye opener. Empowering. Helped me look at things from different perspectives and find new ways to improve things." - Suffian Mohammed Amin

"I now feel we have a process that will be followed by all stakeholders." - Leah Hamel

"Relevant, engaging, and fun. If we are able to implement even half of what we learned, we will become a different organization." - Fazeel Arain

"I got almost immediate, desired results!" - Sitki Esenyel

"It was a blessing to have the opportunity to go inward, outward, and onward. Each session was targeted and practical. The design and delivery were always engaging and stimulating." - Evla Han

"Generated many creative ideas to improve our teams and the school." - Noori Ahmad

"As a result of the training, my team is now working more collaboratively and sharing ideas. Trust has built over time." - Elif Boz

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Continue reading "AL SIRAAT COLLEGE: Team Leadership Training Testimonials"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:20 PM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2020
Zoomstorming Testimonials

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Zoomstorming is a lightly facilitated online brainstorming session that enables anyone with a need, goal, or aspiration to make a quantum leap of thought and action. Bottom line, it's a GPS for the creative process -- a highly engaging way to close the gap between dream and reality. Ideal for committed individuals and small teams.

Short and Sweet Testimonials

"Priceless. A way to dream big, edit your dream, and then do!" -- MaryJane Fahey, Founder, Glorious Broads

"Zoomstorming is like a fan blowing fog out of a room so you can see clearly. Highly recommended." - Douglas Robinson, Composer/Musician

"A user-friendly way to think creatively, originate bold ideas, and turn theory into action." -- Mohammed Azim, Head of English Department, Al Siraat College

"Zoomstorming puts you in touch with your intuition and gut feel. Provides clarity about what you really want and need." - Prentiss Uchida, Serial Entrepreneur and Business Coach

"I emerged from my Zoomstorming session refreshed and refocused on the many possible futures that lay ahead for me." - Doug Stuke, Career Changer and Aspiring Author

"The process revealed all the different colors of my project and then, responsively, yet systematically, synthesized them into a singular beam I could focus on to achieve my desired outcome." -- Chris Mac Vittie, Singer/Songwriter

"Zoomstorming anchored my idea to the ground and provided me with a pragmatic pathway and plan to follow." - Sitki Esenyel, Student Support Services, Al Siraat College.

"I was so inspired at the end of my hour Zoomstorming session that I committed to restarting my memoir writing project -- one that had been in the closet for years." - Gretel Rogers, Travel Agent and Writer

"Lots of fun, interactive, and surprising." - Barbara Drausel, Artist

"As a result of our Zoomstorming session, we have gained great clarity and motivation in setting a vision we are passionate about." - Shanaka Jakakody and Areeba Reusch

"Zoomstorming helped me see my situation in a new light. I was empowered from within." -- Ellen Goldberg, Therapist, Author, Mystic

"An enriching experience of connection and deep exchanges." -- Rosa Morelli, Acting Coach, Artist

Continue reading "Zoomstorming Testimonials"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:27 AM | Comments (1)

September 04, 2020
41 Ways Business Leaders Can Foster a Culture of Innovation

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Yes, we know you want your organization to be more innovative. And yes, we know you want to improve your organization's culture of innovation. The best place to start? With YOU.

1. Give up needing to be the smartest person in the room.

Continue reading "41 Ways Business Leaders Can Foster a Culture of Innovation"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:22 PM | Comments (0)

September 03, 2020
100 Lame Excuses for Not Moving Forward With Your Great Idea

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Do you have an inspired idea or project you want to manifest, but... er... um... just can't seem to get things rolling? Chances are good your reasons why are on the list below. No problem. Join the club. Without beating yourself up, simply note the ones that are your Achilles heel, then try the simple "go beyond excuses" exercise at the end of the list. You're welcome.

1. I don't have the time.
2. I don't have the money.
3. I have neither the time nor the money
4. Coronavirus!
5. I've got too much on my plate right now

Continue reading "100 Lame Excuses for Not Moving Forward With Your Great Idea"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:53 AM | Comments (0)

August 24, 2020
WHY ZOOMSTORMING WORKS: Thinking Beyond the Pandemic

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If you are looking for a simple way to jump start your creative mojo during these challenging times and make rapid progress on an inspired project of yours, welcome to one of the silver linings of the Covid-19 cloud -- ZoomStorming -- the brainchild of Mitch Ditkoff, innovation thought leader, award-winning author, and highly experienced brainstorm facilitator.

Simply put, ZoomStorming is an online brainstorming and idea development session that radically increases your odds of thinking creatively, originating breakthrough ideas, and establishing the kind of forward momentum you need to work your magic in the world.

If you're stuck, ZoomStorming will get you unstuck. If you are already unstuck, ZoomStorming will provide the kind of spark you need to make a quantum leap --- or, at the very least, to take your next steps with clarity, confidence, and consciousness.

Continue reading "WHY ZOOMSTORMING WORKS: Thinking Beyond the Pandemic"

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

August 22, 2020
Idea Champions Helps All Kinds of People Originate Great Ideas

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Since 1987, Idea Champions has been helping a wide variety of forward thinking organizations tap into their innate creativity and originate breakthrough ideas.

"Through your brainstorm facilitation, we gained more than 100 original ideas of high quality. The best of these will guide AT&T's development for years to come." - Robert Rubin, Product Development, AT&T

"Several of the ideas we came up with in the Idea Champions session are being developed into concrete projects that are looking like very profitable opportunities." - Rudy Villa, VP, GE/RCA Licensing

"As a result of Idea Champions'efforts we have implemented more than 250 value-added Big Idea projects." - Joe Belinsky, Professional Development Manager, Goodyear

"Extremely engaging and enlightening brainstorming sessions." - Karen Lazan, Marketing Director, Pfizer

Continue reading "Idea Champions Helps All Kinds of People Originate Great Ideas"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:29 AM | Comments (0)

August 20, 2020
100 Reasons Why You Don't Get Your Best Ideas At Work

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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)

Why Finland Has the Best Education System in the World

The school I want to begin

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:39 AM | Comments (0)

August 19, 2020
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"

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

August 18, 2020
100 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 more important things to do.

What follows are 100 other reasons why you won't read this blog post.

Continue reading "100 Reasons Why You Definitely Won't Read This Blog Post"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:06 PM | Comments (10)

August 14, 2020
Be a Mr. Jensen

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:41 PM | Comments (0)

August 13, 2020
The Power of Introverts

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:46 AM | Comments (0)

August 11, 2020
Ethan Hawke on Creativity

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:14 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
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.
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