Storytelling at Work
October 17, 2017
Holding On for What You Believe

Years ago, before terrorism, shoe bombs, and 9/11, my father and mother were on their way back home from a vacation in the Carribbean. When my father checked in at the airport, tanned and rested, the ticket agent informed him that the flight was "overbooked" and he would have to be re-ticketed and put on a later plane, along with my mom.

This, shall we say, did not sit well with him. After all, he has a confirmed ticket in his pocket and NEEDED TO GET BACK TO WORK. The ticket agent, following airline protocols, repeated the party line, explaining ever-so-politely that Mr. and Mrs. Ditkoff would need to be re-ticketed, which she would be happy to do. Not the response my father was looking for. Not even close.

So he went to the gate, found an exit door and, along with my mom, made their way onto the runway. Once there, he made a beeline for the portable stairway that other passengers on his flight were boarding. Then, he moved to the front of the line, grabbed both handrails and blocked everyone's entrance. Whatever flight attendants tried to do to appease him did not work. He simply grabbed on harder and stood his ground, my mother, somewhat embarrassed, standing off to the side. He would not budge, not an inch, his verbal commentary as tenacious as his two grips on the hand rails.

"No one gets on this plane unless we do." he barked. "No one."

And no one did. He just stood there, holding on, taking a massive stand for his rights. PS: Somehow, the flight attendants found two seats for the tanned and rested Barney and Sylvia Ditkoff. Ah... the good old days.

MitchDitkoff.com
My book on storytelling

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:21 PM | Comments (1)

October 07, 2017
THE WISDOM REVOLUTION: The Text of My 2018 TED TALK

Wizard Storyteller3.jpgI stand before you tonight for one purpose and one purpose only -- to launch a revolution. Not the kind that overthrows a government. Not the kind that replaces one political system with another. And not the kind that takes life. No. The revolution I am launching gives life -- a revolution of wisdom or, better yet, a revelation of wisdom -- a way that each and everyone of us can change things for the better on planet Earth.

My weapon of choice? Not a gun. Not a hand grenade. Not a bomb. My weapon of choice is a story. Yes, you heard that right -- a story.

Continue reading "THE WISDOM REVOLUTION: The Text of My 2018 TED TALK "

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:02 AM | Comments (1)

September 28, 2017
Storytelling Is a Powerful Way to Transmit Tacit Knowlege

My book on storytelling
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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:00 PM | Comments (0)

September 26, 2017
Is That So?

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Once upon a time, many years ago, before the invention of Starbucks, Velcro, or Fructose, there lived a humble monk in a remote monastery in China. His name was Wan Loo and he was much beloved by everyone he met, dedicated, as he was to realizing the highest truth with every fiber of his being.

Every morning, he meditated with the other monks in the Central Hall, then ate breakfast, washed his bowl, and worked in the garden for the rest of the day, taking brief moments now and again to read the sutras and teach calligraphy to the younger monks. Life was simple for Wan Loo. And very fulfilling. He couldn't have imagined a better life.

Continue reading "Is That So?"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:30 PM | Comments (0)

September 23, 2017
Peace Quotes for All Time

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September 21, 2017
Want to Know the Lineage of Modern Day Storytellers?

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Travelling poet
Cantadora
Troubadour
Bard
Griot

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:03 PM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2017
An Unforgettable Evening with Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach

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I am Jewish. My parents were Jewish. My grandparents were Jewish and all their parents and grandparents were Jewish. My father's father's name was "Abraham". His brother's name was "Moses". I was circumcised, went to Hebrew School, was bar mitzvahed, and ate more than my share of bagels, lox, gefilte fish, and matzoh balls. Like any good Jew, I celebrated the High Holidays.

Wait... hold on a minute... I don't think "celebrate" is actually the right word. Make that "endure" -- me, as a young boy, being far more devoted to baseball and playing with my dog than fiddling around with that silky, red prayer book marker separating one section of indecipherable Old Testament text from another. My Rabbi, the very forthright, wise, benevolent, Rabbi Alvin D. Rubin, always seemed, at least from my adolescent point of view, to be wondering if he had, somehow, lifetimes ago, taken a wrong turn out of the Sinai desert, finding himself, as he was, these days, shepherding a flock of polyester-wearing suburbanites way more interested in their golf game than the unpronounceable name of God.

Continue reading "An Unforgettable Evening with Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:13 AM | Comments (2)

August 29, 2017
Why Storytelling Is So Powerful

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Revealing book of stories

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:55 PM | Comments (0)

August 22, 2017
The Afghani Cab Driver and the $250M Dollar Salty Snack Food

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I am getting into the back seat of a yellow cab, as I've done a thousand times before, having just tipped the too-smiling bellboy too much for holding open the door and inviting me, as he had been trained to do just last week, to "have a nice day."

Continue reading "The Afghani Cab Driver and the $250M Dollar Salty Snack Food"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:53 PM | Comments (0)

August 19, 2017
The Four Shamanic Questions

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"In many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions: When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?"

- Gabrielle Roth

Storytelling at Work

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:12 PM | Comments (0)

August 16, 2017
Listening is a Superpower

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As an innovation provocateur and storyteller, I am continually fascinated at how rare real listening is in most organizations. Everyone seems to be moving so fast or just WAITING for their turn to speak, that real listening rarely happens. Methinks, it goes all the way back to our childhood where we were deeply appreciated for speaking our first word, but never appreciated for the first time we listened. If you want to be a good storyteller, begin by being a good story listener.

24 quotes on good communication
Illustration: gapingvoid.com
MitchDitkoff.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:16 AM | Comments (0)

August 14, 2017
The Fence to Nowhere

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"Good fences make good neighbors," wrote the poet, Robert Frost, 63 years ago -- a now iconic poetic meme that looks at both sides of the human condition from two very different perspectives. Yes, it's true -- fences do make good neighbors. But not always. Sometimes, fences do other things -- like make good catalysts to help people understand the distinctions between selfless service, non-attachment, and idiocy.

The year? 1977. The place? Kissimmee, Florida. The occasion? A week-long, outdoor festival of spiritual seekers wanting to experience love. And I was one of them, having traveled 32 hours from Colorado for the chance to listen, learn, and be of service -- my chance to "give back" in response to the extraordinary gift I had been given six years earlier by the man whom all of us had traveled such long distances to see.

Continue reading "The Fence to Nowhere"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:47 PM | Comments (0)

August 11, 2017
Moses, Jesus, Jonah, and Me on The Toledo On-Ramp

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The spiritual literature of Planet Earth is full of stories that track the trials and tribulations of earnest souls on the path to God. Like Jonah in the belly of the whale. Like Moses in the desert. Like Jesus on the Cross. Every culture has their own, just like they have their own creation myths and favorite cheese. Indeed, the heroes and heroines of these soul-shaping stories have, in time, become a kind of code for the hard-to-describe qualities that define what it means to be an evolving human being -- the kind of stories we tell our kids whenever we want to impress on them something timeless and profound.

Continue reading "Moses, Jesus, Jonah, and Me on The Toledo On-Ramp"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:16 PM | Comments (2)

August 09, 2017
The Four Healing Salves

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MitchDitkoff.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:01 PM | Comments (0)

August 08, 2017
I'm From Woodstock. Yes, I Am!

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I'm from Woodstock. Yes, that Woodstock, the famous Woodstock -- the most famous small town in the world, some people say. Former home to Bob Dylan. Jimi Hendrix lived here for a summer in the house right across the street from where I live now...

Continue reading "I'm From Woodstock. Yes, I Am!"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:04 AM | Comments (0)

August 06, 2017
Why Your Brain Likes a Good Story

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Lucid, Harvard Business Review article on why your brain likes stories. Oxytocin anyone?

Storytelling at Work
Oxytocin-generating book excerpts

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:30 PM | Comments (0)

August 02, 2017
MONIKA'S STORY: Just One of the 140 Million Orphans in the World

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This is Monika. She is six-years old. Soon after Nepal's devasating earthquake in 2015, she was found, abandoned and alone, wandering from tent to tent, village to village, begging for food. That's when the Himalayan Children's Charities first heard about her and that's when Monika's life took a major turn for the better. Read the full story here in the Huffington Post by the author of this blog.

Donate to Monika's support

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:05 PM | Comments (0)

July 31, 2017
The Dalai Lama Speaks

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Idea Champions
MitchDitkoff.com
My book on storytelling

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:01 AM | Comments (0)

July 28, 2017
Steve Jobs on Storytelling

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My book on storytelling
Sparking innovation through storytelling
Storytelling and big hairy ideas
The mothership

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:20 PM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2017
Kahili Gibran on Storytelling

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Storytelling at Work
MitchDitkoff.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:20 AM | Comments (0)

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October 2017, September 2017, August 2017, July 2017, June 2017, May 2017, April 2017, March 2017, February 2017, January 2017, December 2016, October 2016, September 2016, August 2016, July 2016, May 2016, April 2016, March 2016, February 2016, January 2016, December 2015, November 2015,
ABOUT THE BLOG

Storytelling at Work is a blog about the power of personal storytelling – why it matters and what you can do to more effectively communicate your stories – on or off the job. Inspired by the book of the same name, the blog features "moment of truth" stories by the author, Mitch Ditkoff, plus inspired rants, quotes, and guest submissions by readers.

Order the book:

About Mitch's New Book
Storytelling at Work is more than a blog. It is also a book, featuring 38 stories from the front lines of business and 16 essays about the art and science of storytelling. Available in paperback and Kindle from Amazon.
FAQ
Do you want to know more about the book before buying it? Click here for Mitch's response to frequently asked questions about Storytelling at Work – the perfect book for people who think they have no time to read.
The Workshop
Storytelling is an "unconscious competency" – an ability we all have that all too often remains inaccessible to us. Enter the Storytelling at Work workshop – a simple way to activate this powerful, innate skill.
Wisdom Circles
Want to establish a culture of storytelling in your organization or community? Looking for a simple way to help people to share their meaningful, memorable stories with each other? Here's how.
Podcasts & Videos
Click here to view and listen to a series of interviews with the author of this blog. Go beyond the written word. Listen. Feel. Elevate the conversation. Understand what the big deal is about personal storytelling.
Blogs 'R Us
If you like this blog, you might also like Mitch's other two blogs: The Heart of Innovation and The Heart of the Matter. Mitch is also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post.
Idea Champions
When Mitch isn't writing, he's captaining the good ship Idea Champions, a leading edge innovation consulting and training company based in Woodstock, NY. What their clients say.
© IDEA CHAMPIONS