February 02, 2015
What You Can Learn from the Conversation I Had Today with My 17-Year Old Daughter

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There are 16,593,242 teenage girls living in America. One of them lives in my house. That would be my daughter, Mimi, an extraordinary 17-year old who, shall we say, has been quite an education for me.

If you have a teenage daughter, you know what I mean. If you've been a teenage daughter, you know what I mean. If you have a friend with a teenage daughter (and spent hours chanting "It's just a phase she's going through, it too shall pass") you know what I mean. Everyone else -- oh ye of no teenagers in your life -- please give me the benefit of the doubt for a moment while I shed some major light on the little understood emerging science of how to communicate to a teenage girl.

Continue reading "What You Can Learn from the Conversation I Had Today with My 17-Year Old Daughter"

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

January 30, 2015
Networks 'R Us

Human beings' classic, overarching metaphor to explain the underlying structure of what's going on here on planet Earth (and inside a human being, too) is shifting from "Tree of Knowledge" to "Networks." Has big time implications for how an individual, team, department, company, or society organizes itself -- regardless of it's product or service. Lot of ground is covered in this wonderful RSA Animate presentation.

QUESTION: How can your organization shift from top down hierarchical to a self-organizing interactive network? How can people connect in new and elegant ways to share information, expertise, insight, and new ideas?

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:08 AM | Comments (0)

January 27, 2015
Why Videos Go Viral

This is a very useful 7-minute overview of why videos go viral by the TREND MANAGER at YouTube. Three main reasons: 1) Tastemakers; 2) Communities of Participation; 3) Unexpectedness.

PS: In the next few days, I will be launching my attempt at a viral YouTube video on this blog . HINT: It has something to do with Valentine's Day.

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:28 AM | Comments (0)

January 26, 2015
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. "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 Moore

Continue reading "50 Awesome Quotes on Possibility"

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

January 24, 2015
Radio Woodstock in the House!

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We just received this very nice piece of feedback from the President of Radio Woodstock, Gary Chetkof.

"Idea Champions was a true partner in helping us untangle some of the issues we were struggling with. They were very easy to work with and the processes used were fun and creative and they worked splendidly. We were able to find out what the major obstacles were and our entire team worked together to find solutions. Everyone participated fully, and everyone now has much more clarity about how to better work together. We even have our new mission statement that you can see on our Facebook page! I wholeheartedly recommend Idea Champions to any business that wants to problem solve, brainstorm, or get their employees to work more harmoniously together."

Our teambuilding offerings
Yes, Idea Champions is based in Woodstock!

Continue reading "Radio Woodstock in the House!"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:34 AM | Comments (0)

January 23, 2015
The World's Best Blog Collection of Awesome, Memorable Quotes

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If you're on the prowl for inspiring quotes you can use for work, your book, speech, website, news report, blog, proposal, kidnap letter, or time capsule, look no further. What follows are 21 universal topics -- everything from Possibility to Failure to Change.

Continue reading "The World's Best Blog Collection of Awesome, Memorable Quotes"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:07 PM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2015
21 Awesome Quotes on Appreciation

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According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the #1 reason why people quit their jobs is because they don't feel appreciated. Ouch! Who can YOU appreciate today?

1. "There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread." - Mother Theresa

2. "If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, 'thank you,' that would suffice." - Meister Eckhart

3. "The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated." - William James

4. "Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." - William Arthur Ward

5. "I would rather be able to appreciate things I cannot have than to have things I am not able to appreciate." - Elbert Hubbard

Continue reading "21 Awesome Quotes on Appreciation"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:43 PM | Comments (0)

January 21, 2015
The Good Thing About Bad Ideas

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One of the inevitable things you will hear at a brainstorming session is "there are no bad ideas." Not true. There are plenty of bad ideas. Nazism, for instance. Arena football. Bow ties.

What well-meaning "keep hope alive" brainstorming lovers really mean is this: Even bad ideas can lead to good ideas if the idea originators are committed enough to extract the meaning from the "bad".

Do you think that War and Peace was written in one sitting? No way. There were plenty of earlier drafts that were horrid, but eventually led to the final outcome.

The key? To find the value in what seems to be a "bad idea" and then use that extracted value as a catalyst for further exploration. The following technique, excerpted from Awake at the Wheel, shows you how...

Continue reading "The Good Thing About Bad Ideas"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:59 AM | Comments (12)

January 19, 2015
Selma

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:45 PM | Comments (0)

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)

January 14, 2015
How to Improve Teamwork in the Next Five Minutes

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Unless you've been in solitary confinement for the past few years, there's a good chance you are a member of some kind of team. There's also a good chance that the team you are a member of isn't always "high performing." Different issues come up from time to time that sabotage the team's effectiveness and trigger frustration, wheel spinning, and lost opportunities. Sound familiar?

If so, this is your lucky day.

Idea Champions (that's my company) is in the final stages of producing a deck of cards that will help teams get to the next level of connectedness, communication, and collaboration. Before we release the deck, we are offering you and the rest of the known universe a SNEAK ONLINE PEEK.

Here's how to view the cards:

Continue reading "How to Improve Teamwork in the Next Five Minutes"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:54 AM | Comments (0)

January 10, 2015
A New Technique for Capturing the Attention of Business Leaders

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During the past 25 years I have worked with some of the most analytical people in the world: tax auditors, engineers, polymer chemists, actuaries, and rocket scientists just to name a few.

In my effort to help these fine folks make the journey from caution to creativity, I've developed quite a number of non-traditional learning strategies -- most of which have worked well enough to get me invited to work with some extraordinary organizations.

Not a single one of the methods I used had anything to do with the bathroom. At least not until one fateful day at GE, when I found myself teaching Innovation and Business Growth to an amphitheater full of GE's "best and brightest" -- all of whom would be listening, the next day, to the iconic Jack Welsh, standing on the very same stage that I was standing on today.

Continue reading "A New Technique for Capturing the Attention of Business Leaders"

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

January 09, 2015
14 Ways to Go Beyond the Email Blues

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In 1999, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek blues song about email.

My purpose was to poke fun at some of the email madness going on at that time. (If you want to give a listen, click the link above).

It's 16 years later now and the email scene has become even weirder.

If I was going to write a sequel, it wouldn't be the blues, it would be the black and blues -- because that's how bruised most of us are feeling these days about email. Bruised, abused, and beat up.

Continue reading "14 Ways to Go Beyond the Email Blues"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:06 AM | Comments (0)

January 08, 2015
VIDEO: Ideas Are Scary

50 quotes on the power of ideas
Let us scare you
Scare yourselves
That big beautiful idea of yours

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:10 PM | Comments (0)

January 07, 2015
Ken Burns on Story

This is wonderful. Enjoy it! BTW, in the spirit of what Ken Burns is talking about, I am writing a book of modern day business "sufi stories". Here's a sneak preview:

Martial Arts of the Mind
Big Blues from the Viagra People
The Afghani Cab Driver and the $250M Salty Snack Food

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:59 PM | Comments (0)

January 05, 2015
If You Like This Blog, You Will Love Our Rejuvenated Website

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If you enjoy reading this blog, please accept my invitation to check out the our new website -- newly renovated, rejuvenated, reorganized, clarified, and simplified. Here are some links, from the site, to whet your appetite:

Continue reading "If You Like This Blog, You Will Love Our Rejuvenated Website"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:42 PM | Comments (1)

January 04, 2015
Non-Judgmental Listening as a Catalyst for Innovation

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If there is person in your life who is on the cusp of a breakthrough, big idea, or simply struggling to figure something out, there is one thing you can do that will be supremely helpful. It has nothing to do with your good ideas, insights, or intuitions, of which you probably have many. It has everything to do with your ability to listen non-judgmentally.

Continue reading "Non-Judgmental Listening as a Catalyst for Innovation"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:32 AM | Comments (1)

January 03, 2015
The Relationship Between Storytelling, Humor, Innovation, and My French Mother-in-Law

We faciiltate brainstorming.jpg OK. I know you don't have 34 minutes to listen to this podcast. Of course you don't have 34 minutes. Do you know ANYONE not in traction or jail who has 34 minutes? But you might have three minutes, yes? Three minutes to listen to my stellar response to the interviewer's first question. Three minutes. That's like 180 seconds. Not much time at all. That's only about 128 seconds longer than the time you've spent reading this far. C'mon, click already. You got places to go, people to meet!



Wisdom at Work

Idea Champions
Catalytic Keynotes

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:35 PM | Comments (0)

January 02, 2015
Setting the Standard

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A big thank you to guest blogger, Val Vadeboncoeur, Idea Champions Director of Training, for this inspiring post from the world of classical conducting.

In March, 2011, the editors of BBC Magazine asked 100 of the world's finest orchestra conductors to choose who they thought were the three best conductors of all time. From these 300 selections, the magazine compiled a Top 20 list. The conductor at the very top of that list was the eccentric genius, Carlos Kleiber (1930-2004.)

The choice was not entirely surprising; Kleiber had been highly regarded throughout his career, which began in 1954. What IS interesting is that Kleiber conducted less often than any comparably long-lived famous conductor in musical history; a grand total of 96 concerts and about 400 opera performances only, numbers that most full-time working conductors achieve every three years or so.

Continue reading "Setting the Standard"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:23 AM | Comments (0)

December 30, 2014
Vote for Mitch Ditkoff as Best Innovation Blogger of the Year

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If you have received any value, in 2014, from the postings in this blog, please consider casting your vote, today, for Mitch Ditkoff, the primary author of The Heart of Innovation -- now in the running for "Best Innovation Blogger of the Year." All you need to do is click this link, scroll down to the REPLY area and write his name in the comments box. Then click "Post Comment." Will take you two minutes or less. Voting ends 12/31.

All of us at Idea Champions extend a hearty HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and yours. May 2015 be filled with peace, joy, and prosperity for you.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:43 AM | Comments (1)

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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.

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.
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.
What's the Problem
Einstein once said that if he had 60 minutes to solve a problem, he'd spend the first 55 thinking about the problem, and the next 5 solving it. This is the workshop he would have invented if time wasn't so relative.
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.
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Face the Music Blues Band The world's first interactive business blues band. A great way to help your workforce go beyond complaint.

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