September 01, 2014
REAL ROI: Return on Imagination!

If you're a champion of innovation, chances are good you've encountered the ROI beast more than a few times -- senior leaders looking at you cross-eyed and questioning the value of your efforts. Stop the madness! Change the game! Forward this slide show today!

First, get clear about your problem

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:26 AM | Comments (1)

August 27, 2014
How Einstein Looked at Problems

Einstein solving.jpg

Other related quotes
Why you need to ask why
Ask the right question
The art and science of framing the right question

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:30 PM | Comments (0)

August 23, 2014
15 Great Quotes on the Importance of Asking the Right Question


As a facilitator of the creative process, I continue to be astounded by how few organizations have any kind of process is place to PAUSE, reflect, and make sure they are coming up with the right questions. Apparently, I'm not alone.

1. "It's not that they can't see the solution. They can't see the problem." - G.K. Chesterton

2. "There are no right answers to wrong questions." - Ursula K. Le Guin

3. "We thought that we had the answers, it was the questions we had wrong." - Bono

4. "Ask the right questions if you're going to find the right answers." - Vanessa Redgrave

Continue reading "15 Great Quotes on the Importance of Asking the Right Question"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:42 PM | Comments (0)

August 22, 2014
How to Prepare for a Brainstorming Session

Two gear brains.jpg

Our latest Huffington Post article on how to prepare for a brainstorming session.

Brainstorm facilitation training

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:17 PM | Comments (0)

August 20, 2014
How Many Dancers Does It Take to Screw in a Lightbulb?


Here is
the answer
to a question
you probably
never asked before
the answer
too difficult
to figure out
(or you were at a meeting).
How many dancers
does it take
to screw in
a light bulb?

If you want your brainstorm sessions to be more like dancing than having everyone's feet nailed to the floor, click here.

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:48 PM | Comments (0)

August 18, 2014
Leave Your Title at the Door and Remove the Door From It's Hinges


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"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:30 AM | Comments (10)

August 10, 2014
Why Leaders Shouldn't Lead Brainstorming Sessions


Here's one of the dirty little secrets of corporate brainstorm sessions: When they are led by upper management, department heads, or project leaders, they usually get manipulated.

Because honchos and honchettes are so heavily invested in the topic being brainstormed, it is common for them to bend the collective genius of the group to their own particular point of view. Not a good idea.

Participants -- out of respect for the expertise (or position or parking space) of the facilitator -- will invariably moderate their input. The results? Same old same old.

Continue reading "Why Leaders Shouldn't Lead Brainstorming Sessions"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:18 PM | Comments (0)

August 07, 2014
The Beggar


I have never been fired from a job. Except once -- a week after the man I wrote 350 speeches for in two years, Donald J. Manes, the Borough President of Queens, committed suicide in his kitchen because he knew he was just about to get busted for stealing more than one million dollars from the City of New York in what is now affectionately known as the Parking Violations Bureau scandal.

Continue reading "The Beggar"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:37 PM | Comments (0)

August 03, 2014
Innovation as a Happy Accident


A little known fact about innovation is that many breakthroughs have not been the result of genius, but "happy accidents" -- those surprise moments when an answer revealed itself for no particular reason.

The discovery of penicillin, for example, was the result of Alexander Fleming noting the formation of mold on the side of petri dish left uncleaned overnight.

Vulcanized Rubber was discovered in 1839 when Charles Goodyear accidentally dropped a lump of the polymer substance he was experimenting with onto his wife's cook stove.

More recently, 3M's post-it was also the result of an accident in the lab. Breakthroughs aren't always about invention, but the intervention required, by the aspiring innovator, to notice something new, unexpected, and intriguing.

Continue reading "Innovation as a Happy Accident"

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

August 02, 2014
The Challenge of Virtual Brainstorm Training

Laptop man and lightbulb.jpg

For the past six months, Idea Champions has been delivering its Conducting Genius brainstorm facilitation training virtually as well as in person. We've learned a lot along the way and we'd like to take a few minutes, now, to share a little bit of that with you -- just in case YOU are thinking of doing more online training.

First of all, a lot of things you'd assume would be lost in translation by going the virtual route did not turn out to be an issue for us.

Continue reading "The Challenge of Virtual Brainstorm Training"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:01 PM | Comments (0)

Unleashing Business Brilliance

Unleashing Bus Briliiance.jpg

That's what we do. And below are five ways we do it.

Conducting Genius

Engaging Innovation
Ingenious Leadership
What's the Problem?
Team Innovation
What our clients say

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:00 PM | Comments (0)

August 01, 2014
Brainstorm Facilitation Training DNA

Recently, my company (Idea Champions) been getting a lot of requests for our brainstorm facilitation training and are in the process of putting together a simple website about this service. In the meantime, here is an update on what it's all about:

Conducting Genius is an interactive learning experience that provides participants with the skill, experience, and confidence they need to become effective brainstorm facilitators. Knowing that people learn best by doing, we've designed the 1-3 day training to be as interactive as possible -- one that includes the following eight customizable elements:

1. Master Trainer Tutorials: At selected intervals, we deliver two kinds of topic-specific tutorials: 1) The art and science of brainstorm facilitation and; 2) The right use of ideation tools, techniques, and processes.

Continue reading "Brainstorm Facilitation Training DNA"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:01 AM | Comments (0)

July 31, 2014
Genius Is Simpler Than You Think, According to Mozart


a lofty
of intelligence,
nor both together,
go to the
making of

Love, Love, Love.
is the
soul of

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:22 PM | Comments (2)

July 29, 2014
How to Sell Without Selling


Two years ago, my wife and I bought a Turkish rug from Mehmet, Istanbul's Steve Jobs of rug merchants.

If I could run my company as well he could sell, I'd be a very wealthy man.

Technically, speaking, Mehmet didn't really sell us anything. He simply created the conditions that allowed us to buy (which some people, I know, will think is really just a clever form of selling, but it wasn't.)

How did Mehmet work his magic, when all we did was sit down at his cafe to drink some coffee with no conscious desire to buy a rug?

Continue reading "How to Sell Without Selling"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:09 AM | Comments (2)

July 25, 2014
You Think YOU Have a Long Commute?

And now for a little perspective, just in case business is slow or you haven't gotten the promotion you think you deserved.

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:22 PM | Comments (3)

July 24, 2014
My Doctor Right Kinetic Video

My Doctor Right by Sixty Second Stories from Laura Eisman on Vimeo.

Brilliant two-minute kinetic video from Fahey Design.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:52 PM | Comments (0)

July 23, 2014
It's National TRUST YOURSELF Week!


This week, oh aspiring innovators, it's time to trust yourself. That's right. Trust. For the moment, forget about the business cases, spread sheets, best practices, data points, decision grids and the overly somber Six Sigmafication of your soul. You already know what to do. You do! You've known for a while. Now all you need to do is do it!


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:19 AM | Comments (1)

July 18, 2014
Upgrade Your In-House Brainstorm Facilitation Skills the Simple Way

Want to upgrade your change agents' brainstorm facilitation skills? Looking for a simple way to open the creative floodgates in your organization? Here's one way.

Read this if you think brainstorming is bogus.

Covers for our new 142-page facilitator guidebook

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:37 AM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2014
100 Awesome Quotes on What It Really Takes To Innovate


1. "I want to put a ding in the universe." - Steve Jobs

2. "Ideas won't keep. Something must be done about them." - Alfred North Whitehead

3. "Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next." - Jonas Salk

4. "If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong." - Charles Kettering

5. "Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." - Helen Keller

6. "If you can dream it, you can do it." - Walt Disney

Continue reading "100 Awesome Quotes on What It Really Takes To Innovate"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:48 PM | Comments (8)

July 16, 2014
15 Awesome Quotes on Collaboration

Circle Hands.jpg

1. "It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed." - Charles Darwin

2. "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." - Helen Keller

3. "If two men on the same job agree all the time, then one is useless. If they disagree all the time, both are useless." - Darryl F. Zanuck

4. "If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself." - Henry Ford

5. "Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

Continue reading "15 Awesome Quotes on Collaboration"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:27 AM | Comments (2)

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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.
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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.
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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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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Breakthrough Cafe.
A totally unique brainstorming salon. Great food. Great food for thought. Great people. Collaborate, have fun, get out of the box.

"Inno-waiters With Whine Lists" – The Breakthrough Cafe featured in January 2006 issue of