April 23, 2019
And a Child Shall Lead Them

Powerful TED Talk on climate change by a 16-year old girl from Sweden. Perhaps the best 11 minutes you will experience today. Worth watching -- and then doing something in response to her message.

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:44 AM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2019
15 Common Missteps Entrepreneurs Make

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A good articles from Forbes -- practical advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Illustration: Gapingvoid
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:23 AM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2019
THE IDIOT SAVANT'S GUIDE to Becoming a Better Storyteller

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Click here to listen (and view) my November 22nd webinar on storytelling in the workplace. Entertaining, mind opening, and practical. Hosted by the good people at PatSnap.

If you are interested in learning why and how storytelling is the ideal way to increase employee engagement, build community, transmit tacit knowlege, and spark a mindset of innovation, this will be a very good use of 48 minutes.

"He that tells the stories, rules the world." (Hopi Indian saying)

Microlearning for aspiring innovators
More goodies on storytelling
MitchDitkoff.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:33 PM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2019
10 Ways to Improve Your Company's Broken Ideation Process

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OK. You're busy. I get it. Which is why I just deleted the first four compelling, context-setting paragraphs of this blog post and will now cut to the chase:

Your company's "ideation process" is either non-existent, seriously flawed, or not understood by the members of your team.

You know it. I know it. And 99% of the people you work with know it -- a longstanding phenomenon that spawns nothing but frustration, wheel spinning, and resignation. Few people want to deal with the Rube Goldberg-like nature of the beast -- the attempt to more dependably structure the process of originating, developing, and executing new ideas. And so the madness continues. Does it always have to be this way? No it doesn't. But someone needs to step up and bell the proverbial cat.

So read on. The following ten "ideation process best practices" are clues for you -- something to adapt to your particular company/team culture/ It's not like you have to implement all ten of them. But even one or two, applied on the job, will make a huge difference. That is IF you want to increase the odds of you and your team increasing the odds of innovation actually happening on-the-job.

Continue reading "10 Ways to Improve Your Company's Broken Ideation Process"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:32 PM | Comments (0)

April 09, 2019
The Three Keys to Becoming a Masterful Brainstorm Facilitator

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As a former student of the martial arts, I have noticed a curious phenomenon in corporate America that is becoming increasingly troubling to me -- especially among "creatives" who aspire to become masterful brainstorm facilitators. I call it the "Bruce Lee Syndrome" or perhaps more correctly, the "I-Took-a-Karate-Lesson-at-My-Local-Shopping-Mall- and-How-Come-I-Still-Can't-Break-a-Brick-Yet" syndrome?

Well-meaning business movers and shakers expect that learning a new creative thinking technique is all they need to spark brilliance in a roomful of people. Not true. Not even close to being true.

Continue reading "The Three Keys to Becoming a Masterful Brainstorm Facilitator"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:38 AM | Comments (0)

April 04, 2019
77 Provocative Quotes on Uncertainty and Letting Go

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"I spent a lot of years trying to outrun or outsmart vulnerability by making things certain and definite, black and white, good and bad. My inability to lean into the discomfort of vulnerability limited the fullness of those important experiences that are wrought with uncertainty: Love, belonging, trust, joy, and creativity to name a few." - Brene Brown

"The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers." - Erich Fromm

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity." - Gilda Radner

"As human beings, not only do we seek resolution, but we also feel that we deserve resolution. However, not only do we not deserve resolution, we suffer from resolution. We don't deserve resolution; we deserve something better than that. We deserve our birthright, which is the middle way, an open state of mind that can relax with paradox and ambiguity." - Pema Chodron

Continue reading "77 Provocative Quotes on Uncertainty and Letting Go"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:26 PM | Comments (0)

March 30, 2019
21 Awesome Quotes on Intuition

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"The only real valuable thing is intuition." - Albert Einstein

"Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do." - Benjamin Spock

"Systems die; instincts remain." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

Continue reading "21 Awesome Quotes on Intuition"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:24 PM | Comments (0)

March 28, 2019
What Storytelling Themes Most Intrigue You?

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IF YOU HAVE THREE MINUTES TO SPARE, please respond to my new online storytelling poll. I will be launching a series of Wisdom (storytelling) Circles in Woodstock, NY on April 10th and am curious to find out what storytelling themes people find most compelling.

PS: You do not need to live in Woodstock in order to respond to the poll -- especially since I will be taking this on the road in the Fall and also teaching people how to facilitate Wisdom Circles in their own homes, towns, cities, or organizations. Thanks, in advance, for chiming in. Much appreciated!

Here's what people are saying about their Wisdom Circle experiences.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:50 PM | Comments (0)

March 25, 2019
101 CreativiTeas for Innovators

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No matter how many times I tell people there's no such thing as a "magic innovation pill," every one keeps asking.

This just in: I don't have the magic pill. But I DO have something even better -- a virtual potion that has the potential to liberate you from the bothersome obstacles that keep sabotaging your ability to innovate. Simply read the list below, pick the CreativiTea you most need to imbibe, and think about what it would take you to manifest more of this quality in your life these days. Bottoms up!

1. Opening Up to PossibiliTea

2. Easy Going FlexibiliTea

3. Gandhi-like HumiliTea

4. Well-timed AdaptabiliTea

5. Taking Care of Details Amidst InfiniTea

Continue reading "101 CreativiTeas for Innovators"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:52 AM | Comments (2)

March 20, 2019
Big Blues From the Viagra People

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In 1999, I conceived and co-founded (with Paul Kwicienski) the world's first interactive business blues band, Face the Music.

The concept was a simple one: help organizations increase teamwork and decrease complaint by getting employees to write and perform original blues songs.

The concept resonated with a lot of industries, especially Big Pharma.

Oh yeah, they had the blues, lots of blues, like the "Now We Gotta Compete with Generic Drugs from Canada Blues," and the "No One Trusts the Drug Companies Anymore Blues," and the always popular, "Our Pipeline Is Empty, But Our Inbox is Full Blues."

So we weren't all that surprised when Pfizer came calling...

Continue reading "Big Blues From the Viagra People"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:56 AM | Comments (0)

March 16, 2019
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? Finding the value in what seems to be a "bad idea" and then using that extracted value as a clue or 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 (0)

March 08, 2019
Reviving Two Birds with One Stone

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Awesome illustration by GapingVoid
mitchditkoff.com
Fostering a Culture of Innovation: The Keynote

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:36 PM | Comments (0)

March 04, 2019
Michelangelo on Genius

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Idea Champions

Ingenious Leadership
My new poetry blog

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:00 PM | Comments (0)

February 24, 2019
The Syndrome Syndrome and the Rise of the New World Disorders

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Here's a fun test for you: If you can read the rest of this paragraph without logging onto Facebook, tweeting, or thinking about crop circles, there's a good chance you do not have ADD, ADHD, or any other recently-identified medical condition.

That's the good news.

The not-so-good news? The overwhelming number of disorders, dysfunctions, and syndromes popping up daily make it almost impossible to understand exactly what condition you actually have.

As a concerned citizen, humanitarian, and Johnny Depp look-a-like, I've decided to go beyond my SAHS (Social Activist Hesitation Syndrome) and actually do something about it.

Below, you will find my guide to 14 of the most recently identified medical conditions. Study them carefully. If you have one of them, please check your health insurance policy immediately to see if it will cover the cost of the medicines you will soon feel compelled to buy.

Continue reading "The Syndrome Syndrome and the Rise of the New World Disorders"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:24 PM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2019
35 Awesome Quotes from Einstein

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Since 1986, every innovation workshop I've facilitated has included a poster of Albert Einstein.

Somehow, Einstein's smiling countenance inspires everyone in the room -- no matter what their social style, gender, or title.

The only thing I find more fascinating than this is the incredible amount of powerful quotes he left behind.

1. "The only real valuable thing is intuition."

2. "Imagination is more important than knowledge."

3. "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science."

4. "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."

5. "The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once."

Continue reading "35 Awesome Quotes from Einstein"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:09 AM | Comments (9)

February 20, 2019
Creators on Creating

Inspiring quotes on creating by off-the-grid creators (and a voice over by Idea Champions Co-Founder, Mitch Ditkoff.

MitchDitkoff.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:33 PM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2019
Innovation as a Happy Accident

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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)

February 12, 2019
A Super Simple Way to Upgrade Your Brainstorming Sessions

Looking for a simple, low-cost way to upgrade the quality and impact of brainstorming sessions in your organization. Here it is!



Other ways to upgrade your ideation sessions

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Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:33 PM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2019
27 Best Practices of High Performing Volunteer Organizations

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Unless you've been in a coma your entire life, chances are good that, at some time in your life (maybe now?) you've been a volunteer for a non-profit organization.

That's the good news.

The not-so-good news is that many volunteer organizations, without even knowing it, sabotage the value their volunteers bring to the table and you, as a result, may have backed off, gone south, or found yourself grumbling to the other volunteers.

I've recently done some informal research on the subject and have identified 27 "best practices" high performing volunteer organizations abide by. Take a peek. Then, volunteer to share the list with the leaders of whatever volunteer organizations you would like to see succeed at a higher level. Can do?

Continue reading "27 Best Practices of High Performing Volunteer Organizations"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:01 PM | Comments (1)

February 09, 2019
The Four Currents of a Culture of Innovation

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I've been doing a lot of thinking these days about "culture of innovation" -- trying to get down to the root of what the heck it's all about.

It's easy to wax poetic about the topic (and a lot of people do), but too much of the stuff I've been reading sounds like bad advertising copy for motherhood and apple pie.

So, at the risk of oversimplifying the whole thing, here's my blogospheric whack at boiling the mumbo jumbo down to the core.

If you want to create a sustainable culture of innovation, you will need to understand that there are always four forces at work -- four currents that are always interacting with each other:

Continue reading "The Four Currents of a Culture of Innovation"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:27 PM | Comments (5)

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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
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High impact certification training that teaches committed change agents how to lead groundbreaking ideation sessions
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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.
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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