October 22, 2018
KEYNOTE SPEAKING DEMYSTIFIED: There Is More Than One Audience

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Recently, I gave a keynote presentation to 150 people in the health care industry. After being introduced, I decided, as I usually do, to leave the safe confines of the podium ("a platform raised above the surrounding level to give prominence to the person on it"), dismount the stage, and "walk my talk" -- weaving my way in between the 20 round tables in the room, each with their own pitchers of water, tent cards, and little bowls of red and white mints.

For a keynote speaker, dismounting the stage and walking into the audience is always a risk -- the same kind of risk people take when they decide to get married, instead of just date. Or, why it's often easier to love humanity than just a single human being.

Continue reading "KEYNOTE SPEAKING DEMYSTIFIED: There Is More Than One Audience"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:16 PM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2018
The Awesome Power of Immersion

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"If I had an hour to solve a problem," explained Albert Einstein, "I'd spend the first 55 minutes thinking about the problem, and the last five solving it."

Translation? One of the secrets to having a big breakthrough is immersion -- "the state of being deeply engaged, involved, or absorbed."

Immersion is the ocean in which our fabulous insights, ideas, and illuminations are swimming. That's why Yogis seek out caves, embryos gestate, and writers go on retreat.

And that's why my business partner, Steven McHugh, and I rented a townhouse in Boulder, Colorado for 30 days and 30 nights when it was time for us to start up Idea Champions. We knew we had a great idea for a business, but we also knew that ideas were a dime a dozen and that unless we really immersed we'd end up with nothing much more than a charming story to tell at cocktail parties -- the idea for a business, but not the business itself.

Continue reading "The Awesome Power of Immersion"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:58 PM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2018
The Return of Idea Champions Extraordinary Co-Founder!

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Idea Champions is thrilled to announce the full return of Co-Founder, Steven Raymond McHugh to our roster of innovation consultants, trainers, facilitators, and change agents.

Steven and I (Mitch Ditkoff) founded Idea Champions 30 years ago and have delivered services to a wide variety of forward-thinking organizations since then. Bottom line, Idea Champions would not have materialized without Steven's brilliance, wisdom, energy, humor, vision, soulfulness and love of coffee. As far as facilitators of group process goes, he is in the 99th percentile of WOW. Tuned in, totally engaging, awake, and skillful beyond the norm. I have learned a lot from him and continue to do so.

Continue reading "The Return of Idea Champions Extraordinary Co-Founder!"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:59 AM | Comments (0)

October 18, 2018
What You Can Learn About Innovation from 25 Amazing Artists

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If you are an aspiring innovator, there's a lot you can learn from some of planet Earth's most revered artists. These are the people who stare at a blank canvas or a lump of clay and end up making magic. This is your task as well. Your life is the blank canvas. The idea you are toying with is your first stroke. What will happen next (or not) is up to you. While some pundits have reduced innovation to a science, my experience has shown me that it is at least 50% art. Or maybe 90%.

Continue reading "What You Can Learn About Innovation from 25 Amazing Artists"

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

October 12, 2018
An Invitation to Forward Thinking Readers of This Blog

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GREETINGS! Mitch Ditkoff here, author of this blog. I have just launched a GoFundMe campaign to create the support I need to write, edit, publish, and promote my next book on storytelling, tentatively entitled Storytelling for the Revelation. Click this link for more info and a simple way to contribute. Every little bit helps. Thanks for considering this and for being a Heart of Innovation reader.

MitchDitkoff.com
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:24 AM | Comments (0)

October 10, 2018
INNOVATION MICRO-LEARNING (in less than 15 minutes per week)

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This. Just. In. None of Idea Champions clients have any time. And because they don't, we have recently launched an exciting, new micro-learning service to help them stay on top of their innovation game. In less than 15 minutes per week. Virtually. At whatever time is convenient for them. Click here to take our micro-learning poll and see what micro-learning topics we are offering in 2018.

More about it here

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

October 04, 2018
Want to Teach in a Wonderful Islamic School in Australia?

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The forward-thinking Islamic school, in Melbourne, Australia, that I have been consulting with for the past year (Al Siraat College) has some new job openings for teachers in their Primary and Elementary schools. This is a great opportunity for an open-minded, committed, adventurous educator to make a big difference and have an extraordinary experience at the same time.

Click here for more info. And here, as well.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:55 AM | Comments (0)

September 30, 2018
The Dark Side of Storytelling

MitchDitkoff.com
Storytelling for the Revolution

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:48 PM | Comments (0)

September 28, 2018
10 Ways to Help Left Brainers Tap Into Their Creativity

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If your job requires you to lead meetings, brainstorming sessions, or problem solving gatherings of any kind, chances are good that most of the people you come in contact with are left-brain dominant: analytical, logical, linear folks with a passion for results and a huge fear that the meeting you are about to lead will end with a rousing chorus of kumbaya.

Not exactly the kind of mindset conducive to breakthrough thinking.

Do not lose heart, oh facilitators of the creative process. Even if you find yourself in a room full of 10,000 left brainers, there are tons of ways to work with this mindset in service to bringing out the very best of the group's collective genius:

Continue reading "10 Ways to Help Left Brainers Tap Into Their Creativity "

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:43 PM | Comments (3)

September 22, 2018
100 Lame Excuses for Not Innovating

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Do you have a great idea you want to manifest, but... er... uh... 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 making yourself wrong, simply note the ones that show up the most for you, then try the simple "go beyond excuses" exercise at the end of the list. Hey, it's time to get unstuck...

1. I don't have the time.
2. I can't get the funding.
3. My boss will never go for it.
4. We're not in the kind of business likely to innovate.
5. I've got too much on my plate right now.

Continue reading "100 Lame Excuses for Not Innovating "

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

September 19, 2018
A Revolutionary New Book for Corporate Storytellers

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BIG THANKS TO JOHN GLINDEMAN, Manager of Product Development and Wellness for United Concordia, for his very supportive review of my new book, Storytelling for the Revolution.

"My job is as a corporate storyteller. That job has had titles ranging from Actuarial Associate to Manager of Product Innovation. But my role in corporate America has always been to take complex things and tell stories about them so executives can make decisions.

Storytelling for the Revolution is a great resource for anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation. The book does not assume that you like, desire, or have an innate gift for storytelling. It simply provides examples and then shows the inner workings of why these stories resonate with an audience. But beyond explaining the art, it showcases the power that storytelling has in the short attention span theater that is modern business. I see myself going back to this book many times as I craft the next big vision of the future my company should consider."

The introduction to the book
11 more Amazon reviews
MitchDitkoff.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:58 PM | Comments (0)

September 17, 2018
How to Attract a Big AHA!

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What is it that allows some people to get creative breakthroughs while others get only creative breakdowns -- alternately blaming themselves, society, their company, and their increasingly suspect astrological configurations?

Is it true that people who experience breakthroughs are "gifted"? Or are there other factors at work -- factors that we (the people) have more control over than we might think?

While nobody can deny that some people seem to be blessed with "creative leanings" (i.e. Mozart at 4), research has shown that anyone can have the much sought after AHA! experience -- that is, IF they immerse themselves in the little understood process of creation.

Time and again, the literature bears this out: great creative breakthroughs usually happen only after intense periods of intention, immersion, struggle -- even madness.

Continue reading "How to Attract a Big AHA!"

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

September 06, 2018
A Big Shout Out to All of the Teachers on the Planet

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In the past 12 months I have spent 90 days working very closely with Al Siraat College, an Australian school in the Islamic tradition, located in the suburbs of Melbourne. Working at the school for a month at a time, I've had an extraordinary opportunity, to see, first hand, up close and personal, both the glory and the challenge of what it takes be a teacher in 2018 and also what's required to establish the kind of school culture that is conducive to real learning.

Continue reading "A Big Shout Out to All of the Teachers on the Planet"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:52 AM | Comments (0)

September 03, 2018
There Is Wisdom Inside You (and it is hiding in your stories)

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All 7.6 billion people on planet Earth are composed of the same six elements: hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorous. And all 7.6 billion people, no matter where they were born or what language they speak, are composed of 75% water, 23 pairs of chromosomes, and approximately 37.2 trillion cells.

Continue reading "There Is Wisdom Inside You (and it is hiding in your stories)"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:39 AM | Comments (0)

August 31, 2018
Mean Business?

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Illustration: gapingvoid
Idea Champions
Storytelling for the Revolution

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:02 AM | Comments (0)

August 29, 2018
10 Tips for Giving a Great Keynote

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Actors want to direct. Directors want to produce. And consultants want to deliver keynote presentation. And why not? The pay is good. It doesn't take much time. And it's a lot less heavy lifting than most consulting gigs.

Easier said that done, however. Delivering an impactful keynote is not as easy as it looks. If you want to get into the game, begin by reviewing the following guidelines to see if you have what it takes.

Continue reading "10 Tips for Giving a Great Keynote"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:04 PM | Comments (2)

August 28, 2018
Be Yourself!

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Your company is unique. Honor that uniqueness. While there is nothing wrong with benchmarking other company's best practices, be mindful not to mindlessly graft them on to your company's culture. Be who you are!

Illustration: gapingvoid

Idea Champions
Help for being who you truly are
The author of the book

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:15 PM | Comments (0)

Why Nothing Happens After a Brainstorming Session

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How many times have you participated in a brainstorming session, only to be underwhelmed by the utter lack of follow up? Unfortunately, in most businesses, this is often the norm. Here's why:

1. The output of the session is underwhelming.
2. No one has taken the time, pre-brainstorm, to consider follow-up.
3. No criteria is established to evaluate output.
4. No next steps are established at the end of the session.
5. No champions are identified.

Continue reading "Why Nothing Happens After a Brainstorming Session"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:04 AM | Comments (11)

August 23, 2018
A Brainstorm Facilitation Training that Works (and is enjoyable!)

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What follows is some juicy feedback we received from Blue States Digital, a client of ours who participated in our Conducting Genius brainstorm facilitation training:

"The three-day Conducting Genius training was engaging, fun and informative. I feel empowered as a facilitator and confident in my skills and ability. Mitch and Val were fantastic teachers -- I was sad when it was over!"

"We did the three-day version of Conducting Genius, and I wish it could've been even longer! By far the most fun, useful, productive, and engaging training I've ever attended."

"It felt like summer camp for creative nerds."

"After the session, I felt energized and empowered -- ready to lead a brainstorm, boss a meeting, and infuse my work with more creativity and thought. Val and Mitch are magicians -- and they passed some of that magic on to us."

The website
What other clients say
About the training
Tell us about your need

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

August 22, 2018
Creativity and the Play Instinct

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Quotes on humor and playfulness
Idea Champions
A playful book about storytelling

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:50 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.

MitchDitkoff.com
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.
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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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