October 06, 2019
A Real Life Example of the Power of Giving Feedback

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Most Fortune 500 companies have some kind of corporate strategy in place for ratcheting up their innovation efforts. Consultants are hired. CEOs give pep talks. And internal initiatives are launched.

Continue reading "A Real Life Example of the Power of Giving Feedback"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:46 PM | Comments (0)

October 02, 2019
The Five Regrets of the Dying

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Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives.

She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called Inspiration and Chai, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

Ware writes of the phenomenal clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives, and how we might learn from their wisdom.

"When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently," she says, "common themes surfaced again and again."

Continue reading "The Five Regrets of the Dying"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:47 PM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2019
Why Business Leaders Need to Pay More Attention to Storytelling

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Here's why -- spoken as clearly as possible in a 60-minute radio interview, hosted by Dr. Wanda Wallace, Founder of the Leadership Forum. Wanda and I cover a lot of ground, including how storytelling can change team and corporate culture for the better. If you curious about how storytelling can be used, as a business tool to spark more teamwork, innovation, and engagement, this one's for you.

About me
My storytelling keynote
My book on storytelling
My innovation and storytelling workshop

"The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller." - Steve Jobs

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:00 PM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2019
What I Learned from Being Heckled at a Corporate Keynote Presentation

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Every person who has ever had a job has experienced at least one "moment of truth" in their life -- a time when all the chips were on the table and the decision of whether to go "all in" or not had to be made.

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:39 PM | Comments (0)

How to Escape Education's Death Valley

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September 12, 2019
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. "I'm grateful for always this moment, the now, no matter what form it takes." - Eckart Tolle

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

6. "It's kind of fun to do the impossible!" - Walt Disney

7."I am where I am because I believe in all possibilities." - Whoopi Goldberg

Continue reading "50 Awesome Quotes on Possibility"

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

September 09, 2019
The Perfect Want Ad

Simon Sinek cuts to the chase. This is all you really need to know if you are trying to attract the right people to your team, project, or organization. And notice how he used the Earnest Shackleton story to make his point. Telling the right story is a very powerful way to deliver a message that sticks.

Big thanks to Fazeel Arain for the heads up!

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:02 AM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2019
Changing the Center of Power from the Boardroom to the Living Room

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Since 1987, Idea Champions has been delivering innovation-sparking services to a wide variety of forward thinking organizations in just about every industry on planet earth. Along the way, we have learned a lot about what works and what doesn't work in regard to helping people go beyond the status quo and enter into the kind of mindset that is conducive to meaningful change.

One of the surprising things we've learned is just how powerful storytelling is. Stories carry with them the DNA of whatever it takes for human beings to wake up, tune into their higher selves, and turn wisdom into action.

While the boardroom is one environment where storytelling can work its magic, the living room, in our experience, is the wave of the future. Which is precisely why Idea Champions is in the process of moving the center of its operations from boardroom to living room.

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:29 PM | Comments (0)

August 31, 2019
One Simple Way to Ensure That Your Team Becomes High Performing

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If you are reading this, chances are good that you are currently a member of a team -- either at work, in your community, or as part of a volunteer organization. And if you aren't on a team now, chances are good that, at some time in your life, you were on a team. Yes? I thought so.

In any case, it's more than likely that whatever team you are on, or have been on, has had some challenges along the way.

There were speed bumps, fumbles, breakdowns, lost opportunities, inefficiencies, infighting, power struggles, control issues, boring meetings, personality problems, competing agendas, cliques, triangulation, disappointment, disenchantment, and disillusionment.

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

August 29, 2019
Leave Your Title at the Door and Remove the Door From It's Hinges

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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 (12)

August 26, 2019
21 Reasons Why You Like to Do Your Creative Work in Cafes

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Ever since I was old enough to realize there would never be a want ad in a newspaper that described a job I wanted, I've loved working in cafes. I never really thought much about it until a few days ago when a baffled friend of mine asked why I was so into it.

His assumption? That working in a cafe would be a distraction. A distraction? Dude, quite the opposite. I do some of my best work in cafes.

And so, at the risk of trotting out a few half-baked conclusions that my non-cafe-going critics will have a field day trashing, here goes:

21 REASONS WHY YOU LIKE TO WORK IN A CAFE

1. It doesn't feel like work.

2. It's a nice break from the office.

3. You don't have an office.

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:33 PM | Comments (5)

August 22, 2019
The Innovation Burnout Syndrome

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Most newly launched organizational innovation initiatives have a dark side, a not-much-talked-about shadow side -- the metaphorical alcoholic-father-in-the-basement side. And it is this... fascinating new projects are conceived, senior leaders get excited, game plans are drawn up, but no one gives the "worker bees" any more time to devote to the newly launched projects. They are, in effect, expected to shoehorn their new efforts into their already overloaded schedules.

Bottom line, aspiring innovators' "day jobs" end up colliding with newly launched innovation initiatives and mayhem ensues. People either burn out, get cranky, triangulate to third parties, spend way too much time explaining the newly launched innovation project to others, or else go into martyrdom-mode -- all behaviors that do not bode well for the individual, the company, or its customers. And while every company DOES have a few superstar self-starters who dive in with both feet, this is not a formula for sustainable innovation.

The solution? Either redistribute workloads, offer "innovation project sabbaticals", or provide your front line innovators with enough support services to unclutter their minds, ease their way forward, and allow them the time to focus on the innovation job at hand without frying.

Oh, I almost forgot -- you can stagger the launch of new initiatives so not everything is happening at the same time.

If you don't, expect nothing but a whole lot of chaos, broken promises, unfulfilled expectations, and the kind of innovation backlash you wish you hadn't unleashed.

Three minute video on this phenomenon

Idea Champions
MitchDitkoff.com

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

August 14, 2019
76 Surprising Facts About Corporation Innovation

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Here are 76 fascinating facts on corporate innovation curated by Valuer in Denmark. And while it's true that Canadian researchers have determined that goldfish have a longer attention span (9 seconds) than human beings (8 seconds), I have great confidence in your ability to buck this trend and focus for the three minutes it will take to read Valuer's post (unless you are multi-tracking or feeding your goldfish).

Illustration: gapingvoid
56 reasons why most corporate innovation efforts fail
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:47 AM | Comments (0)

August 10, 2019
What Is School For?

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August 08, 2019
How to Foster a Sustainable Culture of Innovation

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Looking for inspiration and guidance on how to make your company more conducive to innovation? Here's some food for thought and action -- Idea Champions' ten most popular postings on the subject.

Continue reading "How to Foster a Sustainable Culture of Innovation "

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

August 03, 2019
THE CURE FOR THE CREATIVE BLUES: Self-Acknowledgment

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If you're a creative person working on a project that is unlikely to get results overnight, here's a simple practice to save you from the all-too-familiar phenomenon of depressing yourself by focusing on the proverbial cup being half-empty.

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:37 PM | Comments (0)

July 28, 2019
What IS Innovation, Anyway?

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If you google "definitions of innovation," guess how many references you will get? 177,000,000! That's a whole lot of attempts at defining something most of us want, but can't quite agree on what it actually is. Obviously, there IS no single definition. Like reality, it all depends on the person and their point of view. Still, it's useful coming to terms with what you think it is -- especially if you are about to enter into some kind of "innovation sparking process" with others. So, here are 13 definitions of innovation to get the party started. Choose the one that best works for you and then contemplate it. If NONE of the choices below work for you, create your own. Then, enter into a dialogue with your colleagues or team about what innovation means to them.

"The act of introducing something new." -- The American Heritage Dictionary

"Change that creates a new dimension of performance." -- Peter Drucker

"The ability to deliver new value to a customer." -- Jose Campos

"The commercialization of creativity." -- Anonymous

"The conversion of knowledge and ideas into a benefit, which may be for commercial use or for the public good."-- Queensland (Australian) government

"The successful exploitation of new ideas." -- UK Department of Innovation and Skills

"Imaginative activity to produce outcomes that are both original and of commercial value." -- The Institute for Innovation and Information Productivity

"The transformation of idea to reality." -- Saul Shapiro

"The managed effort of an organization to develop new products, new services, or new uses for existing products or services." -- Ricky W. Griffin

"The ability to adapt, adjust, or alter that which already exists for the sake of meeting a need or adding value." -- Anonymous

"The creation, development and implementation of a new product, process or service, with the aim of improving efficiency, effectiveness, or competitive advantage." -- Government of New Zealand

"The successful implementation of creative ideas within an organization.-- Teresa Amabile

"Creating something new before people know they need it." -- Guy Kawasaki

Idea Champions
One way to spark innovation
Do you know what problem you are solving for?
Creating the Innovation Mindset

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:52 AM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2019
The Six Sides of the So-Called Box

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There's a lot of talk these days about the need for business people to "get out of the box", but very little talk about what the box actually is. Here's Mitch Ditkoff, President of Idea Champions, deconstructing the box in a 5-minute video.

One way to get out of the box

Another way
And a third way

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

July 19, 2019
15 Quotes on the Importance of Asking the Right Question

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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

5. "Asking the right questions takes as much skill as giving the right answers." - Robert Half

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

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

THE 2019 LISTENING POLL

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Most people say that listening is an important skill to have and that it is in woeful short supply today. Idea Champions is in the process of creating a new workshop on listening, but before doing so, we want to make sure we understand WHY people value listening. Towards that end, we are inviting you respond to our listening poll. Three minutes is all it will take. In a few weeks, we will post the results here.

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:44 AM | 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.
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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