September 27, 2010
Ch... Ch... Ch... Changes!

"The act of creation begins first as an act of destruction." - Picasso

Face it. No one likes change. No one likes chaos. No one likes starting all over again -- especially the older we get.

Get over it! The only way the species survives (and your organization) is by adapting to change -- and change is what's upon us now. Big time.

The economy is crumbling. The old institutions are dying. Nothing, on the outside, ever stays the same. Picasso knew this. YOU know this. And your customers are only going to wait so long for you to turn your knowing into action.

So, let the old forms die. Let what no longer works fall away. Then, usher in the birth of WHAT'S NEXT -- before that, too, falls away -- only to be replaced by what's next after what's next.

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:25 PM | Comments (1)

September 24, 2010
Getting Higher in the Blogosphere

Ta da! Whoop! Whoop! Drum roll, please...

Idea Champions is happy to announce that our semi-fearless President, Mitch Ditkoff, has just been voted the #1 innovation blogger in a contest sponsored by the #1-rated innovation blog, Blogging Innovation.

A big thank you to those of you who voted for him. And a big thank you to those of you who continue reading this blog. Much appreciated.

If you have friends, co-workers, relatives, neighbors, customers, clients, or parole officers who might enjoy this blog, feel free to forward them this link.

Visit Mitch in his blog cabin

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:21 AM | Comments (3)

September 23, 2010
Unity Takes Two

original.jpg Mitch Ditkoff and I have an interesting mercurial chemistry when we get together.

Certain things get completed when we riff and improvise. He and I, and the rest of the Idea Champions crew, have all been talking about what creates a culture of innovation for a few years now. Often, all it takes is two people who have what I call "creative resonance."

Show me any two people who can agree and disagree with equal enthusiasm and respect and I'll show you a duo who can brainstorm persistently at high heat.

A great new series on Creative Pairs at Slate talks eloquently about the dynamic balance and high energy the right two people can create when they "complete" each other.

As a successful professional songwriter, I grew up loving the songs of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and older teams like Rogers and Hammerstein, the Gershwin brothers, and Lerner and Lowe. It makes perfect sense to a songwriter that creative pairs would launch some of the most successful companies of the last 35 years.

The creative boom in digital technology started in the early 70's with Bill Gates and Paul Allen, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, and continued a generation later when Larry Page and Sergey Brin created Google.

Great duos exist in every vocational and artistic field: Watson and Crick, Gilbert and Sullivan, Engels and Marx.

Two centuries ago, breakthrough composers often arrived in pairs, pacing each other even when they weren't working as teams: piano innovators Chopin and Schumann (both born 1810), opera titans Wagner and Verdi (both born 1813).

Creative pair chemistry ignites when two people spontaneously strike a agreement to both compete and collaborate with each other simultaneously. That tension between collaboration and competition is more easily achieved and managed in pair relationships than any other kind of team configuration.

Joshua Wolf Shenk's Creative Pairs series is now in its third installment at Slate. Part 1 of Inside the Lennon/McCartney Connection starts here and continues on to Part 2.

If you really want to see how simple the crucible of creativity can be, be sure to keep following Shenk's series. You'll think differently about that colleague you argue with all the time.

One little tweak, a mutual change in attitude and mindset, and something magical could happen.

-- Tim Moore

Posted by Tim Moore at 11:08 PM | Comments (0)

Where Good Ideas Come From

Wonderful TED video of Steven Johnson waxing poetic on where good ideas come from. I especially like his take on "the liquid network" and "the slow hunch." 18 minutes worth.


14 Ways to Get Breakthrough Ideas

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:31 AM | Comments (0)

September 15, 2010
Vote For Me!

If you are reading this, chances are good that you are an occassional reader of this blog. And if you are an occasional reader of this blog, chances are good that you like my writing. And if you like my writing, then now is your chance to vote for me as your favorite innovation blogger.

Assuming, of course, that I am.

The contest is sponsored by Blogging Innovation, Braden Kelley's superfine blog.

Your vote won't only increase my chances of winning the "Best Innovation Blogger" contest, it will also enter you into a contest that may yield you some fabulous prizes.

So, vote already. It will take you less time than it did to read this.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:41 AM | Comments (1)

September 13, 2010
What Inspires You?

For the past 25 years I've been studying the phenomenon of "innovation" -- trying to discover what catalyzes it and what gets in the way.

One of the things I've learned is this: innovation is intimately tied to inspiration. And while inspiration is not sufficient for innovation to take place, it is absolutely necessary.

No inspiration, no innovation. Plain and simple.

And so, I've decided to dig in deeper to this "inspiration thing" -- not just at work, but in life. Which is why I'm asking for five minutes of your time to take my inspiration poll. I want to find out what inspires you -- what gets your juices flowing, what elevates, uplifts, and moves you beyond the call of duty.

I'll post the results here in a month, so be sure to check back.

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:19 PM | Comments (0)

September 01, 2010
One Stop Shopping for Great Innovation Quotes

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Seems like our past postings on quotes have been a big hit in the blogosphere (and maybe New Jersey). So, here ya go -- links to all the cool quotes posted on The Heart of Innovation in the past year.

1. 100 Awesome Quotes on What It Really Takes to Innovate

2. 50 Awesome Quotes on Risktaking

3. 15 Awesome Quotes on Creative Collaboration

4. Rethinking Failure

5. 20 Awesome Quotes on the Relationship Between Play, Humor, and Creativity

6. The Timeless Wisdom of Einstein

7. Famous Last Words

By the way, besides posting tons of free stuff on this blog and Twitter, we also work for a living. kick asss... Creative Thinking Training... Brainstorm Facilitation Training... Leadership Development... Online brainstorming... Ideation sessions... Innovation workshops... Culture of Innovation consulting.

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:06 PM | Comments (1)

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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Webinars for online training If you enjoy our blog, you will love our newly launched webinars! Our training is now accessible online to the whole world.
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.
Featured in Alltop Guy Kawasaki's Alltop "online magazine rack" has recognized Idea Champions' blog as one of the leading innovation blogs on the web. Check out The Heart of Innovation, and subscribe!
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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