October 28, 2010
Live Your Mission

LiveMission.gif


Innovation
is really a
lot simpler
than you think.
If you can tune in
to your mission --
or what some people
would call
"your life's work",
innovation
is like breathing.
It becomes
a natural expression
of your innate
desire to serve.
Here's the deal:
You're not here
to make money.
You're here
to make a difference.

Free the Genie

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

October 27, 2010
Follow Your Feeling

FollowFeeling.gif


Here's the deal:
You know what to do.
You really do.
There is
something within you
that is
totally tuned in.
You don't need
another focus group.
You don't need
more data.
You don't need
another meeting.
All you need
is to follow
your own instincts.
It's time to
trust yourself.
You can do this!
Ready?

Free the Genie

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:14 AM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2010
Be In the Present, Invent the Future

InventFuture.gif


Do you see
the white space
that contains
these words?
A few minutes ago,
it was empty,
blank,
nothing was in it.
Zero. Zippo. Zilch.

Your future
is the same way.
As well as the company
you work for (or own).
Wide open space.
Pure potential.
Infinite possibility.

What do you want it to be?

Free the Genie virtual

Free the Genie cards

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:54 PM | Comments (0)

October 18, 2010
Helping Our Kids Be More Creative

This is fabulous 11-minute presentation, by Sir Kenneth Robinson, on the need for our educational system to change its paradigm. Ken notes some great research, towards the end of the video, about the difference between divergent thinking and creativity.

Idea Champions
Free the Genie

Thanks to David Passes for the heads up.

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

October 13, 2010
Does This Blog Posting Belong Here?

I'm not sure what this pie graph has to do with this blog, but so what. YOU might make the connection. Of course, it's always possible that there is no connection. Oh well, at least you might get a chuckle or two out of it -- and we all know there is definitely a relationship between humor, play, and creativity, eh?

07e9e0a4-2423-4bdd-b7e8-4bdaa6d18522.png

Hey, if nothing else, it's a way you can find out about Free the Genie, our newly launched, online brainstorming tool.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:04 AM | Comments (2)

October 12, 2010
Are You a Marketing Wizard?

genie.gif

I may be the President of a successful innovation consultancy. I may have been voted the #1 innovation blogger. But that doesn't make me a skillful marketer of my company's products and services.

I'm not. Which is why I'm reaching out to you.

You see, we've just launched Free the Genie, an exciting online brainstorming tool that sparks powerful, new ideas and solutions -- but... er... our marketing efforts leave something to be desired.

And so... it's contest time!

Ten of you, who submit the best marketing ideas, will win lifetime subscriptions to Free the Genie. The rest of you will get to criticize our selection of the ten winners when we announce them here before the end of the year. Something for everyone!

Winners will be selected in the following ten categories...

WINNERS WILL BE SELECTED FROM THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES

1. Least Expensive
2. Biggest Projected Return
3. Funniest
4. Easiest to Execute
5. Most Bizarre
6. The One My Father Would Have Loved the Most
7. Best Use of Social Media
8. Most Likely to Open Up the European Market
9. Most Likely to Bring World Peace
10. Absolute Worst Idea

You can either post your ideas at the end of this post, as a comment, OR you can email them to info@ideachampions.com

Free 15-day trial subscription
Free the Genie Cards

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:11 AM | Comments (3)

October 11, 2010
Results of Our Innovation Study*

Idea Champions is pleased to announce the results of our 10 year, longitudinal research project. More than 750,000 people were surveyed. Or maybe it was 7. We're not totally sure.

cf1d447c-fdb0-482c-bc5b-883c1e6f0f0d.png

50 Ways to Foster a Culture of Innovation

The Four Currents of a Culture of Innovation
The Top 100 Lamest Excuses for Not Innovating on the Job
20 Awesome Quotes on Humor and Creativity
Americans' obsession with numbers

Who We Are

*Ummm.... this is a parody, folks! I had to add this postscript as soon as I saw readers quoting the results of this poll on Twitter. Bad coffee? Stranger than fiction.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:24 PM | Comments (0)

Americans Obsession With Numbers

Here is a wonderful article by Rupert Cornwell on American's obsession with statistics -- or what Charles Seife, NYU Professor, has deftly named "proofiness" -- "the art of using bogus mathematical arguments to prove something that you know in your heart is true -- even when it's not."

Charles and Rupert are in good company. Approximately 9 out of 10 innovation consultants would agree.

So did Albert Einstein several years ago when he proclaimed: "Not everything that counts can be counted; and not everything that can be counted counts."

Cartoon

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:35 PM | Comments (1)

October 10, 2010
Why Car Alarms Don't Work

Ever hear a car alarm go off and had the same reaction as the "green people" below? Well... now's your chance to think of a better solution. The person who submits the coolest idea to Idea Champions by October 31st will receive a lifetime subscription to our new online, Free the Genie brainstorming tool. Go for it!

Inbox.jpg

PS: If you're stuck for an idea, click here.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:30 AM | Comments (2)

October 08, 2010
It's Time to Go For It!

blue_1.gif


You need a breakthrough. I know you do. You need a quantum leap.

Forget about incremental improvement for the moment. Go for something big and bold.

Stop wimping around.

Stick your neck out.

(The card to your left is from our Free the Genie deck.

For a 15-day free trial of the online version, click here.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:46 PM | Comments (0)

October 06, 2010
True Blue Sky Thinking

In 1989, Gary Kasparov, the Soviet Union Grand Chess Master, played a two game match against "Deep Blue," the reigning supercomputer of the time. Kasparov won easily.

When asked by the media what his competitive advantage was, he cited two things: intuition and the ability to fantasize.

(And this from a master strategist!)

Few of us, in the workplace, are ever encouraged to fantasize -- a behavior most commonly associated with children, slackers, and flakes.

And yet, fantasizing is exactly how many breakthrough ideas get their start -- the act of some off-the-grid maverick entertaining the seemingly impossible...

HERE'S A SIMPLE WAY TO FIND SOME BLUE SKY

1. Make a wish for the successful resolution of your challenge (i.e. "I wish I had more time").

2. Extend your wish by making a wild wish (i.e. "I wish I didn"t have to work my regular job").

3. Extend your wild wish by thinking of a fantasy solution -- a seemingly impossible way to get a result (i.e. "a fairy godmother shows up at midnight to do my work").

4. Distill your fantasy solution down to a core principle (i.e. "I get more help" or "I outsource my responsibilities").

5. Using this principle as a clue, generate at least five new ideas for the successful resolution of your challenge.

Photo
Excerpted from Awake at the Wheel

Idea Champions
Free the Genie

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:43 PM | Comments (0)

Create an Innovation Portfolio

One of the biggest obstacles to innovation in most organizations is the addiction to short-term results.

Hustling, speed, and fire fighting rule the day -- resulting in the kind of over-caffeinated efforts that make everyone cranky.

Focusing on your next quarter, of course, is a necessary part of business. But not to the exclusion of the long-term.

Someone's got to focus on projects that won't see the light of day for tree years... or five .... or ten.

If you are serious about innovation, you will need to develop an Innovation Portfolio, one that includes short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals.

Innovation doesn't happen quickly. It takes time.

If you plant an apple seed today, you're not going to get an apple harvest tomorrow... or next week... or next year. Pulling on the seedling or yelling at the tree to deliver apples faster isn't going to work.

Here's an exercise to create your Innovation Portfolio:

1. Define "short-term," "mid-term," and "long-term."
2. Make three columns, headed by each of the phrases above
3. Jot down projects that fit into these three "time horizons."
4. Present this list to your team and get their feedback.
5. Tweak the list as needed.

And now for a related joke...

So there are these three yogis meditating in a cave. They've been there ten years -- in silence the entire time.

One day, in the tenth year of their retreat, an albino mountain lion makes his way to the mouth of the cave and lets out an earth-shattering roar.

Five years pass.

The first yogi says "WOW!"

Another five years pass.

The second yogi, says, "Yeah, I know what you mean."

Five more years pass.

"HEY! If you guys don't shut up," says the third yogi, "I'm moving to another cave."

Illustration

Illustration

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:37 AM | Comments (0)

October 02, 2010
The Antidote to Workaholism

"The foolish man
is always doing,
yet much remains
to be done.

The wise man
does nothing,
yet nothing remains
undone."

- Lao Tzu


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:43 AM | Comments (0)

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.
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.
See Mitch's keynote address Enjoy a 7-minute interview with Mitch at the Ethical Sourcing Forum in NYC: 3/28/11
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.

"In tune with corporate America." — CNN

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
© IDEA CHAMPIONS