April 30, 2011
Are You My Kinetic Type or Is That a Motion Graphic in Your Pocket?

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If a picture is worth a thousand words, then what's a moving picture worth -- or better yet, the word "moving" that's moving?

I am speaking of the fabulous world of kinetic type -- sometimes called motion graphics -- the animation technique that mixes motion and text to express ideas.

The field is not new. It's roots go back to 1899. But the artfulness of it just keeps getting better and better.

Here's a recent example by Mary Jane Fahey.

If you are looking to launch a new campaign, initiative, or get the attention of your information overloaded workforce, think twice before sending yet another email. Think visual. Think graphic. Think kinetic.

FaheyDesign

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:39 AM | Comments (0)

April 29, 2011
If Only He Had Come to Us Sooner!

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

April 28, 2011
How to Change Your Persona

Do you know why Halloween is such a popular holiday in America? Because people get permission to be somebody else for a night.

Wearing a costume makes it easier for people to think and act differently -- one the simplest ways to change perspective and open up bold, new possibilities.

And so, if you are feeling bound by old perceptions, declare today your own, personal Halloween.

Let go of who you think you are. Try on a different mask. Be someone else for a change.

The more you look at the world through the eyes of another, the easier it will be for you to go beyond "business as usual" and have a creative breakthrough.

In other words, ACT AS IF!

WHAT TO DO
1. Choose a new persona -- anyone who inspires or intrigues you.
2. Imagine you actually ARE this person.
3. Identify their approach to your challenge -- the gist of what he/she would do.
4. Using this gist as a clue, jot down a bunch of new ideas about what you might do differently.

This technique is one of 35 described in Awake at the Wheel.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:56 PM | Comments (2)

April 27, 2011
The Magic of Webinars?

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Find out more

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:56 PM | Comments (0)

April 21, 2011
The Scoop on Google's 20% Time

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Here's a nice post from Scott Berkun that demystifies some of the hype and hoopla about Google's "20% time" -- the much talked about practice of the high tech giant that gives their employees permission to spend 20% of their work time on projects born of their own fascination.

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:40 AM | Comments (0)

April 16, 2011
How the Ivy League is Killing Innovation

Here's a wonderful article, just published in Bloomberg Business Week that raises a very curious paradox -- why academics are teaching innovation.

Authors G. Michael Maddock and Raphael Louis Viton state their case clearly, cleanly, and with just enough of an edge to draw blood.

"Process-driven cultures love process-driven experts. Organizations, just like people, do what makes them feel strong, and nothing makes mature, process-driven companies feel stronger than having a template for doing anything (even if having a completely buttoned-down-ain't-no-exceptions-allowed template for innovation seems oxymoronic on its face).

Need innovation? Simply call in a PhD with a bow tie and trademarked process and watch your innovation portfolio grow. Right? Nope."

If you are a professor and find Maddock and Viton's article objectionable, speak up! Let them know what you think -- and why. Maybe you're the one who's found a way to teach innovation in a novel, cut-to-the-chase, non-academic way. I know there are some of you out there. Yes?

If you are a high roller in a corporation looking for the "secret innovation sauce," I invite you to read their article before reaching out to academia for your next keynote speaker.

Here's an alternative

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:11 PM | Comments (0)

April 14, 2011
It's Never Too Late to Create

I sometimes run into people who tell me that their best creative days are behind them -- that they could have accomplished great things if only they had started sooner and that they are "too old" to take on a big, hairy project.

Really?

Think again.

If you have any doubt, click on the link below to get a whiff of what some extraordinary people accomplished late in life.

You may not be a Michelangelo or Stradivarius, but so what? You can still accomplish miracles. All you need to do is begin (and let go of the bogus thought that "it's too late.")

It's not.

1. Grandma Moses started painting when she was 64.

2. Michelangelo designed the dome in St. Peter's Basilica between the ages of 72-88.

3. Stradivarius fashioned his two most famous violins when he was in his early 90's.

4. Mary Baker Eddy established the Christian Science Monitor when she was 87.

5. Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Guggenheim Museum when he was 91.

6. Mahatma Ghandi successfully completed negotiations for Britain to grant India's independence at the age of 77.

7. Golda Meir serviced as Prime Minister of Israel from the ages of 70-76.

8. Peter Drucker wrote "Management Changes for Turbulent Times" when he was 89.

9. P.T. Barnum joined forces with his arch rival, James Baily, when he was 71.

10. Nelson Mandela was inaugerated as the President of South Africa at the age of 75.

11. Noah Webster published "An America Dictionary of the English Language" at the age of 70.

12. Giuseppe Verdi composed his operatic masterpiece, Falstaff, at the age of 80.

13. Pablo Picasso produced a remarkable sereis of 347 etchings at the age of 86.

All examples excerpted from The Creative Age by Gene Cohen. Great book.

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Idea Champions
First Breath, Last Breath

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:53 PM | Comments (0)

Beer and the Invention of the Wheel

You may not know it, but I wrote an award-winning book in 2008, Awake at the Wheel. It's a business fable about the creative process. Easy to read. Fun. A real support for aspiring innovators.

I'm guessing the caveman in the Bud Lite ad below would have found a better way of getting their beer to the party if they had read it.

But enough about me. Let's talk about YOU.

Do you have a creative venture that needs an infusion of mojo, inspiration, and clarity?

Yes? Good. Click. Buy.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:22 PM | Comments (0)

Who Says Seniors Aren't Innovative?

PS: Stay tuned. Later today, we'll be posting an inspiring article on Creativity Late in Life -- great examples of how elders have done some of their most creative work during their "golden years."

Who We Are

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:37 PM | Comments (0)

April 05, 2011
The Trouble With Experts

When somebody asks if you can do something, pause for a moment before saying "NO." Your first thought may be "that's impossible," but upon reflection you can probably figure out how to pull it off.

Indeed, there is a very good chance that what you are being asked to do is not what is really needed, anyway.

Think about it. We usually evaluate what we can contribute to a situation by imagining that there is someone else who really has the required expertise -- and then we interpret our feelings of uncertainty as proof that we are inadequate compared to this all-knowing other (who, by the way, is going through the exact same drill with someone else.)

Sound familiar?

In reality, our uncertainty (and the humility that, hopefully, accompanies it), are the essential elements of what we really bring to the table -- a curiosity about "the situation" -- and an open mindset that helps us listen to multiple points of view without being ruled by preconceived ideas and solutions.

Being curious enough to arrive at a deep understanding of what the problem really consists of is a much more valuable contribution than a knee-jerk offering of a so-called "solution."

The two main problems with high levels of expertise?

1. When all you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

2. If you need to be seen as an expert, you'll have very little opportunity to learn anything.

-- Barry Gruenberg

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:53 AM | Comments (1)

April 04, 2011
Getting Out of the Organizational Box

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Last Thursday, I had an opportunity to be the keynote speaker at the Ethical Sourcing Forum, in NYC, a conference sponsored by Intertek, a world class organization dedicated to "helping customers improve performance, gain efficiencies in manufacturing and logistics, overcome market constraints, and reduce risk."

The topic? Sustainable Innovation. Or, more specifically, how people who work in large organizations can get out of the so-called "box".

After the keynote, I was approached by two very animated people from 3BL, a savvy media company specializing in corporate social responsibility, sustainability and cause marketing communications. Apparently, they liked what they heard and wanted to dig deeper -- on camera.

So, it was off to their make shift media center down the hall for an impromptu interview. Click here to watch the 7-minute video.

My innovation keynotes

My speaker's bureau

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:40 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.

Storytelling at Work
Storytelling at Work is Mitch Ditkoff's newly published book about the power of personal storytelling in business – why it matters and what you and your organization can do to leverage the impact of storytelling in the workplace.
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
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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.
The Hero's Journey
Innovators are known for their ability to move forward. But sometimes, the best way to move forward is to retreat – especially when it's time to reinvent yourself. That's why Idea Champions is now offering 5-day immersive retreats in beautiful San Miguel de Allende. Reboot! Refresh! Renew!
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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