July 30, 2016
Why Your Organization Needs to Create a Culture of Storytelling

Why create a culture of storytelling?
Storytelling videos, interviews and articles
Sparking innovation via storytelling
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:42 AM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2016
FINDING JOE: The Hero's Journey

This is a wonderful movie about the Hero's Journey -- the one we are ALL on. Sets the context beautifully for the 5-day Hero's Journey Retreat I will be co-facilitating with Dr. Beverly Nelson at the LifePath Center in San Miguel de Allende on August 15-19. Feeling THE CALL? info@lifepathretreats.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:17 PM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2016
Storytelling is a Great Way to Transmit Tacit Knowledge

Deciphering the secret code of tacit knowledge
Why storytelling matters in business
STORYTELLING AT WORK: The Book
Idea Champions

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

July 24, 2016
I'm From Woodstock, Yes I Am!

This story in the Huffington Post
The Munich workshop
Idea Champions
Excerpted from Storytelling at Work
What our clients say

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:07 PM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2016
Five-Day Hero's Journey Retreats in San Miguel de Allende

Mitch Ditkoff, Co-Founder of Idea Champions, is thrilled to announce that he will be co-facilitating a series of 5-day Hero's Journey Retreats in San Miguel del Allende, Mexico with Dr. Beverly Nelson, Founder of LifePath Retreats. The first session is scheduled for the week of August 15th. The second is scheduled for the week of October 30th. Click here for more or email info@lifepathretreats.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:38 PM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2016
The 60-Minute Brainstorm Training

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We are happy to announce our new strategic alliance with GenieCast, and the launch of our new 60-minute brainstorm facilitation training. Fast. Very fast. No caffeine required. Includes a custom set of self-study videos and articles. Like this.

Our GenieCast session
Our longer Brainstorm facilitation training
What our clients (briefly) say
What's next after Twitter

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Our brainstorm website

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:47 PM | Comments (0)

July 11, 2016
ENERGY and FOCUS: Two Keys to Great Brainstorming Sessions

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A brainstorm session is a lot like trying to get from one place to another in a lighter-than-air balloon. With both of them, you have a destination, a vehicle, and the need to continuously make course corrections.

Fortunately, brainstorm facilitators have two dependable resources at their disposal to keep their "ideation balloon" aloft: Energy and focus.

Focus is the balloon itself. Energy is the helium that gets pumped into the balloon to provide it's lighter-than-air capability -- the element that gets it off the ground.

These two resources should be zealously maintained throughout any brainstorm session you facilitate. Any leak of energy or focus sets you on a course for premature grounding. In other words, you won't reach your destination if you've got energy or focus leaks.

In order to monitor the energy of any session you facilitate, you will need to pay close attention to three main phenomena: body language, engagement, and interaction. You want positivity. You want active participation. And want inter-connectedness.

Here's 8 ways to ensure that participants stay focused.

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1. Ensure that participants know what the brainstorm is going to be about before the session begins. Communicate the specific challenge to be addressed and your hoped-for outcomes of the session.

2. Frame the topic to be brainstormed in the form of a "How can we?" question.

3. Write the question to be brainstormed in big letters on a flip chart so it is always visible to participants.

4. Repeat the "How can we?" question whenever the flow of ideas slows down. In other words, restate the problem being addressed at varying intervals throughout the session

5. Reinforce the ground rules established at the beginning of the session.

6. Make sure participants know what the agenda is and what process you will be using to ensure results. This will decrease doubt, increase trust, and keep minds from wandering.

7. Remind participants, from time to time, where they are in the process. Reaffirm that the group is on their way to resolution.

8. Use some simple, structured ideation techniques that allow everyone to participate.

Big thanks to Val Vadeboncoeur, Idea Champions' Director of Training for this timely piece of writing. Up, up, and away!

Brainstorm Facilitation training
Our brainstorming website
Our clients speak
High Velocity Brainstorming

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:21 AM | Comments (0)

July 08, 2016
30 Ways to Know If You Have What It Really Takes to Innovate

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Do you have what it takes to innovate? I'm not talking IQ, degree, or job title.

I'm talking the curious confluence of behaviors that come with the territory of being someone who turns top of the line ideas into bottom line realities.


1. You come up with great ideas in the shower and car
2. You like to stay up late... or get up early... or both
3. You're comfortable with ambiguity and chaos
4. While your ducks are rarely in a row, they're happy most of the time
5. You're not worried about failing

6. You've invited at least one friend into your personal think tank
7. You test out your ideas on just about anyone who will listen
8. You know what you don't know, but can't always explain it
9. You like making connections between things that don't go together.
10. You're open to feedback and also don't care what anybody thinks

11. Some of your friends think you're out of your mind
12. You find yourself laughing in the middle of the day for no reason
13. People get inspired around you
14. You've been known to wear two different socks
15. You feel like you're on the brink of a breakthrough a lot of the time

16. Sometimes you figure things out by talking, not thinking
17. You write notes in the margins of books
18. You like to conduct little experiments
19. You have a game plan, but it keeps changing
20. You love to immerse

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21. You find ways to "work in the cracks" even when your day job dominates
21. You wish there were more hours in the day
22. Your passion to make a difference exceeds your doubt
23. You find yourself getting clues about your project in odd places
24. You feel like you're having a spiritual experience
25. You are far more organized than anyone thinks

26. You know you need a collaborator, but are picky about who
27. You have a bold vision of what success looks like
28. Your project has little to do with what your college major was
29. You're looking for someone to head up marketing and sales
30. You can think of another ten items that should be on this list

Illustration
Idea Champions
If you need a jolt
Our workshops and trainings

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:58 PM | Comments (4)

July 07, 2016
Why Create a Culture of Storytelling?

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Unless you've been living in solitary confinement for the past few years, chances are good that you are a member of some kind of organization or community -- a gathering of people who have come together in service to a common goal. Whether it's a Fortune 500 company, a non-profit, or a softball team, we are all, whether we know it or not, involved in the process of creating organizational culture -- "a collective way of thinking, believing, behaving, and working."

How conducive the cultures we create are to the success of our missions is anyone's guess, but what is not a guess is the fact that high-performing organizations exhibit the same kind of mission-enabling qualities: trust, shared vision, collaboration, clear communication, diversity of thought, commitment to learning, freedom of expression, and a sense of belonging.

While there are many ways to enhance these qualities, the most effective and least expensive way is through storytelling -- a culture-building phenomenon that's been going on since language first began. Simply put, in order for a group of people to accomplish extraordinary goals, they need to know each other at a level far beyond title, role, or resume.

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When people tell their stories to each other and are heard, magic happens. People bond. Barriers dissolve. Connections are made. Trust increases. Knowledge is transmitted. Wisdom is shared. A common language is birthed. And a deep sense of interdependence is felt. That's why, in days of old, our ancestors stood around the fire and shared their stories with each other. Survival depended on it and so did the emotional well-being of the tribe.

Times have changed since then, as have our methods of communication.
Where once story reigned supreme, now it's technology and all her attention-deficit offspring: texting, Twitter, Instagram, email, Facebook, and drive-by pep talks.

What we've gained in efficiency, we've lost in effectiveness. The spirit of the law has been replaced by the letter. People may be transmitting more, but they are receiving less. We share data, information, and opinions, but not much meaning. And it is meaning that people hunger for. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why employee engagement is down in so many organizations these days. It's because people feel isolated, disconnected, unseen, and unheard.

Idea Champions
Excerpted from Storytelling at Work
Our storytelling workshop
Also in the Huffington Post

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:19 AM | Comments (0)

July 06, 2016
Build Your Team

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Illustration: Gaping Void Art
Launching Project Teams
Team Innovation
Big Breakthroughs for Small Business
Drumming Up Teamwork

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:21 PM | 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.

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 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.
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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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Idea Champions University
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.
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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