August 30, 2016
I Am Not a Handyman

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Are you a man -- or know a man who is, shall we say, "handyman challenged"? If so, then this newly published Huffington Post article of mine, is for you. Three minutes worth of comic relief. If you like it, please LIKE it and forward the link to your friends. Let's go viral!

90 other HuffPost articles of mine

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Storytelling at Work

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August 28, 2016
Captain Fantastic

Wonderful movie! Inspiring. Moving. Memorable.

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August 22, 2016
The World's Best Blog Collection of Awesome, Memorable Quotes

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If you're on the prowl for inspiring quotes you can use for work, your book, speech, website, news report, blog, proposal, kidnap letter, or time capsule, look no further. What follows are 21 universal topics -- everything from Possibility to Failure to Change.

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Change
Possibility
Beginning
Vision
Communication
Innovation
Intuition
Peace
Time
Risk Taking
Appreciation
Failure
Leadership
Creativity
Einstein
Humor and Play
Purpose/Work
Collaboration
Story
Ideas
Asking the Right Question

IDEA CHAMPIONS: The Quote Curator

My new book: Storytelling at Work

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August 20, 2016
50 Quotes on Risk Taking

1. "Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it." -- Goethe

2. "Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." -- Helen Keller

3. "It's not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It's because we dare not venture that they are difficult." -- Seneca

4. "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far it is possible to go." -- T.S. Eliot

5. "What you have to do and the way you have to do it is incredibly simple. Whether you are willing to do it is another matter." -- Peter Drucker

6. "I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it." -- Pablo Picasso

7. "Go out on a limb. That's where the fruit is." -- Jimmy Carter

8. "Life is being on the wire, everything else is just waiting. -- Karl Wallenda

9. "If things seem under control, you are just not going fast enough." -- Mario Andretti

10. "Don't be afraid to take a big step. You can't cross a chasm in two small jumps." -- David Lloyd George

11. "It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live at all." -- William James

12. "Do one thing every day that scares you." -- Eleanor Roosevelt

13. "Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else's." -- Billy Wilder

14. "The dangers of life are infinite, and among them is safety." -- Goethe

15. "Do not fear mistakes. There are none." -- Miles Davis

16. "A man would do nothing, if he waited until he could do it so well that no one would find fault with what he has done." -- Cardinal Newman

17. "Test fast, fail fast, adjust fast." -- Tom Peters

18. "Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do." -- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

19. "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -- Mark Twain

20. "Leap and the net will appear." -- Zen Saying

21. "The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you. Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved." -- William Jennings Bryan

22. "Pearls don't lie on the seashore. If you want one, you must dive for it." -- Chinese proverb

23. "Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome." -- Samuel Johnson

24. "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." -- Anais Nin

25. "Are you placing enough interesting, freakish, long shot, weirdo bets?" -- Tom Peters

26. "Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash." -- General George Patton

27. "I can accept failure. Everybody fails at something. But I can't accept not trying. Fear is an illusion." -- Michael Jordan

28. "Opportunity dances with those on the dance floor." -- Anonymous

29. "Yes, risk-taking is inherently failure-prone. Otherwise, it would be called 'sure-thing-taking.'" -- Jim McMahon

30. "People who don't take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year." -- Peter Drucker

31. "Necessity is the mother of taking chances." -- Mark Twain

32. "99 percent of success is built on failure." -- Charles Kettering

33. "Progress always involves risks. You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first." -- Frederick Wilcox

34. "What great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?" -- Robert Schuller

35. "Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers." -- Mignon McLaughlin

36. "You can only be as good as you dare to be bad." -- John Barrymore

37. "Anything that is successful is a series of mistakes." -- Billie Armstrong

38. "Give me the young man who has brains enough to make a fool of himself." -- Robert Louis Stevenson

39. "If it's a good idea, go ahead and do it. It's much easier to apologize than it is to get permission." -- Rear Admiral Grace Hopper

40. "If you risk nothing, then you risk everything." -- Geena Davis

41. "Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most." -- Fyodor Dostoevsky

42. "Remember, a dead fish can float down a stream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream." -- W.C. Fields

43. "Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise." -- Anonymous

44. "To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself." -- Soren Kierkegaard

45. "You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take." -- Wayne Gretzky

46. "It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves." -- Andre Gide

47. "Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

48. "One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." -- Andre Gide

49. "Danger can never be overcome without taking risks." -- Latin Proverb

50. "I'll play it first, and tell you what it is later." -- Miles Davis

Thanks to Val Vadeboncoeur for gathering these goodies. If you have other favorites, let us know.

Idea Champions
The world's best collection of memorable quotes

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:31 AM | Comments (2)

August 15, 2016
Inside/Out Innovation

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If you work in an organization that wants to establish a sustainable culture of innovation -- you have two basic choices: outside/in or inside/out.

Outside/in is the most common approach. It assumes that re-engineering systems or processes is the way to go. You know the drill: do a little Six Sigma, cost cutting, continuous improvement, hire a few consultants to give pep talks and you're off to the races.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you, but it's often just a slick way of repositioning the deck chairs on your own Titanic. It looks good. It sounds good. You feel like you're doing something, but the ship is still sinking.

The other approach -- inside/out -- is far less common. And why it's less common is because it's slower, initially more chaotic, requires more commitment and, to a lot of left-brained people, seems like voo doo.

The inside/out approach is based on the notion that "organizational change" follows individual change -- understanding, as it does, that an organization is nothing more than a collection of individuals.

The bottom line? Organizations don't change until the people in them do.

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In the inside/out approach, each person commits to -- as Mahatma Ghandi put it -- to "being the change you want to see in the world."

Ah... personal responsibility! Personal accountability! Sustained commitment! Even when things get uncomfortable.

Real change does not begin with re-engineering. It does not begin with new initiatives, tweaked processes, compensation plans, reward systems, cost cutting measures, flex time, organic lunches in the cafeteria, or overpriced consultants telling you what to do.

Where does real change begin? It begins with a change of mindset -- what the dictionary defines as "the characteristic mental attitude that determines how you will interpret and respond to new situations."

Mindset, not skillset.

MINDSET -- why a pickpocket, every time he meets a saint, will only see pockets. MINDSET -- the cognitive filters we look through that color how we see the world. MINDSET -- why the CFO sees the problem as data, the Chief Marketing Officer sees it as branding, and the IT Director sees it as bandwidth.

The fact is: every single person in your company already knows what to do in order to foster a culture of innovation. They do. They really do. It's common sense. It's just that common sense has become uncommon these days.

Consultants like to make it mysterious, but it's actually very simple.

Does your company's longstanding history of bureaucratic, hierarchical, command-and-control get in the way of each individual operating at their highest potential? Of course it does.

Will re-engineering business processes help? Of course it will. And it is an important piece of the puzzle. But the real deal is NOT a "program". The real deal is each and every person in your organization bringing their innate wisdom to the table every single day. Their highest self. Their best self. Their naturally creative, authentic, passionate, collaborative, go-beyond-the-call-of-duty, opportunity-finding, accountable, engaged, on-fire-with-possibility self.

It's simple.

Simple, unfortunately, is not the same thing as "easy" -- especially these days where so many of us worship at the altar of complexity.

To be continued...

Idea Champions
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What our clients say

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:01 PM | Comments (7)

August 10, 2016
The Syndrome Syndrome and the Rise of the New World Disorders

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Here's a fun test for you: If you can read the rest of this paragraph without logging onto Facebook, tweeting, or thinking about crop circles, there's a good chance you do not have ADD, ADHD, or any other recently-identified medical condition.

That's the good news.

The not-so-good news? The overwhelming number of disorders, dysfunctions, and syndromes popping up daily make it almost impossible to understand exactly what condition you actually have.

As a concerned citizen, humanitarian, and Johnny Depp look-a-like, I've decided to go beyond my SAHS (Social Activist Hesitation Syndrome) and actually do something about it.

Below, you will find my guide to 14 of the most recently identified medical conditions. Study them carefully. If you have one of them, please check your health insurance policy immediately to see if it will cover the cost of the medicines you will soon feel compelled to buy.

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1. FSGDD (Five Star General Distraction Disorder): The involuntary tendency of high ranking military officials to throw away their careers and share classified information with well-dressed socialites looking for diplomatic immunity so they won't have to pay their parking tickets or wait on line at Wal-Mart.

2. CFSUD (Chronic Facebook Status Update Disorder):
A debilitating disease that shuts down the immune system whenever a person's need to change their Facebook status update supersedes their need to change their underwear, breathe, or have a meaningful conversation with another human being.

3. RAQS (Reflexive Air Quote Syndrome): The simultaneous extension of the index and middle finger, of both hands, to signal to anyone in one's visual field that the word or phrase about to be spoken is either inconsequential, hyper-inflated, or attributed to someone from an opposing political party.

4. TGRES (Teenage Girl Rolling Eye Syndrome):
The upward, lateralized movement of eyeballs in the presence of parents, teachers, or guidance counselors in the still forming cerebral cortex of teenage girls. Or like, whatever.

5. CPD (Compulsive Photoshop Disorder): A distortion of the visual field in which people, objects, animals, or natural expressions of Mother Nature are perceived to be deficient, requiring immediate digital manipulation.

6. MPS (Marital Projection Syndrome): A compensatory nervous system reaction triggered whenever a husband or wife believes so strongly in their own concepts of right and wrong that all they can do is criticize, judge, and wallow in self-righteousness for extended periods of time, resulting in high therapy bills, the sensation of walking on eggshells, and the cessation of sex for 30 days.

7. PID (Premature Intervention Disorder):
The hallucinated belief by war-mongering American politicians that invading and occupying other countries for ridiculously long periods of time will increase national security, distract people from thinking about the economy, and lower gas prices.

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8. VCD (Virtual Connection Dysfunction): The involuntary flapping of opposable thumbs, accompanied by the sudden, compulsive search for the nearest Smart Phone during early or late stage lovemaking.

9. RCOD (Remote Control Overload Disorder): A state of bi-polar catatonia triggered by the inability to make sense of all those tiny, misplaced buttons on one or more remote control devices, none of which correlate to anything in the known universe.

10. ITILLJDD (I Think I Look Like Johnny Depp Disorder): The irrational belief by men over 40 that just because they have a wispy mustache, slick their hair back, and have seen Pirates of the Caribbean twice, women will want to have sex with them.

11. MGITOGD (My God Is the Only God Disorder): A fanatical mindset in which one's certainty about their own belief system can only be validated by making others wrong and, depending on the need for more oil, real estate, or power can lead to the death of thousands of innocent people.

12. FMYS (Four More Years Syndrome):
The sudden, song-like repetition of the phrase "Four More Years, Four More Years" by straw hat-wearing, overweight, ridiculously optimistic followers of incumbent presidents at political rallies held in convention centers, state fairs, or parking lots.

13. CLS (Compulsive Like Disorder): The involuntary need to ask everyone you know to "like" your Facebook Page even if they don't like it, don't like you, or have already liked your page due to your incessant badgering and self-promotion.

14.BYHFSWAYTWSMLBBIAITHYSYACTHTLFSKOTOEWARLNEBATBOHND: (Blaming Your Husband For Snoring When Actually You, the Wife, Snore Much Louder, But Because It's Almost Impossible to Hear Yourself Snoring, You Are Constantly Telling Him to Look for Some Kind of Treatment Or Else Wear a Ridiculous Looking, Nostril-Expanding Bandaid Across the Bridge of His Nose Dysfunction.) Just what it sounds like.

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August 05, 2016
Michelangelo on Genius

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Idea Champions

Ingenious Leadership
My new poetry blog

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August 02, 2016
Share Your Story!

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Stories are powerful. They open minds, shift behavior, inspire, and are remembered -- unlike that last powerpoint show you saw. Stories are the simplest, fastest way to communicate meaningful messages -- an especially important thing for people in business to remember where "mindshare" is at a premium. But you already know that. Intrigued? Click here for 13 video excerpts from my book, Storytelling at Work -- none longer than seven minutes.

If you are intrigued by the presentation platform I am using (GlowDec), let me know. This cool online tool will officially launch on Labor Day. Tweaks are still being made. Viewable only in Chrome and Firefox for now. Here's your sneak peak.

Idea Champions
About Mitch Ditkoff

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August 01, 2016
Announcing the launch of my new blog: UNSPOKEN WORD

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I am happy to announce the launch of my new blog: UNSPOKEN WORD: THE POETRY OF LIFE -- short blasts of inspiration, reflection, and gratitude accompanied by photographs, illustrations, and paintings of my Facebook friends and other unusual suspects. If you want to receive an email alert whenever there is a new post, simply subscribe (in the sidebar) and be sure to respond to the "verification" email that you will receive soon after. Enjoy!

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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.

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
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.
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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