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

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:54 AM | Comments (0)

August 28, 2016
Captain Fantastic

Wonderful movie! Inspiring. Moving. Memorable.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:27 AM | Comments (0)

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...

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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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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:24 PM | Comments (0)

August 05, 2016
Michelangelo on Genius

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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.

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:25 PM | Comments (0)

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!

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:03 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.

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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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Highly engaging learning experiences that increase each participant's ability to become a creative force for positive change
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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.
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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.
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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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