March 31, 2017
15 Awesome Quotes on Collaboration

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1. "It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed." - Charles Darwin

2. "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." - Helen Keller

3. "If two men on the same job agree all the time, then one is useless. If they disagree all the time, both are useless." - Darryl F. Zanuck

4. "If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself." - Henry Ford

5. "Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

6. "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." - Isaac Newton

7. "It takes two to speak the truth -- one to speak, and another to hear." - Henry David Thoreau

8. "If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas." - George Bernard Shaw

9. "Politeness is the poison of collaboration." - Edwin Land

10. "I never did anything alone. Whatever was accomplished in this country was accomplished collectively." - Golda Meir

11. "It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed." - Napoleon Hill

12. "No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helped you." - Althea Gibson

13. "The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team." - Phil Jackson

14. "Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success." - Henry Ford

15. "The lightning spark of thought generated in the solitary mind awakens its likeness in another mind." -- Thomas Carlyle

Got others? Lay them on me!

This post is dedicated to Ramsey Margolis

Team Innovation workshops

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:27 AM | Comments (2)

March 30, 2017
Innovation and Creativity Summit Interview of Mitch Ditkoff: 4/6/17

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My Power of Storytelling in Innovation interview will air, on April 6th at 12:00 pm, as part of the Innovation and Creativity Summit 2017. If you are interested in WHY and HOW storytelling matters in the workplace, this will be a good use of your time. There is no fee.

My interview is one of 45 conducted by the very innovation-savyy Nick Skillicorn, the brains behind what promises to be a very inspiring online summit. Lots of interesting thought leaders and beyond thought leaders.

MitchDitkoff.com
My book on the topic
Storytelling videos of yours truly

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:08 AM | Comments (0)

March 29, 2017
Reviving Two Birds with One Stone

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Awesome illustration by GapingVoid
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Fostering a Culture of Innovation: The Keynote

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March 28, 2017
The Fine Wine of Storytelling

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I have always been a big believer in serendipity -- that magical moment when something "out of the blue" shows up in our lives to amaze and delight us -- an occurrence beyond logic. Well... here is one of them. Last week, I facilitated a three-day conference for Nations Roof, a great organization highly committed to becoming the "Mercedes of Customer of Service" in their industry. A key element of the conference was storytelling -- not just my stories, but the stories of nine of their key movers and shakers -- memorable "moments of truth" on-the-job that revealed big insights, wisdom, and best practices worth sharing.

A few minutes ago, Larry Morgan, Nation's Roof highly committed (and very entertaining) Director of Sales, sent me the above photo. As Larry tells it, a couple of days after the conference, Larry and his wife went to a wine event and there, on the first Pinot table, stood this bottle of wine. Front and center! Ta da! Makes for a good story, no? And one more reminder of how storytelling is everywhere.

Thanks, Larry, for being alert to the clues and taking the time to share this delightful reminder with me.

We Are All Storytellers
Storytelling as a Way to Transmit Tacit Knowledge
13 super short videos of mine on the topic
My award-winning book on storytelling
MitchDitkoff.com

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March 25, 2017
Storytelling is a Powerful Way to Transmit Tacit Knowledge

My book on storytelling
MitchDitkoff.com

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March 24, 2017
Free Online Innovation and Creativity Summit 2017

Here's Nick Skillicorn introducing the upcoming, online Innovation and Creativity Summit 2017. I am happy to announce that I will be one of the 45 presenters. My topic? The power of storytelling to spark innovation. Cost? Zero. Zippo. Zilch. Click here to register. Summit begins on April 2.

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Storytelling at Work

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

March 19, 2017
The Launch of Mitch Ditkoff.com

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Greetings, oh faithful and semi-faithful Heart of Innovation readers. After a ridiculously long amount of procrastination, I have finally launched MitchDitkoff.com -- a simple way to better understand who I am, what I do, and how I do it. Yes, you can click around the Idea Champions website to learn more about my capabilities, but it is too difficult. So I've simplified things for you. The main focus of my new site? Keynotes, workshops, and ideation. Big shout out to Jesse Ditkoff for creating my new website.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:55 PM | Comments (0)

March 17, 2017
Anti-Complaining Medicine for Bummed Out, Cranky Innovators

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Idea Champions

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March 13, 2017
The Man Behind The Heart of Innovation and His Daughter

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A story about Emilia when she was 13
Storytelling and daughters
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:59 PM | Comments (0)

March 10, 2017
Making the Time to Be Creative

One of the biggest obstacles to creativity and, by extension, innovation, is the lack of time that is so prevalent in today's ADD culture. This two-minute video makes a very compelling case for you and all the people you work with to take some more time if you REALLY want to crank up the creativity.

25 quotes on creativity
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:26 AM | Comments (0)

March 07, 2017
Innovation Begins with Fascination

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I own a huge library of books on innovation. Mostly hardcover. The $27.95 variety with big indexes and forwards by people who make more money than I do.

Some of these books are actually good. Most of them bore me. (I must confess I have a secret desire, whenever I enter a bookstore, to put glue between pages 187 & 188 in all of the new releases just to see if the publishers get any complaints).

The books attempt to describe the origins of innovation. You know, stuff like "the innate human impulse to find a better way" and "the imperative to find a competitive edge." That sort of thing.

Corporate-speak, in other words.

In my experience, the origin of innovation is fascination -- the state of being intensely interested in something. Enchanted. Captivated. Spellbound. Absorbed.

What kids are naturally good at.

Kids and those mavericks at work who make everyone nervous and running for their spreadsheets at the drop of a hat.

A person who is fascinated does not need to be motivated... or managed... or "incentivized."

All that person needs is time, some resources, meaningful collaboration, and periodic reality checks from someone who understands what fascination is all about.

That's why Google gives its workforce 20% of their time to explore projects on their own. That's why 3M and W.L. Gore do something similar. They know that the root of innovation is fascination.

If you, or the people who report to you, are not currently in a state of fascination it's time to turn things around. That is, IF you want to spark some innovation.

How do you do this?

For starters, here's one way, excerpted from Awake at the Wheel.

THE SEED OF FASCINATION

1. On a piece of paper, create three parallel headlines -- "What Fascinates Me," "People I Admire," and "What I Would Do If I Knew I Couldn't Fail."

2. Jot down at least five responses beneath each headline.

3. Look for intriguing, new connections between your responses. Any insights? Ahas?

4. Jot down your new ideas.

5. Circle your favorite idea and brainstorm it with a friend. Then pitch anyone who's influence can help you launch your ideas for how to bring more fascinating projects into your work life.

Idea Champions
Creating the Innovation Mindset
What our clients say

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:24 PM | Comments (7)

21 Awesome Quotes on Intuition

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"The only real valuable thing is intuition." - Albert Einstein

"Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do." - Benjamin Spock

"Systems die; instincts remain." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

"It is through science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover." - Henri Poincare

"Intuition becomes increasingly valuable in the new information society precisely because there is so much data." - John Naisbitt

"A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something." - Frank Capra

"It is always with excitement that I wake up in the morning wondering what my intuition will toss up to me, like gifts from the sea. I work with it and rely on it. It's my partner." - Jonas Salk

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"All human knowledge thus begins with intuitions, proceeds thence to concepts, and ends with ideas." - Immanuel Kant

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

"Your time is limited, don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinion drown your own inner voice. Everything else is secondary." - Steve Jobs

"The more and more each is impelled by that which is intuitive, or the relying upon the soul force within, the greater, the farther, the deeper, the broader, the more constructive may be the result." - Edgar Cayce

"I feel there are two people inside me -- me and my intuition. If I go along against her, she'll screw me every time, and if I follow her, we get along quite nicely." - Kim Basinger

"Intuition is the supra-logic that cuts out all the routine processes of thought and leaps straight from the problem to the answer." - Robert Graves

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant
and has forgotten the gift." - Albert Einstein

"You must train your intuition. You must trust the small voice inside which tells you exactly what to say, what to decide." - Ingrid Bergman

"The power of intuitive understanding will protect you from harm until the end of your days." - Lao Tzu

"People who lean on logic and philosophy and rational exposition end by starving the best part of the mind." - William Butler Yeats

"Conclusions arrived at through reasoning have very little or no influence in altering the course of our lives."- Carlos Casteneda

"Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next." - Jonas Salk

"Trust your hunches. They're usually based on facts filed away
just below the conscious level." - Dr. Joyce Brothers

"Follow your instincts. That's where true wisdom manifests itself."
- Oprah Winfrey

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:24 PM | Comments (0)

March 04, 2017
FOSTERING A CULTURE OF INNOVATION: The Keynote

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Changing a corporate culture is about as easy as getting a teenage girl to clean up her room. Translation? It's not easy.

If your organization is committed to creating a culture of innovation, you'll need to begin by getting your head out of the OD clouds, come down to earth, and roll up your sleeves. The way gardeners do. Indeed, the process a gardener goes through to get a yield is the exact same process your organization will need to go through in order to establish a culture of innovation.

And I will show you how. But more than that, I will help everyone in the audience own their role, then generate their own ideas and game plan for HOW they can turn theory into practice. Seeds are what they need, not magic pills. Fertilizer, not bullshit. I've got the fertilizer and just enough tools to help everyone break new ground in a way that engages, empowers, and enlightens. Ripe tomatoes anyone?

Here's what my clients say

Interested? Contact Mike Frick, Speaking.com
My website

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

March 03, 2017
Learn to Lead Breakthrough Brainstorming Sessions from the Leader in the Field

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If you need to radically upgrade your ability to facilitate kick-ass brainstorm sessions -- either internally, for your own company, or externally for clients looking to you to work some magic, look no further. Mitch Ditkoff (that's me), Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions, is now offering customized, live, one-on-one, just-in-time online tutorials for committed catalysts of brilliance. Highly engaging. Affordable. Fun. And immediately applicable to real-time business needs. Curious? Intrigued? info@ideachampions.com

PS: Longer, onsite, small group trainings also available.

Shout out from the PR World
Brainstorm or Shitstorm?
Client list
Happy brainstorming clients
Happy innovation-seeking clients

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:08 PM | Comments (0)

March 02, 2017
20 Ways to Get Feedback on Your Coolest, Newest, Boldest Idea

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You've got a great idea. I know you do. But I also know it's just sitting there. In your head. Like a lump. Why? Because you haven't pitched it to anyone.

Everyone -- even your best friends -- all seem so busy, right? And even if they're not busy, you... um....er... uh... don't really know how to kick-start the conversation to get them to help you develop your idea. The hardest part? Beginning. And so, here's a way to start -- actually, 20 ways to start -- phrases you can use to increase the odds of someone giving you the feedback you need to develop your bold, new idea.

Go ahead. Get your idea out there. Invite someone to give you feedback. You can do this.

20 IDEA FEEDBACK STARTERS

1. "I wonder if you have a few minutes to give me some feedback on a new idea of mine. Is this a good time?"

2. "I'd love your opinion about a new idea that really excites me. Got five minutes to spare?"

3. "I just had a big breakthrough. Mind if I share it with you?"

4. "I need a second opinion on a new idea of mine. Available?"

5. "Can I book some time with you tomorrow to pitch you a bold, new idea of mine. I think you'll find it inspiring."

6. "I just figured out how to _________. Can I share it with you?"

7. "I'd love your sage counsel on a new project of mine."

8. "You're one of the smartest people I know around here. Mind if I share a new idea with you?"

9. "Who do you recommend I talk with around here to help me develop an exciting idea of mine?"

10. "I got a deal for you. I'll buy you breakfast tomorrow if you give me some feedback on a bold, new idea that came to me last night."

11. "I'd love you to play devil's advocate with me for a few minutes. Mind if I pitch you a new idea of mine?"

12. "When would be a good time for the two of us to get together and brainstorm an idea with the power to change our industry?"

13. "I need you help. I really do. Can you help me think through a new and untested idea of mine?"

14. "I've got a great idea that I'm really confused about. Can you help me sort it out?"

15. "Everyone I talk to tells me you're the resident genius around here. Mind if I pitch you a great idea that needs some polishing?"

16. "Would you be open to being my coach? I've got an awesome idea that's kind of flapping in the wind."

17. "If you've got five minutes, I'd love your help thinking through a great, new possibility."

18. "Can I take you to lunch today to help me refine a new idea?"

19. "Got 60 seconds to give me some feedback?"

20. "If you give me your feedback on my latest idea, I promise to name my tenth child after you. Ready?"

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:22 PM | Comments (2)

March 01, 2017
A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO HELPING ORPHANS: One Man's Journey

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There are 140 million orphans in the world. That's 14 million more than the entire population of Japan. And it's getting worse with every war, earthquake, and disaster. If you want to read the story of how one man is making a difference in this little understood arena and what YOU can do to begin getting involved, click here. And if you want to do something about it today, consider making a donation to the Himalayan Children's Charity -- a fantastic organization that is attempting to raise $10,000 to continue providing a wide range of services to orphans in Nepal.

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:37 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.
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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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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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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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