March 30, 2019
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 28, 2019
What Storytelling Themes Most Intrigue You?

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IF YOU HAVE THREE MINUTES TO SPARE, please respond to my new online storytelling poll. I will be launching a series of Wisdom (storytelling) Circles in Woodstock, NY on April 10th and am curious to find out what storytelling themes people find most compelling.

PS: You do not need to live in Woodstock in order to respond to the poll -- especially since I will be taking this on the road in the Fall and also teaching people how to facilitate Wisdom Circles in their own homes, towns, cities, or organizations. Thanks, in advance, for chiming in. Much appreciated!

Here's what people are saying about their Wisdom Circle experiences.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:50 PM | Comments (0)

March 25, 2019
101 CreativiTeas for Innovators

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No matter how many times I tell people there's no such thing as a "magic innovation pill," every one keeps asking.

This just in: I don't have the magic pill. But I DO have something even better -- a virtual potion that has the potential to liberate you from the bothersome obstacles that keep sabotaging your ability to innovate. Simply read the list below, pick the CreativiTea you most need to imbibe, and think about what it would take you to manifest more of this quality in your life these days. Bottoms up!

1. Opening Up to PossibiliTea

2. Easy Going FlexibiliTea

3. Gandhi-like HumiliTea

4. Well-timed AdaptabiliTea

5. Taking Care of Details Amidst InfiniTea

6. Loosey Goosey ManeuverabiliTea

7. Acceptance of MortaliTea

8. Flashes of NonsensicaliTea

9. Beyond MoraliTea

10. An Occasional Dose of RealiTea

11. Following Your Passion With ImpuniTea

12. Balancing PolariTea

13. InterdimensionaliTea

14. Total QualiTea

15. Unfettered CreativiTea

16. Appreciation of DiversiTea

17. Tuning in to SynchroniciTea

18. OriginaliTea

19. UnconventionaliTea

20. Old Fashioned PracticaliTea

21. CuriosiTea

22. Celebration of IndividualiTea

23. A Deeper Sense of InevitabiliTea

24. Letting Go of FutiliTea

25. A Transformed MentaliTea

26. Go With the Flow FluidiTea

27. Baby Oh Baby SensualiTea

28. WhimsicaliTea

29. Child-like SimpliciTea

30. Tiger-like FerociTea

31. Nose to the Grindstone DurabiliTea

32. Let it Rip TheatricaliTea

33. Grrr!! TenaciTea

34. Authentic AuthenticiTea

35. Mucho GenerosiTea

36. Acceptance of AsymmetricaliTea

37. Quick Moving MobiliTea

38. Enlightened SpiritualiTea

39. Day By Day ClariTea

40. Sylvester Stallone MusculariTea

41. In the Moment SpontaneiTea

42. Twelve Step SobrieTea

43. Beethovian VirtuosiTea

44. Wild Maniacal HilariTea

45. Increased CapaciTea

46. ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTea

47. Lucid PerspicaciTea

48. Ha Ha Ha LeviTea

49. Focused SingulariTea

50. A Daily Shot of InsaniTea

51. Expressing Your PersonaliTea

52. Frontal NudiTea

53. International CommuniTea

54. Much More VarieTea

55. Information Highway ActiviTea

56. Higher ProductiviTea

57. Que Sera SororiTea

58. Off the Wall BanaliTea

59. Alimentary CanaliTea

60. Relaxed InformaliTea

61. Sprint? Verizon? AT&Tea?

62. Understanding Primal CausaliTea

63. SpecificiTea

64. Huge Amounts of PubliciTea

65. Give Up Feeling ShitTea

66. IntentionaliTea

67. Beyond Beyond MetaphysicaliTea

68. A Bowl of Soup and a BLTea

69. Hip Hop, Reggae MusicaliTea

70. Calling on Your Own DiviniTea

71. A Touch of SubtleTea

72. Profound ProfundiTea

73. Bottom Line ProfitabiliTea

74. Surprise and SerendipiTea

75. Do It Now InstantaneiTea

76. Proven CertifiabiliTea

77. Solid MarketabiliTea

78. Truth, Love and BeauTea

79. ExponentialiTea

80. Let Go and Be EmpTea

81. We Are the World SolidariTea

82. A Twist, A Change, Some NovelTea

83. Getting Down to the Nitty GritTea

84. San Andreas FaulTea

85. Midwestern SinceriTea

86. Transcending Financial ScarciTea

87. Death of CertainTea

88. Buddha and KrishnamurTea

89. You Don't Have to Feel So GuilTea

90. Total ResponsibiliTea

91. Challenge AuthoriTea

92. Anyone here From Joisey CiTea?

93. More and More CredibiliTea

94. Get it Done MasculiniTea

95. Be More Receptive to FemininiTea

96. A Three Month Vacation in TahiTea

97. Get Rich and Become a CelebriTea

98. Much Deserved SereniTea

99. Hot Diggity DoggiTea

100. Tons of PositiviTea

101. If All There Is Is Now, What Is EterniTea?

MitchDitkoff.com

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:52 AM | Comments (2)

March 20, 2019
Big Blues From the Viagra People

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In 1999, I conceived and co-founded (with Paul Kwicienski) the world's first interactive business blues band, Face the Music.

The concept was a simple one: help organizations increase teamwork and decrease complaint by getting employees to write and perform original blues songs.

The concept resonated with a lot of industries, especially Big Pharma.

Oh yeah, they had the blues, lots of blues, like the "Now We Gotta Compete with Generic Drugs from Canada Blues," and the "No One Trusts the Drug Companies Anymore Blues," and the always popular, "Our Pipeline Is Empty, But Our Inbox is Full Blues."

So we weren't all that surprised when Pfizer came calling...

They had a big conference coming up and wanted to do "something different" to engage participants -- all of whom were high ranking business leaders.

Though our approach seemed risky to them at first, our testimonials from other Fortune 500 companies were proof enough we were the real deal for them to sign on the dotted line.

And so they did.

Unlike most bands -- or business simulations, for that matter -- our service began long before we took the stage.

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For each client wanting the complete experience, we'd write a custom blues song weeks before -- a kind of musical caricature of their company that we'd perform to kick off our performance -- a modern day Greek Chorus routine that loosened up audiences while modeling the message of the evening -- to speak (or in our case, sing) the truth.

And though we always shared our lyrics with clients long before an event, rarely were we asked us to modify what we wrote.

Pfizer was a different story.

From their perspective, our lyrics were "incendiary, politically incorrect, and might be taken the wrong way."

Customer-focused as we were (and not wanting to blow a good pay day), we revised our lyrics overnight and submitted version 2.0 the first thing in the morning.

Pfizer didn't like our new version, either. Or version 3.0, 4.0, or 5.0.

After five failed attempts, we decided to drop the custom song and focus on the classic blues songs that made up the bulk of our play list.

But doubt had crept into our client's mind. He was now officially nervous and wanted to see the lyrics to all our songs.

"Piece of cake," we reasoned to ourselves. The lyrics we'd be sending him had been performed for more than a hundred years all over America and were a huge part of the DNA of the nation.

True. But they weren't part of Pfizer's DNA. Our client had major issues with every song we sent them.

So we emailed him the lyrics to another ten classic blues songs. He rejected those, too.

Now, we had the blues. Like the legendary Robert Johnson, we stood at the crossroads, Blackberries and guitars in hand.

"Gentlemen," I began the damage-control conference call in the most corporate voice I could muster, "with all due respect, you have just rejected the lyrics of the most popular 20 American blues songs from the past hundred years. Remember, you are engaging the services of a blues band, not a polka band. You've got to have more trust in us."

Ooooh... the "T" word!

They hemmed. They hawed. Them hemmed again. And then with a semi-shrug of their collective shoulders and the growing recognition that their event was just a few days away, they chose the seven tamest songs and gave us a tepid thumbs up.

"But remember!" they warned, "the show must end no later than 9:30 sharp. Not a minute more."

Show time!

When we got to the venue, I could tell we were in for an interesting night.

Though our client greeted us pleasantly enough, something was off. Outwardly, he was fine. Inwardly, he was anxious, uptight, constricted, nervous, sweating, and silently obsessing about how he was going to cover his ass should his worst nightmares about the evening come true.

The band picked up on his mood and immediately tightened up.

Knowing that good music doesn't issue forth from tight musicians, I sent the band backstage for a glass of wine and some small talk while I filibustered with the client -- the theater now rapidly filling with hundreds of people who made a lot more money than we did.

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"Remember," the client reminded me again before the lights went down, "the show must end at 9:30 sharp!"

The band's first two songs that night were lame. Very lame. Channeling the tension of our neck-on-the-line client, the band was playing it safe -- not exactly a formula for foot stomping blues.

By the third song, thank God, the band found its groove. The audience relaxed and the songs they wrote and performed were some of the funniest we'd heard in a while.

I looked at my watch. It was 9:27. Quickly, I signaled the band to wrap things up when, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the client making his way to the stage.

Actually, "making his way" wasn't the right phrase to describe his approach. "Storming the stage" was more like it.

I looked at my watch again. Now it was 9:28 and the client was getting closer by the nanosecond. I spoke faster, much faster, doing my best to finish before the bewitching hour

Two sentences from closure, the man bounds up the stairs and lunges towards me.

"Keep playing!" he blurts. "Tell the band to keep playing! This is really going well! Forget the 9:30 deadline. Keep playing!"

I signal the band and they segue into BB King"s "Let the Good Times Roll" -- the 12-minute version. South Side Denny takes off on a blistering guitar solo.

South Side Slim is wailing at the top of his lungs. Screaming Sweet Pea Fradon is bringing down the house. Blind Lemon Pledge is on top of his game.

Everyone in the audience is singing and dancing and clapping and laughing.

The pharmaceutical blues? Gone. At least for the moment

Excerpted from Storytelling at Work

For more on Face the Music, click here or here.
Check out our Six Sigma Blues.
Go beyond the business blues keynotes

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:56 AM | Comments (0)

March 16, 2019
The Good Thing About Bad Ideas

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One of the inevitable things you will hear at a brainstorming session is "there are no bad ideas." Not true. There are plenty of bad ideas. Nazism, for instance. Arena football. Bow ties.

What well-meaning "keep hope alive" brainstorming lovers really mean is this: Even bad ideas can lead to good ideas if the idea originators are committed enough to extract the meaning from the "bad".

Do you think that War and Peace was written in one sitting? No way. There were plenty of earlier drafts that were horrid, but eventually led to the final outcome.

The key? Finding the value in what seems to be a "bad idea" and then using that extracted value as a clue or catalyst for further exploration. The following technique, excerpted from Awake at the Wheel, shows you how...

HOW IT WORKS:

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1. Identify a challenge worth brainstorming.

2. Conjure up a bad idea in response to it.

3. Tell someone about your bad idea.

4. Ask the other person to express something redeemable about your bad idea -- an aspect of it that has merit.

5. Using this redeemable essence as a clue, brainstorm some new possibilities

Idea Champions
Brainstorm Champions
Brainstorm now, online!

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

March 08, 2019
Reviving Two Birds with One Stone

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

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:36 PM | Comments (0)

March 04, 2019
Michelangelo on Genius

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Idea Champions

Ingenious Leadership
My new poetry blog

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:00 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.

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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 for the Revolution
Storytelling for the Revolution is Mitch Ditkoff's newly published book about the power of personal storytelling to elevate the conversation on planet Earth. Provocative. Evocative. And fun. YOU have stories to tell. This book will help you tell them.
Storytelling at Work
"The world is not made of atoms," wrote the poet, Muriel Rukeyser. "It's made of stories." Learn how to discover, honor, and unpack the stories of yours that show up "on the job" in Mitch Ditkoff's award-winning 2015 book, Storytelling at Work.
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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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Highly engaging learning experiences that increase each participant's ability to become a creative force for positive change
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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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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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