August 22, 2020
Idea Champions Helps All Kinds of People Originate Great Ideas

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Since 1987, Idea Champions has been helping a wide variety of forward thinking organizations tap into their innate creativity and originate breakthrough ideas.

"Through your brainstorm facilitation, we gained more than 100 original ideas of high quality. The best of these will guide AT&T's development for years to come." - Robert Rubin, Product Development, AT&T

"Several of the ideas we came up with in the Idea Champions session are being developed into concrete projects that are looking like very profitable opportunities." - Rudy Villa, VP, GE/RCA Licensing

"As a result of Idea Champions'efforts we have implemented more than 250 value-added Big Idea projects." - Joe Belinsky, Professional Development Manager, Goodyear

"Extremely engaging and enlightening brainstorming sessions." - Karen Lazan, Marketing Director, Pfizer

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"Your session definitely helped us generate lots of great ideas to activate our positioning around the world." - Charlotte Oades, Director, Brand Marketing, The Coca Cola Company

"Your techniques and style left our people with a better understanding and working knowledge of the most valuable tool we all possess: the creative mind." - Tom Gowan, VP Communications, Emmis Broadcasting

"Participants continue to leave your course excited about their new implementable ideas and innovations re: new and existing products and services." - Jim Schultz, Managing Director, NYNEX

"Idea Champions' ideation webinar has been invaluable in helping diverse and remote teams around the globe focus on the essentials of great idea generation." - Jon Bidwell, Director of Innovation, Chubb Insurance

"Your High Velocity Brainstorming sessions were wonderful. We achieved all the goals we set out to accomplish and more." - Sue Mongeon, Staff Manager, AT&T

"Idea Champions tone, demeanor, and presentation style allowed us to maximize our brainstorming efforts." - Rich Battista. President, Fox National Cable Networks

"The Idea Champions process not only worked, it exceeded our every expectation" - Melinda McLaughlin, Senior Vice President, A&E Television Networks

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"I want to note how impressed we all were with Idea Champions' insight and understanding of our business, as well as the techniques you used to take us through the creative process." - Gabrielle Del Sesto, VP, MTV Networks

"Idea Champions helped us generate powerful new ideas and engage with such energy that, six months later, their impact still hasn't worn off! - Candida G. Brush, Chair: Entrepreneurship Division, Babson College

"Idea Champions brings a creative, energetic and fun approach to idea generation. The tools and techniques they brought to Atlanticare are enabling us to build a true Garden of Innovation." - Terri Schieder, VP, Clinical Development and Integration, Atlanticare

"Idea Champions has the unique quality to combine zany out-of-box thinking with a pragmatic approach that appealed to every participant. Even those who relish the status quo couldn't help but relax, laugh, and lean into their untapped creativity." - Maureen Toshner, Director, Organizational Development & Learning, Charter Manufacturing

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:29 AM | Comments (0)

August 20, 2020
100 Reasons Why You Don't Get Your Best Ideas At Work

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Since 1987, I've asked 2,500 people where and when they get their best ideas. Less than 2% have said "the workplace."

Based on my 33 years of working with a ton of innovation-seeking organizations, here's my take on WHY you don't get your best ideas at work:

1. Too much to do, not enough time.

2. Too many distractions and interruptions.

3. You work in a risk averse organization.

4. Sleep deprivation.

5. Mental clutter.

6. Fear that someone will steal your idea.

7. You don't think of yourself as creative.

8. Boring meetings that put you in a bad mood.

9. You're not measured for the quantity or quality of ideas you generate.

10. Stultifying routine.

11. You are worried about layoffs and don't want to draw undue attention to yourself.

12. Poor ventilation -- not enough oxygen.

13. The last time you came up with a great idea, you were either ignored or ridiculed.

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14. It's not in your job description.

15. It's not in the strategic plan.

16. It's not in the cards.

17. It's not in your favorite holy book

18. Your manager has made it clear that he/she does not have the time to consider your ideas.

19. Lack of immersion. Lack of incubation.

20. No one's ever told you that they want your ideas.

21. You are understaffed and don't have the time to try an innovative approach.

22. You are angry at the company.

23. You get no input from people outside your department.

24. Your company has just been acquired and you don't want your new overlord to succeed.

25. You know there's no one to pitch your new ideas to -- and even if there was, it's a long shot they would listen.

26. You're concerned that your great idea is so great that it will actually be accepted and then you will be expected to work on it in your spare time (which you don't have) with no extra resources made available to you.

27. All your great ideas are focused on trying to get Gina or Gary, in Marketing, to give you the time of day.

28. You're a new parent.

29. You've got other projects, outside of work, and have no energy left to think about anything else.

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30. They don't pay you enough to think creatively.

31. You're expected to leave your mind at the door when you come to work.

32. No incentives or rewards.

33. You don't have the intrinsic motivation .

34. Actually, you don't want to be working at all -- and you wouldn't be working if you didn't have to.

35. You have not identified a challenge or opportunity that inspires you enough to think up new ideas.

36. No timely feedback from others.

37. There's no one to collaborate with.

38. Constantly changing priorities.

39. "Work," for you is synonymous with things you have to do not want to do, thus creating two parallel universes that never intersect.

40. You haven't read my award winning book yet.

41. It's too noisy.

42. Endless hustle and bustle.

43. You can't stop thinking about Covid-19.

44. You're too busy tweeting.

45. You have the attention span of a tse-tse fly.

46. Just when a good idea pops into your head, you dismiss it as "not good enough".

47. Your left brain has become a kind of Attila the Hun in relation to your Pee Wee Herman-like right brain.

48. You didn't get the memo.

49. You are too busy deleting spam.

50. The brainstorming sessions you attend are pitiful.

51. You believe that new ideas are a dime a dozen.

52. You're not paid to think. You're paid to DO.

53. Actually, you don't have a job.

54. You are hypoglycemic.

55. You're not allowed to listen to music at your desk.

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56. You have no sense of urgency.

57. Your office or cubicle feels like a jail cell.

58. You're too busy filling out forms.

59. Not enough coffee.

60. You don't like your boss.

61. Existential despair.

62. There's a call on Line 2.

63. You have no time to incubate or reflect.

64. You've got to show results fast.

65. You know your manager will, eventually, get all the credit for your great ideas.

66. You've just been assigned to another project.

67. Brain fatigue.

68. You haven't tried Free the Genie yet.

69. You don't feel valued or appreciated.

70. You deciphered a much talked about sighting of a Crop Circle in England as meaning: "Stop coming up with good ideas at work."

71. Every extra minute you have is spent on Facebook.

72. There's too much stress and pressure on the job.

73. Naysayers and idea killers surround you.

74. Inability to relax.

75. It's summertime.

76. You've got this weird rash on your leg and you think it might be Lyme's disease or leprosy.

77. What you think of as a great idea and what your manager thinks of as a great idea are two entirely different things.

78. You know you won't get the funding, so why bother?

79. You're just trying to get through the day.

80. Every time you get a great idea, it's time to go to another meeting.

81. You only get your great ideas in the shower and there are no showers at work.

82. Your head is filled with a thousand things you need to do.

83. Relentless deadlines.

84. Too much input from others.

85. You have to stay focused on the "job at hand".

86. You'll only end up making the company richer and that is not what you want to do.

87. Those bright, annoying, overhead fluorescent lights.

88. No one besides you really cares.

89. You've just been assigned a project that is totally boring.

90. There is no one to brainstorm with.

91. Your husband/wife is complaining that all you ever do is work -- or talk about work.

92. You have the wrong astrological sign.

93. Your cultural upbringing has taught you that it is not your place to conjure up new ideas.

94. Your job is too structured to think outside the box.

95. People seem to be staring at you and that makes you self-conscious.

96. You're too busy.

97. Wait! How come they're taking so much out of your paycheck?

98. You're only working there to beef up your resume for the next job.

99. A vast right wing conspiracy.

100. You end up reading long lists like this which eats into whatever time you have to come up with good ideas.

Possible antidotes

A big thank you to Jim Aubele, Fran Tyson-Marchino, Nirit Sharon, Cindy Pearce, Robert Fischaleck, Deborah Medenbach, Amy de Boinville, Glenna Dumay, Bert Dromedary, and Sally Kaiser for their contributions to this list.

A good way to get ideas at work
Idea Champions
A virtual way to get new ideas
Our no BS creative thinking training

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:29 AM | Comments (5)

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August 06, 2020
Those Who Trust Us, Educate Us

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"Those who trust us, educate us." - George Eliot

NOTE: What follows is a guest post from Mohammed Azim, Secondary School Head of English, Teacher, and Coach at Al Siraat College, in Epping, Australia. Mohammed is one of 33 teachers and staff members participating in Idea Champions' four-month Team Leadership Training, one module of which focuses on trust.

"I like the above quotation by the English novelist, Mary Ann Evans, known by her pen name George Eliot!

I am also reminded of our beloved Prophet and Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him), who said: "When a man says something to someone and then turns to you, then it is a trust." Our religion demands that we all be characterized by the nature of trust.

We ought to acknowledge that the need for trust in the workplace is a fundamental building block of any organization. Simply put, when you trust people, you have confidence in them -- in their integrity and their abilities. When you distrust people, you are suspicious of them -- their integrity, their agenda, their capabilities, or their track record.

There are five things the George Eliot quote taught me:

1. I come to truly feel loved by those who I work with in a team. Isn't this bonding for success? I learn the greatest lesson here -- trust is reciprocal.

2. If there is no trust, there is no us! Simple education for me, first -- attempting to lead a team at Al Siraat College. Indeed, healthy relationships arise from mutual trust.

3. I constantly learn from my team about what it means to be supported, assisted, and respected. I thought I was educating them, but, behold! They were educating me!

4. The good I say to my team, the good they say to me, the good we say and do together, makes our work more enjoyable and stress-free! This is an impactful education for the leader in me!

5. Finally, my team trusts me without fear -- that is why we are the envy of others... a great education again for me and us!

Indeed, trust is the foundation for building strong teams, creating a positive work culture, and producing results. If you want to know the true meaning of trust -- how about looking at those who trust you? In fact, they will educate you on everything about trust as I have found in my 33 years of being an educator."

37 quotes on trust
BRAVING: Brene Brown on trust
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:00 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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