June 21, 2021
Online Brainstorm Facilitation Training for the Time-Crunched

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Idea Champions is thrilled to announce the launch of an exciting new offering -- an elegant way for its time-crunched, innovation-leaning clients to upgrade the impact of their (on-site) brainstorming sessions -- just in time, as some of our clients, post-pandemic, begin gathering together, in the flesh, again. Oh boy!

We call it Conducting Genius -- the simplest, most time-efficient way we can think of to help our clients become masterful brainstorm facilitators.

Bottom line, we've distilled down the best of what we've learned during the past 30 years of facilitating creative thinking sessions for these organizations, and translated it into a series of live, online 60-minute modules. No off-sites required. No two-day training sessions. No bad hotel muffins.

And because we know our clients have different needs, we offer four different options:

BRONZE: 5 modules ($2,500)
SILVER: 10 modules ($4,500)
GOLD: 15 modules ($6,000)
PLATINUM: 20 modules ($7,000)

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THE PROCESS FROM HERE:

1. A 30-minute phone conversation with you to explore the possibilities
2. You decide on how many modules you want (5, 10, 15, or 20)
3. We agree on a schedule of trainings (1-2 times per week)
4. We email you a Letter of Engagement for your signature
5. We conduct a needs assessment to further tune into your needs
6. We custom design the training (from this curriculum)

Client testimonials
More client testimonials

CONTACT US:
info@ideachampions.com

Illustration: Sidney Perry, Unsplash

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:11 PM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2021
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)

June 17, 2021
20 Qualities of an Innovator

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The word "innovate" can be traced all the way back to 1440. It comes from the Middle French word "innovacyon," meaning "renewal" or "new way of doing things".

Exactly what innovations actually happened in 1440 (rounder oxcart wheels?) is anybody's guess, but whatever they were, it's likely they improved the quality of life for more than a few people.

These days, the "innovation thing" is something of a no-brainer. Every company worth its low-salt lunch has identified innovation as a core competency needing to be developed.

Who in their right mind (or is it right brain?) can deny the value of improving things? Isn't this what human beings, those grand inventors of the microchip and the chocolate chip, are supposed to do?

True. But who has time?

And so begins the search for the magic pill -- the system, formula, or blueprint that will make innovation a done deal.

Innovation, unfortunately -- unlike audits, re-engineering, or your high school penmanship teacher -- is not given to systems, formulas, and blueprints. It is given to people -- restless, inspired, fascinated people with an almost cellular need to change things for the better.

And while it can certainly be supported by systems, it can never be reduced to systems.

If you want to ignite innovation in your organization, forget about slick formulas for a minute and pay attention to what's happening on the inside. Because that's where innovation starts. With the innovator -- the inspired individual, compelled to make a difference.

And the key to the innovator? The special blend of qualities that allows him or her to succeed while their co-workers are bitching and moaning on their way to their next unnecessary meeting.

Is it tools? Techniques? Metrics?

Sure, they're useful. But without the user of them having the right stuff, they're merely decoration -- like having a shiny set of new jumper cables, but no car.

And so... if you are one of the self-chosen few who are willing to stop blaming your organization, the economy, your boss, your industry, the government, HR, your mother, your astrological sign, the Board, and the bored, now's the time to start taking personal responsibility for innovating.

Now's your chance to kick things in high gear.

Now's the time to get the lead out -- to lead the revolution wherever you happen to be working at the time and make some magic.

Yes, it begins with you. But where does it begin with you?

With awareness.

In the words of the great psychologist, Fritz Perls, "awareness cures." Yes, it does. Still with me?

If so, take a few minutes now to try the following exercise to get the party started.

All you need to do is rate yourself, on a scale of 1-10, for how much you manifest the following qualities in the workplace. Note which ones are your strengths -- and how can you build on them. Then note which ones are your weaknesses -- and how can you strengthen them.

You might even give them to your team and ask them to rate themselves. Then get together and talk about what you've all come up with.

And don't forget to floss.

20 Qualities of an Innovator

1. Challenges the status quo

2. Curious

3. Self-motivated

4. Visionary

5. Entertains the fantastic

6. Takes risks

7. Peripatetic (moves about)

8. Playful/humorous

9. Self-accepting

10. Flexible/adaptive

11. Makes new connections

12. Reflective

13. Recognizes patterns

14. Tolerates ambiguity

15. Committed to learning

16. Balances intuition and analysis

17. Situationally collaborative

18. Formally articulate

19. Resilient

20. Persevering

This posting is excerpted from It's AHAppening, a series of five, 16-page creative thinking guidebooks.

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:38 PM | Comments (1)

June 10, 2021
20 Reasons Why People Get Their Best Ideas in the Shower

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During the past 25 years, I've asked more than 10,000 people where and when they get their best ideas. I get all kinds of answers, but the one that has always fascinated me is "the shower" -- maybe because I also get so many of my good ideas there. And so, at the risk of overstating my case, I hereby offer you 20 reasons WHY the shower is so conducive to idea generation.

1. Showering signals "a new day" or "new beginning."

2. You're usually alone, with time to reflect.

3. Interruptions are rare.

4. The rush of water creates a kind of "white noise" that makes concentration easier.

5. Shower stalls look like little incubation chambers.

6. Water is associated with "contemplation" (i.e. sitting near a river, lake, or ocean.)

7. Showering is a metaphor for "getting rid of the dirt" -- the stuff that covers up what's beneath.

8. Showering is a ritual. Lots of creative people like to have little rituals to get their head in the right place.

9. You can write your ideas on the walls with a water soluble pen.

10. There's not a lot of judgment or analysis going on in a shower.

11. A hot shower opens the pores -- and by extension, maybe the mind.

12. Showering wakes up you. It makes you more alert.

13. Showering is a relaxing and stress free experience. With nothing to stress about, your mind is free to roam new territories.

14. If you shampoo, you're massaging your head. That's gotta be good.

15. It's hard to check your email or Facebook page in a shower.

16. Albert Einstein did his best thinking near a shower. ("Why is it I always get my best ideas while shaving?")

17. Water is associated with "flow." Being in the "flow state" is often a precursor to creative thinking.

18. There is no deliverable expected of you.

19. If you shower with a friend, and he/she happens to be in a brainstorming mode, lots of great ideas get sparked.

20. Showering is easy. Not a lot of thinking is required to make it happen, which frees your mind to think about other things.

Many stories from my book were remembered in the shower

Another place to get ideas
And another
An online shower of ideas
The mothership

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:48 AM | Comments (4)

How to Jump Start Organizational Innovation During Covid-19

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Covid-19 hasn't just disrupted businesses around the world, it has also disrupted their ability to innovate. And one of the biggest reasons WHY can be traced to one simple factor: isolation.

With most people working from home and scrambling to survive, the opportunities for "thought partners" to connect with each other in meaningful ways have radically declined -- and along with it opportunities to ideate, problem solve, and think out of the box.

Pre-Covid, this was the main thrust of Idea Champions' work. We designed and facilitated a wide range of creative thinking sessions for our clients -- opportunities for them to unleash their collective brilliance and make significant progress on a specific goal, initiative, or opportunity.

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Those days, at least for now, are over. Everything is virtual. Zoomified. And that is precisely why we have reinvented HOW we deliver services to our clients.

Enter Free the Genie -- the distillation of 34 years of sparking innovation for organizations in 11 different countries.

Free the Genie, quite simply, is a facilitated online brainstorming session -- a way for our clients to get a fresh look at what they do and how they do it -- a way to generate the kind of game changing ideas, mindset, and commitment required to make a quantum leap.

TAKEAWAYS FROM A FREE THE GENIE SESSION:

- Increased clarity re: the problem you're trying to solve
- A much clearer vision of the outcomes you're looking for
- A wide variety of actionable ideas
- At least one breakthrough insight or AHA
- Deeper access to your own untapped brilliance
- A dependable way to enter into a creative mindset
- Tons of positive momentum
- New tactics to use in brainstorming sessions
- Techniques to "free the genie" on your team
- Increased collaboration

Sessions are 60-90 minutes long, preceded by a 30-minute needs assessment call and 15 minutes of pre-work. Includes a free deck of Free the Genie cards.

To schedule a Free the Genie session: office@ideachampions.com

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What our clients say
Idea Champions
Brainstorm Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:47 AM | Comments (0)

June 03, 2021
THE YEAR OF LIVING CREATIVELY: Next Course Begins on Sept. 12th

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The Year of Living Creatively is a highly engaging, eight-week online course that helps aspiring innovators transform their inspired ideas into new products, new services, new forms of expression, new businesses, and breakthrough ways of living.

Previous graduates describe the course in a variety of colorful ways:

-- A GPS for the creative process
-- An incubation chamber for bold, new possibilities
-- A chiropractic adjustment for creative mojo
-- A midwife for the miraculous
-- An all-you-can eat buffet of brilliance

If you are on fire with an exciting new possibility and want the kind of support that will help you turn theory into practice, this course is for you.

HOW IT WORKS: Dominoes delivers pizza. FedEx delivers packages. The Year of Living Creatively delivers provocative catalysts, community, and clarity to keep you on top of your game. The service includes five BASIC elements and four OPTIONAL ones.

THE BASIC ELEMENTS

1. SELF-INQUIRY PRACTICE: Once a week, you will receive, in your inbox, links to three online self-inquiry pages (like this one) to help you navigate your way through your sometimes challenging creative process. You choose the one that calls to you the most (though you can do all three if you have the time and interest). If you're stuck, the page will help get you unstuck. If you're already unstuck, the page will spark a quantum leap of insight and action. And you will get an emailed response from the course facilitator, each week, helping you take an even deeper dive. Each page takes 15-30 minutes.

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2. ZOOM CALLS: Twice a month, you will be invited to participate in a 90-minute ZOOM session -- a virtual campfire around which all Year of Living Creatively participants gather. This is an opportunity to share your progress, receive valuable tips, brainstorm, learn, and enjoy support from other members of the YOLC community.

3. CREATIVE PROJECT PARTNERSHIPS: Each Year of Living Creatively participant will be paired with two other participants -- an opportunity for the three of you to exchange fresh perspectives, ideas, resources, encouragement, and be accountable to each other. Three heads are definitely better than one -- especially during these socially isolated days of the Coronavirus.

4. PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP: All participants are invited to join the Year of Living Creatively FB group -- a simple way to stay in touch with other participants, get inspired, ask for support, and keep your creative fires burning.

5. CREATIVITY-IN-ACTION STORIES: Part of what makes The Year of Living Creatively so effective is the way in which it keeps participants moving forward -- helping them stay conscious, inspired, and committed to their creative process. One engaging way we do this is our 5-minute Creativity-in-Action audio stories that spark insight, meaning, and informed action.

THE OPTIONAL ELEMENTS:

1. APPLIED CREATIVITY: A PDF download of a 200-page guidebook for aspiring innovators. A treasure trove of articles, tips, tools, and techniques to help you increase your odds of getting out of the box, staying out of the box, and enjoying the process of manifesting your heart's desire.

2. AWAKE AT THE WHEEL: A Kindle version of Mitch's award-winning business fable about the mythical invention of the wheel and the process that Og, the genius cavemen inventor of the wheel, went through in order to get the idea out of his head and into the world.

3. BREAKTHROUGH BUDDY: While the creative process requires a healthy dose of solitude, it also requires a healthy dose of support from others -- but not just any others -- people you trust, have chemistry with, and know how to fan the flames of your creative mojo. Which is why The Year of Living Creatively will be enrolling (with your permission) the person of your choice (living within ten miles of your home) to serve as your very own Breakthrough Buddy -- someone who is committed to supporting you, in fun ways, for the duration of the course. HOW we get this person up-to-speed to play their catalytic role is our little secret. Suffice it to say, we will provide them with everything they need to help you on your way.

4. COACHING: Private coaching sessions are available with Year of Living Creatively Founder, Mitch Ditkoff. $135/hr.

Max number of participants: 20

COST: $449 (the cost of two cappuccinos per day)

PAY VIA PAYPAL: products@ideachampions.com

UPCOMING COURSE: September 12th -- November 7th

THE ONE AFTER THAT: January, 2022

NOTE: In early 2022, The Year of Living Creatively will be launching a subscription service for people who want to get a significant creative boost, but do not have the time or interest to participate in the more intensive online course. Subscribers will receive a Self-Inquiry page each week and also be invited to attend monthly Zoom gatherings with other subscribers to dive deeper into their creative process, reconnect with their own inspiration, and get support from a community of aspiring innovators. If you want to be informed when this service launches, email "office@ideachampions.com" with the words "YOLC Subscription" in the subject line.

QUESTIONS? Email Mitch (mitch@ideachampions.com)

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:08 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.

MitchDitkoff.com
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.
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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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.
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.
Awake at the Wheel, Book about big ideas If you're looking for a powerful way to jump start innovation and get your creative juices flowing, Awake at the Wheel is for you. Written by Mitch Ditkoff, Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions.
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