November 16, 2021
THE YEAR OF LIVING CREATIVELY: Next Course Begins on January 30th

Butterfly brain44.jpg

The Year of Living Creatively is a highly engaging, eight-week online course that helps aspiring innovators transform their inspired visions and 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 six basic elements and three optional ones.

THE BASIC ELEMENTS

1. SELF-INQUIRY PRACTICE: Three times a week, you will receive, in your inbox, links to online self-inquiry pages (like this one) to help you navigate your way through your sometimes challenging creative process. You choose at least one that calls to you (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 15-45 minutes.

colored lite bulbs3.jpg

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, feedback, and be accountable to each other. Three heads are definitely better than one -- especially during these socially isolated days of the Coronavirus.

4. PRIVATE COACHING: Each course participant will receive one 60-minute coaching session from the course creator and facilitator. Additional coaching sessions are available for a fee (see below for more info).

5. 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.

6. 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. 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.

3. MORE COACHING: Above and beyond the one private coaching session included in the course, additional coaching sessions are are also available. $150/hr.

NEXT COURSE: January 16th -- March 13th

TUITION: $479 US

MAX NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 16

PAY VIA PAYPAL: products@ideachampions.com

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)

Testimonials
Who is the course really for?
What is the real value of The Year of Living Creatively?
The Manifesto
More about the creator of the Year of Living Creatively
MitchDitkoff.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:08 AM | Comments (0)

November 03, 2021
Brainstorming vs. Braincalming

2209127.jpg

If you work in a big organization, small business, freelance, or eat cheese, there's a good chance you've participated in at least a few brainstorming sessions in your life. You've noodled, conjured, envisioned, ideated, piggybacked, and endured overly enthusiastic facilitators doing their facilitator thing. You may have even gotten some results. Hallelujah!

But even the best run brainstorming sessions are based on a questionable assumption -- that the origination of powerful, new ideas depend on the facilitated interaction between people.

You know, the "two heads are better than one" syndrome.

7884657.jpg

I'd like to propose an alternative for the moment: "two heads are better than one sometimes."

For the moment, I invite you to consider the possibility that the origination of great, new ideas doesn't take place in the storm, but in the calm before the storm... or the calm after the storm... or sometimes, even in the eye of the storm itself.

Every wonder why so many people get their best ideas during "down time" -- the time just before they go to sleep... or just after waking... or in dreams... or in the shower... or in the car on the way home from work?

Those aren't brainstorming sessions, folks. Those are braincalming sessions. Incubation time.

Those are time outs for the hyperactive child genius within us who is always on the go. Methinks, in today's over-caffeinated, late-for-a-very-important-date business world, we have become addicted to the storm.

"Look busy," is the mantra, not "look deeply."

We want high winds. We want lightning. We want proof that something is happening, even if the proof turns out to be nothing more than sound and fury. High winds do not last all morning. Sometimes the storm has to stop.

That's why some of your co-workers like to show up early at the office before anyone else has arrived. For many of us, that's the only time we have to think.

"The best thinking has been done in solitude," said Thomas Edison. "The worst has been done in turmoil."

I'm not suggesting that you stop brainstorming (um... that's 20% of our business). All I'm suggesting is you balance it out with some braincalming. The combination of the two can be very, very powerful.

HERE'S A FEW WAYS TO GET STARTED:

1. In the middle of your next brainstorming, session, restate the challenge -- then ask everyone to sit, in silence, for five minutes, and write down whatever ideas come to mind. (Be ready for the inevitable joking that will immediately follow your request). Then, after five minutes are up, go "round robin" and ask everyone to state their most compelling idea.

2. Ask each member of your team to think about a specific business-related challenge before they go to bed tonight and write down their ideas when they wake up. Then, gather your team together for a morning coffee and see what you've got.

3. Conduct your next brainstorming session in total silence. Begin by having the brainstorming challenge written on a big flip chart before people enter the room. Then, after some initial schmoozing, explain the "silence ground rule" and the process: People will write their ideas on post-its or flip charts. Their co-workers, also in silence, will read what gets posted and piggyback. Nobody talks.

It's your decision, at the end of the idea generating time, if you want the debrief to be spoken -- or if you want people to come back the next day for a verbal debrief.

"Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our brainstorming website
The Mothership: Idea Champions
Unsolicited praise from a recent client

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:23 PM | Comments (5)

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.
Authorized Reseller Logo – GoLeanSixSigma.com
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.
Face the Music Blues Band The world's first interactive business blues band. A great way to help your workforce go beyond complaint.

"In tune with corporate America." — CNN
© IDEA CHAMPIONS