December 01, 2021
Get the Support You Need to Manifest a Bold, New Possibility

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In these odd times, it's easy to get thrown off course. Our regular schedules are very different than they used to be if they can be called "schedules" at all. Our usual human interactions with friends, peers, and co-workers have been dramatically curtailed.

Indeed, these days, the normal interactions we've always counted on to help us work through problems, issues, and opportunities rarely happen by themselves. We must seek them out.

If you have a bold, new possibility you're excited about or an old problem you're tired of dealing with, you will need to make some extra effort to get the kind of support you've always taken for granted.

Enter Free the Genie -- an affordable, expertly facilitated, 60-90-minute online ideation session designed to help you generate the kind of clarity, creativity, and commitment you need to make a quantum leap of thought and action.

And it's simple as 1-2-3.

First, we ensure that you frame the right question via a simple online survey.

Second, we explore the history of your question and why it really matters to you.

And third, we facilitate an engaging creative thinking process, doing everything we can to help you get out of the box and to higher ground, generating new ideas as we go.

It simple. It works. And it's a lot of fun. Plus, (hint, hint) it makes the perfect gift for that special person who "has everything!"

Here's what others are saying about Free the Genie.

Want to find out more? Call Val Vadeboncoeur, Idea Champions' Chief Brainstorming office at 845-377-0222 or sign up for a session on Calendly.

ABOUT VAL

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I am a highly-accomplished brainstorm facilitator, creative thinking catalyst, innovation workshop leader, and co-author of Conducting Genius.

Since 1987, I've been helping aspiring innovators in just about every industry on planet Earth get out of the box and generate bold new ideas to get the results they want.

My past clients include General Electric, AT&T, MTV Networks, VH-1, Nickelodeon, Shift Communications, Blue State Digital, Atlanticare, Universal Sports, Catholic Health Initiatives, Astrazeneca, FOX Espanol, Just Marketing, Kraton, Scotia Capital, NBC Universal, Morgan Stanley, Chubb Insurance, ITOCHU, Purple Strategies, Inroads, Radio Woodstock, and many more.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:25 PM | Comments (0)

July 05, 2021
The Worlds' First Free the Genie Poem All the Way from Australia

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This just in from Mohammed Azim, Director of the English Department at Al Siraat College in Melbourne, Australia. Mohammed is a certified facilitator of Idea Champions' online Free the Genie brainstorming tool and, in recognition of it's value, has just written the following poem.

Mohammed is one of my heroes -- a passionate, creative, committed educator with a great sense of humor and a sparkle in his eye.


FREE THE GENIE

The creative ideas that live inside us
Are mostly ungreased

Those bottled-up ideas jumping inside us
Ought to be released

A spark of brilliance is what it takes
A wand of opportunity taps and breaks
A thought to action is what shakes

Free the genie! Free the genie! is the buzz
Come forward and try at least
The catalyst is here and only magic it does
So don't be a procrastination beast

The game is here that truly awakes
So, turn gold -- all of your past mistakes
And use FTG and rid your emotional aches

Go beyond knowledge like some of us
And avoid the pain of what remains unreleased

Stand out from the rest is the voice within us
Leave the comfort zone, I say, last but not the least

Free the Genie testimonials
Idea Champions
Contact: office@ideachampions.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:57 AM | Comments (0)

April 29, 2021
VAL VADEBONCOEUR: Your Free the Genie Facilitator

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Val Vadeboncoeur, Idea Champions' Director of Training, is a highly accomplished brainstorm facilitator, creative thinking catalyst, innovation workshop leader, and co-author of Conducting Genius.

Since 1987, Val has been helping organizations in just about every industry on planet Earth get out of the box and generate bold new ideas to grow their business. Additionally, he's helped a wide range of forward-thinking companies establish innovation practices and protocols in order to tap the collective brainpower of their employees.

Now, in response to the disruptions caused by Covid-19, Val is focusing his innovation-sparking efforts on individuals, freelancers, entrepreneurs, and people-in-transition.

Response to this new service has been overwhelmingly positive.

If YOU have a project, opportunity, or venture that could use a major infusion of creativity, clarity, and collaboration, Val is available to facilitate a Free the Genie session for you -- either one-on-one or with a small group of your peers.

Utilizing Idea Champions' highly acclaimed Free the Genie tool and building on more than 30 years of brainstorm facilitation experience, Val will provide you with the kind of committed support you need to make a quantum leap of thought and action.

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Click here to identify the project you'd like to brainstorm with Val.

Click here to schedule an appointment with Val.

-- VAL'S CLIENTS: General Electric, GE Capital, AT&T, MTV Networks, VH-1, Nickelodeon, Kraton, Inroads, Shift Communications, Navigant Consulting, Roland Berger, Blue State Digital, Purple Strategies, Just Marketing, Atlanticare, Universal Sports, Catholic Health Initiatives, Astrazeneca, FOX Espanol, ITOCHU, Merck, MBooth, Olin, Scotia Capital, Depository Trust, NBC Universal, Project Management Institute, Allied Signal, ARC, Morgan Stanley, Chubb Insurance, The Chicago Board of Trade, The Woodstock Film Festival, Radio Woodstock, and many more.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:29 PM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2020
FREE THE GENIE Testimonials

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Free the Genie is a lightly facilitated online brainstorming session that enables anyone with a need, goal, or aspiration to make a quantum leap of thought and action. Bottom line, it's a GPS for the creative process -- a highly engaging way to close the gap between dream and reality. Ideal for committed individuals and small teams.

Short and Sweet Testimonials

"Priceless. A way to dream big, edit your dream, and then do!" -- MaryJane Fahey, Founder, Glorious Broads

"Free the Genie is like a fan blowing fog out of a room so you can see clearly. Highly recommended." - Douglas Robinson, Composer/Musician

"A user-friendly way to think creatively, originate bold ideas, and turn theory into action." -- Mohammed Azim, Head of English Department, Al Siraat College

"This is precious. It's a treasure. I never would have thought of these ideas if I hadn't had this help -- not in a million years. I'm going to implement these ideas right away. Everyone could benefit from this. Two thumbs up!" -- Annick Baud, Artist

"Free the Genie puts you in touch with your intuition and gut feel. Provides clarity about what you really want and need." - Prentiss Uchida, Serial Entrepreneur and Business Coach

"I emerged from my Free the Genie session refreshed and refocused on the many possible futures that lay ahead for me." - Doug Stuke, Career Changer and Aspiring Author

"The process revealed all the different colors of my project and then, responsively, yet systematically, synthesized them into a singular beam I could focus on to achieve my desired outcome." -- Chris Mac Vittie, Singer/Songwriter

"Free the Genie anchored my idea to the ground and provided me with a pragmatic pathway and plan to follow." - Sitki Esenyel, Student Support Services, Al Siraat College.

"I was so inspired at the end of my hour Free the Genie session that I committed to restarting my memoir writing project -- one that had been in the closet for years." - Gretel Rogers, Travel Agent and Writer

"Lots of fun, interactive, and surprising." - Barbara Drausel, Artist

"As a result of our Free the Genie session, we have gained great clarity and motivation in setting a vision we are passionate about." - Shanaka Jakakody and Areeba Reusch

"Free the Genie helped me see my situation in a new light. I was empowered from within." -- Ellen Goldberg, Therapist, Author, Mystic

"An enriching experience of connection and deep exchanges." -- Rosa Morelli, Acting Coach, Artist

"I so appreciate you taking the time to assist me in clarifying my issues. Your method is a wonderful tool that will help many people achieve their goals." -- Michael Sudheer, Artist/Photographer

"I am so grateful for the generous spirit, astute perceptions, clear vision, and authenticity of my Free the Genie facilitator. Thanks for sharing your gifts with me, and inspiring me to open my own." - Joyce Gerber, Health Practitioner

A DEEPER DIVE INTO THE VALUE OF FREE THE GENIE

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"The Free the Genie session I experienced was priceless. That is the word to describe it. Why priceless? Because I have invested a few thousand into the execution of a dream that I have been pursuing for five years. And we have gotten far. But not far enough. My Free the Genie facilitator surpassed the coaches of my past with a simple method -- not an overwhelming method. A way of seeing my dream and seeing the excess of having too many dream plans at once and devising possibilities that can be reached. Dream BIG. EDIT your dream. And then -- do!" -- Maryjane Fahey, Founder, Glorious Broads

"I experienced my first Free the Genie session the week after I was laid off. I entered into the process disoriented and disheartened from my job loss and emerged refreshed and refocused on the many possible futures that lay ahead. The coaching I received and the overall process helped untangle my backward-looking thinking and ignited my passion in opportunities I had not considered as realistic previously. I recommend the process to anyone -- from business professionals to artists -- who really need a reset sparked with hope to transform potential into performance." -- Doug Stuke, Career Changer and Aspiring Author

"Free the Genie is a timely and welcoming tool that provided me with a worthy guide to realize my goals. It proved to be a very real way to reboot my thinking and increase my determination to realize my vision. I have done four Free the Genie sessions, so far, and am now addicted to it. Simply put, it's is a user-friendly way to think creatively, originate bold ideas, and turn theory into action." - Mohammed Azim, Head of English Department, Al Siraat College, Melbourne Australia

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"I had two Free the Genie sessions and it gave me clarity of what I really want and need -- right now. It feels right. It feels good. I like it. The process is simple, fun, sometimes confronting, but you are always making the choices of what direction to go from here. No taking notes, no learning new terminology, no memory/retention to pass a test, later. You are getting it as you go. You are feeling it as you go. It puts you in touch with your intuition and your gut feel. The challenge is to really get what you want -- the thing that will take you over the top. Free the Genie! It has taken me out of retirement!" - Prentiss Uchida, Un-retired

"Free the Genie allowed me to grab my vague and formless idea and give it a sense of composure and structure. Prior to the session, my idea was just a cloud in the sky. Free the Genie anchored it to the ground and provided me with a pragmatic pathway and plan to follow." -- Sitki Esenyel, Student Support Services, Al Siraat College, Melbourne, Australia

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"Thank you! You have created a creative tool that helps one create. I liken the experience of my Free the Genie session to a prism working in reverse. The process revealed all the different colors of my project and then, responsively, yet systematically, synthesized them into a singular beam I could focus on to achieve my desired outcome. Free the Genie put the ball back in my creative court -- right where it needs to be." -- Chris Mac Vittie, Singer/Songwriter

"Idea Champions provided excellent support to help me create superb ideas for my writing project. I was so inspired at the end of our hour session, that I committed to restarting my memoir writing project -- one that had been in the closet for years." - Gretel Rogers, Travel Agent and Memoir Writer, Miami

"Two weeks ago, I began the Free the Genie process. In my work as a creative advertiser/marketer, I've done lots of brainstorming sessions for clients in my life, but none that had to do with my personal development and trying to pin down what I wanted to do for the next 1-5 years of my life, so this was unique. I can't imagine a more relaxed, yet focused, guide than my Free the Genie facilitator. He took me through some pre-planned drills, but was able to stick with the program even as we veered into some very interesting flights of fancy and dialogue. His good humor made all the difference. He's easy to talk to, and so you find yourself doing exactly that. I don't know if everyone will have the results I've had in a such a short period of time, but even if you get half of the benefit I'm reaping from our sessions, you will be excited. My goal unfolded right before my very eyes and I've wasted no time putting together plans and starting work to achieve it. It was a like a fan blowing fog out of a room so I could see clearly. Highly recommended." - Douglas Robinson, Composer/Musician

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"I was quite impressed by what could be done in the one hour of Free the Genie just by you listening to my ideas about what I wanted to do with my art -- without knowing me personally. Your questions were very precise and didn't let me go astray. An important aspect of Free the Genie is that it's lots of fun, interactive, and surprising. After my session, I became a lot more clear about what I wanted to do and have already begun taking the steps to accomplish my goal." -- Barbara Drausal, Artist, Argentina

"Thank you for your tremendous care and gentle guidance with our Free the Geni session. Your facilitation was the perfect balance of engaging, yet allowing personal exploration. We have already gained great clarity and motivation in setting a vision that we are passionate about, and are committed to executing on." - Shanaka Jakakody and Areeba Reusch

"What I got from Free the Genie was my own ideas, elicited from me, and turned back to me, so that they felt both authentically mine, and yet fresh. I saw my situation in a new light. Everything I received came from inside myself. My ideas, niggling at the edge of consciousness, things I knew, but now know in a way that has set me free. I went past an interior hurdle that has been troubling me for over a year. I've taken action because it has lost its power over me. Another way to say this is: I was empowered from within." -- Ellen Goldberg, Therapist, Author, Mystic

"The Free the Genie session was a generous offer of open, focused, and non-judgmental listening. He provided back insights that have widened my perception of the issue, eliciting creative ways to deal with was seemed set in stone. An enriching experience of connection and deep exchanges." -- Rosa Morelli, Acting Coach, Artist

"We all have a powerful flame of life inside us. It takes someone really tuned into their own life-force to not only ignite that spark of creativity in others, but to ignite confidence in it. It is very powerful to be awakened to that force and to tenaciously follow and express it. I am so grateful for the generous spirit, astute perceptions, clear vision, and authenticity of my Free the Genie facilitator. Thanks for sharing your gifts with me, and inspiring me to open my own." - Joyce Gerber, Health Practitioner

More about Free the Genie
The Creator of Free the Genie has consulted with these organizations

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:27 AM | Comments (1)

August 24, 2020
WHY FREE THE GENIE WORKS: Thinking Beyond the Pandemic

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1. TWO HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE: No matter how creative you are, having the right person to brainstorm with -- at the right time and in the right way -- can often be the difference between success and failure. Human beings are social animals. We need to express ourselves. We need to be heard. We need connection, feedback, encouragement, fresh perspectives, and new ideas. This is not the time to be a lone wolf. You may be quarantined right now, but you are not in this alone!

2. YOU HAVE SOMETHING WONDERFUL TO CREATE:
Yes, it's true! You are onto something. You are being called! You feel it in your bones and have known it for a while. Simply put, you have a gift to share with the world or at least your family and friends -- a service to provide. Now is the time to get it out of you head and into the marketplace! Free the Genie can help facilitate that process. "If not YOU, who? If not NOW, when?"

3. ALL OF US GET STUCK FROM TIME TO TIME: This just in! All people with great ideas eventually run into walls. It comes with the territory of creating something new. But here's the thing: those walls are often no more solid than a thought, assumption or belief. Free the Genie is designed to help you go over, under, around, or through those walls -- and, on a good day, prevent you from building those walls in the first place.

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4. EVERY ACTION HAS AN EQUAL AN OPPOSITE REACTION: Welcome to Newton's Third Law of Motion. In layman's terms, "one door closes, another opens." And so it is with the Pandemic. Maybe you are quarantined, locked down, and socially distanced. OK. So be it. But that is just your body. Your mind, imagination, and ability to create are boundless. Free the Genie can help you enter into that state of boundlessness or, at the very least, knock on it's door.

5. IDEAS MAY BE A DIME A DOZEN, BUT A SINGLE IDEA CAN BE PRICELESS: One idea. That's it. That's all it takes. One juicy, yummy, out-of-the-box, brilliant, actionable idea. And that is, precisely, one of the outcomes of a Free the Genie session.

6. IT DOESN'T TAKE A LOT OF TIME: Most stuggling entrepreneurs, artists, writers, career changers, and people in transition, assume they need to invest a lot of time to crack the code. This is not always true. How long does it take to start a fire -- not one to burn your house down, but one to warm you on a chilly night? Sometimes, all you need is a spark. And so it is with Free the Genie. This user-friendly tool has been designed to work it's magic in very little time. Less than an hour. And sometimes,less than 10 minutes. (Time, like your brother-in-law, is relative).

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7. IT'S FUN: There's enough density, darkness, and boring Zoom meetings in the world these days. We don't need any more. That's why Free the Genie sessions have been designed to be engaging, inspiring, and fun. Ever wonder why the words AHA and HAHA are almost spelled the same?

8. IT SPARKS CONFIDENCE, INSPIRATION, and FORWARD MOVEMENT: The benefits of a Free the Genie session does not end when your Zoom session ends. It is not a bowl of split pea soup you stick your finger into only to discover 30 seconds later that nothing has changed. Free the Genie is designed to honor Newton's First Law of Motion: "An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion." Movement! We're starting a movement! And that movement is YOU. (In other words, a Free the Genie session gets you off your ifs, ands, or butts).

9. THIS IS ALL ABOUT EMPOWERMENT, NOT CO-DEPENDENCE: The engine of Free the Genie is Free the Genie -- an online, creative thinking tool. Free the Genie is available to you for free. You can subscribe now if you'd like. Or now. We don't charge for it. There is no fine print. We don't sell your email address or our soul. The only way we make money is when someone engages our services to facilitate a Free the Genie session. What we're trying to do is get Free the Genie into as many hands as possible, so people have the support they need to adapt, adjust, and create something new for themselves during these difficult times.

10. FREE THE GENIE IS AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME: Victor Hugo said it best: "Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come." We agree. Free the Genie has been brewing for the past 15 years -- never quite ready to launch. The pieces of the puzzle were not yet in place. The time was not right. But now, with millions of people out of work, out of luck, and trying to navigate the unknown road ahead, the time is definitely right.

What people are saying about Free the Genie

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THE CREATOR OF FREE THE GENIE: Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions, with 33 years experience as an innovation provocateur for forward-thinking organizations. Creator of Free the Genie and Brainstorm Champions. Author of Storytelling for the Revolution. Author of Storytelling at Work. Co-Author of Conducting Genius. Creator of Wisdom Circles. Dust particle. Flake. Humorist.


NOTE: In a few months, the good people of Idea Champions will begin training people how to facilitate Free the Genie sessions -- something we will be doing on ZOOM. If you are interested, send an email to info@ideachampions.com with the words "Free the Genie Facilitator Training" in the subject line and we will get back to you with more info and next steps when the time is right.

And a big shout out to the very talented, creative, and committed Steve Wehr for the fine work he did programming and designing FreetheGenie.com

Testimonials from Idea Champions clients
50 quotes on the power of ideas

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:38 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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"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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