November 24, 2014
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

"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

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November 03, 2014
Thoroughly Thoreau

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"I have learned,
that if one
advances
confidently
in the direction
of his dreams,
and endeavors to
live the life
he has imagined,
he will meet
with a success
unexpected
in common hours."

-- Henry David Thoreau

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November 01, 2014
Einstein Wasn't Into Six Sigma

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"Not
everything
that
can
be
counted
counts;
not
everything
that
counts
can
be
counted."

- Albert Einstein

Brainstorm facilitation training
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October 14, 2014
50 Awesome Quotes on Vision

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1. "If you can dream it, you can do it." - Walt Disney

2. "Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, and magic and power in it. Begin it now." - Goethe

3. "The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it." - Michelangelo

4. "It's not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?" - Henry David Thoreau

5. "You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case." - Ken Kesey

6. "If you want to build a ship, don't herd people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

7. "Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside awakens." - Carl Jung

8. "The empires of the future are empires of the mind." - Winston Churchill

9. "Vision is the art of seeing things invisible." - Jonathan Swift

10. "Management has a lot to do with answers. Leadership is a function of questions. And the first question for a leader always is: 'Who do we intend to be?' Not 'What are we going to do?' but 'Who do we intend to be?' - Max DePree

11. "Vision without action is a daydream. Action with without vision is a nightmare." - Japanese Proverb

12. "The best way to predict the future is to create it." - Alan Kay

13."Where there is no vision the people perish." - Proverbs 29:18

14. "Vision without execution is hallucination." - Thomas Edison

15. "Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality." - Warren Bennis

16. "If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise." - Robert Fritz

17. "Create your future from your future, not your past." - Werner Erhard

18. "To the person who does not know where he wants to go there is no favorable wind." - Seneca

19. "You've got to think about big things while you're doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction." - Alvin Toffler

20. "To accomplish great things we must dream as well as act.: - Anatole France

21. "A possibility is a hint from God. One must follow it." - Soren Kierkegaard

22. "A leader's role is to raise people's aspirations for what they can become and to release their energies so they will try to get there." - David Gergen

23. "The very essence of leadership is that you have a vision. It's got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You can't blow an uncertain trumpet." - Theodore Hesburgh

24. "Determine that the thing can and shall be done and then we shall find the way." - Abraham Lincoln

25. "Dreams are extremely important. You can't do it unless you can imagine it." -George Lucas

26. "Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements." - Napoleon Hill

27. "Pain pushes until vision pulls." - Michael Beckwith

28. "Vision animates, inspires, transforms purpose into action." - Warren Bennis

29. "The master of the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which; he simply pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both." - Buddha

30. "Rowing harder doesn't help if the boat is headed in the wrong direction." - Kenichi Ohmae

31. "It's not what the vision is, it's what the vision does." - Peter Senge

32. "In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield." - Warren Buffett

33. "A leader will find it difficult to articulate a coherent vision unless it expresses his core values, his basic identity. One must first embark on the formidable journey of self-discovery in order to create a vision with authentic soul." - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

34. "The best vision is insight." - Malcolm Forbes

35. "You have to know what you want. And if it seems to take you off the track, don't hold back, because perhaps that is instinctively where you want to be. And if you hold back and try to be always where you have been before, you will go dry." - Gertrude Stein

36. "The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge." - Albert Einstein

37. "I try to learn from the past, but I plan for the future by focusing exclusively on the present. That's were the fun is." - Donald Trump

38. "Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world." - Arthur Schopenhauer

39. "People only see what they are prepared to see." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

40. "The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight, but has no vision." - Helen Keller

41. "Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion." - Jack Welsh

42. "A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more." - Rosabeth Moss Kanter

43. "If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants." - Isaac Newton

44. "The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious." - John Scully

45. "If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours." - Henry David Thoreau

46. "Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

47. "Looking up gives light, although at first it makes you dizzy." - Rumi

48. "You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." - Mark Twain

49. "In order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles." - - David Ben-Gurion

50. "The real voyage of discovery consists of not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

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September 06, 2014
The Marriage of Zany and Practical

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This just in from Charter Manufacturing -- feedback from our August 20th Innovation workshop with 27 of their high potential leaders of the future.

"Idea Champions has the unique quality of being able to combine zany out-of-box thinking with a pragmatic approach that appealed to every participant in the session. Even those who relish the status quo and the proven way of doing things couldn't help but relax, laugh and lean into their untapped creativity. Participants left the session feeling hopeful and powerful about their individual ability to create and innovate."

Maureen Toshner, Director, Organizational Development & Learning

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September 04, 2014
34 Awesome Quotes on Leadership

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1. "Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things." - Peter F. Drucker

2. "If you don't understand that you work for your mislabeled 'subordinates,' then you know nothing of leadership. You know only tyranny." - Dee Hock

3. "A leader is best when people barely know he exists. When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say 'we did it ourselves.'" - Lao Tzu

4. "The led must not be compelled; they must be able to choose their own leader." - Albert Einstein

5. "The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why." - Warren Bennis

6. "The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you." - Max DePree

7. "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." - John Quincy Adams

8. "The leader has to be practical and a realist, yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist." - Eric Hoffer

9. "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

10. "Lead and inspire people. Don't try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed but people must be lead." - Ross Perot

11. "Those who try to lead the people can only do so by following the mob." - Oscar Wilde

12. "All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership." - John Kenneth Galbraith

13. "Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.” - Harold S. Geneen

14. "Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them." - John Maxwell

15. "The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision."-Theodore Hesburgh

16. "The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority." - Kenneth Blanchard

17. "Leaders conceive and articulate goals that lift people out of their petty preoccupations and unite them in pursuit of objectives worthy of their best efforts." - John Gardner

18. "Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

19. "The ability to summon positive emotions during periods of intense
stress lies at the heart of effective leadership." - Jim Loehr

20. "Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they
will surprise you with their ingenuity." - General George Patton

21. As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others." - Bill Gates

22. "Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy." - Norman Schwarzkopf

23. I'm sad to report that in the past few years, ever since uncertainty became our insistent 21st century companion, leadership has taken a great leap backwards to the familiar territory of command and control." - Margaret Wheatley

24. "The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership." - Harvey S. Firestone

25. "One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency." - Arnold Glasow

26. "The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers." - Ralph Nader

27. "You don't lead by hitting people over the head. That's assault, not leadership." - Dwight D. Eisenhower

28. "Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out." - Stephen Covey

29. "No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organized in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings." - Peter Drucker

30. "The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it." - Theodore Roosevelt

31. "A leader is a dealer in hope." - Napoleon Bonaparte

32. "To be able to lead others, a man must be willing to go forward alone." - Harry Truman

33. "Example is not the main thing in influencing others; it is the only thing." - Albert Schweitzer

34. "People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader works in the open, and the boss in covert." - Theodore Roosevelt

Big thanks to Val Vadeboncoeur for locating most of these quotes.

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August 27, 2014
How Einstein Looked at Problems

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Other related quotes
Why you need to ask why
Ask the right question
The art and science of framing the right question

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August 23, 2014
15 Great Quotes on the Importance of Asking the Right Question

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As a facilitator of the creative process, I continue to be astounded by how few organizations have any kind of process is place to PAUSE, reflect, and make sure they are coming up with the right questions. Apparently, I'm not alone.

1. "It's not that they can't see the solution. They can't see the problem." - G.K. Chesterton

2. "There are no right answers to wrong questions." - Ursula K. Le Guin

3. "We thought that we had the answers, it was the questions we had wrong." - Bono

4. "Ask the right questions if you're going to find the right answers." - Vanessa Redgrave

5. "Asking the right questions takes as much skill as giving the right answers." - Robert Half

6. "What people think of as the moment of discovery is really the discovery of the question." - Jonas Salk

7. "What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning." - Werner Heisenberg

8. "The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions." - Antony Jay

9. "In school, we're rewarded for having the answer, not for asking a good question." - Richard Saul Wurman

10. "In all affairs, it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted." - Bertrand Russell

11. "Computers are useless. They can only give you answers." - Pablo Picasso

12. "Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers." - Voltaire

13. "We hear only those questions for which we are in a position to find answers." - Friedrich Nietszche

14. "My greatest strength as a consultant is to be ignorant and ask a few questions." - Peter Drucker

15. "He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever." - Chinese proverb

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July 31, 2014
Genius Is Simpler Than You Think, According to Mozart

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"Neither
a lofty
degree
of intelligence,
nor
imagination,
nor both together,
go to the
making of
genius.

Love, Love, Love.
That
is the
soul of
genius."

Idea Champions

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July 17, 2014
100 Awesome Quotes on What It Really Takes To Innovate

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1. "I want to put a ding in the universe." - Steve Jobs

2. "Ideas won't keep. Something must be done about them." - Alfred North Whitehead

3. "Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next." - Jonas Salk

4. "If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong." - Charles Kettering

5. "Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." - Helen Keller

6. "If you can dream it, you can do it." - Walt Disney

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7. "You can't solve a problem on the same level that it was created. You have to rise above it to the next level." - Albert Einstein

8. "Do not fear mistakes. There are none." - Miles Davis

9. "The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect, but by the play instinct arising from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the object it loves." - Carl Jung

10. "There is only one thing stronger than all the armies of the world: and that is an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo

11. "If you lose the power to laugh, you lose the power to think."
- Clarence Darrow

12. "Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen." - John Steinbeck

13. "To accomplish great things we must dream as well as act." - Anatole France

14. "It is the essence of genius to make use of the simplest ideas."
- Charles Peguy

15. "There's no good idea that cannot be improved on." - Michael Eisner

16. "We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are." - Anais Nin

17. "We don't know a millionth of one percent about anything."
- Thomas Edison

18. "The best vision is insight." - Malcolm Forbes

19. "Genius is infinite painstaking." - Michelangelo

20. "Nothing will change the fact that I cannot produce the least thing without absolute solitude." - Goethe

21. "Neither a lofty degree of intelligence, nor imagination, nor both together, go to the making of genius. Love, Love, Love. That is the soul of genius." - Mozart

22. "Swipe from the best, then adapt." - Tom Peters

23. "Give me the young man who has brains enough to make a fool of himself." - Robert Louis Stevenson

24. "You can expect no influence if you are not susceptible to influence." - Carl Jung

25. "Whether or not you can observe a thing depends upon the theory you use. It is the theory which decides what can be observed." - Albert Einstein

26. "Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it." - Goethe

27. "Sit, walk, or run, but don't wobble." - Zen proverb

28. "The greater the contrast, the greater the potential. Great energy only comes from a correspondingly great tension of opposites." - Carl Jung

29. "We don't know who discovered water, but we're certain it wasn't a fish." - John Culkin

30. "I will act as if what I do will make a difference." - William James

31. "There is no such thing as a long piece of work, except one that you dare not start." - Charles Baudelaire

32. "What is now proved was once only imagined." - William Blake

33. "Remember, a dead fish can float down a stream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream." - W.C. Fields

34. "99 percent of success is built on failure." - Charles Kettering

35. "If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail." - Abraham Maslow

36. "Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts." - Albert Einstein

37. "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

38. "The ultimate creative thinking technique is to think like God. If you're an atheist, pretend how God would do it." - Frank Lloyd Wright

39. "I start where the last man left off." - Thomas Edison

40. "Never confuse motion with action." - Ernest Hemingway

41. "The greatest invention in the world is the mind of a child." - Thomas Edison

42. "No matter how well you perform, there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Sir Laurence Olivier

43. "You must do the thing you think you cannot do." - Eleanor Roosevelt

44. "I'll play it first and tell you what it is later." - Miles Davis

45. "The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas and throw the bad ones away." - Linus Pauling

46. "Discovery is seeing what everybody else has seen, and thinking what nobody else has thought." - Albert Szent-Gyorgi

47. "A pile of rocks ceases to be a rock pile when somebody contemplates it with the idea of a cathedral in mind."- Antoine Saint-Exupery

48. "Without a deadline, baby, I wouldn't do nothing." - Duke Ellington

49. "You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take." - Wayne Gretzky

50. "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few." - Shunryu Suzuki

51. "Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity." - General George Patton

52. "The man with a new idea is a crank - until the idea succeeds." - Mark Twain

53. "A problem well stated is a problem half solved." - Charles Kettering

54. "The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst has been done in turmoil." - Thomas Edison

55. "Don't be afraid to take a big step when one is indicated. You can't cross a chasm in two small jumps." - David Lloyd George

56. "The silly question is the first intimation of some totally new development." - Alfred North Whitehead

57. "A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor." - Victor Hugo

58. "Money never starts an idea; it is the idea that starts the money." - William J. Cameron

59. "Systems die; instincts remain." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

60. "You will never find the time for anything. If you want time, you must make it." - Charles Burton

61. "Whenever anything is being accomplished, it is being done, I have learned, by a monomaniac with a mission." - Peter Drucker

62. "One of the illusions of life is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive one." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

63. "The lightning spark of thought generated in the solitary mind awakens its likeness in another mind." - Thomas Carlyle

64. "I failed my way to success." - Thomas Edison

65. "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

66. "The way to succeed is to double your failure rate." - Thomas Watson, (Founder of IBM)

67. "Innovation opportunities do not come with the tempest but with the rustling of the breeze." - Peter Drucker

68. "The enterprise that does not innovate ages and declines. And in a period of rapid change such as the present, the decline will be fast." - Peter Drucker

69. "You can only be as good as you dare to be bad." - John Barrymore

70. "No idea is so outlandish that it should not be considered."
- Winston Churchill

71. "Conclusions arrived at through reasoning have very little or no influence in altering the course of our lives." - Carlos Casteneda

72. "After years of telling corporate citizens to 'trust the system,' many companies must relearn instead to trust their people - and encourage their people to use neglected creative capacities in order to tap the most potent economic stimulus of all: idea power." - Rosabeth Moss Kanter

73. "If the creator has a purpose in equipping us with a neck, he surely would have meant for us to stick it out." - Arthur Koestler

74. "If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself." - Rollo May

75. "Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have." - Emile Chartier

76. "There's always an element of chance and you must be willing to live with that element. If you insist on certainty, you will paralyze yourself." - J.P. Getty

77. "Almost all really new ideas have a certain aspect of foolishness when they are just produced." - A.N. Whitehead

78. "Our best ideas come from clerks and stockboys." - Sam Walton

79. "The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge." - Albert Einstein

80. "Every act of creation is, first of all, an act of destruction." - Pablo Picasso

81. "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." - Groucho Marx

82. "Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein

83. "Genius, in truth, means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way." - William James

84. "Vision is the art of seeing things invisible." - Jonathan Swift

85. "The best way to predict the future is to create it." - Alan Kay

86. "If you go to your grave without painting your masterpiece, it will not get painted. No one else can paint it." - Gordon MacKenzie

87. "Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most." - Fyodor Dostoevsky

88. "There is a vitality, a life force, that is translated to you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and will be lost." - Martha Graham

89. "We have approximately 60,000 thoughts in a day. Unfortunately, 95% of them are thoughts we had the day before." - Deepak Chopra

90. "Confusion is a word we have invented for an order that is not yet understood." - Henry Miller

91. "I refuse to be intimidated by reality anymore. What is reality? Nothing but a collective hunch." - Lily Tomlin

92. "Now that we have met with paradox we have some hope of making progress." - Niels Bohr

93. "Microsoft is always two years away from failure." - Bill Gates

94. "We've reached the end of incrementalism. Only those companies that are capable of creating industry revolutions will prosper in the new economy. - Gary Hamel

95. "If I have a thousand ideas and only one turns out to be good, I am satisfied." - Alfred Noble

96. "I've been doing a lot of abstract painting lately, extremely abstract. No brush, no paint, no canvas, I just think about it." - Steven Wright

97. "You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new." - Steve Jobs

98. "I am looking for a lot of people who have an infinite capacity to not know what can't be done." - Henry Ford

99. "You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can't get them across, your ideas won't get you anywhere." - Lee Iacocca

100. "I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones." - John Cage

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July 16, 2014
15 Awesome Quotes on Collaboration

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1. "It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed." - Charles Darwin

2. "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." - Helen Keller

3. "If two men on the same job agree all the time, then one is useless. If they disagree all the time, both are useless." - Darryl F. Zanuck

4. "If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself." - Henry Ford

5. "Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

6. "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." - Isaac Newton

7. "It takes two to speak the truth -- one to speak, and another to hear." - Henry David Thoreau

8. "If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas." - George Bernard Shaw

9. "Politeness is the poison of collaboration." - Edwin Land

10. "I never did anything alone. Whatever was accomplished in this country was accomplished collectively." - Golda Meir

11. "It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed." - Napoleon Hill

12. "No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helped you." - Althea Gibson

13. "The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team." - Phil Jackson

14. "Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success." - Henry Ford

15. "The lightning spark of thought generated in the solitary mind awakens its likeness in another mind." -- Thomas Carlyle

Got others? Lay them on me!

This post is dedicated to Ramsey Margolis

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July 07, 2014
Rene Descartes Had It Backwards

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Rene Descartes, the famous French philosopher, mathematician, and writer is remembered by many as the author of the famous phrase, "I think therefore I am."

With all due respect to the probably-way-smarter-than-me Mr.Descartes, I don't buy it.

Based on my non-Aristotelian, late night sojourns into the flip side of thinking, it's become very clear to me that a more accurate statement would be "I am therefore I think."

Then again, since we all know Werner Heisenberg irrefutably proved that the experimenter affects the experiment, it is likely that the truest philosophical statement of being would probably take on the shape of the person who said it.

And so, in a highly non-caffeinated fit of blogospheric bravado, I present to you 15 alternate statements of epistemological coolitude that give Descartes' tired phrase (and mine) a run for their money.

1. "I wink, therefore I am." - Sarah Palin
2. "I blink, therefore I am." - Malcolm Gladwell
3. "I link, therefore I am." - Larry Page and Sergey Brin
4. "I sink therefore I am." - Davey Jones and his Locker
5. "I stink therefore I am." - Pepe LePew

6. "I drink, therefore I am." - WC Fields
7. "I ink, therefore I am." - Kinkos
8. "I slink, therefore I am." - Marilyn Monroe
9. "I rink, therefore I am." - Wayne Gretzky
10. "I kink, therefore I am." - Ray Davies

11. "I clink, therefore I am." - Moet Chandon
12. "I fink, therefore I am." - Vinny "The Rat" Scalucci
13. "I pink, therefore I am." - Mary Kay
14. "I tink, therefore I am." - Bob Marley
15. "I plink, therefore I am." - Ernest Kaai

Got others? Lay them on me.

A big thank you to Cary Bayer and Barney Stacher for a bunch of the aforementioned pearls of wisdom

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:39 PM | Comments (5)

July 01, 2014
Creativity and the Play Instinct

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Quotes on humor and playfulness
Idea Champions

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

June 10, 2014
20 Awesome Quotes on Beginning

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1."Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

2. "There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth -- not going all the way, and not starting." - Buddha

3. "Be willing to be a beginner every single morning." - Meister Eckhart

4. "All great ideas and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning." - Albert Camus

5. "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." - Lao Tzu

6. "Beginnings are always messy." - John Galsworthy

7. "When there is a start to be made, don't step over! Start where you are." - Edgar Cayce

8. "So many fail because they don't get started -- they don't go. They don't overcome inertia. They don't begin." - W. Clement Stone

9."Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." - Seneca

10."The beginning is the most important part of the work." - Plato

11."The beginnings of all things are small." - Cicero

12. "What's well begun is half done." - Horace

13. "Every exit is an entry somewhere else." - Tom Stoppard

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14. "The person who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones." - Chinese Proverb

15. "No good ending can be expected in the absence of the right beginning." - I Ching

16. "Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." - Martin Luther King

17. "Beginning is easy -- continuing hard." - Japanese Proverb

18. "There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning." - Louis L'Amour

19. "The greatest masterpieces were once only pigments on a palette." - Henry Hoskins

20. "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." - St. Francis of Assisi

Idea Champions
Where big ideas often begin

Thanks to Val Vadeboncoeur for locating these quotes

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:26 AM | Comments (1)

May 18, 2014
Rattle Your Cage

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Idea Champions

Big thanks to Jesse Ditkoff for the layout

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:38 PM | Comments (0)

April 23, 2014
George Bernard Shaw on Innovation

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"This is the true
joy in life,
the being used for a purpose
recognized by yourself
as a mighty one;
the being thoroughly
worn out
before you are
thrown on the scrap heap;
the being a force of Nature
instead of a
feverish selfish little clod
of ailments and grievances
complaining
that the world will not
devote itself
to making you happy."

- George Bernard Shaw

Idea Champions
Innovation through storytelling
What's the problem?

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:14 AM | Comments (0)

April 16, 2014
24 Quotes on Good Communication

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1. "The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said." - Peter Drucker

2. "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." - George Bernard Shaw

3."Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people." - William Butler Yeats

4. "We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak." - Epictetus

5. "Speak when you are angry -- and you'll make the best speech you'll ever regret." - Laurence Peters

6. "In the last analysis, what we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do." - Stephen Covey

7. "The most important things are the hardest to say, because words diminish them." - Stephen King

8. "Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language." - Walt Disney

9. "Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after." - Anne Morrow Lindbergh

10. "The two words information and communication are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through." - Sydney Harris

11. "Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing." - Rollo May

12. "Humor is the affectionate communication of insight." - Leo Rosten

13. "Science may never come up with a better office communication system than the coffee break." - Earl Wilson

14. "Communication is everyone's panacea for everything." - Tom Peters

15. "Two monologues do not make a dialogue." - Jeff Daly

16. "Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something." - Plato

17. "Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and say it hot." - D.H. Lawrence

18. "Any problem, big or small, within a family, always seems to start with bad communication. Someone isn't listening." - Emma Thompson

19. "When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen." - Ernest Hemingway

20. "You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time." - Scott Peck

21. "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug." - Mark Twain

22. "That which we are capable of feeling, we are capable of saying." - Cervantes

23. "I have an answering machine in my car. It says, 'I'm home now. But leave a message and I'll call when I'm out.'" - Steven Wright

24. "Give me the gift of a listening heart." - King Solomon

Idea Champions

Thanks to Val Vadeboncoeur for locating a bunch of these

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:01 PM | Comments (0)

April 07, 2014
Not Knowing What Can't Be Done

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Who do you need to collaborate with who lives the spirit of what Henry Ford was talking about? And when will you contact them?

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:20 PM | Comments (0)

March 15, 2014
38 Awesome Quotes on Change

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1. "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." - Charles Darwin

2. "Change before you have to." - Jack Welch

3. "People don't resist change. They resist being changed!" -- Peter Senge

4. "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." - Leo Tolstoy

5. "The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking." - Albert Einstein

6. "Nothing endures but change." - Heraclitus

7. "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." - Buckminster Fuller

8. "Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have." - Margaret Mead

9. "I put a dollar in one of those change machines. Nothing changed."- George Carlin

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10. "The key to change... is to let go of fear." - Rosanne Cash

11. "When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it. You can't make them change if they don't want to, just like when they do want to, you can't stop them." - Andy Warhol

12. "Be the change you want to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi

13. "Things do not change; we change." - Henry David Thoreau

14. "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." - St. Francis of Assisi

15. "We change whether we like it or not." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

16. "When you're finished changing, you're finished." - Benjamin Franklin

17. "All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another." - Anatole France

18. "When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves." - Victor Frankl

19. "Without accepting the fact that everything changes, we cannot find perfect composure. But unfortunately, although it is true, it is difficult for us to accept it. Because we cannot accept the truth of transience, we suffer." - Shunryu Suzuki

20. "If you want to make enemies, try to change something." - Woodrow Wilson

21. "Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof." - John Kenneth Galbraith

22. "Our only security is our ability to change." - John Lilly

23. "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude." - Maya Angelou

24. "Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

25. "The only way to make sense of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance." - Alan Watts

26. "The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress." - Charles Kettering

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27. "We live in a moment of history where change is so speeded up that we begin to see the present only when it is already disappearing." - R.D. Laing

28. "People change and forget to tell each other." - Lillian Hellman

29. "The rate of change is not going to slow down anytime soon. If anything, competition in most industries will probably speed up even more in the next few decades." - John Kotter

30. "Company cultures are like country cultures. Never try to change one. Try, instead, to work with what you've got." - Peter Drucker

31. "In times of rapid change, experience could be your worst enemy."- J. Paul Getty

32. "Change your thoughts and you change your world." - Norman Vincent Peale

33. "Know what's weird? Day by day, nothing seems to change, but pretty soon...everything's different." - Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes

34. "We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us." - Joseph Campbell

35. "It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad." - C. S. Lewis

36. "If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading." - Lao Tzu

37. "The changes we dread most may contain our salvation." - Barbara Kingsolver

38. "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got." - Anon

Big thanks to Val Vadeboncouer for locating these quotes.

Idea Champions
Keynotes on Change
One way to deal effectively with the coming changes

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:00 PM

March 09, 2014
28 Awesome Quotes on Failure

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Tried anything recently that didn't quite work out? Congratulations!

Bottom line, there is no innovation without "failure." If your perception of failure is something to avoid, you can kiss your efforts to create something wonderful goodbye. Failure comes with the territory.

If the word puts you in a foul mood, try another one -- like "experiment," for example.

1. "Do not fear mistakes. There are none." -- Miles Davis

2. "99 percent of success is built on failure." -- Charles Kettering

3. "I have not failed once. I've just found 10,000 ways that didn't work." -- Thomas Edison

4. "An inventor fails 999 times, and if he succeeds once, he's in. He treats his failures simply as practice shots." -- Charles Kettering

5. "Give me the young man who has brains enough to make a fool of himself." -- Robert Louis Stevenson

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6. "Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly."
-- Robert F. Kennedy

7. "Adversity reveals genius, prosperity conceals it." -- Horace

8. "When we can begin to take our failures non-seriously, it means we are ceasing to be afraid of them. It is of immense importance to laugh at ourselves." -- Katherine Mansfield

9. "Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently."
-- Henry Ford

10. "No matter how well you perform, there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." -- Sir Laurence Olivier

11. "If your life is free of failures, you're not taking enough risks."
-- H. Jackson Brown

12. "You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try." -- Beverly Sills

13. "I failed my way to success." -- Thomas Edison

14. "Act as if it were impossible to fail." -- Dorothea Brande

15. "Failure is success if we learn from it." -- Malcolm Forbes

16. "You can only be as good as you dare to be bad."
-- John Barrymore

17. "The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success." -- Paramahansa Yogananda

18. "Failure doesn't mean that you're a failure ... it just means you haven't succeeded yet." -- Robert Schuller

19. "Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat."
-- F. Scott Fitzgerald

20. "Failure is nature's plan to prepare you for great responsibilities."
-- Napoleon Hill

21. "You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down."-- Mary Pickford

22. "Never give in, never give in, never, never, never never -- in nothing, great or small, large or petty -- never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense." -- Winston Churchill

23. "We are not retreating -- we are advancing in another direction."
-- Douglas MacArthur

24. "I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward." -- Thomas A. Edison

25. "Fall seven times, stand up eight." -- Japanese Proverb

26. "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." -- Confucius

27. "Stumbling is not falling." -- Portuguese Proverb

28. "The way to succeed is to double your failure rate."
-- Thomas Watson, Founder, IBM

Find the silver linings in so-called "failures"
One reason why we fail
We can help you succeed
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:45 AM | Comments (3)

February 15, 2014
How Einstein Would Solve a Problem If He Only Had an Hour To Do It

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Our half-day workshop on this

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:51 PM | Comments (1)

January 27, 2014
Creators on Creating

Idea Champions
What We Do
Sampling of our articles
Our innovation keynotes

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:41 PM | Comments (0)

December 30, 2013
Albert Einstein on the Intuitive Mind

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"The intuitive
mind
is a
sacred gift
and the
rational mind
a faithful
servant.
We have created
a society
that honors
the servant
and has
forgotten
the gift."

- Albert Einstein


One way to tap into the intuitive mind
And another way

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:07 AM | Comments (0)

December 08, 2013
15 Awesome Quotes on the Real Meaning of Work

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1. "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." - Mahatma Gandhi

2. "Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you." - Mother Teresa

3. "Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love." - Martin Luther King Jr.

4. "How can I be useful, of what service can I be? There is something inside me, what can it be?" - Vincent Van Gogh

5. "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." - Anne Frank

6. "Selfless service alone gives the needed strength and courage to awaken the sleeping humanity in one's heart." - Sai Baba

7. "I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted, and behold, service was joy." - Rabindranath Tagore

8. "As far as service goes, it can take the form of a million things. To do service, you don't have to be a doctor working in the slums for free, or become a social worker. Your position in life and what you do doesn't matter as much as how you do what you do." - Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

9. "Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life's deepest joy: true fulfillment." - Anthony Robbins

10. "Imagine what a harmonious world it could be if every single person, both young and old, shared a little of what he is good at doing." - Quincy Jones

11. "If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." - Mother Teresa

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12. "I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again." - Mahatma Gandhi

13. I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do." - Edward Everett Hale

14. "Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little." - Edmund Burke

15. "Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." - John Wooden

Big thanks to Val Vadeboncoeur for finding these quotes.

The Meaning of Engagement
The Meaning of Real Brainstorming
The Meaning of Innovation Keynotes

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:28 AM | Comments (0)

November 26, 2013
50 Awesome Quotes on Possibility

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1. "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." - St. Francis of Assisi

2. "Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - Lewis Carroll

3. "The Wright brother flew right through the smoke screen of impossibility." - Charles Kettering

4. "In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd." - Miguel de Cervantes

5. "The secret of life is to have a task, something you devote your entire life to, something you bring everything to, every minute of the day for the rest of your life. And the most important thing is, it must be something you cannot possibly do." - Henry Moore

6. "It's kind of fun to do the impossible!" - Walt Disney

7. "I am where I am because I believe in all possibilities." - Whoopi Goldberg

8. "What is now proved, was once only imagined." - William Blake

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9. "Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't." - Mark Twain

10. "The limits of the possible can only be defined by going beyond them into the impossible." - Arthur C. Clarke

11. "Never tell a young person that anything cannot be done. God may have been waiting centuries for someone ignorant enough of the impossible to do that very thing." - John Andrew Holmes

12. "God created a number of possibilities in case some of his prototypes failed. That is the meaning of evolution." - Graham Greene

13. "Whether you believe you can or not, you're right." - Henry Ford

14. "Most people are not really free. They are confined by the niche in the world that they carve out for themselves. They limit themselves to fewer possibilities by the narrowness of their vision." - V.S. Naipaul

15. "I don't regret a single excess of my responsive youth. I only regret, in my chilled age, certain occasions and possibilities I didn't embrace." - Henry James

16. "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few." - Shunryu Suzuki

17. "The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious." - John Sculley

18. "One's only rival is one's own potentialities. One's only failure is failing to live up to one's own possibilities. In this sense, every man can be a king, and must therefore be treated like a king." - Abraham Maslow

19. "The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not react." - George Bernard Shaw

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20. "We all have possibilities we don't know about. We can do things we don't even dream we can do." - Dale Carnegie

21. "An optimist expects his dreams to come true; a pessimist expects his nightmares to." - Laurence J. Peter

22. "When nothing is sure, everything is possible." - Margaret Drabble

23. "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand." - Albert Einstein

24. "I am neither an optimist nor pessimist, but a possibilist." - Max Lerner

25. "If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never. And what wine is so sparkling, what so fragrant, what so intoxicating, as possibility!" - Soren Kierkegaard

26. "All things are possible until they are proved impossible. Even the impossible may only be so, as of now." - Pearl S. Buck

27. "Until you're ready to look foolish, you'll never have the possibility of being great." - Cher

28. "This has always been a motto of mine: Attempt the impossible in order to improve your work." - Bette Davis

29. "You and I are essentially infinite choice-makers. In every moment of our existence, we are in that field of all possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices." - Deepak Chopra

30. "Some people see things as they are and say 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and say 'Why not?'" - George Bernard Shaw

31. "The thing the sixties did was to show us the possibilities and the responsibility that we all had. It wasn't the answer. It just gave us a glimpse of the possibility." - John Lennon

32. "I love those who yearn for the impossible." - Goethe

33. "Every man is an impossibility until he is born." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

34. "If you can't, you must. If you must, you can." - Tony Robbins

35. "A likely impossibility is always preferable to an unconvincing possibility." - Aristotle

36. "If someone says can't, that shows you what to do." - John Cage

37. "You must do the thing you think you cannot do." - Eleanor Roosevelt

38. "Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today." - Mark Twain

39. "Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done." - Louis D. Brandeis

40. "The possible's slow fuse is lit by the imagination." - Emily Dickinson

41. "I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it." - Pablo Picasso

42. "If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves." - Thomas Edison

43. "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars." - Les Brown

44. If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." - Henry David Thoreau

45. "Everything you can imagine in real." - Picasso

46. "Everything that is done in the world is done by hope." - Martin Luther

47. "Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today." - James Dean

48. "I don't dream at night, I dream all day. I dream for a living."
- Steven Spielberg

49. "The shell must break before the bird can fly." - Alfred Tennyson

50. "If not you, who? If not now, when?" - Rabbi Hillel

Illustration: Jesse Ditkoff

The possibility of great brainstorming
The possibility of accelerating innovation
The possibility of a compelling keynote

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:11 PM | Comments (2)

November 23, 2013
50 Awesome Quotes on Risk Taking

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1. "Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it." -- Goethe

2. "Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." -- Helen Keller

3. "It's not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It's because we dare not venture that they are difficult." -- Seneca

4. "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far it is possible to go." -- T.S. Eliot

5. "What you have to do and the way you have to do it is incredibly simple. Whether you are willing to do it is another matter." -- Peter Drucker

6. "Go out on a limb. That's where the fruit is." -- Jimmy Carter

7. "I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it." -- Pablo Picasso

8. "Life is being on the wire, everything else is just waiting. -- Karl Wallenda

9. "If things seem under control, you are just not going fast enough." -- Mario Andretti

10. "Don't be afraid to take a big step. You can't cross a chasm in two small jumps." -- David Lloyd George

11. "It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live at all." -- William James

12. "Do one thing every day that scares you." -- Eleanor Roosevelt

13. "Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else's." -- Billy Wilder

14. "The dangers of life are infinite, and among them is safety." -- Goethe

15. "Do not fear mistakes. There are none." -- Miles Davis

16. "A man would do nothing, if he waited until he could do it so well that no one would find fault with what he has done." -- Cardinal Newman

17. "Test fast, fail fast, adjust fast." -- Tom Peters

18. "Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do." -- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

19. "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -- Mark Twain

20. "Leap and the net will appear." -- Zen Saying

21. "The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you. Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved." -- William Jennings Bryan

22. "Pearls don't lie on the seashore. If you want one, you must dive for it." -- Chinese proverb

23. "Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome." -- Samuel Johnson

24. "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." -- Anais Nin

25. "Are you placing enough interesting, freakish, long shot, weirdo bets?" -- Tom Peters

26. "Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash." -- General George Patton

27. "I can accept failure. Everybody fails at something. But I can't accept not trying. Fear is an illusion." -- Michael Jordan

28. "Opportunity dances with those on the dance floor." -- Anonymous

29. "Yes, risk-taking is inherently failure-prone. Otherwise, it would be called 'sure-thing-taking.'" -- Jim McMahon

30. "People who don't take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year." -- Peter Drucker

31. "Necessity is the mother of taking chances." -- Mark Twain

32. "99 percent of success is built on failure." -- Charles Kettering

33. "Progress always involves risks. You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first." -- Frederick Wilcox

34. "What great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?" -- Robert Schuller

35. "Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers." -- Mignon McLaughlin

36. "You can only be as good as you dare to be bad." -- John Barrymore

37. "Anything that is successful is a series of mistakes." -- Billie Armstrong

38. "Give me the young man who has brains enough to make a fool of himself." -- Robert Louis Stevenson

39. "If it's a good idea, go ahead and do it. It's much easier to apologize than it is to get permission." -- Rear Admiral Grace Hopper

40. "If you risk nothing, then you risk everything." -- Geena Davis

41. "Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most." -- Fyodor Dostoevsky

42. "Remember, a dead fish can float down a stream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream." -- W.C. Fields

43. "Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise." -- Anonymous

44. "To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself." -- Soren Kierkegaard

45. "You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take." -- Wayne Gretzky

46. "It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves." -- Andre Gide

47. "Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

48. "One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." -- Andre Gide

49. "Danger can never be overcome without taking risks." -- Latin Proverb

50. "I'll play it first, and tell you what it is later." -- Miles Davis

Thanks to Val Vadeboncoeur for gathering these goodies. If you have other favorites, let us know.

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:31 AM | Comments (2)

November 06, 2013
21 Awesome Quotes on Appreciation

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According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the #1 reason why people quit their jobs is because they don't feel appreciated. Ouch! Who can YOU appreciate today?

1. "There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread." - Mother Theresa

2. "If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, 'thank you,' that would suffice." - Meister Eckhart

3. "The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated." - William James

4. "Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." - William Arthur Ward

5. "I would rather be able to appreciate things I cannot have than to have things I am not able to appreciate." - Elbert Hubbard

6. "Celebrate what you want to see more of." - Tom Peters

7. "Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others." -- Cicero

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8. "Correction does much, but encouragement does more. Encouragement after censure is as the sun after a shower." - Goethe

9. "The aim of life is appreciation; there is no sense in not appreciating things; and there is no sense in having more of them if you have less appreciation of them." - G.K.Chesterton

10. "Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They're absolutely free and worth a fortune." - Sam Walton

11. "Next to excellence is the appreciation of it." - William Makepeace Thackeray

12. "Encouraged people achieve the best; dominated people achieve second best; neglected people achieve the least." - Anonymous

13. "Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart."-- Seneca

14. "Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." - Leo Buscaglia

15. "I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among men the greatest asset I possess. The way to develop the best that is in a man is by appreciation and encouragement." - Charles Schwab

16. "You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink." - G.K. Chesterton

17. "We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures." - Thornton Wilder

18. "In every person who comes near you look for what is good and strong." - John Ruskin

19. "There are two things people want more than sex and money -- recognition and praise." - Mary Kay Ash

20. "Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary." - Margaret Cousins

21. "Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful." - Buddha

Big thanks and a flying chest bump to Val Vadeboncoeur for finding these great quotes.

Idea Champions

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October 21, 2013
35 Awesome Quotes from Einstein

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Since 1986, every innovation workshop I've facilitated has included a poster of Albert Einstein.

Somehow, Einstein's smiling countenance inspires everyone in the room -- no matter what their social style, gender, or title.

The only thing I find more fascinating than this is the incredible amount of powerful quotes he left behind.

1. "The only real valuable thing is intuition."

2. "Imagination is more important than knowledge."

3. "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science."

4. "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."

5. "The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once."

6. "The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge."

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7. "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

8. "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."

9. "Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school."

10. "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it."

11. "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing."

12. "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."

13. "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."

14. "Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile."

15. "When you sit with a nice girl for two hours, it seems like two minutes. When you sit on a hot stove for two minutes, it seems like two hours. That's relativity."

16. "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts."

17. "What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world."

18. "A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be."

19. "A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?"

20. "A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?"

21. "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."

22. "Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts."

23. "Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."

24. "Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them."

25. "I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious."

26. "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

27. "I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right."

28. "The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive."

29. "Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value."

30. "We still do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us."

31. "You ask me if I keep a notebook to record my great ideas. I've only ever had one."

32. "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."

33. "It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer."

34. "Not everything that counts can be counted; and not everything that can be counted counts."

35. "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."

Idea Champions
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October 20, 2013
25 Awesome Quotes on Creativity

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"The things we fear most in organizations -- fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances -- are the primary sources of creativity." - Alfred North Whitehead

"The chief enemy of creativity is 'good sense.'" - Pablo Picasso

"Everyone who's ever taken a shower has had an idea. It's the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference." - Nolan Bushnell

"I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones." - John Cage

"As competition intensifies, the need for creative thinking increases. It is no longer enough to do the same thing better . . . no longer enough to be efficient and solve problems." - Edward de Bono

"I make more mistakes than anyone else I know, and sooner or later, I patent most of them." - Thomas Edison

"Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things." - Theodore Levitt

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"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources." - Albert Einstein

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." - Scott Adams

"Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things." - Ray Bradbury

"Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity." - Edwin Land

"There's room for everybody on the planet to be creative and conscious if you are your own person. If you're trying to be like somebody else, then there isn't." - Tori Amos

"The key question isn't 'What fosters creativity?' But it is why in God's name isn't everyone creative? Where was the human potential lost? How was it crippled? I think therefore a good question might be not why do people create, but why do people not create." - Abraham Maslow

"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong." - Joseph Chilton Pierce

"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have." - Maya Angelou

"By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The non-existent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired." - Nikos Kazantzakis

"Creativity is discontent translated into arts." - Eric Hoffer

"A truly creative person rids him or herself of all self-imposed limitations." - Gerald Jampolsky

"Things are only impossible until they're not." - Jean-Luc Picard

"Anxiety is the hand maiden of creativity." - T.S. Eliot

"Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous." - Bill Moyers

"The new meaning of soul is creativity and mysticism. These will become the foundation of the new psychological type and with him or her will come the new civilization." - Otto Rank

"The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards."
- Arthur Koestler

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."
- Henry David Thoreau

"If you have nothing at all to create, then perhaps you create yourself." - Carl Jung

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Thanks to Val Vadeboncoeur for finding these great quotes.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:32 AM | Comments (4)

September 28, 2013
Miles Davis on Mistakes

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Idea Champions
50 quotes on failure
50 quotes on risk taking

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September 19, 2013
20 Awesome Quotes on Humor, Play, and Creativity

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1. "To stimulate creativity one must develop childlike inclination for play and the childlike desire for recognition." - Albert Einstein

2. "If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play." - John Cleese

3. "If you lose the power to laugh, you lose the power to think." - Clarence Darrow

4. "The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect, but by the play instinct arising from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the object it loves." - Carl Jung

5. "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny!'" - Isaac Asimov

6. "Serious play is not an oxymoron; it is the essence of innovation." - Michael Schrage

7. "Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing." - William James

8. "Humor has bailed me out of more tight situations than I can think of. If you go with your instincts and keep your humor, creativity follows. With luck, success comes, too." - Jimmy Buffett

9. "Keep your sense of humor, my friend; if you don't have a sense of humor it just isn't funny anymore." - Wavy Gravy

10. "Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place." - Mark Twain

11. "Play so that you may be serious." - Anarchasis

12. "When truly creative people come up with a new idea they don't reject it immediately because of its flaws. They play with it, looking for strengths and sliding over weaknesses." - David Campbell

13. "I'll play it first and tell you what it is later." - Miles Davis

14. "All work and no play doesn't just make Jill and Jack dull, it kills the potential of discovery, mastery, and openness to change and flexibility and it hinders innovation and invention." - Joline Godfrey

15. "If I had no sense of humor, I would have long ago committed suicide." - Mahatma Ghandi

16. "Humor is by far the most significant activity of the human brain." - Edward de Bono

17. "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." - Peter Ustinov

18. "The number one premise of business is that it need not be boring or dull. It ought to be fun. If it's not fun, you're wasting your life." - Tom Peters

19. "It's no accident that AHA and HAHA are spelled almost the same way." - Mitch Ditkoff

20. "What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet." - Woody Allen

What we do

Our online web workshops
Laughter and AHA!

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April 14, 2013
WORK: The Chance to Find Yourself

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Idea Champions

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March 23, 2013
The Power of Pause

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Who
can
wait
quietly
while
the
mud
settles?

- Lao Tzu


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February 19, 2013
Go Beyond Analysis Paralysis

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One way to do so
Idea Champions
We talk our walk

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January 17, 2013
Walt Disney Speaks!

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Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:38 PM | Comments (0)

November 09, 2012
50 Awesome Quotes on Risk Taking

Is it time
to try
something new?
Get out of
your comfort zone?
Take a new step
or leap?
Feeling
a little queasy?
Need some
inspiration
to go beyond
the status quo?
Here's the ticket.
50 quotes on risk taking,
my latest piece
on Huffington Post.

Idea Champions

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November 02, 2012
Einstein as Nostradamus

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Thanks to Farrell Reynolds for the heads up.
Idea Champions

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October 24, 2012
100 Awesome Quotes on What It Really Takes to Innovate

100
cool quotes
on what
it really
takes
to innovate.
Noodle
on
anyone
of these
to get
your
creative
juices
flowing.
Just published
in the
Huffington Post.

My others posts there.
Idea Champions

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August 27, 2012
Walt Disney Speaks!

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What are YOU dreaming about doing?

Online catalyst for your company
Idea Champions

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June 20, 2012
An Invocation to Vacation

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Seth's site
Consultant outsources sleep!

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May 31, 2012
The Intuitive Mind is a Sacred Gift

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More
Even more
Einstein quotes

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May 06, 2012
"Anonymous" Revealed

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I have a confession to make. Actually, it's more like a revelation than a confession.

You know all those fabulous quotes and articles you've read over the years with no attribution other than "anonymous"? It was me.

It's true. I have written thousands of things I've never signed my name to. I couldn't. I mean -- the writing just came through me. Like a storm. In fact, I was in such a state of presence as these pearls of wisdom appeared, there wasn't even a "me" involved, so how could I sign my name?

So I did the only thing I could do -- and that was to sign what I wrote with the now all-too-familiar word "anonymous".

anonymity2.bmpTrue, I did sign my birth name -- Mitchell Ditkoff -- to some pieces, including most of the blog posts on Heart of Innovation and Heart of the Matter, but that was all free stuff.

The vast majority of what I've written? All "anonymous". Bottom line, I've never really gotten my due.

How could I when millions of my readers never knew that "anonymous" was my pseudonym?

Please don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining, nor do I have any regrets about my decision. It felt right at the time. But now -- with one kid about to go to college and the other not far behind -- it's starting to make sense that I claim what is rightfully mine.

After countless hours of consultations with pundits, epistemological savants, numerologists, and intellectual property lawyers, I've arrived at an approach that is not only honorable and fair, but flawless and timely with absolutely no carbon footprint. Nor were any animals harmed in the writing of this paragraph.

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I am pleased to announce that YOU, dear reader, get to play a key role going forward -- one that will take you less time than it will to read this anonymous pearl of mine -- or order a take-out pizza.

Since I am claiming no royalties whatsoever from my past writings (many of which, by the way, went on to become blockbuster movies, novels, bumper stickers, and refrigerator magnets), I think it is only fair to request that every time, from now on in, you encounter anything attributed to "anonymous" you link it to my website or any of the following cyberpalatial residences of mine.

Free the Genie cards
Free the Genie online
Awake at the Wheel
Innovation Kits
Idea Champions University
It's AHAppening!

The goal? To model what it is like to claim one's true inheritance and take the risk that this post will go viral and I will have to answer a lot of questions from slick talk show hosts more interested in their own TV ratings than my no longer anonymous success.

A small example of what I've never been paid for

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April 09, 2012
Be a Student of Life

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:02 PM | Comments (0)

April 06, 2012
Punchline of the Day

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"Everyone
has
a
plan
until
he's
punched
in
the
face."

- Mike Tyson

Idea Champions
Innovation webinars
Free the Genie

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April 03, 2012
Miles Davis on Mistakes

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Rethinking Failure
Our new webinars
Idea Champions

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March 28, 2012
The Joy of Outlandishness

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Idea Champions University

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Does Laughter Enable Thinking?

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Our webinars

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March 27, 2012
The Beauty of Bad

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Our new webinar series

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March 23, 2012
Thomas Edison on Making Mistakes

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"I make
more
mistakes
than anyone
else
I know,
and sooner
or later,
I patent
most of them."

- Thomas Edison

Rethinking Failure

Risk taking quotes Innovation keynotes

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March 18, 2012
Einstein on Stupidity

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"Everybody
is a genius.
But if you
judge a fish
by its ability
to climb a tree,
it will live
its whole life believing
that it is stupid."

- Albert Einstein

Idea Champions

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50 Awesome Quotes on the Power of Your Ideas

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1. "If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." - Albert Einstein

2. "If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself." - Rollo May

3. "An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." - Oscar Wilde

4. "Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen." - John Steinbeck

5. "The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas and throw the bad ones away." - Linus Pauling

6. "There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo

7. "Ideas won't keep. Something must be done about them." - Alfred North Whitehead

8. "A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip and worried to death by a frown on the right man's brow." - Ovid

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9. "All achievements, all earned riches, have their beginning in an idea." - Napoleon Hill

10. "You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can't get them across, your ideas won't get you anywhere." - Lee Iacocca

11. "No grand idea was ever born in a conference, but a lot of foolish ideas have died there." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

12. "Nearly every man who develops an idea works it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then he gets discouraged. That's not the place to become discouraged." - Thomas Edison

13. "It is the essence of genius to make use of the simplest ideas."
- Charles Peguy

14. "Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have." - Emile Chartier

15. "I had a monumental idea this morning, but I didn't like it." - Samuel Goldwyn

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16. "An idea, like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself." - Charles Dickens

17. "Everyone is in love with their own ideas." - Carl Jung

18. "Why is it I always get my best ideas while shaving?" - Albert Einstein

19. "One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

20. "The air is full of ideas. They are knocking you in the head all the time. You only have to know what you want, then forget it, and go about your business. Suddenly, the idea will come through. It was there all the time." - Henry Ford

21. "Everything begins with an idea." - Earl Nightengale

22. "Capital isn't that important in business. Experience isn't that important. You can get both of these things. What is important is ideas." - Harvey Firestone

23. "A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one." - Mary Kay Ash

24. "We often refuse to accept an idea merely because the tone of voice in which it has been expressed is unsympathetic to us."- Friedrich Nietzche

25. "I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent. Curiosity, obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism, have brought me to my ideas." - Albert Einstein

26. "A pile of rocks ceases to be a rock when somebody contemplates it with the idea of a cathedral in mind." - Antoine St. Exupery

27. "If you want to kill any idea in the world, get a committee working on it." - Charles Kettering

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28. "Right now it's only a notion, but I think I can get the money to make it into a concept, and later turn it into an idea." - Woody Allen

29. "Just because you're a musician doesn't mean all your ideas are about music. So every once in a while I get an idea about plumbing, I get an idea about city government, and they come the way they come." - Jerry Garcia

30. "I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else." - Pablo Picasso

31. "New ideas pass through three periods: 1) It can't be done; 2) It probably can be done, but it's not worth doing; 3) I knew it was a good idea all along!" - Arthur C. Clarke

32. "Almost all really new ideas have a certain aspect of foolishness when they are just produced." - Alfred North Whitehead

33. "Adults are always asking little kids what they want to be when they grow up because they're looking for ideas." - Paula Poundstone

34. "You do things when the opportunities come along. I've had periods in my life when I've had a bundle of ideas come along, and I've had long dry spells. If I get an idea next week, I'll do something. If not, I won't do a damn thing." - Warren Buffet

35. "If I have a thousand ideas and only one turns out to be good, I am satisfied." - Alfred Noble

36. "Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life. Think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success. That is way great spiritual giants are produced." - Swami Vivekananda

37. "Money never starts an idea; it is the idea that starts the money." - William J. Cameron

38. "No idea is so outlandish that it should not be considered."
- Winston Churchill

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39. "If you are possessed by an idea, you find it expressed everywhere, you even smell it." - Thomas Mann

40. "The ability to express an idea is well nigh as important as the idea itself." - Bernard Baruch

41. "You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea." - Medgar Evers

42. "After years of telling corporate citizens to 'trust the system', many companies must relearn instead to trust their people and encourage them to use neglected creative capacities in order to tap the most potent economic stimulus of all: idea power." - Rosabeth Moss Kanter

43. "The man with a new idea is a crank -- until the idea succeeds." - Mark Twain

44. "To turn really interesting ideas and fledgling technologies into a company that can continue to innovate for years, requires a lot of discipline." - Steve Jobs

45. "An idea is salvation by imagination." - Frank Lloyd Wright

46. "I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones." - John Cage

47. "The great accomplishments of man have resulted from the
transmission of ideas of enthusiasm." - Thomas Watson

48. "The new idea either finds a champion or it dies. No ordinary involvement with a new idea provides the energy required to cope with the indifference and resistance that change provokes." - Tom Peters

49. "Our best ideas come from clerks and stockboys." - Sam Walton

50. "Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward: they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game." - Goethe

Idea Generating Keynotes
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February 29, 2012
What Our Clients Say About Us

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Some readers
of this blog
think
all we do is write
this blog.
Not true.
Our main thing is
helping organizations innovate.
What we write about
is the fruit
of our experience.
Better to hear
what our clients say about us
than what we say.
Interested?
See the value?

Click here.

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January 30, 2012
The Art and Science of Losing Count

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
-- Albert Einstein

If you have even the slightest respect for the wild-haired father of modern physics, consider this: Your organization's fascination with metrics is often nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to quantify the unquantifiable -- a compulsive effort to validate that which you and everyone else already know to be true.

I'm not suggesting you abandon metrics (I track, daily, how may unique visitors make it to my website) -- all I'm saying is not everything needs to be measured, at least not all of the time.

The core of your company's "innovation process" is actually less about mind, and more about heart. (And if you're about to ask me how I know that, please read the Einstein quote one more time).

More from Albert

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November 20, 2011
Henry Miller on Confusion

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The value of confusion
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:37 PM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2011
John Lennon on Life

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Innovators: You may be conjuring up an unbelievably cool future product or service, but please remember that THIS MOMENT is precious. Be present with your wife, husband, children, friends, neighbors, customers, clients, and self. Smell the flowers!

Idea Champions
Innovation Kit

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October 03, 2011
Mozart on Genius

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Idea Champions

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September 30, 2011
Go After What You Want

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Here's to the Crazy Ones
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:57 PM | Comments (1)

Everyone's a Genius, But....

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If you want to create a culture of innovation in your organization, make sure you are matching people to projects that have passion for and have enough competence to succeed in.

If you're sensing that "things" aren't going all that well, it may be due to the fact that you've got fish climbing trees. Your task? Find a pond for the fish... and find some lovers of tree-climbing to pick the fruit or swing from the branches. Problem solved.

Idea Champions
Thanks to Lee Alter for the heads up.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:10 AM | Comments (0)

How Many of Your Thoughts Are Original?

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:06 AM | Comments (0)

September 29, 2011
The Creative Adult...

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Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:06 PM | Comments (1)

September 19, 2011
Intuit! Then Do It!

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What is your intuition telling you about your most fascinating project?

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:47 PM | Comments (1)

September 15, 2011
Picasso on the Act of Creation

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Yes, sometimes things have to fall apart before they can reform themselves into something new and sustainable.

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:43 AM | Comments (0)

September 12, 2011
Go Beyond Logic and Analysis

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Idea Champions
More Einstein quotes

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:10 PM | Comments (0)

The Case for Laughter

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There's a reason why AHA and HAHA are almost spelled the same...

Clarence Darrow
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:43 PM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2011
Steve Martin on Presentation Skills

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Now... if we can only get Steve Martin to facilitate our new presentation skills course.

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:48 PM | Comments (0)

September 07, 2011
The Beauty of Invisible Labor

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What is work, anyway? Too many of us devote ourselves to looking busy when, in fact, the breakthroughs often come when nothing seems to be happening.

Victor Hugo
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:25 PM | Comments (1)

September 05, 2011
99% of Success is Built on Failure

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Or as Thomas Watson, former CEO of IBM once said, "Hurry up and make your first 500 mistakes." Your move...

Charles Kettering
Idea Champions
Rethinking Failure

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:26 PM | Comments (0)

September 03, 2011
Express Your Ideas!

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BTW, Rollo May wrote one of the best books on the roots of creativity that I have ever read. Very compelling. It's a classic: The Courage to Create.

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:35 PM | Comments (0)

September 02, 2011
Building Innovation Capabilities

Most Heart of Innovation readers only know about Idea Champions from what they read on this blog. They do not necessarily know what we DO when we're not writing this blog.

If this describes you, here -- in the words of one of our newest clients (Highmark) -- is a clue.

"Idea Champions did a fantastic job conducting training for our leadership team! They have a very pragmatic approach to building innovation capabilities -- one that leaders can really connect with. The training was entertaining and hit the key points home. They are highly recommended and we plan to continue having them as a partner."

- Darcy Smith, VP, Subsidiary HR

What our other clients say

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:43 AM | Comments (0)

August 27, 2011
The Creative Impulse

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Excerpted from this slide show
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:33 AM | Comments (0)

August 26, 2011
A Leadership of the Average

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"No institution
can possibly survive
if it needs geniuses
or supermen
to manage it.
It must be organized
in such a way
as to be able to get along
under a leadership
composed of
average human beings."

- Peter Drucker

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:17 PM | Comments (0)

May 08, 2011
No Time to Innovate?

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"Time
is
a
created
thing.
To
say
'I
don't
have
time'
is
to
say
'I
don't
want
to.'"

- Lao Tzu

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:51 AM | Comments (1)

March 16, 2011
Be There Then

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"You can't just
ask customers
what they want
and then try to
give that to them.
By the time
you get it built,
they'll want
something new."

- Steve Jobs

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:35 PM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2011
Music to My Ears

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"I
can't
understand
why
people
are
frightened
of
new
ideas
.
I'm
frightened
of
the
old
ones."

- John Cage

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:34 PM | Comments (0)

January 27, 2011
36 Awesome Quotes on Time

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1. "Time is a created thing. To say 'I don't have time' is to say 'I don't want to.'" - Lao Tzu

2. "To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time." - Leonard Bernstein

3. "Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein." - H. Jackson Brown

4. "The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once." - Albert Einstein

5. "The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time."- Abraham Lincoln

6. "Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in." - Napoleon Bonaparte

7. "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma -- which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." - Steve Jobs

8. "Time isn't precious at all, because it is an illusion." - Eckhart Tolle

9. "Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time." - Jim Rohn

10. "Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends." - William Shakespeare

11. "Time is what we want most, but what we use worst." - William Penn

12. "Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in." - Henry David Thoreau

13. "Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity." - Henry Van Dyke

14. "You may delay, but time will not." - Ben Franklin

15. "If you want work well done, select a busy man -- the other kind has no time." - Elbert Hubbard

16. "What then is time? If no one asks me, I know what it is. If I wish to explain it to him who asks, I do not know." - Saint Augustine

17. "Pick my left pocket of its silver dime, but spare the right -- it holds my golden time!" - Oliver Wendell Holmes

18. "Both young children and old people have a lot of time on their hands. That's probably why they get along so well." - Jonathan Carroll

19. "My time is now." - John Turner

20. "All my possessions for a moment of time." - Queen Elizabeth

21. "What may be done at any time will be done at no time." - Scottish proverb

22. "Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save." - Will Rogers

23. "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." - Groucho Marx

24. "I've been on a calendar, but I have never been on time." - Marilyn Monroe

25. "The surest way to be late is to have plenty of time." - Leo Kennedy

26. "A committee is a group that keeps minutes and loses hours." - Milton Berle

27. "The future has already arrived. It's just not evenly distributed yet." - William Gibson

28. "The key is in not spending time, but in investing it." -
Stephen Covey

29. "It's not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?" - Henry David Thoreau

30. "Take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves." - Lord Chesterfield

31. "In truth, people can generally make time for what they choose to do; it is not really the time but the will that is lacking." - Sir John Lubbock

32. "I am definitely going to take a course on time management -- just as soon as I can work it into my schedule." - Louis Boone

33. "You will never 'find' time for anything. If you want time, you must make it." - Charles Bruxton

34. "The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot." -
- Michael Altshule

35. "Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can't afford to lose." - Thomas Edison

36. "The time for action is now. It's never too late to do something." - Carl Sandburg

Idea Champions
Time to think creatively

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Photo

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:57 AM | Comments (1)

December 18, 2010
Noodle on This Today

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I know
there is something
you really want to do
that feels a bit risky.
A new venture?
Speaking your truth?
Going back to square one?
Well, guess what?
Now's the time.
No more stalling.
No more over-analyzing.
No more jive.
Go for it!
You can do this...


Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:50 PM | Comments (0)

September 01, 2010
One Stop Shopping for Great Innovation Quotes

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Seems like our past postings on quotes have been a big hit in the blogosphere (and maybe New Jersey). So, here ya go -- links to all the cool quotes posted on The Heart of Innovation in the past year.

1. 100 Awesome Quotes on What It Really Takes to Innovate

2. 50 Awesome Quotes on Risktaking

3. 15 Awesome Quotes on Creative Collaboration

4. Rethinking Failure

5. 20 Awesome Quotes on the Relationship Between Play, Humor, and Creativity

6. The Timeless Wisdom of Einstein

7. Famous Last Words

By the way, besides posting tons of free stuff on this blog and Twitter, we also work for a living. kick asss... Creative Thinking Training... Brainstorm Facilitation Training... Leadership Development... Online brainstorming... Ideation sessions... Innovation workshops... Culture of Innovation consulting.

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:06 PM | Comments (1)

May 08, 2010
Get on the Stick!

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Source

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:37 PM | Comments (1)

April 26, 2010
Failure Is Not What You Think It Is

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What do Henry Ford, Miles Davis, Thomas Edison, Confucius, Robert Louis Stevenson, Horace, Bill Cosby, Robert Kennedy, Sir Laurence Olivier, Thomas Watson, Beverly Sills, Douglas McArthur, Winston Churchill, Malcolm Forbes, John Barrymore, Paramahansa Yogananda, and Charles Kettering have in common?

An enlightened view of what "failure" is.

If you want to innovate, you will first need to let go of your notion of what failure is all about...

"An inventor fails 999 times, and if he succeeds once, he's in. He treats his failures simply as practice shots." -- Charles Kettering

"Do not fear mistakes. There are none." -- Miles Davis

"The way to succeed is to double your failure rate."
-- Thomas Watson, Founder of IBM

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"Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently."
-- Henry Ford

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." -- Confucius

"Give me the young man who has brains enough to make a fool of himself." -- Robert Louis Stevenson

"Adversity reveals genius, prosperity conceals it." -- Horace

"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." -- Bill Cosby

"I have not failed once. I've just found 10,000 ways that didn't work." -- Thomas Edison

"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly."
-- Robert F. Kennedy

"No matter how well you perform, there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." -- Sir Laurence Olivier

"If your life is free of failures, you're not taking enough risks."
-- H. Jackson Brown

"You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try." -- Beverly Sills

"I failed my way to success." -- Thomas Edison

"99 percent of success is built on failure." -- Charles Kettering

"Act as if it were impossible to fail." -- Dorothea Brande

"Failure is success if we learn from it." -- Malcolm Forbes

"You can only be as good as you dare to be bad." -- John Barrymore

"The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success." -- Paramahansa Yogananda

"Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat."
-- F. Scott Fitzgerald

"You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down." -- Mary Pickford

"Never give in, never give in, never, never, never never -- in nothing, great or small, large or petty -- never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense." -- Winston Churchill

"We are not retreating -- we are advancing in another direction."
-- Douglas MacArthur

"I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward." -- Thomas A. Edison

"Fall seven times, stand up eight." -- Japanese Proverb

"Stumbling is not falling." -- Portuguese Proverb

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:19 AM | Comments (6)

April 19, 2010
A General Rule of Thumb

"Never
tell
people
how
to
do
things.
Tell
them
what
to
do
and
they
will
surprise
you
with
their
ingenuity."

-- General George Patton

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:39 PM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2010
Kaleidoscopic Leaders

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"Creativity is a lot like looking at the world through a kaleidoscope. You look at a set of elements, the same ones everyone else sees, but then reassemble those floating bits and pieces into an enticing new possibility. Effective leaders are able to shake up their thinking as though their brains are kaleidoscopes, permitting an array of different patterns out of the same bits of reality." - Rosabeth Moss Kanter

Thanks to Chuck Frey for the quote.

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:05 PM | Comments (0)

November 15, 2009
"The greatest invention in the world is the mind of a child." - Thomas Edison

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:32 PM | Comments (0)

August 29, 2009
Mother Teresa on Innovation (and Life)

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If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; BE KIND ANYWAY.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends, and some true enemies; BE SUCCESSFUL ANYWAY.

If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you; BE HONEST AND SINCERE ANYWAY.

What you spend years creating, others may tear down overnight; CREATE ANYWAY.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous; BE HAPPY ANYWAY.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten tomorrow; DO IT ANYWAY.

In the final analysis, it's between you and God; IT WAS NEVER ABOUT YOU AND THEM ANYWAY.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:42 AM | Comments (1)

May 01, 2009
"Not everything that counts can be counted; and not everything that can be counted, counts." (Einstein)

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Some things we can measure. Some things we can't. And just because we can measure something doesn't make it more real or significant.

Einstein knew this. There was always the "X factor" for him -- mystery, the unknown, and the impossible to quantify.

That's why he used to conduct "thought experiments" in his lab -- times when he turned away from the blackboard with all those exotic formulas and simply daydreamed -- letting the intuitive side of him take over for a change.

Hmmm... what might YOU be attempting to quantify or measure that would best be left alone?

What might you be needing to TRUST that abides outside the boundaries of the rational, logical, analytical, scientific mind?

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:41 PM | Comments (0)

April 16, 2009
Wright Brain Thinking

OK. Break time. Park your left brain and get into your right. I mean Wright, as in Steven -- a truly funny fellow I once ran into while jogging on the streets of New York City.

If the following jams your mind, good. You've been thinking too much anyway. Like I said, it's time for a break...

"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time."

"I was a peripheral visionary. I could see the future, but only way off to the side."

"For my birthday I got a humidifier and a de-humidifier. I put them in the same room and let them fight it out."

"I bought some batteries, but they weren't included."

"I intend to live forever. So far, so good."

"I like to reminisce with people I don't know."

"I invented the cordless extension cord."

"I saw a subliminal advertising executive, but only for a second."

"If a word in the dictionary were misspelled, how would we know?"

"What's another word for Thesaurus?"

"I stayed in a really old hotel last night. They sent me a wake-up letter."

"I think it's wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly."

"I was trying to daydream, but my mind kept wandering."

"I watched the Indy 500, and I was thinking that if they left earlier they wouldn't have to go so fast."

"You can't have everything. Where would you put it?"

"I went to a restaurant that serves "breakfast at any time". So I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance."

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:49 PM | Comments (0)

February 05, 2009
"Adversity reveals genius, prosperity conceals it." -- Horace

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OK, movers and shakers, business leaders, entrepreneurs, creative thinkers, and other assorted humanoids adversely affected by the crumbling global economy... it's time to embrace the fact that the difficulties you're facing actually have a SILVER LINING.

The old forms are dying. Everything you were depending on is no longer dependable. For many of you, it's back to Square One -- time again to reinvent yourself, your business, and your way of relating to the world. Is this a problem? Only if you think it is. And only if the required imperative to adapt and change puts you into some kind of catatonic state.

SNAP OUT OF IT!

You can't afford the luxury of obsessing about the past or blaming the banks or Bernie Madoff or your company or Wall Street or whatever. It's time to take the bull by the horns. (Or at least wave a red flag instead of a white one).

As the Roman poet, Horace, so eloquently said: "Adversity reveals genius, prosperity conceals it" -- the Italian version of that old saw, "Necessity is the mother of invention."

So... may all you latent geniuses of the world rise up and embrace the moment of change that is upon you.

And remember, you are not in this alone. Join forces with others! Create alliancies, collaborations, and partnerships with people who bring something to the table -- and who realize, as you do, that now is the time to make magic happen.

Photo lovingly lifted from Horace's home page on Wikipedia

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:07 PM | Comments (1)

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.

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.
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.
What's the Problem
Einstein once said that if he had 60 minutes to solve a problem, he'd spend the first 55 thinking about the problem, and the next 5 solving it. This is the workshop he would have invented if time wasn't so relative.
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.
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