Storytelling at Work
January 28, 2016
How to Use Storytelling as a Way to Inspire Employee Engagement

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Let's assume, for the moment, that you are a forward-thinking business leader charged with the responsibility of accomplishing extraordinary results. Although your strategy may not yet be completely clear to you, one thing most definitely is: You cannot do this alone. You know, in your bones, that if you want to achieve extraordinary results, you will need the full participation of a highly engaged, focused, and collaborative workforce.

The sobering reality? It's unlikely that your company's workforce has reached this lofty realm yet -- closer, in profile, probably, to the staggering 62% of American workers (according to the US Department of Labor) who are dissatisfied and disengaged.

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In other words, corporate slackers.

Yes, they have potential, but it is not potential you need. You need kinetic -- the full throttle expression of the very best of what your people have to offer. You've tried carrots. You've tried sticks. You've given pep talks until you're blue in the face, but nothing seems to work. It's time for something else. But what?

Enter Idea Champions' ALL HANDS ON DECK workshop.

Based on 27 years of research and in-the-trenches experience with hundreds of savvy organizations, Mitch Ditkoff, internationally recognized innovation provocateur and author of the groundbreaking book, Storytelling at Work, has distilled down the essence of what he's learned about employee engagement and the transfer of tacit knowledge into a highly effective, one-day learning experience.

His premise is a simple one: Participants don't need to learn anything new. They don't need to be trained, transformed, or tricked into mastering new skills. Instead, they need to tune into -- and express -- what they already know -- their collective insight, wisdom, and know how that is hiding in a place few of them ever dare to explore -- their own stories.

Bottom line, storytelling is the most universal, time-tested, cost-effective way for people to share what is truly meaningful to them, what they know in their bones but rarely get a chance to communicate -- your organization's most valuable human resource, the DNA of its future business success: CelebratingMan.jpgPurpose. Passion. Risk taking. Resilience. Adaptability. Creativity. Clarity. Collaboration. Commitment. And perseverance.

You want full engagement? You want to spark a mindset of innovation? Then find a way to unlock these qualities in your people.

The key? Storytelling, well done.


There are three reasons why an ALL HANDS ON DECK workshop works: 1) What we do before the session; 2) What we do during the session; 3) And what we do after.

At least 30 days before a workshop, we will interview you and a cross-section of participants to find out what the predominant story is in the organization -- the cultural narrative that will need to change if employee engagement and innovation is going to flourish. We also ask everyone to respond to our culture of innovation poll -- yet another way to prime the pump.

The workshop, itself, is a mix of five elements: culture building, action learning, storytelling tutorials, ideation, and opportunities for participants to share their own stories with each other.

Post-workshop, we train selected participants, online, to facilitate company-specific Wisdom Circles -- small group gatherings that build trust, increase collaboration, transfer tacit knowledge, spark innovation and continue building a culture of storytelling.

Intrigued? Call us at 845.679.1066 or email

Innovation Excellence review of Storytelling at Work
A 60 minute radio interview with Mitch Ditkoff
Harnessing the power of storytelling

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:21 PM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2016
STORYTELLING AT WORK: The Amazon Reviews Are In!

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In 2015, somewhere between 600,000 and 1,000,000 books were published. How many of them are YOU going to read? Probably less than ten. That's why I'm quoting the following people who have reviewed my book on Amazon. I want mine to be one of those ten.

"Mitch Ditkoff's book about the value of storytelling at work is truly a gem. It has made me realize that a story can be a mnemonic device for complex, creative thoughts and insights. The stories made me think of how things work, how we create our identities and values and gave me a better understanding of my place in the world. Give yourself a gift and read this book and you will see the world with new eyes." - Michael Michalko

staff_val.jpg"Here's a little gem about storytelling. First, 38 bite-sized stories from the author's own business and life experience, all told in a carefree, flawless style that belies the craft that made them. And, told with a kind of impish humor that sometimes reminds one of Kurt Vonnegut Jr. which is high praise, I know. Then, at the end, some advice and inspiration about telling your own stories. I can't imagine anyone not enjoying the ride here...or should I say "rides?" Five stars." -- Val Vadeboncoeur

"If a picture is worth 1,000 words, a good story is worth a million. Mitch Ditkoff understands how to communicate so that readers understand. In his long history in business and life, he has not only been innovative, but to the point. His stories will change the way you work. Congratulations to the author who writes for the improvement of excellence in the work place, but gives priority to improvement of excellence in the human being." -- Tim Gallwey

"I love this book! Each story inspires me. Each one is so personal. Every story is filled with wisdom, reflection, and great insight. They cause me to reflect, think, and take action of some kind. It's quite magical, actually -- a joy to read, and inspiration for living. I don't want the book to end, so Mr. Ditkoff, you need to get started on Volume 2." -- Sharon Jeffers

"This book will change your life, or at the very least the way you perceive your day-to-day experiences in your place of employment. The profound insight of the author has brought me to a new understanding of my busy work life and ways of actually enjoying what I do to earn my living." -- Debbie Leppla

"I am reading this book in a non-linear way, picking it up each day and letting the pages open to a story. It's too rich and full of insight to read straight through. This is a book that offers inner shifts through good humorous soulful storytelling, exploring the lively and fascinating landscape of work and life. It's a gem!" -- Barbara Bash

THOM.jpg "Mitch's collection of stories from his rich and varied career have everything I love: humor, wit, insight, and everyman sensibility combined. Whether he's writing about working as a night clerk in a seedy hotel and being challenged to an arm-wrestling match by a CIA agent, or interviewing homeless people on the streets of NYC, or leading creative thinking seminars for Fortune 500 companies, Mitch knows how to draw us in, then peer into the human beings he encounters, and finally arrive at some glimpse of wisdom." -- Thom Adorney

"This is an amazing book by one of my top three favorite authors. It is written with humility and humor, and is filled with heart-warming, wonderful stories. The refreshing flow and beauty of the author's words wash my mind with waves of consciousness that connect with my center, inspiring me to respect my dreams and to write and share my own stories. His generosity of spirit and loving heart encourage each of us to love the best of who we are, to risk growing and to write and share our bounty with one another." -- Ginger Haffey

"Having led rites of passage and The Council Process, I understand the importance of story. The importance of story is not only in the telling of our stories, but also in the transformative power of really being listened to. The author's premise is that we all have amazing wisdom within us, and that story telling is a direct route into meaning and purpose. This enthralling book starts out as a collection of wonderful personal stories and what meaning they can bring to the reader. It ends up more like universal truth, the big picture of how we humans on planet earth can transform and thrive. This is a book that touches the heart, the human being that knows much more by feeling than can ever be known by the mind." -- Joan Apter

"I just finished this wonderful and enlightening book! It was fun to read, full of amazing life stories, and ideas of how we might use them to improve our lives at work and play! Being open to POSSIBILITIES, the unexpected, and the benevolence of the universe is the very best way to live, and Mitch shows us this over and over again with his simple, child like wonder, and amazing experiences! I wish I had read this many years ago while running several businesses, and not really living to my true potential!" -- James Burns

SCOTT.jpg"We all have stories to tell. We tell them everyday, but seldom reflect on the experience and learn from them in a conscious way. Mitch Ditkoff shares his own stories in a way that allows the reader to slow down and capture the essence of the moment. He compels one to reflect and learn from what was so that what will be can a avoid a repeat of the past." -- Scott Cronin

"Mitch Ditkoff has once again produced a powerful platform -- story telling -- that allows the reader to become an integral part these stories. While they are stories about Ditkoff's life experiences, the stories are, in effect, universal in their powerful message to all that are fortunate enough to read them. I am greatly appreciative for this spiritual journey he shares with the reader." -- Steven Ornstein

"I liked how the book teaches the art of storytelling through the author's entertaining real life tales while making readers ask: what do my life stories mean? And the section on the art and science of storytelling provided some inspiring background and practical tips. Great read!" -- Chris Corbett

erika crop.png"Mitch Ditkoff is a marvelous storyteller. In this book, he draws you into his stories to take you backstage, if you will, where you can see the invisible wiring: how stories teach, connect and inspire, and how to find and tell your own stories. As Mitch points out, we are all storytellers. He speaks to us in our native tongue, and encourages us to reply." -- Erika Andersen

"I got my copy of Mitch Ditkoff's storytelling book a couple of weeks before the book was officially launched. Three days later, the world watched as mis-wired humans under the influence of ISIS killed 130 people in Paris. It had been a long day for me by the time I sat in bed to turn off the lights. I needed a story to digest the day and properly turn its page. By my bed, among a goodly herd of books, the Bible and Ditkoff were looking at me. I chose Ditkoff. I needed something new to match the news. And turning to the bookmark where I had left off two days earlier, I saw this arresting title: The Afghani Cab Driver. As you can sense. even from the title, this story was timed well, but you need to read the story itself to see how it was a perfect dressing for the wounds of that particular day." -- Theodore Phelps

"The meta-moral in this collection of engaging stories is that wisdom emerges unexpectedly out of real-life experience. And (I guess this is Meta-Moral #2): That wisdom can be applied effectively in the workplace. The book provides examples of how this happens in a style that makes the material fun and easily digestible. It's stimulating personally and will also be useful to anyone in business who's interested in how stories (the stories that happen to us AND the stories in our head!) feed and support creativity. Recommended!" -- Carl Frankel

"Mitch's delightful way of writing has shown to me how to start telling my own life experiences and, more importantly, reflect on what I've gained from them to become a better person. His lighthearted and thoughtful way will motivate and guide you how to do the same. Highly recommended." -- Darin Selby

"This book is wonderful. Mr. Ditkoff is a communicator whose wisdom, sense of humor, and overall humanity would not only be applicable in the boardroom, but also in any room in any home on the planet. His observations/life experiences are a unique combination of mind and heart which brings tears and laughter. Well done." -- Allen Feld

"This is a must-read book for invigorating your company's culture and creating real-life, meaningful stories which will help enhance customer-infatuation about your company (and yourself). This is one of the best down-to-earth books about what we take for granted but which creates significant differentiation about ourselves as real humans and the company-culture which makes us unique. You can learn the lessons and start your own story immediately!" -- Justin McCarthy

"A fantastic book which nails a number of topics which are being recognized as powerful tools to help cut through complexity and and reveal truly what is occurring in the workplace. Another winner from a top innovator himself." -- Ella Kaaz

"Storytelling at Work is funny, wise, relatable and most importantly, reminded me of how to be more courageous in every day life... both work life and personal. A must read." -- MaryJane Fahey

Convinced? Buy the book on Amazon

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VOICEAMERICA: Radio interview with Mitch Ditkoff

Review of the book on Innovation Excellence
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:20 AM | Comments (0)

January 12, 2016
Storytelling Shapes Culture and Humanizes the Workplace


More goes on in the modern-day workplace than meets the eye. Indeed, it's often the stuff that meets the ear that makes all the difference. Click here to listen to Mitch Ditkoff's 60-minute VoiceAmerica interview on the power of personal storytelling in the workplace.

THE BOOK: Storytelling at Work
THE KEYNOTE: Storytelling at Work
THE BLOG: Storytelling at Work

Photo by Jesse Ditkoff

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:13 AM | Comments (0)


Storytelling at Work is a blog about the power of personal storytelling – why it matters and what you can do to more effectively communicate your stories – on or off the job. Inspired by the book of the same name, the blog features "moment of truth" stories by the author, Mitch Ditkoff, plus inspired rants, quotes, and guest submissions by readers.

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Click here for the simplest, most direct way, to learn more about Idea Champions' semi-fearless leader, Mitch Ditkoff. Info on his keynotes, workshops, conferences, and more.
Storytelling for the Revolution
Storytelling for the Revolution is Mitch Ditkoff's newly published book about the power of personal storytelling to elevate the conversation on planet Earth. Provocative. Evocative. And fun. YOU have stories to tell. This book will help you tell them.
Storytelling at Work
"The world is not made of atoms," wrote the poet, Muriel Rukeyser. "It's made of stories." Learn how to discover, honor, and unpack the stories of yours that show up "on the job" in Mitch Ditkoff's award-winning 2015 book, Storytelling at Work.
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Mitch Ditkoff, the Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions, has recently been voted a top 5 speaker in the field of innovation and creativity by Speakers Platform, a leading speaker's bureau.
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