June 25, 2024
THE JOY OF WRITING: Breakthrough Coaching for Aspiring Writers


If you are thinking of writing a book or need support to help you complete the book you are already writing, my services may be of interest to you.

As an award-winning author (7 books), poet, editor, blogger, writing coach, and social media maven, I know what it takes for aspiring writers to navigate the often turbulent waters of the creative process.

Only 3 out of 100 people who begin to write a book ever complete it. Ouch!

Starting a book is easy. Completing it is a whole other story. All kinds of "things" tend to head their ugly rear along the way, making it challenging for even the most experienced of writers to turn their good intentions into reality:

-- Doubt
-- Perfectionism
-- Procrastination
-- Writer's block
-- Lack of discipline
-- Negative beliefs
-- Perceived lack of time
-- Fear of failure
-- Unsupportive significant others
-- Self-sabotage
-- Absence of meaningful feedback
-- Funky mindset
-- Distractability
-- Confusion about publishing options

If any of the above have their way with you, I can be of service.

I am very experienced at bringing out brilliance in others -- helping people turn theory into practice. I've done this with thousands of aspiring innovators and more than 130 organizations over the past 35 years.

Curious? Intrigued? Interested? If so, feel free to text, call or email me to schedule a free 30-minute Discovery Call to see if your needs and my services are a good fit for you.


"Mitch Ditkoff has been of great value to me in my writing projects. He easily understands what I want to say and, equally important, he wants to understand me. He prefers to coach and not correct. He allows me to go off on tangents as much as I want, but then brings it all back to simple, clear, logical expressions. I enjoy his company and do not feel pressured to produce more than I can at anyone time. I find his writing, coaching and support enjoyable and helpful." -- Dr. John Horton, author of Good to Go

"For many years I lacked the courage to view myself as a writer. Mitch helped me change this. My work with him has been about understanding what my blocks are, finding the joyful entry points to my writing, cultivating a consistent practice, and being easy on myself by releasing the shoulds that block my creativity. In Mitch I have a patient coach, someone who helps me write from my body rather than my brain --someone who helps even my strong writing become more evocative. I am grateful to be working with someone who knows his craft and who sees me." - Dierdre

"Mitch knows what will work and what won't when it comes to dealing with writer's block, procrastination, or any of the myriad ways writers-to-be self-sabotage their own success. He'll get you off your ifs, ands, and butt and into doing the actual work of writing. If you truly want to finish writing your book, hire Mitch as your coach. You will end up with your book." - Val Vadeboncoeur

"I have been writing since I was a young child. The experience of the muse lighting upon me as creativity flowed through me to pen and page was always wonderful and mysterious. I felt that I needed to catch it before it flowed on. Fortunately, one of the many things I have learned from Mitch Ditkoff is how to access this creativity. The muse and I are friends now. We call each other to hang out and the process is joyous. I wrote a story a few years ago. It is the dearest piece of work I have ever written. I am fortunate that Mitch made himself available to help me put it together. He is my creative catalyst, writing professor, editor, and production consultant. Every piece of information I need to complete this story he continues to supply. My simple story has evolved and become a deeper and more beautiful one, a song of my heart, thanks to him!" - Lana Lennon Cummings

"Mitch's coaching services were indispensable in helping me approach and organize my new book. Mitch is intelligent, discerning, compassionate and accountable. He shows up and helps his writing clients show up, too. It was both pleasurable and useful to work with him. I feel much more confident going forward." -- Ellen Goldberg, author of The Art and Science of Handreading"

"For many years friends have been encouraging me to put down in writing some of my life experiences. On top of this, I've carried around a desire to leave behind, for my children, an account of the adventurous life I lived prior to their coming into this world. All this time I admired Mitch's prolific, witty and insightful writing. Knowing there was a writer hidden deep within my depths, I couldn't think of anyone else to help coax him to the surface. With Mitch's guidance and encouragement I was able to map out a strategy and begin putting my thoughts and memories down in the form of a blog. The positive feedback I've since received has boosted my ability to articulate myself in a compelling manner." - Ron Brent

My books:
Storytelling for the Revolution
Unspoken Word
Storytelling at Work
Full Moon at Sunrise
Awake at the Wheel

My websites:

Four of my blogs:
Storytelling at Work
Unspoken Word
Heart of the Matter


Mitch Ditkoff

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:06 AM | Comments (0)
May 12, 2024
30 Awesome Quotes on Possibility

New ways of seeing2.jpg

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

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

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

Continue reading "30 Awesome Quotes on Possibility"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:11 PM | Comments (2)
April 21, 2024
On Being a Team Leader With Very Little Time

What leadership feels like2.jpg

There are three things I've learned about Team Leaders in the past 37 years of working with these organizations.

1. They want their teams to become more high performing
2. The time they have to play their role is limited
3. They have choices about which team building efforts to make

Towards that end (assuming you have three minutes), take a look at the many choices you have to increase the long-term effectiveness and well-being your team. Then pick at least ONE to focus on this week.

Continue reading "On Being a Team Leader With Very Little Time"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:19 PM | Comments (0)
April 19, 2024
TEAM LEADERS: Communicate Your Responsibilities to Your Team!


If you are a Team Leader, one of the first things you will need to do is let your team know the full scope of your roles and responsibilities.

You may think they know, but it's very likely that they don't -- at least not at the level of specificity that a high performing team requires.

And if team members don't understand what you actually DO -- and WHY you do it -- chances are good that they will resist, rebel, or reject your efforts to play your role.

Continue reading "TEAM LEADERS: Communicate Your Responsibilities to Your Team!"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:39 AM | Comments (0)
April 15, 2024
What Problem Does "Free the Genie for Teams" Actually Solve?

Unlock creativity31.jpg

Some team leaders, when they first hear about Free the Genie, assume it is a "nice to have" service -- intriguing and unique -- but not necessarily essential. Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, Free the Genie is an antidote for a wide range of challenges most forward-thinking teams regularly encounter.

1. Difficulty getting to the root causes of problems in order to frame the kind of powerful questions that lead to game-changing ideas, initiatives, and measurable results.

2. Lack of team alignment re: identifying core issues that require the application of collective brainpower.

3. No process in place to unlock and unleash the creativity of team members.

4. Inability to facilitate productive brainstorming sessions that lead to actionable ideas and quantifiable results.

Creative when no options.jpg

5. Group Think: Conforming to peer pressure and the opinions of the majority.

6. Over-reliance on the Team Leader: ceding individual responsibility by assuming that the highest-ranking member of the team is going to work miracles.

7. Inability to capture, organize, and evaluate the output of team brainstorming sessions.

Create environment for thinking.jpg

Introducing Free the Genie
Metaphors Be With You
How Teams Can Successfully Brainstorm Online
Frequently asked questions about Free the Genie
A sampling of testimonials from our corporate clients

Illustrations: gapingvoid.com

CONTACT: genie@ideachampions.com

New ways of seeing.jpg

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:22 AM | Comments (0)
April 13, 2024
FREE THE GENIE for TEAMS FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions


1. How many online sessions are included in a Free the Genie engagement? Two.

2. How long is each session? 75-90 minutes.

3. How many members of our team can participate? Four.

4. Our team is bigger than four people. Can we still use Free the Genie? Yes, but only four people can participate at one time. Why only four? Because we want to increase the odds of people actively participating in the creative thinking process. When more than four people participate, there is a tendency for some people just to observe.

5. Do the participants have to be an intact team, or part of an intact team, or can any four people in our organization participate? Participants do not need to be an intact team. They can be an ad hoc group from your organization who have been invited to explore a new challenge, goal, or opportunity. The basic criteria for inclusion in a Free the Genie session is people's commitment to the topic being explored and their availability to follow up.

Stay curious1.jpg

6. What type of work teams are ideal for Free the Genie? Any work team that has a compelling goal, challenge or opportunity and the commitment to explore it in creative ways.

7. If one of our team members cannot participate in the second session, can he/she/they be replaced by another team member?
Yes, as long as the replacement team member has read the Insight & Ideation Report from session #1 and has a clear understanding of what has preceded session #2.

8. Is there a price difference for having two, three, or four participants? No.

9. How much time is there between the first FTG session and the second? Is this flexible? Yes, this is flexible. We recommend a 2-4 week interval between Free the Genie sessions. This provides enough time for your team to process the output from their first session. It also increases focus, motivation, and positive momentum.

10. Do our members have to be in the same room, or can they be in different locations? Participants do not need to be in the same room. They can be anywhere.

Juice worth the squeeze.jpg

11. Can our members participate via their mobile phones?
No. Free the Genie requires a laptop or desktop computer. It is not designed for mobile at this time.

12. What pre-session work will be required by the team members? Each team member will be required to respond to our "Frame Your Real Question?" self-inquiry page prior to the first session. If your Team Leader finds value in our "Culture of Innovation" survey, each team member will also be required to respond to this survey. Total time for pre-work: 15-30 minutes.

13. What kinds of "How can we?" questions suit this process the best? Suitable questions meet the following criteria:

-- Inspires participants
-- Describes a compelling team goal, challenge or opportunity
-- Relates to a project that participants have some control over
-- Represents only one topic, not several
-- Includes a "by when" date

Highly technical challenges that require deep analysis, research and debate are not suitable.

14. Our business is highly technical. Will your app and facilitator be able to handle highly technical problems?
We have worked with many companies engaged in highly technical pursuits. That being said, highly technical problems are not suitable for a Free the Genie session.

Impact starts from within.jpg

15. What else is required of our organization before a session?
-- Clarity about the Free the Genie process
-- Sign our Letter of Engagement
-- 50% deposit
-- Select and invite the appropriate people to participate
-- Identify of a Point Person to liaison with Idea Champions
-- Each member of your team responds to our pre-work

16. What will be required from our members or organization between sessions? Read the Insight & Ideation Report (summary of output from session #1).

17. Is there any kind of follow-up? Yes. Follow up includes:
-- Review two Insight & Ideation Reports
-- Two Reality Check Debrief calls (for the Team Leader)
-- Coaching and consultation with your team's Point Person
-- Project champions do their due diligence

18. How many total work hours will we be spending on Free the Genie as an organization if four of our people participate?

The total works hours required for each FTG participant is 3.5 hours (two 90-minute FTG brainstorming sessions and 30 minutes of pre-work). There is additional time requirements for the Team Leader, Point Person, and Project Champion.

Innovation happens bottom up.jpg

19. What can we expect from Free the Genie as an outcome?
-- A variety of compelling insights and ideas for further development
-- Commitment to at least one game-changing idea
-- A comprehensive summary of the output from each FTG session
-- Increased team alignment, commitment, and morale
-- Improvement of your team's culture of innovation
-- An increase in your team's ability to brainstorm successfully
-- Meaningful follow up to the ideas generated in both sessions
-- Clarification of roles and responsibilities re: idea development
-- Team commitment to meaningful follow-up
-- Increased motivation and ability to think out of the box

20. Is there a volume discount on Free the Genie sessions? Maybe. Let's talk.

21. Can we speak to other clients of yours who have done this process? Yes

Introducing Free the Genie
How teams can successfully brainstorm online
Metaphors be with you
What people are saying about Free the Genie
Testimonials from our corporate clients

Fabulous illustrations above: gapingvoid.com

CONTACT: genie@ideachampions.com


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:06 AM | Comments (0)
April 11, 2024
A Sampling of Testimonials from Idea Champions Clients

Since 1987, Idea Champions has been designing and facilitating a wide range of brainstorming sessions, creative thinking trainings, and innovation workshops for more than 130 organizations in 11 different countries. During that time, we have worked with just about every industry on planet earth and every kind of mindset. What follows is a sampling of testimonials from our satisfied clients.

Thank you for you.jpg

"Through your brainstorm facilitation, we gained more than 100 original ideas of high quality. The best of these will guide AT&T's development for years to come." - Robert Rubin, CCS Product Development, AT&T

"As a result of Idea Champions' efforts we have implemented more than 250 value-added Big Idea projects." - Joe Belinsky, Professional Development Manager, Goodyear Rubber and Tire

"Several of the ideas we came up with in the Idea Champions session are being developed into concrete projects that are looking like very profitable opportunities." - Rudy Villa, VP, GE/RCA Licensing

"Extremely engaging and enlightening brainstorming sessions." - Karen Lazan, Marketing Director, Pfizer

Creativity unlock it.jpg

"The brainstorming session you facilitated helped us generate lots of great ideas to activate our positioning around the world." - Charlotte Oades, Director, Brand Marketing, The Coca Cola Company

"Idea Champions' virtual Ideation Jump Start session has been a cost effective and efficient tool that gets our teams right into the thick of idea generation and collaboration." - Jon Bidwell, Director of Innovation, Chubb Insurance

"Superb! Everyone was impressed with your ability to spark and harness the collective ingenuity of our group." - Craig Harden, Global Risk Manager, Scotia Capital

"I want to note how impressed we all were with Idea Champions' insight and understanding of our business and creative needs, as well as the varied and constructive techniques you used to take us through the creative process." - Gabrielle Del Sesto, VP, MTV Networks

CREATE something from nothing1.jpg

"Several ideas generated in the Chubb Business School sessions facilitated by Idea Champions have been pitched to our Venture Fund Team and received funding for development and implementation. Definitely solid ROI!" - Mary Ann Heenehan, Corporate Groups Development Manager, Chubb Insurance

"Idea Champions helped us generate powerful new ideas and engage with such energy that six months later their impact still hasn't worn off." - Candida G. Brush, Chair: Entrepreneurship Division, Babson College

"The Idea Champions team brings a creative, energetic and fun approach to idea generation. The tools and techniques they have brought to Atlanticare are enabling us to build a true culture of innovation." - Terri Schieder, VP, Clinical Development and Integration, Atlanticare

"Your techniques and style left our people with a better understanding and working knowledge of the most valuable tool we all possess - the creative mind." - Tom Gowan, VP Communications, Emmis Broadcasting

Keep our mind open1.jpg

"Idea Champions is the firm I recommend for anything to do with innovation." - Melody Mahoney, Center for Leadership and Organizational Excellence, GE Capital

"Idea Champions helped us harness our naturally innovative spirit and significantly improve the way we execute our ideation process." - Jody Johnson, Chief People Officer, MBooth & Associates

"We were looking for a miracle and then we found Idea Champions." - Paulette Esposito, Manager, Training and Development, Champion International

"I continue to find that the takeaways from a single day with Idea Champions have proved to be much more valuable to me than some of the more extensive consulting inputs I have received from large brand name consultants my company interacts with." - Harry Kiskaddon, Vice President, Alcoa

Differnent thinkers2.png

"Idea Champions is creative in their approach, experienced, willing to share their expertise readily, easy to work with, and delivers exactly what they promise." - Peter Clist, Head of Management Institute, Allianz

"Idea Champions offers pragmatic tools and insights that enable innovation. Their approach is engaging, encouraging and creates an impetus for participants to apply the learning immediately." - Michael Serino, Senior Director, Merck

"Idea Champions' process and practical tools helps people experience innovation in the moment, and more importantly, enables them to apply the learning back home with their own teams." - Mike Canning, Managing Director, Duke Corporate Education

"Idea Champions helped us unlock an even greater level of thinking for our clients across the board. Now it is more innovative, more strategic and reached more efficiently." - Andrew Rossi, Creative Director, MBooth & Associates

inclusion + ideas1.jpg

"The Idea Champions process not only worked, it exceeded our every expectation. Our CEO has already received over 100 emails from employees thanking her for the process." - Melinda McLaughlin, Senior Vice President, A&E Television Networks

"Idea Champions brings an infectious enthusiasm that will win over even the most cynical person in your organization!" - Kevin Reilly, President, NBC Universal

"As a result of your efforts, I now have the most highly motivated, self-driven, creative and fun team this division has seen in recent history." - Karen Buczek, Marketing Manager, General Mills

Idea Champions has the unique quality to combine zany out-of-box thinking with a pragmatic approach that appealed to every participant. Even those who relish the status quo couldn't help but relax, laugh, and lean into their untapped creativity." - Maureen Toshner, Director, Organizational Development & Learning, Charter Manufacturing


"Talk about out of the box thinking, it was out of this world!" - Eric Birnbaum, Sr. Packaging Engineer, Kraft Foods

"Idea Champions' ability to teach my colleagues and me how to facilitate brainstorming sessions changed the future of our business. We went from being viewed by our clients as their agency to being respected as essential teammates that help them arrive at big ideas." - Mandy Kalajian, Vice President, Mirrorball

"Spending a day with Idea Champions completely changed the way I think about brainstorming. They provided the insights and tools to conduct far more productive meetings, and reframed what it really means to "think creatively." - Mike Petite, Art Director, MWW

"The Idea Champions session was custom-built to fit the specific needs of our company. The outputs were realistic, tangible solutions that can be implemented immediately." - Jennie Liang, Senior Brand Planner, MWW

Creativity forces us2.jpg

"The Idea Champions training gave us the tools to better unleash the full potential of our employees and clients. And we had fun while doing it!" - Natalie Giordano, Director, Purple Strategies

"My coworkers and I spent eight hours with Idea Champions. The learnings from that session instantly changed the way we run our ideation sessions -- both internally and externally with our clients. The techniques and processes we learned were beyond enlightening and have already garnered exponential returns." - Steve Papageorge, Creative Director, Mirrorball

"Idea Champions brainstorm facilitation training was, by far, the most fun, useful, productive, and engaging training I've ever attended." - M.K. Blue State Digital, Account Executive

"After the Idea Champions brainstorm facilitation training I felt energized, empowered, ready to lead a brainstorm session, and infuse my work with more creativity. Idea Champions are magicians and they passed some of that magic on to us." - T.W. Blue State Digital, Marketing Manager

Make a big difference.1jpg.jpg

CONTACT: genie@ideachampions.com

Introducing Free the Genie
Metaphors Be With You
How teams can brainstorm online
What's included in a Free the Genie for Teams engagement

Fabulous illustrations: gapingvoid

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:39 AM | Comments (0)
April 09, 2024
What's Included in a Free the Genie for Teams Engagement


Free the Genie for Teams is a simple, online, collaborative process that enables teams to unleash their collective genius and generate breakthrough ideas in service to a compelling goal, challenge or opportunity.

The service we provide is the distillation of what we've learned, since 1987, designing and facilitating more 1,500 creative thinking sessions for 130 organizations in 11 countries.

Bottom line, we know how to open the floodgates of creativity. It is not a magic pill, but it does work magic and it does so in a very intentional and organized way.

What follows is a menu of the services and products included in a Free the Genie engagement.

Continue reading "What's Included in a Free the Genie for Teams Engagement"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:36 AM | Comments (0)
25 Reasons Why Brainstorming Sessions Fail in Your Company


Whenever I ask my clients to tell me about the quality of their company's brainstorming sessions, they usually roll their eyes and grumble, noting several of the phenomena below.

Recognize any of them in your organization?

1. Lame facilitation
2. Wrong problem statement
3. Unmotivated participants
4. Hidden (or competing) agendas
5. Insufficient diversity of participants

6. Addiction to the status quo
7. Lack of clear ground rules
8. Insufficient trust in the facilitator
9. No transition from "business as usual"
10. Lack of robust participation

Continue reading "25 Reasons Why Brainstorming Sessions Fail in Your Company"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:45 AM | Comments (5)
March 28, 2024
FREE THE GENIE Testimonials

Butterly thinker6.jpg

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

A Sampling of Testimonials

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

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

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

"An exceptional experience. The atmosphere cultivated was one of collaboration, encouragement, and creativity. By the end of the session, not only had we generated innovative ideas, but we also had a clear roadmap for implementation. Mitch's expertise in unlocking creativity and fostering collaboration played a pivotal role in the success of our session." -- Paul Kwiecinski, Managing Partner, Face the Music

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

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

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

"I am a very stubborn person. In the past, I have taken many art classes and knew that when I no longer worked full-time, I would try to devote some time to my art. I tried working with other people to get motivated and inspired, but nothing much really happened. When I heard about the creators of Free the Genie and the way they help people get their projects off the ground, I reached out to them. The experience has helped me tap into my own source of inspiration and motivation and to work once again at my art with a renewed sense of yearning to create something unique that will bring me much joy and satisfaction. Simply put, Free the Genie helped me on a very deep level. Highly recommended."-- Tina Lipson, Mixed Media Artist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading "FREE THE GENIE Testimonials"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:27 AM | Comments (1)
March 22, 2024
The World's Best Collection of Awesome, Memorable Quotes


If you're on the prowl for inspiring quotes you can use for work, your book, speech, website, love letter, kidnap letter, slide show, blog post, business proposal, graffiti, or time capsule, look no further. PS: We are all in this together!

Continue reading "The World's Best Collection of Awesome, Memorable Quotes"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:07 PM | Comments (4)
March 15, 2024
Your Free the Genie Facilitator

Mitch Ditkoff 35.jpg

Mitch Ditkoff is the creator of Free the Genie and the Co-Founder of three consulting companies dedicated to unlocking and unleashing brilliance in the world -- Idea Champions, SageCatalysts and FaceTheMusic.

Since 1987, he has worked with more than 130 organizations in 11 different countries to help thousands of aspiring innovators discover how to tap into their innate creativity and transform bold possibilities into bottom line results.

In addition to his corporate consulting work, Mitch is also an accomplished storyteller, keynote speaker, poet, and author of seven books.

Continue reading "Your Free the Genie Facilitator"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:28 PM | Comments (0)
March 09, 2024
A Unique Offer for Members of "Being a Creator on Planet Earth" and graduates of "The Year of Living Creatively"


If you are a member of Mitch Ditkoff's Being a Creator on Planet Earth Facebook group or a graduate of The Year of Living Creativity and can use a jiggle, jolt or jump start to get your most compelling idea or project off the ground, keep reading.

Mitch and his Idea Champions partners have developed a unique online brainstorming service (Free the Genie) that enables aspiring innovators to not only get out of the lamp, but make significant progress on a passionate project of theirs.

Time required? 60 - 90 minutes.

Our usual fee for a Free the Genie session is $250, but we have decided to offer it to members of "Being a Creator on Planet Earth" and graduates of "The Year of Living Creatively" for jus t$99 -- an offer that is good until March 25.

Why? Because we want to and because we can.

And because time is passing and we want to do everything in our power to help entrepreneurs, artists, writers, musicians, visionaries, mavericks, teachers, peace activists and other "cultural creatives" radically increase their odds of working their magic in the world.

The facilitator of these discounted sessions will be Val Vadeboncoeur, Co-Author of Conducting Genius and a Senior Consultant at Idea Champions since 1990. Our clients.

Intrigued? Simply shoot us an email with "FREE THE GENIE 99" in the subject line and we'll get back to you with next steps.

CONTACT: genie@ideachampions.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:46 AM | Comments (0)
March 08, 2024
How Creative Improv Can Improve a Brainstorm Session

Differnent thinkers.png

It can be said that a brainstorm facilitator plays many roles during the course of a session. Conductor, diamond cutter, and traffic cop are three of them.

But the most obvious role is that of actor, and not just any kind of actor, because there really isn't a set script... but an improv actor making theater magic out of a specific "situation" or "set-up."

Continue reading "How Creative Improv Can Improve a Brainstorm Session "

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:08 AM | Comments (0)
February 29, 2024
Reimagining Discipline


Soon after launching my new online course on the creative process, I began talking with the people who enrolled. I was curious to discover what kind of obstacles they were facing -- the "stuff" that got in the way of manifesting their own creativity.

No matter how different the people I spoke to, how unique their background, experience, accomplishments,gender, world view, or astrological signs,they all said the same thing -- what I later came to refer to as the "D" word.


That's what they all believed was missing from their lives. The lack of discipline was their Achilles heel, they confessed to me -- their problem, their weak spot, their #1 concern.

For the first few weeks of listening to their lament, I agreed. After all, discipline was important, right? I mean, who could write a book or start a business, or launch a product without discipline? Plus, I was disciplined, and if I, the creator of the course, was disciplined, then discipline must be important, eh?

Well, sort of. In the end, it all depends on WHERE this so-called "discipline" is coming from.

Continue reading "Reimagining Discipline"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:54 AM | Comments (0)
February 27, 2024

genie62.gifKnowing how precious your time is, Idea Champions has designed a simple way to ensure that you get the best possible results from your online Free the Genie brainstorming session.

Having designed and facilitated more than 600 creative thinking sessions for 100+ organizations in 11 countries since 1987, we know what it takes to unlock and unleash collective brilliance.

What makes Free the Genie unique is how quickly it opens the creative floodgates -- sparking insights, ahas, and breakthrough ideas.

Here's the process -- what happens before, during and after a Free the Genie session:

1. Free Discovery Call: This is your chance to "kick the tires," ask your questions, and determine if Free the Genie is a good fit for your needs. If you decide to go for it, we will send you a Letter of Engagement for your signature.

2. Frame Your Most Powerful Question: As Jonas Salk once said, "What people think of as the moment of discovery is really the discovery of the question." Towards that end, we will send you a simple "fill in the blanks" exercise so you can clearly define the challenge, opportunity or project you want to explore. Time required? 15-20 minutes.


3. Identify Your Braintrust: Your Free the Genie session can be a one-on-one session with you and your Free the Genie facilitator OR it can include as many as three other people -- teammates, colleagues, friends, family, or clients of yours.

4. Invite Participants: At least one week before your FTG session, your Braintrust will be invited -- so they understand the purpose of the session, why you've invited them, and what (if anything) they need to do to prepare.

5. Experience Your Free the Genie Session: Show time! Simply put, FTG is a highly engaging 60-90 minute creative thinking jam session that sparks brilliance, insights, bold ideas, and positive momentum. (Gluten free, but potentially addictive).

6. Follow Up: Within 24 hours after your FTG session, you will receive the following from Idea Champions:

-- Zoom recording of your Free the Genie session
-- Written summary of the ideas and insights generated
-- Free the Genie card prompts (jpgs)
-- Action Plan template

7. Reality Check Debrief Call: One week after your session (assuming your interest), you will reconvene with your Free the Genie facilitator for 30-45 minutes to assess your forward progress, review your most compelling ideas, clarify your "go-forward" strategy, identify obstacles, and explore engaging ways for you to proceed with clarity, confidence, and renewed commitment.

The Value of Free the Genie
What people are saying about Free the Genie
Idea Champions clients

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:29 AM | Comments (0)
February 26, 2024
How to Spark Brilliance, Breakthrough and Bold New Possibilities the Easy Way


If you are an entrepreneur, business leader, change agent, writer, artist, musician, team leader, or project manager in need of a breakthrough, Idea Champions' online Free the Genie brainstorming service may be just what you're looking for.

Bottom line, it's an elegant, engaging, time-efficient way to think creatively and radically increase your odds of getting breakthrough results. What follows are seven reasons why the time might be right for you to give it a go.

1. TWO HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE: No matter how creative you are, having the right people to brainstorm with, at the right time and in the right way, can often be the difference between success and failure.

Human beings are social animals. We need to express ourselves. We need to be heard. We need connection, feedback, encouragement, fresh perspectives, and new ideas. This is not the time to be a lone wolf.

2. YOU HAVE SOMETHING WONDERFUL TO CREATE: Yes, it's true! You are onto something. You are being called! You feel it in your bones and have known it for a while. Simply put, you have a gift to share with the world or at least your family and friends -- a service to provide.

Now is the time to get it out of you head and into the marketplace! Free the Genie can help facilitate that process.

3. ALL OF US GET STUCK FROM TIME TO TIME: This just in! All people with compelling projects and great ideas eventually run into walls. It comes with the territory of creating something new.

But here's the thing: those walls are often no more solid than a thought, assumption or belief. Free the Genie is designed to help you go over, under, around, or through those walls -- and, on a good day, prevent you from building those walls in the first place.

Continue reading "How to Spark Brilliance, Breakthrough and Bold New Possibilities the Easy Way"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:38 AM | Comments (0)
January 23, 2024
Your Free the Genie Creative Process Coach


Stevie Ray McHugh, Co-Founder of Idea Champions, is a seasoned expert in strategic planning, balanced scorecards, team building, lean manufacturing, and innovation.

By simultaneously focusing on leadership coaching,large-scale collaborative planning, building effective teams, process improvement, and tracking results, he helps companies align and enroll the entire organization in strategic change.

For over 30 years, Stevie Ray has worked with companies of all sizes -- coaching executives, intrapreneurs, small business owners, entrepreneurs, non-profit directors, and change agents to grow to their full leadership potential.

His BizLife Coaching process is designed to help people grow both personally and professionally, leading to increased retention, improved teamwork, better work-life balance, and increased profits.

Through perceptive questioning, deep listening, insightful conversation, and creative brainstorming, he inspires clients to replace fear with the courage to create the most powerful future they dare imagine.

His corporate clients include high-tech, banking, insurance, manufacturing, healthcare, and telecommunications companies, such as AT&T, Met Life, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, Life Care Centers of America, MTV, Olin Chlor-Alkali Corporation, Zurich US Insurance, BJC Hospital Group, Blue-Cross Blue Shield, and many others.

In addition to his corporate work, Stevie Ray also dedicates time to pro bono projects with various non-profit organizations, including humane societies, health organizations, and environmental associations across the United States.

Steven lives in Colorado and loves hiking, river rafting, and playing with his dogs.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:14 AM | Comments (0)
January 20, 2024
Your Free the Genie Facilitator


Val Vadeboncoeur is a Senior Consultant with Idea Champions, an innovation consulting and training company that has provided innovation and team building services to more than 100 organizations in 11 different countries for the past 34 years.

Since 1990, Val has been designing, co-designing and facilitating a wide variety of creative thinking trainings, workshops and brainstorming sessions for the following Idea Champions' clients: MTV, Nickelodeon, VH-1, General Electric, Lucent Technologies, AT&T, FOX Sports, TV Guide, Navigant, Purple Strategies, Olin Corporation, Champion International, Met Life, Astrazeneca, Blue States Digital, Radio Woodstock and many others.

Additionally, he is the co-author of Conducting Genius, one of the few Brainstorm Facilitation Manuals available on the market today.

Continue reading "Your Free the Genie Facilitator"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:17 PM | Comments (0)
January 10, 2024
32 Inspiring Quotes on Mastery


"Mastery" is a fascinating phenomenon -- one that many people speak about, but few attain. Is it possible? Yes, it is. But what is it really? Ah... now that's the question, isn't it? The dictionary defines mastery as "possession or display of great skill or technique." OK. Good start. If you're fluent in French, for example, you have a mastery of the language. If you win every game of chess, you show a mastery of the game. Skill is necessary, of course, in order to be a Master, but it not sufficient. Something else, beyond skill, is also needed. What might that be?

"One can have no smaller or greater mastery then mastery of oneself." - Leonardo DaVinci

"It's easy to get on the path of mastery. The real challenge lies in staying on it." - George Leonard

"If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all." - Michelangelo

"Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person." - Albert Einstein

Continue reading "32 Inspiring Quotes on Mastery"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:18 AM | Comments (0)
Want more? Read our Archives:
June 2024, May 2024, April 2024, March 2024, February 2024, January 2024, December 2023, November 2023, October 2023, September 2023, August 2023, July 2023, May 2023, April 2023, March 2023, February 2023, January 2023, November 2022, October 2022, September 2022, August 2022, July 2022, June 2022, May 2022, April 2022, March 2022, February 2022, January 2022, December 2021, November 2021, October 2021, September 2021, August 2021, July 2021, June 2021, May 2021, April 2021, March 2021, February 2021, January 2021, December 2020, November 2020, October 2020, September 2020, August 2020, July 2020, June 2020, May 2020, April 2020, March 2020, February 2020, January 2020, December 2019, November 2019, October 2019, September 2019, August 2019, July 2019, June 2019, May 2019, April 2019, March 2019, February 2019, January 2019, December 2018, November 2018, October 2018, September 2018, August 2018, July 2018, June 2018, May 2018, April 2018, March 2018, February 2018, January 2018, December 2017, November 2017, October 2017, September 2017, August 2017, July 2017, June 2017, May 2017, April 2017, March 2017, February 2017, January 2017, December 2016, November 2016, October 2016, September 2016, August 2016, July 2016, June 2016, May 2016, April 2016, March 2016, February 2016, January 2016, December 2015, November 2015, October 2015, September 2015, August 2015, July 2015, June 2015, May 2015, April 2015, March 2015, February 2015, January 2015, December 2014, November 2014, October 2014, September 2014, August 2014, July 2014, June 2014, May 2014, April 2014, March 2014, February 2014, January 2014, December 2013, November 2013, October 2013, September 2013, May 2013, April 2013, March 2013, February 2013, January 2013, December 2012, November 2012, October 2012, September 2012, August 2012, July 2012, June 2012, May 2012, April 2012, March 2012, February 2012, January 2012, December 2011, November 2011, October 2011, September 2011, August 2011, July 2011, June 2011, May 2011, April 2011, March 2011, February 2011, January 2011, December 2010, November 2010, October 2010, September 2010, August 2010, July 2010, June 2010, May 2010, April 2010, March 2010, February 2010, January 2010, December 2009, November 2009, October 2009, September 2009, August 2009, July 2009, June 2009, May 2009, April 2009, March 2009, February 2009, January 2009, December 2008, November 2008, October 2008, September 2008, August 2008, July 2008, June 2008, May 2008, April 2008, January 2008, December 2007, September 2007, August 2007, July 2007,
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.

Click here for the simplest, most direct way, to learn more about Idea Champions' semi-fearless leader, Mitch Ditkoff. Info on his keynotes, workshops, conferences, and more.
Storytelling for the Revolution
Storytelling for the Revolution is Mitch Ditkoff's newly published book about the power of personal storytelling to elevate the conversation on planet Earth. Provocative. Evocative. And fun. YOU have stories to tell. This book will help you tell them.
Storytelling at Work
"The world is not made of atoms," wrote the poet, Muriel Rukeyser. "It's made of stories." Learn how to discover, honor, and unpack the stories of yours that show up "on the job" in Mitch Ditkoff's award-winning 2015 book, Storytelling at Work.
Top 5 Speaker
Mitch Ditkoff, the Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions, has recently been voted a top 5 speaker in the field of innovation and creativity by Speakers Platform, a leading speaker's bureau.
Authorized Reseller Logo – GoLeanSixSigma.com
Workshops & Trainings
Highly engaging learning experiences that increase each participant's ability to become a creative force for positive change
Brainstorm Facilitation
High impact certification training that teaches committed change agents how to lead groundbreaking ideation sessions
Cultivating Innovation
Your "best and brightest" are the future leaders of your company, but unless they know how to foster a culture of innovation, their impact will be limited. A one-day workshop with us is all they need to begin this journey.
Our Blog Cabin
Our Heart of Innovation blog is a daily destination for movers and shakers everywhere — gleefully produced by our President, Mitch Ditkoff, voted "best innovation blogger in the world" two years running.
Team Innovation
Innovation is a team sport. Brilliant ideas go nowhere unless your people are aligned, collaborative, and team-oriented. That doesn't happen automatically, however. It takes intention, clarity, selflessness, and a new way of operating.
Awake at the Wheel, Book about big ideas If you're looking for a powerful way to jump start innovation and get your creative juices flowing, Awake at the Wheel is for you. Written by Mitch Ditkoff, Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions.
Face the Music Blues Band The world's first interactive business blues band. A great way to help your workforce go beyond complaint.

"In tune with corporate America." — CNN