August 31, 2010
The Power of Intrinsic Motivation

Fabulous presentation by Dan Pink on the power of intrinsic motivation and the utter goofiness of "carrot and stick" methodologies to improve business performance. 18 minutes. Worth every second.


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:11 AM | Comments (1)

August 12, 2010
WOW! First Review of Free the Genie


Here is a wonderfully comprehensive review of Free the Genie (our new, online brainstorming tool), by Chuck Frey, of Innovation Tools -- one of the leading innovation portals on the web.

If you are looking for an engaging way to stir the creative juices, spark new ideas, and discover unique ways of approaching big challenges, this is your ticket.

And it only takes a few minutes...

To sign up for your free 10-day trial, click here. Or here. Or here.

Client testimonials about the producers of Free the Genie.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:59 AM | Comments (0)

August 11, 2010
35 Creative Thinking Techniques


Those of us at Idea Champions have been designing and facilitating creative thinking sessions for a wide range of organizations since 1986.

We've worked with left-brained people, right-brained people, and air-brained people -- all of whom have been interested in "getting out of the box."

In the process of providing our service, one thing has continued to astound us: No one has any time, or more precisely -- thinks they have any time. And because they don't, the need to "cut to the chase" remains paramount.

Speed rules -- and along with it the desire for "tools and techniques."

Now, we have nothing against tools and techniques. They can be very helpful. Golf pros give them out all the time. But tools and techniques are never enough -- especially in the realm of creative thinking.

Can they be useful? Yes, they can -- in the same way that jumper cables can be useful if your car won't start. But first you need a car -- and after that, someplace to go! Without a car and a destination, jumper cables are just a meaningless prop.

If you are committed to birthing a BIG IDEA, first understand that the car is you and the engine that powers the car is your passion for bringing something new into the world.


Only when that is in place, will tools and techniques make sense.

Some of the methods described in Awake at the Wheel will be right up your alley. Some will not. Some are so common-sensical you'll think you could have invented them. Some are so non-sensical you'll dismiss them as trivial.

Don't worry about loving them all. You won't. Just find the ones that interest you and give them a shot -- whatever it takes to get those wheels inside you turning once again.

Two different parts of you will be activated by these methods: the subconscious and the conscious.

The sub-conscious tools will increase your receptivity to new ideas, helping you access the part of you that already knows. Using the subconscious tools will feel a bit like walking into a dark room. At first there will seem to be nothing to see. But after a while your eyes will adjust and you'll begin making sense of what is there.

jake and elwood.jpg

The second set of tools is less about receptivity than proactivity.

This approach presumes it is possible to quicken creativity by purposefully shaking things up in various ways. Experimentation is an important part of this approach. Trial and error, too -- much in the same way that chemists mix and match elements in the hopes of synthesizing new discoveries.

Is there a perfect technique? No. Just like there's no perfect diet, place to live, or relationship. What works for you on Monday may not work for you on Sunday. What works for you in the morning may not work for you at night.

But that's what makes the world -- just like the wheel -- go round and round.

And that's why we offer you 35 different methods to choose from. Is there an organizing principle? Yes, there is. The tools fall into five categories:

1. INTEND: To have in mind as something to be done or brought about; to have a purpose or design.

2. ATTEND: To be present at; to take care of or wait upon; to listen and give heed to.

3. SUSPEND: To defer opinion or evaluation to a later occasion; to render temporarily void.

4. EXTEND: To stretch out; to place at full length; to enlarge the scope of or make more comprehensive.

5. CONNECT: To join or unite; to establish communication between; to associate, attach or place in relationship.

Buy the book here.
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Watch old Jews telling jokes here.
Get your Innovation Kit here
Discover Woodstock's most beautiful B&B here
Read about Mozart here
Check out one of my son's favorite online cartoons here.

Learn more about Spiro Agnew here
Take ten minutes to get a breakthrough idea here
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Play with our online Genie here
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Discover why most corporate innovation efforts fail here

Or call us at 845.679.1066 and learn more about how we can help you and your organization get out of the box, the lamp, AND the cave. "If not YOU, who? If not NOW, when?"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:24 PM | Comments (1)

August 10, 2010
Getting Down to the Business of Creativity

Here's a terrific article on creativity, based on the work of three Harvard researchers/professors.

According to Teresa Amabile's research, "inner work life" is one of the biggest determinants of creative output. In other words, a positive mood is a pre-condition for creativity in the workplace.

If you are attempting to establish a sustainable culture of innovation in your organization, you (and everyone else) would be well-served to do everything humanly possible to positively impact the mood (i.e. tone, feeling, atmosphere, vibe, spirit) of the environment in which you work.

And that begins, of course, with the individual.

When you treat people with respect, acknowledgment, and genuine positive reinforcement, you significantly increase the odds of creativity -- and by extension, innovation -- flourishing in your organization.

Common sense? For sure. But common sense is all too uncommon in most organizations these days. In our rush to produce, get an edge, and accomplish, we forget the most important thing -- and that is the quality of our interactions with others.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:35 AM | Comments (0)

Who Are We?

Idea Champions is a consulting and training company dedicated to awakening and nurturing the spirit of innovation. We help individuals, teams and entire organizations tap into their innate ability to create, develop and implement ideas that make a difference.
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.
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High impact certification training that teaches committed change agents how to lead groundbreaking ideation sessions
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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.

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