December 31, 2010
The King's Speech

I don't usually review movies on this blog, but in this case I will make an exception. The King's Speech is an extraordinary movie. Inspiring. Lucid. Compelling. And extremely well acted. If you are looking for your "voice" in 2011, this movie is for you.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:22 PM | Comments (1)

December 30, 2010
The BEST OF The Heart of Innovation Blog for 2010

Here are the 25 most popular postings on Idea Champions' blog for 2010. As you'll notice, lists are popular. People love lists.

10.0 Thought Leaders Now Being Replaced By Feeling Leaders

10.0 The Four Currents of a Culture of Innovation

10.0 23 Reasons Why Nothing Happens After a Brainstorming Session

10.0 Rethinking Failure

10.0 50 Ways to Foster a Culture of Innovation

10.0 100 Simple Ways to Be More Creative on the Job

10.0 56 Reasons Why Most Corporate Innovation Efforts Fail

10.0 10 Ways to Help Left Brainers Tap Into the Best of Their Creativity

9.7 10 Reasons Why Your CE0 Sabotages Innovation

9.5 41 Ways Business Leaders Can Foster a Culture of Innovation

9.2 The Beauty of What's In Front of You

9.0 innovation from the inside out With Fascination

8.7 25 Awesome Quotes on Creativity

8.6 50 Awesome Quotes on Risk Taking

8.2 20 Qualities of an Innovator

8.1 The Paradox of Innovation

8.0 Metaphors: A Bridge Over Deep Waters

8.0 The Top 100 Lamest Excuses for Not Innovating

7.9 Create Something Before People Know They Need It

7.8 20 Reasons Why Creative People Work in Cafes

7.8 100 Awesome Quotes on What It Really Takes to Innovate

7.7 14 Ways to Get a Breakthrough Idea

7.7 John Cleese on Creativity

7.6 The Value of Confusion

7.6 The Good Thing About Bad Ideas

Idea Champions
Our Clients
Our Team
Talking the Talk


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

NEW FOR 2011: Virtual Coaching for Innovators and Creative Thinkers

I've been noticing recently that there are a lot of aspiring innovators, entrepreneurs, intrapraneurs, and closet geniuses "out there" who are working in isolation.

They've got great ideas and the enthusiasm to turn their great ideas into something real, but they have precious little collaboration going on. Bottom line, they're too often working on their own.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. But it's definitely not sufficient.

Human beings -- especially creative human beings -- need community. They need feedback -- not to mention an occasional goose, prod, reality check, and chance to air things out.

Which is precisely why Idea Champions has created a dynamic, new service for 2011 -- Virtual Innovation Coaching.

Simply put, it's a live, online coaching service -- weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly -- that will help you:

1. Open your mind to new possibilities
2. Simplify your path forward
3. Solve tough problems in new ways
4. Unleash your hidden genius
5. Discover elegant solutions
6. Make sure you're working on the right problem
7. Generate breakthrough ideas
8. Cut through confusion, doubt, and worry

All you need is a phone, computer, internet connection, and the willingness to make some magic in 2011.

Intrigued? Contact me today ( and I will fill you in on the specifics.

Immediate support for you
Idea Champions
My bio
Idea Champions clients
My kick asss
Free the Genie


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

December 24, 2010
Whaddya Gonna Call It?


There is something
you've created
(a business? a book?
a product? a service?)
that is great,
but has the wrong name.
I mean, the name is OK.
It sorta works,
but it lacks,
shall we say,
Indeed, there are
many people who are
likely customers of yours
who are not attracted
to whatever you created
because it has the
So change it.
Come up with something new, cooler, buzzier,
more attractive.

Free the Genie

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:40 PM | Comments (0)

December 19, 2010
The Top 10 Reasons Why Some CEOs Sabotage Innovation

BusinessQuestion Man.jpg

There's a huge gap between CEOs saying they want their companies to innovate and actually acting in a way consistent with what they say.

This lack of congruence drives internal change agents crazy, catatonic, or out the door. At the very least, it makes them cranky and unwilling to go the extra yard required to turn their inspired ideas into reality.

And so, as a public service to all of you out there whose CEOs are not walking the talk, here's my TOP TEN reasons why not.

Choose one, align with some fellow change agents, and kick start the process of actually doing something about it.

1. Innovation sparks dissonance and discomfort.

2. Innovation is all about increasing variability. Most CEOs want to decrease variability and increase predictability.

3. Results only show up long-term -- not next quarter.

4. CEOs conserve resources. Innovation requires more resources.


5. Innovation flies in the face of analysis.

6. Imbalance of right-brain and left-brain thinking.

7. It's not in the job description.

8. Over-reliance on cost-cutting and incremental improvement.

9. Inability to enroll a committed team of champions.

10. Insufficient conviction that innovation will really make a difference.

Idea Champions
Contact us
A book for your CEO to read on the beach

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:47 PM | Comments (2)

December 18, 2010
Who's Really Innovative?


Here's a real treat: Gary Hamel's Who's Really Innovative? article recently published on (in?) the Wall Street Journal blog.

Once again, the lucid, straight shooting, and refreshing Hamel, hits a home run -- taking on the phenomenon of annual "most innovative companies" lists.

Hamel makes some very useful distinctions between the four different kinds of innovative companies: Tyros, Nobel Laureates, Artistes, and Cyborgs. Lots to learn here.

The paradox? By the time you finish reading Hamel's article, at least three more publications will come out with yet another list of the "most innovative companies of 2010."


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:44 PM | Comments (0)

Noodle on This Today

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)

December 17, 2010
Get the Creative Juices Flowing!


Looking for a simple way to get the creative juices flowing? Take a tip from Mark Minnichelli, of BASF -- a contented user of our Free the Genie cards.

"We've been using Free the Genie within our business for 3-4 years now. We start most of our meetings by reviewing the ground rules for the meeting, and the last ground rule usually involves someone pulling a Free the Genie card at random, reading the card aloud, and then interpreting the card to make it relevant to our business and the issue at hand.

Free the Genie is a great tool for constantly challenging us to practice the techniques that make us more successful innovators! I carry a deck with me in my briefcase where ever I go, and use the cards regularly."

The online version
The offline version
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:25 AM | Comments (0)

Singapore Airlines Rocks!

I just flew 19 hours from Newark to Singapore on Singapore Airlines. In a nutshell, here's the difference between Singapore Airlines and all the other airlines.

When it's time to turn off your computer, just before landing, the flight attendant actually comes from a place of kindness and love rather than the gestapo-like monitoring of "bad passenger behavior" that most other airlines seem to be dominated by.

My flight attendant (who was as attentive in the 18th hour of the flight as she was in the first), ASKED me to turn my computer off instead of TELLING me. Huge difference.

After she continued down the aisle, moving like a cool breeze at 36,000 feet, I WANTED to turn my computer off instead of feeling as if my junior high school penmanship teacher had just berated me for something I didn't do.

Singapore Airlines gets it, big time. And it all starts with their flight attendants.

For starters, they like their job. That is totally clear. They treat you like a human being, not a possible disturbance in row 26. And their "customer interactions" don't smell of "training," but of genuine human decency, consciousness, and care.

Here's the bottom line, strange as it may seem. When my flight finally landed, I didn't want to get off the plane. I just wanted to keep flying around -- watching movies, washing with hot towels, and wondering how the Singapore Airlines flight attendants stay so gracefully benevolent for 19 hours in a row.

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:22 AM | Comments (2)

December 10, 2010
Time for Your Elevator Speech!


Let's cut to the chase.
Time is passing, eh?
You've got a BIG IDEA,
but it ain't worth squat
if it's only in your head.
You've to get it
out into the world.
Nor more procrastinating!
You need capital.
You need a sponsor.
You need someone
to invest in you.
Stop waiting for the
tooth fairy,
Kick it in high gear.
Get your rap together.
Not the blues -- gospel!

Free the Genie
The actual card deck
My elevator speech

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:49 PM | Comments (0)

Speed Is Good (but only sometimes)

Is it just me or does it seem as if things are speeding up? I keep noticing that my clients are moving faster and faster -- from one meeting to the next, one project to the next, one day to the next. I think it's time to slow down a bit... but not before watching this video.

Idea Champions
My kick asss (some fast, some slow)

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

December 03, 2010
What You Can Learn from the Bloody Mary

In 1939, a Russian immigrant owned the rights to distribute vodka in the U.S. His efforts bombed, big time. Americans weren't interested in a colorless, odorless alcohol.

Depressed, he sold the rights to Heublein, who asked themselves: "What can we combine with Vodka to give it a distinctive taste and color?"

They came up with tomato juice and, voila, the Bloody Mary was born. Sales? Through the roof.

What most of us think of as an "innovation" is really just the elegant combination of two (or more) pre-existing elements resulting in the creation of a new, value-added product or service.

Want to try it for yourself? Click here for a cool, interactive technique.

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:39 PM | Comments (0)

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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.
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"The world is not made of atoms," wrote the poet, Muriel Rukeyser. "It's made of stories." Learn how to discover, honor, and unpack the stories of yours that show up "on the job" in Mitch Ditkoff's award-winning 2015 book, Storytelling at Work.
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