April 30, 2014
What Are the Benefits of Storytelling in Business?


There's a new growth industry in town -- ORGANIZATIONAL STORYTELLING -- half art, half science and totally fascinating.

It's roots go back... let's see... um... er... 100,000 years -- long before written language -- the time when our ancestors stood around the fire and shared their wisdom in small groups. Not a tweet or YouTube video to be seen. Only wooly mammoths.

What are the REAL benefits of storytelling for organizations? That's what today's poll is all about. Three minutes is all it will take.

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:53 AM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2014
If You Need Graphic Design Help

Here is a 3-minute animation by my 19-year old son, Jesse Ditkoff. He is an aspiring digital artist, attending Hampshire College. He is available this summer for graphic design projects, photoshop, etc.

Ditkoff Design

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:56 PM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2014
The Big Electron

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:06 PM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2014
On the Brink of a Breakthrough


The following piece, written by Thomas Wolfe, is the most moving thing I've ever read about what it takes to stand at the crossroads of one's creative calling -- utterly alone, howling at the void, and yet, at the same time, utterly supported. If you want to get the total value of this brilliant piece of writing, read it aloud and let it sink in. I find it hard not to cry whenever I read it.

"During this time I reached that state of naked need and utter isolation which every artist has got to meet and conquer if he is to survive at all.

Before this I had been sustained by that delightful illusion of success which we all have when we dream about the books we are going to write instead of actually doing them.

Now I suddenly realized that I had committed my life and integrity so irrevocably to this struggle that I must conquer now or be destroyed.

I was alone with my work and knew that no one could help me with it no matter how much anyone might wish to help.

For the first time I realized another naked fact which every artist must know, and that is in a man's work there are contained not only seeds of life, but the seeds of death, and that the power of creation which sustains us will also destroy us like a leprosy if we let it rot stillborn in our vitals. I had to get it out of me somehow.

I say that now. And now for the first time, a terrible doubt began to creep into my mind that I might not live long enough to get it out of me, that I had created a labor so large and so impossible that the energy of a dozen lifetimes would not suffice for its accomplishment.

During this time, I was sustained by one piece of inestimable good fortune. I had for a friend a man of immense and patient wisdom and a gentle but unyielding fortitude.

I think that if I was not destroyed at this time by the sense of hopelessness which these gigantic labors had awakened in me, it was largely because of the courage and patience of this man.

I did not give in because he would not let me give in, and I think it is true that at this particular time he had the advantage of being in the position of a skilled observer at a battle, covered by its dust and sweat and exhausted by its struggle, and I understood far less than my friend the nature and progress of the struggle in which I was engaged.

At this time there was little that this man could do except observe, and in one way or another keep me at my task, and in many quiet and wonderful ways he succeeded in doing this.

I was now at the place where I must produce.

Even the greatest editor can do little for a writer until he has brought from the secrete darkness of his own spirit into the common light of the day the completed concrete accomplishment of his imagining.

My friend has likened his own function at this painful time to that of a man who is trying to hang on to the fin of a plunging whale, but hang on he did, and it is to his tenacity that I owe my final release."

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:24 AM | Comments (2)

April 09, 2014
Storytelling in Business Infographic


Infographic: LookBookHQ and Beutler Ink

Sagacious storytelling in business
Great storytelling quotes
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:25 PM | Comments (0)

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


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)

April 03, 2014
Sagacious Storytelling in Business

Quotes on storytelling
Business storytelling workshop
What our clients say

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:34 AM | Comments (0)

April 02, 2014
Zen Innovation Koan of the Day

5 minutes.jpg

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:35 PM | Comments (0)

April 01, 2014
What Makes a High Performing Innovation Council?

Change for the better.jpg

During the past 25 years I've seen a lot of innovation councils (aka "innovation task forces") come and go. Some of them looked good at the beginning and died a slow death. Some of them looked bad at the beginning and died a quick death. And some of them actually succeeded.

Before diving in, pause, take a breath, and consider the following guidelines. They will save you time. They will save you headaches. And they may even save your company.


1. Quit now if you're not really into it.

2. Be mindful of who you invite to participate. Just because someone is a "senior leader" doesn't automatically mean they should be on the Innovation Council. If they don't have the time, passion, or willingness to push the envelope, there's no reason for them to participate.

3. Create a charter. Define tasks. Make sure everyone knows exactly what's expected of them.

4. Establish clear agreements at your first meeting. Otherwise, prepare for chaos, wheel spinning, indecision, and the corporate hoky poky.

5. Build accountability into the process. Innovation Council members, no matter how high up they are on the corporate food chain, need to keep their word to each other. No slacking.

6. Clarify the lines of communication to key stakeholders who are not Innovation Council members. Do not fall prey to the Ivory Tower Syndrome.

7. Feel free to include senior leaders on the council, but only if they really want to do the work. This is NOT a committee or a plum ambassadorship to a fictitious country called "innovation." This is a working group that really needs to be on top of its game, honor its commitments, and model the very best of what real innovation is all about.

8. Meet more often than you want to. (If you only meet once a quarter, fuggedaboutit.)

9. Make sure the person who facilitates your meetings knows what they're doing -- and is prepared for each meeting.

10. Limit the size of your Innovation Council to seven. Any more than ten and you'll have an Innovation Swamp.

11. Have a sense of urgency, not panic.

12. Celebrate your successes, even if they're small.

13. Honor confidentiality.

14. Be lifelong learners about innovation. Put together a reading list. Teach each other.

15. If an Innovation Council member starts to flake out, ask them to either step up or step out.

16. Take notes at each meeting and distribute them within 24 hours.

17. Invite non-Council members to participate in your meetings every once in a while. Don't become a cult.

18. Speak your truth to your "executive sponsors", or whoever the Innovation Council reports to. If they're not holding up their end of the bargain, you're wasting your time.

19. Communicate what you're doing to the rest of the company. Don't keep it a secret. Transparency is the name of the game.

20. Do whatever is necessary to stay inspired. All too often Innovation Councils implode under the collective weight of their own busyness, ridiculous work loads, and stress. PS: Have fun with this!

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:29 AM | Comments (7)

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