December 22, 2015
How to Spark Massive Employee Engagement in 90 Minutes or Less

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Since 1987, I have been working as an innovation provocateur for a wide variety of forward thinking organizations.

Bottom line, I help people wake up, get out of the box, and originate bold, new ideas to meet their ambitious business goals. Along the way, I've discovered quite a few methods to spark the innovation mindset -- even in the most conventional of thinkers.

But of all the methods I've discovered, much to my surprise, there is one that has proven itself to be the most powerful -- and that is storytelling. Yes, storytelling, the humane communication of memorable narratives that engage, energize, and inspire positive behavior change.

All my clients, no matter what their industry, want the same thing. They want their people to be "on top of their game" -- to be as creative, collaborative, and committed as possible.

Towards that end, they spend millions of dollars each year training their employees. And while these educational efforts do have some value, they often ignore a fundamental reality: that within each and every person they are trying so hard to "tool up" is an untapped, naturally occurring, business growth intelligence that does not need to be taught, only awakened.

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Often referred to as tacit knowledge, this little understood resource is omnipresent in your organization, but hiding in the unexpressed stories of the people who actually do the work.

What if your organization could find a simple way to activate this hidden resource?

What if your people had a dependable way to share what they really know with each other? Not just data and information, but insight and wisdom. Not just their best practices, but the best of their best practices. What really matters -- the hard to measure mojo of what really makes a difference on the job: Focus. Trust. Courage. Creativity. Purpose. Resilience. Adaptability. Intrinsic motivation. Perseverance. Collaboration. Integrity. Passion. And commitment.

The secret sauce. The missing piece. What gets people out of bed in the morning. If that's not in place, all the hot talk about innovation is nothing more than wasted breath.

This is precisely what my keynote is all about -- a simple way, via the transformative power of storytelling, to increase employee engagement, spark a culture of innovation, and quicken the communication of your company's collective brilliance.

Contact Speaker's Platform for more
Why I wrote Storytelling at Work
The aural tradition (podcast)

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:57 PM | Comments (0)

December 21, 2015
A Sneak Peak at a Book Likely to Spark a Renaissance of Storytelling


Good news! The LOOK INSIDE feature has just been enabled on my Storytelling at Work Amazon page which means you can get a sneak preview of the book and decide if you want to buy it.

The Storytelling at Work blog

Why I Wrote the Book

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:21 PM | Comments (0)

December 20, 2015
How to Create an Idea Factory


One reason why many aspiring innovators never reach the finish line is because they don't have the support they need to help them navigate the creative process.

They either try to do everything themselves or spend so much time trying to enroll people on the fly that their venture loses momentum.

Conceiving the baby is easy. Delivering the baby is not. Let's take a brief look at how you can change that.

Going forward, it will be very handy for you to have a support team to be there for you when the going gets tough. Sometimes, one person can provide all of the roles. Sometimes, not. Here's a partial list of the kind of people you want to have on your side.

1.Brainstorm Buddy: a trusted friend of yours to jam with, provide feedback, share insights, ask questions, and keep you on your game.

2. Coach/Mentor: a skilled facilitator of the creative process who can help you go over, around, or through whatever inner or outer obstacles head their ugly rears.

3. Finance Wizard: someone to help you create a budget, do cash flow projections, and help you build a business case.

4. Marketing Maven: someone to help you make best use of social media and communicate your product/service to the marketplace.

5. Writer: a wordsmith to craft proposals, write grants and crank out related support materials.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:54 PM | Comments (5)

December 15, 2015
The Joe Belinsky Factor Revealed

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See this guy? His name is Joe Belinsky and for many years he worked in a tire company -- Goodyear Tire to be more exact. I learned something from Joe about TIME that is actually quite cosmic, though it took me seven years to figure it out. The story of what I learned was was just published today in the Huffington Post. A four-minute read.

Excerpted from Storytelling at Work
Idea Champions
My new storytelling blog

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:30 AM | Comments (0)

December 14, 2015
The Irresistible Power of Storytelling as a Strategic Business Tool


A two-year analysis of 108 Super Bowl commercials has revealed that it was the structure of the content -- not the content itself -- that was the biggest predictor of its success. And the structure that was most linked to Superbowl ad success? Stories. This Harvard Business Review article elaborates on why storytelling is such a powerful communication tool.

Storytelling at Work

Our new blog on storytelling
Awesome quotes on storytelling

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:40 PM | Comments (0)

December 10, 2015
NEW POLL: What Is the Real Value of Storytelling in Business?

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These days, there is a lot of talk about the value of storytelling in business. Good question! That's what we're trying to figure out from savvy people like YOU! Simply click this link to respond. It will take you less than four minutes (and we'll be happy to share the results with you).

Idea Champions
Our new storytelling at work blog
Great quotes on storytelling

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:33 PM | Comments (0)

December 09, 2015
A Selection of My Storytelling Articles in The Huffington Post

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If you are interested in storytelling -- especially why storytelling is such a powerful tool for organizations to increase employee engagement and foster a dynamic culture of innovation, you have come to the right place.

Below is a selection of Huffington Post articles by Mitch Ditkoff (that's me, folks) for your edification and enjoyment -- quick-hitting posts that will help you get your arms around this most important topic and further understand why storytelling, in business (and everywhere else), is such a big deal.

Why Tell Stories?
Why Create a Culture of Innovation?
How to Tell a Good Story
What Kind of Stories Will You Tell Today?
Real Moments of Truth on the Job
The Afghani Cab Driver

Storytelling at Work (book)
The Storytelling at Work blog
My storytelling podcasts, interviews, and videos

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:26 PM | Comments (0)

December 08, 2015
What You Can Learn from the FedEx Logo in Five Seconds


During the past two years, I've asked more than a thousand people what they see when they look at the FedEx logo. 80% say "letters" or "colors" or "shapes" or "the word "FedEx." The other 20% tell me they see an arrow -- a white arrow.

When I ask the baffled 80% if they see the arrow, most of them shake their heads and shrug. Only when I point to the arrow (in between the second "E" and the "x") do they see it -- a moment that is usually followed by their favorite exclamation of surprise and a chuckle.

This phenomenon, methinks, is a great metaphor for what it really takes to innovate. There's something right in front of our eyes and we just can't seem to see it.

It's been there for a long time, but for us it doesn't exist. In fact, if someone were to ask us if it existed, our answer would be an emphatic "no" -- not because it doesn't exist, but because we can't see it.

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This explains a lot of things. Cognitive psychologists boil it down to just three words: "Motivation affects perception." In other words, we see what we're primed to see and miss the rest.

Shakespeare had a more poetic way of referring to this phenomenon. He called it "rose-colored glasses."

Our entire work life has become a kind of oversized FedEx logo -- full of colors, shapes, and letters -- but all too often we miss the white arrow. What we need, is a background/foreground shift -- the ability to see what we never knew was there.

Good teachers have a knack for helping their students make this kind of shift. Good coaches, too. They have a kind of X-ray vision. They see what their students (or their players) can't see and help them discover it on their own.

Simply put, they know how to prime the experience of tuning into the seemingly invisible -- the omnipresent opportunities to innovate that are non-obvious. That's the challenge before us all these days -- to go beyond our blind spots, limiting assumptions, and habits of thought in order to see bold new possibilities.

One simple way to do this is to start paying more attention to stories that move you, especially your own. Embedded in your stories is the "white arrow", the hidden code of what you are really learning. The more you tell your stories and the more you reflect on what they really mean, the more the white arrow will become visible -- to you and everyone else who gets a chance to listen to your stories.

Storytelling at Work

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:14 AM | Comments (1)

December 07, 2015
Awesome Storytelling Quotes

Storytelling at Work: The Book
Storytelling at Work: The Podcast
Storytelling at Work: The Keynote

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:00 PM | Comments (0)

December 06, 2015
Looking for a Book About the Power of Storytelling to Open Minds, Spark Innovation, and Inspire Action?

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Excerpts and a deeper dive
Buy on Amazon
My new storytelling at work blog

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:01 PM | Comments (0)

December 05, 2015
I'll Have the Salman Rushdie


The power to rethink a story
What would Maurice Ravel say?
Ditkoff on storytelling

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:28 PM | Comments (0)

December 04, 2015
Win a Free Copy of My New Book

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In the spirit of the holiday season, fun, and getting the word out about my new book on the power of personal storytelling, I am launching the first annual "WHY I SHOULD WIN A FREE COPY OF MITCH DITKOFF'S NEW BOOK" contest.

The rules are simple: In 50 words or less, tell me why you think you should win a free copy of my book. That's it. Winners will be selected from the following seven categories of responses: 1) Funniest; 2) Most Dramatic; 3) Most Unlikely to Have Been Submitted by Donald Trump; 4) Lamest; 5) Most Shakespearean; 6) Most Likely to Increase Sales of the Book Without Mitch Having to Spend Any Money; 7) Most Likely to Lead to World Peace.

Contest ends 3:33 pm on December 10th. All submissions can be left below in the comments box below or emailed to me at

Storytelling at Work blog
Buy on Amazon

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:33 AM | Comments (0)

December 02, 2015
The Storytelling at Work Podcast

Will Sherlin, of The Innovation Engine Podcast, interviews Mitch Ditkoff, author of the newly published Storytelling at Work.

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:19 PM | Comments (0)

December 01, 2015
50 Quotes on the Power of Ideas

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1. "If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." - Albert Einstein

2. "If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself." - Rollo May

3. "An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." - Oscar Wilde

4. "Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen." - John Steinbeck

5. "The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas and throw the bad ones away." - Linus Pauling

6. "There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo

7. "Ideas won't keep. Something must be done about them." - Alfred North Whitehead

8. "A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip and worried to death by a frown on the right man's brow." - Ovid

9. "All achievements, all earned riches, have their beginning in an idea." - Napoleon Hill


10. "You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can't get them across, your ideas won't get you anywhere." - Lee Iacocca

11. "No grand idea was ever born in a conference, but a lot of foolish ideas have died there." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

12. "Nearly every man who develops an idea works it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then he gets discouraged. That's not the place to become discouraged." - Thomas Edison

13. "It is the essence of genius to make use of the simplest ideas."
- Charles Peguy

14. "Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have." - Emile Chartier

15. "I had a monumental idea this morning, but I didn't like it." - Samuel Goldwyn

16. "An idea, like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself." - Charles Dickens

17. "Everyone is in love with their own ideas." - Carl Jung

18. "Why is it I always get my best ideas while shaving?" - Albert Einstein

19. "One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

20. "The air is full of ideas. They are knocking you in the head all the time. You only have to know what you want, then forget it, and go about your business. Suddenly, the idea will come through. It was there all the time." - Henry Ford

21. "Everything begins with an idea." - Earl Nightengale


22. "Capital isn't that important in business. Experience isn't that important. You can get both of these things. What is important is ideas." - Harvey Firestone

23. "A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one." - Mary Kay Ash

24. "We often refuse to accept an idea merely because the tone of voice in which it has been expressed is unsympathetic to us."- Friedrich Nietzche

25. "I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent. Curiosity, obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism, have brought me to my ideas." - Albert Einstein

26. "A pile of rocks ceases to be a rock when somebody contemplates it with the idea of a cathedral in mind." - Antoine St. Exupery

27. "If you want to kill any idea in the world, get a committee working on it." - Charles Kettering

28. "Right now it's only a notion, but I think I can get the money to make it into a concept, and later turn it into an idea." - Woody Allen

29. "Just because you're a musician doesn't mean all your ideas are about music. So every once in a while I get an idea about plumbing, I get an idea about city government, and they come the way they come." - Jerry Garcia

30. "I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else." - Pablo Picasso

31. "New ideas pass through three periods: 1) It can't be done; 2) It probably can be done, but it's not worth doing; 3) I knew it was a good idea all along!" - Arthur C. Clarke

32. "Almost all really new ideas have a certain aspect of foolishness when they are just produced." - Alfred North Whitehead

33. "Adults are always asking little kids what they want to be when they grow up because they're looking for ideas." - Paula Poundstone


34. "You do things when the opportunities come along. I've had periods in my life when I've had a bundle of ideas come along, and I've had long dry spells. If I get an idea next week, I'll do something. If not, I won't do a damn thing." - Warren Buffet

35. "If I have a thousand ideas and only one turns out to be good, I am satisfied." - Alfred Noble

36. "Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life. Think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success. That is way great spiritual giants are produced." - Swami Vivekananda

37. "Money never starts an idea; it is the idea that starts the money." - William J. Cameron

38. "No idea is so outlandish that it should not be considered."
- Winston Churchill

39. "If you are possessed by an idea, you find it expressed everywhere, you even smell it." - Thomas Mann

40. "The ability to express an idea is well nigh as important as the idea itself." - Bernard Baruch

41. "You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea." - Medgar Evers

42. "After years of telling corporate citizens to 'trust the system', many companies must relearn instead to trust their people and encourage them to use neglected creative capacities in order to tap the most potent economic stimulus of all: idea power." - Rosabeth Moss Kanter

43. "The man with a new idea is a crank -- until the idea succeeds." - Mark Twain

44. "To turn really interesting ideas and fledgling technologies into a company that can continue to innovate for years, requires a lot of discipline." - Steve Jobs

45. "An idea is salvation by imagination." - Frank Lloyd Wright

46. "I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones." - John Cage

47. "The great accomplishments of man have resulted from the
transmission of ideas of enthusiasm." - Thomas Watson

48. "The new idea either finds a champion or it dies. No ordinary involvement with a new idea provides the energy required to cope with the indifference and resistance that change provokes." - Tom Peters

49. "Our best ideas come from clerks and stockboys." - Sam Walton

50. "Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward: they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game." - Goethe

Idea Generating Keynotes
Idea Champions
Upgrade your brainstorming

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:20 PM | Comments (1)

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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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.
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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.
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