November 09, 2023
Conference Keynote Testimonials

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If you are looking for a dynamic keynote speaker who knows how to jump start conferences with style, wisdom, and positive energy, Mitch Ditkoff is your man. Easy to work with, customer-focused, and highly experienced, he knows how to engage even the most curmudgeonly of audiences. Take a look at what a sampling of his clients, from a wide range of industries, have to say about the impact he's had on their conferences."

"Mitch Ditkoff's keynote presentation was both entertaining and informative. Over 1,030 Merck employees attended and rated the session a 4.8 out of 5.0. In just two hours, Mitch not only got participants out of the box, he also helped us understand what it takes to establish a sustainable culture of innovation." - Jim Aubele, Associate Director of Organizational Learning, Merck

"Idea Champions made our annual conference on innovation a huge success. They not only expertly facilitated the process, but ensured that our company developed a culture that will foster innovation from here on in." - Rick Yockelson, SVP of People and Administration, Hudson Group

"Mitch Ditkoff's innovation keynote at our Developer's Conference was an energetic and engaging opening to our event. Thanks to the pre-work Mitch did with us, his themes were perfectly synchronized with the objectives of the conference -- increase innovative problem-solving and global knowledge sharing. Mitch's comments got our people thinking and prepared to tackle the interactive objectives of the meeting. After Mitch, it was 'Game on!'" - Andy Billings, VP, Profitable Creativity, Electronic Arts

"As the conference organizer for our annual innovation summit, I was looking for a dynamic speaker who could deliver an impactful message on fostering a culture of innovation. What I found surpassed my greatest expectations. Mitch Ditkoff was outstanding in every way.He captivated our audience by engaging them in his interactive keynote and workshop and provided attendees with useful tools to apply in their workplaces. They discovered new and helpful ways to unleash creativity. I lost count of people coming up to me after the event who were raving about Mitch." - Ben Quintana, Chairman, IdaVation

"Mitch Ditkoff's keynote at our annual conference was informative, inspiring, and entertaining. I know that keeping 128 executives, managers, and engineers engaged for five hours is a challenging task, but he pulled it off extremely well." - Gordon Thomas, VP, Hydrosystems

Ten tips for giving a great keynote

atlanticare_logo.gif"Mitch Ditkoff brings a creative, energetic, and fun approach to creative thinking. The tools and techniques he has brought to Atlanticare are enabling us to build a true Garden of Innovation." - Terri Schieder, VP, Clinical Development and Integration, Atlanticare

"Mitch Ditkoff is a wonderful ambassador of the power of storytelling to transmit wisdom and has the rare talent to keep an audience riveted. His message is inspiring and authoritative, and his presentation, entirely entertaining. For a keynote or workshop that will leave your audience smiling and diving deeper, long after the talk, and in love with the speaker, don't miss this seasoned, skilled presenter." - Susan Page, Executive Director, San Miguel Writer's Conference

GE2.png"Mitch Ditkoff's highly engaging approach, combining creative energy and business practicality, is a real winner. His 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, General Electric

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"I had the privilege of attending Mitch Ditkoff's speaking session at the Private Care Association's 46th Annual Conference, and it was truly inspiring. Mitch's insights on leadership and creativity were not only engaging, but also immensely practical. His ability to blend storytelling, humor, and actionable advice made his session a standout at the conference."

"Thank you for a wonderful presentation and taking the time to share your gift." - Maria Keesling, Dupont

"Your interactive keynote presentation was not only the best session at this year's meeting, I think it is the best one we ever had." - Tom Gowan, Emmis Broadcasting

"What a fabulous session! Your contribution to making the 10th Anniversary Sales Conference a success was superb. I have heard nothing but rave reviews." - Anne Bendalin, Radio Ad Bureau

"Your keynote was very engaging and helped participants derive significant understanding about how to solve the 'innovation conundrum' and how game changing practices need to be adopted in order to grow." - Krishna Nacha, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, EXL

Keynote speaking demystified

"Your presentation was received with the highest of ratings. I especially appreciate how your services, methods and products clearly reflect your understanding of adult learning and practice." - Carole Weinstein, Associate Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers

"Great job! Well-planned. High energy. Outstanding value." - Samuel Bruce, Assistant Dean, Fuqua School of Business

"You helped transform our meeting into a truly dynamic and worthwhile experience." - Abbe Raven, CEO, A&E Television Networks

CONTACT: Mitch Ditkoff,

Idea Champions
My clients
My most recent keynote

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:14 PM | Comments (0)

November 08, 2023
FREE THE GENIE KEYNOTE: The Art & Science of Going Beyond Limiting Assumptions

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If you are looking for a kickoff conference keynote that will energize, inspire and establish the kind of mindset conducive to real learning, engagement and commitment, keep reading...

As an internationally acclaimed thought leader in the field of innovation, I know how to spark breakthrough in even the most curmudgeonly conference attendee.

My Free the Genie keynote is a time-tested way to help audiences unlock and unleash their innate brilliance.

Since 1987, I have been working closely with more than 100 organizations in 11 different countries to help them go beyond the status quo and achieve extraordinary results. My keynotes go well beyond mere pep talks or inspired public speaking.

Yes, attendees become better informed about what it takes to innovate, but more than that they begin to transform -- navigating their way forward into new realms of possibility and solution-finding. I don't talk at people. Instead, I provide the kind of experience that enables people to participate in meaningful ways that translate into actionable business insights.

Each keynote includes the following elements:

- Establishing a culture of listening to ensure full engagement
- Building a solid case for the need to go beyond the status quo
- Topic-specific storytelling that makes it easy for attendees to remember key learning points
- Identification of individual limiting assumptions interfering with breakthrough results
- Identification of compelling questions that jump start insight
- Ideation and small group brainstorming
- The practice of at least one powerful creative thinking technique
- A 16-page guidebook to support the keynote learning process
- A sampling of Free the Genie cards to spark original thinking
- Cross-fertilization of best practices and newly articulated ideas
- Action planning and identification of next steps

What my clients say
Idea Champions
Ten Tips for Giving a Great Keynote

CONTACT: Mitch Ditkoff ( -- 845.389.9096

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:28 AM | Comments (0)

November 07, 2023
How to Go Beyond the Team Leader Overload Syndrome

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Most team leaders often find themselves overloaded and overwhelmed. "Too much to do and not enough time," is their mantra. And here's why:

1. They haven't established clear expectations with their team
2. They don't totally trust the people they lead
3. They haven't communicated their role to team members
4. They want everyone to like them
5. They don't know how to delegate
6. They have unclear boundaries
7. They are addicted to rescuing people
8. They think their way is the best way
9. They are impatient for results
10. They don't know how to empower others

Not good for business. Not good for the team. And not good for the health of the team leader. But it doesn't have to be that way. And the "fix" is way simpler than you think.

Next time a member or your team tries to dump a problem at your feet, shirks responsibility, or wants you to "save the day," STOP and ask yourself any of the following questions:

1. "Who's problem is this, really?"
2. "How can this issue be framed as a HOW CAN I question?"
3. "Does this person understand what I expect of them?"
4. "Is this person clear about their roles and responsibilities?"
5. "Do I have the time and interest to take on this project?"

6. "If I do have time, what support can I offer?"
7. "Who else, on the team, might be able to help with this?"
8. "How can I empower this person to own the project?"
9. "How can I let the person do it their way?"
10."What's the simplest thing I can do to lend support?"

PS: Leadership doesn't mean doing everything yourself. Leadership means helping other people lead -- and take ownership for results.

Idea Champions
WORKSHOP: Launching Project Teams
The two-hour, online brainstorm facilitation training

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:27 PM | 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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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.

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