December 01, 2021
Get the Support You Need to Manifest a Bold, New Possibility


In these odd times, it's easy to get thrown off course. Our regular schedules are very different than they used to be if they can be called "schedules" at all. Our usual human interactions with friends, peers, and co-workers have been dramatically curtailed.

Indeed, these days, the normal interactions we've always counted on to help us work through problems, issues, and opportunities rarely happen by themselves. We must seek them out.

If you have a bold, new possibility you're excited about or an old problem you're tired of dealing with, you will need to make some extra effort to get the kind of support you've always taken for granted.

Enter Free the Genie -- an affordable, expertly facilitated, 60-90-minute online ideation session designed to help you generate the kind of clarity, creativity, and commitment you need to make a quantum leap of thought and action.

And it's simple as 1-2-3.

First, we ensure that you frame the right question via a simple online survey.

Second, we explore the history of your question and why it really matters to you.

And third, we facilitate an engaging creative thinking process, doing everything we can to help you get out of the box and to higher ground, generating new ideas as we go.

It simple. It works. And it's a lot of fun. Plus, (hint, hint) it makes the perfect gift for that special person who "has everything!"

Here's what others are saying about Free the Genie.

Want to find out more? Call Val Vadeboncoeur, Idea Champions' Chief Brainstorming office at 845-377-0222 or sign up for a session on Calendly.

Continue reading "Get the Support You Need to Manifest a Bold, New Possibility"

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

November 16, 2021
THE YEAR OF LIVING CREATIVELY: Next Course Begins on January 16th

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The Year of Living Creatively is a highly engaging, eight-week online course that helps aspiring innovators transform their inspired visions and ideas into new products, new services, new forms of expression, new businesses, and breakthrough ways of living.

Previous graduates describe the course in a variety of colorful ways:

-- A GPS for the creative process
-- An incubation chamber for bold, new possibilities
-- A chiropractic adjustment for creative mojo
-- A midwife for the miraculous
-- An all-you-can eat buffet of brilliance

If you are on fire with an exciting new possibility and want the kind of support that will help you turn theory into practice, this course is for you.

Continue reading "THE YEAR OF LIVING CREATIVELY: Next Course Begins on January 16th"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:08 AM | Comments (0)

November 03, 2021
Brainstorming vs. Braincalming


If you work in a big organization, small business, freelance, or eat cheese, there's a good chance you've participated in at least a few brainstorming sessions in your life. You've noodled, conjured, envisioned, ideated, piggybacked, and endured overly enthusiastic facilitators doing their facilitator thing. You may have even gotten some results. Hallelujah!

Continue reading "Brainstorming vs. Braincalming"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:23 PM | Comments (5)

October 21, 2021
The Syndrome Syndrome and the Rise of the New World Disorders


Here's a fun test for you: If you can read the rest of this paragraph without tweeting, texting, or thinking about crop circles, there's a good chance you do not have ADD, ADHD, or any other recently-identified medical condition.

That's the good news.

The not-so-good news? The overwhelming number of disorders, dysfunctions, and syndromes popping up daily make it almost impossible to understand exactly what condition you actually have.

As a concerned citizen, humanitarian, and Johnny Depp look-a-like, I've decided to go beyond my SAHS (Social Activist Hesitation Syndrome) and actually do something about it.

Below, you will find my guide to 14 of the most recently identified medical conditions. Study them carefully. If you have one of them, please check your health insurance policy immediately to see if it will cover the cost of the medicines you will soon feel compelled to buy.

Continue reading "The Syndrome Syndrome and the Rise of the New World Disorders"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:24 PM | Comments (0)

October 16, 2021
How to Go Beyond the Team Leader Overload Syndrome

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Most people who are in a leadership position 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. There are insufficient standards of excellence
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 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)

September 25, 2021
Here Comes the Awakening Creativity Conference


If you reading this, there's a very good chance you are interested in exploring ways to spark innovation and creativity. If so, I invite you to click the link below and register for a FREE 5-day, online conference on AWAKENING CREATIVITY, beginning on Monday, September 27th. I will be one of the featured speakers. My presentation can be viewed all day on Wednesday, September 29th, starting at 12:00 pm EDT. There will be a total of 60 speakers and performers for what promises to be a very dynamic conference.

Click here to register

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:41 AM | Comments (0)

Public Art as a Storytelling Medium

Stories can be told in many ways -- not just with words. Here is a great example of how it's done with public art in Springfield, Massachusetts. Storytelling is all about the art of communicating a message in a way that is inspiring, memorable, and meaningful. Mimi Ditkoff and her team of muralists are a great example of how this is done.

What medium can YOU use to tell a story that needs to be told?

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:07 AM | Comments (0)

September 23, 2021
THE YEAR OF LIVING CREATIVELY: 26 Self-Inquiry Pages for Review

Dear Ellen, Fran, Prentiss, Hugo, Patti, Greg, Patricia, Anita, Gera, Tucker, Sameer, Esra, Jawwad, Mehreen, Corrine, and Lana:

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Greetings from the International Headquarters of the YEAR OF LIVING CREATIVELY -- my kitchen. What follows are the self-inquiry pages you had the option to reflect on during the two months of the course. Some of them you've worked with. Some you haven't. NOW, here they are all in one place in case you want to revisit ones you've already done or explore ones you never got to. And, at the bottom of the page are five BONUS pages -- ones you've never seen before. Oh boy!

NOTE: These self-inquiry pages are for your eyes only! Please do not forward this page to anyone. Thank you!

Continue reading "THE YEAR OF LIVING CREATIVELY: 26 Self-Inquiry Pages for Review"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:02 PM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2021


Soon after launching my new online course on the creative process, I began talking with the people who enrolled. I was curious to learn, from their perspective, what kind of obstacles they were facing -- the "stuff" that got in the way of manifesting their own creativity.

No matter how different the people I spoke to, how unique their background, experience, accomplishments, gender, world view, or astrological signs, they all said the same thing -- what I later came to refer to as the "D" word.


That's what they all believed was missing from their lives. The lack of discipline was their Achilles heel, they confessed to me -- their problem, their weak spot, their #1 concern.

For the first few weeks of listening to their lament, I agreed. After all, discipline was important, right? I mean, who could write a book or start a business, or launch a product without discipline? Plus, I was disciplined, and if I, the creator of the course, was disciplined, then discipline must be important, eh?

Well, sort of. In the end, it all depends on WHERE this so-called "discipline" is coming from.


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:54 AM | Comments (0)

September 12, 2021
Where Do Good Ideas Come From?

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:45 PM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2021
What Does It Really Take to Learn Anything from Somebody Else?

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Since 1987, I have been providing consulting and training services to a wide variety of forward thinking organizations who have recognized their need to raise the bar for creative thinking, innovation, and teamwork. An optimist, by nature, I have always assumed that the people attending my sessions had an innate ability to benefit from whatever it was I was teaching, conveying, or imparting.

And while this optimistic point of view continues to be my default position, I have also understood that there are obstacles that often get in the way of people receiving the maximum value of what I (or any teacher, instructor, or facilitator) has to offer.

It is, shall we say, an occupational hazard.

Some of these learning obstacles are internal (i.e. participant mindset) and some are external (funky organizational culture). But no matter where these obstacles originate from, each of them can be decreased or eliminated with the right kind of effort.

Continue reading "What Does It Really Take to Learn Anything from Somebody Else?"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:50 AM | Comments (1)

September 07, 2021
100 Lame Excuses for Not Moving Forward With Your Great Idea


Do you have an inspired idea or project you want to manifest, but... er... um... just can't seem to get things rolling? Chances are good your reasons why are on the list below. No problem. Join the club. Without beating yourself up, simply note the ones that are your Achilles heel, then try the simple "go beyond excuses" exercise at the end of the list. You're welcome.

1. I don't have the time.
2. I don't have the money.
3. I have neither the time nor the money
4. Coronavirus!
5. I've got too much on my plate right now

Continue reading "100 Lame Excuses for Not Moving Forward With Your Great Idea"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:53 AM | Comments (0)

August 30, 2021
What Drives Creativity?


If you have 23 minutes to spare and want to get some insights into what drives creativity (and what gets in the way), I invite you to click this link and listen to Gil Hanson's interview of me on his BE YOUR BEST podcast (episode #33).

Gil is a master facilitator of the process that enables people to understand, embrace, and design their own personal brand, no matter what their profession.

The podcast will be especially interesting to you if you are thinking of enrolling in my two-month, online Year of Living Creatively course which begins on September 12th.

More about the course

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:29 AM | Comments (0)

August 23, 2021
Everything You Need to Know About The Year of Living Creatively

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"Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." -- Helen Keller

The next Year of Living Creatively course begins on January 16th, 2022. If you are interested, but not yet certain if the course is right for you, the following links will help you decide.

The deadline to enroll is December 16th.

An invitation to dive deeper into your own creative process
Who is the course really for?
What is the real value of The Year of Living Creatively?
How to identify your Year of Living Creatively project
The Year of Living Creatively Manifesto
The underground we cover
Entering the movie theater of your own creative process
The self-inquiry pages
The back story -- origins of the course
More about the creator of the course
People's three biggest concerns about enrolling in the course

Ready to enroll in the course? Pay $479 via PayPal:

Want to talk?

50 awesome quotes on possibility

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:12 AM | Comments (0)

August 21, 2021
Saying YES to Your Weirdness

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:07 AM | Comments (0)

August 20, 2021
15 Quotes on the Importance of Asking the Right Question


As a facilitator of the creative process, I continue to be astounded by how few organizations have any kind of process is place to PAUSE, reflect, and make sure they are coming up with the right questions. Apparently, I'm not alone.

1. "It's not that they can't see the solution. They can't see the problem." - G.K. Chesterton

2. "There are no right answers to wrong questions." - Ursula K. Le Guin

3. "We thought that we had the answers, it was the questions we had wrong." - Bono

4. "Ask the right questions if you're going to find the right answers." - Vanessa Redgrave

5. "Asking the right questions takes as much skill as giving the right answers." - Robert Half

Continue reading "15 Quotes on the Importance of Asking the Right Question"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:42 PM | Comments (1)

August 18, 2021
People's Three Biggest Concerns About Enrolling in THE YEAR OF LIVING CREATIVELY


Here they are: 1) Time; 2) Money; 3) Identifying a specific project.

That's it, folks. Those are the three most common reasons why people hesitate to enroll in The Year of Living Creatively, even if they understand the value of the course and have been referred by a trusted friend.

Let's take a look at each of these concerns, one at a time, so you have all the info you need to decide whether to proceed or not:

Continue reading "People's Three Biggest Concerns About Enrolling in THE YEAR OF LIVING CREATIVELY"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)

August 16, 2021
What People Are Saying about THE YEAR OF LIVING CREATIVELY


If you are in the process birthing (or wanting to birth) an inspired idea, dream, vision, goal, or creative venture, I invite you to consider enrolling in my upcoming YEAR OF LIVING CREATIVELY course -- a two-month, online learning adventure (starting on September 12th) designed to provide aspiring innovators with all the insight, mojo, and mastery they need to manifest their heart's desire. It's fun. It's engaging. And it works. Tuition is $449. Payment plans available.

Here's what recent graduates have to say about it:

"The course had a profound affect on my life." - Michelle Cameron

"I got my mojo back and made huge amounts of progress." - Maribeth Raullerson

"It set me on a very positive course of making miracles happen." - Joan Apter

"I not only enjoyed the course, I made major headway" - Tucker Robbins

"Every time I attend a session, I walk away full of renewed courage, energy, and trust." - Tina Lindgreen

"A catalyst that provided the guidance, support, and structure I needed to transform my dream of starting a business into reality." - Doug Stuke

"This course has been like the opening of the clouds after a storm and the joy of letting the warm sun shine into my skin." - Mercedes Garcia

"Helped me clarify my vision of what I want to accomplish and create a road map to get it accomplished." - Mark Stephen Miller

"There is a lot of humor involved in the course. And one of the things I want in life right now is to laugh a lot." - Barbara Drausal

"Provided me with the emotional support I needed to free my inner artist." - Tina Lipson

"I was humbled by experiencing my own humanity." - Gretel Rogers

"A unique program that helps unleash human potential in a full-fledged way. - Nim Lal Bhandari

"A safe and fun meeting environment where there are no wrong answers, but perhaps better questions to ask ourselves." - Linda Hurst

"Helped me choose a project that really sparked my passion and go after it in a big and bold way." - Janet Cook

"A truly amazing learning experience." - Gilman Hanson

"The Year of Living Creatively helped me take my project three steps up, making it feel beyond a dream to a reality." - MaryJane Fahey

"I'm so delighted in my enlightened-up experience as a result of The Year of Living Creatively course, that I've just re-registered for the next one." - Ellen Goldberg

More about the course

Who is the course really for?
What is the real value of The Year of Living Creatively?
The Manifesto
More about the creator of the Year of Living Creatively
The underground we cover

Want to talk? Need more info?

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:54 PM | Comments (0)

August 13, 2021

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Once a week, for eight weeks, participants in The Year of Living Creatively course receive three, online self-inquiry pages from the list below. This is an opportunity for them to pause, reflect, and dive into their own creative process -- a simple way to increase their odds of manifesting bold aspirations, big ideas, and their heart's desire. Most pages require 15-30 minutes of reflection time. Once submitted, the facilitator of the course responds, via email -- providing participants with yet another opportunity to dive deeper into their own creative process.

Continue reading "THE YEAR OF LIVING CREATIVELY Self-Inquiry Pages"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:20 PM | Comments (0)

August 12, 2021
The Year of Living Creatively Begins on January 16th

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If you are a reader of this blog, you most definitely are committed to becoming more innovative and creative. As the Founder and President of Idea Champions (and author of this blog), that has been my focus since 1987 -- providing innovation-sparking services to a wide range of forward thinking organizations around the world.

Covid-19, however, changed everything. My clients were no longer bringing in outside consultants or facilitators, as everything quickly went virtual. That's when I had the realization that the FORM of my work needed to change, as well as the AUDIENCE. Corporations were out. Individuals were in (even if those individuals worked in corporations).

And so I created The Year of Living Creatively -- a two-month online course -- a kind of greenhouse for grand possibilities... a GPS for the creative process... a chiropractic adjustment for creative mojo.

What follows are testimonials from recent graduates of the course.

If YOU want to enroll or would like more information before you decide, simply email me and I will respond ASAP (

Continue reading "The Year of Living Creatively Begins on January 16th"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:21 AM | Comments (0)

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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.

"In tune with corporate America." — CNN