February 14, 2018
The Path Is Made By Walking On It

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Back in the late 1990s, in New York City, there lived a world-class architect who had just spent the last two years of his life designing and building what many people were claiming to be the best inner city housing project ever conceived.

Continue reading "The Path Is Made By Walking On It"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:15 PM | Comments (0)

February 10, 2018
CROWDSOURCING STORY: A Request for 3 Minutes of Your Time

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DEAR HEART OF INNOVATION READERS: If you have been receiving any value from my blog, I invite you to respond to this newly posted poll of mine -- my grassroots effort to create the support I need from friends, fans, and clients to help me get the word out about my forthcoming book, STORYTELLING FOR THE REVOLUTION. Since my book is being self-published, I do not have a big marketing machine behind me -- or even a small one -- just the good will of people like you.

Knowing how time-crunched you are, I am not expecting massive efforts on your part. Indeed, some of the ways you can participate will take less than 30 seconds. Click here to respond to my poll. Thanks. It takes a village!

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:26 PM | Comments (0)

February 09, 2018
Welcome to the Wisdom Revolution!

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Click here for Mitch Ditkoff's (that's me, folks) first article published in Arianna Huffington's recently launched, cooler-than-the-Huffington--Post publication: THRIVE GLOBAL. It's my inspired rant about the emerging storytelling revolution on planet Earth. If you haven't heard about it, you will. The book will be published in May.

MitchDitkoff.com
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Wisdom Circles coming to a city near you

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:23 PM | Comments (0)

February 08, 2018
Increase Your Company's Ability to Innovate in 15 Minutes Per Week

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OK. It's true. We've belled the cat. We have. We've figured out how your organization can spark employees' ability to innovate in just 15 minutes a week. No trainings. No workshops. No online courses. We call it "Micro-Learning for Innovators." Click here to learn more. And if you're interested in raising the bar for organizational storytelling, click here.

Illustration: gapingvoid

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:29 AM | Comments (0)

February 06, 2018
MICRO-LEARNING for Innovators (in just 15 minutes per week)

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Innovation is a huge topic in organizations these days. Every company is looking for new and better ways to do more with less, differentiate themselves from the competition, and unlock the hidden genius of their workforce.

At the same time, many organizations are budget-constrained. Flying in an outside consultant to lead a workshop or training can sometimes be cost prohibitive. This I understand.

Which is precisely why my company, Idea Champions, is now offering Micro-Learning for Innovators, a cost-effective way to stir the innovation soup -- a virtual, self-organizing, just-in-time way to increase everyone's ability to be a proactive innovator on-the-job. And it only takes 15 minutes per week.

TOPICS INCLUDE: Mindset, Culture of Innovation, Creative Thinking, Idea Generation, Brainstorm Facilitation, Storytelling, Leadership, Teamwork/Collaboration, Listening/Feedback, Problem Solving

Continue reading "MICRO-LEARNING for Innovators (in just 15 minutes per week)"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:02 AM | Comments (0)

February 05, 2018
Why Leaders Shouldn't Lead Brainstorming Sessions

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Here's one of the dirty little secrets of corporate brainstorm sessions: When they are led by upper management, department heads, or project leaders, they usually get manipulated.

Because honchos and honchettes are so heavily invested in the topic being brainstormed, it is common for them to bend the collective genius of the group to their own particular point of view. Not a good idea.

Participants -- out of respect for the expertise (or position or parking space) of the facilitator -- will invariably moderate their input. The results? Same old same old.

Continue reading "Why Leaders Shouldn't Lead Brainstorming Sessions"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:18 PM | Comments (0)

February 04, 2018
The Future of Human Work is Imagination, Creativity, & Strategy

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As 21st century work continues to be automated and robotized (is that a word?), much of what you are doing to make a living will eventually be replaced by smarter, more efficient machines. But there is something that human beings have going for them than even the most extraordinary manifestations of AI do not: Imagination, Creativity, and the ability to Strategize. Read what the Harvard review has to say about it here.

Photo: Pierre Fontaine, Unsplash

Jump Start Creativity
Free the Genie
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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:27 PM | Comments (0)

February 02, 2018
Micro-Learning for Storytellers

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Time-crunched as you are, I know you don't even have two-minutes to read this. So thanks for your 119 seconds.

I'm not going to sell you on the power of storytelling. You already know it's powerful. What you don't know is how to make it real in your organization. I know how to do that. That's what my Micro-Learning for Storytellers service is about. And all it takes is 15 minutes a week.

What you will get is 52 weeks of my content (i.e. videos, podcasts, stories, and articles) to distribute to your workforce one bite-sized piece of wisdom at a time. Mind openers. Thought starters. Tips. Tools. Techniques. Guidelines. And just enough inspiration for people to make the effort they need to become storytelling masters on the job. Or in the class. Or wherever.

WHO AM I?: Mitch Ditkoff, President of Idea Champions, author of the award-winning Storytelling at Work and the forthcoming Storytelling for the Revolution. My clients.

Intrigued? Email me today with the word STORYTELLING in the subject line: mitch@ideachampions.com and I will get back to you with more details.

Micro-Learning for Innovators
Photo: Sidney Perry, Unsplash

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:46 AM | Comments (0)

February 01, 2018
Out of the Box, In the Box

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ED NOTE: I just checked the stats/hits on the last eight years of Heart of Innovation blog posts and was surprised to see that the following article about my father's death got the most attention (30% more views than anything else!). I've always assumed I was "supposed" to be writing about innovation and creativity, but maybe there's something else more essential I need to be writing about...

There is a time of life when the time of life is about to end -- the time of last breaths, the time of saying goodbye to everything you have ever known or loved, the time of letting go.

This is the time my father now finds himself in.

He is flat on his back in a hospital bed, but the hospital bed is in his bedroom in West Palm Beach which is where he has chosen to die -- and will.

Continue reading "Out of the Box, In the Box"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:32 PM | Comments (3)

The Best Written 142-Page Book on Brainstorming That Is Not For Sale

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This is the only 142-page book we know of that teaches people how to facilitate kick-ass brainstorming sessions -- including 18 creative thinking techniques, tips, tools, guidelines, checklists, rants, and the happy distillation of 27 years worth of what we've learned leading ideation sessions for companies like these who have all been very pleased with our services.

Oh, I almost forget, you cannot buy this book anywhere. It's not for sale.

Continue reading "The Best Written 142-Page Book on Brainstorming That Is Not For Sale"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:21 PM | Comments (1)

January 31, 2018
What You Can Learn About Innovation from 25 Amazing Artists

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If you are an aspiring innovator, there's a lot you can learn from some of planet Earth's most revered artists. These are the people who stare at a blank canvas or a lump of clay and end up making magic. This is your task as well. Your life is the blank canvas. The idea you are toying with is your first stroke. What will happen next (or not) is up to you. While some pundits have reduced innovation to a science, my experience has shown me that it is at least 50% art. Or maybe 90%.

Continue reading "What You Can Learn About Innovation from 25 Amazing Artists"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

January 29, 2018
We Were Made for These Times!

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What follows is an extraordinary call of the heart by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Not only is it worth reading, it's worth reading aloud -- so you hear it and feel it as well as see it. Then, you get to decide who you want to share it with -- and how. This is a piece of deep, soul-inspired, primal writing that deserves to travel to every corner of the Earth.

Continue reading "We Were Made for These Times!"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:33 PM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2018
Why I Wrote Storytelling at Work

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In the past few weeks, quite a few people have asked me for the "elevator speech" about the book I wrote in 2015. I get it. These days, if you can't deliver your message in 60 seconds or less you're screwed. So here goes. Consider this my elevator speech (though the building you are riding in is a hundred stories high).

I wrote Storytelling at Work because I wanted to do everything in my power to unleash what I have come to realize is one of the biggest untapped resources on planet Earth -- and that is the collective insight and wisdom of human beings everywhere. No matter what our education, culture, or profession, each of us has a storehouse of brilliance inside of us -- a deep knowing (hiding in our stories) that, when expressed, has the power to uplift, inspire, and transform.

I'm not talking about the rote communication of book learning. Nor am I talking about the transmission of data, facts, and information. I'm talking about the communication of the very best of what human beings have to share with each other.

Continue reading "Why I Wrote Storytelling at Work"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:47 PM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2018
ANONYMOUS REVEALED

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I have a confession to make. Actually, it's more like a revelation than a confession.

You know all those fabulous quotes and articles you've read over the years with no attribution other than "Anonymous"? It was me. It's true. I have written thousands of things I've never signed my name to. I couldn't. I mean -- the writing just came through me. Like a storm. In fact, I was in such a state of presence as these pearls of wisdom appeared, there wasn't even a "me" involved, so how could I sign my name?

So I did the only thing I could do -- and that was to sign what I wrote with the now all-too-familiar word "Anonymous".

Continue reading "ANONYMOUS REVEALED"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:37 PM | Comments (7)

22 Awesome Quotes on Revolution

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My new book, STORYTELLING FOR THE REVOLUTION, will be published in May. The revolution I'm writing about is not a political revolution, its a revolution of the heart and, more specifically, how we communicate wisdom to each other. My weapon of choice is not a gun. It's a story. Actually, 40 stories. The quotes below speak to the spirit of where I'm coming from.

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."- Buckminster Fuller

"A social movement that only moves people is merely a revolt. A movement that changes both people and institutions is a revolution." - Martin Luther King Jr

"The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can't be any large-scale revolution until there's a personal revolution, on an individual level. It's got to happen inside first." - Jim Morrison

"If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution." - Emma Goldman

"Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

"Societies in decline have no use for visionaries." - Anais Nin

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." - John F. Kennedy

"The Revolution introduced me to art, and in turn, art introduced me to the Revolution!" - Albert Einstein

"You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only BE the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere." - Ursula K. Le Guin

"The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us?" - Dorothy Day

"The greatest mistake of the movement has been trying to organize a sleeping people around specific goals. You have to wake the people up first, then you'll get action." - Malcolm X

"We have it in our power to begin the world over again." - Thomas Paine

"But I suppose the most revolutionary act one can engage in is to tell the truth." - Howard Zinn

"Revolution is not something fixed in ideology, nor is it something fashioned to a particular decade. It is a perpetual process embedded in the human spirit." - Abbie Hoffman

"A great revolution in just one single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of a society and, further, will enable a change in the destiny of humankind." - Daisaku Ikeda

"Revolutions spring not from accident, but from necessity. A revolution is a return from the factitious to the real. It takes place because it must." - Victor Hugo

"If your regime is not strong enough to handle a joke, then you have no regime." - Jon Stewart

"He suddenly understood the message of so many spiritual teachers that the only revolution that can work is the inner transformation of every human being." - Stanislav Grof

"Revolution is the harmony of form and color and everything exists, and moves, under only one law: Life. Nobody is separate from anybody else. Nobody fights for himself. Everything is All and One. Anguish and pain, pleasure and death are no more than a process for existence. The revolutionary struggle in this process is a doorway open to intelligence." - Frida Khalo

"The most heroic word in all languages is revolution." - Eugene Debs

"Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go, so goes the world, for the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one." - Marianne Williamson

"Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something." - Pancho Villa

Pre-order your book here
PHOTO: Sabine Schulte, Unsplash

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:30 PM | Comments (0)

January 23, 2018
5 Inexpensive Ways to Jump Start a Sustainable Culture of Innovation

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Trying to create a culture of innovation is a daunting task for even the most committed organization. Cultures take decades to form. Changing them is not an overnight phenomenon, no matter how many outside consultants you've gotten on the case. You might as well try to end world hunger or wipe out Aids overnight. It's gonna take a while.

But if you and your colleagues are game, culture change is possible. The question, of course, is where to begin? Starting is always the hardest part. And, in the absence of clarity about where to start, procrastination creeps in -- and nothing changes.

Continue reading "5 Inexpensive Ways to Jump Start a Sustainable Culture of Innovation"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:58 PM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2018
24 Quotes on Good Communication

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1. "The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said." - Peter Drucker

2. "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." - George Bernard Shaw

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:01 PM | Comments (0)

The Best of My Huffington Post Articles on Storytelling

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You may not know this, but I have been a Huffington Post blogger for the past five years. During that time, I've published a number of well-received articles on storytelling, with a special focus on storytelling in the workplace. Below are links to some of them. Each one will take you less than four minutes to read unless you are multi-tracking, catotonic, or heavily sedated.

Why Create a Culture of Storytelling?
The Art of Using Story to Communicate Big Ideas
The Secret Code of Tacit Knowledge
Storytelling is the Trojan Horse of Wisdom
Why Tell Stories?
How to Tell a Good Story
What Kind of Stories Will You Tell Today?
The Power of Personal Storytelling

The book these are excerpted from

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:36 PM | Comments (0)

January 20, 2018
A DIFFERENT KIND OF WAY TO CLOSE A SALE

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Anyone who owns a business, whether they've been to business school or not, knows one thing: You need customers. No customers, no business. How you get customers, of course, is the question.

In my business, one of the main ways to get business is responding to RFPs -- requests for proposals. Here's how it works: a company hears about you, checks out your website, contacts you, schedules a call, tries to figure out if you're the real deal and, if you pass their sniff test, asks you to submit a proposal.

In the beginning of my career, I would get very excited whenever anyone asked me to submit an RFP. It meant I had a big one on the line, a horse in the race, my hat in the ring, or whatever other metaphor I could conjure up to reinforce my belief that I was actually going to make a living. Like a beanie wearing college freshman, I dove into the proposal writing process with great zeal.

Continue reading " A DIFFERENT KIND OF WAY TO CLOSE A SALE"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:13 PM | Comments (0)

January 15, 2018
The Creative Personality

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Here's an informative and inspiring article on the creative personality by the lifelong creativity researcher, renowned author of Flow (and the man with the hardest last name to pronounce in the world) -- Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi.

The aforementioned Professor C. offers deep insights into the complex and often polarized personality of creative people. Recognize yourself in any of his descriptions?

Awake at the Wheel
The Creative Mind Keynote
Illustration

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:42 PM | Comments (0)

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Storytelling at Work
Storytelling at Work is Mitch Ditkoff's newly published book about the power of personal storytelling in business – why it matters and what you and your organization can do to leverage the impact of storytelling in the workplace.
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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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