Author Archives: Mitch Ditkoff

Treat Crazy Ideas With Respect

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The next time somebody approaches you with a “crazy” idea, pause before putting them down. Instead of looking for what’s wrong, look for what’s right. See if you can find a hidden jewel in the idea, a principle, an essence that the idea originator is on to — even if the idea itself is rough, raw, or imperfect. The fact ...

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38 Awesome Quotes on Change

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“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin “Change before you have to.” – Jack Welch “People don’t resist change. They resist being changed!” – Peter Senge “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy “The ...

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What is the Power of Appreciation?

I have been an innovation consultant since 1986 and have worked with hundreds of organizations in more than 15 industries. The products and services of my clients have all been different — as have their acronyms, mission statements, and cafeteria food. But they all have one thing in common — and that is a pronounced tendency to undervalue the power ...

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How the Ivy League is Killing Innovation

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Here’s a wonderful article, just published in Bloomberg Business Week that raises a very curious paradox — why academics are teaching innovation. Authors G. Michael Maddock and Raphael Louis Viton state their case clearly, cleanly, and with just enough of an edge to draw blood. “Process-driven cultures love process-driven experts. Organizations, just like people, do what makes them feel strong, ...

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10 Great Brainstorming Facilitator Personas

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Allow me to make a wild guess. You have participated in more than a few brainstorm sessions in your life. Yes? And allow me to make another wild guess. Many of those sessions left you feeling underwhelmed, over-caffeinated, disappointed, disengaged, and doubtful that much of ANYTHING was ever going to happen as a result of your participation. Yes, again? I ...

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It All Began with Balls

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Most companies begin on a shoe-string — under-funded, under the gun, and under the radar. The company I co-founded in 1986, Idea Champions, was no exception. When my business partner and I began, we had almost nothing — just an idea, some chutzpah, and a deep desire to succeed. While we both were likable, smart, and skillful schmoozers, we had ...

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6 Sides of the So-Called Box

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Unless you’ve been in a coma for the past 20 years, I’m sure you’re familiar with the phrase “get out of the box.” It’s everywhere. Whole industries have sprung up around it, including mine. No one can deny that getting out of the box is a good thing to do. Seems like a no-brainer, eh? Kind of like helping little ...

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20 Ways to Get Feedback on Your New Idea

You’ve got a great idea. I know you do. But I also know it’s just sitting there. In your head. Like a lump. Why? Because you haven’t pitched it to anyone. Everyone — even your best friends — all seem so busy, right? And even if they’re not busy, you… um….er… uh… don’t really know how to kick-start the conversation ...

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5 Ways to Ignite a 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 ...

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The Role of Humor in Innovation

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Holmes and Watson are on a camping trip. In the middle of the night Holmes wakes up and gives Dr. Watson a nudge. “Watson,” he says, “look up in the sky and tell me what you see.” “I see millions of stars, Holmes,” says Watson. “And what do you conclude from that, Watson?” Watson thinks for a moment, “Well,” he ...

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