Author Archives: Mitch Ditkoff

23 Reasons Why Brainstorming Fizzles

How many times have you participated in a brainstorming session, only to be underwhelmed by the utter lack of follow up? Unfortunately, in most businesses, this is often the norm. Here’s why: The output of the session is underwhelming. No one has taken the time, pre-brainstorm, to consider follow-up. No criteria is established to evaluate the output. No next steps are established at the end of the session. No champions (i.e. process owners) are identified. The champions are not really committed. The champions are committed, but under-estimate the effort. The ideas are too threatening to key stakeholders. No one is accountable for results. The project leader doesn’t stay in contact with key players and “out of sight, out of mind” takes over. The “steering committee” takes their hands off the wheel. The next brainstorming session is scheduled too quickly. The output of the session is not documented. No sponsors are … Continue reading

Posted in Creativity, Innovation, Management | Leave a comment
Innovators Remember Their Dreams

Many great breakthroughs have come in dreams. Rene Descartes got the concept for the Scientific Method in a dream. Elias Howe came up with the final design for the lock stitch sewing machine in a dream. August Kekule arrived at the formulation of the Benzene molecule in a dream. In the dream state, the subconscious mind arrives at solutions that the conscious mind is unlikely to discover during the daily grind — no matter much it obsesses, gathers data, or blames the “organization.” That’s why Thomas Edison and Salvadore Dali used to take naps during the day. They knew they got their best ideas in dreams, so they decided to wake up more than once a day. Yes! WHAT YOU CAN DO: Before going to bed tonight, bring to mind a compelling question, challenge, or opportunity that you’ve been wrestling with. As you fall asleep, stay focused on it. When … Continue reading

Posted in Creativity, Innovation | Leave a comment
Creativity Late in Life

Think you’re too old to create! Think again. Here are some incredible examples to keep you on top of your game. Go for it! Click “full screen” (bottom right icon) full easiest reading. Creativity Late in Life

Posted in Presentations | 2 Comments
33 Creators on Creating

Inspiring slide show of quotes by breakthrough thinkers, innovators, and other assorted wizards. View full screen for max impact. Creators on Creating

Posted in Presentations | 1 Comment
Cultivating Innovation Where You Work

“Organizations are like gardens, not machines. We keep bringing in mechanics, when what we need are gardeners.” – Peter Senge If you want to establish a culture of innovation, there are three things you need to know: It’s possible It’s simple (but not easy) It’s just like growing vegetables Possible? Absolutely! Innovation is all about manifesting what doesn’t yet exist — but could (or, as the more entrepreneurial among us might say, manifesting the seemingly impossible). Simple? That, too. But simple isn’t always easy, especially since human beings have an odd tendency to make things complicated (especially business processes designed to increase innovation). Growing vegetables? Really? Yup. If you want the fruits of your labor to yield results, you will need to make the same kind of effort a gardener makes. Forget about theory for a moment. It’s a harvest you’re after. How to begin? Get the ground ready. Oh … Continue reading

Posted in Innovation | Leave a comment
An Inside/Out Culture of Innovation

If you work in an organization that wants a “culture of innovation” — you have two basic choices: outside/in or inside/out. Outside/in is the most common approach. It assumes that re-engineering systems or processes is the way to go. You know, crank up the rewards, have more brainstorming sessions, increase cross-functional collaboration, buy idea management software and so forth. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you, but it’s often just a slick way of repositioning the deck chairs on the Titanic. It looks good. It’s promising. You feel like you are doing something, but the ship is still sinking. The other approach — inside/out — is far less common. Understandably so. And why it’s less common is because it’s slower and, to a lot of left-brained business people, borders on voodoo. The inside/out approach doesn’t so much aim for “organizational change” as it does individual change (working on … Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, culture | 2 Comments
Consultant Outsources Sleep

In an extraordinary move, destined to be emulated by forward thinking business leaders everywhere, I’ve just outsourced all my sleep to a guy named Namdev in New Delhi. Yes, it’s true. I no longer need to sleep. Namdev does it for me. It’s astounding how much more productive I’ve been this week. And, as if my sleep breakthrough wasn’t enough, I’ve also outsourced all my exercise to a guy named Sung Lee in Malaysia. God bless Sung Lee! He’s been on the Stairmaster three hours today and will be working on our delts and pecs tomorrow. Needless to say, I’m feeling totally buff at the moment. I was just about to have a big piece of cherry cheesecake to celebrate my innovative, time-saving enhancements, but I’ve outsourced all my eating to a woman named Min Yung in Taiwan. I’m down to 145. Hallelujah! All my pants fit! The only thing … Continue reading

Posted in Management | Leave a comment