Author Archives: Mitch Ditkoff
The biggest excuse people make about why they can’t innovate is the lack of time. Really? “Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time’ is to say ‘I don’t want to.’” – Lao Tzu “To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.” – Leonard Bernstein “Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” – H. Jackson Brown “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” – Albert Einstein “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”- Abraham Lincoln “Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.” – Napoleon Bonaparte “Your time is limited, … Continue reading
1.”Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 2. “There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth — not going all the way, and not starting.” – Buddha 3. “Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.” – Meister Eckhart 4. “All great ideas and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning.” – Albert Camus 5. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu 6. “Beginnings are always messy.” – John Galsworthy 7. “When there is a start to be made, don’t step over! Start where you are.” – Edgar Cayce 8. “So many fail because they don’t get started — they don’t go. They don’t overcome inertia. They don’t begin.” – W. Clement Stone 9.”Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” … Continue reading
I’m a collector of best practices. I like to find out what forward thinking individuals and organizations have done to accomplish extraordinary results. Sometimes I share these stories in my keynotes or workshops. Invariably, my stock rises when I tell these stories. People think I know stuff. They get giddy. They take notes. They think about how to adapt these best practices to their organization. But then things get weird. People start becoming satisfied with emulating other people’s lives. Instead of thinking up their own best practices, they imitate. Ouch! The spirit of innovation gets replaced by the religion of innovation. Gone is reflection. Gone is the process of discovery. Gone is the ownership that comes with birthing new insights. In it’s place? Simulation. Imitation. And, all too often, the blind following of pre-packaged solutions. I’m not saying there isn’t value in paying attention to other people’s best practices. There … Continue reading
There are three things that continue to astound me about most organizations: The cro-magnon way performance reviews are done; the pitiful way brainstorm sessions are run and; the voodoo way decisions are made. What follows is an elaboration of the third — twelve all-too-common phenomena that contribute to funky decision making. (As you read, think about the teams you work most closely with — and which of these behaviors describes them). Selective Search for Evidence: Gathering facts that support pre-determined conclusions, but disregard other facts that support different conclusions. Premature Termination of Search for Evidence: Accepting the first alternative that looks like it might work. Inertia: Being unwilling to change old thought patterns. Selective Perception: Prematurely screening out information not assumed to be useful. Wishful Thinking: Wanting to see things in a positive light. Recency Effect: Putting undue attention on recent information and experience while minimizing the value of information … Continue reading
One of the inevitable things you will hear at a brainstorming session is “there are no bad ideas.” Well, guess what? There are plenty of bad ideas. Nazism, for instance. Arena football. Bow ties. What well-meaning “keep hope alive” brainstorming lovers really mean is this: Even bad ideas can lead to good ideas if the idea originators are committed enough to extract the meaning from the “bad”. Do you think that War and Peace was written in one sitting? No way. There were plenty of earlier drafts that were horrid, but eventually led to the final outcome. The key? To find the value in what seems to be a “bad idea” and then use that extracted value as a catalyst for further exploration. The following technique, excerpted from Awake at the Wheel, shows you how… HOW IT WORKS: Bring a challenge, question, or problem to mind. Conjure up a really … Continue reading
There’s a huge gap between CEOs saying they want their companies to innovate and actually acting in a way consistent with what they say. This lack of congruence drives internal change agents crazy, catatonic, or out the door. At the very least, it makes them cranky and unwilling to go the extra yard required to turn their inspired ideas into reality. And so, as a public service to all of you out there whose CEOs are not walking the talk, here’s my TOP TEN reasons why not. Choose one, align with some fellow change agents, and kick start the process of actually doing something about it. Innovation sparks dissonance and discomfort. Innovation is all about increasing variability. Most CEOs want to decrease variability and increase predictability. Results only show up long-term — not next quarter. CEOs conserve resources. Innovation requires more resources. Innovation flies in the face of analysis. Imbalance … Continue reading
A fun peek into how the news would have gotten out differently 2,010 years ago if social media tools had been around. (Click full screen). Thanks to David Passes for the heads up. Editor’s Note: And for those of you who have already celebrated Hanukkah, here is a fun video – and if you celebrate Kwanza or any other winter holiday during this season, may the season be merry for you and yours! Don’t miss an article (2,100+) – Subscribe to our RSS feed and join our Continuous Innovation group! Mitch Ditkoff is the Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions and the author of “Awake at the Wheel”, as well as the very popular Heart of Innovation blog.