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Saturday 29th April 2017

Virtual Ashridge

Global perspectives » Innovation


You CAN Tell a Book By It's Cover

THIS JUST IN! Idea Champions is one of the few companies in the world that teaches people how to become masterful brainstorm facilitators. Since we couldn’t agree on which image to use for the cover of the book, we made eight different covers — and people get to choose the one they like the most. So far, the dog covers have been the most popular. Woof! More about the training here

Asking the Right Questions Can Frame a Successful Transformation

When plotting strategy, leaders should worry less about solutions and more about identifying the precise problem they are trying to solve.

Creativity Late in Life

Creativity Late in Life from Mitchell Ditkoff Lots of people, over 50, think it’s “too late” for them to be creative. Not true! You want proof? Check out the slide show above — excerpts from a fabulous book by Gene Cohen: The Creative Age

The Art of Using Story as a Way to Communicate Big, Hairy Ideas

A priest, a penguin, and a newspaper reporter walk into a bar. The penguin orders a shot of Red Eye. The priest starts juggling three flaming chain saws. The newspaper reporter turns to the bartender, smiles and says: “I know there’s a story here somewhere.” And yes, there is. There are stories everywhere. As the poet, Muriel Ruykeser once said, “The world is not made of atoms. The world is made of stories.” Almost everyone in business these days — at least the people responsible for selling big, hairy ideas — knows that the difference between success and failure often …

Ten Simple Ways to Establish a User Friendly Ideation Process

Let’s assume for a moment that you and your company value BIG IDEAS — the kind of ideas that have the potential to change the game, differentiate you from the competition, and spark some major business growth. Let’s also assume that you and your company are not at a loss for these BIG IDEAS — that they regularly make their appearance via any number of ways: brainstorming sessions, early morning team meetings, or simply the spontaneous epiphanies of the wild and crazy people down the hall. That’s the good news. The not-so-good-news is that the appearance of these BIG IDEAS …

The New Ways to Win in Emerging Markets

In emerging markets, companies must offer an environment conducive not only to economic success but to good living as well.

How Much Innovation Should We Juice Out of Engineers?

Are the bells and whistles on already highly engineered products just decadence, or are they a small price to pay for the gadgets we need?

FREE ONLINE POLL: How to Improve Your Company's Ideation Process

Here’s the simplest way to figure out how to improve your company’s ideation process: Enter Idea Champions’ FREE IDEATION POLL CONTEST. Just send an email to office@ideachampions and write “Ideation Poll” in the subject line. We’ll put your name in the proverbial hat on May 1st and, blindfolded, pick out three winners. If YOU are one of the winners, we’ll send you a link to our ideation poll which you, in turn, will forward to your workforce. A week after that we’ll send you the results along with a some useful “food for thought”. The value? You will better understand …

Be Frightened of Old Ideas

About John Cage Idea Champions Want to upgrade your brainstorming? 50 quotes on the power of ideas If you google “brainstorm training”


I like what Edward deBono once said about the phenomenon of creative people trying to get results, but coming up empty (and I paraphrase). “If you are digging for oil and don’t find any, move the hole!” Pretty simple, eh? Sometimes, it seems as if aspiring innovators get fixated on a particular approach and, no matter what happens (or doesn’t), they just keep doing the same old thing over and over again even when experience reveals that their approach is not working. Of course, it’s always possible that other factors are at play: 1. Perhaps the hole you’ve dug is …

The 18th Camel

A father left 17 camels as an asset for his three sons. When the father passed away, his sons opened up the will. The will of the father stated that the eldest son should receive half of 17 camels while the middle son should receive one third and the youngest son one ninth. As it was not possible to divide 17 into half or 17 by 3 or 17 by 9, the three sons began to fight with each other. Unable to work out their differences, they soon decided to go to a local wiseman, present their problem, and receive …

Want to Innovate? Get Hungry!

Illustration: gapingvoid Build the appetite with storytelling

50 Awesome Quotes on Possibility

1. “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” - St. Francis of Assisi 2. “Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” - Lewis Carroll 3. “The Wright brother flew right through the smoke screen of impossibility.” - Charles Kettering 4. “In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.” - Miguel de Cervantes 5. “The secret of life is to have a task, something you devote your entire life to, something you bring everything to, every minute of the day for the rest of your …

For Startups, Giving Up Control Is Key to Creating Value

Young firms are valued significantly higher and attract more financing after their founders relinquish some power.

The Marriage of Zany and Practical

Feedback from Charter Manufacturing in response to an Innovation workshop of ours with 27 of their high potential leaders of the future. “Idea Champions has the unique quality of being able to combine zany out-of-box thinking with a pragmatic approach that appealed to every participant in the session. Even those who relish the status quo and the proven way of doing things couldn’t help but relax, laugh. and lean into their untapped creativity. Participants left the session feeling hopeful and powerful about their individual ability to create and innovate.” - Maureen Toshner, Director, Organizational Development & Learning Idea Champions What …

Frequently Asked Questions About Storytelling at Work

1. WHO IS THIS BOOK FOR? Anyone interested in the power of personal storytelling to awaken, inspire, and communicate a meaningful, memorable message — especially around “moments of truth” on the job. It’s also for forward-thinking business leaders who want to elevate the conversation in the workplace and radically increase the odds of peer-to-peer learning happening on a daily basis. 2. WHY IS THIS BOOK TIMELY? Because the story being told, these days, is predominantly bad news. Terrorism, war, greed, corruption, political infighting, and corporate collapse rule the airways. But something else is also happening and that “something else” too …

Winning the Fundraising Game

If you are a mover and a shaker for a non-profit, arts organization, start up, or other capital-constrained enterprise, chances are good that you spend way too much time thinking about the “F” word — fundraising. While the mission of your organization may be highly expansive, the money is takes to support that mission is, all too often, highly contracted — especially these days, with government cut backs and an uncertain economy. Enter Idea Champions’ Winning the Fundraising Game, a thought provoking, custom designed, 4 - 8 hour creative thinking session that cuts through the “same old same old” syndrome …

Listening is a Superpower

As an innovation provocateur and storyteller, I am continually fascinated at how rare real listening is in most organizations. Everyone seems to be moving so fast or just WAITING for their turn to speak, that real listening rarely happens. Methinks, it goes all the way back to our childhood where we were deeply appreciated for speaking our first word, but never appreciated for the first time we listened. 24 quotes on good communication Illustration:

How TiVo Confronted the Disruptor’s Dilemma

Upstart firms that want to break into an established sector often must collaborate with the very power brokers they seek to unseat.

Two Simple Concepts for Satisfying Customers

Get to know your highest-volume customers, and fill the satisfaction gaps that they won’t tell you about.

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