The most important innovation session is not for creating ideas

This week I had the honor of sitting in as a participant at an Innovation Engineering RECREATE session.  It was lead by a team of very passionate and intelligent people whose company is fully engaged with Innovation Engineering. Quick background on the steps that lead to this session. 1. The leadership set a very brave and highly focused Blue Card. 2. The team delivered a collection of WOW! innovations that each included patentable technologies.  (FYI - the Blue Card required 70% or greater odds of patentability.) 3. They quickly found a way to build small quantities and to get them to market - being sold to real customers in a Learning Lab. 4. From the Learning Lab they took the top idea and did a RECREATE session to “kick it up a notch” - and get it ready for national expansion. 5. The did the work to get the innovation ready to go to market next month. 6. Today we took the next best idea and did a RECREATE on it - to create the next generation of products. RECREATE sessions are an Amazing experience.   They involve taking everything that's been learned and doing a deep rethink, reinvent, recreation of [...]

By |April 20th, 2017|1 Comment

Innovation by the common woman / man

What is innovation? Webster's dictionary defines innovation as "a new idea, method or device." It's interesting the order that they chose to explain the output of innovation.  Ideas and methods come before the classical device/product/service. In our work we are finding that 75 to 90% of the application of Innovation Engineering eduction is on  improvements to ideas and methods of working.   Yes there are new products, services and devices but it is by far the smallest use of the education. With Innovation Engineering we go further to define an innovation as an idea, method, product or service improvement that is Meaningfully Unique.   It is a change that makes a difference.  It's meaningful and it is unique versus what is done today.  It's a change that matters.  It's a change that makes an improvement in your work - your life - your career - your business success. Why innovation by the common woman / man ? Because everyone has ideas. Because everyone has a right to make their life better. Because everyone has a right to help contribute to an organization they are part of. Because everyone had a right to have hope. Because as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said   “True happiness comes from [...]

By |April 10th, 2017|0 Comments

Survey Results – What is the biggest problem you face RIGHT NOW?

I just asked a room full of executives from a range of industries what is the biggest problem staring at them right now.     I then coded their responses into groups. The percent is the number of people writing down something in each area. NO ALIGNMENT ON PRIORITIES (34%):  This included having too many priorities, not making choices, not making decisions on focusing on growth versus cost savings. POOR SYSTEMS (24%):  This included not having a system, unclear roles and expectations, poor methods. LACK OF COOPERATION (21%):  This included challenges with internal silos as well as poor levels of cooperation with supply chain and customers. DECISION MAKING (7%): Can't make decisions, make the wrong decisions, no system for making smart decisions. TECHNICAL PROBLEMS (7%):  Can't solve a technical challenge. NEED NEW PRODUCT (3%):  EMPLOYEES UNMOTIVATED (7%):  Importantly, I asked what is  the biggest problem facing THEM - RIGHT NOW.  Not the biggest problem facing their company. It's an imperfect survey but the results align with other data we've gathered from  larger samples.   Over and over we find that the real problems of today - are Alignment, Systems & Cooperation. The biggest problems of today are primarily internal issues.    They are not external problems with competition, markets, regulations , etc. Bottom Line - [...]

By |February 27th, 2017|1 Comment

WEBINAR ANNOUNCEMENT – Igniting Innovation Becomes Easy

 Join Doug Hall, Founder & CEO of Eureka! Ranch and Innovation Engineering on Friday, January 20, 2017 at 1:30pm Eastern for a 1 hour webinar announcing the biggest innovation in innovation systems in a live webinar. Use this link to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4627306060686105859 It's called InnovationEngineeringLabs.com 3.0. It's an integrated system that turbo charges existing Stage Gate systems so that you realize increased innovation speed (up to 6X) and decreased risk (30 - 80%). As the name suggests it's a third generation system built on the learning and experiences of over 13 Billion dollars worth of innovations by thousands of innovators... The HEART of the System is... Innovation Pipeline 3.0 - Project Management Software you will LOVE TO USE! The new 3.0 project management software enables easy alignment - no matter how complex your organization is. There is are upgrades to Blue Card Levels, Tasks, Punch Lists, and new categories of Check Lists. The System is TURBO CHARGED - with a suite of tools that are fully integrated with Innovation Pipeline. Collaboration Cafe 3.0 - Now it's even easier to painlessly give and get ideas. The third generation system is a 100% rebuild. We started from scratch, using the learning from previous versions and competitive offerings [...]

By |January 17th, 2017|0 Comments

What I will LEARN in 2017

This blog post was inspired by a question from a senior leader.   He asked “What should I focus on to make Innovation Engineering successful?”   When I reflected on the question I realized that I should ask myself the same question. After a week of thinking deeply. My focus for 2017 is to embrace a Learning Mindset.  A Learning Mindset - is contagious.  The more I embrace and openness to learning the more those who work for or with me embrace learning. Never ending learning is at the heart of the Innovation Engineering movement… exploring stimulus, embracing collaboration, engaging in experimentation to drive out fear are ALL ABOUT LEARNING. To embrace Learning I will… In 2017 I will start by reigniting my curiosity gene.  Curiosity is the doorway to being a learner. In 2017 I will use my curiosity to fuel a deeper engagement in stimulus mining.   The simple truth is that ideas come from combining old ideas in new ways.   The more I fill my brain with new learning (stimulus) the more ideas available to me to build fresh ideas from. In 2017 I’m going to focus extra energy on three stimulus mining areas…. Patent Mining [...]

By |January 3rd, 2017|3 Comments

“I’m embarrassed, I’m angry, I’m frustrated”

The senior leader confessed, “I’m embarrassed, I’m angry, I’m frustrated”  He was reflecting on what he had each learned over the first two days of a recent Innovation Engineering Accelerator session.  An IE Accelerator combines industrial strength brainstorming with very, very, very fast cycles of Plan, Do, Study, Act discovery. He explained the reason for his confession, “I used to think and work this way.  I was curious, nimble and passionately engaged.  Somewhere along the way I allowed myself to lose that spirit.” Sadly - his words are not uncommon.  The week before last at our Innovation Engineering College - Innovation Management course the same sentiments were expressed. My question to everyone reading this today is WHY? Why do we allow our sense of curiosity, adventurous experimentation and overall joy in learning to die? I’m not interested in the “blame game.”  No one took the spirit from you.  Rather, you voluntarily gave it up.  As the senior leader said  “I allowed myself to lose that spirit.” Here’s three thought starters on why we have “allowed the spirit to leave us” 1.   It might be that we have lost sight of our mission and purpose be it personally or professionally.  [...]

By |September 30th, 2016|2 Comments

I was wrong “the idea” is 2 percent not 10 percent of a successful innovation

Good Morning Innovation Pioneers, For years I have stated that "the idea" is but 10% of the creative force required to make an innovation successful.   90% is the cycles of learning, creating and problem solving required to turn an idea into a successful reality.    Steve Jobs felt that it was a "disease" to feel that all you needed to do was to create a great idea and give it to people to execute.   His experience was that there was far more creative work required in the development process. Recently I read a quote form James Dyson - famous for the creation of Vacuums and Hand Dryers.  Note - he's a kindred spirit to the Innovation Engineering philosophy as it took hime 5,127 prototypes to create his first cyclone vacuum cleaner.    Dyson feels that "The original idea is just 2% of the innovation journey. " Thinking deeply about this - I think he's right. The idea is just 2% of the journey. In Innovation Engineering Accelerators we literally accelerate the innovation discovery process - taking the idea from 2% to 10% of the way to market.  The Accelerator is able to accomplish this because we have people from across [...]

By |September 19th, 2016|1 Comment

IGNITE Innovation SPEED – Change your destination

A simple way to ignite innovation development speed is to change your destination. When you move from a destination of … “World wide expansion”  to “We are shipping 300 units to a Learning Lab” risk to the organization is reduced dramatically.  It becomes easier for regulatory, finance, sales, marketing, product quality, etc, etc, etc. - to say yes when your destination is a limited marketplace experiment. The result is you can learn faster and move faster. Learning Labs can be - direct sale via the internet, 6 stores, 2 distributors, etc..  They are small and contained real world experiences where real customers buy and use your service or product. In situations where there continues to be nervousness - you can execute the learning lab under a different company’s name.   You can use a research company, vendor partner, etc. to be the “official” name.   Over the years we’ve done this for Fortune 50 companies to help them reduce their perception of risk. Importantly, if you have a true innovation - a true breakthrough - then you probably have depths of proprietary protection.  As a result there is little risk to doing a public Learning Lab.   Conversely, if your idea [...]

By |September 14th, 2016|0 Comments

IGNITING Innovation SPEED –  LIVE Webinar Podcast

Are you frustrated with how long it takes you to go from idea to market? If you are, you are not alone.  Time to market is a top frustration that is shared by everyone from front line innovators to CEO’s. In this BETA test of the new IGNITING INNOVATION Video Podcast host Doug Hall will take you through 5 Tips for Accelerating Your Speed to Market. An example of the kind of things Doug will be discussing includes… How discipline can be used to accelerate speed to market.  This is in contrast to many cultures where discipline creates bureaucracy and frustration. The discipline Doug will be talking about will include practical ideas for bringing discipline to: 1) enrolling staff groups, 2) strategic alignment by overtly saying what you are NOT interested in, 3) Bringing structure and benchmarking to Gate Review meetings. This is a LIVE BROADCAST - as a result you will be able to submit questions, ideas and insights on-line after Doug’s presentation.   If you sign up by clicking on the link below - you will be sent a link to watch the broadcast when you have time. Please register for IGNITING INNOVATION SPEED .....  5 Tips for [...]

By |September 12th, 2016|0 Comments

How to Overcome Inertia

Sir Isaac Newton’s first law shows that when all the forces acting upon an object or idea are balanced then the acceleration of that object will be ZERO.  Objects or ideas at equilibrium will not change. Newton’s second law teaches us that Force = Mass times Acceleration. Basically - this means that to generate a FORCE in the world - you need to be either very big or you need to step on the gas. New ideas by their very nature start with a small mass.  Someone says “I have an idea.” The classic response to this is to evaluate, analyze and prudently examine the idea.  The result is certain death. To overcome inertia you need to accelerate your learning cycles. You need to be able to rapidly create ideas - test the ideas - adapt and adjust and test again. You need to be able to painlessly collaborate - connecting with others - learning from others. You need to have alignment - vertically with leadership and horizontally across departments This is what Innovation Engineering is all about. FREE INNOVATION ENGINEERING – WEB CONFERENCE To learn more about how to enable innovation attend our fourth annual International Innovation Engineering Conference this [...]

By |June 20th, 2016|0 Comments