What I Learned

Time for Change - A New Journey Awaits!

Time for Change - A New Journey Awaits!

(Spoiler alert:  Read all the way to the bottom of this post to learn how to come along on the next adventure.)

My good friend Graeme Crombie of Scotland teaches executives to focus their energy on the “highest and best” use of their time and energy.

It is with that wise sentiment that I announce, effective immediately, Maggie Nichols will be the new CEO of Eureka! Ranch International, Ltd. Her leadership skills, brains, heart, and soul make her ready to become her next “highest and best” as she assumes this new role at the Ranch.

My job will be to support Maggie as she leads the Eureka! Ranch.   I will continue as Eureka! Ranch Chairman and in the new role as Chief Inventor. 

WHY THE CHANGE


It’s time for a Courageous Conversation with ourselves

It’s time for a Courageous Conversation with ourselves

David Whyte writes in his book Crossing the Unknown Sea:

All good work should have an edge of life and death to it, if not immediately apparent, then to be found by ardently exploring its greater context.  Absent the edge, we drown in numbness.

To have a firm persuasion, to set out boldly in our work, is to make a pilgrimage of our labors, to understand that the consummation of work lies not only in what we have done, but who we have become while accomplishing the task.  

All of our great artistic and religious traditions take equally great pains to inform us that we must never mistake a good career for good work.   Life is a creative, intimate and unpredictable conversation if it is nothing else, spoken or unspoken, and our life and our work are both the result of the particular way we hold that passionate conversation. 

The BEST BOOK I’ve read this year! 

The BEST BOOK I’ve read this year! 

I LOVE this book.  Having “been there / done that” - it speaks of truth like few books do.

TO MAKE RIDERS FASTER by Anna Dopico, tells the amazing and inspiring story of how two young engineers,  Phil White and Gerard Vroomen, against all odds, took their bike company, Cervelo, on a 16 year roller-coaster ride from a basement workshop in Montreal to the pinnacle of triathlon and road racing.

Why are so many people against CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT?

Why are so many people against CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT?

SIX TIMES last week I was challenged…. “Why do you keep changing?”   In each case it was said with a sense of humor laced with anxiety.   The confrontations occurred following advanced “peek” discussions of “beta versions” of upgrades to our Innovation Engineering software tools and Brain Brew Whiskey(e)y bourbons.   The tools offer a 10X increase in innovation speed - the whiskey’s offer 2 to 1 consumer preference.   Despite these benefits - passive aggressive resistance remains to both. 


BIG VICTORY + TEAM TRUTHS + ONCE IN A LIFETIME +

BIG VICTORY + TEAM TRUTHS + ONCE IN A LIFETIME +

I bring you good news… there are some amazing things happening.   

BIG VICTORY:  The Eureka! Ranch’s BRAIN BREW Craft Whisk(e)y Distillery did the impossible.  In the world’s most prestigious craft whiskey competition - every Brain Brew product scored HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (90 points plus) or EXCEPTIONAL (95 points plus).   This is unheard of results for any craft distillery.  Even more impressive it happened in 2.5 years not 12 or 18 years.  THE SECRET TO OUR SUCCESS …. The Innovation Engineering mindset and methods.   YES - the same stuff that I’m teaching next Tuesday and Wednesday at the course described below under ONCE IN A LIFETIME.

 

I admit it. I’ve been GUILTY of preventing innovation.

I admit it.  I’ve been GUILTY of preventing innovation.

McKinsey research finds that 80% of CEOs say that innovation is key.  However, only 20% day their company does it well.  

Sadly - a little while ago I came to the conclusion that I was part of the problem.  For nearly 40 years my Eureka! Ranch team and my books have been focused on encouraging everyone to innovate like the 15% of adults who are “right brain creativity / design zealots.”  

I WAS WRONG.   IT DOESN”T WORK.   The 85% who are “Left Brain Logical” will not change. 

If you want to learn more - Join me for a LIVE webinar this Friday  - February 16 at 1:00 EST.   If you can’t make it at that time - sign up anyways and we’ll send you a link to watch the webinar on your own time. 

To sign up click here….

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/108050495883055107

Go Ahead - Take the LEAP!

Go Ahead - Take the LEAP!

This past week I came to the not very stunning realization that TODAY is the DAY to take action.  

TODAY is the day to take action on your/my ideas.

TODAY is the day to take action on your/my dreams.

SADLY - most of us, especially as we age,  become Prudent, Proper and frankly Puckered.  We spend more time thinking through the consequences and less time taking action. 

This past week I realized that in parts of my life I’ve fallen into this trap.

Every 10 years you need to “Retire” to create space for your Reinvention

Every 10 years you need to “Retire” to create space for your Reinvention

The year Ben Franklin turned 59, he wrote a letter to his wife Deborah announcing that he was “retiring” during the year. He was retiring from the printing business, selling his half of his printing partnership with David Hall (no relation). Printing had generated Franklin’s wealth and had brought the world such publications a Poor Richard’s Almanac.

Dr. Franklin’s retirement from printing gave him space to spend more time as a philosopher on science and governments.

Voluntary retirement is hard. That’s because the “job” we are retiring from also often defines who we are. It is likely the source of our financial and psychological wealth.  However - if we are to grow during our lifetime we have to retire many times. We need to let go of the comfortable and familiar and stretch ourselves into new worlds for ourselves.  

Let me accept an imperfect present so that I can transform the next moment

Let me accept an imperfect present so that I can transform the next moment

As 2017 comes to an end I am rereading Towards Wisdom it was written by my good friend, Copthorne Macdonald.   He passed away a few years ago at about this time of year.   He lives on the pages of his books.   I’ve pasted below a section from the book that speaks to the need to think deeper about the challenges life brings us.  He goes on to talk about nurturing a positive mind state.   In a world that can seem filled with anger his message is one of hope.   Enjoy.

What separates Leaders from Great Leaders is Emotional Engagement in the Future

What separates Leaders from Great Leaders is Emotional Engagement in the Future

This fall I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about leadership. Now I recognize that the study of anything is a never ending story.  There is always more to be learned. This post attempts to push the boundaries of our understanding of what makes for genuinely great leadership.  Earlier this week I posted a video on the importance of leaders having Humility & Patience. Today, I’m thinking out loud on what is the “x” factor that separates Leaders from the rare and precious GREAT LEADERS. 

How to START and SUSTAIN an Innovation Culture

How to START and SUSTAIN an Innovation Culture

Ed Tazzia told me recently, As I’ve spoken to large companies three things seem apparent.  

  1. They recognize the need for Innovation, but have no idea how to make it happen. 
  2. They don’t lack for ideas, but seriously lack big ideas.  
  3. Their biggest problem is they can’t get their ideas to market.

The solution to all three of these challenges involves a chain reaction of three elements….