The Missing Link

The Missing Link

When working on a project or issue that needs fixed - eventually we get to a point where we’ve tried something, got results, and now need to make a decision.  How can you leverage your curiosity and some continuous learning to help with the decision making process between the easy path and the right path?  Read on to find out!

Jump Start Your Brain - Spark Deck 6.21.2017

This week's Jump Start Your Brain Slides include:

Unrelated Mining: Recruit for Cultural Fit! The result of poor culture fit due to turnover can cost an organization between 50-60% of the person’s...

Market Mining: EAT BEER. Grain byproduct from craft brewers is being up cycled into...

Insight Mining: Execs Embrace Video. Forbes Insights survey has some eye opening statistics about how receptive execs are...

Stanford Research Study Finds Innovation Engineering is a true “Breakout Innovation” System

Stanford Research Study Finds Innovation Engineering is a true “Breakout Innovation” System

A team of Stanford researchers have found that most “innovation methods” don’t actually result in innovative solutions.  Most simply result in “innovation as usual.”   Their research found that Innovation Engineering went beyond “Innovation-as-Usual” to true Breakout Innovation based on their review of the work that March of Dimes has done with Innovation Engineering.   Their two year study identified five practices that enable Breakout Innovation.  Each of these align with Innovation Engineering practices.

Get off the road… to reset your mindset this summer.

This week I learned the importance of getting off the road so to reset my mindset.     This insight came from a conversation with my daughter Victoria.     She sent the following photo of the “loop” in Yellowstone National Park. It was jammed with tourists visiting the expected tourist things.   Eventually, the frustration of being bumper to bumper in a national park got to her.  She felt her frustration growing and growing.   She then did the only thing she could think of "She Got Off The Road." 

The Why Behind the How

The Why Behind the How

I am an educator by trade, not by schooling. So, I learn a lot about learning every time I teach a class. 

This week, while teaching a Fundamentals of Innovation class, a participant taught me something I will never forget. 

Each morning of our training, we ask the class to reflect on the previous day. We ask participants to share what they learned, big picture, from the previous day.  

One gentleman in class shared a story. He said that a while back he had been taught one of the same methods that we taught in class. However, it was taught differently that time. The method was taught at face value, in other words, he was taught to follow the method step by step to get the desired results. 

He said he didn’t think that it would work for him in his job- so he never tried the method after that class. He had no confidence in the method

Jump Start Your Brain - Spark Deck 6.14.2017

This week's Jump Start Your Brain Slides include:

Future Mining: How often do you think the average person checks their phone?  And how does this or is this going to affect your business?

Insight Mining: What is the most frequent household problem? Can you prevent it? Can you help with after care?

Wisdom Mining:  Artificial Intelligence tracks many things including whether or not you are paying attention.

Innovation’s Biggest Risk

Innovation’s Biggest Risk

There are a lot of different reasons to stop an innovation project, but Innovation Engineering Labs categorizes risk into 3 categories: Technology, Organization, and Market Risk.

1. Technology Risks kill 40% of innovation projects. 

These risks are all about whether you can actually build the innovation and make it work. While there are plenty of projects that start without a clear path of how to make it work, more often teams discover that it works, but just not well enough to deliver on the promise they want to make customers. If your organization struggles with high technology risk, I recommend creating ideas that stem from new technologies and patents.

Jump Start Your Brain - Spark Deck 6.07.2017

This week's Jump Start Your Brain Slides include:

Patent Mining: One inventor turned the bathroom into a workspace.  Instead of just stopping at the magazine rack they created a whole workstation specifically for the bathroom.

Market Mining: Amazon has embraced the unknown for their Amazon Now warehouses.  Instead of stocking things like normal everything gets randomly placed on the shelves and scanned in.  This saves time in stocking and allows computers to do their magic when it comes time to pick the items.

Unrelated Mining:  SplinterWorks has created a carbon fiber hammock bathtub.  Taking a normal luxury space and transforming it to the pinnacle of relaxation.

Why the craft movement is going to kill off corporations.

What I learned last week is that I have underestimated the impact of the craft movement.  

Before last week I knew it was growing in beer, spirits, restaurants.  I have even founded a craft bourbon & whiskey company called Brain Brew Scientific Spirits.  

However, this past weekend, I learned first hand how powerful the craft movement is.   What I learned shocked even me.  

Jump Start Your Brain - Spark Deck 5.31.2017

This weeks Jump Start Your Brain Slides include:

1. Wisdom Mining: The impact of video technology on learning a recent study conducted with 141 participants and published in the most recent issue of Appetite.

2. Market Mining: Are you still thinking about millenials in the right way? Did you know 40% of them are now parents?

3. Unrelated Mining: What is your biggest challenge? And how one woman 

ALERT there is an epidemic of OLD AGE Disease!

BACKSTORY on this BLOG POST - This blog post was inspired by three conversations last week.  During one day I was asked by three friends if I'm retired or retiring.  My first feeling was of surprise as the thought has not entered my mind.   My second feeling was of sympathy.  Each of the people asking was clearly hurting.   

As i reflected on it later I realized that each had caught OLD AGE disease and were unsettled by it.  I could see it on their faces and In their voices. With their questions they were looking for confirmation that others were feeling the same feelings of despair.  

Click below to learn my irreverent and hopefully somewhat inspiring Diagnosis and Treatments for OLD AGE Disease!

Is it ever time to stop?

Is it ever time to stop?

Welcome to the first Friday post of the Innovation Engineering blog, where will be offering you tips and ideas for acting on innovation each Friday.

A great question to start with for innovation is, “Where are you on the curve?” Think about your division, your department, your product, your company…your career.  Are you just starting out? Have you hit your peak of highest profits and greatest returns? Are you on the downside?  Honestly, wherever you are on the curve doesn't matter. Innovation can restart your profitability no matter where you are.

Jump Start Your Brain - Spark Deck 5.24.17

Each Wednesday the Innovation Engineering Institute team publishes three to six Spark Deck® slides designed to ignite fresh ideas.  This weeks slides include: 

  1. Future Mining: On a mega shift in demographics that is bigger then you could ever imagine. 
  2. Wisdom Mining:  Hard data on a strategy that is 380% More impactful than the classic approach
  3. Market Mining: On how Health Care is reinventing itself and you could use the same approach to help your organization.

What part of never ending do you not understand?

Grow or die.  It’s the truth.   Your body replaces old cells with new ones at the rate of millions per second.  The same is true of our careers, organizations and relationships. 

I was reminded of this when my systems thinking mentor Walter Werner, Deming Master wrote me recently. 

 “I have expressed my frustration when people say: We already did Deming. If you understand the Deming Wheel then PDSA (Plan, Do, Study, Act) must be repeated over and over until you die or at least retire. 

We used to say continuous improvement but almost in defense we started saying never ending continuous improvement.  Even then we continued to hear: but when will we be done? (Repeat to yourself: WHAT PART OF NEVER ENDING DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND?)

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 the idea.  They’re about playing “king of the hill” with yourself.  They're about "future proofing" your idea.    They involve pushing yourself to go beyond good to GREAT.

They are also about getting everyone who will be needed to make the idea that has just gotten approval for development together - to talk about the whole idea - so to optimize the appeal, profitability, regulatory, etc. etc. etc.

The RECREATE session today blew me away. 

The people blew me away.  I've been doing innovation sessions for 40 years (UGH) - and today one of the team members presented a spark deck in a way I'd never seen before.  She presented what could have been "normal" in a unique step by step manner that made me think in a totally new way.  It rocked!

Frankly, when we first started doing RECREATE sessions I thought they would be difficult as people's egos would prevent them from letting go of their “baby”   I’ve been totally wrong.   Yes there are a few “speed bumps” and bruised egos here and there - however overall the MISSION to do as we say  “Cool Shit that Matters”  - overwhelms ego.

A the end of the day a Customer InterACT session -was held.  The people who had invented new ideas presented raw and rough prototypes of products / visuals / etc…to dozens of customers.   There was open excitement - spontaneous “fist bumps” as ideas were being presented.

Congratulations to the team for having the courage to let they “baby” be made better and better. It is that spirit of never ending innovation -  that guarantees this will be a huge success….

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 the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.” 

And that is why the Innovation Engineering Movement exists. 

Our mission is to change the world through systems that

enable innovation by everyone, everywhere, every day

resulting in increased innovation speed and decreased risk

We enable innovation through training individuals on how to create, communicate and commercialize their ideas.

We enable innovation through tools that enable anyone to be able to work faster, smarter and more creatively..

It's a bit embarrassing...

Today, a certified Innovation Engineering Black Belt - working with InnovationEngineeringLabs tools - is at least 5 times more inventive and innovative then I was  when the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Inc Magazine and others proclaimed me to be  an "Innovation Guru."

Best of all - now everyone...everywhere ... can can become an "Innovation Guru" in the eyes of the media and the masses.   The training to begin the path towards certification is called Innovation College.  It's taught using a patent pending system known as Cycles to Mastery.   It uses cycles of learning - featuring different methods of learning - digital, hands on labs, experiences, feedback cycles, group and individual to ensure that everyone, everywhere can become an Innovation Master.

I'm teaching Innovation College - the Black Belt mastery course the first week of May.  If you'd like to join me - click here to learn more and to register.     Or call 513 271 9911 in the USA.   Thanks to the support of corporations around the world - a range of scholarships are available to help defray the cost for individuals, very small companies and non-profits.

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.

  1. NO ALIGNMENT ON PRIORITIES (34%):  This included having too many priorities, not making choices, not making decisions on focusing on growth versus cost savings.
  2. POOR SYSTEMS (24%):  This included not having a system, unclear roles and expectations, poor methods.
  3. LACK OF COOPERATION (21%):  This included challenges with internal silos as well as poor levels of cooperation with supply chain and customers.
  4. DECISION MAKING (7%): Can't make decisions, make the wrong decisions, no system for making smart decisions.
  5. TECHNICAL PROBLEMS (7%):  Can't solve a technical challenge.
  6. NEED NEW PRODUCT (3%): 

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 - ALIGNMENT - SYSTEMS - COOPERATION are the root causes of most stress and frustration in the workplace. 

We can do better with these.  We can fix these.   With Innovation Engineering our education, tools and system efforts are focused primarily on addressing these top three issues. We find that when you get those right - the others take care of themselves.

It's time for all of us to stand up and confront the REAL ISSUES ... to confront the true ROOT CAUSES of our frustration.

Friends, life is short - let's confront the real issues - let's fix the system and make work fun again.



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:

It's called 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 to invent what looks to be the most advanced system on Earth.
  • Merwyn Rapid Research 3.0 - Finally, it's easy for everyone to make smarter decisions on innovations. The third generation system is arguably the most intelligent research platform on Earth. Questionnaire design and fielding in 1 minute or less with real time results and statistical cross tabs.
  • Patent ROI 3.0 - Finding technology to enable breakthrough ideas - from free and low cost Flea Market patents has never been easier. The third generation provides deeper databases, smarter search and an upgraded Idea to Patent platform that enables you to write a provisional patent faster than ever before.

New Things are Brewing

As we enter 2017...everyone starts the year with resolutions and goals for the year.  This year No Guru Needed has exciting new things in the works Innovation and Eureka Ranch new in 2017stay tuned!

In the meantime if you haven't checked out the new Eureka! Ranch website you should ( and if you haven't read up on the new Innovation Engineering Quick Start Course go check it out ( or better yet reach out to learn more about any of the upcoming ones.

We hope everyone had a great Holiday and a Happy New Year!

The Team at Eureka! Ranch International, Ltd.