An Easy Brainstorming Tool

An Easy Brainstorming Tool

We've all been invited to brainstorming sessions where you walk into a board room with white walls a big conference table and probably a chart pad or white board on the wall.  The host then says we need BIG ideas  - okay, go...crickets...crickets.  Someone finally speaks up - throws out an idea and it is immediately shot down for a million different reasons. A few more ideas might be tossed around, but it all ends the same - everyone is bored and frustrated and no one feels like the problem was actually solved.  If you are lucky the host tried to be "creative" and might of brought a few Nerf guns and possibly some other toys to make everyone feel even more "creative." No matter what it ended in the same way a few ideas, nothing anyone is that excited about and everyone goes back to their daily lives thinking I hate brainstorming.

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

Why you should know about the Global IP Index

Why you should know about the Global IP Index

It is getting to be award time around the entertainment world.  And there are awards also being handed out in the intellectual property world.  (Ok, maybe not the BEST bridge in subjects, but most of that entertainment stuff is protected by intellectual property.)

The US Chamber of Commerce recently released its annual Global IP Index for 2018.  

The Chamber provides this index as "a blueprint for countries seeking to become true knowledge-based economies through an effective intellectual property (IP) architecture. Every individual economy represents a blank canvas, with policymakers using broad strokes in the form of IP policy to paint their country’s innovative and creative futures."

Jump Start Your Brain - Spark Deck 2.7.2018

This week's spark deck includes:

Wisdom Mining: Do you know the extent of your social impact on the community?

Patent Mining: What technologies could you utilize to help your company and community in regards to the environment?

Insight Mining: How can you improve your Corporate Social Responsibility?

Jump Start Your Brain - Spark Deck 1.31.2018

This week's spark deck includes:

Wisdom Mining: Do coupons lead to repeat purchases? A study out of the University of Tennessee says, "no."

Insight Mining: Education vs Telling :: How could you educate your customer vs telling your customer about what you do? 

Unrelated Mining: How can you learn from the most trusted brands in America?

It's Time to Let your Idea Mature & Achieve Greatness

It's Time to Let your Idea Mature & Achieve Greatness

We all do it. We are faced with a challenge and we come up with an idea to solve that challenge and from the moment the idea is born we fall in love with it…just like a baby or a puppy.  We all think our idea is perfect, beautiful, and is THE idea, the one that will solve the challenge and make the world a better place. I'm personally guilty of this.

But, like Jobs said that is wrong...

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.

Innovating in a Fearful Culture

Innovating in a Fearful Culture

“If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late”

Some of us hear this quote by Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, and totally agree. You have no trouble putting your ego aside, because you know that you will learn from this version and the next version will be even better.  However, you are in the minority. 

Jump Start Your Brain - Spark Deck 1.17.2018

This week's Spark Deck Slides include:

Market Mining: The Hydro Hammock :: If you change the state of liquid can we transform into something new?

Unrelated Mining: MIT has created a device that lets you interact with the physical world through the world.

Patent Mining: A Suspended Hammock :: How can we take things to the extreme beyond what is reasonable?

3 Reasons to Set Deadlines and Stick to Them

3 Reasons to Set Deadlines and Stick to Them

When we’re in school deadlines are all over the place: tests, projects due, homework due, get to class on time, midterms, finals; everywhere you look you find deadlines. But once we get out into the business world deadlines can start to disappear and become a lot more fluid. This is especially true when it comes to innovation and we approach the unknown. Even when we lack the structure and venture into the unknown deadlines are still important and here’s three reasons you should use them, even with innovation.

  1. Deadlines force you to make decisions. When you have a deadline coming up be it anything from a trade show to a review meeting with your board of directors deadlines force you to a conclusion. They force you to make decisions and help prevent you from arguing over something that doesn’t matter for weeks on end.

Webinar on TEAM SPEED this Friday

Webinar on TEAM SPEED this Friday

This friday Jan 12, 2018 at 12:30 PM EST - the Innovation Engineering Institute is offering a FREE Webinar on how to ignite team speed.

To work at the speed of innovation means your team needs to be in synch for speed. In this webinar we'll talk about what dynamics are at play for teams and how to set up for innovation success. 

The webinar will feature Kevin Cahill - Executive Director of the Deming Institute and Doug Hall - Founder of the Eureka! Ranch. 

Jump Start Your Brain - Spark Deck 1.10.2018

This week's Spark Deck Slides include:

Unrelated Mining: Did you know Bitcoin could be destroying the environment? Does your offering have an unanticipated outcome you might not of anticipated?

Future Mining: What's old is new again! Could you re-boot a classic in a new way?

Patent Mining: According to CNNtech voice assistants are everywhere at CES 2018 :: Is there a patent available that may get your foot in the door?

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.  

Embracing the "X" as you Learn to Innovate

Embracing the "X" as you Learn to Innovate

This week's No Guru Required post comes from Innovation Specialist, David Moskal of inVision Edge our good friends and partner in Canada:

“I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison

You’ve been taught that there’s only one right answer to a given problem. Think back to elementary school. Recess. Games. Learning. Early on, we learn that many of our text books have the answers in the back pages. If your answer doesn’t match up with what’s in the back of the book, you’re wrong. Pretty quickly, we catch on that there’s only one right answer.

As adults, this mentality sticks with us. We don’t like being wrong. We want our idea to be perfect before we ever show anyone or submit anything. We strive for perfect data before making any decisions, and we get stuck in “paralysis by analysis” while we search for that perfect data. Months pass without any decision being made as to what direction to take regarding a business problem. Resources, like time and money, are wasted in the process. Sound familiar?

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.