Butt-Head Principle

Good Morning My good friend Verne Harnish  - author and expert at helping fast growth companies - said at a recent event -- "I can identify your priorities by reviewing your calendar.  Where ever you are is what is most important to you."

His comment reminded me of something I used to push folks on.  It's the same idea with a  more irreverent name.  I call it the Butt - Head Principle.

Said simply, your head is where your butt is.  And where you place your butt is what is MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU.   If your butt is parked in meetings all day, then that’s where you brain is most focused.  If your butt is parked in the auditorium of your kids theatre performance, then that’s where you’re most present.

Not only are you thinking about and spending more time and energy on things where your butt sits, but the people with you see you showing up and realize that this is important to you too.

So the next time you tell your sales staff that face-to-face visits with potential clients is critical but you’re parked behind your desk looking at research, think about the Butt - Head Principle.

The next time you tell your staff that factory flaws and production mistakes must be rectified, but you’ve not been inside the plant in 2 years, think about the Butt - Head Principle.

The next time you say “Hey, this innovation stuff is priority #1” but you haven’t yet yourself been to any Innovation Engineering Training, CREATE session, project team or pipeline meeting or learning review, think about the Butt - Head Principle.

In my business life we have three Blue Cards at the Innovation Engineering Institute -- my goal is to have 90% of my time focused on those strategic priorities.  I don't always do well - sometimes I'm below 50%.  When I don't I don't beat myself up - I simply refocus the next day.  The result is almost 3 million Delta Sky Miles.   It's not a badge of honor - rather it's a statement on what I feel is most important.   I love Go to Meeting - but you can't do this stuff remotely.

So my question to you is - where is your BUTT going to be  today?

Where is your BUTT going to be on Thursday and Friday?

AND - with regards to family - where is it going to be on Saturday and Sunday?

Years ago I gave a presentation in New Hampshire.  The CEO of a mid sized company talked to me after the presentation - he was really bothered by this Butt-Head principle concept.    About 6 months later I ran into him at another event I was doing - he introduced himself again and thanked me for teaching him the Butt-Head principle.

I'm paraphrasing from memory - but he said something like

"When we first met I was pretty discouraged with my company.  I was thinking of selling it.   After your talk I went home and reviewed my calendar.  I realized that what was "most important to me" was my desk -- that I spent all my time at my desk.   And frankly a desk is not much fun.  So I resolved to get my Butt out --- into the factory, out with customers and suppliers.   It quickly became more fun again.   I've actually gotten rid of my desk and office - so that I don't get in love with it again.  I now meet with people in our conference room or in their office.  Thank you for helping me make it fun again.

This my friends is what the Innovation Engineering movement is all about -- it's about making it fun again as the video says.


WHO it is — WHAT it is — WHY pursue — HOW it works — WHERE to start.

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I will be presenting the webinar live from the new Innovation Engineering NETWORK studio as we call it.   We’ve had some Fail FAST Fail CHEAP test runs – with more to come.  Our hopes are that the event will be more than simply “a voice over slides.”  Our hopes are to have it be interactive with polls during the event as well as live questions from you – via both text as well as direct audio – like we used to do with Brain Brew Radio.

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