Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all Innovation Engineering Leadership Alumni, I read this article and just had to share it.  CLICK HERE .

It cites hard data on how when you are thankful you sleep better, feel better phyisically and emotionally - and you even enhance feelings of romance!

So in the spirit of the day - here's my Innovation Engineering "thank you list"

I'm thankful for the Visionaries:  Before there was an Innovation Engineering Leadership institute there were two leaders - Roger Kilmer - leader of NIST/MEP and Bob Kennedy - leader of the University of Maine (now retired).  They saw the need for an Innovation System before others saw it.   Today it's easy to be a supporter of Innovation Engineering.  The results that Companies, Governments and Unviersities are realizing far exceed our most optimistic dreams.   However, in the beginning - when there was nothing but a vision - Roger and Bob made unconditional commitments to the program. For that I am eternally grateful.

I'm also thankful for the next generation of visionaires - from Nist/MEP - the U Maine Chancellors office - the 5 Universitity Presidents who have brought Innovation Engineering to their campuses.  And - to Paul Ferguson the new President of the University of Maine who has brought fresh ideas and energy to the program.  It's rare that i say this but President Ferguson is thinking even bigger and bolder than I was.   I am so thankful that he's leading U Maine.

I'm thankful for the Evangelists:  I know of no words that do justice to the incredible people who I collectively call the Evangelists.  They include the staff of the U Maine Foster Center for Student Innovation - the U Maine Innovation Engineering Faculty, the Faculty at other Universites, the NIST/MEP Black Belts, the Corporate Black Belts.  This incredible community of people are the ones that make the program run and most importantly - they make it better every day, every week.

I'm thankful for the Students:  From the University Students to the Company Executives who believed in the cause. They've put up with classes that are undergoing continuous improvement, homework that was at times too big, too easy and too hard.  They've kept their sense of humor - and taught us what works and what doesn't.

Two days ago I was with one of the first companies to make a full commitment to the Innovation Engineering Management system.  It was AWESOME. They've gone from taking an average of 50 weeks to make a "go for development" decision to 12 weeks about 6 months ago to this week they made decisions on 2 ideas in just 5 weeks.    That's a 10X improvement in speed.   How wicked cool is that!

I'm thankful for Technology:  The new technology from the internet, to National Innovation Marketplace to iPads is unbelievable.  I believe we have just scratched the surface of what's possible.  If there is one thing you will see next year from Innovation Engineering is a massive doubling down on even more technology tools.  Having seen peeks at what's in development you are in for a real treat!

I'm thankful for the Legends:  From Debono to VanGundy to Prince to Herrmann to Ricky and many others.  I'm thankful that rather than just do consulting work and make a buck - they took the time to research, write and publish their findings.

I'm thankful for the Ranch Family:  Maggie Slovonic and I take the stage at Innovation Engineering Leadership Institutes however we are supported by an incredible team of people.  I'm honored and humbled to work with them.  Their commitment to doing the right things in the right way no matter what the short term pain it might cause them - is inspiring.  Last week we held our quarterly Learning Summit - where each employee reviewed what they had learned in the past 3 months.  I was speechless.

Your Homework This Week:  Be Thankful. And, let others know it.  Being thankful it's good to do and it's good for you!