Three Simple Secrets to Success

To be successful with Innovation Engineering there are three simple things you must embrace 1. I Don’t Know (meaning you are open to learning more via stimulus mining)

2. I Need Help (meaning you are open to asking for help, to diversify your thinking with those inside and outside your organization)

3. I Love to learn from failing (meaning you live Fail FAST Fail CHEAP every day)

OR as YODA would say to Luke Skywalker

Great success will be when you embrace 3 simple things…

1. I not know…Hmmmm

2. Help, I need help

3. I Love Fail FAST Fail CHEAP Yesssssss

The barrier to these three simple things – I don’t know – I need help – I love to learn from failing – is the unhealthy EGO.  We find  a healthy ego – when we become aware that opening ourselves up – is actually a sign of strength – not weakness.

When we embrace learning we actually become smarter.

This process starts with open sharing.  Sharing of our fears – successes – failures – personal thrills.

Innovation Engineering HOMEWORK for this week

Your homework this week is to "try" the three secrets.

Step 1:  Admit "I Don't Know"

This week admit you don't know something.  Then become a learner.  Start with the Internet – the answers to most of the world's problems are there – you just need to be open to learning.

Step 2:  Admit "I Need Help"

This week admit you need help.  Then diversify your thinking by asking for help with those inside and outside your organization.

Step 3:  Embrace "I Love to learn from failing"

Just do it.  Try something that you know will likely fail. From this you will get smarter – GUARANTEED.

My daughter Tori – the Vet – who has my passion for changing the world sent the following quotes to me last week. Each speak to the 3 simple things.

Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an

experiment. The more experiments you make the better.  What if they are a

little course, and you may get your coat soiled or torn?  What if you do

fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice. Up again, you shall

never be so afraid of a tumble.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some things cannot be spoken or discovered until we have been stuck,

incapacitated, or blown off course for awhile. Plain sailing is pleasant,

but you are not going to explore many unknown realms that way. 

-David Whyte



A company that is fully committed to Innovation Engineering is looking to hire someone to LEAD their efforts.   I've pasted below their job description.   If you are interested in applying forward your information to me at

SENIOR Innovation Engineering Analyst

General Purpose:  The Senior Innovation Engineering Analyst:  This individual will work cross-functionally throughout the organization to rollout, evaluate and impact critical innovation engineering processes and to provide internal consulting around innovation engineering.

Product and Innovation Engineering Analysis, Coaching and Management:

Drive execution of company's innovation and commercialization process including:

  • Leveraging new product development and innovation engineering disciplines,spearhead the launch of a systemic innovation engineering process at Wright Express.
  • Lead bi monthly project review meetings.
  • Develop and refine a streamlined stage gate process that facilitates new product development.
  • Assist in the development of innovation platform strategies in partnership with Innovation Team Leads to ensure that projects are clearly defined, on strategy with long terms visions, and are adequately resourced.
  • Develop appropriate key performance indicators and ensuring that they are monitored and reported.

Provides hands-on coaching/mentoring to managers and key associates on all aspects of Business Innovation. Instill the Wright Express "Innovation Approach" thinking, tools, and methodology throughout the organization.

Assess business innovation process needs of internal and external customers, partners and third-parties.  Make recommendations to improve process .

Working with managers, drive adoption of  innovation engineering changes, prepare training material, conduct training as needed and conduct 90 day reviews of projects after completion. Work with Innovation Project Managers to develop schedules, project estimates, resource plans, and status reports.  Communicate effectively, with well developed presentation skills, to influence and guide all levels in organization and with partners. 

 Project Coaching, Management, Training &  Documentation 

  • Lead and coach associates on execution of  innovation projects from original concept through final implementation.  Work with HR in developing Innovation Engineering Training Modules for associates. Define and lead definition of  project scope and objectives to achieve calculated ROI achieve financial forecast.  Interface with all areas of the business affected by the project including end users, Sales, Marketing, Product, Technical services, and Client Service Operations and customers/parents as needed.  Conduct and coach on effective project meetings and coach/take responsibility for project tracking and analysis. Ensure adherence to quality standards and reviews project deliverables.  Identify and escalate any potential issues/risks to overall project return.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

Strong analytical experience and skills in the new product development and/or innovation engineering processes. Background in new product development, innovation methodologies or project management with demonstrated experience with process improvements methodologies such as Lean/ Six Sigma/Business Process Management; related work experience may be substituted.

Strong general management business background including skills in communication, presentation and reporting.

Highly developed interpersonal skills including influence beyond formal authority. Strong collaboration skills. Individual should have previous experience in coaching and leading teams.

Non-direct report coaching/mentoring/training experience required.

Bachelor degree required MBA in Marketing preferred. Certification programs in new product development, innovation also preferred.

Guidance and Freedom to Act

Freedom to act independently with very limited supervision from management.


Impacts revenues and internal/external customers directly depending on magnitude of project scope.  Any changes in project timelines could result in seriously impacting aspects as directed within a particular project.  Budget impacts range anywhere from $1,00,000 to $5,000,000 in incremental revenue related to new product and service launches over a three year period.


Daily contact with internal and external customers, prospects, partners, and vendors at all levels, global and national, to resolve complex problems and answer questions on any facet of innovation engineering.