To Infinity and Beyond!

Good Morning Innovation Leaders, It's been a glorious summer.

I've enjoyed sailing, kayaking - and listening to Bag Pipes.....Debbie and I traveled to Scotland with our College of Piping band from Summerside PEI Canada and placed in 5th in the World!

Their courage, their concentration, their professionalism was inspirational to say the least.

The picture to the right is from the preliminary round in the morning.

Most impressive of all - was the attitude of the leadership of the College.   They were excited about the finish.   However, the leadership saw it as just another step.   Becoming world champion is a never ending challenge as the competition never stays still.  Competing at a world class level means practicing to -- as Buzz Lightyear says "To Infinity and Beyond."

After a well deserved rest - and a few more solo piping championships for our piping instructors to compete in across Scotland during August - they will be back at it with not one but three separate bands - in three different divisions.

This summer I've also had the opportunity to do lots of reading, writing and LEARNING from Dr. Deming.

I've learned from Dr. Deming by watching the Deming Library created by Clare Crawford-Mason.  I'm selecting segments to use as part of the Innovation Engineering education efforts both on campus and as part of Innovation Engineering leadership institutes and other training programs.

The thing that comes to mind as I step back and reflect is the fact that Dr. Deming is not talking about some tools, tricks or gimmicks.  His message is a message of transformation of mindset.

It's about thinking differently about how you approach the leadership of your organization.It's about never ending change.  It is about

TO INFINITY AND BEYOND.

To Infinity and Beyond is how long you need to work on innovation.

THINK. Would you like to purchase as your new car a brand new 1977 Toyota, a brand new 1981 Apple II? Would you even like to purchase a 2009 Toyota or IPod?.

If you answer NO -- then look in the mirror.

What is meaningfully unique about your organization's products and services today versus last year?

What is meaningfully unique about YOUR PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS today versus last year?

i.e. What have you learned?

To Infinity and Beyond is how long you need to do Fail FAST Fail CHEAP.  Fail FAST Fail CHEAP cycles of learning (or the Deming cycle of Plan, Do, Study, Act if you prefer) is not about one try - it's about endless, relentless tries.

As I watch the video of the founder of Toyota talk about how Dr. Deming saved his company - I'm reminded that Toyota was not built through Toyota Manufacturing Process -- it was not built from flashy cars.

Rather it was built by Never Ending cycles of Plan, Do, Study, Act of the ENTIRE SYSTEM - from Product Design, to Manufacturing, to Customer feedback to Redesign of Products, To Redesign of Products, to Redesign of Products.

A number of years ago I spoke at a meeting of 1,500 Toyota managers and suppliers.  After the speech I had dinner with one of the senior leaders of Toyota.  I seem to remember he was in his early 60's.   I asked him what company was he most scared of from a competition standpoint.  He didn't hesitate he said "the Koreans."   I said but they don't make very good cars (at the time they were horrible).  He replied, "Neither did we. Every year we improve.   The Korean's understand this.  The rest of the world doesn't"

Yes my friends.... To Infinity and Beyond.

That's why - leaders need lead the transformation of mindset within their organization.

Fortunately - thousands are doing it -- AND most importantly as they connect with us at Innovation Engineering Black Belt trainings, at Leadership Institutes, on IE Labs.com and in our field visits - we are collectively getting smarter and smarter.

Thanks to you the pioneers - we now have much more effective and efficient ways of Entrepreneurial Cultures of NEVER ENDING INNOVATION with Increasing Speed & Decreasing Risk.

If it's been a while - and you'd like to restart your Innovation Engineering culture change effort - PLEASE contact me directly - just click on about doug on the right of the blog page then select CONTACT DOUG and send me an e-mail with your phone number.   I'd be happy to call you and educate you -- I have nothing more important to do....and I'm really rested and ready to help Reignite American Innovation & Growth!

Cheers

Doug

p.s. Thanks to my wife Debbie for the inspiration for this blog....She's the one who suggested it was... "To Infinity & Beyond"

p.p.s.  I'll be drinking a toast to you -- to all of you -- the members of the Innovation Engineering Movement -- later today at the Bruce Springsteen Concert in Moncton N.B. Canada!