Two Emails that Will Give You Fresh Hope for the Future

Good Morning Innovation Thought Leaders,

Maggie, Jill, Greg and I are teaching Innovation College at the Ranch this week.  We have a fresh class starting the journey to become Innovation Engineering Black Belts.

Yesterday morning as the class was starting I received two emails - one from the USA the other from AFRICA. In different ways - both spoke of the transformation of mindset that is occurring.

For all of you who are working so very hard to help your organization make "The Flip" to an innovation mindset I thought these two emails might give you a boost :).



THE first email  is from a student in a COMMERCIALIZE class on one of the Colleges teaching the course this semester

"I really liked doing the PDSA assignments. I thought the airplane thing was a little silly at first but it did a really good job of driving the point home that the instructors were trying to make this week; Paper airplanes are something that I knew very little about and had never really given much thought to before that class.

I did not even realize that paper airplane flying was almost like a competitive sport, they have paper airplane competitions and world records for Godsakes. Anyways going into the class I knew how to fold one very basic paper airplane that did not fly very well at all.

After the Hour and fifteen minute class and several PDSA sessions later I just about quadrupled the distance that my original airplane flew. So just imagine if I could get that much smarter about paper airplanes in an hour and fifteen minutes, imagine how much smarter I could get about a topic that really mattered to me.

I think this week did a really awesome job of making that point clear. Coming into the class on Tuesday I had watched the videos and understood what a PDSA cycle was but I did not understand what it really meant to learn from the cycle. It truly is about getting smarter and understands why making improvements or changes to an idea are going to work or not work.

Knowledge is power and PDSA cycles are a way of obtaining that knowledge and in essence power.

This is a tool that I will not only be able to utilize in the classroom but in the real world. There are so many real world applications for PDSA cycles that it is unbelievable. PDSA is really a system designed to make you smarter and your ideas better.

When you think about it, a formulaic approach to almost guaranteed improvement is a pretty meaningful and rare commodity.

The more I learn about Innovation Engineering and the tools that it gives the more I love it and can find usages for it throughout my everyday life.

I feel like I am going to go into the real world with a whole toolbox full of tools that I will be able to use to problem solve that the majority of my peers will not possess. It is kind of comforting in a way because Innovation Engineering almost gives you a way to make sense of chaos or to deal with chaos. It teaches you to take a problem and come up with a solution not to get held up and stuck on it.

Innovation Engineering is all about change and being the best you can be and having the best ideas you can come up with and then improving on your best. In a way Innovation Engineering is about striving for perfect, or as close to perfect as humanly possible. I am so glad I am taking these classes and getting the minor. I feel like I am actually really receiving something of value out of my education."

The second e-mail is from an adult who attended an Innovation Engineering Create session in Africa for his company. The session was a big first - for the company, for the employees of the company and for the Innovation Engineering  movement. I THANK YOU ALL FOR SHARING YOUR BRILLIANT IDEAS WITH US,

The job is what you do when you are told what to do. The job is showing up at the factory, following instructions, meeting spec, and being managed.

Someone can always do your job a little better or faster or cheaper than you can. The job might be difficult, it might require skill, but it's a job.

Your art is what you do with passion when no one can tell you exactly how to do it. Your art is the act of taking personal responsibility of what you do, challenging the status quo, and changing people.

I call the process of doing my art 'the work.'

It's possible to have a job and do the work, too. In fact, that's how you become a linchpin.