Igniting Innovation: Tips, Sparks and Ideas for Acting on Innovation

Corie Roudebush Spialek

Corie Roudebush Spialek
Corie is the Director of Operations at the Eureka! Ranch and the Innovation Engineering Institute. For over 12 years she has spent her days, many nights and some weekends running logistics for all things Eureka! and Innovation Engineering. She is a DePauw University graduate who spends her free time at the pool or on the lake with her husband and three kids.
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Recent Posts

New Things are Brewing

Posted by Corie Roudebush Spialek on Jan 10, 2017 8:00:00 AM

As we enter 2017...everyone starts the year with resolutions and goals for the year.  This year No Guru Needed has exciting new things in the works stay tuned!

In the meantime if you haven't checked out the new Eureka! Ranch website you should (www.eurekaranch.com) and if you haven't read up on the new Innovation Engineering Quick Start Course go check it out (https://eurekaranch.com/quick-start/) or better yet reach out to learn more about any of the upcoming ones.

We hope everyone had a great Holiday and a Happy New Year!

The Team at Eureka! Ranch International, Ltd.

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Topics: innovation

Cintas Shares 3 Lessons Learned on Innovating in a commodity Market

Posted by Corie Roudebush Spialek on Nov 8, 2016 2:41:04 PM

Whether you know the Cintas name or not, odds are you’ve used their products nearly every day in one capacity or another. Thanks to their uniforms and apparel products and facility services everything from mom and pop restaurants to massive factories have the things they need to run smoothly.

But, like every business, Cintas knows well that in commodity markets it’s important to innovate. And now it was time to turn the focus to a product line we walk all over, mats.

“You might be thinking, ‘What can you possibly do to innovate mats?’ Well, it turns out, you can do quite a bit.” says Innovation Engineering Blue Belt and Innovation Leader for the Mats Category, Rich Bing.

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Topics: stimulus mining, Patents, pdsa

Developing a new idea? Now’s the time to be critical

Posted by Corie Roudebush Spialek on Oct 27, 2016 8:00:00 AM

The following post is reprinted with permission from David Moskal at InVision Edge in Winnipeg.

We’ve all seen entrepreneurs on Dragon’s Den or Shark Tank pitching their idea and pouring their heart out because they are so passionate about it. Some say they’ve even remortgaged their home or spent their retirement money to fund their idea, only to hit a death threat that puts the idea in jeopardy. The Dragons or Sharks beg them to stop investing in their idea and kill it before it’s too late.

What a defeating feeling. Imagine investing a bunch of time and money into an idea, only to find a roadblock that is immovable. All those hours and dollars become a sunk cost and leave you wishing you had seen this coming earlier. This happens more often than you’d think – and even multi-million dollar companies experience it.

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Topics: innovation, Leading Innovation, fail fast fail cheap

No One is Safe from Innovation

Posted by Corie Roudebush Spialek on Oct 5, 2016 8:00:00 AM

My friend, Wendy Ferris, at InVision Edge recently shared the article, "Costco's CFO doesn't belive his company is Amazon-Proof."  After reading the article in Business Insider it reminded me of one of my previous blog posts and I thought it was worth another share. What I think Richard Galanti has that those before him didn't understand is that he doesn't believe that Costco in invincible.

The world is constantly changing.  Nothing stays the same. Innovation changes the world on a regular basis. In my short life I have personally experienced life changing innovation in how I watch movies, communicate with friends and family, and receive world news.  By no means is that a complete list. 

What I ask you today is, "Are you planning for the next big world changing innovation?"

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Topics: innovation, Leading Innovation, strategy

9 Times Leaders Missed the Mark on Innovative Thoughts

Posted by Corie Roudebush Spialek on Sep 1, 2016 10:00:00 AM

I was recently searching for inspiration on what to write when I came across a list of creativity and innovation quotes.

What I found the most compelling was the list of creativity killers:

  1. "Everything that can be invented has been invented."
    - Charles H. Duell, Director of the U.S. Patent Office, 1899
  2. "Sensible and responsible women do not want to vote."
    - Grover Cleveland, 1905
  3. "Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?"
    - Harry M. Warner, Warner Bros Pictures, 1927
  4. "There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom."
    - Robert Miliham, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923
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Topics: innovation, Leading Innovation, stimulus mining

Learning vs failing: Five tips to encourage your employees

Posted by Corie Roudebush Spialek on Aug 25, 2016 10:24:49 AM

The following is reprinted with permission from Innovation Engineering Black Belt, Rhonda Honke at inVision Edge.

When I was younger, experiments were saved for science class. We’d formulate some sort of hypothesis, mix a concoction in a beaker, heat it up and watch it overflow like lava. We’d document what we did, the results we achieved, and make a call as to whether or not we proved out our hypothesis. Sometimes we were right and sometimes we were wrong — regardless, we always learned something as a result.

So here is the burning question: why have we, as adults, become so afraid of failure? The answer: Because it requires us to be vulnerable, and that incites fear. The average organization encourages learning but frowns on failure — giving employees the message that they had better be sure their hypothesis is correct before they even test it.

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Topics: leadership, fail fast fail cheap

Innovation Training: Fast Food And Fast Thinking

Posted by Corie Roudebush Spialek on Aug 10, 2016 2:46:26 PM

People often ask us where to start and what about training?  We wanted to share one companies experience with the trianing we LOVE the most:

Picture the scene: ‘Eureka Ranch’ in suburban Ohio; a meeting of professional minds from such diverse backgrounds as an international supermarket giant, Hawaiian culture programme INPEACE and a Canadian fish company; a super-charged week of 12 hour days with exercises timed against the clock and assignments graded in real time; a ‘no whining’ policy in place; and American-sized food portions and a self-serve M&M bar that would keep us fueled throughout.

It was the scene of our ‘Blue-Belt’ training in Innovation Engineering last month. IE is a world class innovation system deployed by power brands like P&G and with $8 billion worth of innovations in active development. The claims are no less impressive than its calibre: increasing speed to market by up to six times and reducing risk by 30-80%, and they have data from more than 20,000 innovations and 33 years of quantitative research to back it up.

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Topics: innovation, Leading Innovation, innovation system, innovation training, Education

Do You Use The Product You Sell?

Posted by Corie Roudebush Spialek on Jun 30, 2016 10:00:30 AM

I hope that everyone got a chance to read Maggie’s post on Tuesday,“Get the "Close to the Work" ReEnergizer.” It was a great post about how doing the work can bring life back to a leader.  I want to build on that and talk about not just helping to create ideas, but the importance of understanding and using the product you are innovating.

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Topics: Create, Leading Innovation

Innovation is not about a job title

Posted by Corie Roudebush Spialek on Jun 21, 2016 10:00:00 AM

The below post is reprinted with permission from Wendy Ferris at InVision Edge in Winnipeg.

When most people think of innovation, they think of Steve Jobs. They are right to do so. He was absolutely an innovator who changed the world with the work that he did. (Can you imagine carrying a camera, iPod, books and a cell phone separately now? The man saved me several pounds of luggage weight for my vacations with his inventions!)

Given that Steve Jobs is an icon, he sets the bar really high for the average person to think that they have anything innovative to offer. And although the average person innovates all the time in their personal lives tinkering in their garages, kitchens, workshops, basements… we are afraid to define ourselves as innovative at work. Instead, we leave it to the engineers and product development people.

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Topics: innovation, leadership

A 20 Million Dollar Innovation Pipeline in Less Then 8 Hours

Posted by Corie Roudebush Spialek on May 31, 2016 3:00:54 PM

Last week we held the 4th Annual Innovation Engineering Conference at Eureka! Ranch.  At the conference we created disruptive "leap" innovations in less then 8 hours on the first full day.

In truth - these types of big ideas that "matter" are no harder to create and develop then small ideas. That's because:

1) Innovation Leaps are changes that are worth the effort i.e. "they are cool stuff that matter"

2) Innovation Leaps have upside potential that creates pull within the organization

3) Innovation Leaps are a ton of fun to work on as they are truly Meaningfully Unique.

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Topics: Create, innovation

Welcome to the first blog from the Eureka! Ranch and Innovation Engineering Institute team.  Here you will find a diverse group of innovators dedicated to changing the world by transforming innovation from a random gamble to a reliable system that delivers increased innovation speed and decreased risk.


So, many exciting things are going on at Eureka! Ranch and with Innovation Engineering don't miss out on anything:

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