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

Jesse Bechtold

Jesse Bechtold
Jesse has held the title of CEO, CFO, CAO and more during his many years (he won't tell how many) in the workforce. Today he leads Eureka! Ranch's Innovation Engineering Network, LLC a world wide network of professionals committed to changing the world through innovation.
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Recent Posts

How Good Is Your Guru?

Posted by Jesse Bechtold on Nov 17, 2016 2:03:12 PM

Who among us has not smiled at the “Netflix Event” story?  The little upstart bringing a behemoth to its knees by defying the odds, reinventing the business model and disrupting an entire industry.  As well as we know the story, these events are hard to see while in progress.  These are easiest observed after the fact.

Disruption has been happening for a long time, consider…

  • railroads destroyed the innovative “Pony Express” system…
  • electric lights disrupted the candle makers and gas lamps…
  • digital cameras disrupting film photography…
  • personal computers disrupting business (and weekends!)…
  • online shopping disrupting retailing…and so on.

All along the way there were gurus who knew everything there was to know about trends in the care and feeding of ponies, candle making, film processing, stenography and box store floor plans. 

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Topics: Leading Innovation, leadership, stimulus mining

Why in the World Would I Do That?

Posted by Jesse Bechtold on Oct 13, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Imagine the cockpit conversation…

First Officer:  Looks like we are headed into turbulent air, sure glad you checked the annunciator panel when we started up and before we took off.

Pilot:  Yeah, looks a little rough…wait, what’s that about the annunciator?

First Officer:  You did check it, right?

Pilot:  I’m supposed to do that before every takeoff?

First Officer:  I thought so??

Pilot:  Well, why didn’t you say something…

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Topics: innovation, Leading Innovation, innovation system

The existing state of affairs in my family is about to change.

Posted by Jesse Bechtold on Sep 15, 2016 10:47:21 AM

By the time you read this, one of my three children will be married.  “Princess” is my middle child, the oldest daughter, the first to be married.  I am stunned.  Before you ask, yes, I expected my three children to return home from college and be my little family forever.  I expected them to never change, never take advantage of new opportunities, certainly to never move halfway across the country.  I thought I would be all they ever needed to have a happy, fulfilled life.

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Topics: innovation, Leading Innovation, why innovate

Innovation is not about Innovation

Posted by Jesse Bechtold on Aug 11, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Once upon a time,  our magazine news consumption was somewhat easier.  We were constrained by what you could afford to buy and carry around, if you subscribed, the updates came either weekly or monthly.  If you did pay-as-you-go it was necessary to find a way to the news counter.  It was not unknown for me to get through a month with but a single copy of National Lampoon Magazine…and my books…The Lord of the Rings, Catch 22, The House of Sixty Fathers.

Now I am older, more proper, more mature, as a friend of mine says.

I have an assistive reading, or hand-held, device.

No excuse to not be current on business and innovation.  Just to be sure, this past week I saw a list of the 5 Most Important Business Magazines.  Not to be outdone, I saw a competing list of the 10 Most Important Business Magazines (yes, there was overlap).  This longer list was followed by another 81 recommended business magazines.  Any of these can be delivered to my hand-held device immediately upon the release of any new story.  Not only can I get the story via their “app”, I can get an email or I can get a “twitter-thing” about it.

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Topics: Create, innovation, stimulus mining

What are Your Options For Innovation Education?

Posted by Jesse Bechtold on Jul 12, 2016 10:00:00 AM

If you want to be truly successful invest in yourself to get the knowledge you need to find your unique factor.  When you find it and focus on it and persevere your success will blossom.
- Sidney Madwed

If you are taking the time to read this you probably understand learning and education are a life-long pursuit. 

Arguably the most powerful tenet of Innovation Engineering is our belief that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things.  This kind of optimism and hope comes from a conviction that when people supply the motivation and confidence, the skills enabling meaningfully unique innovation can be taught.

Many options exist for studying innovation.  Executive programs, conferences, seminars and webinars can be found every week where we can hear about the latest study or the newest product launch.  I enjoy going to these, too.

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Topics: innovation, Leading Innovation, Education

When Is It Time To Start?

Posted by Jesse Bechtold on Jun 9, 2016 10:00:00 AM

I Remember taking my son to a baseball game on a really hot summer afternoon.  He was very young and anxious to see his favorite players.  We had gotten to the stadium early as I have an aversion to parking in a different time zone than where the game is played.

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Topics: innovation, Leading Innovation, leadership

Tapping Into Hearts and Minds with Intrinsic Motivation

Posted by Jesse Bechtold on May 10, 2016 10:00:00 AM

“Team, this year I have read a book about the importance of intrinsic rewards,” said the CEO, “in lieu of raises I have decided to double the number of intrinsic motivations you will receive.”

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Topics: innovation, leadership

Work on the Right Thing…

Posted by Jesse Bechtold on Apr 7, 2016 10:00:00 AM

I was a twenty-year old Airman First Class driving some even younger airmen to dinner on a midnight shift.  We were not supposed to be without a sergeant, but the dining hall was only open so long and we had to get “chow relief” finished. 

Our supervisor, seeing a truck full of relatively new airmen without a sergeant, called in a security exercise.  We had to respond to a building and secure the outside.  As the most senior person in the truck I had to direct the response.  We arrived, we deployed in a textbook way.  Our supervisor called us together, “A1C Bechtold, you showed confidence as you deployed your men to secure the building.” 

I was waiting for the big compliment!  “However, you failed the exercise.” 

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Topics: innovation, strategy, alignment

4 Different Types of Innovation Sessions

Posted by Jesse Bechtold on Mar 8, 2016 10:00:00 AM

I read an article encouraging leaders of organizations to have more ceremonies.  Bring people together and have a ceremony to launch a new product or a new market, ceremonies for reaching a goal or some personal achievements.   Ceremonies energize and build excitement. The author gave the example of Steve Jobs bringing his developers together and, while on stage, ceremoniously burying an effigy of an old version of OS in a casket while the developers cheered and mocked mourning.

Bringing people together also has a powerful impact on your innovation program.  In fact, the most impactful thing you can do to grow the value of your innovation pipelineis to run more sessions.  Each person coming to a session brings stimulus from their varied backgrounds, education and stimulus mining.  A group provides diversity of thinking styles and experiences.  And sessions provide us freedom within a framework to reduce the fear that is naturally part of exploring new ideas.  Stimulus, diversity and reduced fear, the three key variables in great innovation, are all the benefits of a well run innovation session.

We recommend four different types of innovation sessions:

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Topics: Create, innovation, diversity, innovation pipeline

When it Comes To Innovation What Do I Do First?

Posted by Jesse Bechtold on Feb 2, 2016 10:00:00 AM
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Topics: innovation, why innovate, innovation system

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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