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

How Can Benjamin Franklin Manage Your Innovation Project?

Posted by Scott Dunkle on Apr 14, 2016 10:00:00 AM


When it comes to Time Management and Decision Making, few thought leaders have come close to longer lasting methods than those of Benjamin Franklin.

The cornerstone of Innovation Engineering, project management bases itself on managing Milestones, Death Threats, and Tasks in order to make decisions and deliver your projects faster. 

Time Management

Many of Franklin’s time management methods can be applied to your own daily improvement of habits, as well as projects using the Innovation Engineering methods. In this article, the author mentions three key elements that are present in Franklin’s methods:

  1. He started out committed to the new behavior.
  2. He worked on only one habit at a time.
  3. He put in place visual reminders.

When applying these to furthering your innovation projects we can come up with a few aspects based on Franklin’s virtues and base methods of time management:

  • Set your priorities up front
  • Only work on items that fall within your priorities. Say NO to the rest.
  • Break your roadblocks into manageable tasks.
  • Kill unworthy projects faster.
  • Document everything to keep everyone informed - and to keep learning every day.
Decision Making

Ben Franklin also pioneered the idea of the “pros-and-cons list” in which he would write down over a span of a few days, the pros and cons of an important decision.  Once the list was complete he would strike out any pros that had the same “weight” as a con in the list (sometimes striking out two from one column if they together weighed the equal of one on the other column).  Once there was nothing left to strike out - he would make his informed decision.

Good decision making practices can cut failure rates nearly in half.


Learn more about  Innovation Engineering 


Topics: innovation, innovation process, innovation pipeline

Scott Dunkle

Written by Scott Dunkle

Scott is the Tech Guy. The leader of all things digital creating an innovation platform like no other in the world. And he never misses a chance to throw in a Star Wars reference.

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.


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