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

3 Reasons an Idea Ships

Posted by Greg Lemmon on Sep 22, 2016 10:16:44 AM

There are lots of reasons why ideas ship and plenty more why they don’t. I wanted to use this blog post to highlight the real reasons why a core innovation I developed shipped.

Reason Number 1: It solved a PROBLEM.

The customer’s problem was that it is difficult to resolve killer issues within a project. My idea was to make it easy to problem solve by immediately providing helpful stimulus with a click of a button.

But it wasn’t enough to just solve the customers’ problem, it also solved a problem for us that the current TRIZ tool wasn’t being used as much as it should be based on how effective it is.

Read More

Topics: Create, innovation, alignment

4 Easy Steps to Get the Most Out of Your Employees

Posted by Brad Hall on Aug 23, 2016 10:20:47 AM

We all have great people that work for us but sometimes it can be hard to get their full potential out of them.  These four steps are easy things to do that can help get the most out of the people you have working for you.

1. Set a mission and some boundaries:
No matter what it is every task from the smallest day to day thing to drastic changes in your company should have a mission and some boundaries to it.  How detailed these things are change depending on what it is of course.  For making a part in a factory the mission can be as simple as produce x number of parts per hour; while the boundaries could be the tolerances the part has to be within.  On the other end of the spectrum is your companies strategic planning for the year where the mission is where you want the company to head and your boundaries are the things you want to avoid or how much resources you can devote to it.  In the end everything that happens within our companies has a mission and boundaries and you should take the time to consider them even if it’s just in an informal way.

Read More

Topics: Leading Innovation, strategy, alignment

3 Ways to Get Your Innovation Team to Think Different

Posted by Maggie Slovonic Pfeifer on May 3, 2016 10:00:00 AM

A few weeks back, I asked you for yourInnovation Questions.  Thanks to everyone who contributed a question, and please continue to do so. The goal with my responses will be to suggest a tool, process or principle that could help you build a systemic solution. 

Below is a question from Graeme Crombie about helping his innovations teams open up to fresh insights.

“How can I persuade an innovation team to be more outward looking, curious, InnovationTeamLookingOutside.jpgand receptive to new insights? I often find myself working with experienced groups that already know a lot about their products and the industry and this knowledge somehow makes them feel like they don't need to speak to customers or suppliers or look at other industries. There is just a closed-mindedness sometimes - and I don't mean arrogant or even really complacent - just that they are unable or unwilling to look at things with fresh eyes.” - Graeme Crombie

Read More

Topics: innovation, alignment, Education

Employee Engagement & Dr. Deming

Posted by Lydia Carson on Apr 21, 2016 10:23:50 AM

The cover story on the ASQ April 2016 Quality Progress magazine about the cost of employee disengagement made me flash back to my first day on the job as an engineer.  My boss gave me a big box of VHS videos to watch - yes, VHS! 

My first assignment in the “real world” was to watch the Deming video library covering his System of Profound Knowledge (SoPK) and 14 Points for Management.  I learned about Dr. Deming in College, but the videos really brought his approach to life.

Read More

Topics: leadership, alignment

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.” 

Read More

Topics: innovation, strategy, alignment

Your Org Chart Does Not Apply to Innovation

Posted by Maggie Slovonic Pfeifer on Jan 28, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Don’t get me wrong, organizational structure with job functions and some kind of hierarchy is useful for conductingbusiness as usual. People have specific roles to play in serving yourcustomers. However, when it comes to innovation, the structure is less useful, because by definition, innovation is not business as usual.

So how do you make use of that structure when it comes to innovation? Who is best positioned to generate and develop ideas?

You shouldn’t be surprised to hear my answer. After all this blog is called No Guru Needed, Anyone Can Lead Innovation!

With a system in place, anyone from any department at any level within your organization could lead your next successful innovation project.

That’s because when you have a system that enables people, so anyone with the energy and passion for an idea is able to explore it.

How can this possibly work?

Well, I’ve seen innovation thrive inside organizations who don’t have a guru when…

Read More

Topics: innovation, innovation system, strategy, alignment

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:

Go to Website



Subscribe to No Guru Needed

Recent Posts