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

What Will You Innovate & Build?

Posted by David Lafkas on Dec 13, 2016 10:12:22 AM

In 1947, Ole Kirk Christiansen purchased a plastic injection-molding machine.  Some questioned why he did so, because for the previous 17 years he had been a carpenter and made primarily wooden toys, including traditional stackable wooden blocks.

By 1951, more than half of the outputs from Christiansen’s toy company were plastic.  This despite his native country’s trade magazine, Toy-Times, believing that plastic would never be able to replace traditional wooden toys.

The plastic toys that Christiansen’s toy company became known for were interlocking bricks, which we all know of as the familiar Lego bricks.

Those simple interlocking plastic bricks have developed into a subculture, six theme parks, video and board games, movies, and clothing.  By July 2015, it is estimated that 600 billion Lego parts have been produced, and Lego was named one of the world’s most powerful brands.

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Topics: Create, leadership, passion, decisions

What’s Your Innovation Fear?

Posted by David Lafkas on Aug 9, 2016 10:00:00 AM

We all have fears. 

Some are rational, some are not. 

Some drive us to action, some freeze us into stagnation.

When innovating, one must drive out fear in oneself and one’s team.  It is only through reducing fear that we can drive the action forward and to success.

Which of the following fears is the biggest for you and your team, and what could you do to reduce each to help your innovation?

Atelophobia – fear of not being good enough or imperfection. 

Allow yourself or your team to “fail.”  None of us get it right the first time.  Remember learning to ride a bike?  You fall - a lot.  You get scratched up.  But, you get back up on that bike and start balancing and pedaling again.  Same in innovating.  When you or your team falls short of what you had hoped, share that learning with the team and together pivot and improve so next time is better.  And then celebrate that failure so everyone understands that is OK and something that should happen.

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Topics: innovation, Math, decisions


Posted by David Lafkas on May 5, 2016 10:00:00 AM

About ten years ago I made a decision.  I adopted a rescue dog named Domino.  When I made the decision to adopt her, I had a mental list of reasons to do so with the knowledge that there were ramifications, positive and negative, to my decision. 

I assumed she would provide companionship and bring much joy to me.  I made this assumption based merely on seeing a picture of her and seeing how other friends’ dogs brought love to them.  I didn’t have 100 percent assurance that Domino would deliver what I wanted and needed.

I figured Domino would end up costing me about “x” number of dollars per month per year.  I calculated that based on the amount I thought a dog would eat each week, the costs associated with visiting the vet annually, and then the costs to kennel a dog when I traveled. 

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Topics: innovation, leadership, decisions

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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