A Tale of Two Mindsets


Good Morning Pioneers
In the timeless words of Bob Dylan

The times they are a-changin.  


Charles Dickens articulated the consequence of these changing times...

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,

it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,

it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,

it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,

it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,

we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,

we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.

Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

WORST of Times: The world is chaotic - Just when we get our strategic plan set the world changes making the plan irrelevant. Management by objectives doesn’t work anymore.  We set objectives and never seem to hit them. No matter how much we cut costs we don’t seem to generate sustained growth. News travels so fast that you make a mistake as a company leader you get crucified - by customers, employees, government or Wall Street.

BEST of Times: I’ve not been this excited about business in a long time.  Leading my organization is as much fun as I thought it would be.  I’m learning everyday incredible things.  Instead of talk, talk, talk -- meet, meet, meet - I get to actually do things.  I’m an active coach on projects not a passive sponsor.  The new mindset is about doing, trying, experimenting or as it’s called Fail FAST Fail CHEAP cycles of learning. Instead of sustained competitive advantage - today’s marketplace celebrates never ending change.  Victory goes to those who can bring out never ending innovation news to the marketplace.


WORST of Times:  I don’t know how to motivate these young people.  They don’t respect the old ways.  They seek meaning and purpose.  I used to think the same but I grew out of it.

BEST of Times:  Today’s young people have genius potential!  When you engage their brains they have an energy and ability that is 10X what the Baby Boomer generation could do at their age.   They have a thirst for learning the industry and business - so long as it’s relevant, real and honest.


WORST of Times: I’ve never seen such change - I just can’t keep up.  The changes go by many names: Flat Earth, Rise of Developing Nations, Information Age, Internet Enabled Free Markets, Disconnected Supply Chains, Free Agent Nation Employees.

BEST of Times: I’ve never seen such change.  It’s so exciting to be alive today.  The changes go by many names: Flat Earth, Rise of Developing Nations, Information Age, Internet Enabled Free Markets, Disconnected Supply Chains, Free Agent Nation Employees.

Those who see the “Best” of times have made THE FLIP.

They have changed how they perceive their  leadership role and responsibility.

They have learned how to transform innovation from a random art to a reliable system.

They have adopted a system mindset focused on creating “win win” situations for their entire innovation supply chain from vendors, to employees, to shareholders, to planet earth, to our communities, to our customers and to our customer’s customers.

Where they used to solve problems based on what they’ve done in the past.  Today they embrace Stimulus Mining for learning, stimulus and ideas leveraging the wonders of today’s miraculous world wide web.

Where they used to see asking for ideas and advice because they were uncertain as a weakness.  Today they are perpetual diversity machines.  They communicate with clarity and openness.  They hold honest conversations, listen and learn new points of view - not to make their decisions but to aid their decision making process.

Where they used to plan, study, study, study to drive our risk.  Today, they embrace experimentation  Fail FAST Fail CHEAP®  experiments.

Rock and Roll!


Doug Hall

The Driving Eureka! Newsletter is a compilation of case studies, new techniques, thought provoking insights, an occasional rant, and excerpts from my books 



2007 Eureka Ranch logo_sm
Messages Image(1918687528)
Innovation Engineering


See all