It's Time to Stop WHINING about the Boss OR your Employees


Good Morning Innovation Leaders,
The most common problem I’m hearing in my travels around the world working with Innovation Pioneers is “what other people are not doing.”  Bosses whine about employees being lazy and not committed.  Employees whine about bosses not leading them.

Whining about others is a self justification for non action.   For example “I’m committed to Innovation however I can’t do anything until he, she or they ......give me permission....get out of my way....get involved...get motivated....etc., etc., etc.”

I bring you good news.... Innovation Engineering does not require anyone other than YOU.

You can start the transformation of your organization by being Project Leader on an innovation project. Great project leaders drive change.  They don’t look to others for permission, for encouragement or approval.

I believe that the Project Leader is 70% of the reason that projects are successful.  Note: I define success as BOTH - a smart GO to development and the market AS WELL AS a smart NO to a project.   The Innovation Project Leader’s support system - project team members, management and process coaches make up the remaining 30% of the reason for success.

It’s time for EVERYONE who is reading this blog to become a hands on project leader on a project.  
Innovation isnot something to be done by a department or a division or a specialist.  It’s something everyone needs to do every day.

Leaders need to take the role of project leader on a project because 1) they cannot really learn how Innovation Engineering works if they’ve never been a project leader.  2)  until you’ve seen, felt and experienced what it’s like to take an idea you feel passionately about and bring it to a smart reality you can’t understand what innovation is really about and 3) it’s a ton of fun!.

It’s for this reason - that I ALWAYS have at least one project that I am the Project Leader on.  And when I say project leader I mean getting very close to the work.   I mean getting my hands dirty in the reality of  what it takes to turn an innovation into reality

My project since February is the creation of a patent pending Cycles to Mastery teaching system.  The purpose of the project is transform the effectiveness and efficiency of how we teach Innovation Engineering on a mass scale to everyone on campus and in our organizations. The project has moved through Define, Discover and is now in the later stages of Develop.

To get you started with your project here are three simple steps:


Step 1: Define 6 PROJECTS you would LOVE to Lead.  The projects can be focused on a very important problem or opportunity you, your department or organization face.  OR, they can simply be something that has annoyed you for sometime and you want to use innovation to vaporize it.
Record your ideas on Yellow Innovation cards.  If you click on the link to this e-mail you can download a PDF of the latest Yellow Card from the main blog page - as well as an instruction page.  This improved yellow card contains 100% of what you need to define an idea - the customer concept, the death threats and raw math game plan.


Step 2: Learn More Before Making Your Decision.  Take a couple days - or a week at most and learn more about each of the projects. Do some stimulus mining on the internet - Diversify your thinking by talking to others about the project areas.


Step 3: Go For It - Pick A Project & Get Started.   After a week of learning make a decision one one project to focus on and just get started with Fail FAST Fail CHEAP cycles of learning.  If you have someone(s) who can give you weekly Management and/or Process coaching  or who can formally or informally help you as part of a project team - you will be more efficient. Regular weekly project meetings provide an opportunity for you to step back and think deeper about your project.


IMPORTANTLY:  If currently there’s no one to help you - get started anyways.  NO EXCUSES - NO WHINING - JUST START.    If resources or assistance is a critical issue issue - relabel it as a Death Threat - and Fail FAST Fail CHEAP to problem solve it.

Bottom Line - let’s get started.

What are you waiting for.  Get up! Get out! Get going!



p.s. To give you an idea of how important "getting close to the work" is to me on my project - I'm writing this to you from Maine where today I will be using the new system to teach three Innovation Engineering Courses -- INV 180 Create,  INV 282 Communicate and 392 Commercialize.



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 



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