The Secret to Inventing "Game Changing" LEAP Innovations


The Secret to Inventing LEAP innovations is “taking the time, to spend the time, to learn more” before you start inventing ideas.
Ideas are feats of association.

Two or more ideas come together to create a fresh idea.

Within Innovation Engineering  (IE) we have two classifications of ideas…

CORE Innovations are incremental improvements.  These can be created with a relatively low level of stimulus as they are primarily linear variations on the current approach. Innovation Engineering CREATE sessions are an advanced form of brainstorming that features more stimulus and diversity than usual.

LEAP innovations are the game changing ideas.  They innovations require a greater breadth and depth of stimulus to ignite the chain reaction of thinking required to create them.   Innovation Engineering ACCELERATOR projects are a sequence of CREATE sessions integrated with Fail FAST Fail CHEAP cycles of learning from customers, from prototyping, from quantitative concept tests, sales forecasts and/or patent searches.

ACCELERATOR projects require that you “take the time to spend the time to learn more.”

Step 1: Blue Card:  The process starts with clear definition of project mission or as we call it the “Blue Card.”  This outlines a narrative as to why this project is VERY important along with strategic exclusions and tactical constraints.

Step 2: Define Stimulus Mining Work Streams:  To make sure you have the required breadth and depth of stimulus mining your next step is to define 4 to 6 Stimulus Mining work streams.  Each work stream involves investing real time and energy into thinking deep and learning more.  They involve hands on Immersive learning, internet mining and always a formal or informal CREATE session to spark synthesis connections.

Work streams often include the six classic IE Stimulus Minings:  1) Wisdom Stimulus Mining, 2) Patent Stimulus Mining, 3) Market Stimulus Mining, 4) Customer Insight Stimulus Mining, 5) Future Stimulus Mining and 6) Unrelated Stimulus Mining.   Other options that are often blended in as replacements or places of focus include: product manufacturing, sales & distribution, packaging and in-depth customer ethnography learning.

Step 3: Invest the Time to do Real Stimulus Mining:  Done wrong, stimulus mining consists of just quick internet searches and a regurgitation of what you've reported and thought in the past. Within Innovation Engineering (3.0 version of CREATE Class) we call this type of stimulus mining “Reporting.”  It is considered “surface level” mining.   We  encourage deeper levels of Stimulus Mining that we call IMMERSION and SYNTHESIS.

IMMERSION is about getting deeply involved in the area, over loading your brain with learning and stimulus.  As an example, recently I worked on a project where the core project leadership invested 30 hours over 3 days doing nothing but understanding the company’s product and manufacturing process. We did a three hour tour of the factory at the start of each day —- with different people as tour guide… each time learning something new.   We set up a laboratory and played with product, misused product.   Instead of debating if an idea was good we just tried things.  Quickly.  Some were wow surprises some were beyond horrible.

SYNTHESIS is about connecting the dots between the area of stimulus mining and other aspects of the project mission.  In the case of the project above - during the Product stimulus mining we did the math on product costs, we linked ideas to packaging technologies, we linked products to customer trends….the result was deep mining,  far beyond the surface level that is the norm.

Step 4: Process the Learning into Spark Deck Experiences:  Not everyone on the team can invest days in every work stream area.  However, everyone needs the stimulus in their head if they are to use it to create LEAP Innovation.  In order to do this a series of Spark Deck Experiences are created.  Some are presentation decks with audio and video.  Some are presentation decks with three dimensional prototypes or in the case of the project from this week actual products.

Now you are ready to hold your IE ACCELERATOR Session!

WARNING:  LEAP ideas do not occur without investing time and energy in deep immersion and synthesis stimulus mining.  And, if you are working a project that is NOT VERY, VERY, Important then you simply won’t do it.   To be successful you need to work at least four and ideally 6 work streams.  You need to get deep into it investing a couple days of immersion and or a formal CREATE session to engage deeper thinking.

THE GOOD NEWS IS… you have the ability to invent patentable, LEAP Innovations.  You CAN do it!  You simply need to be taught HOW…and you need to take the time, to spend the time, to learn more, before you begin.   Said simply, you need to fill your mental food processor with more stimulus, deep rich stimulus,  to ignite LEAP Innovations. 

Rock and Roll


Here’s the Info on my next WEBINAR

Please register for Out of the Crisis II: What, Why & How to Innovate on Dec 8, 2014 1:00 PM EST at:

The crisis today is how the internet transforms companies and careers into price driven commodities. The solution is innovation. However, surveys of CEO's finds that innovation takes a long time and can be very risky. For this webinar, Innovation Engineering Institute & Eureka! Ranch CEO Doug Hall will outline the foundational building blocks for organizations who seek to accelerate innovation. He will define: 1) The Challenges with innovation today, 2) What is innovation, 3) Why innovate and most important of all 4) How to innovate.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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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