Announcing a New Generation of Newsletter

 This week we announce the release of a companion Podcast to this newsletter.  In the podcast Driving_Eureka_podcast_imageTripp Babbitt and I hold a conversation about the content of the Driving Eureka! Newsletter.  We go behind the scenes on the feature story and the book excerpt. And, we hold a “master class” in how to create a new company using our new Brain Brew Custom Whisk(e)y Distillery. 

With the expertise and help of Tripp - we’ve recorded podcasts on ALL ISSUES of this Newsletter. To check it out use the links below my signature.

The lead story in today’s Driving Eureka! Newsletter discusses the importance of bringing together the “thinkers & doers.” The book excerpt is about the importance of embracing diversity. The Brain Brew Whiskey Academy gives an example of how we embrace diversity with our craft whiskey company. The cocktail is Boulevard.  It’s an old time cocktail shared by the great Dale Degroff in his cocktail classic, The Craft of the Cocktail.





To listen & subscribe check us out at:

driving eureka podcast on iTunes



Thinkers and Doers Must Work together in Innovation


The Thinkers & Doers Must Work Together 

or We'll All Fail Spectacularly

An URGENCY to ignite a step change in Collaboration between the THINKERS & DOERS in our organizations struck me as I walked the shore of New London Bay, Prince Edward Island Canada recently.

Two examples of THINKERS versus DOERS include MARKETING versus SALES and ENGINEERING versus PRODUCTION.

Marketing creates programs to sell - Sales actually goes face to face with customers. Engineering creates designs production systems - Production actually makes stuff.

There are other pairs like this within organizations - where one group thinks and then hands off their work to others who are tasked with executing them - but I’ll stay with these two groups for this newsletter post. 

These “hand offs” are the root cause of at least 50% of the failure of new ideas. The hand offs don’t work because the Thinkers don’t usually respect or really understand the hands on work. The hand offs don’t work because the Doers don’t respect the broader issues built into the ideas. The result is Thinkers make unreasonable requests AND Doers compromise on strategic intent to: “just get the production out” or “just get the sale at any price.”

3 False Cures for The THINKER/DOER Divide

  1. Have the THINKER team have representatives from the DOER team. The theory is that if everyone is in the room all will be good. This only works when the team is the true decision maker from each department. Usually the representative is a lower level person who doesn’t have the understanding or authority or seniority to say NO when a project is not realistic from their perspective.   

  2. A Briefing along with a “Walk Through” or “Drive Along”: The theory is that a 2 hour production briefing, plant walk through or sales person drive along can give the thinker all they need to know. Truth is most thinkers think they do work because they believe they are so “superior in intellect” that it’s all they need to know.

  3. Invest More Time In THINKING Harder: The theory is that if the Thinkers just think more it all will be right. The most common way of doing this is to hire a mega consulting firm and through 50 newly minted MBA’s at the challenge.  The truth is no amount of thinking can comprehend the complexities of actually doing the work.

What’s needed is a new type of organizational structure that more closely replicates how small companies are 10X more successful with innovation  (50% success for Small Co. versus 5% for big Co.) . With small companies the THINKER is the DOER by this I mean that EVERYONE has joint responsibility.  Depending on the organization - it could be 50/50 Thinker / Doers - it could be 80/20 or 20/80. 

What matters is joint ownership by everyone on thinking and doing. The Thinkers need to own their thinking all the way to reality. The Doers need to take responsibility for problem solving ways to ensure that they execute against the broader business needs.

This means everyone who engineers also works in the factory. This means that everyone who develops marketing programs also sells them to customers.

As I made my way up from the shore - I realized that for many this kind of idea will sound delusional. They will say that it’s just not done that way - that our silos and departments are too valuable to be dissolved. That this type of change would take too much work. 

At our two sister companies: Eureka! Ranch and Brain Brew Custom Whisk(e)y we have always had people work across disciplines. However, in 2019 we will be taking this to new levels Maggie Nichols, Eureka! Ranch CEO, and I are expanding cross functional ownership to both work teams and companies.  

The potential for positive impact is exponential. As documented in my new book DRIVING EUREKA!. Diversity - true diversity and engagement - has an exponential impact on the quality of innovation work.




Driving Eureka! Book Excerpt 

Leveraging Diversity 

The stimulus gathered through one or more of the six minings is then used to inspire ideas. This can involve an individual simply using it. You simply sit down and start to fill your brain with the stimulus, sparking new ideas, and twisting and turning your mind.

The most powerful method for processing the stimulus into ideas is to gather a group of people to help you. The stimulus you have gathered is multiplied exponentially by collaborating with others. Each person brings to the stimulus unique life experiences and knowledge that will spark unique ideas. The gathering can be a short idea-focused Create session. Or a multi-day Accelerator session in which cycles of creating are used to refine, reinvent, and optimize ideas.

Our initial reactions to stimulus are based on our experiences and expertise. Those in manufacturing review ideas and immediately think of production issues. Those in legal immediately look for possible legal risk. Those in sales search their mind for customers who would purchase the new idea. Research and development experts review for technical feasibility.

Each viewpoint is invaluable in helping you develop a three-dimensional perspective regarding your idea. By listening to each person, and building on their thinking, you help your idea develop richness. Collectively these perspectives can dramatically enhance your probability of executional success.

Diversity has an exponential impact on the number of high-quality ideas created. If one brain looks at stimulus and creates 5 ideas, then two brains looking at the same stimulus can create not 5 but rather 25 ideas!

If you'd like to read more order now by clicking HERE - If you already have the book head on over to your favorite online book store and tell everyone how much you enjoyed it!



Applying the Driving Eureka! Systems and Tools to Create Craft Distillery Success


Brain Brew Whisk(e)y Academy:
Boulevard Cocktail

I’ve written about the need for THINKERS and DOERS to become one. I’ve said the days of the “Henry Ford Production Line” where one groups hands off the work to the next are done. Instead of quality - this approach creates rework and compromises creating the 95% failure rate of innovations and the depressingly low profitability of most craft distillers and brewers. 

When corporate managers start a new distillery or any new business they apply what they’ve known - they find departmental experts and set up departments - even when it’s a department of one.

I’ve found that to be simply STUPID. At our Brain Brew Craft Whisk(e)y company everyone knows how everything works. If you dropped into a team discussion at our Distillery, in the former garage at the Eureka! Ranch - you would hear a heated debate going on. In the same conversation we’d be talking profitability. Then marketing - then production - then R&D science on Time Compression - then someone would practice a sale pitch. You’d have a hard time figuring out who does what. That’s because we work as a team debating, creating, thinking through issues. At Brain Brew everyone is responsible for one thing - helping the team achieve it's mission.

Boulevard Cocktail

This is an old time cocktail from Dale Degroff’s classic, The Craft of the Cocktail.  He cites it as coming from G. Selmer Fougner of the New York Sun 1935. It has hints of an old fashioned from the orange in Grand Marnier and hints of a Manhattan from the vermouth.


2 oz Noble Oak Rye Whiskey
1/2 oz Grand Marnier
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth

Step 1: Combine first three ingredients with ice & stir.
Step 2: Pour through strainer into chilled glass.
Step 3: Garnish with flamed orange peel (this is a Dale DeGroff classic twist)




The Driving Eureka! Podcast

Our goal is to help you, "find, filter and fast track BIG IDEAS." The show is broken down into three segments:

SEGMENT 1: A feature story from the front lines of innovation. Doug and Tripp dive into Doug's Driving_Eureka_podcast_imageexperiences on the front lines past, present & future.

SEGMENT 2: A deep dive into Doug's most recent book, Driving Eureka! (published November, 2018) - each week we will give advice, facts and stories on innovation straight from the pages of the book. 

SEGMENT 3: Brain Brew Whisk(e)y Academy where Doug, the Brain Brew Crew, and the team at Eureka! Ranch "practice what they preach" by building a craft whiskey distillery.

Come and join us. We will teach how to build a business or innovate in an existing organization using the Driving Eureka! book and a whole series of education programs.


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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