Innovation Mixologists & Bartenders | Driving Eureka! #24


This week I'm wondering are you leading with your ego or heart, head & soul when thinking about innovation and creating big ideas.

You might be wondering why should I care? You should care because when you are leading with your heart, head & soul you will quickly find that work is fun just like Sheldon did in this week's Driving Eureka! book excerpt.

This week's Brain Brew Whisk(e)y Academy talks about how we make brand and product decisions. 



Are you an Innovation Mixologist or Bartender?

Innovation Mixologists & Bartenders

A wise man taught me recently the difference between a Bartender and a Mixologist.    

A Mixologist is a guru who creates cocktails. The mixologist is a celebrated celebrity.

A Bartender is a friend who creates connections. The bartender is a teacher, listener and friend. 

Mixologists perform the creation of amazing drinks.

Bartender’s make connections through cocktails and conversation.

Mixologists create brilliant cocktails with impeccable skill. Bartenders create cocktails that match the unique tastes and desires of their customers.

A friend told a story of walking into a grand bar in New York City. He sat down and suddenly a drink appeared - his drink, his way - as he ordered it two years before.  That’s a bartender.

In the world of innovation there is a similar segmentation among designers, inventors and consultants.

The mixologists of INNOVATION are the “gurus” who tell you what you should do. They preach and pontificate. Their idea is THE IDEA - all others are not worthy of consideration. 

The bartenders of INNOVATION are the “mentors” (sometimes called teachers or coaches) who enable you do to great things. They help you discover within your heart, brain and soul THE RIGHT IDEA for you to pursue at THIS MOMENT in your life.   

Mixologists focus 99% of their energy on the elegance of the idea. 

Bartenders understand that when it comes to making big ideas happen you need the passion of the people, team and organization just as much as the idea itself.

In simple terms Mixologists are about EGO - Bartenders are about HEART, HEAD & SOUL.

THINK about this in your life. Are you fixated on your idea, your ego and thinking.  OR, are you a bartender - embracing the conversation - letting your heart, mind and soul guide you to the right idea for your current situation, team and organization.



Driving Eureka! Finding Fun at Work Again

Driving Eureka! Book Excerpt
Why Should You Care?

Innovation Engineering will help you increase innovation speed and decrease risk. However, that’s NOT the most important benefit of Innovation Engineering. According to Sheldon Scott, CEO of the Whitney Blake Company, the most important benefit is to “Make Work Fun Again!”—a close variation to Dr. Deming’s promise at the start of seminars, stated earlier: “Why are we here? We are here to come alive, to have fun, to have joy in work.”

By “fun” we don’t mean frivolous play. We’re talking about the joy that comes from doing something that makes a difference in the world. Said another way: in the irreverent manner of members of the Innovation Engineering movement on and off campus...

The fundamental aim of Innovation Engineering is to enable people 

The simple fact is—when you spend your time and energy on projects, products or services that matter to YOU, your ORGANIZATION, and to CUSTOMERS then you experience a chain reaction of pride of work, increased sales, and profitability.

“Pride of Work” was a very important concept for Dr. Deming. He was once asked how he would summarize his overall message in a few words.

"I'm not sure, but it would have something to do with variation." Later he said, "I said earlier that my message, had to do with variation. I've given it some more thought, and I would say it has to do with Pride of Work.”

Dr. W. Edwards Deming



Lynx Pineapple rush


Brain Brew Whisk(e)y Academy:
How to Decide what Brands and Products to Pursue  

Our Brain Brew Precision Finishing technology enables an overwhelming number of possibilities for new whisk(e)y brands.

Early on when our ideas and products were horrible many rounds of quantitative research cycles taught us how whiskey drinkers and non whiskey drinkers reacted to ideas. The data from research was probably weighted 80% versus our personal opinions and experience. I should also note that this was the case even though I have 25 years experience in the whiskey industry.   

Today - after over 500 quantitative tests - we are very, very good at creating highly appealing whiskey brands and products. Now we move to a higher level - focusing our energy on both customer appeal as well as strategically what kind of brands and company we want to have. The result is research has truly become an aid to our judgment not our judgement. Today our decisions are probably 50% data and 50% our vision for what we are trying to become.

The cocktail this week is one that takes the classic Gold Rush and makes it of the people and for the people. The magic is switching out pineapple for lemon and a splash of champagne! This is a drink that creates conversation at the Brain Brew Beach Bar - a place we look forward to opening again soon.

Lynx™ Pineapple Rush 


1/2 Oz Honey Water (Equal Parts Water & Honey Mix)
1/2 Oz Pineapple Juice
1.5 oz Relativity Whiskey


Step 1: Add first three ingredients to a Boston Shaker over ice.
Step 2: Shake 13 times.
Step 3: Strain into a champagne coupe, top with champagne and drink.



The Driving Eureka! Podcast

Our goal is to help you, "find, filter and fast track BIG IDEAS."Driving_Eureka_podcast_image

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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