doug hall

CFD 520 – Doug Hall On Boosting Your Creativity With Innovation Engineering

Doug Hall is Founder of the Eureka! Ranch, the Innovation Engineering Institute, and Brain Brew Custom Whisk(e)y. He is the author of the bestselling book Jump Start Your Business Brain: Scientific Ideas and Advice That Will Immediately Double Your Business Success Rate and the new book Driving Eureka! Problem Solving with Data Driven Methods & the Innovation Engineering System. Hall has been named one of America’s top innovation experts by Inc.magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Dateline NBC, CNBC, CIO Magazine and the CBC. His Innovation Engineering system is responsible for over $16 billion in growth and system improvements projects in active development. He is an inventor, researcher, educator and craft whiskey maker.

Podcast Highlights

  •     Who is Doug Hall?

Doug is a compulsive experimenter, he measures the results and then innovates based on the results. Doug is just a curious guy. He started his first business at the age of 12 just to see if he could do it. Everything he has done is driven by genuine curiosity. When he tried something to make money, it always failed, but when he approached things from a point of curiosity it always worked much better.

  •     Creativity Systems

Doug has measured over 9000 teams in an effort to learn what allows people to create more meaningful ideas.

The first thing is stimulus, people think that to get good ideas they need to sit in an empty room and the ideas will come, but that’s the last thing you should do. You create a system of gathering stimulus together to get your mind to react off of and create new ideas.

The second thing is diversity in view points. When you combine people with diverse perspectives that trust each other, you get an exponential effect on the creativity of the group.

The third thing is fear. Fear is the creativity killer so trust is very important, the key to driving out fear is to use data to build your confidence.

Big corporations are usually more interested in getting a big idea given to them than having their team taught how to generate big ideas. We don’t believe in our people and we have to believe in our people to create great things. A team can’t win with just one all star. People are typically hired because they are innovative and creative but then they are told to just do what they are told.

As a leader, it’s your job to set the vision and then give your team the training and tools to do the job.

  • Innovation Engineering and Inventing New Things

Doug made the conscious decision to become an inventor. He ended up working a Proctor and Gamble for ten years in an inventing centered role and set a lot of records at the company. Doug’s rule is simple, every six months ask yourself the question “am I smarter now than I was before?” If not, it’s time to move on.

After getting fed up seeing ideas get killed by the corporate bureaucracy, Doug went into academia and created Innovative Engineering programs that have gone on to teach 35,000 people how to create better ideas.

When ideas go into the development system in most organizations they will lose half their value because people will compromise. Ideas get killed as they go through the bureaucracy because the teams are fighting each other instead of working together. Being data driven is the solution to driving out fear.

So much of our society teaches kids that they aren’t or can’t be creative. There are a lot of habits that need to be unlearned if you want to innovate.

Reference: Driving Eureka! Problem Solving with Data Driven Methods & the Innovation Engineering System, Doug Hall

  • Doug’s Takeaway

The first truth is your idea stinks, but if you have the mindset of never ending continuous improvement of that idea you are guaranteed success. You just don’t know how many cycles of learning you’ll have to do so you have to have the ammunition to make it through. All ideas stink at the front end. Find ways to experiment and drive the risk out. All ideas that became something go through a lot of iterations first. If you have the mindset of never ending improvement you can’t lose.


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