Jump Start Your Brain

Week 1 :: 60 Minute Driving Eureka! Abridged Audio

Driving Eureka! is the 6th book by Innovation Expert & Eureka! Ranch Founder, Doug Hall.  His previous book, Jump Start Your Business Brain, earned praise as one of the top business books of all time.

In his book Driving Eureka!, best-selling business author Doug Hall presents the System Driven Innovation scientific method for enabling innovation by everyone, everywhere, every day. It’s the essential resource you need to enable yourself―and your team―to innovate, succeed, and do amazing things that matter, on a daily basis.

During this 60 minute abridged audio
, Doug walks you through the big picture view of the book and what it takes to make innovation happen – in a company, a team or on your own.

Week 2 :: Two Tools to Disrupt Your Thinking

During this 30-minute virtual experience Maggie Pfeifer, V.P. of Education, will cover the essential ingredients needed to create new ideas and share proven innovation tools that will disrupt your thinking during this time of change.

Week 3 :: Fuel Your Brain for Maximum Creativity

Stimulus fuels the brain, setting off a chain reaction of idea associations and creations that will bring new thoughts and ideas to life.

When looking at a challenge here are 5 tips for helping to think differently about a challenge:


  1. Read Related and Unrelated News:
    Look up 10 different magazines online. Make it a mix of trade and pop culture magazines. Read through them for sparks – what trends do you see? What is another industry doing differently?

Week 4 :: Tales from the Trenches

Today we bring you Tales from the Trenches, How Two Corporate Revolutionaries Shipped 9 New Products in 12 Months!


Doug Hall and Eric Schulz have made innovation careers out of bucking the system and winning big. If you have an American Express Centurion Card, pour your OJ through a spout instead of out of a carton, watched a direct-to-video Disney movie with your kids…then you have Doug and Eric to thank.
Collectively they’ve invented over 25,000 ideas for everything from marketing campaigns to patented new products and new businesses. They’ve tried things that have worked. They have tried things that bombed. And they have arguably single-handedly done more real-world work on big innovation in big companies than anyone. Listen to them talk about how they’ve been doing it for all of these years. Go ahead and hit the play button below.

Week 5 :: 4 Tips to Manage Change

Big changes create big stress. 

Dramatic changes can cause significant stress within your organization resulting in poor performance. It shouldn’t be a surprise that research shows that critical events can create a significant amount of stress — stress fuels uncertainty, lack of personal confidence, and poor job performance.

Right now many organizations are going through big changes — and in order to be successful, you must help your team and colleagues make these transitions.

Here are 4 tips for helping your team manage change:

1.  Teach Your Team Why:

We often tell people “what” to do, but we neglect to tell them the “why.” When you explain why you build a foundation of trust and a deeper commitment.

Week 6 :: Driving YOUR Eureka!

Just because conferences have been canceled doesn’t mean you have to totally miss out.
Maggie Nichols got the chance to deliver this keynote, Driving YOUR Eureka!, at an innovation conference recently.  It’s all about what you can do right now in your life to reinvent your future.

Week 7 :: Mind Mapping

Today’s Daily Jump Start of Stimulus is a virtual learning experience hosted by Maggie Pfeifer, V.P. of Education.

During this 30 minute experience, she will discuss what is mind mapping and how to use it to reduce fear and create ideas. Mind Mapping is arguably the best all-purpose tool for innovation.


Week 8 :: 3 Tips for Helping to Eliminate Fear

Your potential to achieve is limited only by your level of fear.

Corporate Americans have a fear of doing anything new. They’re comfortable doing the same things over and over again. You know, “we ran that promotion last year, let’s run it again this year.”

Eric Schulz
Marketing Author & Expert

If people can’t even talk about their ideas, there is little to no chance that they will take action on the ideas that are necessary to make a tangible difference at work or in life.

Here are 3 tips for helping to eliminate fear when facing a challenge: 

  1. Write Down all the Reasons Why You Think an Idea Can Not Work
    Bring the fears straight to the front. Encourage honesty from the teams. What are the nastiest issues we face? Then one by one start to address them, starting with the biggest hurdle first. If you can’t overcome the biggest hurdle, then you won’t waste time on the project at all. If you find out you CAN overcome the biggest hurdle, you will build incredible momentum as the team grows their confidence in the idea. If you can’t overcome it, the team will feel that they’ve smartly killed a project, which can actually fuel the next project because their energy has been preserved.


Week 9 :: Busting Bureaucracy

Often times when people are working to innovate & grow they encounter a lot of bureaucracy.

Eureka! Ranch Founder, Doug Hall, believes one of the most important steps to busting through the bureaucracy is by improving your human systems.

Click play to listen to Doug explain the fundamentals of how to improve any human system.

Week 10 :: Persuasive Concept Writing

When we talk about persuasive concept writing we aren’t talking about grammar and spelling. We are talking about how to communicate your ideas with clarity no matter what format you choose.

During this 30-minute learning experience, Maggie Pfeifer, will provide a framework that will help others understand your idea as you do – quickly and effectively.

Week 11 :: Will 3 Entrepreneurs take Doug's Advice?

Most folks know that Eureka! Ranch has been featured on TV more than a few times. Years ago Dateline did a features story on the Eureka! Ranch as an innovation think tank.  A&E had a show called, “Top 10” and in their episode “Top 10 Dream Jobs” working at the Eureka! Ranch came in 3rd, right behind race car driver and right before rock star.  Our founder, Doug Hall, was on the first season of American Inventor.  Heck, I even joined him, along with our VP of Education, on a Canadian show called Backyard Inventor.


But not many know of one of my favorite pieces when Doug worked with award winning Executive Producer, Tracie Tighe, on the CBC news show, Venture, in a series called Town Doctor.  The show went on to win a Gemini Award for best reality program or series (Canada’s equivalent of the Emmy). It’s a great piece with simple universal lessons of how to apply innovative thinking to sales and marketing – whether you’re, in this case, an entrepreneur or a Fortune 50 company.  Plus it’s just a fun show.

Week 12 :: 3 Ideas to Break the Slump

Okay, so the data on these isn’t necessarily scientific, but the team at the Eureka! Ranch believes in them and none of it will harm you so, we encourage you try each of them or all of them.

But what we do suspect is we could all use some help breaking the slump right about now. Today I bring you 3 Ideas to Break the Slump:

    That is right turn on the radio, your phone, or stream from your computer and turn it up!  What genre is up to you, but scientists have actually found that high sound levels increase the secretion of adrenaline. In an informal survey people stated they felt more creative when listening to music. And if you haven’t stood up in a while get up and dance.

Week 13 :: A Lesson in Clarity & Alignment

Alignment & Clarity are so important when you are are innovating and especially when you are trying to change and pivot quickly. Most of us are currently in that exact situation.

Maggie Pfeifer, Vice President of Education at Eureka! Ranch shares one of her favorite lessons from our innovation fundamentals class on how to gain clarity & alignment.

Week 14 :: Transforming How We Work

Today we are going to go down a little bit different path and talk about ways to shake up the way we work.

During this webinar, Maggie Nichols spoke with author, Joanna Cea about how businesses, communities, non-profits, and even government teams have refuted traditional ways of working in favor of one that’s not just more equitable, but also one that delivers unreasonably good results. Join her in learning about the 7 Principles for Creating a Beloved Economy.

Week 15 :: 5 Proven Ways to Be Bold & Brave

In order for any of us to make a difference in the world, we must get up, get out and take action. When you are ready to be BOLD & BRAVE remember the following 5 things: 

  1. Make the Unknown Known:
    Fear of the unknown is one of the primary sources of our fears. Reducing this fear is as simple as opening yourself up to learning. Start talking to others, ask questions, analyze data & trends, or sign up for a class.

Week 16 :: 3 Tips for Reigniting Your Innovative Spirit

Often the longer we are in the world of the working adult we begin to see our sense of curiosity, experimentation, and joy in learning about our business dwindle.  Why does this happen?  Where does it go?  And it isn’t someone else’s fault — we lose our spirit no one takes it away.

Here are 3 thought-starters for reigniting that spirit and finding joy in the work again:

  1. It might be that we have lost sight of our mission and purpose be it personally or professionally:
    A cause or purpose larger than ourselves pulls us forward.  It ignites our desire to learn more.  Sit down and think about what is my mission, the company mission, or department mission?  Work to find alignment with your team and co-workers. Write it down and post it somewhere where you will see it every day.

Week 17 :: 5 Truths that are Critical to Innovation Success

Recently the Eureka! Ranch celebrated 35 years in business. Over those years we have learned that there are 5 truths that are critical to finding success with innovation.

  1. Alignment on what is an innovation is the start:
    Successful innovation begins with alignment on a precise and measurable definition of WHAT is an innovation. We define an idea as an innovation if it is “Meaningfully Unique.” We measure it by asking customers how likely they are to purchase (meaningfulness) and how new and different (unique) they perceive the idea to be. With Meaningful Uniqueness as the definition of innovation is no longer a debate. Rather, it’s grounded in factual evidence.  And it works. Ideas with greater Meaningful Uniqueness create word of mouth, awareness, distribution trial purchase/usage and repeat purchase/usage.

Week 18 :: A Proven Structure for Success

I hope you will find 30 or so minutes today to join our VP of Education, Maggie Pfeifer as she talks about 3 roles & 4 phases that are essential to making an innovation project ship. 

Week 19 :: Innovation is About Things You Don't Do

I apologize upfront today’s stimulus is a bit long, but I promise it is worth it.

Leading and doing innovation is about choices.  The big choice to do innovation could almost be considered the easy one.  Innovation is shown to make a meaningful impact to a bottom line, to a company’s return, to employee pocketbooks, and morale.  Doing the new thing isn’t necessarily hard, it’s NOT doing other things that force you to make choices that’s hard. And right now these choices are even harder.

When innovation is at stake when you have people clamoring, “We can’t work anymore!  Our plates are full!  Innovation is nice, but we have no time!  We’re too busy!”  It would be easy at that point to walk away and just put off the innovation decision until later.  Until the day when your employees come back from working from home and the crisis, we are currently experiencing and tell you, “What else can we do for you?  We’ve finished all of our tasks early and we’d like to do more. We noticed that earnings aren’t what they once were so we’d like to give back a bit of our pay.” (And if you’re saying to yourself, that’s a long-shot – you’d be right.)

Week 20 :: 4 Easy Steps to Get the Most Out of Your Team

We all work with great people but sometimes it can be hard to get their full potential out of them especially now when many people aren’t used to working at home.

These 4 steps are easy things to do that can help get the most out of the people you have working for you.

  1. Set a Mission and some boundaries:  No matter what it is every task from the smallest day to day thing to drastic changes in your company should have a mission and some boundaries to it. How detailed these things are changes depending on what it is of course. For making a part in a factory the mission can be as simple as produce x number of parts per hour; while the boundaries could be the tolerances the part has to be within. On the other end of the spectrum is your companies strategic planning for the year where the mission is where you want the company to head and your boundaries are the things you want to avoid or how much resources you can devote to it. In the end everything that happens within our companies has a mission and boundaries and you should take the time to consider them even if it’s just in an informal way.

Week 21 :: Measuring Innovation ROI

Predicting a return from an investment is difficult and requires some estimation and forecasting. Most innovation managers do not know what the ROI of innovation is for their organization.

Learn what, when, and how to measure innovation ROI. The Eureka! Ranch and Innovation Engineering Institute has partnered with the Innovation Research Interchange (IRI) to explore Innovation ROI best practices.

Week 22 :: Innovating When Your Business is Systems, Services or Processes

For your final dose of stimulus spend 30 minutes with VP of Education, Maggie Pfeifer as she talks about innovating when you are in the business of systems and services.

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