Engineering Innovation, The Real Way To Create More Jobs: Part 1 of 3

This is the first in a series of three articles I have created for you to cultivate your inventiveness. Research has shown that innovation can be nurtured with coaching. Furthermore, new innovations give rise to new companies and plenty of new jobs.

Many large companies like General Motors (GM) have had their “hands out” looking for bailouts during this and past recessions. However, research from the Small Business Administration (SBA) shows that companies like GM are net losers of jobs. Instead, 70% of all net new jobs over the last 30 years have been created by innovative, growing companies and the astute leaders that run them.

One such leader is Sally Grimes the president of Hillshire Brands Company known for its long line of food products including Ball Park Franks, Jimmy Dean sausage, Johnsonville Foods and Hormel. Sally has a knack for product development including:

  • At Kraft Foods she led product developers to create microwavable Macaroni and Cheese.
  • At Newell Rubbermaid, Inc. she engineered Sharpie pens into a wand of artistic expression.
  • Currently, at Hillshire Brands, as president of their gourmet food group and chief innovation officer, she steered her team into launching a new product called Jimmy Dean Flatbread breakfast sandwiches in company record time of only 12 weeks!

Hillshire has historically averaged about 45 weeks to engineer an innovation from the product development lab into the marketplace. Sally changed all that by directing a new goal of 35 weeks. This was accomplished by gaining deeper consumer insights, developing a meaningful point of difference from those insights and in general thinking outside the box!

Unfortunately, most leaders fail to think creatively. Even many of the technical, scientific and engineering candidates that approach me as a recruiter in the field tend to gravitate towards the status quo. To break out of that mode, I recommend expanding your mind. Not with drugs, but with games engineered to magnify your creativity.

A wealth of such tools are available at Marbles The Brain Store including MindSpring Software which is specifically designed to improve your mental agility while having fun doing so. In fact, I have successfully applied this game to increase innovation during several consulting assignments with my technical, scientific and engineering clients. Furthermore, at only $99.95 there is a lot of bang for the buck.

I cannot guarantee that your creativity will match that of Sally Grimes after using and applying MindSpring Software, but I can suggest that your innovation will be enhanced, which may lead to more scientific, engineering or technical breakthroughs for you and your company and in turn more jobs for the U.S. economy!

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Comment by Keith D. Halperin on December 16, 2013 at 1:04pm

Thanks, Scott. There's a term for an ordinary corporate employee who tries to innovate things- it's called "FIRED". We aren't being paid to be creative and improve things, we're by and large paid to "put our minds on hold and do what we're told." If management wanted "original thinking" aka, "doing the same old things in a slightly different way so as not to upset anyone too much," they'd pay outside consultants large sums of money for it.

No Cheers,



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