The Beach Bar Blog
By Doug Hall
The Beach Bar Blog is a collection of conversations – like those at our Beach Bars in Newtown, Ohio & PEI, Canada.
Highlighted Conversations / Blog Posts
Beach Bar Blog Posts
I am captivated when I get see the sun rising in the morning. I am equally captivated when I get to see the moon rising in the evening. Nearly every morning here on Prince Edward Island when I come down the stairs and see the sun rising, I can’t stop looking at it. I watch the sunrise from the front porch and from the window in my office. I’m not sure why I love both of these experiences. For some reason, even through the sunset looks like a sunrise, it just doesn’t excite me as...
Debbie and I can’t leave our property on Prince Edward Island, however, the property includes the Brain Brew Beach Bar land. This week we took Lexi with us and as the photo indicates, my wife and I saw the recent “warm weather” on Prince Edward Island differently. While the two of us agree on many things, it’s the differences between us that add spice and fun to living. Imagine how boring it would be to be with people who only think and act the same as you. Now, I do understand...
Nine days from now I will be less judgmental of Covid Restrictions than I was five days ago. My wife and I are in Canada at our home on Prince Edward Island (PEI). PEI is a small province. It has an amazingly low level of COVID infections. Yes it’s an island and yes it’s a population that is unique (a conservative government ran for election once on implementing mandatory four bin sorting of trash to reduce waste and increase recycling and won with over 70% of the vote). PEI...
Jimmy Buffet is the “Patron Saint” of the Beach Bar. Bruce Springsteen is the “Patron Saint” of Brain Brew Custom Whiskey. In a recent interview in of all places, AARP Magazine, Bruce spoke about where he gets his inspiration: “You have your antenna out,” he says. “You’re just walking through the world and you’re picking up these signals of emotions and spirit and history and events, today’s events and past remembrances. These things you divine from the air are all intangible elements:...
As you can tell by the photo, my Great Grandfather Will Holder, was a sail maker. More than that, he was an innovator. He was the first to bring “sewing machines” into a sail loft. At the age of 95, my Great Grandfather Holder was asked his philosophy for life. His answer was simple: “One time you’re down, another time you’re up and you’re down again and you come up again.” What Will meant is that we need to accept the rhythms of life. Life is not a never ending ramp of continuing...
This week on my morning jog around the Beach Bar Lake, I turned the corner, stopped and snapped this photo. The scene struck me. It offered a path. It offered hope to those who believe that tomorrow can and will be better than today. For reasons I don’t fully understand, it also reminded me of a quote from The Empire Strikes Back - after Yoda raises an x-wing from the Dagobah swamp: LUKE: I don’t believe it. YODA: That is why you fail LINK to Video...
I find that fall and spring are both filled with hope and opportunity. Part of this comes from being born and brought up in Maine, New Hampshire and Prince Edward Island. Both spring and fall are times for rebirth. Both engage a ritual of putting away one set of clothes and pulling the next season’s clothes from the back of the closet. With the crazed world of today, rebirth is something we all need more of. We need to restart and disengage from the political and covid “noise” that can...
Talk around the Beach Bar over the past week has been about the anger inherent in tribalism across today’s world. When we are THANKFUL we embrace the good in the world. When we are ANGRY we digest the bad in the world. Expressing anger makes us feel good in the moment - as our ego is stroked and we feel a sense of belonging to our tribe. However, the good feelings are shallow and destructive. Thankfulness provides a lasting warmth to our body, mind and soul. It...
A recent quote by chef Jacques Pepin on cooking is great advice on LIVING and INNOVATING, especially in a Covid world: “Cooking / LIVING / INNOVATING is the art of adjustment. It is not always about following the recipe. The recipe is a guide but also a restraint. When you cook / LIVE / INNOVATE, you cannot just follow the recipe, you have to adjust to the product / SITUATION that is in front of you. The pears / ENVIRONMENT might be more or less ripe, more or less juicy,...
Lexi feels it’s the BEST of TIMES! Around the campfire recently, we talked about how happy our dog Lexi is with Covid-19. She gets more walks and gets to hang out with us all day. The conversation reminded me of the famous Charles Dickens quote: "It was the BEST of times, it was the WORST of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything...
Feeling ignorant of what to do? Feeling ignorant on how to plan for the future? You’re not alone… In a recent interview, Alan Alda of M*A*S*H fame offered advice on dealing with ignorance: “We don’t value our ignorance enough. Ignorance is really good to have if it is combined with curiosity, and scientists are professional curiosity machines. We should all imitate that as much as possible.” Replacing the anxiety of feeling ignorant - with the wonder of curiosity is a wicked cool...
This past week the temperature retreated from the 90s to a more reasonable 70s and low 80s. As the temperature came down, I’ve been getting outside more. I’ve been jogging around the lake, kayaking, swimming and eating outside more. In the process I’ve rediscovered something I learned last summer about the restorative nature of being outdoors. Being outdoors more each day has been up-lifting. I said rediscovered because I first learned this last summer when I read the book...
A new mindset is growing on what matters and what doesn’t. As the sun sank down over the lake at the Beach Bar recently, the conversation turned to how each of us has changed our mindset on what matters and what doesn’t. With the new mindset, what used to be considered “annoying” has changed. When you hear of friends who are sick with COVID, or worse, you change your perspective. Someone cutting the line in front of you in the grocery store just doesn’t matter. They may be...
Today it’s time to put away the motor boat and enjoy sailing. Motor boats are direct. You simply point the bow, give it some throttle, and off you go from here to there. Sailboats are indirect. Sailers work with the wind that is available. This makes sailing a more mindful experience than a motor boat. A Problem with Wind Shift The Beach Bar in Cincinnati is at the northeast end of the lake. The winds normally blow from the opposite, southwest, end of the lake. This means that after...
As I sipped coffee on the dock as the sun came up, my mind was bouncing through the latest news of the day and my reality. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t find solutions to the cascading issues, uncertainties, and unknowns. I snapped the attached photo as the lake lit up in beauty. After another sip, I laughed to myself as I was reminded of the first few weekends of our hand sanitizer donation program. As people expressed their thanks and wonder that we were giving it...
As whole fish cooked on the fire at the Beach Bar in Ohio a few nights ago, the conversation, as it’s prone to do this summer, turned to COVID-19. Earlier in the day, a Doctor who is part of national efforts to address COVID-19 told me that the group he is a part of is assuming that Covid-19 will be with us for two more years! I related what I’d heard and the reaction was YIKES! Actually it was a bigger reaction, but let’s keep the blog clean :). Before the debate on if it was going to be...
Books Worth Reading - Summer of 2020 I recently cleaned my book shelves in my office. In the process I found some “gems” of books that I’d bought and never gotten around to reading. Here’s some I strongly recommend reading this summer. Never have Your Dog Stuffed and Other Things by Alan Alda The star of the tv series MASH - writes about his life and about living. It’s incredibly well written. It’s one of those rare biographies that makes you think....
Beach Bar Cocktails - Summer 2020 A GREAT Cocktail is an escape from the world of same old same old. It’s an exquisite sensation that stops time - sparks delight - and demands to be sipped not gulped. Here are the cocktails I’m making, serving and drinking at the Beach Bar during the summer of 2020. Returning Classic from Summer 2019 Hemingway Daiquiri: This drink by one of the greatest writers of all time has made this list for ten straight summers. Fresh juice is...
Over the past 3 months an urge has grown within me to take a fresh direction with my writing. That’s another way to say “an urge has grown within me to take a fresh direction with my thinking.” You see, for me - writing is how I do my deepest thinking. My 7 books are simply me trying to makes sense of a part of the world around me. Until recently, I couldn’t find the proper “voice” for my next writing effort. Over the past four weeks I’ve been working with...
Doug’s Innovation News Blog
Yesterday I did a webinar for the P&G Alumni...
2020 has me thinking on how things have changed in the 34 years since I founded the Eureka! Ranch.
In 1986 Consumer Products were the thought leaders of innovation and the focus was on creating line extensions, category segmentations and gurus.
In 2020 the thought leaders are more varied with industrial, medical, CBD/THC, services, internet, artificial intelligence, and banking all focused on innovation.
TODAY there is a focus on BIGGER, BOLDER, PATENTABLE WOW Innovations.
Leaders are looking for meaningfully unique innovations that enable them to change the profitability of their industry and or their business model. It’s the time of Capital “I” Inventing instead of small “i” incremental changes.
TODAY there is an urgency for Systems for ACCELERATING Ideas to Market
Having focused on the “front end” of innovation – executives are frustrated with how long it takes to get ideas to market.
TODAY there is a NEW TREND TOWARDS ENABLING EMPLOYEE Innovation.
Leaders are tired of renting an “Innovation Guru.” They are asking for coaching, education and tools to enable their people to think faster, smarter and more innovatively. To support this we’ve rebuilt our curriculum and tools to work for all levels of employees through independent Apps or the companies existing LMS Platform.
Real life event last Thursday. It started with an early morning call with a client in Europe. She had an emergency need for ideas and Market Research Data Today.
Completed inventing session with another client at 1:00 pm.
During the drive to the Airport organized experts and testing resources.
2- 4:pm: Wrote Six Concepts with ideas and advice from Experts
4pm: Designed questionnaire using advanced Innovation Engineering Rapid Test System
4:15pm: Uploaded concepts for Testing
4:30pm: Test in the field and headed to gate to get on plane back to Cincinnati
7:30pm: Plane landed. Test is complete. Opened computer in car (someone else was driving) and reviewed test results from 400 base equivalent test. Outstanding scores. Started draft of report
8:15pm: Home. Hugged wife and enjoyed a Cocktail with her – mine was an Embassy made with our Old Dexter Whiskey 🙂
9:15pm: Finished final report
9:45pm: Emailed final report to client in Europe to review when she wakes up
6:00 am email from client – “WOW this is so helpful.” Client does meeting to present findings
This my friends in what we mean when we say increased innovation speed and decreased risk
If you have an innovation, marketing, product concept and or testing emergency give us a call. 24/7 we can get it resolved.
IMPORTANTLY – this is not a random event – YOU CAN AQUIRE the SKILLS AND TOOLS to work at this speed all the time.
This morning as I exercised my mind wandered to a dear friend Scott Macaulay – who passed away from cancer way to soon. In his last year of life he spent time really noticing smells, tastes, sights and sounds. I remember him commenting on the aroma and flavor of a cocktail sauce we were putting on some fresh Prince Edward Island Oysters.
The past few days I’ve had the honor of speaking at the Singularity University event in Greece. Greece’s role in the creation of democracy is well known. It gave power to the people.
After one of my talks a young lady came up to me and said “I’m seeing a difference in your approach versus others. Most business people believe that company success comes when the workers engage. Your approach is to enable the workers to be successful with innovation and because the workers are successful the company is successful. The end purpose is the same but your method is the reverse.”
Her words were simple but so insightful. I suddenly made the connection to what Dr. Deming taught my father back in 1979 “94% of the problem is the system – 6% is the worker”.
Dr. Deming knew that the foundation of success lay in enabling the works. Today the Innovation Engineering movement enables workers with the training, tools and methods they need to think smarter, faster and more innovatively.
Dr. Deming and Innovation Engineering are about Democratizing thinking. Countries don’t invent. Companies don’t invent. Only the people can invent the kinds of smarter work systems, products and services that are needed to transform the success trajectory of companies.
This was especially top of mind for me as we are about to announce a transformational change in how we teach and enable employees to think smarter, faster and more innovatively. To learn more sign up for our 7th annual Global Innovation Engineering conference by clicking here
Nothing beats - seeing, feeling and experiencing...
“It’s important that everyone have something important to do.”
Paul Schurke said this as we embarked on an adventure to recreate Admiral Peary’s Last Dash to the North Pole. As the expedition leader Paul explained that he didn’t want people on the trip who would take unreasonable risks because they had nothing to look forward to.
As is common with Paul there was also a deeper second meaning. Paul was speaking about the importance of having great aspirations. Paul dreams big and takes action on those dreams. Others feel exhausted by his energy – he fuels his soul with his adventures. My trip with him was in 1999 – if you CLICK HERE you can see how he never stops.
I was reminded of Paul today as I visited Bob Morrison and team at our new Brain Brew Custom WHISKeY distillery at the Windsor & Eton Brewery in Windsor just outside of London UK. (That’s Bob and I in our small but mighty first packaging facility at our new distillery) During 2019, the year I turned 60 – my team and I have opened a distillery at the Eureka! Ranch and soon in the UK. Today we make products that are in 40 of the 50 US states and we’ve won Double Gold Medals and 95 ratings for our WoodCraft whiskey spirits.
Paul Schurke – changes the world by changing people’s perceptions of themselves and the planet.
Our Brain Brew Crew changes the world by enabling whiskey to be of the people, by the people and for the people. Because frankly, everyone deserves their own WHISKeY! And just wait till you see what important things we have planned for 2020!
So what are you waiting for – as we say with Innovation Engineering – get up, get out and do Cool S#it that Matters!
Imagine a world where across your 10K person organization you had 1K people innovating in their sphere of influence. They were consciously thinking smarter, faster and more innovatively about their daily tasks.
Research is finding that if you ignite just 10% of your people – you set off unstoppable momentum towards culture change.
If you try to change the culture without first igniting the people – you will fail.
This approach was inspired by conversations with Kevin Cahill – Executive Director of the The W. Edwards Deming Institute. He spoke of the need for enabling everyone. He said, “I believe that every single person, in every single organization, has some sphere of influence they can impact.
Quite simply when you light up the innovators and early adopters across your organization with training, tools and support you set off a chain reaction of growth.
Dr. Deming famously would push executives with his famous challenge, “By What Method” will you accomplish this.
In our case we’re finding 3 things are key to the method of transformation:
Academically sound, reliable and reproducible education,
Tools that enable the TEACHING to be made real,
Activation & Reactivation of the training & tools till they become a cultural habit.
I’ll be talking more about this as we prepare to release a dramatic upgrade to our system for enabling leaders of teams, divisions, or companies to ignite a sustainable culture of innovation at the 7th Annual Digital Innovation Engineering conference being held on Friday, November 22, 2019 – MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
I’m tried of incremental steps.
This past weekend I learned the importance of SELLING INNOVATIONS on profitability.
The scene was the Artisan Market at the Kentucky’s Edge Bourbon Festival. Our Brain Brew Custom WHISKeY team had a booth where we introduced our new Riverboat Collection of Craft Whiskies.
We faced three solid competitors. And it was a challenge as our drink price was $10 – versus $6 for our competitors.
In the OLD WORLD focus on simple product innovation – we would have pitched why our double gold medal, patent pending products were preferred versus others.
In the NEW WORLD view of innovations in product, production sales and marketing – we told about our product AND we offered consumers the opportunity to sample a “flight” of our 4 whiskies (1/2 ounce pours of each) using our patent pending Flight Trays.
What would you rather be asked to do?
Option A: Be asked to sell 4 Great Whiskies
Option B: Be asked to sell 4 Great Whiskies WITH THE HELP of an Innovative FLIGHT TRAY Merchandising system.
BOTTOM LINE: Based on visual observation we sold more than our three competitors combined AND at a higher price! It transformed everyone working our booth into great sales people.
So what are you waiting for? Innovate on HOW YOU SELL to help accelerate the success of your innovative service or product.