Doug Hall: Innovation Engineering. It piqued my interest when it showed up on the INNOV8 schedule two months ago, as did Hall’s resume: chemical engineer turned Master Marketing Inventor for global giant Proctor & Gamble. Left the corporate world to found Eureka! Ranch and partner with the University of Maine to create a new field of study called Innovation Engineering. A list of consulting gigs that reads like a roster of corporate American Idols, including Coca-Cola, the Walt Disney Company and dozens more. Described by Dateline NBC as “an eccentric entrepreneur who just might have what we’ve all been looking for…the happy secret to success.”


OK. I’m in.

Photo by Dylan Fuller

Fast forward to Tuesday morning and standing before me, little more than 5 feet tall, is Doug Hall, barefoot, wearing blue jeans, working a room packed full of business people at The Picard Center. It was a return engagement, jointly presented by The Opportunity Machine and the Manufacturing Partnership Extension of LA. It was also immediately evident why devotees like Bob Miller wanted him back for INNOV8 Lafayette 2013.

Hall’s system is rooted firmly in the teachings of American statistician and consultant Dr. W. Edwards Deming, who was brought to Japan after WWII to help rebuild that country’s industrial and business base by producing the innovative, high-quality products that eventually became the Japanese brand. Hall’s mantra: Successful companies commit to a scientific system that creates a culture of never-ending innovation. “Any company can innovate when it’s about to go out of business,” he says. “We want to teach you how to operate where innovation is the norm.”

Innovation, as Hall defines it, is “meaningful uniqueness” with equal emphasis on both. Noting that customers like suppliers who bring them “new stuff all the time,” it must also be meaningful, in which case “customers are willing to pay more for your offering.” The key, he says, is in knowing what customers want ahead of time.

Innovative engineering can be risky business, and it’s not for the faint of heart. “Fail often and fail cheap,” says Hall, noting that the greatest risk comes from doing nothing. “You can lead change or you can be the victim of change,” he adds.

And the eight-hour survival lesson commenced.

To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at

feed-image RSS Feed
ABiz Stock Watch
o Home Bancorp 23.15 ▲0.05 (0.22%)
o Frank's International 19.53 ▼0.40 (-2.01%)
o IberiaBank Corp 67.58 ▲0.08 (0.12%)
o LHC Group 23.96 ▼0.11 (-0.46%)
o MidSouth Bancorp 18.69 ▼0.11 (-0.59%)
o Petroquest Energy 4.11 ▲0.11 (2.75%)
o PHI Inc. 41.27 0.00 (0.00%)
o Superior Energy 23.38 ▼0.84 (-3.47%)
o Stone Energy 20.83 ▼0.78 (-3.61%)
o Facebook Inc. 77.62 ▲1.99 (2.63%)
o Twitter Inc. 41.13 ▲1.37 (3.45%)
o Gannett 32.74 ▲0.48 (1.49%)

Home Bancorp

Company ID [NYSE:HBCP] Last trade:23.15 Trade time:4:08PM EST Value change:▲0.05 (0.22%)

Frank's International

Company ID [NYSE:FI] Last trade:19.53 Trade time:4:06PM EST Value change:▼0.40 (-2.01%)

IberiaBank Corp

Company ID [NYSE:IBKC] Last trade:67.58 Trade time:4:08PM EST Value change:▲0.08 (0.12%)

LHC Group

Company ID [NYSE:LHCG] Last trade:23.96 Trade time:4:08PM EST Value change:▼0.11 (-0.46%)

MidSouth Bancorp

Company ID [NYSE:MSL] Last trade:18.69 Trade time:4:00PM EST Value change:▼0.11 (-0.59%)

Petroquest Energy

Company ID [NYSE:PQ] Last trade:4.11 Trade time:4:03PM EST Value change:▲0.11 (2.75%)

PHI Inc.

Company ID [NYSE:PHII] Last trade:41.27 Trade time:2:42PM EST Value change:0.00 (0.00%)

Superior Energy

Company ID [NYSE:SPN] Last trade:23.38 Trade time:4:06PM EST Value change:▼0.84 (-3.47%)

Stone Energy

Company ID [NYSE:SGY] Last trade:20.83 Trade time:4:05PM EST Value change:▼0.78 (-3.61%)

Facebook Inc.

Company ID [NYSE:FB] Last trade:77.62 Trade time:4:08PM EST Value change:▲1.99 (2.63%)

Twitter Inc.

Company ID [NYSE:TWTR] Last trade:41.13 Trade time:4:01PM EST Value change:▲1.37 (3.45%)


Company ID [NYSE:GCI] Last trade:32.74 Trade time:4:03PM EST Value change:▲0.48 (1.49%)

Read the Flipping Paper!

Click Here for the Entire Print Version of