I don't know, I need help and I fail a lot

It is about 1 year since I first met the Crystal Air team, one of my first Clients as I started Coaching IE for InterTradeIreland’s Challenge Programme. Before we met I didn’t even know what HVAC was. Seeing them pick up an award for their Innovation work cutting the running cost and carbon emissions of air conditioning, was a milestone for us all. They are doing something with a phase change material that has never been done before. A Leap Innovation, taking them into uncharted territory. What’s the secret to their success? No secret. It’s the system – Innovation Engineering.

I am proud of the innovation work ignited across all the companies it has been my privilege to work with, but today, given that Crystal Air’s achievements have just been recognised, I’d like to reflect on why this team got further faster: -

1. ALIGNMENT: There has been superb alignment across a team with Leadership, Sales and Technical Operations working closely together with a can do attitude.

2. I DON’T KNOW: The rate of success with IE depends on a team’s ability to trust the system, simply give it a go, this requires a degree of humility and an open mind. The scene was set at a Create Session early on in the process when all present had a Q&A with the MD about the project. His honesty and openness set the tone beautifully.

3. I NEED HELP: Innovation Engineers coach the benefit of Collaboration. Crystal Air with their determined effort to learn, find partners and get smarter have reached out to all four corners of the Globe and found answers from Dublin to Delhi.

4. I FAIL A LOT: Pace, momentum and liberation through fail fast, fail cheap prototyping! The focus of much of our Death threat analysis has centred around a test rig and copious experiments. Plan, Do, Study, Act teaches us to respect results, to learn and move forward. A fast cheap failure should be celebrated providing the answer makes us smarter.

Over all the years I have had the pleasure of knowing and learning with Doug Hall, founder of the Innovation Engineering Institute, I have embraced his notion of “I don’t know, I need help and I fail a lot”. I am fascinated by the detrimental effect an ego can have on the innovation effort and I have done my best to explain the kind of mind-set required to succeed. Now I can say I have experienced the joy of seeing that mind-set clicking into gear with potentially transformative effects.

Heart felt congratulations to Crystal Air PCM.