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The ROI of Eureka!
on April 10, 2002
Perhaps you have already read Hall's previous book, Jump Start Your Brain (1996) to which David Wecker was a contributor. Most of the core concepts introduced in that book are developed in much greater depth in this sequel. However, Hall makes a much greater effort to explain their direct relevance to achieving business success. He shares "good news" in the Introduction: "Business success is not random. There are patterns in the universe of business. There are reproducible scientific lessons and laws that, when applied with diligence, can help you win more, lose less, and make more money with your new products, services, sales, and advertising efforts." Contrary to Darwinists, Hall rejects the term survival, replacing it with "thriving" through the effective use of data-validated scientific laws. Although he states that small business owners are the "focal point" of his book, I believe that literally anyone can benefit from this book who needs to formulate better ideas within a competitive marketplace.
These new ideas need not be limited to "new products, services, sales, and advertising efforts." On the contrary, they could also help substantially to improve the cycle time and first-pass yield of a process to produce new products and services, to increase both sales and profits, and to maximize the impact of marketing (i.e. creating demand for) whatever is offered for sale. In addition, effective application of "reproducible scientific lessons and laws" can generate new ideas which help a company to strengthen its relationships with customers, vendors, and strategic allies as well as with its own employees or "associates," as they are called at companies such as Wal-Mart and JCPenney.
Hall introduces and then explains what he calls "The Three Laws of Marketing Physics" in Part I (Overt Benefit, Real Reason to Believe, and Dramatic Difference) in Part II and then what he calls "The Three Laws of Capitalist Creativity" in Part II(Explore Stimuli, Leverage Diversity, and Face Fears). If I understand Hall correctly (and I may not in some instances), he works with a rather inclusive definition of "scientific" which bears greater resemblance to the thought processes of a Benjamin Franklin and Eli Whitney than those of, lets say, Frederick W. Taylor and W. Edwards Deming. Moreover, writing with what I characterize as a "Batman Style" (i.e. Pow! Bam! Gadzooks!), he seems to attach much greater value to enthusiasm, indeed PASSION! than he does to highly structured deductive and inductive reasoning. Hall asserts that ideas "are the only true fuel for winning customers and growing profits." How they are generated is determined by both attitude and process. With regard to scientific laws (however derived), they "provide a foundation for making decisions and taking action in the face of chaos."
Throughout this book, Hall includes all manner of exercises by which to "jump start" a brain. (FYI, each brain has about 12-trillion cells and is capable of 10,000 connections -- neurons forming synapses -- with other cells. To jump start is to expedite as well as increase such connections.) In Chapter 10, "How to Fuel Your Brain for Maximum Productivity," Hall includes several "Practical Tactics" such as those which can help anyone to break "mental constipation," "walk the talk," and complete a "mind dump." The extent to which a brain can make connections is determined almost entirely by the quantity and quality of what is available to connect. Hall recommends various specific strategies and tactics by which to increase, constantly, the number of one's "connectibles."
Near the end of many of my reviews, I ask "For whom will this book be most valuable?" With regard to this book, that is an easy answer to provide: Anyone who has a brain and wants to make much more effective use of it.
If your primary interest is in increasing "creativity" and "innovation" within primarily a business context, I highly recommend this book as well as Lynne C. Levesque's Breakthrough Creativity: Achieving Top Performance Using the Eight Creative Talents, Joey Reiman's Thinking for a Living: Creating Ideas That revitalize Your Business, Career, and Life, Stephen M. Shapiro's 24/7 Innovation: A Blueprint for Surviving and Thriving in an Age of Innovation, and Roger Von Oech's Expected the Unexpected (Or You Won't Find It): A Creativity Tool Based on the Ancient Wisdom of Heraclitus. If I were to buy only one of these books, Hall's would be my choice.
If your interest is more general in nature, check out Bernie DeKoven's The Well-Played Game: A Playful Path to Wholeness, Guy Claxton's Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind: How Intelligence Increases When You Think Less, Michael Michalko's Cracking Creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius, and Roger Von Oech's A Kick in the Seat of the Pants: Using Your Explorer, Artist, Judge, and Warrior to Be More Creative and A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative.