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The Driving Eureka! Podcast - Find, Filter and Fast Track Big Ideas to Innovate

Release Date: 01/16/2019

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More Episodes

Driving Eureka! Newsletter 13

This is the thirteenth episode of the Driving Eureka! Podcast. Segment 1: We Must All Hang Together; Segment 2: Alignment in Bringing Divergent Groups Together; Segment 3: Brain Brew Whisk(e)y Academy.

Subscribe to learn how to Find Filter and Fast Track Big Ideas.

Show Notes

[00:00:33]
13th Episode of the Driving Eureka! Podcast

[00:01:22]
The Benjamin Franklin Influence on Eureka! Ranch

[00:05:52]
Franklins Role in Getting the Stamp Act Repealed

[00:08:29]
The Cartoon that Helped Britain Change Their Mind

[00:11:56]
The Need for a Mission Bigger Than Ourselves

[00:12:53]
The Driving Eureka! Book Segment

[00:13:07]
Getting Alignment on Aim

[00:13:30]
Individual and Department Goals Can Interfere with Aim

[00:14:18]
Most Companies Lack Aim and Alignment

[00:15:31]
Commanders Intent > Command and Control

[00:15:54]
Commander's Intent -Explained

[00:17:13]
The Narrative and the Blue Card

[00:19:35]
The Story of the Blue Card

[00:24:04]
The Narrative as the Difference Maker

[00:24:57]
History of the Narrative

[00:25:37]
People are Motivated by Narratives, Not Metrics

[00:27:11]
Leaders Need to Inspire

[00:29:38]
Aimless as Uninspiring

[00:30:53]
Brain Brew Whisk(e)y Academy

[00:31:31]
Mission and Alignment at a Distillery

[00:33:48]
Making Whisk(e)y Cool

[00:34:04]
Everyone Deserves Their Own Whisk(e)y

[00:35:06]
The Whisk(e)y

[00:37:33]
Making Custom Whisk(e)y

[00:38:11]
Making Your Own Personal Whisk(e)y

[00:40:48]
The Dr. Franklin Cocktail
Dr. Franklin Cocktail

[00:41:35]
The Making of the Dr. Franklin Cocktail

[00:42:46]
The Dr. Franklin - Step 1

[00:42:49]
Step 2

[00:42:51]
Step 3

[00:43:01]
Step 4

 

 

Transcript

Tripp: [00:00:01] Welcome to the Driving Eureka! podcasts where we share ideas and advice for helping you find filter and fast track big ideas.

 

Tripp: [00:00:14] Hi I'm Tripp Babbitt advisor to global organizations on the Deming philosophy and host of the Deming Institute podcast.

 

Doug: [00:00:23] And I'm Doug Hall inventor speaker teacher and whiskey maker. I'm also the founder of the Eureka! ranch and author of the driving Eureka! book.

 

Tripp: [00:00:33] This is the thirteenth episode of the Driving Eureka! podcasts. This podcasts corresponds with Doug Hall's newsletter in particular January 17th newsletter that you can read at Doug Hall dot com. You can't sign up or read the newsletter by clicking in the menu newsletter. This week our feature story is that we must all hang together or most assuredly we will hang separately Driving Eureka! book segment is on alignment and bringing divergent groups together and our Brain Brew Whisk(e)y Academy segment discusses the power of mission and the Doctor Franklin cocktail.

 

Tripp: [00:01:22] Ok Doug so here we go. This is when you attend some of your seminars and workshops and things that you have going on at the Eureka! ranch. One of the things that I'll strike you when you walk into the building is all the Franklin stuff as I will refer to it. And you have a plethora of statues and quotes and things whether you're in the bathroom or in the main area. So it's it it's literally permeates the entire aura of what the Eureka! Ranch is.

 

Doug: [00:02:02] Dr. Franklin is in every room he's there.

 

Tripp: [00:02:09] You might want to rethink the bathroom thing. But anyway all right. Well let's let's talk about this because it is one of Dr. Franklin's famous quotes. I believe he said it. I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong to the Continental Congress that, "We must all hang together or most assuredly we will hang separately." Do I have that right.

 

Doug: [00:02:29] Yeah yeah you have that right. And I am a Franklin freak. It started with the fact that I was born on January 17th which was the same day as him as well as my grandmother and Janet Merritt and some other friends and and so that got me interested in him.

 

Doug: [00:02:45] But then as I learned more about him you know being an inventor being an entrepreneur a writer a scientist kind of fit my personality and so I like many. Franklin has served as an inspiration for many out there and so each year when my birthday comes around I have the the books the Franklin papers that have everything that was written to him or by him the Yale University puts together and there's a book and there's a book as he gets older every year there's a book and so I pull that out at the turn of the calendar and start to look at it. And then this year in his sixtieth year which I will be 60 on January 17th year gradually the Franklin was at the time it was an interesting time in that he was basically retiring from the publishing business the printing business with David Hall no relation who is his partner that was coming to an end just as I've stepped down from the Eureka! ranch although taking a different role here. But he was off to new things and one of the big things that he did come February was there had been a huge war one of escalating tensions between Great Britain and the colonies. And Franklin was a guy who really believed in peace and coming together and resolving things really resolved on it. And and it hit me that this was about the Stamp Act that the king had put in to pay for the troops that were over there.

 

Doug: [00:04:22] He basically didn't want to keep paying for the troops. He figured he'd get the colonies indeed put a charge on all paperwork going back and forth. Well this did not go over well. This did not go over well. And Franklin was representing Pennsylvania. And you know as I said in the in the newsletter in the course of human events again quoting something maybe in the course of human events there'll always be conflict between people tribes teams departments divisions companies and countries. And we have that going on in society today. And I like to get into the politics of Brexit and us. I'm not gonna deal with all of that but that same thing is happening now these tensions and the way Franklin addressed the tension and caused it to diffuse and he ended up being the person who testified in front of Parliament and it was said that his words caused the king to pull back on the stamp act and and prevented the revolution which eventually would come with the tea and the other things would happen later. Although Franklin who felt there's never been a good war or a bad peace was forever trying to resolve it the way he resolved this. It hit me as I was reading it is very much the same way we teach and that I write about in driving Eureka! in the book and we teach an innovation engineering and how we do it in the whiskey distillery which was what Dr.

 

Doug: [00:05:52] Franklin did is he got the powers to be in London to move to a higher level. In other words instead of the tit for tat he got them to think bigger. He did a famous cartoon which you know basically shows England kind of dismembered and has an arm and a leg and it says New York on it in England. And it's basically the decline of the British Empire tearing apart the British Empire. And he he basically raised it in in the newsletter I have the quote from his son who wrote about it because he had these cards printed and he put an explanation and a moral on it. That he would share with people that was his way to basically politic this thing. And when he spoke of this he got them to think of a higher order. In other words instead of thinking about your need for money in this. Think about the rights of Englishmen. Think about the the the British Empire and the rights that all citizens have. And we are one nation united under a common mission that we are one. And he raised the conversation to a higher level. And he was able to diffuse it. And it worked. And that's the only way when we get into these situations where where there's a debate between two sides and they just can't agree. We have to find a mission that is greater than ourselves and our self interests that we can then create ideas to bring us together.

 

Tripp: [00:07:31] So so you have in here in the newsletter you have this cartoon which Franklin was famous for putting in and basically his newspapers as you mentioned with the dismembered portions which I actually was doing a little research on because I had not seen this one before. Because he also did the one with the snake a little bit earlier. At least they believe it was done a with the dissected snake of representing the 13 colonies basically getting your idea to have him tonight. But I wasn't.

 

Tripp: [00:08:08] I wasn't familiar at all with this bill a serious that apparently was a Roman general that you know won all these great battles for Rome but was basically at the end of his life left on the road to begging as he aged.

 

Tripp: [00:08:29] And that was kind of I was interested in the I'm not sure even how to say it this Latin gateway. Date Obullum Bellasario as the caption that of the banner across but that they were that they were begging for money. So I thought that was that was kind of interesting associated with that. And this all has to do with the. And the sure if you mentioned or not both the stamp act which was the tax that they were doing and in the seven years war but. But I do want to lose sight of the fact that yeah. They certainly were at odds in there. Their missions didn't seemed to be coming together and ultimately I led the war.

 

Tripp: [00:09:14] But yeah Franklin was able to with this cartoon of all things basically passing it out in England diffused the the act and it only lasted I think at lasted only a few months before they repealed it which I was.

 

Doug: [00:09:32] I was interesting I was with some this morning the class at the ranch a black belt class and I was telling them the story I was with an expert whose name escapes me but he does scenarios and he was down in South Africa you know as apartheid was coming down and things were happening there and he got the warring parties and I mean we're talking really warring parties here together. And he same concept but a different method. He had them worked through scenarios what could happen as as you know free voting came and such things happened and he played out different scenarios and the scenarios basically showed total destruction of one side or the other. And there was only one of a cooperation and he got them to agree to a higher order mission and purpose and was able to prevent major bloodshed which could well have happened after you know it's somebody you know and you have Mandela and you have been higher leaders who pull it off but kind of miraculous actually. I'm talking about sides if those two can come together and if you know then you know my God we should be able come over these little trivial things that we're debating now.

 

Doug: [00:10:50] But it is about going to a higher order and and you know this is a method of getting to a mission that is greater than yourself and whether it's down in South Africa whether it's Franklin here. But you know when it only looks like war is the only option when it only looks like fighting it's the option you know or when you're struggling against things. What is the higher order thing. That's how you can bring people together. And and that really hit me that here's the guy literally on January 17th on his birthday his partnership ends with David Hall and in February. He's immediately out you know is saving the world at the time from war.

 

Doug: [00:11:36] Of course I thought about that Tripp because you know in February I'm going to the craft show selling customers maybe not is.

 

Tripp: [00:11:43] A different type of war right.

 

Doug: [00:11:45] But if I was a good drinker so celebrate him. But you know I he was doing something of a higher order. You know I will also be at the show with the community colleges.

 

Doug: [00:11:56] Fifteen hundred community college people are going to be bringing innovation and training so I'm going to think about that but you know it is interesting that we have to come together and find that higher mission whether it's in our family whether it's with our spouses whether it's with our kids whether it's in our community what's the higher order thing that we can agree on. Ok. So we're debating on these parts but what's the mission bigger than ourselves.

 

Tripp: [00:12:20] Yeah. And I think that's one thing that we all lack and and probably don't start there. I mean we start to look at the differences as opposed to the things that we would have in common and where we can get alignment on aim which is actually a great segway into our second part here which is your book segment for the Driving Eureka! book segment

 

Tripp: [00:12:53] It's time now for the driving Eureka! book segment with author and inventor Doug Hall system for bringing everyone together and alignment.

 

Tripp: [00:13:07] So so now we've we've we've discovered this need for a common aim Common Purpose associated with with things. So how do you address this in the Driving Eureka! book and within innovation engineering system in the systems in general and how you go about innovation and really anything else.

 

Doug: [00:13:30] But so yeah it's for anything but let's just take the company example just to make sure people got it what will tend to happen in organizations when it's hard to make ideas happen it's because each department and sometimes a small company it's a department of one person is looking out for their self-interest as opposed to the greater interest of the total organization you know they're trying to make their department. It doesn't help. I mean set off here that we give them metrics that their department has to meet. And of course every department hits their metrics and collectively we lose money. You know which is that the chaotic thing because we're working across purposes to each other.

 

Tripp: [00:14:11] What?

 

Doug: [00:14:14] You heard of that before.

 

Tripp: [00:14:15] Oh yeah. See it all the time unfortunately.

 

Doug: [00:14:18] Yeah. So. So what we're what we came to was as we started to do innovation through the innovation sharing community is we found that there wasn't alignment. And we did survey after survey and we found alignment alignment alignment was the biggest problem not ideas we could do ideas but we couldn't agree on what we were doing and why we were doing it. And so we started to do some work on project objectives and different things and come to find out.

 

Doug: [00:14:45] We found that there was this very large organization one of the largest in the world that had employees that I would say maybe not always you know rocket scientists with PHDs sometimes people that it was kind of like the job they could get and and but it worked amazingly well. And they used to have a system of command to control where they would tell people what to do. They would just give them orders do this and what they did was they found that that wasn't working because the leader couldn't in the complexity of today's world they couldn't just tell them everything to do because there was a whole lot that the leader couldn't know because it was just it was just happening on a real time basis.

 

Doug: [00:15:31] And so they went to something called commanders intent. And I'm talking about the military whether it's U.S. forces Canadian forces NATO forces I've confirmed it with all three. They've stopped doing command and control and move to commander's intent where they give they paint the end state of what they're trying to do.

 

Doug: [00:15:54] And a in one of their documents they call it commander's intent a clear and concise expression of the purpose of the operation and the desired end state that supports Mission Command provides focus to the staff and helps subordinate supporting commanders act to achieve the commander's desired result without further order. Even when the operation does not unfold as planned or quite simply in the absence of further orders you would know what to do.

 

Doug: [00:16:19] So what we're doing is giving them the purpose of why we need to do this. Setting some boundaries around it and then getting them to think you know so many times we hire employees and then because they're smart. But then we don't allow them to think because we tell them what to do. This is about using their brains which creates more engagement sets up all chain reaction so in the innovation sharing community this ended up being called the Blue Card because the card was blue and innovation engineering is blue and we said it's so important. We're going to give our color to this because this is the higher order bit This gives us the mission and it creates a shared sense of mission of what it is that we're doing. Why are we doing this thing. We know what is important.

 

Doug: [00:17:13] And so the blue card itself starts out with a name that is suggestive of the mission and then it includes the biggest space is the narrative and the narrative is why are we doing this. It sets the background. It helps somebody understand how their work fits in why is this of overall importance when it gets hard slogging through wherever in the military or working through on a project. Why what is the higher order bit that we're trying to do. Why does this really matter to me and then it says the mission.

 

Doug: [00:17:50] We need ideas for a blank and one thing and that's the higher to think what do we need ideas for not three things. One thing then we set some boundaries leadership sets the boundaries. Here's the here's the strategic and tactical. So here's a strategic

 

[00:18:08] We don't want ideas for these kind of things. By defining what we don't want that helps us understand what we do what and then the tactical boundaries. Time money. You know we only have this much money we have to do it this fast. I mean the reality. And then lastly we give some sum basically some stimulus of some things that we might think of to consider. And it could be existing things or others but this blue card serves to get everybody aligned on what we're doing and why we're doing it. And it gives purpose to the work and it gives purpose to our business and it creates the alignment in effect. That's what Dr. Franklin did when he moved them up to the greatness of the British Empire and that we are all Englishmen and the shared values that we all have together as opposed to we would these other things over on the other side of the ocean he got them to think of it as a greater purpose.

 

Tripp: [00:19:12] Ok so a couple there's a couple things I want to draw out on this one. One is just pure curiosity. Was it the blue card first or was that it just happened to be blue and then everybody started calling it the blue card. It was their intent there. I mean as far as that. Did you pick blue intentionally or was he just it.

 

Doug: [00:19:35] No it was intentional decision. And actually what happened. Interestingly OK I'll fess up it's my birthday.

 

Doug: [00:19:47] Here's what happened. One of my bright bright young people working for me. We were I was. I can I can I can remember it because I can feel the pain. You know you're having the CEO right. And we're sitting. We were in Bangor Maine and we were running an event up there with the University of Maine. And and we're sitting there and we're having a cocktail and. And she was talking to me about a project she was working on. And I said well we're gonna have to stop that project.

 

Doug: [00:20:19] And now this is a very open lady a very smart lady. If you could imagine this scene her legs quickly crossed her arms crossed across her chest and I said Are you OK with that and she says Yeah I'm OK with it with a bit of puckered you. And I'm like going you know you. Yeah I she's a lady. You love to play poker with you know she's out there. It's just wonderful. She's just wonderful lady. Very. She runs our education team.

 

Doug: [00:20:49] And and and she was just like. And finally she says well how could I have known because I explained the issue. She said How could I have known that and it was such an honest question.

 

Doug: [00:21:03] And I easy you know now I'm looking at myself like going the Emperor's got no clothes on. And Amber baby I'm like a numb nuts here because I realized there was no way for her to know that there was a strategic issue or a boundary on this thing because she couldn't read my mind.

 

Doug: [00:21:20] And he issued spent a whole lot of time or let's say it more directly she'd wasted a whole lot of time because I hadn't given clarity to the mission. She didn't understand what she knew what to do she didn't know why to do it and she didn't know the boundaries and and it was at that moment that I realized my God we've got to do something about this and this has been percolating up. We'd heard complaints from people there were issues and there were different things people talking about they were running into this problem.

 

Doug: [00:21:49] People would come up with a miracle idea and then they would take it to their boss and the boss said I was kidding 9:00. I'm not really interested in that. And they're like I just did a friggin miracle and you're like this to me here man. This is working for me. And so quickly we started to put it together. And interestingly we had a tendency as we do today to run experiments and we would pilot it with early adopters to get the bugs out. This thing literally within two weeks it was out in the entire network and it was literally changing weekly as we would get better wording and more precise wording. And people just grabbed it so it pulled out of a so quickly. I joke that if I hadn't put it out they would have bootlegged it out because they were so desperate to get alignment between what leadership's strategy is and what work you want me to do.

 

Doug: [00:22:44] And you know and it was it was that shocking to me that made me realize that we had to do something and you talk to people to do Innovation Engineering they'll say the most important thing in the entire thing is the blue card. Nothing's more important in the blue card.

 

Tripp: [00:22:56] And I would agree and actually that's a good segue into the narrative question that I have which is so so in the old days when I first started doing and working with with Deming's philosophy I used to do alignment in organization. So you would have the executive team would have well probably what would have been my version of of a blue card. There's a lot of things missing from my it. But in essence it was Mission Vision Values and key measurements as well as a system map of the executive team which did everything and then every then and each department then did a system map that would feed into that an alignment and things. And what I discovered in going through that process is yep I did a system map and they're all supposed to be aligned but they weren't. And and so I rethought it actually and went back through and started to build just just one aim not an aim for the departments and the you know all the nested groups that are under the executive team. And I started to find that that worked better.

 

Tripp: [00:24:04] But I'll tell you the one thing that really stood out in my mind and advancement when I when I went to one of your courses was the narrative piece that was the difference maker in my mind that was the one of the missing pieces too. We're working with organizations and communicating with them that there has to be this compelling underlying reason that you want to do something that there has to be this narrative as you put it. And so Doug when you put the narrative together where did that come from. And and how did you get there. That was one of the things that just it's important and I hope people listening will understand the importance of narrative.

 

Doug: [00:24:57] So we started to put the card together right. And we had some elements to the card. And I was working with Gojo industries that at make Purell Sure. And it's an amazing company privately held. And Joe Kanfer is the chairman and the CEO and I we were showing him this blue card we had and it talked about the objective and you know the kind of stuff that you'd normally do you know like AIM and metrics and stuff like that like we do with systems. And he takes the card and he throws it on the table and he says this isn't gonna work.

 

Doug: [00:25:37] People are motivated by narratives not by metrics and I just stopped and he says I built pure hell because I told people the story of how people get sick because they don't wash their hands in the situations where they can't. And that with Purell we're going to make it so people aren't going to get sick. And he says and throughout my career it's been stories that motivate people to do impossible things and and I said Wow that's. And I'm like writing letters like these want. Interestingly he said I want credit for that. So Joe I'm giving you credit right now.

 

Doug: [00:26:24] Because it was it was this incredible entrepreneur who's done an amazing thing building that company. One of the smartest business people I've ever met my life. And he said it's the narrative. That's the thing that matters. And then it was later than that that we found out that the military was doing the same thing. And interestingly the military you can't outsource writing the narrative the leader has to write it themself and in their words. They think it's that important and that's harder in the corporate world because people do want to write they want have somebody do it. No review. But in the military the leader has to write it. And then as it goes down the line as it gets into sub blue cards those people have to write it and how their department fits into the greater whole. If it if it's a tiered type system.

 

Doug: [00:27:11] But you know it is that thing that brings us together and it is the difference. And I'm not going to beat on it but you know what I'm talking about here. It's the difference between management and leadership. Leaders inspire people to do great things blue cards are a tool to help leaders turn their dreams into reality to make things happen to activate the masses. I mean it is it is invaluable. If you want to become a better manage leader manager or leader tomorrow put in blue cards and when you have to write why. It really forces you to think and you know sometimes you start to write why and the why is so I can get my bonus well and then we don't know why people are not motivated and engaged in our companies. Mm hmm mm hmm. Why could that be. I guess they're not stupid I guess if we hired stupid people they would be motivated.

 

Tripp: [00:28:15] You know I'm saying Oh yeah. You know it's interesting I'm sure this would maybe a whole probably newsletter on its own. But there's there's a I just did a dumbing lens which my podcasts for the Deming institute on the need of you know how you develop leaders from a Deming perspective and one of the things that that comes out of that that Dr. Deming railed against was this whole concept of many executives and managers are not familiar with the work in which they're managing you know making decisions on and you know conceptually the blue card gives you the opportunity to have to know something about the work in order to write a good narrative because if you don't it's just going to sound like mumbo jumbo and I found that and working with some clients.

 

Doug: [00:29:20] Yeah. Yeah.

 

Tripp: [00:29:21] I mean they have to really know the business if they don't know.

 

Doug: [00:29:23] Management by spreadsheet.

 

Tripp: [00:29:25] Yeah yeah.

 

Doug: [00:29:25] It's like look I innovate. What do want me to do. I don't know innovate. What kind of where do you want me to innovate. They go well I don't know. What do you want me do. I don't know. I'll tell you when you when I see it. So just try some stuff.

 

Tripp: [00:29:38] All right just make sure you hit this number because I got to get my quarterly bonus and the right. It's not very inspiring.

 

Doug: [00:29:45] No no no. And it is. And it can become so complicated. I mean you know where we can spend nine months writing our strategy and then we give the team three months to do something you know and then we start the process all over again. This is simple it's a blue card. We need ideas for and here's why this is important it hits the boundaries on it. That's it. Got it man maybe people want to do great things. They want to do cool stuff. You know we just got to you we got to think hard about what the mission is and then get out of the way and let them do it.

 

Tripp: [00:30:22] Right. So just a just a note to the people that always ask me where did the narrative thing come from and I always say Doug Hall now you know where it really came from came from Joe at Gojo.

 

Doug: [00:30:33] Yeah that's right. Yeah. Very good. And smarter than me.

 

Tripp: [00:30:39] Well you learn actually you know when you're working with clients. They teach you things as well as you teaching them. So it's always that that's how you gain knowledge and and further yourself as well as your organization.

 

Tripp: [00:30:53] OK. Well what's move on to our Brain Brew Whiskey Academy podcast where we will take you behind the scenes so you can see what it takes to build a whiskey distillery business. Eureka! Ranch team led by Doug Hall are creating a craft whiskey company patented technology like has never been done before. The power of mission. So how does this play in a distillery Doug.

 

Tripp: [00:31:31] All we've talked now about the need for the mission. The need for alignment. You're now going to where the rubber meets the road at your distillery. How does this play.

 

Doug: [00:31:43] Ok. So. So we start this distillery right. We get this time compression technology allows us to basically you can now make whiskey as fast as easy as you can make gin or vodka. OK. Because normally you have to wait years and we can do it quickly and make world class stuff. So you've got this technology the question is To what end what you can do with it.

 

Doug: [00:32:05] I mean what's the purpose of it. Ok so you got it. Why is it here and what we early on with with the brain brew company we spend a bunch of time thinking about because the first thought was oh we'll just do cheap expensive stuff we'll take expensive things and cloning and we could do that. I mean we proved that we could do that but then we were like that didn't feed our soul. It just didn't seem exciting. And being the cheap clone just didn't seem to really do much for me.

 

Doug: [00:32:38] I just it just was not it just I was just like whatever. And so then we started to think about the different things we could be and when you look at the craft distilling market or the craft beer business you can have a number of different missions. You can you can turn around and focus your energy on building a brand and taking it national and global and building a brand business. You could turn around and say No I'm just gonna be a really cool tasting room restaurant bar venue based business. But you've got to make a choice. And the challenge many people have is they don't make that choice. They don't set the mission of what it's going to be. And in our case this line came to us and I'm not sure who who it came from but somebody we were creating whiskies and somebody said you know this is so much fun to do this and somebody then said You know everybody deserves to have their own whiskey and I was like huh.

 

Doug: [00:33:45] That's kind of cool.

 

Doug: [00:33:48] Wouldn't it be cool if everybody could have the joy of crafting their own whiskey and you go over their house and they go here once you have a little taste with this or here I'm going to make your cocktail with my special whiskey I think you're going to like it. How cool would that be.

 

Doug: [00:34:04] You know that's like that idea that you have when you're doing brainstorming and somebody is what would be neat if everybody could have their own whiskey and you go yeah they'd be awesome but get real. And we'd figured out that we had figured out how to make whiskey a bottle at a time for an hour and a rapid testing and you know we've we've talked about earlier in this podcast and I'm like what we can and we can do it efficiently and so we started to play with that idea and our mission became and we changed the company name to brain brew custom whiskey. People say What do you do custom whiskey. We enable you to have your own. And as it turns out before prohibition almost every bar every restaurant every person had their own whiskey. Because that's the way it was people would blend whiskeys together and then to have their own whiskey. I mean it was a common thing to do after prohibition it became you know the big big companies owning it obviously. But the idea of custom whiskey became our purpose. And how could we do that.

 

Doug: [00:35:06] How could we bring together and then we chose if we look at the spelling on line and you see it you see Parentheses around the E and we may have talked about this before but it's worth bringing up again because whiskey tends to be tribal. You are a bourbon person you're a Scotch person. I mean those being the two great divides that we get into.

 

Doug: [00:35:31] And and of course in Scotland is no we in the US there is any. And so we decided to put the parentheses around the E to say we're agnostic on it that we love them all. We're about whiskey however you want to spell it. And to bring people together to craft their own product. And that became our purpose. And as we started to go through it and and when then we find other people want to do this and it's growing and growing and growing and and it's just a ton of fun. The look on people's faces when they make their own whiskey is just amazing. Now interestingly as we started to to do this thing we had no idea what's gonna happen because people said Oh you're making this stuff fast there's no story no legend people like the Heritage. But you know what happened is when people made their own whiskey you know this story was well I've taken this much of New World and I took this old world and I and I have some corn and I have some rye and I did this because of the all of a sudden instead of Johnny Jimmy and Jack's whiskey it's your whiskey. And that became our mission. And it's interesting because we'll talk with distilleries and they'll say OK I want you to make this thing out. Don't do that. But I want you to just clone. I said I don't do that. They said but you can. I said just because I can doesn't mean I should. And that's a key strategy thing. Just because you can doesn't mean you should and so our mission is custom whiskey and you know we raised a little bit of money and I got investors and I turned down investors who didn't get it but the investors got it.

 

Doug: [00:37:05] They know we're in the custom whiskey business we're building systems and tools to enable everybody to have their own whiskey because everybody deserves one. And that's a choice we've made.

 

Doug: [00:37:15] And to make success in any new business you got to make that choice. Now it may change it may evolve. That's fine. But you've got to be able to ask every employee what do you do here. You know what's the mission. What's the purpose and arches custom so.

 

Tripp: [00:37:33] So paint me a picture here Doug where you're kind of at and where you're going everyone deserves their own whiskey. I get it. That's clear in my head. How far does that go from a perspective of you know the individual and then what are the systems and that you have in place so far and the ones you need to build in order to make that a reality what you do where you are now.

 

Doug: [00:37:58] So we're watching you. So what you do is you come to an event and it can be held at a restaurant or compelled in a distillery bar you can indeed do it yourself kit that you can do at home and watch videos on the Internet.

 

Doug: [00:38:11] So what we do is we basically deconstruct the whiskey into the four great grains wheat corn Ryan barley we have people taste in a new world style. You know the U.S. style basically corn wheat corn Ryan barley then they taste them in an old world style and then they taste in a Kraft style where we've put the stuff together and then at the end having done the tasting and some food here and there in between they then start to put together their own personal whiskey to their taste they might want a little bit of old world with some new world maybe throw in a little craft for some zing and you guys we say they have their own personal whiskey like nobody else is made exactly to their taste. And I mean truly different it's all 12 products. You know sometimes people say to me they say dog Yeah but you know I'll Scotch taste the same raw bourbon tastes the same. Yeah. Now these don't all 12 products that you taste are really really different from each other. We purposely worked on that and so you really get something that's it's really pretty magical. And people just love it. They love it. I mean imagine couples doing it to celebrate their wedding new babies. I mean whatever it is Burt is like having you know whiskey has a different place in people's lives.

 

Tripp: [00:39:29] And so so so Doug where are you in this process. I mean if you went to to the ranch today or were to the brain whiskey today would you would you be able to pull this off do you already have the videos and all that work where you kind of in the spectrum of complete product.

 

Doug: [00:39:49] I guess yeah from what we've got the thing. We've got the whole process together we've done some prototypes. We're going to be doing another prototype coming up and we can't sell today until the government starts back up again and the TTB finishes our labels.

 

Doug: [00:40:06] So. So I mean this we can do a little irony and some of those kind of things but we can't sell anything. We have to be very careful about you know there's nothing that can be sold. We can do some small experiments and that kind of stuff and we do have a permit over in Kentucky where we're we're working with another distillery that makes a bunch of our products so that we can do the stuff there. But you know we're ready.

 

Doug: [00:40:30] It's just as soon as the government can you know they can do that thing we're talking about which is come together come together admission hey we need Dr. Franklin or Joe to help with this blue card get these people to come together because we're all the whole industry waiting for that because all of our labels are held up right now.

 

Tripp: [00:40:48] So OK well let's move to our cocktail now it's this. Is this the Dr. Franklin cocktail that seems apropos. Is this a real thing or do you guy guys come up with this drink.

 

Doug: [00:41:07] What do you mean. Is it a real thing. Well you know I mean is it. I don't ever remember going to a bar Doug and ordering a doctor.

 

Doug: [00:41:16] It's it's craft man. Oh yeah of course of course it's an original creation. OK. Now this is an original creation and I spent way too much money creating this by the way because I felt a real responsibility.

 

Doug: [00:41:35] So you hear these recipes every week but I'm telling you folks this one this one's cool I'm not the other that cool but this one is in particular it's kind of fun because I challenged myself to do the founding fathers not for those you don't know your history. Some of them hung out together. Some of them didn't. Most famously Franklin and John Adams were at war with each other most of the time. John Adams was a hothead up Massachusetts Franklin's trying to calm things down and as it turned out and Washington was crying and trying to play peacemaker as the leader of the whole crew and Jefferson was buddies with Franklin and while Franklin and Jefferson they liked wine in particular Madeira wine for Portugal which is a fortified wine. Adams liked hard cider and Washington was a distiller and famously made rye whiskey so I said let's put together Madeira hard cider and rye and bring them together so that the sum of the parts the total is greater than the sum of the parts.

 

Doug: [00:42:37] In other words can we make something really wonderful. And so that's what I did. I kept messing with it messing with it and I ended up with. Again it's in the show notes.

 

Doug: [00:42:46] Two ounces of Madeira wine.

 

Doug: [00:42:49] One ounce of hard cider.

 

Doug: [00:42:51] And then one ounce of our Noble Oak rye. So that's one of our products that we use. Noble Oak Rye. So two one one and.

 

[00:43:01] Just stirred in ice and it's just got a richness and a depth to it that is you know it's not at Manhattan because but the cider gives a lightness. The Rye gives the spiciness and then the Madeira unlike clean cabernet and that really has a backbone to it. That's that's pretty wonderful. And I did two parts wine because I was gonna say look I'm going to get Franklin lead here so that's why it's it's a Madeira. So and so that also takes the alcohol down a little bit. Not not much but it but it takes it down a little bit because you get you know three different levels of alcohol there but it's a really really refreshing drink and his eye I said in the newsletter I said as we drink this heritage cocktail give a toast using the words.

 

Doug: [00:43:47] I took some of the words of Ben Franklin stitching them together and as Franklin said that cannot be good living where there is no good drinking. I give you this hint as a man of the world. Let us then with glass in hand. I adore the wisdom of the ages. Let us raise our glass and drink a fine toast to the good doctor.

 

Tripp: [00:44:12] Very good and that be a great way to end our Brain Brew Whisk(e)y Academy.

 

Doug: [00:44:17] Thank you Tripp.

 

Tripp: [00:44:18] Thank you Doug

 

Tripp: [00:44:21] Because we appreciate you as a listener. We are offering for limited time for things a one hour abridged audio of the driving Eureka! book. A subscription to the driving Eureka! newsletter which contains weekly advice from Doug Hall on how to find filter and fast track big ideas and the newsletter has other offers that are not made public. The driving Eureka! prescription for success you answer questions and will help you assess your ability to find filter and fast track big ideas and you get advice on how to grow your ability to innovate. And the last item. Access to a Doug Hall interview with a radio legend. To get these offers. Go to w w w dot Doug Hall dot com forward slash Podcast.

 

Tripp: [00:45:21] And don't forget to subscribe to the Driving Eureka! podcast on iTunes.