Happy Innovation Day 2019 – a day to celebrate you, the innovator,
and help you imagine new and better ways of innovating!



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CHILD’S PLAY  - From Caragh McLaughlin  Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the power of play. If you have kids (or paid any attention to Mr. Rogers back in the day), you’ve surely heard the phrase, “play is the work of childhood.” Play is a way for kids to learn how the world works. And, of course, it’s an opportunity to spend time with important people. Often parents hear the request, “Mom/Dad – will you play with me?” I’ve discovered that when I can be truly in the moment playing with my child, I can tap into his imagination and innate creativity. Which in turn gives me an opportunity to look at my world and my work in new and different ways. I recently discovered Imagination Playground’s Big Blue Blocks, which I think exemplifies that opportunity to unlock creativity in kids, and I have to admit I want to play with them, too.

CHILD’S PLAY - From Caragh McLaughlin

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the power of play. If you have kids (or paid any attention to Mr. Rogers back in the day), you’ve surely heard the phrase, “play is the work of childhood.” Play is a way for kids to learn how the world works. And, of course, it’s an opportunity to spend time with important people. Often parents hear the request, “Mom/Dad – will you play with me?” I’ve discovered that when I can be truly in the moment playing with my child, I can tap into his imagination and innate creativity. Which in turn gives me an opportunity to look at my world and my work in new and different ways. I recently discovered Imagination Playground’s Big Blue Blocks, which I think exemplifies that opportunity to unlock creativity in kids, and I have to admit I want to play with them, too.

GROCERY STORE WANDERING  - From Jonathan Tofel  Did you ever take a moment to stop and wander around a grocery store aimlessly? As shoppers we are often time pressed and focused on making a grocery store trip “happen,” but that’s when we lose out. Sometimes it’s refreshing and rewarding to just linger in a store and explore what exists. You’ll find that lingering/wandering time is when sub categories you never knew existed (because you’re probably not the target) pop out and reveal themselves. In that spirit, I have a fun video from Toro y Moi to get you thinking about grocery stores in a new light… enjoy!

GROCERY STORE WANDERING - From Jonathan Tofel

Did you ever take a moment to stop and wander around a grocery store aimlessly? As shoppers we are often time pressed and focused on making a grocery store trip “happen,” but that’s when we lose out. Sometimes it’s refreshing and rewarding to just linger in a store and explore what exists. You’ll find that lingering/wandering time is when sub categories you never knew existed (because you’re probably not the target) pop out and reveal themselves. In that spirit, I have a fun video from Toro y Moi to get you thinking about grocery stores in a new light… enjoy!

BORED PANDA  - From Carolina Fryer  There is no end to the creative fodder (and amusement) that Bored Panda provides. On any given day, you can read blurbs about a company that makes slippers to look like their pets that are so real you can’t hardly tell them from the real Fido, amazing photography that will blow you away and food creations that are fantastic, futuristic, delicious and inspiring like this 3D jelly cake. I come to BP for the food but often find myself poking around their travel, photography and more. Look no further for your 5 min mind break to get your creative juices flowing with what is possible.

BORED PANDA - From Carolina Fryer

There is no end to the creative fodder (and amusement) that Bored Panda provides. On any given day, you can read blurbs about a company that makes slippers to look like their pets that are so real you can’t hardly tell them from the real Fido, amazing photography that will blow you away and food creations that are fantastic, futuristic, delicious and inspiring like this 3D jelly cake. I come to BP for the food but often find myself poking around their travel, photography and more. Look no further for your 5 min mind break to get your creative juices flowing with what is possible.

Marketoonist  - From Linda Porter-Cox  When I need a quick mental break, but don’t want to completely leave the CPG space in my head, I head over to the Marketoonist. Drawing from his CPG brand management career, Tom Fishburne’s insightful humor is always on point and never fails to make me chuckle. I can always find something to relate to in his cartoons. That quick moment of laughter often sparks a new idea or thought that I can bring back to the project at hand. I highly recommend checking out his site when you need a moment or a laugh.

Marketoonist - From Linda Porter-Cox

When I need a quick mental break, but don’t want to completely leave the CPG space in my head, I head over to the Marketoonist. Drawing from his CPG brand management career, Tom Fishburne’s insightful humor is always on point and never fails to make me chuckle. I can always find something to relate to in his cartoons. That quick moment of laughter often sparks a new idea or thought that I can bring back to the project at hand. I highly recommend checking out his site when you need a moment or a laugh.


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Rock Warrior’s Way  - From Jonathan Tofel  This book was designed to help rock climbers shed the fear-based thinking of difficult attempts and accomplish more than they ever expected. I feel that its 5 basic tenets are very similar (and perhaps a little disruptive) to the pop psychology you see communicated around entrepreneurship, creativity or starting new behaviors. The key tenets of the Rock Warrior are: 1) Performance is affected by subconscious beliefs and attitudes, 2) Performance is improved by learning, which requires focused attention and an attitude of problem solving. 3) The Quality of your motivation matters, not just quantity. Love-based motivation > fear-based motivation. 4) Fear comes in two flavors: survival and illusory. The former stops you from getting killed. The latter limits your power. 5) Death is our advisor. Every moment matters, take advantage of those moments today.

Rock Warrior’s Way - From Jonathan Tofel

This book was designed to help rock climbers shed the fear-based thinking of difficult attempts and accomplish more than they ever expected. I feel that its 5 basic tenets are very similar (and perhaps a little disruptive) to the pop psychology you see communicated around entrepreneurship, creativity or starting new behaviors. The key tenets of the Rock Warrior are: 1) Performance is affected by subconscious beliefs and attitudes, 2) Performance is improved by learning, which requires focused attention and an attitude of problem solving. 3) The Quality of your motivation matters, not just quantity. Love-based motivation > fear-based motivation. 4) Fear comes in two flavors: survival and illusory. The former stops you from getting killed. The latter limits your power. 5) Death is our advisor. Every moment matters, take advantage of those moments today.

AVANTI  - From Carolina Fryer  My current favorite restaurant is Avanti Food & Beverage in Denver, CO. It’s a great example of a rising number of adult focused food courts that give you the option to snack, taste, buy and sample multiple restaurants all in one location. Avanti calls itself a “Collective Eatery” and I just know that I like that I can get truly delectable Croque-Madame at the French Bistro Georgette, followed by the sweet perfection of Bacon Pops at the Italian Pizzeria Brava and then my all-time favorite – Venezuelan Arepas at Quiero Arepas. In full transparency, I’m Venezuelan and I grew up eating arepas but not like these gourmet overstuffed beasts. They have rocked my world and upended what I thought could go into my traditional corn based arepas. They even inspired my latest dinner party at home where I made oversized arepas and taught a whole new group of friends about the possibilities and tastiness of Venezuelan Arepas

AVANTI - From Carolina Fryer

My current favorite restaurant is Avanti Food & Beverage in Denver, CO. It’s a great example of a rising number of adult focused food courts that give you the option to snack, taste, buy and sample multiple restaurants all in one location. Avanti calls itself a “Collective Eatery” and I just know that I like that I can get truly delectable Croque-Madame at the French Bistro Georgette, followed by the sweet perfection of Bacon Pops at the Italian Pizzeria Brava and then my all-time favorite – Venezuelan Arepas at Quiero Arepas. In full transparency, I’m Venezuelan and I grew up eating arepas but not like these gourmet overstuffed beasts. They have rocked my world and upended what I thought could go into my traditional corn based arepas. They even inspired my latest dinner party at home where I made oversized arepas and taught a whole new group of friends about the possibilities and tastiness of Venezuelan Arepas

Brookeville Beer Farm  - From Caragh McLaughlin  Until recently, I lived outside Washington DC and within a few miles of my house there were a couple of beer farms that opened within a short timeframe. My favorite one, Brookeville Beer Farm, combines the Farm-to-Table movement with the vibe of a casual music festival. They grow their own hops on the farm, built out a beautiful covered patio with live music on the weekends, have a large lawn where people can hang out and bring picnics and lawn games for kids, built a brick oven that made delicious pizza and have rotating food trucks to bring variety to the food options. They allow dogs and people can bring their own food. It became a favorite place for most of our friends to spend a weekend afternoon with the whole family. What I think they got right was the intersection of multiple trends: Local, craft beer, farm-to-table ingredients, menu variety (& who doesn’t love food trucks these days?!), and personalization. And, it found that rare space where kids could run around and play while adults could spend time together over a drink & some delicious food.

Brookeville Beer Farm - From Caragh McLaughlin

Until recently, I lived outside Washington DC and within a few miles of my house there were a couple of beer farms that opened within a short timeframe. My favorite one, Brookeville Beer Farm, combines the Farm-to-Table movement with the vibe of a casual music festival. They grow their own hops on the farm, built out a beautiful covered patio with live music on the weekends, have a large lawn where people can hang out and bring picnics and lawn games for kids, built a brick oven that made delicious pizza and have rotating food trucks to bring variety to the food options. They allow dogs and people can bring their own food. It became a favorite place for most of our friends to spend a weekend afternoon with the whole family. What I think they got right was the intersection of multiple trends: Local, craft beer, farm-to-table ingredients, menu variety (& who doesn’t love food trucks these days?!), and personalization. And, it found that rare space where kids could run around and play while adults could spend time together over a drink & some delicious food.


Free Solo- The Movie  - From Jonathan Tofel  There’s nothing like seeing an athlete at their peak doing something amazing, but it’s something else to watch that person risk their lives with every physical move. As a rock climber who once trained 3 times per week in order to be able to lead climbs within the range of 5.11-5.12, I have no way to comprehend the strength and dedication and mental focus it takes to do several levels harder and have every move you make be one of life or death.

Free Solo- The Movie - From Jonathan Tofel

There’s nothing like seeing an athlete at their peak doing something amazing, but it’s something else to watch that person risk their lives with every physical move. As a rock climber who once trained 3 times per week in order to be able to lead climbs within the range of 5.11-5.12, I have no way to comprehend the strength and dedication and mental focus it takes to do several levels harder and have every move you make be one of life or death.

30-day Burpee Challenge  - From Carolina Fryer  Efficiency, effectiveness, dynamic and powerful – that is what I think about when I hear Burpee. Most people have a different (and not nice) reaction but I actually really love Burpees. For those of you uninitiated, this a deceptively simple movement that uses every part of your body. Simply start standing, get to a squat, drop to the ground for a plank to push up and pop back up to your feet with a small jump and overhead clap. Easy. Not so much. For me a burpee is the quickest way to “wake up” my body and mind. I think of it as the entreprenuer’s workout – quick and to the point. No messing around. Do it and get back to what you want to get accomplished. Want a fun challenge… do the 30-day Burpee Challenge. You’ll thank me later.

30-day Burpee Challenge - From Carolina Fryer

Efficiency, effectiveness, dynamic and powerful – that is what I think about when I hear Burpee. Most people have a different (and not nice) reaction but I actually really love Burpees. For those of you uninitiated, this a deceptively simple movement that uses every part of your body. Simply start standing, get to a squat, drop to the ground for a plank to push up and pop back up to your feet with a small jump and overhead clap. Easy. Not so much. For me a burpee is the quickest way to “wake up” my body and mind. I think of it as the entreprenuer’s workout – quick and to the point. No messing around. Do it and get back to what you want to get accomplished. Want a fun challenge… do the 30-day Burpee Challenge. You’ll thank me later.

11-Year old Freeskier  - From Caragh McLaughlin  There’s nothing like a day of skiing to get my juices flowing – both physically and mentally. I love being outside, surrounded by beautiful scenery, and on a perfect day having the sound of nothing but fresh snow falling around me & muffling the noise of the world. Plus, you get to choose your adventure each time you go – is it a take-it-easy groomer day? Is it a get-a-workout bumps run day? But even on the run into lunch, it requires that I pay attention to what I’m doing so I don’t “catch an edge” and get hurt . It’s rare for me to find an activity where I can truly clear my mind and skiing does that for me. I found this video of an unbelievable 11 year old freeskier, Kai Jones, who succinctly hits all these insights around why I love skiing. And he has crazy skills (and apparently a Mom with a high threshold for “getting scared”). For skiing inspiration & a great outlook on life, look no further than this kid.

11-Year old Freeskier - From Caragh McLaughlin

There’s nothing like a day of skiing to get my juices flowing – both physically and mentally. I love being outside, surrounded by beautiful scenery, and on a perfect day having the sound of nothing but fresh snow falling around me & muffling the noise of the world. Plus, you get to choose your adventure each time you go – is it a take-it-easy groomer day? Is it a get-a-workout bumps run day? But even on the run into lunch, it requires that I pay attention to what I’m doing so I don’t “catch an edge” and get hurt . It’s rare for me to find an activity where I can truly clear my mind and skiing does that for me. I found this video of an unbelievable 11 year old freeskier, Kai Jones, who succinctly hits all these insights around why I love skiing. And he has crazy skills (and apparently a Mom with a high threshold for “getting scared”). For skiing inspiration & a great outlook on life, look no further than this kid.


do you have aN INNOVATION project you're planning for 2019?

The Mission Field team would love to have a conversation with you about your insights and innovation work. You can reach us at

720.242.8270

ASHLEY@mission-field.com