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Creating DO-CH-FOs in Your World

Do Ch FoEdward Royse created something unusual. To this day, I still consider his efforts to be memorable.

In the spring of 1972, my parents purchased a greenhouse in Centerville, IA. During that summer, eight family members packed our belongings in Fargo, ND and moved to Southern Iowa to begin a new life of work, school and forging great memories.

Shortly after arriving in Centerville, we met the Ed Royse family, wonderful folks who lived across the street from the greenhouse. Ed and his wife had three sons, who were instantly tagged as new friends. Ed was both witty and clever and always had something funny to contribute in his conversations. He taught automotive mechanics at Indian Hills Community College in Centerville. His students surely loved him.

As a student of the automotive world, Ed proved to be a disciple of four automotive innovators: brothers John and Horace Dodge, Louis-Joseph Chevrolet and Henry Ford.

You see, a few years before we arrived in Centerville, Ed had built the first ‘DO-CH-FO’ pickup truck (pronounced Doe-Chi-Foe) – a hybrid vehicle built from the ground up using old parts from Dodge, Chevrolet and Ford vehicles. The cab was from a ’48 or ’49 Dodge, the engine and transmission from a Chevrolet, and the bed from a Ford. This red and black pickup could haul assorted junk and treasure like all other pickup trucks during that era. The appearance and sound of this truck was oddly beautiful – and yet, difficult to describe.

Royse DoChFo

The DO-CH-FO represented the best parts taken from other assorted vehicles from yesteryear. At Indian Hills, Ed used the DO-CH-FO as a vivid reminder to his students that being creative can be both enjoyable and rewarding. Ed generously allowed my family to use his DO-CH-FO to take numerous loads of greenhouse junk to the local landfill.

Like Ed, each of us has unique talents and passions that, when unleashed, can become a whole new idea or product for others to enjoy and possibly benefit. If desired, we can take past logic, assumptions, research and other legally-allowed intelligence to manufacture new concepts, initiatives and innovations that can be fresh and consumable by others.

Steve Jobs did not invent the computer, camera, global positioning system (GPS), voice recorder, phone or the music we routinely listen to throughout our daily lives while on the go. Yet, he innovated these previous ideas and products and cleverly repackaged them into consumable goods that we all enjoy today – and now take for granted. His approach to reinvigorating existing products began with three simple questions to help define innovation:

  1. Why we need it
  2. What it is
  3. How it works

Jobs came up with his own DO-CH-FOs, and found ways to make them available for the world to buy, use and benefit from.

And here’s the good news – you don’t need to be a Steve Jobs to innovate value-added services or products. Leveraging what we know today and extrapolating this knowledge into the future merely takes a vision, initiative, creativity, and yes, a great deal of perseverance and guts. The products or services that come from this innovation will eventually serve as stepping stones to be used by future innovators – somewhat like ‘paying it forward.’

Royse DoChFo 2Look around. Does your organization’s culture allow employees to think differently in the ever-changing industry in which your organization/company operates?

Who knows, perhaps you and/or a co-worker will create the world’s next DO-CH-FO!

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  1. David Richard says

    Hi David,

    Ethel shared you work and I really enjoyed reading your Do Ch Fo…..Good advice for any CEO……Great visiting with you…D

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