Info

The Innovation Ecosystem: changing perspectives, one podcast at a time

Join us, as we interview remarkable and thought-provoking guests about innovation, leadership and change in the world of business. We do this by exposing you to multiple perspectives from the arenas of business, academia, science and sports. We bring you key insights and proven tools you can use straight away to enrich your ecosystem so you are better able to respond to change. Full show notes available at InnovationEcosystem.com
RSS Feed
The Innovation Ecosystem: changing perspectives, one podcast at a time
2018
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February


All Episodes
Archives
Now displaying: Page 1
Jul 10, 2018

We believe passionately in the power of multiple perspectives to build and sustain innovation ecosystems.

And yet we are all creatures of habits, following schedules and routines that enable us to continue to perform at high levels, but which might leave us with little room for exploring the new. So unless we proactively seek out fresh perspectives, we run the risk of remaining in our own personal bubbles, surrounded by people who think only like us, so increasing the risk of biases like groupthink, not-invented-here and confirmation bias.

We always ask our guests what they do to remain fresh, to seek out diverse perspectives, and the answers are often surprisingly simple and practical. Here we provide a selection of tactics, all of which are easy to do, but are equally easy not to do. By regularly exercising your innovation muscles, the benefits to you and your organization will build up and compound over time, as these world class performers have discovered.

Jun 26, 2018

Season 4 of the Innovation Ecosystem Podcast has been a long one, starting with episode 48, and ending with episode 74. As ever, we have been extremely fortunate to have been able to attract some remarkable guests from the worlds of business, academia, sports, science and the arts, and all of these guests are world-class in their chosen field.

We ask our guests the same three questions, which get to the heart of what it takes as a leader to create an innovation ecosystem in your organization, irrespective of what business you are in, and where you are located.  The guests are given these questions in advance so that they can reflect on them and the answers are invariably very insightful. The first of these three questions, "What Have You Changed Your Mind About Recently?" is the topic for this wrap up episode. The other two questions are featured in subsequent episodes.

The inspiration for the first question came from Charlie Munger, who in many respects constitutes one of the main wellsprings of inspiration for the Innovation Ecosystem.

Several years ago Charlie Munger made the following statement: “a year in which you do not change your mind on some big idea that is important to you is a wasted year”.  This question gets to the heart of the unconscious biases that we as individuals all suffer from. Many of us go through life seeking confirmatory evidence to reinforce our decisions. Sometimes however, we are able to overcome this confirmation bias and change our minds on something big. From a business point of view it is key that you are able to overcome the organizational biases like "not invented here" syndrome, groupthink, the halo effect, stereotyping: this is how we can start to look at the market differently,  to build our innovation muscles, to innovate around multiple value drivers,  to change our perspective and the perspectives of those around us. So this is why we ask our guests this question, and the answers are fascinating.

Jun 12, 2018

In this episode, we are joined by economist and entrepreneur, Ricardo Amorim. Ricardo is founder and CEO of Ricam Consultoria, a financial and investment consultancy, and recent startups AAA Academy and Smartrips. Ricardo is also the author of the best-selling book, After the Storm, is a host on Brazil’s leading news channel, GloboNews, and is a lecturer and keynote speaker.

  • Why Brazil’s market has been historically volatile, and what Ricardo believes are the solutions to this
  • Why Ricardo forecasts that despite a recent ‘economic depression’, Brazil’s economy is set to boom in the next three to five years
  • Why Brazil’s agribusiness is set to soar in the near future, and how available land and advancing technology is helping to bring investment to the country’s farmlands

Key Takeaways and Learnings

  • How the country is recovering from recent economic crisis by focusing on innovation and startups to rival South America’s smaller markets and the larger global markets
  • The challenges that Brazilian companies face in attracting home and foreign business investments, and why this creates hidden opportunities for potential investors
  • The role that culture and history have played in Brazil’s tendency towards short term thinking in business and the steps being taken to encourage more of an ‘owners mindset’ to to take advantage of the enormous opportunities in that market

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode

May 29, 2018

In this episode, we are joined by entrepreneur and innovation influencer, Jean-Claude Bastos. Jean-Claude is the founder of Quantum Global Group, Banco Kwanza, Angola’s first investment bank, and The African Innovation Foundation (AIF), which aims to support sustainable projects in Africa and hosts the annual Innovation Prize for Africa.

  • Jean-Claude’s perspectives on Africa developed from his long experience through education, innovation hubs, and technology training and why he sees the continent as “the last frontier in business and innovation"
  • How the demographics of Africa - where in 60% of the population is under 19 -years of age - impacts its approach to innovation
  • How the African Innovation Foundation has helped innovators transform $13m of investment into $200m of valuations

Key Takeaways and Learnings

  • How the AIF’s created an innovation ecosystem, which includes an incubator, accelerator, co-working spaces, make it spaces, and cultural hubs to connect innovators and investors in Africa
  • How companies who have invested in Africa have used employee ”loyalty programs” as an approach to retain local talent, where social safety nets are often weak
  • The traps international businesses risk falling into if they view Africa as a monolith. Its diversity of histories, languages and cultures, etc., mean that approaches to business vary widely across the continent

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode

 

May 15, 2018

In this episode, writer, speaker, and intrapreneur, Gib Bulloch, joins us to discuss his newly released book, The Intrapreneur: Confessions of a Corporate Insurgent. He spent 20 years at Accenture where he started Accenture Development Partnerships (ADP), a buinsess unit set up to leverage that business’s expertise and experience in service of global development organizations.Gib now works as a consultant specializing in intrapreneurship, social enterprise, and cross-sectoral partnerships. He is also a noted public speaker and has contributed to The Huffington Post, Businessweek, and The Stanford Social Innovation Review.

  • Why CEOs and leaders need to make changes in organisational processes and to cultural norms to reflect the changing needs of the workforce of tomorrow
  • How best practices from the world’s most admired companies can be used to deliver impact via the work of global development organizations
  • Why if people “want to think out of the box" they need to get out of the box to apply their skills; a different context as a way of seeing things they would not otherwise see in their normal daily routines

Key Takeaways and Learnings

  • How organisational cultures, norms, and middle management (the “corporate immune system”) conspire invisibly to stop innovation in its tracks
  • The power of bottom-up change; Gib’s call to action for millennials to push for change within their organizations both individually and collectively
  • The possibilities of “not for loss” business models that are cost neutral to shareholders and have measurable business benefits

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode

May 1, 2018

In this episode, we are joined by Whitney Johnson to discuss her upcoming book, Build an A-Team. Whitney is the author of the bestselling book Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Innovation to Work, and is the founder of the accompanying Disrupt Yourself podcast. Whitney is also a noted speaker, and executive and innovation coach, and is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review.

What was covered

  • The S-curve, and how it can be used to gauge not only product growth and investment, but individual learning and innovation
  • The stages of learning in the S-curve, and how to predict challenges and boredom in the individual learning process in order to drive growth and prevent a lack of innovation
  • Why Whitney believes organizations should hire “disruptively”, taking on market rather than competitive risk for this core business process

Key Takeaways and Learnings

  • ‘Onrampers’ and ‘boomerangers’, and how organizations can benefit from hiring these ex-employees who return with fresh skills and competitor and client knowledge
  • ‘Taking the pulse of the workplace’ and how to optimize your people for innovation and predict disruption by analyzing the different stages of learning within your team
  • ‘Learn, leap, repeat’; Whitney’s theory for leaders on how to use the S-curve model to lead teams towards innovation by implementing fresh learning cycles

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode

 

Apr 17, 2018

In this episode, we are joined by Robert Hagstrom, who is an author, investment strategist, and portfolio manager. His books include The New York Times bestselling The Warren Buffett Way and The NASCAR Way: The Business That Drives the Sport and the recently republished Investing: The Last Liberal Art, in which he investigates investment concepts that lie out with traditional economics.

What Was Covered

  • Robert's commitment to the “latticework” theory of investing, which is based on building connections between different mental models and disciplines
  • The reasons that Robert views biology as the better discipline to think about markets rather than the physics based approach most commonly used in modern portfolio theory
  • The risks of comparative analysis for decision making given our tendency to look for what is similar more than what is different

Key Takeaways and Learnings

  • Steps to being a better investor by using multiple models of comparison and analysis and observing multiple perspectives
  • Robert's advice on the questions to ask yourself before investing in companies, and how he personally looks for growth in potential new investments
  • How to think outside of traditional economic theory and use concepts from biology, philosophy, and psychology to make better business decisions

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Apr 3, 2018

In this episode, we are joined by author, speaker, and entrepreneur, Frans Johansson. Frans is the author of the bestselling book, The Medici Effect, from which the now popular term was coined, and more recently, The Click Moment. Frans is the Founder and CEO of The Medici Group, a consultancy firm which promotes innovation through diversity.

  • The Medici Effect, the name given to what happened in a period in Florence history where creative individuals from myriad disciplines, sculptors, architects, painters, philosophers, etc., were able to break down the boundaries between the different disciplines and cultures and ignite what became one of the most creative eras in Europe's history and the lessons it has for today’s workd of business
  • How the instinct to surround yourself with people like yourself creates barriers to innovation
  • How organizations typically do not properly capitalize on the valuable resource that new hires bring – a critical period where new concepts and ideas can be introduced
  • How to introduce diversity at executive level by overcoming the fear of the unpredictability of innovation

Key Takeaways and Learning

  • How diversity drives innovation through different perspectives that build upon each other to break new ground
  • The concept of “Intersectional hunting” - to actively look for a field or a discipline or a person or a culture that doesn't necessarily make immediate sense and then through that make a connection, then using this to tackle the issue, opportunity, challenge that you have at hand in a new way

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Mar 20, 2018

In this episode, we are joined by David Novak, former CEO and Founder of Yum! Brands which includes Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC. David is the author of several books including Taking People With You and his biography The Education of An Accidental CEO. Most recently, David has co-founded oGoLead, a digital leadership training platform that aims to change the world by building better leaders.

  • Why David believes there is a toxic leadership problem in today’s business world and the role leadership training has to play in solving this problem
  • The recognition methods and processes that are central to David’s leadership philosophy
  • How David uses his experience as a marketer to get inside the minds of the people he leads to learn perceptions, habits, and beliefs and so better understand where to focus efforts to achieve change

Key Takeaways and Learnings

  • ‘Heartwiring’ and ‘Hardwiring’; why leading from your heart and making others feel valued is just as important to business results as process excellence
  • ‘Freedom within a framework’; how David boosted the international market for US fast food brands through localization
  • ‘Extraordinary authenticity’; why self-awareness and being confident yet vulnerable is the key to becoming a better leader

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Mar 6, 2018

In this episode, author and journalist Warren Berger joins us to discuss his book, A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry in Sparking Breakthrough Ideas, which examines the ways in which deep questioning fuels innovation. Warren has contributed articles and stories to The New York Times, GQ, New York magazine, and The Los Angeles Times, and was previously magazine editor for CBS and contributing editor for Wired.

  • How questioning leads to innovation and why Warren believes the best innovation is fuelled by an endless cycle of questioning at every stage
  • The benefits of both informed and uninformed questioning and how these differences interplay within different work cultures
  • How to get into deep questioning within the constraints of existing processes and routines

Key Takeaways and Learnings

  • How to use combinatorial thinking and sharing questions with other people, colleagues, and experts to learn perspectives and arrive at solutions that others hadn’t necessarily looked at before
  • How ‘Why?’,‘How might I?’ and ‘What if?’ questions help to create new realities by combining things that don’t typically work together
  • How to develop the habit of asking questions as a leader, and how to encourage your colleagues and team members to question with courage, curiosity, and focus

Links and Resources Covered in this Episode

Feb 20, 2018

In this episode, we are joined by David Marquet, who was the Captain of the USS Santa Fe from 1990 to 2001 and now works as a leadership expert with businesses worldwide. We cover his book, Turn The Ship Around! A True Story of Building Leaders by Breaking Rules, which has been recently re-released with a new companion workbook.

  • Why it is essential to have a longer-term perspective in your people development processes. Because while achievement scorecard runs while you're at an organization, your leadership scorecard starts counting the day you leave
  • Why leadership should be centered on ‘leaning back’ and inviting your team to ‘lean forward’
  • Why David believes it is important to alternate between two sets of behaviors, languages, and mindsets to optimize between production and  decision-making scenarios

Key Takeaways and Learnings

  • How pausing – and fighting the urge to take immediate action – is essential to developing the  ‘leadership muscle’ of a team
  • The differences between a ‘prove’ and ‘improve’ mindset and how to signal to your team which mindset should be adopted in different situations
  • Actions to create a system thinkers and leaders at every level, how this develops organizational resilience and inoculates it against stupid decisions
  • How leaders need to ‘flatten the power gradient’, to make themselves accessible and create the environment for others to contribute

Links and Resources Covered in this Episode

 

Feb 7, 2018

In this episode we are joined by Piyush Chowhan who is the Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer for Arvind Lifestyle Brands, which operates more than a thousand apparel retail stores across India. Piyush has extensive experience in retail strategy, business analytics, customer loyalty and CRM, retail business consulting and supply chain management.

What was covered

  • How technology is rapidly changing the apparel retail industry and how Arvind implements innovation to help to keep up the pace with changing consumer behavior
  • The digital transformation happening in retail as brands look to move from simply selling a fashion product to offering the customer a fashion experience
  • How the next generation of employees in India is leading the change towards a more open, communicative, and grassroots innovation process

Key Takeaways and Learnings

  • The concept of ‘jugaad’, an Indian term that is used in a number of situations, including the application of frugal innovation and carving a path for yourself
  •  How a focus on design-led innovation and a marketing shift towards online influencers is helping to Indian brands to reach a global audience in the rapidly and massively changing apparel retail industry
  • Piyush’s observations of the key differences within Indian based organizations compared to the US and Europe, including structural and management differences, and innovative processes

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episde

Jan 9, 2018

In this episode, we are joined by Scott E. Page, a Professor of Complex Systems, Politcal Sciences, and Economics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Scott is an external faculty member at the Santa Fe Institute and is an author and speaker who has worked with Google, Bloomberg, Blackrock and NASA. Today, he discusses his latest book, The Diversity Bonus.

What was covered

  • Why diversity within teams must be based on cognitive differences and not solely differences in identity
  • How the best problem-solvers and forecasters use several models and equations to assess the best strategy for solving complex economic issues
  • Why cognitive diversity is a strategic asset given its impact on high-value problem solving, predictions and strategic planning

Key Takeaways and Learnings

  • The Diversity Bonus; the added value that comes from team members thinking about problem solving differently, bringing different tools together and how to realize this bonus
  • Avoiding the ‘siren call of sameness’ – why business leaders go wrong in employing people that are similar in identity and experience
  • If you have one way to look at the world you would be better off flipping a coin to support your business decision making

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Podcast

Dec 19, 2017

This week we are joined by entrepreneur, author and venture capitalist, Brad Feld. Brad is a co-founder of Techstars, a platform for startups to access funding and entrepreneurial networking, and is also the co-founder of venture capital firm, Foundry Group. Brad is the author of several books on startups as well as an entrepreneurial advice blog. He sits on the board of several technology startups and was an early investor in Fitbit, Zynga, and Harmonix.

What Was Covered

  • How startup ecosystems have changed – and become more democratized – in the 30 years in which Brad has been active within them
  • How digitization of production, distribution, customer relationships, etc., is making strategic “moats” much more penetrable than they were before
  • How diversity of an ecosystem builds resilience but how our biases (both conscious and unconscious) make this difficult for us

Key Takeaways and Learnings

  • Those large organizations that are extracting greatest benefit from startup ecosystems are doing so not through control (typical of a hierarchy) but through engagement and feeding back learning into their own institution – creating high levels of “return on learning”
  • This large company engagement with entrepreneurs also builds loyalty, so that as startups grow they can become a positive weapon rather than a threat
  • Great innovation leaders combine continua practical skills development (getting good at your work) with endless and radical self-inquiry (embracing lifelong learning and exploration)

Resources and Links Mentioned in this Podcast

Dec 5, 2017

In this episode, we are joined by Luis Perez-Breva, a lecturer and research scientist at MIT’s School of Engineering and the Director of MIT’s Innovation Teams Program. Luis has extensive experience in both innovation practice - via his involvement in multiple startups - and innovation research - through his academic work.  He recently published his first book, Innovating: A Doer’s Manifesto for Starting from a Hunch, Prototyping Problems, Scaling Up, and Learning to Be Productively Wrong.

What Was Covered

  • Why Luis sees following “innovation recipes” is inherently wasteful and essentially high stakes gambling
  • How the best innovators both prepare for scale at each stage and excel at applying their “parts” to identified problems
  • How a corporation’s existing products and services give it an innovation advantage over startups

Key Takeaways and Learnings

  • Luis’s tried and tested method, anticipating failure at each ‘scale’, which can help innovators to prepare and solve as many foreseeable faults as possible
    - what he being “productively wrong” as a way to avoid “failing predictively”
  • How to use linear processes to improve the non-linear process of building innovation
  • Innovating the skillset; how companies learn and repurpose what they do today to provide entirely different products in the future

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Podcast

Nov 21, 2017

In this episode we’re joined by Tyler Gage, co-founder of the organic tea company Runa, and author of the book, Fully Alive: Using the Lessons of the Amazon to Live Your Mission in Business and Life. Tyler shares how his immersion into life in the Amazon guided him in building a socially responsible business able to thrive in the hyper-competitive soft drinks segment.

What Was Covered

  • How Tyler’s interest in peak performance led him to indigenous elders in the Amazon and how life there inspired him to build a business
  • The parallels to be found from the Amazonian concept of wisdom and modern business and entrepreneurship
  • Discovering strength in vulnerability and how admitting what we don’t know creates an environment to learn from others

Key Takeaways and Learnings

  • How the sophisticated listening and landscape awareness skills that are required to provide food in the Amazon can deliver success for an executive or entrepreneur
  • Seeing obstacles as teachers, and how this tribal practice of the South American rainforests is a winning strategy for business problem solving
  • How businesses can use their “taproot”, their reason for existence, to create cultures that inspire employees

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Nov 7, 2017

Summary

In this episode, we are joined by digital and marketing entrepreneur, John Straw, who describes himself as a “technonomist” – someone exploring the cutting edge of technology and looking to understand where it fits from both an economic and commercial perspective.. John is a Senior Advisor at McKinsey and IBM, as well as an author, speaker and investor with over 30 years of experience in IT and digital transformation.

What Was Covered

  • The journey John sees towards “programmatic enterprises” in which the availability of data and artificial intelligence allow for organizational control on a totally different level than possible today
  • How this journey takes us from decision making via experience and intuition to experience augmented by data to data augmented by experience to simply by data. And how, as per previous major shifts (think of the introduction of the PC) this happens not as a “big bang” but as a more gradual or “stealthy” process
  • The advice that John uses when personally investing in new technology businesses and his two-part rule which he advises business leaders to use in renovation and innovation implementation

Key Takeaways and Learnings

  • How companies are using “layered” data to improve their renovation and innovation activities
  • How new technologies, and the pace of their development, provide opportunities for scale for all companies’ renovation processes
  • Why transformational innovation activities (“breaking” the existing business) need to go “in the garage”, away from the innovation “killers” of process and politics

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Podcast

Oct 24, 2017

In this episode, we are joined by Founder and Director of the IMD Global Board CenterProf. Didier Cossin. Didier is a global expert in governance, and in addition to his role at IMD has served as a consultant to the United Nations, the European Central Bank and multiple major corporations, including HSBC, Vodafone, Schlumberger and Coca-Cola. We speak about four pillars of good board governance: people, information, structure and  processes, and group dynamics.  

What Was Covered

  • Didier’s definition of board governance as “the art of decision making at the top of organizations”
  • The particular challenge that corporations with a long history face to transform and how this requires board leadership that “breaks the internal mould, breaks bureaucracy and opens up to the world”
  • What Didier has identified as the four pillars that constitute good governance – people, information, structure and processes and group dynamics - with good and bad examples of each

Key Takeaways and Learnings

  • A good assessment of board effectiveness is the extent to which it focuses on the past compared to the future – and that most boards spent too much time looking back
  • A board must ensure it receives the proper balance of internal and external information, of formal and informal information. That the very best board packs are “synthetic” – they use a variety of tools to synthesize the information that tracks the evolution of the key metrics
  • The criticality of the difficult task of organizing a board so its committees are well structured and focused on the issues of most importance to the organization
  • How a Chairman needs have the “art” of stimulating the right discussions, ensuring all views are considered and bringing these together – and the importance of this to enabling a functioning organization

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Podcast

Oct 10, 2017

In this episode, Scott D Anthony, writer, speaker and Managing Partner at consulting firm Innosight, joins us to discuss his new book, Dual Transformation – How to Reposition Today's Business While Creating the Future. Scott is a globally renowned specialist in innovation, publishing several books on the domain as well as being a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review.

What Was Covered

  • Scott’s concept of ‘dual transformation’ and his assertion today’s every changing global marketplace companies need to reinventing their business of today to make it ‘better, faster, cheaper’ (Transformation A) at the same time as creating their business of tomorrow (Transformation B)
  • Why the most successful leaders in innovation are ‘living at the periphery’ and not at the core of their industry
  • Why Scott believes that combining the best elements of startups and large companies is a good path to solve today’s biggest global challenges
  • How Scott’s experience of living in Asia has evolved his thinking on how best to organize markets, and the role that family owned businesses, private companies and government linked enterprises can play

Key Takeaways and Learnings

  • By doing ‘dual transformations’ together allows an organization to take the disruptive threats that are coming at them today and turn them into exciting growth opportunities of tomorrow
  • To avoid getting stuck in the core of today it is necessary to be able to play at the periphery of an industry. The core of today will give you no signal that it’s time to change until it’s too late
  • The meeting of entrepreneurial energy with assets and scale can make magic happen – so we should look for ways to combine the start up and large company communities to tackle our most intractable problems
  • There are different cultural norms around the world in how people and organizations think about failure. And where we see a reluctance to accept failure it holds back the innovation ecosystems both within large companies and startups
Sep 26, 2017

In this episode, author and speaker, Akshay Nanavati, joins us to discuss his new book, Fearvana: The Revolutionary Science of How to Turn Fear into Health, Wealth and Happiness, which uses neuroscientific and psychological research to aid personal development. Akshay talks openly about his personal journey, struggle with drugs and alcohol and post traumatic stress disorder diagnosis that led to the research in his concept of Fearvana. Akshay is a Marine Corps Veteran, adventurer, entrepreneur and success coach.

What Was Covered

  • Akshay’s definition of Fearvana as the state of bliss that results from engaging our fears to pursue our own worthy struggle
  • Why Akshay believes that we should change our relationship with, and the benefits that can flow from handling differently our most primitive and basic emotion
  • The view that we should Feel whatever we feel, whatever shows up, it's what we do with it that matters
  • Ashkay’s research into neuroplasticity and the ability to rewire neuro-connections in the brain through introspection and habit changing

Key Takeaways and Learnings

  • The importance of acknowledging and accepting our own fears without judgement as the key to mental, physical and spiritual growth
  • Proven techniques to allow us to change the relationship to our emotions
  • How approaches such as visualising obstacles can help us avoid procrastination, or other proxies for fear, and improve our performance in the space between stimulus and response
Sep 12, 2017

In this episode, we are joined by Greg Satell, an entrepreneur, author, speaker, and innovation advisor. Greg has been published in The Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Fast Company Inc., The Times of London, and Business Insider, and has just published his first book, Mapping Innovation. Previously, Greg spent 15 years in media businesses in Eastern Europe - from Poland to Moscow to Kiev and from small business journals to large news organizations and lifestyle brands. His work as an innovation advisor spans from Fortune 500 companies, to mid-size firms, and startups.

What was Covered

  • Greg’s approach to mapping innovation, what he calls a “playbook for navigating a disruptive age”
  • How organisations can no longer just look to their internal capabilities and assets to solve their most important problems but need to leverage external platforms in order to extend those internal capabilities
  • How companies like Eli Lilly and Experian used new approaches to problem solving that involved the ecosystems of talent and technology which are key to sustaining innovation in today’s world of work

Key Takeaways and Learnings

  • Looking at innovation as an important problem which requires a novel solution – in the end a line manager is less interested in whether an innovation is sustaining or disruptive but if it answers the perennial question of, “What the hell do I do next?”
  • How power is moving from the top of the heap to the center of a network which means the indispensable partners are the dominant players
  • Why managing connections to external ecosystems of talent is today’s essential management skill as competitive advantage switches from being the sum of all efficiencies to the sum of all connections

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Podcast

Aug 29, 2017

In this episode, we are joined by Hanne de Mora, Co-Founder and Chairperson of management consultancy organisation a-connect, to talk about innovation of the future of the world of work. Hanne is also a member of the Board of Directors for AB Volvo and the Supervisory Board for IMD Business School.

What was Covered

  • How Hanne and her fellow Co-Founders created new demand within the traditional industry of workforce and management consultancy services – and how Hollywood provided inspiration
  • How technology changes the consulting, executive education and transportation industries and how these forces also apply elsewhere
  • Why Hanne thinks it is important for business leaders to foster entrepreneurship within organisations through pushing responsibility for human resource and P&L management processes as far down the organization as possible
  • The top skill sets which Hanne thinks are essential to being successful in the future of the world of work

Key Takeaways and Learnings

  • How understanding the numbers – how does a business make money and what does its cash flow look like – will remain relevant for any future leader.
  • In a world of ever increasing pace of change the ability to course correct is essential.
  • Inspiration is not hierarchical – it can come from anywhere in an organization. And while mothers and fathers will happily talk about being inspired by their children there remains a resistance within organisations to gain similar inspiration from their cross-generational workforces.   

 

Aug 15, 2017

In this episode, Andy Billings, Vice President of Profitable Creativity at Electronic Arts, joins us. Andy is co-founder of Electronic Arts University, an internship program for graduates to begin careers in gaming, and is also an Innovation Advisor for the think tank, Singularity University, as well as to some of the largest corporate organisations within the USA. 

What Was Covered 

  • How EA suffered a ‘near-death experience’ and rapid decline in profits through not responding fast enough to the digital gaming revolution and how the company used this experience to transform its culture, go to market approach and relationships with its gamers  
  • How the company categorises innovation in three ways - Incremental, Breakthrough, and Disruptive – to maximise return on the energy and creativity within its business 
  • How EA marries process, guidelines and practices with creativity to stay relevant in a rapidly evolving market where development cycles can be up to five years 

Key Takeaways and Learnings 

  • How embracing small i - incremental innovation at the enterprise level can allow it to be part of the day to day operations of the organization and not just the responsibility of an R&D lab 
  • How EA transformed their customer relationship practices (what they call Player First) and how the results of these gamer interactions drive other core processes such as game release schedules  
  • The importance of a learning mindset to a hits based company so that the inevitable misses can help create future value - or as Andy says, “Never try and help the organisation learn twice exactly the same way” 
Aug 1, 2017

In this episode, Kyle Nicholas McCray, Director of Innovation at American Pacific Mortgage Corporation, joins us to discuss his experience as an intrapreneur and innovator within an established financial business. We cover with Kyle his early career at Apple, his time as an entrepreneur and how that led him to set up Scrappy Labs, an innovation lab within APMC dedicated to exploring new and innovative products and services to revolutionize the relationship between the company and a new generation of homebuyers. 

What Was Covered 

  • Why Kyle decided to set up Scrappy Labs and the purpose of an innovation lab within a traditionally ‘small i’ innovation organisation 
  • APMC’s approach to ‘institutionalizing innovation’ and its focus on how it communicates with its customers – the foundation of a services business 
  • How Kyle acknowledges generational gaps between the company and its customers and how he responds to and leverages new trends and changes 

Key Takeaways and Learnings 

  • The importance of pivoting, responding quickly to changes in communication and technology, and bridging the gap between older and younger generations of staff and consumers 
  • How nurturing a culture of ‘scrappiness’ has been essential to reducing the risk that new innovations are rejected when they come out of the ‘lab’ and are integrated into the wider organization 
  • The importance of understanding the different communication ‘styles’ of team members how this common language helps to limit conflict and maximize the results of the innovation process 
Jul 11, 2017

In this episode, we are joined by award-winning author, David Pearl, to discuss his career as a creative confidante and personal development advisor to a number of the world’s top CEO’s and organisations. David is a respected public and keynote speaker and is the founder of Pearl Group, Opera Circus, Lively Arts and Impropera, as well as the non-profit organisation, Street Wisdom. 

1 2 3 4 Next »