OutsideVoices with Mark Bidwell

In OutsideVoices Mark Bidwell talks to remarkable and compelling leaders from the worlds of business, exploration, arts, sports, and academia. In these conversations he explores topics of fundamental importance to many of us today, both in work and in life, topics ranging from leadership and performance to creativity and growth. OutsideVoices has a clear purpose: to bring fresh and diverse perspectives that help listeners navigate the world we live in.
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OutsideVoices with Mark Bidwell








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Feb 28, 2023

I’m very excited to welcome back Steven Kotler, who’s been a guest on this podcast a few times before, talking about some of his books such as Bold, The Rise of Superman, and The Art of Impossible. He has written 12 books in the last 12 years, and his work has been very helpful for me not only in the corporate world, but also more broadly in life.


Steven’s latest book is called Gnar Country: Growing Old, Staying Rad. Gnar, which is short for gnarly, refers not only to a very hostile environment in which he learned new action and adventure sports skills at the ripe age of 55, but also about the environment which at 55 you're operating in - the reality of getting old and some of the challenges associated with aging. We've talked about action sports, peak performance, longevity and a number of other topics, where Steven turned on its head some of the conventional wisdom around the psychological and physiological decline that accompanies old age, and offered an extremely optimistic view of how we can turn this around to our benefit.


What Is Covered:


  • The research experiment on peak performance aging that Steven engaged in before writing Gnar Country

  • Why the new research completely overturns conventional perspective on aging and supposed physical and mental decline

  • The key role of the state of flow in peak performance aging

  • How to preserve, maintain, enhance and improve your physical and cognitive performance in older age

  • Why changing our mindset around aging is key for longevity and quality of life as we get older


Key Learnings and Takeaways:


  • The vast majority of human abilities that we used to believe declined over time are use-it or lose-it skills, and it applies to both cognitive and physical function.

  • If you want to “rock till you drop”, you want to engage in challenging social and creative activities that demand dynamic, deliberate play and take place in novel outdoor environments.

  • A properly trained person over fifty is the ideal workforce of the 21st century, and there's a business revolution waiting to happen with older workers.

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Connect with Mark Bidwell:


Feb 17, 2022

John Elkington is an advisor on sustainable development and corporate responsibility, an area he’s been working in for almost 40 years. He is the author of 20 books on this topic, and he has given a remarkable contribution to shifting capitalism and business towards a more balanced and sustainable path. We talk about his new book called "Green Swans: The Coming Boom in Regenerative Capitalism," we also talk about wicked and super wicked problems, exponentials, why he reads Chinese science fiction books, his visit with past guest Kevin Kelley and what he's both terrified of and excited about in the coming ten to fifteen year. 

What is Covered: 

- Who or what are ‘green swans’ and where the idea came from 

- Human struggle with exponentials and the role of technology in systemic change

- Wicked and super wicked problems, and what is unique about them in today’s world

- The issues with discounted cash flow in today’s economy 

- The role of young generation and why we need intergenerational cooperation to solve existential threats we’re facing

Key Takeaways and Learnings: 

- The green swans are very often market or societal or political shifts. A company or an individual could play into those changing realities, but it’s not about individuals as such.

- Super wicked problems, such as the climate emergency, make us see our future ahead of us, but we seem to be completely unable as a political species to address the challenge in a sufficient scale and with sufficient urgency. 

- Reengaging young people in a multigenerational and intergenerational battle for a systemic change at the right time and in the right way is a major opportunity in the next 10 to 15 years

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode: 

- “Green Swans: The Coming Book in Regenerative Capitalism” by John Elkington 

- Volans Ventures 

- Connect with John Elkington by email, LinkedIn or Twitter

- “The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb 

- UN Sustainable Development Goals 

- “Exponential: How to Bridge the Gap Between Technology and Society” by Azeem Azhar  

- “New Rules for the New Economy: 10 Radical Strategies for a Connected World” by Kevin Kelly 

- “Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems and the Economic World” by Kevin Kelly  

- “Ministry for the Future: A Novel” by Kim Stanley Robinson 

- “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” by Thomas S. Kuhn 

- “Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation” by Paul Hawken  

- “Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming” by Paul Hawken 

- RethinkX 

- “The Wandering Earth” by Cixin Liu  

- “The Postman” by David Brin 

- “Dune” by Frank Herbert  

- Jim Mellon: Moo’s Law and Investing in Cellular Agriculture 

- Kevin Kelly: The Formula for the next 10,000 Startups, Failing Forward and Becoming a Teaching Organisation  

Connect with Mark Bidwell:

- LinkedIn 

- Twitter

- OutsideLens 

Feb 1, 2022

My guest today, Jack Weatherford, is an anthropologist and author of several books, including one on money, a number on indigenous cultures in North America and beyond, and a revisionist and very thought provoking history of Genghis Khan, called “Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World.” Tom Morgan, who is a successful fund manager, described this book on Jim O'Shaughnessy's podcast Infinite Loops as the best business and investing book that he'd ever read. That got me curious, so I grabbed a copy, changed my mind about almost everything I believed about Genghis Khan, and invited Jack onto the show. 

In this conversation, rather than talking about investing, we explored the impact that Genghis Khan had on the modern world, how he introduced the rule of law, meritocracy, paper based money, religious freedoms and international trade routes. In fact, even though he was a genuine pioneer in many of these arenas, and this was 800 years ago, listening to the news today, it feels like we're going backwards in a number of these topics.

What Is Covered: 

- How the practical side of Genghis Khan produced revolutionary cultural innovations 

- The role of Genghis Khan in the evolution of money

- How the adaptivity of indigineous people can serve as an advantage in today’s world

Key Takeaways and Learnings: 

- Governments are allowing for the development of digital currencies until these systems start to work, and then they’ll want to gain control over it. It’s not the technology, it’s the people.   

- There was nothing ideological about Genghis Khan, there were a lot of practical decisions, and we can learn from that kind of thinking, because it’s not tied to one religion or one way of life. It’s more adaptable. 

- Indigineous people are often better at handling crises and the skills of hunting and gathering can be better for the use of the internet than knowing how to farm.  

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode: 

- “Genghis Kahn and the Making of the Modern World” by Jack Weatherford 

- Tom Morgan - Curation in the Age of Information Abundance 

- Mohnish Pabrai: Cloning, Learningg from Charlie Munger, 100 Baggers on OutsideVoices Podcast 

- Wade Davis: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in Today’s World on OutsideVoices Podcast 

- Anthro-Vision: Shifting the Perspectives on Business and Life with Gillian Tett   

Connect with Mark Bidwell:

- LinkedIn 

- Twitter

Dec 15, 2021

Jeff Booth has been at the forefront of technological change for over 20 years. He founded a company called BuildDirect based in Vancouver, an e-commerce platform that was on its way to being a unicorn before he dramatically and suddenly left because, as he says it, his integrity was not for sale. When I first heard this story, I could relate to the emotional toll this must have taken on him, having been through something very similar, albeit on a far smaller scale. But I was also struck by how quickly Jeff bounced back, and the impact that he has had since then, be it with companies he’s founded, invested in or advised. Jeff and I talk about the arc of his career, his book "The Price of Tomorrow," as well as crypto and blockchain. Then we drop from macro-topics into micro-topics of how he chooses to spend his time amidst the many new opportunities that he sees in the world today.

What We Cover: 

- The roots and disastrous consequences of inflationary monetary system

- The “war” between the current monetary system and what exponential technology is bringing

- Why digital currency like Bitcoin has the potential to mitigate the climate change and to contribute to a different economic system

Key Learnings and Takeaways: 

- There is no way to solve inequality through an inflationary monetary system. An inflationary monetary system equals inequality.

- In a world that is changing really fast, the advantage goes to people that are open to learning faster. 

- We need to have an incentive system based on truth, that can’t be changed by rulers, a system that incentivises cooperation. Digital currencies can play a significant role in creating such systems.  

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode: 

- “The Price of Tomorrow” by Jeff Booth 

- Jeff Booth’s Website 

- Connect with Jeff Booth on Twitter 

- Terramera 

- Cubic Farms 

- Addy 

- NocNoc 

- “Swag: Alternative Investments for the Coming Decate” by Joe Roseman ​​ 

- Eric Jorgenson: Leverage, Permissionlessness and Naval’s Book of Wisdom on OutsideVoices 

Connect with Mark Bidwell:

- LinkedIn 

- Twitter

Dec 1, 2021

My guest this week is Dorie Clark, a consultant and keynote speaker, who teaches executive education at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Columbia Business School, and she is the author of “The Long Game,” “Entrepreneurial You,” and “Stand Out.” A frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, she consults and speaks for clients including Google, Microsoft, and the World Bank.

Dorie’s latest book "The Long Game" caught my attention because it touches on themes such as compounding, and not in the traditional financial sense, but compounding of expertise, of brand and of content. It also explores why it is so important and also so hard to play the long game, and how to stay in the game despite the inevitable challenges. We also talk about her business model and how it has evolved over the years. 

What We Cover: 

- The Long Game framework for strategic thinking in business and life

- What gets in the way of the Long Game and why so few people apply it

- The power of compounding and why it’s so hard to understand it on a visceral level

- What “choosing to to be bad” means and how it affects the Long Game

- How to “optimise for interesting” in today’s fast-changing world

Key Takeaways and Learnings: 

- There is a consensus that strategic thinking is important, yet there is a big gap in implementation and very few people apply it despite the obvious benefits of playing the Long Game

- Preconditions for playing the Long Game are creating more whitespace for strategic thinking, focusing on the right goals and keeping the faith - cultivating persistence and resilience 

- In our culture, there is a polarity between optimising for money and optimising for passion. Optimising for interesting is a third way that is kinder and healthier for our life and business paths

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode: 

- “The Long Game: How to be a Long-Term Thinker in a Short-Term World” by Dorie Clark 

- Dorie Clark’s website  

- The Long Game Free Self-Assessment 

- Recognized Expert Course by Dorie Clark 

- The Long Now Foundation 

- “The Good Ancestor: How to Think Long Term in a Short-Term World” by Roman Krznaric 

- “Uncommon Service” by Frances Frei and Anne Morriss 

- “Pain Free: A Revolutionary Method for Stopping Chronic Pain” by Pete Egoscue 

- The Weekly Dish by Andrew Sullivan on Substack 

- Common Sense with Bari Weiss on Substack 

- It Bears Mentioning by John McWhorter on Substack

- Joel Greenblatt: The Common Sense of Long-Term Investing on OutsideVoices 

- Wade Davis: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in Today’s World on OutsideVoices  

- Chris Rainier and Olivia McKendrick: The Race to Save Cutlural and Intellectual Diversity on OutsideVoices

Connect with Mark Bidwell:

- LinkedIn 

- Twitter

Nov 16, 2021

Eric Jorgenson is an investor, business builder, startup growth strategist and the author of "The Almanack of Naval Ravikant". He also runs the online Leverage Course which I’m attending right now. In this conversation, we discuss both Naval Ravikant’s wisdom, why and how Eric curated it into a book that I highly recommend, as well as how the Leverage Course came about.

They don't teach you this kind of material in business schools or in any executive development or leadership programs. And yet, I would have loved to have had access to this kind of material 15 or 20 years ago. I firmly believe that many of these tools, models and insights are going to be fundamental for surviving and thriving in the world we live in. We also explored areas such as WEB03, crypto and the concept of permissionlessness. A number of projects that I'm actively working on today owe quite a lot of their design and the momentum behind them to Eric and his materials. 

What is Covered: 

- How the idea to curate Naval Ravikant’s reflections into a book came about and the results it produced

- The concept of premissionlessness and who are the gatekeepers in today’s world

- The mental model of leverage and how to reinvest in leverage 

- WEB03 and its impact on future society 

Key Takeaways and Learnings: 

- There's a lot of ways to earn money if you unbundle the concept of a career, and all you're trying to do is get money in the most suitable way possible for your particular set of tastes and interests

- Permissionlessness is an important concept to embrace, because the Internet of meritocracy and WEB03 technology is making opportunity more global and more universally available by the day.

- You can continually reinvest in leverage and go from 1x productivity to 10x or to 100x productivity. This type of leverage is not leverage over somebody. We are all somebody else's leverage, this is a mutually beneficial agreement between all of us that results in consumer surplus

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

- Almanck of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness, by Eric Jorgenson 

- Leverage Course by Eric Jorgenson 

- Connect with Eric Jorgenson on Twitter 

- Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio 

- How Not How: The Formula to Achieve Bigger Goals Through Accelerating Teamwork, by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy 

- Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital, by Carlota Perez 

- The Infinite Machine: How an Army of Crypto-Hackers is Building the Next Internet with Ethereum 

- Drug Cartels, Vanguard and Goldman Sachs with Codie Sanchez on Jorgenson’s Soundbox Podcast

- Into the DAO with Simon Judd: How Index Coop is Building Crypto Index Products on Jorgenson’s Soundbox Podcast 

- WaitButWhy and G64 Co-Founder Andrew Finn on How to Acquire a Free Company on Jorgenson’s Soundbox Podcast 

- Chris Dixon and Naval Ravikant — The Wonders of Web3, How to Pick the Right Hill to Climb, Finding the Right Amount of Crypto Regulation, Friends with Benefits, and the Untapped Potential of NFTs on The Tim Ferris Show 

- Bankless Podcast 

- Mohnish Pabrai: Cloning, Learning from Charlie Munger, 100 Baggers on OutsideVoices Podcast 

- Nicholas Thomas: The Return of Curiosity - Encounters with the Unknown on OutsideVoices Podcast 

Connect with Mark Bidwell:

- LinkedIn 

- Twitter

Oct 12, 2021

My guest Jim Mellon is an accomplished investor, entrepreneur, author and philanthropist. His most recent book called "Moo's Law" focuses on the investment opportunities in the field of cellular agriculture, which is a production of proteins and materials directly from stem cells. 

Jim Mellon co-founded Agronomics to invest in a portfolio of leading companies in this sector, as he is its largest investor. In this conversation, we dig into this new area, we talk about the case for change, the challenges and opportunities, some of the people, and some of the nations that are driving and supporting these forward thinking cell-ag companies.

What We Cover: 

- How Jim developed his interest in biotech, longevity and cellular agriculture

- Why industrial agriculture needs to change and what cell-ag offers to the world

- The concepts of Moo’s Law and griddle parity 

- Which different categories of industry cellular agriculture are disrupting and revolutionising

- The current state of cell-ag markets and products, and why Middle Eastern countries are faster to adopt this new industry

- What challenges are facing the ramp up of cell-ag

- The attractive characteristics of cell-ag companies for investors 

- When we can expect cell-ag meat and fish to enter the European and US markets on larger scale

Key Learnings and Takeaways: 

- Moo's law suggests that as scale increases in the manufacture of foods in laboratory conditions, the efficiency will go up and the price will come down

- Food-insecure countries such as Middle Eastern countries which import most of their food, will provide a model for implementing cell-ag for larger markets, such as the UK, EU and USA

- The challenges facing cell-ag industry are performance of the stem cell lines on massive scale, using animals to continually provide more stem cells, and the execution of startup companies in this field  

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode: 

- Agronomics 

- Juvenescence 

- ‘Moo’s Law: An Investor’s Guide to the New Agrarian Revolution’ by Jim Mellon 

- 'Juvenescence: Investing in the Age of Longevity' by Jim Mellon 

- 'Cracking the Code: Understand and Profit from the Biotech Revolution That Will Transform Our Lives and Generate Fortunes' by Jim Mellon 

- Blue Nalu 

- Ivy Farm Technologies 

- Mohnish Pabrai: Cloning, Learning from Charlie Munger, 100 Baggers on OutsideVoices

- Joel Greenblatt: The Common Sense of Long-Term Investing on OutsideVoices

Connect with Mark Bidwell:

- LinkedIn 

- Twitter

Sep 14, 2021

My guest in this episode is Mohnish Pabrai, who I first met at the Berkshire Hathaway AGM in 2014 in Omaha, Nebraska. Mohnish is the Founder and Managing Partner of Pabrai Investment Funds and the author of "The Dhandho Investor," which is just as useful if you're interested in learning about investing as it is for entrepreneurs. He was featured in William Green's recent book "Richer, Wiser, Happier," which William discussed in one of the previous episodes of this podcast.

Mohnish plays bridge with Charlie Munger, and he's a shameless cloner. He describes what being a cloner means and how he thinks about investing, how he learns from others and how he changed his mind about business, investing, COVID and many other things.

What Is Covered:  

- Mohnish’s family background and what he learned about business from his parents 

- How Mohnish discovered Warren Buffett and decided to clone his approach to investing 

- Why there are not many cloners in the worlds of investment and business 

- Examples of cloners among the biggest companies in the world 

- The investing lessons learned from the dotcom boom and bust 

- The concept of 100 baggers and how mindset plays a crucial role in investing

- What he has learned from getting to know Charlie Munger

Key Learnings and Takeaways:

- Most humans have an aversion to cloning; 2-3% have quirky wiring and are aggressive about cloning, and 95-97% don't care about it - when they identify something interesting that someone else is doing, they believe the opportunity is over. 

- The Holy Grail of investing is to own a business with favorable economics, bought at a reasonable price and held for a very long time, with some good growth engines.

- The error rate in the investing business is very high; if each time something goes wrong we zoom in to get lessons, many times we are going down rabbit holes that are not productive. We need to learn when we stumble, but not learn too much.

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode: 

- Pabrai Investment Funds 

- Mohnish Pabrai's Website 

- “The Dhandho Investor: The Low-Risk Value Method to High Returns” by Mohnish Pabrai 

- “Berkshire Hathaway Letters to Shareholders” by Warren Buffet 

- “Nomad Investment Partnership Letters to Partners by Nick Sleep and Qais Zakaria 

- “100 to 1 in the Stock Market: A Distinguished Security Analyst Tells How to Make More of Your Investment Opportunity” by Thomas William Phelps 

- “Richer, Wiser, Happier: How to World’s Greatest Investors Win in Markets and Life” by William Green 

- William Green: Richer, Wiser and Happier on OutsideVoices Podcast 

- Joel Greenblatt: The Common Sense of Long-Term Investing on OutsideVoices Podcast

Connect with Mark Bidwell:

- LinkedIn 

- Twitter

Jul 13, 2021

Chris Yeh is an entrepreneur, investor and author of several books, including two with the founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, the most recent of which is called "Blitzscaling." Today we cover the fascinating topic of blitzscaling - how to scale a business in record time, how to take advantage of significant market opportunities that are in front of you, how to focus on distribution, and leverage network effects.

Whether you're a founder, a CEO, an investor in early stage companies, a developer, or leading a business unit or a function in a large organisation which might be at risk of going ex-growth, you’ll learn valuable lessons from a lifelong learner such as Chris Yeh.

What is Covered: 

- The definition of blitzscaling: prioritising speed over efficiency in the environment of uncertainty

- What kind of companies can blitzscale and in what kind of markets

- Key growth factors and key growth limiters in blitzscaling

- The counterintuitive rules of blitzscaling and what kind of CEO it requires

- Examples of the companies which successfully blitzscaled 

Key Learnings and Takeaways: 

- A company would decide to blitzscale if it is facing a winner take most market that could be worth billions or trillions of dollars, and the company’s objective should be to win that market.

- In blitzscaling, product market fit is necessary but insufficient; necessary, because without product market fit, you can't have sustainable success, but insufficient, because other things like the winner take most market and the distribution are ultimately more important.

- The reason to raise the money is not to spend it, but to give you that ability to adapt, and then ultimately to move faster when the time comes. 

- The main danger for entrepreneurs is getting caught up in a local market that is not large enough to give them a stable position within the overall global economy.

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode: 

- “Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies” by Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh 

- “The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age” by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha and Chris Yeh 

- “The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses” by Eric Ries 

- Blitzscaling Ventures 

- Blitzscaling Academy 

- Chris Yeh Podcast 

- Chris Yeh Website 

- Greylock Partners 

- Greymatter Podcast 

- Sahar Hashemi OBE: Anyone Can Do It - Sahar’s Remarkable Entrepreneurial Journey on OutsideVoices 

- Safi Bachall: Loonshots - Innovation Through the Lens of a Physicist on OutsideVoices 

Connect with Mark Bidwell:

- LinkedIn 

- Twitter

Jun 29, 2021

It's a great pleasure to welcome back Gillian Tett, who chairs the Editorial Board in the US for the Financial Times. She has a regular column at FT, writing about finance, business and the political economy. Gillian’s work is all about looking at the world through different lenses, and moving from tunnel vision to lateral vision. It’s about leveraging diversity, embracing the unknown, and learning from others in non-related fields, cultures, and geographies. 

In this interview, we talk about her new book, "Anthro-Vision: A New Way to See in Business and Life," and we cover a lot of topics from an anthropological perspective. We also talk about controversial topics like Bitcoin and Trumpism, as well as more enduring issues like leadership, and what that looks like in this VUCA world that we live in. So whether you're a business leader, a policy maker, an investor, or even just a parent worrying about how your kids appear to be over-reliant on technology, I hope you will find this conversation as fascinating and inspirational as I did. 

What Is Covered:

- The three principles of the anthropology mindset and what being an anthropologist means in the corporate world

- How the concept of barter and social silences plays out in the world of AgTech and “free” services

- Why teenagers are glued to their cell phones and what kind of needs in physical space the cyberspace is fulfilling

- The concept of fast and slow money, and people’s behaviours around money 

- Understanding Trumpism from an anthropological perspective

- How Bitcoin and cryptocurrency tribes are changing the economy and the power structures  

Key Takeaways and Learnings: 

- Barter trade terms in the world of AgTech need to be reset to make it more equitable, giving a lot more transparency to consumers, giving consumers more control over the duration of the trade, and creating data portability.

- The four skills that anthropology can offer to any leader are the ability to have empathy for difference, to flip the lens and look back at yourself with a sense of humility, the ability to look outside the model, and to recognize that we need to think about people's human behavior and how culture matters. 

- Cultural phenomena like Balinese cockfighting rituals are a good way to make sense of Trumpism, and of what's happening with Elon Musk and Bitcoin in terms of defining tribal groups, the role of rituals and symbols, and the role the emotions play

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode: 

- “Anthro-Vision: A New Way to See in Business and Life” by Gillian Tett 

- Connect with Gillian Tett on LinkedIn  and Twitter 

- Data & Society 

- ReD Associates 

- “The Interpretation of Cultures” by Clifford Geertz 

- Why Anthropologists are More Interested in Bitcoin Than Economists, by Mick Morucci 

- “Who Can You Trust” by Rachel Botsman 

- The Conversation 

- Colliding with the Unexpected with Gillian Tett on OutsideVoices Podcast 

Connect with Mark Bidwell:

- LinkedIn 

- Twitter 

Jun 8, 2021

Joel Greenblatt is arguably one of the best investors in the world. He is a Managing Partner at Gotham Asset Management, an investment firm he founded in 1985. He has spent more than two decades teaching at Columbia Business School, and he's the author of five books focused on investment strategy, including "You Can be a Stock Market Genius," "The Little Book that Beats the Market," as well as his most recent book, called "Common Sense: The Investor's guide to Equality, Opportunity and Growth."

In this conversation, we talk about what's changed and what remained the same in value investing specifically, and more broadly in investing in general. We also talk about how important it is to keep learning, both from wiser, more experienced and often older people, as well as from the next generation. In addition, we touch on the advantage that individual investors have over professional investors, and our ability to think and act with a long-term perspective. 

What Is Covered: 

- How Joel’s investing philosophy has evolved over the years 

- “The Magic Formula”, why it still works, and why it is hard for people to follow it

- The value of a long-term perspective in investing, Joel’s projects in education and charter schools for kids from low-income and minority communities

- How the internet and network effects have changed the world of business, and why we’re seeing some of the best businesses that have ever existed 

Key Takeaways and Learnings:

- The importance of accumulating and compounding experience, learning from other people’s mistakes, and reading a lot; one of the biggest elements of investing is recognising an outsized opportunity when you see it, and if you see something great, taking advantage of it.   

- The returns are very noisy; you could go one or two years underperforming the market, and then make a lot of money in year three or  four that made up for it. People aren't very patient, especially if they’re blindly just following a formula. 

- Individual investors have an advantage, because they don't have the pressure of their performance being viewed every day, and they can invest and think in private. 

- At any time, if you get your stuff together, there's an ecosystem outside your current system that will let you learn.

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode: 

- Common Sense: The Investor’s Guide to Equality, Opportunity and Growth, by Joel Greenblatt 

- The Little Book that Still Beats the Market, by Joel Greenblatt 

- The Big Secret for the Small Investor: A New Route for Long-Term Investment Success, by Joel Greenblatt 

- Outliers: A Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell 

- The Good Ancestor: A Radical Prescription for Long-Term Thinking, by Roman Krznaric 

- Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charlie T. Munger 

- Cable Cowboy: John Malone and the Rise of the Modern Cable Business 

- William Green: Richer, Wiser and Happier on the OutsideVoices Podcast 

- Robert Hagstrom: The Return on Investment of Mental Models on The OutsideVoices Podcast 

- Brad Feld: When Big and Small Make Great on The OutsideVoices Podcast 

- OutsideVoices Podcast - Summary of Guests: 

Connect with OutsideVoices:

- Follow us on LinkedIn 

- Check us out on Twitter 

Apr 15, 2021

William Green is a journalist and author, who has written for many leading publications in the US and Europe, including The New Yorker, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Money, The Economist, and others. He has interviewed presidents and prime ministers, inventors, criminals, prize-winning authors, the CEOs of some of the world’s largest companies, and countless billionaires.

William’s most recent book is "Richer, Wiser, Happier,” where he draws on interviews that he’s conducted over twenty-five years with many of the world’s greatest investors. He spent time with time with people like Sir John Templeton, Joel Greenblatt, Nick Sleep, Mohnish Pabrai, and Charlie Munger, and distilled for the readers what it is that we can take away from their disciplines, their mindsets, their habits, and day to day activities, that we can apply in other walks of life beyond financial management.

What Is Covered: 

- Why we can regard the world’s greatest investors as practical philosophers

- The connection between resilient wealth creation and emotional resilience

- Why the idea of cloning other investor’s practices is still subversive in today’s world

- Exercise, nutrition, meditation and sleep as the basics for making good decisions


Key Learnings and Takeaways: 

- When you decide to clone someone’s fundamental ideas and insights that work, you have to do it in a way that's aligned with your own temperament and skills 

- In order to create resilient wealth, you don't need the optimal strategy, you need a strategy that's good enough, that’s directionally correct

- You don't want to wait until you're in the midst of a crisis to adopt habits such as quality nutrition, exercise, meditation and sleep; it's important to adopt these good habits before the crisis. 

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode: 

- “Richer, Wiser, Happier” by William Green 

- Connect with William Green on Twitter 

- Connect with William Green on LinkedIn 

- “Power vs. Force” by David R. Hawkins 

- “Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender” by David R. Hawkins  

- “Carefree Dignity” by Tsoknyi Rinpoche 

- “Open Heart, Open Mind” by Tsoknyi Rinpoche 

- “Altered Traits” by Daniel Goleman 

- Colliding with the Unexpected with Gillian Tett on OutsideVoices 

- Accidental CEO with David Novak on OutsideVoices   

Connect with OutsideVoices:

- Follow us on LinkedIn 

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Jan 19, 2021

Steven Kotler is a New York Times bestselling author, an award winning journalist and the executive director of the Flow Research Collective. He's one of the world's leading experts on human performance. He's the author of nine bestselling books, including The Future is Faster Than You Think, Stealing Fire, The Rise of Superman, and the most recent one, The Art of Impossible, which we are talking about in this episode. His work has been nominated for two Pulitzer Prizes, translated into over 40 languages, and appeared in over 100 publications, including the New York Times Magazine, Wired, Atlantic Monthly, Time and the Harvard Business Review.

Steven is a remarkably productive person, and he puts a lot of that extraordinary productivity down to what he's been doing for the last 30 years, and what he's writing about in The Art of Impossible. In this book, he refers to the work of our previous guests Mike Gervais and Angela Duckworth, and talks about the topics that we’ve explored with Frans Johansson and Scott Page in previous episodes. Steven Kotler is making his third appearance on this podcast, and if you are looking for, as he describes it, a practical playbook for impractical people, this is another powerful, relevant, and compelling conversation about the results of his decades long research into peak performance.

What is Covered:

  • The sequence of external and intrinsic motivators that produce peak performance
  • How extraordinary capability emerges in individuals
  • The compounding effect of long-term practice for achieving peak performance
  • Neurochemistry of fear and why peak performers set unrealistic expectations for themselves

Key Takeaways and Learnings:

  • Peak performance is getting your biology to work for you, rather than against you. It’s a limited set of skills shaped by biology, which are meant to be deployed in a sequence and in certain order.
  • Challenge to skills ratio is the most important of flow's triggers. When the challenge of the task at hand slightly exceeds our skill set, when we are stretching our skills to the utmost, it is a precondition for flow.
  • Peak performers are always going to look for something that really scares them, because they are going to get a lot of energy and a lot of focus for free. But they don't take on huge fears all at once. They chunk them down, one step at a time, and often.

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

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Jan 12, 2021

Gillian Zoe Segal is the author of Getting There: A Book of Mentors. In that book, Gillian interviews incredibly successful entrepreneurs, mentors and people like Warren Buffett, to discover their secrets to success and innovation. On today's show, she discusses some of the insights into the lives of these successful and driven people and talks on what truly makes them tick.

What Is Covered

  • 02:35 - Why did Gillian write Getting There?
  • 03:10 - You don't need to know where you're heading when you're starting out.
  • 03:45 - Successful people have a very fluid mindset and they're open to change.
  • 05:35 - Everybody in Gillian's book is an entrepreneur and a trail blazer.
  • 06:30 - How does innovation really happen?
  • 06:45 - All of Gillian's entrepreneurs question everything and they don't blindly follow others.
  • 07:20 - Gillian talks about Warren Buffett.
  • 10:20 - How important is luck?
  • 12:15 - Get ready to hear the word 'no' multiple times.
  • 13:05 - Resilience is the key to success.
  • 14:35 - Gillian was so confident in what she was doing, she didn't mind the word 'no'. Her drive kept her going for five years, which is how long it took to complete the book.
  • 15:35 - You have to believe in your product.
  • 17:35 - What advice does Gillian have for executives who are struggling to make an impact?
  • 18:45 - If you remember who you are, you can do anything.
  • 19:40 - You have to create your own opportunities.
  • 21:00 - Don't let the fear of failure deter you.
  • 22:15 - If you don't want to quit at least once a month, you're not trying hard enough.
  • 25:00 - If Gillian had to do this all over again, who would she put in the book?
  • 27:25 - How did Gillian manage to interview all these people for her book?
  • 29:05 - Surround yourself with high-grade people.
  • 30:15 - What are Gillian's morning rituals?
  • 30:25 - What has Gillian changed her mind about recently?
  • 31:25 - What advice does Gillian have for her 25-year-old self?
  • 33:25 - What's Gillian's next project? That's a secret for right now!

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode: 

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Jan 5, 2021

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.

What Is Covered

  • 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


Dec 30, 2020

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm”. So said Winston Churchill, a man who had his fair share of professional disasters to accompany his well known successes.

A less painful and more practical strategy for many of us might be to learn from other people’s mistakes. There can be no doubt that you will encounter unexpected and unwanted outcomes as a result of looking at the world through multiple perspectives, or as a result of changing or adapting your work habits in order to remain fresh and creative. So we all need to be prepared for the inevitable lows and I believe that the key is to quickly identify your mistake and take action.

It is for this reason we ask every guest about their most significant lows, and what they have learned from them.

Given their diversity of backgrounds and perspectives, here are some examples from the trenches about how a few of our highly accomplished guests from the worlds of business, academia, sports, science, and the arts have emerged from there lows and how they take that learning forward to create success.

Guests Featured in This Episode:

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Dec 30, 2020

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 organisation will build up and compound over time, as these world class performers have discovered.

Guests featured in this episode:

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Dec 30, 2020

We have been extremely fortunate to have been able to attract some remarkable guests on OutsideVoices Podcast 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 OutsideVoices.

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 organisational 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,  o 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.

Guests featured in this episode: 

Connect with OutsideVoices

Dec 22, 2020

In this episode, we are joined by Amy C. Edmondson to discuss her latest book, The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth. Amy is the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School and is the world expert on psychological safety, a topic recently made famous by the findings of Google’s Project Aristotle, the quest to build the perfect team.

What Was Covered

  • How leaders can create psychologically safe environments in the workplace, in service of innovation and profitable growth.
  • The ‘fearless’ organization, and why fear-based leadership strategies are a recipe for failure.
  • How leaders leverage approaches from indigenous cultures to deal with some of the worlds more pressing VUCA challenges

Key Takeaways and Learnings

  • Psychological safety: why workplaces should be safe spaces for employees to explore, experiment and solve problems.
  • Uncertainty and interdependence: why human and interpersonal fears create unsafe work environments.
  • Silence: why keeping quiet can be dangerous and result in enormous mistakes and value destruction, as well as lost market opportunities.

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode

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Dec 17, 2020

In this episode, we are joined by author and professor, Ed Hess. Ed has published several notable books on learning and innovation including Learn or Die and his most recent work, Humility is the New Smart: Rethinking Human Excellence in the Smart Machine Age. Ed is currently a professor, Batten Executive-in-Residence and Batten Faculty Fellow at the Darden Graduate Business School at the University of Virginia.

What is Covered

  • The company of the future in the smart machine age is one where innovation is the strategic differentiator - as operational excellence is going to be primarily technology enabled
  • How human learning underpins both operational excellence and innovation
  • Why mitigating and overcoming fear and ego is the key to becoming a better learner.

Key Takeaways and Learnings

  • ‘Unbossing’ and how to create an idea meritocracy by devaluing the hierarchy of empowerment.
  • How the future of technology will humanize business, help people to overcome their own personal limitations and develop as highly creative, intuitive, and innovative human beings.
  • How changing our mental models can help us develop listening and engagement skills to connect with others to drive innovation.

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Dec 15, 2020

My guest today is Wade Davis, an author and anthropologist, who was until recently Explorer in Residence for the National Geographic Society and is currently Professor of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. Some of his books include "The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World,” "One River," about which Sting wrote in his review “Read this book”, and most recently "Magdalena" which was described by the President of Colombia as essential reading for every adult Colombian.

Wade Davis is probably the most well known anthropologist in the world today. His work has received a huge boost recently from an article he wrote in The Rolling Stone Magazine about the decline of America brought on by the COVID-19 crisis, and we talk about the ongoing work he's planning with The Rolling Stone going forward. As well as being a great writer, this interview illustrates just how compelling a storyteller Wade Davis is.

What is Covered

- What tools anthropologists can bring to the world leaders in order to re-establish geopolitical stability and deal with the climate crisis

- Redefining the notion of wealth in contemporary society by finding inspiration in the reciprocal relationship to nature of indigenous communities

- Why Colombia is one of the hotspots of cultural and natural diversity, as well as resilience in a globalised world

Key Learnings and Takeaways

- The key thing to step back from is cultural myopia, and the idea that my world is the real world and everybody else is a failed attempt to be me; we can't afford that anymore in an interconnected world.

- In a society like the Penan culture, where material accumulation has no meaning, and where everybody can essentially make everything from the raw resources of the forest, wealth is defined explicitly as a strength of social relations between people.

- Colombia is not a place of drugs and violence; it’s a land with the greatest biodiversity, geographical diversity and cultural diversity in the Americas.

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

- Connect with Wade Davis at 

- Magdalena: River of Dreams by Wade Davis 

- The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World by Wade Davis 

- One River: Explorations and Discoveries in the Amazon Rain Forests by Wade Davis 

- Colliding with the Unexpected with Gillian Tett on OutsideVoices Podcast 

Dec 9, 2020

My guest in this episode is Jennifer Berger, the CEO of Cultivating Leadership, an organization that helps leaders use complexity as the key that unlocks new possibilities for a better future.

Jennifer has worked with senior leaders in companies like Google, KPMG, Lion, Microsoft and Wikimedia. She is the author of three books, the latest one being Unlocking Leadership Mindtraps: How to Thrive in Complexity which we talk about in this interview. 

She speaks at leadership and coaching conferences, and offers occasional courses for coaches at Harvard University, the University of Sydney, and Oxford Brookes University.

Read the full article HERE.

What was covered:  

  • What is unique about complexity today that many leaders are experiencing in their world  
  • Five key mindtraps to recognize and avoid in dealing with complexity: the desire for simple stories, the sense of rightness, the need for agreement, the need for control, and protecting our egos 
  • Useful practices to engage with, and questions to ask, in order to overcome these mindtraps  

Key Takeaways and Learnings:  

  • Harnessing complexity as a force and a competitive advantage in todays world 
  • The rewards of looking at situations from multiple perspectives and learning to disagree better 
  • Everyone is subjected to mind traps - the more you feel certain about something, the more likely you are falling into a mind trap  

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Dec 1, 2020

Sahar Hashemi OBE is best known as the founder of Coffee Republic, as well as a confectionery brand Skinny Candy. She is active in the world of entrepreneurialism and charity, and is an accomplished author, having written "Anyone can do it" about her journey from corporate lawyer to founding a successful chain of coffee shops, and a more recent book titled "Start Up Forever” helping large companies innovate.

In this conversation, we cover all topics related to being an entrepreneur, building a business, and what it means from a personal development point of view. We discuss some of the skills and mindsets that one needs, as well as how this impacts people in larger process-driven organizations looking to foster a more entrepreneurial mindset.

What Is Covered: 

  • How entrepreneurialism drives resourcefulness and self-discovery
  • Why people confuse entrepreneurs with inventors and what the difference is
  • The ‘startup forever’ habits that can help large companies adopt an entrepreneurial mindset


Key Learnings and Takeaways: 

  • The only way to give momentum to an entrepreneurial idea is to take it out of one’s head, make that first phone call, get a sample of it, try to price it and make the idea tangible in the physical world. 
  • Five habits to foster entrepreneurial mindset: get rid of bureaucracy and processes; get out of the office; be clueless, curious, have an open mind; bootstrap and try your idea out on a small scale, and expect people to say no to your idea. 
  • The only way to see how a company performs is to maintain the balance between the status quo and having certain systems and processes in place, but also giving people the freedom to break that status quo.   

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode: 

Nov 25, 2020

In this episode, we are joined by Hal Gregersen, author of The Innovator’s DNA, to discuss his recent book, Questions are the Answer. Hal is a Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Innovation and the Executive Director of the Leadership Center at MIT, and has previously taught at Dartmouth College, The World Economic Forum, and the London Business School.

What was covered

  • Why Hal believes most CEOs have trouble asking questions and how to pivot from answer-centric to question-led leadership.
  • How to be a better leader by asking the ‘different, better question’ and using the ‘power of the pause’.
  • How Hal’s question-first process of reframing of challenges can help us discover the winning solution.

Key Takeaways and Learnings

  • Associational thinking: how observing, networking, and experimenting helps the world’s top leaders find novel solutions nobody has thought of before.
  • Catalytic questions: why challenging our false assumptions of the world forces us to create new beliefs and act on our questions.
  • Question bursts: why receiving no answers to our questions can help us to innovatively solve problems.

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Nov 18, 2020

James Breiding is the author of Swiss Made, a book on why Switzerland - a tiny country with few natural advantages - has become so successful in the world of banking, pharmaceuticals, machinery, and more.

James discusses innovation in Switzerland and makes the point that when an entrepreneur comes up with a new and innovative method or product, there will be resistance from those who have accepted the status quo. Entrepreneurs as well as intrapreneurs need to have thick skin if they wish to disrupt the market.

What is Covered:

  • 03:55 - Why did James write the book, Swiss Made?
  • 05:30 - This book is now used by Swiss diplomats, although it was not originally intended to be that way.
  • 07:20 - What are some of the factors that have contributed to Switzerland's economic strength?
  • 09:55 - Switzerland and other small countries tend to be more modest. James explains further.
  • 11:25 - The average age of an S&P 500 company is 15 years.
  • 14:10 - As James investigated further into the longevity of Swiss companies, was there a particular story that surprised him?
  • 15:10 - About 11% of Swiss citizens live overseas.
  • 19:30 - James discusses Swatch's story.
  • 20:40 - Nobody has been able to replicate the Swatch.
  • 24:40 - Apple isn't the only company who was able to create absolute raving fans over their products.
  • 24:55 - Nestle's senior management was completely against the idea of Espresso.
  • 26:35 - People underestimate how costly innovation is. You need to have a high tolerance for failure.
  • 27:05 - We see the successes, but we very rarely see the failed attempts that don't make the history books.
  • 29:15 - Successful founders like Steve Jobs tend not to be people you want to have a beer with.
  • 29:45 - Innovators will get resistance from people who are used to doing things the tried and true way.
  • 31:10 - Why do multinationals love Switzerland?
  • 34:50 - Is there a connection between the success of small companies being located in countries with conscription?
  • 38:05 - How does James think about innovation and does he adapt his investment approach when dealing with an innovative company?
  • 42:50 - What are James's morning rituals?
  • 44:00 - What has James changed his mind about recently?
  • 45:30 - What advice does James have for his 25-year-old self?
  • 50:55 - Look out for James's new book, Too Small to Fail, set to be released in 2017.

Links and Resources Mentioned In This Episode: 


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