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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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Jun 30, 2020

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.

What Was Covered

  • How looking at business meetings – what David calls “the engine of post-industrial life” – through a different lens, say a theatrical one, can unleash the creative power of bringing the group together
  • How storytelling can be used innovatively in leadership and how meaningful narratives can help to create meaning with business teams
  • The benefits to being open and accepting of past failures and how sharing these as a leader can have a positive impact on employees
  • The importance of self-introspection, understanding your past experience before future experiences, and how this leads to discovering your ‘why?’

Key Takeaways and Learnings

  • David’s philosophy that colleagues must ‘really meet, not nearly meet’ and how creativity is born in the space between us, not from us as individuals
  • The potential impact within stories at work – and how a compelling narrative can engage people far more than simply a set of facts
  • How re-framing low points as turning points in which maximum learning was achieved can help encourage talk and creative collaboration
  • How, as a leader, your own personal ‘why?’ should always be overlapping with the ‘why?’ of your business

Links and Resources Mentioned In This Episode:

Jun 23, 2020

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

Jun 16, 2020

Christoph Goppelsroeder is the Chief Executive Officer and President at DSM Nutritional Products. Christoph talks on how a large organisation can create the right space for innovation and sustainability. He believes in order to create impactful and disruptive innovation, you must understand precisely what it is that your company lives for.

What Is Covered

  • 01:50 - What is DSM?

  • 03:15 - How does Christoph develop a long term plan in an ever-changing environment?

  • 04:35 - What does the company live for? How do people see DSM?

  • 05:10 - The three things that the company lives for are: safety, growing children, and sustainability. 

  • 13:25 - Do not delegate innovation. Don't push it down to your team.

  • 14:15 - What kind of disruptive innovation has Christoph seen in his company?

  • 18:05 - Christoph talks about project 'Clean Cow'.

  • 22:15 - Who are the drivers of innovation in your country?

  • 24:15 - How does Christoph encourage your team to be more innovative and creative?

  • 30:15 - Collaborating with third parties was key to the growth of the organization.

  • 30:35 - How does Christoph and his team reach out to third parties and collaborate with them?

  • 34:15 - Celebrate your successes.

  • 37:25 - Does Christoph have any daily rituals?

  • 39:45 - What has Christoph changed his mind about recently?

  • 41:00 - What advice would Christoph give his 25-year-old self?

Links And Resources: 
Jun 9, 2020

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

Jun 2, 2020

In this episode, Annalisa Gigante, former Head of Innovation and R&D at LafargeHolcim, joins us. With over 25 years of experience, her expertise includes management, HR, strategy, marketing and innovation. She is currently a Board member of ZIS.

What was covered

  • How Annalisa’s experience in different industries throughout her career has given her the opportunity to see parallels in business innovation
  • Annalisa’s unique approach on handling project failures and how to regain momentum as an individual and as a team
  • Annalisa’s view that innovation is present in all areas of business and not limited to within innovation teams, and how this multi-disciplinary approach ultimately helps creative growth

Key Takeaways and Learnings

  • The importance of recognizing 'fast failure’ in innovation projects
  • Finding the ‘Goldilocks’ zone – the middle ground between innovation in technology and market interests, and bridging the gap by adapting a multi-disciplinary approach
  • Recognizing the finite number of standard business models present within an organization and using these analytics to assist in the external and internal innovation of a business

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode

  • The Business Model Navigator: 55 Models That Will Revolutionise Your Business by Oliver Gassman http://amzn.to/2aKJEFu 

 

May 26, 2020

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

May 19, 2020

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” 

Resources

May 13, 2020

In this episode I am joined by Professor Nicholas Thomas, an anthropologist and historian who has been a Director of The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge since 2006. He is the author of several books including his latest book called The Return of Curiosity: What Museums are Good For in the Twenty-first Century. Nick Thomas gives us fresh perspectives on museums and their potential role in fostering curiosity and open dialogue as key leadership skills in the contemporary VUCA world.

What Was Covered:

  • The resurgence of museums and why their importance is growing in contemporary society where everyone is supposedly online
  • Why a visit to a museum is unique and different from other cultural activities and what it can offer to a business leader
  • The importance of encounters with the unknown in a safe setting that a museum can provide a visitor

Key Learnings And Takeaways:

  • A museum visit is an unscripted experience and a space for reflection that may be critical for looking at problems from different perspectives and inspiring innovation
  • Asking simple questions of curiosity is a critical skill in today’s heterogenous world
  • Anthropological thinking and taking cultural differences into account has become of fundamental importance in business

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

May 11, 2020

In this episode, we are joined by author and social scientist, Dolly Chugh, to discuss her book, The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias, which studies how implicit bias and unintentional ethical behaviour affects our everyday decision making. Dolly is a Professor of Management and Organizations at New York University, has won several awards for excellence in teaching and ethics, and is a monthly columnist for Forbes.com.

What We Covered

  • Why our brains are biased, and the ways in which we can begin to recognize our own conscious and unconscious biases
  • Why confirmation bias can hinder the success of a recruiting the best potential talent in the workplace
  • How we can learn to recognize and use our own privileges to challenge and help change other people’s biases

Key Takeaways and Learnings

  • The growth mindset: why seeing ourselves as a ‘work in progress’ can help us to learn from other perspectives
  • Conscious and unconscious biases: why affinities and associations with our personal identity can lead us to make less successful decisions
  • The business benefits that come from bringing in different perspectives to core business processes, including higher levels of innovation, increased creativity, improved employee retention and recruiting success

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode

May 9, 2020

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 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

May 6, 2020

Kevin Kelly, Senior Maverick at Wired magazine, co-founded Wired in 1993 and served as its Executive Editor for the first seven years. His acclaimed book is called The Inevitable, where he discusses the 12 technological forces that will change our future. On today's show, he talks on how technology will shape organisations and why leaders need to adapt to a teaching mentality within the company.

  • 02:55 - Who is Kevin and what does a typical week look like for him?
  • 06:35 - Kevin talks about one of his books, Cool Tools.
  • 08:10 - Why did Kevin become so optimistic about technology back in the 80's?
  • 12:05 - Kevin talks about his book The Inevitable, and what it means to entrepreneurs/corporate executives.
  • 15:10 - Questioning authority is now the default.
  • 17:35 - We have to train ourselves on how to scan and use our digital media properly, just like the way we learned how to read, write, and speak.
  • 18:40 - What kind of skills would people need to survive in the future?
  • 19:50 - No matter what career field you're in, you have to become a teacher in order to effectively disrupt.
  • 21:40 - What does a CEO have to know today?
  • 22:20 - We're having the second industrial revolution right now – The power of AI.
  • 25:15 - AI will mostly be replacing tedious tasks, other than jobs.
  • 27:25 - Machines are good at answering questions, whereas people are good at asking those questions. This means a good question will be ever more valuable because machines can't do it.
  • 30:30 - Innovation is primarily failure.
  • 33:30 - There's no perfect school out there. You, as the parent, have to fill in for your children.
  • 34:05 - The only way we know what technology is good for is by using it, not by prohibiting it.
  • 36:40 - Learning is the new currency.
  • 44:00 - China is going a thousand miles into the future; however, they still don't know where they want to go.
  • 47:15 - What is Kevin afraid about? Treating our AI like slaves.
  • 51:20 - What's the next big project for Kevin?

Links And Resources:

 

 

May 1, 2020

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.

What Was Covered

  • 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 world 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

Apr 29, 2020

In this episode we are joined by Bob Johansen who has been helping organisations around the world prepare for and shape the future for nearly forty years.

Bob is a distinguished fellow at Institute for the Future where he utilises his extensive training in the social sciences and experience with top leaders of business, government, and nonprofit organisations to encourage thoughtful consideration of the long-term future.

He is also the author of a number of books exploring potential futures, including Leaders Make the Future: Ten New Leadership Skills for an Uncertain Age and The Reciprocity Advantage: A New Way to Partner for Innovation and Growth.

What we cover:

  • Bob explains how he and IFTF help companies like McKinsey, Tesco, UPS, Disney, McDonald's, and Syngenta navigate and survive in the VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world of the future.
  • We discuss the roles for leaders, organisations and individuals in this world of the future – what will and what won’t work based on case studies in his two recent books Leaders Make the Future and The Reciprocity Advantage.
  • Explore what particular skills and mindsets will be most in demand in the future and how some words of wisdom from Peter Drucker informed his own mindset and habits.
Apr 27, 2020

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.  

We are talking about 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 calls 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

Apr 24, 2020

Alexander Osterwalder is an entrepreneur, author, business model innovator, and co-founder of Strategyzer, a SaaS company that helps organizations develop better growth engines, powerful business models, and so much more. In this episode, Alex discusses the innovative way he wrote the Business Model Generation book and explains why the Business Model Canvas is an excellent tool for businesses looking to challenge their current business model.

  • 02:55 - Why did Alex write the book, Business Model Generation.
  • 04:00 - How Alex crowd sourced the book.
  • 09:00 - What is the Business Model Canvas all about?
  • 11:15 - There is no such thing as the one and only business tool. You need to combine tools based on your needs.
  • 17:15 - What kinds of conversations is Alex hearing from the C-suite executives about business models?
  • 19:40 - How do you price a cure that’s going to heal people with one injection?
  • 21:35 - You can still be innovative on inferior technology.
  • 24:00 - We’re still stuck in the last century when it comes to developing innovation.
  • 29:00 - There are some great lessons you can learn from Expresso.
  • 34:15 - Large corporations are trying hard to be innovative, but only a few of them are able to succeed.
  • 36:55 - What is Alex’s business model?
  • 41:55 - What has Alex changed his mind about recently?
  • 43:40 - What does Alex do to remain creative?
  • 44:35 - What does Alex attribute his success to in life?

Resources: http://www.outsidelens.com/outsidevoices 

Apr 22, 2020

In this episode, Scott D Anthony, writer, speaker and Senior Partner at consulting firm Innosight, joins us to discuss his 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 that today’s every changing global marketplace companies needs to be 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

Links And Resources:

 

Apr 20, 2020

Robert Wolcott is the Co-Founder & Executive Director of the The World Innovation Network (TWIN) and a Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the Kellogg School of Management. Mark discusses innovation and how he plans to bring TWIN to Europe. He also offers thoughtful advice for entrepreneurs trying to manage their team on a middle-management level.

What Was Covered

  • 02:32 - What does a typical week look like for Rob?
  • 04:20 - How can I be exceptional with what I do now, as well as prepare for the future?
  • 07:05 - What are you trying to accomplish?
  • 08:20 - Innovating for efficiency is very different than innovating for growth.
  • 10:25 - How can entrepreneurs get things done when they're not in C-suite positions?
  • 11:25 - Build bridges before you need them, especially if you're an entrepreneur.
  • 15:25 - Is there a certain type of leadership model that helps create sustainable innovation?
  • 22:00 - What does Rob mean when he says, “Don't leave serendipity to chance?”
  • 28:10 - How does Rob plan to bring TWIN to Europe?
  • 32:00 - Don't hire horrible people. Life is too short.
  • 36:05 - Rob talks about his trip to Bhutan.
  • 42:15 - What are Rob's daily rituals?
  • 45:00 - Multitasking is bad for you.
  • 45:50 - What has Rob changed his mind about recently?
  • 48:05 - What advice would Rob give to his 20-year-old self?

Links And Resources Mentioned In This Episode:

 Show notes: http://www.outsidelens.com/outsidevoices 

Apr 17, 2020

In this episode we are joined by Jenny Fielding Managing Director at Techstars a global venture capital fund for innovative tech startups. Jenny has extensive experience in both the startup and corporate worlds and a strong passion for “marrying startups with corporates” to create innovation and cultural shifts.

In this episode we cover:

  • Jenny’s extraordinary success scaling and exiting her first startup Switch-Mobile in three years
  • How she moved a legacy organisation like BBC into the new digital era and founded BBC Labs, the UK’s first corporate incubator.
  • Why infusing corporate and startup culture is so powerful and how she continues to do it at Techstars with the likes of GE, Bosch, Verizon, SAP and PWC.

What we learned:

  • Why listening to those from all levels of the organisation is so important in effectively innovating.The virtue of listening is also explored by Robert Cialdini and Kevin Kelly.
  • How potent and powerful the idea of bringing people together from different worlds can be and how it can be done effectively. 
  • How the startup scene has been hugely idealised and why it’s important to talk openly about the struggles founders face and how it differs from the corporate world.
Apr 15, 2020

So reads the title of a chapter in the book by Professor Clay Christensen, Efosa Ojomo and Karen Dillon, The Prosperity Paradox.

The concept of looking at markets from different perspectives is at the heart of this optimistic yet practical book, in which the authors apply robust management theories to help leaders uncover and capture opportunities in developing markets.

Read the full article at https://outsidelens.com/see-the-world-through-new-lenses/ 

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Apr 13, 2020

Lisa Bodell is a globally recognized innovation leader and futurist. She founded futurethink in 2003 and is the author of the book, Kill the Company. Lisa sits down with Mark to discuss how leaders can become more efficient in the work place and how they can properly simplify the work process for everyone in the company.

What Was Covered

  • 01:50 - Why did Lisa start her company, futurethink?
  • 03:10 - Lisa talks about her book, Kill the Company.
  • 04:35 - Asking people to take on more work, doesn't work.
  • 05:50 - What does Lisa look for when she needs to get a better feel of company culture?
  • 07:20 - Leadership is the number one barrier to change.
  • 07:40 - What characteristics do good leaders have when trying to enable change?
  • 09:10 - Good leaders are open to collaboration.
  • 09:40 - The leader’s team can help define the barriers and break them down.
  • 10:15 - Leaders should focus on asking the right questions first, before coming up with the answers.
  • 12:30 - Leaders spend most of their time in meetings and answering emails.
  • 18:35 - Don't call it innovation, call it efficiency.
  • 21:30 - Lisa talks about the book she is currently writing.
  • 21:45 - Lisa believes organizations are addicted to complexity.
  • 26:00 - People want to do meaningful work, not answer emails and attend meetings.
  • 29:00 - Lisa talks about diversity thought; how people think differently.
  • 32:05 - What has Lisa changed her mind about recently?
  • 33:50 - What advice would Lisa give to her 25-year-old self?

 

Apr 10, 2020

I sat down with Dave Kesby, organizational coach and author, to talk about his book, “Extra-Dependent Teams: Realising the Power of Similarity”, where he challenges the conventional wisdom of teams.

As he writes in his introduction, “through the lens of convention a lot of the features of Extra-Dependent Teams are misdiagnosed as faults: working apart is seen as working in silos, lack of interdependency is seen as uncollaborative, and working only towards their individual goal is seen as not being a team player.”

Dave served in The British Army for seven years before turning to a career in  organizational and leadership development. He combines military, academic, corporate and volunteering experiences to provide a fresh and challenging perspective on what it means to lead, as well as be part of a team.

Read the full article: https://outsidelens.com/herding-cats-unconventional-team-leadership/ 

What was covered:

  • The differences between Inter-Dependent versus Extra-Dependent teams
  • What are communities of practice and how they contribute towards innovation, silo-busting and improving organizational agility
  • Why “herding cats”  is not necessarily a bad thing in an organizational context

Key Takeways and Learnings:

  • Focusing on common practices instead of common goals enables shared learning and performance improvement
  • Looking at the team for what it is instead of what it ought to be provides simpler solutions and decreases the need for control and competition

Links and Resources Mentioned In This Episode:

Apr 8, 2020

Michael Bungay Stanier, the Founder of Box of Crayons, teaches the principles of how to do less hard work and more good work to the everyday stressed out manager.

Michael opens a new door for managers who are struggling to get everything done. Often times, managers do not want to become coaches, but understanding basic coaching methods can help them to become more effective leaders. Habits also play a strong role in a leader’s ability to adapt to these new principles and succeed.

  • 02:50 - What is Michael’s company, Box of Crayons, about?
  • 04:10 - How do you make coaching practical for people?
  • 04:55 - Busy managers often say they don’t have the time to coach people.
  • 06:00 - Coaching is slightly weird. Managers don’t want to be a coach, they just want to do their job well.
  • 09:10 - Slow down the rush to give advice to others. Often times you’re solving the wrong problem!
  • 10:40 - Instead of Michael training to teach the benefits of coaching to busy managers, he shows them how to work less hard for more impact.
  • 13:00 - There’s terrible advice out there on how to change your habits.
  • 14:35 - Michael came up with a 3-part habit formula.
  • 18:15 - High achievers aren’t exactly wired to congratulate themselves.
  • 21:40 - Your first solution isn’t always going to be the right solution, which is why you need iterations.
  • 22:50 - How did Michael find the strength to finish his book despite so many revisions, iterations and edits?
  • 27:10 - How should managers think about their situation and what’s keeping them stuck?
  • 29:15 - Why is it so hard for people to ask a good question?
  • 32:05 - How has leadership styles evolved over the years, especially when it comes to creating an innovative culture?
  • 35:55 - How can managers foster more engagement from their team?
  • 40:15 - What has Michael changed his mind about recently?
  • 41:55 - What does Michael do to remain creative?
  • 43:15 - What’s next for Michael?
  • 44:45 - What does Michael attribute his success to in life?

Resources: 

Apr 6, 2020

Kevin Cashman is Senior Partner at Korn Ferry, specialising in CEO & Executive Development and Keynote Speaking.

Kevin has been in the industry for slightly over 30 years, and has seen leadership principles grow and evolve.

He has advised thousands of senior executives and senior teams, in more than 60 countries, so here’s why he believes you need to take a pause, and ask questions, in order to cultivate an innovative company culture.

http://www.outsidelens.com/outsidevoices 

Apr 3, 2020

I find stories of leaders who have successfully reinvented themselves mid-career both compelling and informative. This is mainly because I have been on this journey for the past 4 years and am always on the look out for guides.

Chip Conley has successfully made this transition, and is now helping many others take the same journey. Rather than being a “sage from the stage”, Chip describes himself as a “guide from the side”. His story of going from founder and CEO of the leading chain of boutique hotels in the US, Joie de Vivre, to being essentially an intern at Airbnb and mentor to founder Brian Chesky, will be of interest to anyone feeling overwhelmed by changes in their industry, or worried about becoming irrelevant in the workplace as a result of technology or other disruptive forces shaping our world of work.

As a result of his experiences at Airbnb, and the success of his latest book "Wisdom at Work: The Making of a Modern Elder," Chip has recently launched The Modern Elder Academy, with the tag line: Where midlife mastery is the launchpad to growing whole, not old. In our conversation he tells his story.

What was covered:

  • The emergence of a 20-year irrelevancy gap in the workplace for people in midlife
  • What is The Modern Elder and how companies can benefit from age diversity in the workplace
  • Four key lessons for bridging the irrelevancy gap and re-establishing value of this age category: Evolve, Learn, Collaborate, Counsel

Key Learnings and Takeaways:

  • How people in midlife can repurpose themselves as modern elders in order to integrate their mastery and wisdom with the digital intelligence and focus of younger generations
  • Mutual mentorship - a new form of relationship where both sides are simultaneously learning from and teaching each other
  • The need to regard midlife as a transition period and create modern rituals to support that transition

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Apr 2, 2020

Whitney Johnson is the author of Disrupt Yourself and a contributor to the Harvard Business Review. Whitney is best known for her work on driving corporate innovation through personal disruption. She discusses the four things that help you know whether you're on the right or wrong S curve and shares examples of how to disrupt a constraint in a company environment. 

  • 02:50 - Why did Whitney write Disrupt Yourself?
  • 05:35 - Whitney touches on the emotional side of the job, when you first get brought on to a company.
  • 07:35 - Are you on the low-end of the curve or simply on the wrong curve?
  • 07:55 - Are you taking the right kinds of risks?
  • 08:35 - Play to your strengths. We often undervalue them.
  • 10:35 - You will get on the wrong curve, but that doesn't mean it can't benefit you.
  • 11:25 - Constraints can be a good thing when you're trying to disrupt.
  • 12:55 - Whenever you ask people to adopt a brilliant idea, you're asking them to jump to a new curve.
  • 15:35 - How do you really take advantage of constraints? Whitney shares an example.
  • 20:40 - What are good leaders doing to create innovation?
  • 24:15 - What do good leaders do in times of failure?
  • 27:30 - How would Whitney help an executive innovate?
  • 30:20 - How important is curiosity and where do you go to get the proper stimulation?
  • 32:20 - What's next for Whitney?
  • 34:30 - Whitney asked employees, at a Fortune 50, how many of them were using their strengths every day at w
  • 35:55 - What are your morning rituals?
  • 37:00 - What has Whitney changed her mind about recently?
  • 38:00 - What advice would Whitney give to her 25-year-old self?

Resources: 

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