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Inside Outside Innovation

Inside Outside Innovation

Author: Brian Ardinger, Founder of Inside Outside Innovation podcast, InsideOutside.io, and the Inside Outside Innovation Summit

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Inside Outside Innovation explores the ins and outs of innovation with raw stories, real insights, and tactical advice from the best and brightest in startups & corporate innovation.

Each week we bring you the latest thinking on talent, technology, and the future of innovation. Join our community of movers, shakers, makers, founders, builders, and creators to help speed up your knowledge, skills, and network.

Previous guests include thought leaders such as Brad Feld, Arlan Hamilton, Jason Calacanis, David Bland, Janice Fraser, and Diana Kander, plus insights from amazing companies including Nike, Cisco, ExxonMobil, Gatorade, Orlando Magic, GE, Samsung, and others.

This podcast is available on all podcast platforms and InsideOutside.io. Sign up for the weekly innovation newsletter at http://bit.ly/ionewsletter. Follow Brian on Twitter at @ardinger or @theiopodcast or Email brian@insideoutside.io
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On this week's episode of Inside Outside Innovation, we sit down with Dave Brown, founder and managing partner at Brown Immigration. Dave and I talk about the innovation economy and the importance of immigration, and the impact immigration policy has on its success. Let's get started. Inside Outside Innovation is the podcast to help new innovators navigate what's next. Each week we'll give you a front row seat into what it takes to learn, grow, and thrive in today's world of accelerating change and uncertainty. Join us as we explore, engage, and experiment with the best and the brightest innovators. entrepreneurs and pioneering businesses.Podcast Transcript with Dave Brown, founder and managing partner at Brown ImmigrationBrian Ardinger: Welcome to another episode of Inside Outside Innovation. I'm your host, Brian Ardinger, and as always, we have another amazing guest. Today we have Dave Brown. He's the founder and managing partner at Brown Immigration, where he works closely with emerging companies, VCs, and private equities to solve immigration challenges. So welcome to the show, Dave. Dave Brown: Thanks for having me, Brian. Great to be here. Brian Ardinger: Dave, we've known each other as friends and poker players for a while, but I wanted to have you on the show, because we've occasionally had these conversations about how does the law fit into innovation and specifically the law that you focus on, which is the immigration law. Let's start by giving a little bit of background of the things that you work on. Dave Brown: Of course I'm happy to share. You know, the interesting thing about me, I think that draws a lot of the clients we work with is I'm originally from Canada. I was actually a lawyer sitting in Toronto doing a lot of inbound US immigration for startups, companies, founders, and found a special someone who's a US citizen. She was getting a PhD at Stanford.So, I made a decision since I was supporting all these clients and companies in the Bay Area. That I'd actually moved to the US and so I came here at the end of 2000 and spent about five years in the Bay Area supporting a lot of founders’ companies there before finding myself moving to the Midwest here where my wife originally came from.But the through point in all of this is that I've been dealing with a lot of individuals over the years who have started companies in a wide variety of tech spaces, and there are a lot of interesting people I've worked with over the years. Brian Ardinger: Obviously immigration, you hear it in the news, and I think there's a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings what, what immigration is and how does it play into the tech space and that. So, tell us a little bit about the messaging that is out there in the media about immigration and what are the different nuances around that? Dave Brown: Yeah, I guess I would say that the messaging is just wrong to start with. It's unfortunate, and I think that this narrative has been kind of fostered as immigrants or the other, that they're bad, that there's some negative element associated with bringing people into this country. Which is amazing to me because this country is completely founded on immigration and this country, quite frankly, wouldn't exist without immigration in the way it does today.So, the, the current media blitz is bad, and the thing quite frankly, I'm concerned about is it impacts a lot of what we do. You know, when I run into someone, people always seem to think that I'm dealing with someone at the border. That's someone who's trying to sneak in and take someone's job. And the reality is, is we're all about innovation, right?You know, the people you talk to in this space, they're all about creating something new, creating something that didn't exist before. When I think about my own journey, I've got a firm with about 50 employees that wouldn't otherwise potentially be employed in this space if I didn't immigrate to this country and decide I wanted to start the firm.And every day I deal with people who have decided to come to the US to make that choice. And they're kind of fearless. You know, they've already made that choice. They're just going to uproot their family and come to the US. They're comfortable with the idea that they're going to start a company that may never make any money, that may never go the direction they hope it will go.But they're kind of fearless and they're willing to do that. And that's really what we need. And if you look at the history of this country, this country's been founded by immigrants who have made that step and, and really pushed in that direction. Brian Ardinger: If you think about in a lot of the big companies that we think about, Google and others, were founded by those who immigrated here to the United States. Let's talk and unpack a little bit about the visa policies. I think we hear, you know, words like green cards and H1B visas and that. Maybe tell us a little bit about what's the visa policy in the United States now, and how do people get here? Dave Brown: The first thing I would say is the visa policy is woefully inadequate for the size of our economy right now. Most of the laws that we deal with and interpret and use to support our clients have been in existence for four or five decades, some even longer than that. And, and at that point, our economy was less than a fifth of the size of our current economy. Our population was about a hundred million less. And so, we really need to revamp our immigration rules.Really, the legislation itself. But obviously what my job is, is to try and get the best result for someone despite what the challenges may be. And so, there's still tools in the toolbox. We still find a way to make things work. And definitely if we're dealing with someone who's very highly regarded in their particular field, very highly educated, that does open up options for things like the O1 visa, that's a visa for someone who's an alien of extraordinary ability.And I will say that the thing that we've seen more recently, because it, you can look at what happened under the four years under the prior administration and kind of juxtapose it against this current administration. There were a lot of kind of things that were put in the system four years ago that didn't really make any sense.That made things harder for people to come in and to maintain status. And we, we had people, quite frankly, who we filed to extend their status. And they were denied on the extension when there was a longstanding policy that if there's no material change and the government had already made a decision that this visa is appropriate, that they shouldn't suddenly say no to an extension of that same visa.And so, when Biden came back into office, he reinitiated that policy. So, we don't have those kind of weird disconnects when we extend. That's just one example of the changes. Brian Ardinger: In a case like that, so, so let's say a person comes to the United States to get a degree, wants to stay on as working in AI or working in the tech sector and such, what does that process look like?Dave Brown: So, most people who come and get a degree, they have an ability to get a work permit immediately following their degree program. And if they're in a recognized STEM program, science, technology, engineering, or math, they're el...
On this week's episode of Inside Outside Innovation, we sit down with John Winsor co-author of the new book, Open Talent. John and I talk about the shifting landscape of talent and tools and dive into what companies need to do to adapt and thrive in a new global marketplace for talent. Let's get started.Inside Outside Innovation is the podcast to help new innovators navigate what's next. Each week we'll give you a front row seat into what it takes to learn, grow, and thrive in today's world of accelerating change and uncertainty. Join us as we explore, engage, and experiment with the best and the brightest, innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneering businesses.Transcript of Interview with John Winsor, CEO and founder of Open Assembly and Co-author of Open TalentBrian Ardinger: Welcome to another Inside, outside episode. We are here today with another amazing guest. Today we have John Winsor. He is the CEO and founder of Open Assembly and Co-author of the new book, Open Talent: Leveraging the Global Workforce to Solve the Biggest Challenges. Welcome to the show, John. John Winsor: Hey, thanks, Brian. Psyched to be here. Brian Ardinger: I'm excited to have you on for a couple different reasons. One, you've been at the early days of experimenting in this whole world of talent, you know, before covid, before people knew what remote work was and that you've been an advocate for that. I think you started your career in the creative space.You built Victors and Spoils, which was the first creative agency that was built on crowdsourcing principles. You've started Open Assembly and that, so what's this term, open talent, and what does it mean to you? John Winsor: You know, I think people got confused and when we were doing research on it, you know, I started using kind of what I would call alternative, you know, talent models way back in the eighties.Because I owned a magazine, I couldn't afford to I have a bunch of editors and writers, so I had the readers write a lot of the stuff, and so it worked out really, really well. I sold one of the magazines, Women's Sports and Fitness to Conde Nast, and it was a, you know, pretty a great win. But what we're talking about is we're talking about really the digital transformation of talent writ large.And so, we believe that there's this kind of seismic shift between companies that set the terms of employment because there's more supply than there is demand. Today, there's more demand than there is supply. And so that's just kind of basic economics that, you know, especially in tech these days. I mean, Korn Ferry says there's 85 million jobs that will go unfilled by 2030.In the tech world, it's going to cost companies $8.5 trillion. I suspect that's going to be reduced a bit just because of, you know, generative AI and things like that. But my sense is that's still a big deal. We're excited about that. So, one of the things we started talking about, I kind of used the term back in the day, co-creation.And that was an idea that came out of the magazine work where the customers were actually co-creating, and I coined that word in a book called Beyond the Brand 2002. But as things got going, you know, we started using the word crowdsourcing and then obviously gig got big. But I think gig is a misnomer in that gig to me is all about having somebody be told by, usually by an algorithm of where to work and when to work. You know, I need to pick up, you know, Brian at the airport at this time. Whereas, you know, open talent is really a mixture of freelance. We kind have three legs to the stool in this kind of digital transformation of talent at the higher end. It's building external talent clouds, building internal talent, marketplaces, and then open innovation capabilities.Brian Ardinger: Very interesting. Let's talk about, you've written a new book called Open Talent. Yeah. And it's leveraging some of these new things that we're seeing out there. What made you decide that now's the time to kind of summarize this and help people figure this out? John Winsor: Because Harvard Business Review asked me to write a book. We started this journey, you know, I was at Harvard, but we had a thing called the Crowd Academy. We were about to gather the hundred, you know, top thinkers about these kinds of alternative, you know, hiring practices. And essentially what happened was that we started a conversation, Balaji Bondili, Dyan Finkhousen, Balaji's from Deloitte, Dyan Finkhousen from GE, and Steve Rader from NASA just on a regular basis.And then as Covid hit, you know, John Healy had joined the group from Kelly and said, hey, instead of making these kind of monthly and private, let's make these open to the world. And about 4,000 people came to the calls. So. There seemed to be a really a need for figuring this stuff out. And then obviously trying to frame that up and that group was really, really, our community is really, really important to figure out what the idea of a networked organization should be. What's the framework? All those things. And, and we felt like one of the things that wasn't happening in the market is that there are thousand platforms out there that are doing this great work. But the problem is, is like if you look at adoption of other things, let's say cloud computing, for an example, cloud computing, you know, the big guys got together, and they decided on common language and common process.And you know, all of a sudden it was cloud computing. The name was the same across companies and across platforms. And adoption was easy. So for customers, it was really easy to say, okay, I can kind of get what it is, I can start exploring it. Whereas in this kind of freelance open talent space, everybody says it's something different.Gig, freelance, open talent, everybody uses a different process. There's always compliance and security stuff. Some companies do it, some companies don't. And we really wanted to kind of build that framework for the industry to just to create, you know, a higher amount of adoption from enterprises. Brian Ardinger: Obviously with Covid and that there's been a rapid shift for people paying attention to this. So, you know, I, I've been in this innovation space talking a long time, and you talk about disruption and five years ago, 10 years ago, it was like, yeah, yeah, I get it. Disruption may happen. But then you have something like covid and literally everybody's life is somewhat changed or altered. So, it, it becomes more in the forefront. And now we're coming out of it to a certain extent and folks are now trying to figure out, do we go back? How do we move forward? What are you seeing from your corporations out there? It's like, how are they trying to navigate the the new way? John Winsor: Yeah. It's really hard, right? It's a generational change. I mean, I think that if you put the hat on of a guy my age, 64, and you've been running a company for a long time, you know your cultures is having your people around you and seeing face to face.Yeah. And having meetings. If you're a millennial that grew up on your phone, you know, and you've been in the job market for a couple years, you don't really care. You know, you're going to like work where you want and how you want. And so I think there's this big dynamic going on, you...
On this week's episode of Inside Outside Innovation, we sit down with Maria Flynn, author of the new book, Make Opportunity Happen. Maria and I talk about the entrepreneurial journey and some of the hands-on things you can do as an entrepreneur to make the journey more effective and rewarding. Let's get started.Inside Outside Innovation is the podcast to help new innovators navigate what's next. Each week we'll give you a front row seat into what it takes to learn, grow, and thrive in today's world of accelerating change and uncertainty, join us as we explore, engage, and experiment with the best and the brightest, innovators, entrepreneurs and pioneering businesses.Interview Transcript with Maria Flynn, Author of Make Opportunity Happen and Co-founder of the Digital Health KC InitiativeBrian Ardinger: Welcome to another episode of Inside Outside Innovation. I'm your host, Brian Ardinger, and as always, we have another amazing guest. Today we have Maria Flynn. She's an entrepreneur, co-founder of the Digital Health KC Initiative, and author of the new book Make Opportunity Happen: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Align Your Own Stars. Welcome, Maria. Maria Flynn: Thank you for having me. Brian Ardinger: Hey, I'm super excited to have you on the show. Our good friend Melissa Vincent, who runs the Pipeline organization down in, in Kansas City, connected us and said, hey, you need to talk to Maria and get her opinions and insights on what's going on in the entrepreneurship space.And with your new book coming out, we figured it'd be perfect time to have you on the show. Let's give a little background of how you became an entrepreneur and, and maybe a little bit about your journey. Maria Flynn: So, I grew up with entrepreneurial parents, so it was kind of in me from a early age. I went on into engineering and that was a great foundation to launch as an entrepreneur.And then I found myself as an intrepreneur inside a larger company, Cerner Corporation, so healthcare IT. And that was a great training ground to go on in my own entrepreneurial endeavor later, but I had that real urge to go find what that was. When I left Cerner, I went looking for what it was. Kind of just out there, leap of faith, not knowing what I was going to find. And I found my co-founders in Orbis Biosciences. It's a pharmaceutical manufacturing technology company. We started in 2008. And we sold it in 2020. And since then, I've been working with entrepreneurs, which is how the book came about, is I was repeating the same stories in a book as a way to scale yourself so that I could help more people. So, I'm excited that it's out in the world now. Brian Ardinger: Excellent. Well, let's dive right into it. It's called Make Opportunity Happen. And so, I would imagine that through your journeys, it wasn't just you figuring out how to do all this kind of stuff. What were some of the biggest inflection points in your career that you write about in the book or otherwise that helped you figure out the entrepreneur journey?Maria Flynn: Yeah, so after you sell a company, you go into a period of reflection. And when I really thought, you know what is my value and what do I do uniquely well. It was around, you know, getting things done and ironically when I started to jot a few notes down, there was a book that came out that was about getting it done. I was like, oh no, somebody came out in the world with the book. And then when I looked at it, I was like, no, my book is very different. You need to know many things as an entrepreneur, and you don't have enough time. To read all these books. So, this book is kind of a guide to get fast track on certain things from hiring to firing, to building your board, to raising funding to strategy.And it's kind of a compilation of all the things I learned from getting things done as a kid, working in my parents' business, to tools that I learned when I was at Cerner, to what made Orbis successful. And it goes through different pillars. It's about execution, perseverance, adapting. And your support system and then your mindset is entwined in all that.Brian Ardinger: What I liked about the book, and I, and I got an advanced copy of it, it's almost like a textbook or a guidebook that you can kind of pick up at different times during your entrepreneurial journey. You really do a good job of providing kind of templated pieces. Let's say I'm trying to hire, or I'm trying to, you know, understand how to figure out the mentors that I should be working with, and you have little guidebooks or little templates that the entrepreneur can follow to help if nothing else just put some structure around what is oftentimes an unstructured practice of entrepreneurship. Maria Flynn: Yes. And so, you can think of it as a series of frameworks that, as you've been through the journey, a lot of this stuff seems like common sense. But when you're starting, like how do you start to think about some of these things?So that's what these little mini sections are meant to do, to give you a story, to give you some lessons learned that either I learned myself or other people helped me learn. And then a way to go forward and think about it for you. So, it's not just about theory, but it's how do you put something into practice.Brian Ardinger: You've had a chance to work with entrepreneurs in addition to being one yourself. What are some of the biggest pitfalls or misconceptions about entrepreneurship that you've seen out there? Maria Flynn: I think a lot of times people think it's super easy, particularly sometimes, with scientists and they think the hard part is the science and then all the business commercialization is the easy part.And so, I work with them to help them see people bring different strengths. And sometimes when you pair different magical people, you get something even more magical. And then sometimes you're so ingrained in the entrepreneurial learning that once you start to do something, we've made it sound so hard.So, kind of a fine balance of like, yes, you can do this, but know that nothing is as easy as you think it's going to be, or as quick as you think it's going to be. So just having the right tools and support system around you that you're going to be successful. And then knowing how to make adjustments. So a lot of times when we start on something, no idea is perfect from the beginning and how do you adjust with market data so that you are getting into something that's viable. Brian Ardinger: Yeah, I think that's one of the key points, especially early times with maybe a scientist or entrepreneur that kind of, I, I find this a lot with like software developers who become entrepreneurs. They know how to build things. They build things regardless of its, you know, wanted by the marketplace or how you sell that to the marketplace, and they kind of fall into that particular trap versus listening to customers and, and that discovery process that oftentimes you have to go through to actually figure out what business you are creating and why.You know, in your book you talk a lot about aligning stars and this metaphor of constellations. Talk about how you came up with that and, and how does that play out in what you've written? Maria Flynn:<...
On this week's episode of Inside Outside Innovation, we sit down with Thomas Thurston, Chief Technologist at Ducera Partners. Thomas and I talk about AI, venture capital, and some interesting data insights into what makes corporate innovation work or not work. Let's get started. Inside Outside Innovation is the podcast to help new innovators navigate what's next. Each week we'll give you a front row seat into what it takes to learn, grow, and thrive in today's world of accelerating change and uncertainty. Join us as we explore, engage, and experiment with the best and the brightest innovators. entrepreneurs and pioneering businesses.Interview Transcript with Thomas Thurston, Chief Technologist at Ducera PartnersBrian Ardinger: Welcome to another episode of Inside Outside Innovation. I'm your host, Brian Ardinger, and as always, we have another amazing guest. Today we have Thomas Thurston. He's the chief technologist at Ducera Partners. He was introduced to us from a mutual friend at Amazon, Kate Niedermeyer, who said you have a driving interest in helping corporate innovators and investors be more successful by unlocking insights from data. So welcome to the show Thomas. Thomas Thurston: Hey, thanks. Great to be here. Brian Ardinger: Hey, I'm excited to have you. As I've alluded to in the intro, you're a data scientist, a venture capitalist, focused on this particular space for a long time and a pretty varied background. So, tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.Thomas Thurston: I like to think of myself as a data scientist who's been in the venture capital industry for almost 20 years now. The idea has always been how can you use. Data, AI, any, any quantitative tools to get insights into what's happening in private markets. So, what's happening with companies that aren't disposing a lot of data that are early stage or otherwise librarial shape environment. Today at Ducera Partners, it's an investment bank, where I'm Chief Technologist, as you mentioned. The way I would explain to Ducera which may be a little different in that it's kind of a startup investment bank. And the idea is we want to be disruptive in investment banking and really use technology as a backbone to do that.So, through AI, through analytics we build in-house, can we do that? Can we really be disruptive in industry that hasn't seen that much change in its business model for a hundred years? And since the bank was launched about six, seven years ago, we've done over $750 billion in transactions. We're averaging around a $100 billion a year in deals, and we've done that all with you know, somewhere around 50 people or so, although it's growing quickly. I really do think it's been the technology that's been able to enable us to really change the way we do things. So, I'm proud of that.My story really started a long time ago when I was at Intel in an incubation group just like everyone else. They had a new business incubator, about a dozen or so projects. We were one of those projects and we were starry-eyed, hoping to build a billion-dollar business for Intel. We got our blue badges ready to go every morning. And it's kind of what you might expect the first year or, so it was amazing. We were doing great, and then one year we were super strategic.We got this funding a few years later, we were no longer strategic, and it got shut down instead. Those decisions had nothing to do with us. So, one day someone up in top of the ivory tower thought it was optics for strategic, the next time it wasn't. And I'm pretty sure nobody was thinking about our project when that decision was made to shut it down and everything related to what we were doing.So, I think it just was demoralizing. You give your blood, sweat, and tears to a project. At end of the day, it didn't matter, right? Something completely random blew up your project. And I just remember looking at all these cubicles at Intel and just seeing all these projects just like ours, everyone's smart, everyone's doing their best, everyone's working hard to be innovative and just wondering, does this ever work?I mean, what? Because you know, at the beginning I thought we couldn't possibly fail. We've got this big, you know, like the best of both worlds. Big company, excitement with a startup. Couple years later, you're so grizzled and battle scarred. You're like, can this, this even possible? Because any of these projects ever work.And I wanted to know what percentage of the time projects like this succeed or fail at Intel. And of course, I realized that nobody actually knew. Because like every big company, things get started when shut down all over the place. And it's nobody's job to run around and track it and, and kind of make a database out of it.And if you think about the contrast at Intel, you can measure latency in picoseconds, right? They measure absolutely everything. But when it comes to all the money, I was finding in venture capital and M&A, and new product launches, kind of all this growth, money going to work, there just wasn't much in the way of quantitative metric.It was like every other company; people do their best deal by deal. You win some, you lose some and hey, and no one could say what percentage of the time it worked. So, I just decided to start studying it myself. Spent over a year collecting data on all the product launches, all the deals I could find, to see were any of the variable’s decision makers had in the beginning correlated at all with how those deals performed 5, 7, or even 10 years later.Brian Ardinger: Well, that's the first question I want to ask, because I think you're correct that most people don't track it or, or don't track it well. Why is it so hard to track new innovation and especially, you know, at the earliest stages? Is it because they're used to tracking different types of metrics or talk to me about that.Thomas Thurston: It's something they're all capable of doing. But also, yet I have yet to find a big company that's actually tracking this. Usually as you know, different groups are launching new innovations or products around the company. It's not centralized, so these projects kind of get funded. They come and go.Usually when they go, they go very quietly or they, the team gets reshuffled or something. So, there's no big announcement, and again, it's just no one's job to try to add them all up and track them. Everyone's doing it off in silos, and as you probably have experienced, there's a venture capital group. They're off doing God knows what in their thing and they're kind of behind some kind of closed door. The M&A group is behind another closed door doing something else. They have different stakeholders, constituency. It's not centralized. But if somebody can kind of put their arms and call it data and actually start to mine it. That's the downside. Brian Ardinger: And no one wants to talk about failure, especially with an existing company that's making money, et cetera. You know, the last thing you want to do is say, hey, my great idea was a bomb and now what do I do? Versus like in a startup world where it seems to be, if you fail, that's part of the natural process because there are things that fail when you start new things.Thomas Thurston: Yeah. In big companies, especially. We've...
On this week's episode of Inside Outside Innovation, we sit down with Elliott Parker, CEO of the Corporate Venture Studio High Alpha Innovation. Elliott is back on the podcast to talk about his new book, The Illusion of Innovation, where we talk about the pitfalls and practicalities of launching innovations in a corporate environment. Let's get started. Inside Outside Innovation is the podcast to help new innovators navigate what's next. Each week we'll give you a front row seat into what it takes to learn, grow, and thrive in today's world of accelerating change and uncertainty. Join us as we explore, engage, and experiment with the best and the brightest innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneering businesses. It's time to get started.Interview Transcript with Elliott Parker, Corporate Venture Studio High Alpha Innovation CEOBrian Ardinger: Welcome to another episode of Inside Outside Innovation. I'm your host, Brian Ardinger, and as always, we have another amazing guest. Today we have Elliott Parker. He is the CEO of the Corporate Venture Studio High Alpha Innovation, and author of the new book, The Illusion of Innovation: Escape Efficiency and Unleash Radical Progress. Hey, welcome back, Elliott. Elliott Parker: Brian, good to see you. Happy to be here. Thanks. Brian Ardinger: It's good to have you back. I think it's been almost two years, 90 episodes since you were back on. So, let's refresh the new listeners about who you are and what is High Alpha Innovation, and then we'll get into the book. Elliott Parker: Yeah. So, I'm CEO and founder of High Alpha Innovation. We're a venture builder that works with corporations, universities, and world class entrepreneurs to build amazing what we call advantaged startups that go solve really important problems. Brian Ardinger: It's a fascinating model. There's a lot of things that have popped up since our last conversation. We can dig into all of that stuff, but the reason I wanted to have you on is you've got this new book out called the Illusion of Innovation. And I think you've distilled probably a lot of your learnings over the years into this book. The title itself, the Illusion of Innovation, what does that mean to you and why did you title it that? Elliott Parker: The book is an act of love and frustration. It's the idea that, the frustration piece is that so much of what large corporations are doing under the guise of innovation doesn't work. Doesn't produce the meaningful change they seek, and often leads to disappointment and we need to fix that. The love part is that I want corporations to be successful. We all should want corporations to be successful. There are certain things, certain problems that only corporations can solve that people collaborating through the form of corporation can address. And so, the problem is that corporations over the last 50 years have actually become worse at confronting opportunities and challenges.There's more capital on corporate balance sheets than ever before. And at the same time, they've become less capable of meaningful innovation. And what I wanted to figure out is why is that and what do we do about it? And that's what the book focuses on. Brian Ardinger: Well, I mean, you, you think about it maybe 30, 40, 50 years ago, the bigger companies had the bigger R&D budgets, and they were, seem to be exploring and building in different ways. And now you see a lot of this company kind of pulling back on that and like you said, kind of doing innovation theater. Do you think companies can create innovations by themselves today, or you know, what's been broken in the model? Elliott Parker: Yeah. I think the way that companies go about it needs to change, actually. That we're in a fundamentally different point in the economy than where we were 50 years ago. And the old model, the corporations could centralize assets and resources inside the wall of the company, control those resources and the transactions between them and generate profit. The new model in the economy of today, it's much more decentralized. Meaning small teams and individuals have a lot more power. And can do things that previously only corporations could do.The challenges that corporations in many cases haven't changed how they go about innovation, R&D, M&A, primary levers for innovation have become less effective than they once were. Still very good options, but less effective than they once were. It's a big problem. The irony of it is, is that they're better managed than ever before.They're just optimized for the wrong thing. We've gotten really good at managing our corporations to make them safe and predictable. We've gotten a lot better. There's a lot less variance in the system, and it turns out it's that variance that produces learning and produces meaningful innovation. And so, as a result, we're seeing less of it. Companies are better managed. Ironically, it's a problem. Brian Ardinger: Yeah. I think you have a quote in the book, growth results from actively seeking surprises, not from predictability. They are two different, I guess, muscles almost. You know, working in a predictable business model, executing on that, optimizing for that is different than I'm in the wilderness. I sense or I have a hunch of a problem here. How do I figure out how to create value from solving that problem or whatever? Elliott Parker: You've got to seek deliberate inefficiency, which is a hard thing to do. Our organizations are optimized in every way for capital efficiency, meaning cutting out costs, avoiding problems, making things as predictable and safe as we can.That does not produce innovation. In fact, that produces sterility over time and produces death. We don't live in systems like that. We don't thrive in systems like that. You've got to find ways to invite some degree of purposeful inefficiency that creates learning by discovering anomalies and things that challenge the status quo.Brian Ardinger: So, you talk a little bit about how do you embrace that chaos instead of the predictability. Can you talk about maybe some examples or ways that companies can start thinking about surviving or thriving in a chaotic environment versus a static environment? Elliott Parker: Yeah. In the end, the CEO of Netflix said it really well. Reed Hastings, he said, chaotic and messy will beat sterility every time as long as that chaos is productive. And that's the trick. It's making that chaos productive. I think the best analogy way that I think about it is what we see in natural ecosystems where there's a tremendous amount of resiliency.Think about the Amazon jungle and the way the Amazon jungle innovates. Incredibly resilient, and yet none of the innovation is done in a hierarchical way. It's not objectives driven. It's not broadly communicated in the system. It's not centralized. And it's not expensive. Innovation in the Amazon happens in a very decentralized way.It's a random walk. It's not objectives driven. It is constrained by available resources, but there isn't some master plan. It's not communicated, and it, it happens at the level of individual organisms or cells in that ecosystem. Where if the innovation of mutation fails too bad for that organism, but the ecosystem's fine.<...
On this week's episode of Inside Outside Innovation, we sit down with Louis Gump, author of the new book, The Inside Innovator. Louis and I talk about his experiences at The Weather Channel and CNN Mobile, as well as a myriad of topics for helping companies better identify and support inside innovators. Let's get started.Inside Outside Innovation is the podcast to help new innovators navigate what's next. Each week we'll give you a front row seat into what it takes to learn, grow, and thrive in today's world of accelerating change and uncertainty. Join us as we explore, engage, and experiment with the best and the brightest innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneering businesses. It's time to get started.Interview Transcript with Louis Gump, Author of The Inside InnovatorBrian Ardinger: Welcome to another episode of Inside Outside Innovation. I'm your host, Brian Ardinger, and as always, we have another amazing guest. Today we have Louis Gump. He's the author of the new book, The Inside Innovator: A Practical Guide to Intrapreneurship. Welcome to the show, Louis. Louis Gump: Thanks, Brian. It's great to be here.Brian Ardinger: Super excited to have you on the show. Another inside innovator to talk more about what it takes to move the ball forward in today's corporate climate. Before we get to the book, I want to start a little bit about your background and that. I understand you worked in bigger corporations, Weather Channel, for example, and CNN Mobile, and you earn your chops trying to launch new products and services inside big companies. So, let's give the audience a little bit of background about how you got here. Louis Gump: Thanks for asking. I did have the opportunity to work with the mobile team at the Weather Channel. I led the team that launched the Weather Channel's iPhone app and Android app. And then along the way there was an opportunity to work with CNN. And so once again, our really talented and hardworking team launched CNN's iPhone app and Android app and we kind of took it from there and built the business. There are many other parts to those stories. And then along the way, I've also had a chance to be CEO of two smaller companies. And those experiences gave me an awesome vantage point to understand some of the differences between being an intrapreneur inside a larger company or an inside innovator versus an entrepreneur and leading a small one. And it led to some insights and some observations that, Hey, you know, there are a few things I wish somebody had told me along the way, and so I wanted to write the book. Brian Ardinger: Intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship are oftentimes misunderstood or even mis defined, or people have different pictures of what innovation is, and that, let's start there. How would you define intrapreneurship versus entrepreneurship and how does that compare to innovation? Louis Gump: Sure. So just to start with a definition. Intrapreneurship is the practice of creating value through innovation and growth inside a larger organization. And on the other hand, entrepreneurship, at least in general, and you can find different ways to define it, but it involves either owning a company or starting a company and being in a role where you can call a lot of the shots.And so, when you look at some of the distinctions, here are a few. One is the size and complexity of the organizations. Another one is the span of control and influence of the leader of an organization, and I suspect from some of the things I've listened to in your podcast, there are many people who could go on about that for a long time.The third one is access to resources within a larger organization, sometimes we look at entrepreneurship versus intrapreneurship, and we have a value judgment. Some people may be better, some people may be worse. I tend to toss the value judgments in the trash bin. I don't think they belong really in the center of the conversation, it's really rather what's most appropriate for a situation.And one of the really wonderful things about working in a large organization is you tend to have some resources and use, well, they can accelerate progress and help you go farther. Also, the structure and the approval processes or something that goodness knows, you could write many books on the ups and downs of this. And then lastly, the risk profile for the person who takes these sorts of things on. Not just as a generic topic, but also at a point in time. Brian Ardinger: Some of the things that we talk about, and I like in your book, you kind of have a broader definition or scope when it comes to intrapreneurship or innovation. I think a lot of people, when they hear the word innovation or entrepreneurship, they think they have to come up with the next flying car, transformational type of outcome.But it sounds like you have the agreement where it can be anything. It can be optimizing your existing business process. It's creating something new, but it doesn't, doesn't have to be transformational from what we've seen in the past. Is that kind of the way you see it? Louis Gump: A hundred percent. It's about creating value and it's about contribution. It's less about necessarily how transformative the change is. In the book, there's a story of someone who became really good at repairing diesel locomotives, you know, trains. And you think about that at some level, that is so important to the organization that cares about that. But it doesn't exactly land somebody on the front page of a magazine on the other hand, typically anyway.On the other hand, you can look at, you know, massive digital transformation. AI is a huge wave right now, it gets talked about. . And so you end up sometimes getting caught up in the technology as opposed to the benefit. And I would say, you know, a true intrapreneur, someone who I refer to as a successful serial intrapreneur, they're always focusing on contribution and creating value.Brian Ardinger: Let's talk about why it's important. Obviously, you mentioned AI and transformational things that are happening out there in the marketplace. Technology's changing. Markets are changing and that. Why is it important for companies to even foster or think about creating an environment where entrepreneurship can be possible?Louis Gump: You know, I think this topic is sometimes underappreciated, especially in organizations that are very strong. They have good cash flow. They have good products. They're kind of moving along at a modest rate of growth a year, but it's healthy and that sort of thing. And it's really about the future. When you think about the future of a company, it's essential, at least over a, you know, sizable period of time.There are four findings that I have included in the book, and it ended up being in the conclusion. What happened was I wrote the book, had a fairly distinct chapter sequence that I wanted to follow through on, and then I was reading what emerged from the writing process and I was like, oh my gosh, there are some really clear answers to the question you just posed. The first one is that intrapreneurs inside innovators, they push organizations to adapt. Sometimes they're not always smiled on. Right. Sometimes they're the disruptor, the squeaky wheel, the distraction, or whatever else you might point to. But a lot of the times, especially when someone...
On this week's episode of Inside Outside Innovation, we sit down with Paul Jarrett, co-founder of Bulu and one of the original co-hosts of this very podcast. Paul and I talk about Bulu's journey, as well as the future of e-commerce, supply chain, and logistics, and many more things. Let's get started.Inside Outside Innovation is the podcast to help new innovators navigate what's next. Each week we'll give you a front row seat into what it takes to learn, grow, and thrive in today's world of accelerating change and uncertainty. Join us as we explore, engage, and experiment with the best and the brightest, innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneering businesses. It's time to get started.Interview Transcript with Paul Jarrett, Co-Founder of BuluBrian Ardinger: Welcome to another episode of Inside Outside Innovation. I'm your host, Brian Ardinger, and as always, I have another amazing guest. Today, if you've been around Inside Outside for a while, nine years ago, this gentleman and I started the podcast, Paul Jarrett. Welcome to show. Paul Jarrett: Oh no. What's up man? You're doing it, man. It's so friggin’ awesome to see…and every email…every, everyday I'm just cheering you on. And this is a little bit surreal, right? Brian Ardinger: Yeah. It's kind of full circle. Paul Jarrett: It's a long time, man. Brian Ardinger: The first podcast was called Inside Outside, and it was an inside look at startups outside the valley. You and me and Matt Boyd tried to have some conversations about what was going on in the startup ecosystem here in the Midwest, and since then I started Inside Outside Innovation to focus on you know, larger innovation projects, as you went on and, and did some other stuff. So, you were the co-founder of Bulu. This was a supply and logistic company based here in Lincoln, Nebraska. You started out in the subscription box space and have, you know, gone through a variety of journeys over the last 9, 10 years. And so maybe let's start there. How did you get started and, and where are you now? Paul Jarrett: Actually, probably another way of looking at it is like, oh, you're on your third company or fourth company. Call it pivot. Call it evolve, call it new company. The way I look at it is finding a better problem to solve or a harder problem to solve.My co-founder, Stephanie Jarrett, and I, who I happen to be married to. We started way back April 12th, 2012, because the first failure was trying to get it on April Fool's Day. And you know, just because you submit it doesn't mean that's the day. So, but yeah, we raised capital. I tell people way too early. We raised like a million and a half dollars before we ever sold a thing.God bless the people that believed in us. We were In San Francisco, came back to Nebraska, gave a presentation. I think we had all of the mechanics and people were like, yeah, they'll figure out the product later. And we launched a consumer-packaged goods, CPG, direct to consumer brand. It was one of the very early subscription boxes.We actually call them sample boxes because that was the first iteration. And I would say we were kind of the first non-makeup, non-beauty focused on vitamin supplements, healthy snacks. So, the idea is pay 10 bucks, get a Bulu box, come back to the website, buy full-sized version of the product, stack up your rewards points.And actually, we were taking the data and we were manufacturing our own products, right? That went amazing. As CEO I take 100% responsibility for probably, I was talking to the wrong sort of investor. Like a software investor for a consumer-packaged goods company. And kind of like subscription was the thing that was common, but it was just different.We have physical, we have a warehouse, right? I'm in a warehouse right now. But that worked. We grew a really small stint where we built a software based on the data for retail big box buyers to find products that we sampled and put them on the shelf. That's called Bulu Marketplace. It's now called rangeme.com.Super proud of that. That is, I think, what it feels like to have a billion-dollar tiger by the tail and painful to look back and go, man, we had to get rid of that, but we had to sell it as an asset in order to continue to fund our company to grow. And so then we're kind of sitting there with this Bulu Box thing that's not very appetizing to investors. A small chunk of cash from the sale of Bulu Marketplace and RangeMe.And we said, oh my gosh, what are we going to do? And it was all the marketing costs for the subscription Bulu Box that was the issue. So, we went to big brands and we said, we know how to do this thing. If you give us these metrics, we'll cook up what a projection looks like for you. And man, it was just one after the other GNC, Disney, like that's when you really actually go like I tell people when your questions go from how are we going to do this to things like, how do we find people. Like how do you ship something to, oh, we need to hire people. We need to, that's the moment when you're scaling, and I think the moment when you've kind of locked in the model and you're optimizing is when people are like. What do you do with this extra money? Right? And so I tell people, we got to live that life for probably a couple of years where you're like, we have a surplus. Like this is wild. What do we do? Better benefits for people. This is amazing, right? Pandemic strikes like everybody, world in one way or another got flipped upside down.I would say that with our investors who are awesome and behind us for well over a decade, which is crazy, VCs with a brand for over a decade, the time was up to do their thing. We needed to do ours, you know, is a mutual kind of situation where thank God and everything else involved that we were able to make an offer on the company.We acquired it a hundred percent. Stephanie Jarrett got that deal done. Hats off to her. My co-founder, who is now the rightful owner. So, I was like, no, you take more percent because number one, you deserve it. Two, you kind of run the show here and three, like maybe we'll get some perks with women owned and whatever, because it actually is a better representation of the diversity, and it's pretty cool to see non-traditional people like, you know, running old school, traditional business. Then we kind of sat there and we're like, okay, now what do we do? We have a hundred percent of the company. We have all this history; we have all the assets with Bulu. Okay, we have everything now. Now we got to make it work. And so we went back to the table and really just kind of put on that ad of if I were a consultant, what would I do? I would probably come in, learn the business and strip out anything that didn't make a good margin. Anything that they weren't a core competency. I would take out without removing the ability for them to solve a hard problem.And so, what I tell people is we basically remove the subscription box, the customer service for the subscription box, the financial management, the website build, all of that stuff we ripped out. And what we were left with was this really interesting, we call it true omnichannel fulfillment for consumer brands.That's an expensive marketing word. So, we say hybrid hub and spoke. And so simply what we say that we do is we now help any consumer brand get on the shelf and ship like a major brand. So t...
On this week's episode of Inside Outside Innovation, we sit down with Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, former CEO of Celebrity Cruises, and author of the new book Making Waves. Lisa and I talk about the world of innovation in a legacy industry, role of talent and teamwork, and the skills required to navigate the ups and downs of working in uncertain times. Inside Outside Innovation is the podcast to help new innovators navigate what's next. Each week we'll give you a front row seat into what it takes to learn, grow, and thrive In today's world of accelerating change and uncertainty. Join us as we explore, engage, and experiment with the best and the brightest innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneering businesses. It's time to get started.Transcript for Interview with Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, former CEO of Celebrity CruisesBrian Ardinger: Welcome to another episode of Inside Outside Innovation. I'm your host, Brian Ardinger, and as always, we have another amazing guest. Today we have Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. She is the former CEO of Celebrity Cruises and author of the new book Making Waves: A Woman's Rise to the Top, Using Smarts, Heart, and Courage. Welcome, Lisa. Lisa Lutoff-Perlo: Thank you, Brian. Pleasure to be here. Brian Ardinger: I'm excited to have you on board, so to speak. No pun intended. You've had an illustrious career in hospitality going from, I think you started out maybe selling cruise packages all the way to becoming CEO of a, a major cruise line and a non-linear journey along the way. So maybe give us a little bit of background on your non-linear journey to where you are today. Lisa Lutoff-Perlo: Thank you. You captured it well. I did start selling door to door in New England where I'm from. Calling on travel agencies and promoting our brand so that they would sell more of us than anyone else. My first promotion with the company came four years later, 1989.I will have been with the company 39 years this year. Crazy. Then yes, I did so many different things. I was in sales in many different roles for 17 years. I went over to Marketing for five, then I went into operations at Celebrity, one of our other brands for seven years. Then I went back into a bigger operational role at Royal Caribbean, and then finally in 2014 I came back to Celebrity in the position of President and CEO.So it was a great journey and I learned so much along the way. Which really helped me with the innovation part of what our conversation will be. It was great experience to have done so many different things within our company and also seeing so many aspects of the industry. Brian Ardinger: One of the interesting things and why I wanted to have you on the show is the cruise industry, it's been around. It's a legacy business. It's been around since what, the 1800s or so moving passengers across the ocean. And you've, in your role, both from the beginning to where you are now, moved the bar from what a traditional legacy business was to you know, you're launching the Edge Series and new ships out there and really redefining what cruising looks like. The people that you brought on board, things like that. Can you talk a little bit about how did Celebrity look at innovation process? Lisa Lutoff-Perlo: When I became president and CEO, the Edge series was on the drawing board, if you will. It was actually all drawn, and it was ready to go to the shipyard to be built. And I realized that when I came into this role that this new series of ships, there were five on order and it meant a 72% capacity increase over a five- or six-year period of time, which is a big capacity increase. Especially for a brand of our size that really wasn't as well-known as it needed to be and didn't have as much demand, consumer demand as it needed to. It wasn't enough of a brand to be reckoned with within our industry. So, I knew that we needed to transform the business. I knew we needed to transform the financial performance. We needed to transform the demand for the brand. And to do that, we needed to be very innovative and transform our brand and how people thought about cruising, especially within the affluent traveler market that we were looking to grow so significantly. And our ships aren't small. They're not really large, but they're 3000 person ships. So, you know, I really had to look at it through a completely different lens and say, what's going to be different and innovative about Celebrity that's going to draw people to our brand over others that were supposedly in our competitive set. Brian Ardinger: You know, the process of launching a new ship takes a long time. And a lot of times it's probably one of those things, like we talk to startups a lot of times and they talk about this iterative process and it's very fast.You know, it's like I can quickly, you know, launch a new feature or something and test it with the marketplace. With something like a ship, you know, there's a large lead time at, so it must be more difficult to innovate. So how do you look at innovation and having to be, you know, 10 years ahead of this schedule when you have, you know, a five-year build cycle, for example?Lisa Lutoff-Perlo: And that's exactly what it is. Sometimes six and sometimes seven, depending. And for Celebrity, at the time we were launching the Edge series, we wouldn't have launched a new ship for 10 years. And that's a long time. If you look at the environment that we're in today, you know that Brian better than anybody.Right. Everything changes at warp speed, and one of the things I say in the book, which our boss told us all the time, was if Henry Ford asked people what they wanted, they would've set a faster horse. Right? A lot of times you have to be ahead of consumer trends, and a lot of times people don't know what they want until you put it in front of them and they say, oh, wow. What a wonderful idea. So you have to be in touch with your brand. You have to be in touch with consumers. You have to be in touch with what's going on in hospitality in general. And you have to take advantage of the things that you have as an industry that no one else has. So being at sea. Consumers always say, we want a bigger connection with the ocean.So we transformed how people could connect with the ocean. We transformed the culinary experience. We transform design because people always look at ship design as ehhh, you know, nothing special. Why would I who traveled this way and go to these types of places, want to take a cruise because it's so pedestrian, right?And so my desire and goal was to completely change the perception of how people thought about cruising and use the celebrity brand as a way to break into a whole new different consumer mindset and feel. And that takes a lot of time, energy, effort, and a lot of understanding about consumer trends in hospitality.Brian Ardinger: So, are there particular things that you really dove into or, or looked at to help give you that insight or guidance as you were building these things out? Lisa Lutoff-Perlo: So, we did a lot of research with our customers, not only our customers, but then we cloned them and said, show me other people that look like our customers. Show me other people that look like the consumer we're going after, and what are the things that they are really looking for.&n...
​On this week's episode of Inside Outside Innovation, we welcome back Audrey Crane, partner at DesignMap. Audrey and I talk about the challenges and costs of shadow design teams and the impact of having non designers do design work. Let's get started.Inside Outside Innovation is the podcast to help new innovators navigate what's next. Each week, we'll give you a front row seat into what it takes to learn, grow and thrive in today's world of accelerating change and uncertainty. Join us as we explore, engage, and experiment with the best and the brightest, innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneering businesses. It's time to get started.Interview Transcript with Audrey Crane, Partner at DesignMapBrian Ardinger: Welcome to another episode of Inside Outside Innovation. I'm your host, Brian Ardinger, and as always, we have another amazing guest. Today we have Audrey Crane. She is a partner at Design Map, Author of What CEOs Need to Know About Design and also now a second time guest. Welcome, Audrey. Audrey Crane: Yeah, thank you, Brian. Thanks so much for having me back. Brian Ardinger: I'm excited to have you back because it's been a while. You know, you're a long time Silicon Valley design leader and you're now resident back here in the Silicon Prairie here in Nebraska. I think you came right back right before COVID hit. So probably a lot to discuss about that but wanted to welcome you back on the show.One of the reasons I wanted to have you back is I've been following you and you've been writing about some new interesting topics in and around this world of design and one of the most recent pieces I saw was a post about the cost of what you're calling shadow design teams. So, I wanted to kind of kick off the podcast with a little talk about what do you mean by shadow design teams and what's the implications of that?Audrey Crane: It's interesting right now there's a lot of conversation about like the value of design, the ROI of design. I don't know if you've heard all the chatter about that. It seems like impossible to avoid. Recently, there's a very popular blog post about the sort of gaslighting of designers with this whole value of design thing.You know, when we first started talking about it a couple of years ago, I was like, great, you know, designers should talk business. That's part of the bounded problem solving that makes design fun and interesting. And I was all in on that conversation for a long time and I still am. It's the first chapter of my book actually is ROI of Design.And it's hard to feel like that conversation is getting us where we want to go. It's hard to feel like it's getting us very far. What has been interesting to me is to look, instead of saying to organizations like, hey, you should invest more in design. Like because of the ROI, let's look at what you're spending on design today.And if that's the most effective spend that you could possibly make. And especially right now, the economy isn't great, especially in the tech industry, like let's look more at operational efficiency. So, with some of our clients and friends, we're running a survey to understand who is doing design outside of the design team.So, we're asking product managers, engineers, QA people, business analysts, executives, anybody you can get to take the survey, how much time they're spending alone doing design. So, if they're in a room with somebody else, a designer talking about something that doesn't count. We're not worried about that. But we're just measuring, like I'm doing solo work that a designer might normally do.And the numbers that are coming back are astonishing, like flabbergast. So one client that we did it with, she has a design team of like a dozen. There are 150 engineers. So already you're like, hmm, I don't know if the ratio is quite going to hold up there. But when we ran the survey, there were 22 full time employees worth of design being done by non-designers. Which is crazy. And every time we've run this survey, it's just a shocking number. Brian Ardinger: And you talked a little bit about the fact that it seems weird because you wouldn't unknowingly pay designers to code or things along those lines. So why are we paying folks that necessarily don't have the background or expertise of what a true designer could bring to the table? And that is costing companies money, time, resources, things along those lines. Is that the premise? Audrey Crane: Absolutely. Yeah. And morale, honestly, it's been interesting. I mean, I certainly have worked with plenty of organizations where there's a front-end engineer, there's a product manager that's doing a lot of design work and they like it.And when we started running this survey, I expected a lot of the answers to be, yeah, well I do design, but I do it because I like to do it. I think my work is as good as a designer, but most of the time what we're hearing back is, I wish a designer could do it. They're faster than me. I don't feel competent at this.I am not enjoying it. I have other stuff that I need to do and this is slowing me down, but there weren't designers available to work on this project or more frightening even is I didn't know how to work with the design team that we have internally. The costs are some engineers and some product managers are probably great designers.I'm sure there are some out there. But generally, if we look across the board, it's probably lower quality design. It's probably slower design. It's also probably taking away from all the work that only an engineer can do or only a product manager could do. So, it's slowing down velocity on other fronts as well.And it's a morale hit for the people who don't want to be doing it and are frustrated by it and the designers who are on the one hand trying to make a case for investing when this huge investment is already happening in design just like in a different part of their work. Brian Ardinger: Obviously organizations probably either maybe don't know this is happening or aren't actively trying to use additional resources on projects and that. What are some of the kinds of drivers that you think are causing companies to put the design effort onto other people's backs versus hiring designers or focusing on the right mix of talent? Audrey Crane: That's a good question. I mean, I think part of it is that they just don't realize how much design work there is to do. And so that's the big part of this is like, who knew that in this organization, there was 34 people's worth of design to do, to be done. I wouldn't have guessed that, right. So, it's like kind of that old trope of the alternative to good design isn't no design, it's bad design. Like it's just not happening, right? It can't be happening. That can't be happening. So, I think that that's part of it. I do feel like design teams are often perceived just as cost centers. And that's why we're having these conversations about the ROI of design and the value of design. And we do hear some pushback from designers saying, is there an ROI of engineering, is that being calculated?I'm sure it is in some organizations, but. It's such a prevalent conversation. I do think that people like to do it. I also do think some people, not most people, as it turns out, interestingly, and I also do think that there's the, the Dunning Kru...
On this week's episode of Inside Outside Innovation, we sit down with Richard Lyons, Associate Vice Chancellor at the University of California, Berkeley, and the university's first ever Chief Innovation and Entrepreneurship Officer. Richard and I talk about the evolving role of innovation and entrepreneurship at universities, as well as some key trends, opportunities, and challenges. Let's get started. Inside Outside Innovation is the podcast to help new innovators navigate what's next. Each week, we'll give you a front row seat into what it takes to learn, grow, and thrive in today's world of accelerating change and uncertainty. Join us as we explore, engage, and experiment with the best and the brightest innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneering businesses. It's time to get started.Interview Transcript with Richard Lyons, Associate Vice Chancellor at the University of California, Berkeley, and the university's first ever Chief Innovation and Entrepreneurship OfficerBrian Ardinger:  Welcome to another episode of Inside Outside Innovation. I'm your host, Brian Ardinger, and as always, we have another amazing guest. Today, we have Richard Lyons. He's the Associate Vice Chancellor at University of California, Berkeley, and the university's first ever Chief Innovation and Entrepreneurship Officer. Welcome, Richard. Richard Lyons: Thank you, Brian. Happy to be here. Brian Ardinger: I'm excited to have you on board. I think one of the first things I wanted to talk about is, what is the role of a Chief Innovation and Entrepreneurship Officer at a major university? Richard Lyons: Ah, good question. You know, it actually, the role didn't exist four years ago. It started at Berkeley at the beginning of the year 2020. A number of universities, as you know, have launched this job category. You know, most universities that were pretty decentralized places, I like to use the phrase distributed creativity. Things happen in engineering, they happen in business, what have you.And I think the idea was, well, could we collect ourselves and become, you know, a little bit more than the sum of our parts in terms of innovation and entrepreneurship capacity? That's one way to think about why the job was created. Brian Ardinger: Well, you used to run, you're the Dean of the Haas School of Business. How does it differ when you're focused on, I guess, MBAs and the business side of things versus now there's more cross-collaborative curriculum and such. Richard Lyons: Yeah, well, I love that question because it's part of what's so much fun about being in this role You know, so CRISPR, Jennifer Doudna, one of the faculty here, shared the Nobel Prize in biochemistry a couple of years ago You know, right, science. I mean, I'm like a half an inch deep in science. I'm an economist just to put it on the table. And so, I get to mix with all these lab directors and scientists and not just Jennifer. She's just one of many but, So that idea of boundary spanning, right, in a really fundamental way, touching on people that are doing deep science, but also the social scientists and the humanists, and how do we sort of create a for all ecosystem that everybody's feeling like, yeah, well this, this serves me and is also interesting to me.Brian Ardinger: Well, it's quite interesting, you know, we've seen a lot of trends in higher education. It seems more and more Universities are jumping on this idea of cross collaboration with business. And, you know, you've always had tech transfer and things like that. What are you seeing when it comes to trends and this kind of move to focus on entrepreneurship and innovation?Richard Lyons: I think the trend is unmistakable. My own view is that you could go right to the mission statements of these universities, because I think 20 years ago, people might've said, you know, the deep why of this university is research, teaching and public service. And, and you still hear that phrase. But, you know, reaching out to, like, Simon Sinek's work, Start With Why, or whoever the idea might be, you know, those are really what and how.I mean, really important what's and how's. But the deep why is, is impact. And so, if you really thought that the mission was research, teaching, and service, Then you might look at innovation and entrepreneurship and say, oh, we're a public research university at Berkeley, and you're kind of way off on the periphery. But if the deep why is impact, no, you're kind of at the center of the mission, not the only center of the mission. Even at kind of this reframe of university missions is helping people to see that, no, this stuff is mission advancing, folks. This is not mission distracting. Brian Ardinger: Some universities get a bad rap when it comes to entrepreneurship. Maybe the old version of tech transfer where, you know, the university wanted to keep control of what was being created on the university and sharing the profits or the upside on that with the professors and venture capital and that. Can you talk a little bit about how maybe that whole tech transfer process and that has evolved and what you're seeing? Richard Lyons: Yeah, happy to. So, I was thinking a little bit before we got together here and I thought, well, I want to present four mind blows.And I think all four of these are related to your question and I don't want to get too edgy, Brian. So, here's one and we don't have to talk about all four, but, but I think it really is an answer to your question. Well, first of all, If you asked a university, is it possible for a startup, or a big company, but let's think startup, to be able to access a mass spectrometer on your campus, or a DNA sequencer, or a shake table, or in on all the IP?Is there kind of a porous way to access scientific equipment on Campus. And almost every university would say, yes, that's possible, that happens. And MP3s existed when Apple created the iTunes Store. So, Berkeley created a platform, we call it Berkeley RIC, the Research Infrastructure Commons. It's a platform with 27 labs on it, and virtually all the equipment in those 27 labs.And you, Brian, or a company of any size, could access a mass spectrometer or a cell sorter. And own all the IP it's fully priced. But this creates this sort of porous foundry and its relationship building with a lot of these companies and so forth. So that idea of opening up the infrastructure to innovation and entrepreneurship, because there's a lot of excess capacity if we're going to be honest about it.In fact, we even spun out a company based on this. It's called Second Labs, secondlab.com. And they're basically prosecuting this, you know, in a nationwide, worldwide way. So that's a fun platform. For us, it was a mind blower. Brian Ardinger: The other thing that I think comes into this conversation is the whole funding aspect. How are, and how do private funds work with, you know, public education and that? Some of the trends I know that I saw recently, you were talking about some of the interesting work around shared carried funds and that. So maybe let's talk a little bit about the finance mechanism around funding innovation.Richard Lyons: Yeah. Thanks for that. So, it actually was one of the things on my list of the four, but I'll just get right to ...
On this week's episode of Inside Outside Innovation, we sit down with Dr. Behnam Tabrizi, Author of Going on Offense: A Leader's Playbook for Perpetual Innovation. This week we talk about some of the key drivers that make companies like Amazon, Apple, Tesla, and Microsoft become perpetual innovators. Let's get started. Inside Outside Innovation is the podcast to help new innovators navigate what's next. Each week we'll give you a front row seat to what it takes to learn, grow, and thrive In today's world of accelerating change and uncertainty. Join us as we explore, engage, and experiment with the best and the brightest, innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneering businesses. It's time to get started.Interview Transcript with Dr. Behnam Tabrizi, Author of Going on OffenseBrian Ardinger: Welcome to another episode of Inside Outside Innovation. I'm your host, Brian Ardinger, and as always, we have another amazing guest. Today we have Dr. Behnam Tabrizi. He has taught at Stanford University in the executive programs for 25 years. He's the author of 10 books on leading in innovation and transformation, including a newly released book called Going On Offense: A Leader's Playbook of Perpetual Innovation. Welcome to the show. Behnam Tabrizi: Thank you, Brian. I'm excited about this podcast because it's my first podcast on the book, but incidentally, I just received a copy of the book. And the book is not going to be out till August 22nd, so it was a very nice surprise. Given that your interest is innovation, I think we're going to have a lot of fun.Brian Ardinger: You spent a lot of time and research digging into companies to try to figure out what makes companies innovative and, and more importantly, which ones continually innovate versus ones that are one hit wonders. So maybe you can give the audience a little bit of background on the research that you did for the book.Behnam Tabrizi: Sure. Just a little bit of background before the background. Out of the 10 books, two of them are kind of standout. One was The Rapid Transformation I did with Harvard Business Press, which talked about the sociology and structure of how you transform organizations quickly. And this was published in 2007 and in some ways, it was very different than the sequential transformation that was an accepted norm in the world.And then what I realized, and that book did extremely well, and I realized the biggest challenge to transformation is personal transformation. Leadership transformation. I did the book on. Inside Out Effect, which I'm really proud of, it is about leadership transformation. And it was a conversation with a COO, which I talk about in the book with the COO of a Fortune 50 company where he had sent his people to Stanford. Where I realized, you know, there is a third leg that's missing and that is what's the secret sauce of some of the most innovative perpetual organizations in the world. And that's something that I've been thinking about. I even thought about a topic before this conversation. And so, this was six, seven years ago, so I deep dived into this. Had a huge survey of over 6,000 people with executives, consumers, academics in terms of what they think are the best, most innovative organizations.Had an amazing research team where we sorted through data. So, after just looking at all of this, we came up with 26 firms. We wanted to make sure we don't have survivalship bias, which is only looking at successful companies and only talk about successful. So, we also had companies that didn't indeed do well, like Blockbuster, Borders, and others.So, I talk about those 26 companies, but several actually stand out and those are, they're regular organizations that we know as most innovative, which is like Apple, Microsoft, Tesla, and Amazon. The book also talks about these and how they're different. What was surprising is that companies such as Google and Facebook did not make the list. So, I was looking at the secret of Silicon Valley. I found a couple of organizations that were in Seattle. And I also realized there are some organizations in Silicon Valley that they don't fit the bill, and in some ways, it was really a secret of extremely, extremely high performance, perpetual innovative organizations.Recently, BCG has come up with the most innovative organization, 2023, I believe. Three out of four of my companies were actually top three and the fourth one was like the top five. So that was really nice to kind of know that my research still stands. It was a lot of research. It was a lot of detailed analysis and what the result was, we came up with eight key characteristics that these companies really did that was very different than the rest of the organization.And as you know, Brian, 90, 95% of organizations around the world, non-tech, high tech, are struggling with this issue. And they want to be more, like a lot of CEOs are asking me, how could I be more like, Apple or Tesla. They don't want to be like them, but more like maybe 10% more of them, 15% more of them. So that's the perennial question that I get asked, and I hope that this book and our conversation would at least uncover some of the issues.Brian Ardinger: There's plenty of places that we can start. You mentioned briefly the eight drivers that you've categorized that makes a company more perpetual innovation focused. Maybe we should start by going through some of those key characteristics and then tie it into some examples that you've seen. Behnam Tabrizi: Absolutely. So, I came up with three overarching themes, and then eight, like you said, characteristic that kind of fits with this. One of my favorite movies is Matrix and Trinity is an important figure there. The three key archetype that came out of this research about this organizations is that they were generous. And by generous what I mean is they were generous toward their commitment.There is a term I use in the book, which is existential purpose. This is not just a mission statement. This is true commitment to what they believe in. It kind of also touched on my earlier book, which is Inside Out Effect. I mean, the question that I always ask is why is it people are willing to die for a cause, but they show up completely uninspired in organizations and completely unengaged. You know, not engaged, disengaged, if you will, disengaged.The existential purpose of the organization together with the existential purpose of individual in the organization. It really stood out with these organizations. I would hate to use the word cult, defining these organizations, but my colleague Chuck O'Reilly makes the distinctions, and he says, the difference between cult and these type of organizations is that calls disenfranchised people, but these organizations, you can always leave and you can go to other organizations. And if you have an Apple or Amazon, or even Microsoft on your resume, you actually become more employable at the same time, there are very strong value cultures and each one is also very different.So that's one of the things that stands out. The other thing that I think I also want to mention, and I won't be able to go through all eight, it's the ferocious of these cultures. It's dizzying to walk into this organization because it's chaotic, it's fast paced, fast moving. So, I talk about this tempo. And what I found is that the tempo is not just always on full throttle. Sometime...
On this week's episode of Inside Outside Innovation, we sit down with Andy Binns to talk about his follow-on book, The Corporate Explorer Fieldbook: How to Build New Ventures in Established Companies. Andy and I talk about what's happening in the world of corporate innovation and offer some insights into what's working and what's not. Let's get started.Inside Outside Innovation is a podcast to help new innovators navigate what's next. Each week we'll give you a front row seat to what it takes to learn, grow, and thrive in today's world of accelerating change and uncertainty. Join us as we explore, engage, and experiment with the best and the brightest innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneering businesses. It's time to get started.Interview Transcript with Andy Binns, Author of The Corporate Explorer Fieldbook & Co-founder of Change LogicBrian Ardinger: Welcome to another episode of Inside Outside Innovation. I'm your host, Brian Ardinger, and as always, we have another amazing guest. In fact, we have somebody who's been on the show before. Andy Binns. Welcome Andy.Andy Binns: Hey, Brian. Thank you very much for having me back. I'm delighted to be here. Brian Ardinger: Andy, I'm so glad to have you back. For those who may not have heard you the first time around, you're the Co-founder of Change Logic. And you have authored a new book called Corporate Explorer Field Book as a companion guide, I think, to your first book, which came out about a year and a half ago called Corporate Explorer. So again, welcome to the show.Andy Binns: Thank you very much. That's right. We have now the Red Book of Corporate Explorer and the Black Book of The Corporate Explorer Field book. Becomes a family of books. The trouble is, I haven't figured out what the third one is, so I need, any, any ideas. I'm totally open to it. Brian Ardinger: It always needs a trilogy. Right. Andy Binns: Yeah, exactly. This is the Corporate Explorer Strikes Back. Right. Brian Ardinger: Excellent. Let's talk about the second book. Since we spoke in, I think it was March of 2022, so about a year and a half ago, you have been exploring this space of corporate innovation. What has happened? What are some of the key things that you've seen over the last 18 months that have changed or made you want to write a second book?Andy Binns: It's interesting, isn't it, Brian? This has been such a fascinating 18 months because you have at one side this real pressure on anybody who's doing corporate innovation on budget. Interest rates going up, lots of renewed economic uncertainty. And at the other side, we have people spending huge amounts of money on AI and putting lots of pressure on corporate innovation to say, what are we gonna do with it? Right? Mm-hmm. It's a tremendous paradox and I think that the interesting thing is that companies are coming round to the understanding that AI is just a technology. What you really need to understand is the business model. And this is a question of experimentation. So, it's actually playing directly back into the world of the corporate explorer, very directly.Brian Ardinger: Your first book, it talked a lot about, you know, how do you become a corporate explorer, introducing new ideas and things like this. The field book, the subtitle is How to Build New Ventures in Established Companies. So, talk a little bit about the evolution of the first book to the second book, and what are the key highlights of the second book.Andy Binns: The thing about the second book is that this represents a movement. Really important to me is that this is not about a guru speaking with the answer. Right? This is about a community actually saying, this is what we do. This is how we're approaching it. So, we have chapters by Bosch, General Motors, Intel.There are some lesser well-known companies, but important ones, Analog Devices, Unica Insurance, who were in the first book as a case study. Now they're in the book describing some of the things that they've done after that first book, right? For me, it expresses something really important about how do we solve the issue of corporate innovation, which I just said really important when it comes to, Hey, we've got something dramatic happening in the world. You know, what are we going to do? Well, this is some of the things we actually do that work. So, it's similar in structure to the first book. You know, firstly, strategic ambition. How do we decide where we're headed? Then innovation disciplines, ideation, incubation, scaling, and then the whole question of the organizational and leadership issues as to how you make arrangements for this to work in corporations, but also how if you are a corporate explorer, you're going to get people on your side.But again, rather than me pontificating on the topic, it's actually practitioners, each chapter, different way of looking at the problem with tools and advice very practically built in. So, it's an extremely applied book. Brian Ardinger: It's great to have some of those applied stories because a lot of times I talk to a lot of corporations myself and the first thing they ask is like, well, how do we do this? Yeah. And there's no one silver bullet to make this happen. It, you know, all combines with the talent you have and the technologies you have. And what kind of vision, like you said, that you want to go after. What are some of the biggest stumbling blocks for companies to even think about this and get moving on the path?Andy Binns: And I think I've learned more about this in the last year, going around different companies, getting invited to speak places, hearing what people have to say. And the sort of the loudest story is, is yes, what, what I think was always there was this sort of having lots of ideas but no real strategy. No real sense of, well, why would this help create value?Why would the customers form a habit around the use of your idea or product? And that tends to be weak, particularly if you are in a any kind of technical community. They tend to be a little bit weak on that. So that's still there. And in this book, we've made a big focus on breaking out some of the topics we talk about in Corporate Explorer.So, I talked to in corporate explorer about hunting zones and the importance of really shaping the markets that you are in. And in this book, I explain, you know, well, how do you define your hunting zone? But we also have this genuine innovation guru, Tony Ulwick, talking about how do you define your hunting zones? With a job to be done. Right. With that whole sort of body of work. So, he brings these two ideas together. The second thing I think that which has really come loudly to me in the last 12 months is how many innovators in corporations go out to market with a sort of an immature business model. It's solving a customer problem. It's a pretty good idea, but they have no concept of the go to market. They have no idea how they're going to engage distributors, ecosystem, or any of these kinds of players around them. And you know, it has a fairly predictable trajectory, right? Because, you know, it turns out selling things matters. You, if you're going to want to bring something to mar...
On this week's episode of Inside Outside Innovation, we sit down with the amazing Janice Fraser, one of the leaders in the Lean Startup movement and co-author of the new book, Farther, Faster and Far Less Drama. Janice and I talk about the evolution of leadership and how today's world of uncertainty and change requires new behaviors and mindsets to lead teams and companies forward. Let's get started. Inside Outside Innovation is a podcast to help new innovators navigate what's next. Each week we'll give you a front row seat into what it takes to learn, grow, and thrive in today's world of accelerating change and uncertainty. Join us as we explore, engage, and experiment with the best and the brightest, innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneering businesses. It's time to get started.Interview Transcription with Janice Fraser, Co-author of the new book, Farther, Faster and Far Less DramaBrian Ardinger: Welcome to another episode of Inside Outside Innovation, I'm your host, Brian Ardinger, and as always, we have another amazing guest. Today we have Janice Fraser. She's co-author of Farther, Faster and Far Less Drama: How to Reduce Stress and Make Extraordinary Progress Wherever You Lead. Welcome Janice.Janice Fraser: Thank you for having me. I'm so glad to be here. Brian Ardinger: This is a super honor for me, quite frankly. Janice, you, and I met over a decade ago and you've been hugely influential in my journey around this whole startup and innovation space. I think you and I met at one of the first Lean startup conferences in San Francisco, and this was when I was spinning up Nmotion startup accelerator and I said, I need somebody with the chops, who understands everything from customer discovery to product development to help our teams through this process and teach me quite frankly how to do some of this stuff. So, I brought you into Nebraska a while ago, and since then we've been friends and have learned so much through that process of watching you help teams and help people grow in this space. And, and now you're in a different journey, but how did you get involved in product development and Lean Startup, and then how did your career journey get you to the point where you've written this book? Janice Fraser: It's so lovely when I hear people say that I was influential. I'm always the most grateful when I've been helpful. Right? Honestly, that was the best compliment you could have ever offered to me, so thank you. Thank you very much for sharing that. My career journey, like so many of us in the innovation space has not been a straight line at all. And really it started my journey into product. And then from product into innovation, it really goes way back.I accidentally ended up a product manager at Netscape in 1995 when we didn't even call it that for the work that I was doing. And from there I moved into user experience consulting, and I started a company that did that. And then it became Luxer where it was like, helping startup companies kind of get off the ground.And when I look back over the arc of my career, if you remember the Crossing the Chasm model, like I'm that first person, you know, on the far side of the chasm, sort of like holding my hand out, helping people jump across the chasm. Like my job is to sit at the edge of the newest thing and make it boring.I had to write a six-word biography at one point for some offsite or retreat or something, and it was knitting at the edge of newness. Whatever the bleeding edge thing is like I'm just sitting there figuring out like, how can we do it in a way that everybody, normal people can practice. And like I keep a sticker on my computer that says regular people just to remind us all like. The world is made up of regular people and they're doing extraordinary things all the time. And so, I want to just, I just want to help that process out. And so right now it's been innovation. Before that it was product management or starting a company. And it's, what I want to do is just figure out like, how can we do it reliably better?And of course, that takes you to lean start up because you know, Lean Startup isn't going to make you successful, but it will keep you from failing or it will help you raise the floor on how bad that failure could be. And so that's how I got here. Brian Ardinger: I think you're underselling yourself to a certain extent. You've had a chance to work with some of the best companies in the world when it comes to innovation and you've kind of been behind the scenes player when it comes to a lot of this stuff and helping companies understand that. The next thing I really want to talk about is this book, because it's slightly different than a, you know, product strategy book or something. You know, Farther, Faster, and Far less drama. It seems to be a culmination of what you've seen in the workplace and in creating companies and working through this uncertainty that it, it is to create new stuff, but less from the product and the tactical side, but more from the people side, the leadership side. Talk a little bit about why you decided to write this book. Janice Fraser: So the book is co-authored by my husband, who was my co-founder at Luxr, where we had like 50 companies go through this 10 week program, which ended up being an accelerator kind of thing, right? He's still very much focused on product management.He runs a team of like 50 people who all work with federal government clients. All product managers and product designers. I come at it more from the innovation side, from, you know, how do you get very large organizations to be more agile or more lean, or to simply create value from new ideas and especially new ideas that challenge the status quo.That's a hard thing to do, to get a large organization that's been around for say, 150 years to begin to actually change their behavior. When we started writing this book, it was four years ago. That's when we first did the very first outline, and we thought that it would be a very tactical book for practitioners of like meeting facilitation. Because a lot of the ideas land at that moment of like, I need to run a strategy session, or I need to get more out of this leadership thing, and I was doing a lot of network then.But over time and, and in consulting with some editorial folks and some of my closest advisors, my ex-boss, a guy named David Kidder, who’s a dear, dear friend David said, this is bigger than what you think it is. The way that you lead is different than the way that other people lead. And those kinds of feedback over a period of a year or two really gave Jason and I pause.And so, we sat down and thought like, what is it really that we're seeing that's different and what I think is that the leaders that are most successful, whether it's agile transformation on the software side or innovation execution on the non-software side, what we see is that the most successful leaders were leading differently than the ones who seemed the most stuck. We can call it could be mindset like the Carol Dweck book. It could be any number of things. But some leaders were able to, as the book says, go farther, get there faster. And my favorite thing is to go there without a lot of bickering, without a lot of hassle, without frankly, drama. Like, we just don't have time to mess around th...
On this week's episode of Inside Outside Innovation, we sit down with David Rogers, Columbia University professor and author of the new book, The Digital Transformation Roadmap. David and I talk about why corporate innovation is so hard. And we unpack the iterative steps needed to navigate a path to digital transformation success. Let's get started. Inside Outside Innovation is a podcast to help new innovators navigate what's next. Each week we'll give you a front row seat into what it takes to learn, grow, and thrive in today's world of accelerating change and uncertainty. Join us as we explore, engage, and experiment with the best and the brightest, innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneering businesses. It's time to get started.Interview Transcript with David Rogers, Columbia University professor and author of the new book, the Digital Transformation Roadmap. Brian Ardinger: Welcome to another episode of Inside Outside Innovation. I'm your host Brian Ardinger, and as always, we have another amazing guest. Today we have David Rogers. He's a Columbia University professor and author of the new book The Digital Transformation Roadmap, rebuild your organization for continuous change. Welcome David. David Rogers: Thank you, Brian. It's great to be here. Really appreciate it.Brian Ardinger: I'm excited to have you here because your book couldn't have come out at a better time. We are in the midst of a lot of accelerating change as everybody is going through, whether it's covid or inflation or, or technology changes like AI. Your book, I wanted to delve into a lot of the details around it. One of the things that stood out is you outlined in your book several studies that have come out, basically say that 70% or more of digital transformation efforts fail. Why is that the case and why is it so hard for people to do this? David Rogers: Yeah, it's really sobering. So, I wrote, what was the first major book on the subject of digital transformation a few years back.So, I've been looking at the subject for some time, and what I was sort of shocked to see was at that point I was really sort of evangelizing, Hey, if you're an established business and you really want to grow for the long term and survive even, let alone thrive, you're going to have to embrace new digital business models.Really set aside a lot of the old assumptions of the corporate playbook of strategy. How do we think about competition? How do we think about customer strategy, use of data, et cetera. Really embrace new business models. And so that was really my approach was to help companies who had sort of been in business for decades, maybe a century or more, to say, hey, it's great that your core business is there and you have customers.But the sort of strategic landscape is really changing, and you need to sort of master this and, and really sort of open up your thinking. But what I found in the years since was people really embrace this idea of, okay, at least sort of, at least I would say, people give lip service to digital transformation.Oh yeah. We're going to do this. We're, we're going to hire somebody, a Chief Digital Officer, we'll put it on the agenda. Transformation digital. Very common now and yet, including companies where there's support from the very top. Real resources put into this, not just sort of some PowerPoints and emails sent around.And yet years go by, and they come to me and say, I don't know why we're not changing, you know, or not changing fast enough. What's going on? Why are we like stuck in slow motion? So, I started looking at the broader, you know, research and as you said, I found this pattern that, you know, by and large, all the major studies are reporting about 70% or higher of failure.That's self-reported, right? The people with don't like to admit, companies admitting by our own standards, we are not achieving what we set out here. So, what that opened my eyes to a whole, you know, second wave of research on my part was to try to understand why. What is the barrier or barriers here? You see, you know, a litany of symptoms.Well, our people are afraid, or they don't want to change their jobs or the technologies too expensive. Or we come up with lots of ideas, but none of them scale or, and we just can't move as fast as all these startups. You know, there's lots of sort of symptoms. What I found looking across, many different industries, many different organizations, was a pattern. Really there were sort of five organizational barriers, and that's the key. They're all barriers, actually, not in the technology. The barriers, not usually, it's not really about finances and things like that. It's about organizations themselves. And unless you can address those and get past them, and there are ways to get past them, but unless you do that, your efforts are just never going to have the impact that you, that you really need out of them.Brian Ardinger: You know, one of the things that I see when talking to other corporations out there is they don't struggle with execution because they have business models. They have customers. They know how to execute that particular model. They know how to budget for it. They know how to build for it. They know how to hire for that.But where they struggle is that exploration phase. Where they don't know exactly what to do. They haven't figured out the next new business model. They haven't figured out exactly what they should be building or the new pricing and that. And it's that realm of uncertainty where they haven't seemed to build an execution model to execute in the uncertain environment. Is that what you're seeing as well? David Rogers: Absolutely, and the problem is you can't use the same model. I have nothing against companies say, look, we've got a really well owned machine. We know how to operate our core business. We've been in it for a long time. We've got a functional system of, you know, you could call them silos, but we've got a functional organizational structure, really knows how to operate and deliver against this core business.I have no idea, no feeling that, oh, I'm going to come in and say, oh, you should turn yourselves into a startup and blow that all up. No. What companies need is what I call flexibility in governance. That's one of the core, one of these five barriers. There's a lack of flexibility in governance, so they're applying the same BAU, as we call it, business as usual operating model to that core business that they know really well is operates under low uncertainty and is sort of what they're organized around currently. And they know the metrics, et cetera. And then they try to apply that same operating model, that same governance I would call it, to pursuing new opportunities which have first of all, simply by bringing virtual, new and fast-moving digital error likely to have much higher uncertainty. And so that operating model execution model is not going to work in a highly uncertain context. We've got a lot of theory and a lot of experience to show why. But they also don't know how to operate outside of their core business.So, you've got these sort of twin challenges, as I call them, really for corporate innovation and, and growth, which is the challenge of uncertainty, not being used to the methods which allow you to tackle an iterative experiment, kind of driven kind of fashion. Opportunities tha...
On this week's episode of Inside Outside Innovation, we sit down with Tom Daly, founder of Relevant Ventures. Tom and I talk about the challenges big companies have when trying to navigate technology and market changes. And what you can do to avoid some of the common obstacles and barriers to innovation and transformation. Let's get started. Inside Outside Innovation is the podcast to help new innovators navigate what's next. Each week we'll give you a front row seat into what it takes to learn, grow, and thrive In today's world of accelerating change and uncertainty, join us as we explore, engage, and experiment with the best and the brightest, innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneering businesses. It's time to get started.Interview Transcript  with Tom Daly, Founder of Relevant VenturesBrian Ardinger: Welcome to another episode of Inside Outside Innovation. I'm your host Brian Ardinger, and as always, we have another amazing guest. Today we have Tom Daly. He is the founder of Relevant Ventures. Welcome Tom. Tom Daly: Thank you very much, Brian. Pleasure to be here, speaking with you. Brian Ardinger: I'm excited to have you on the show. You have had a lot of experience in this innovation space. You worked with companies like UPS and ING and I think most recently, Coca-Cola and a lot of the innovation efforts around that world. So I am excited to have you on the show to talk about some of the new things you're doing and I think more importantly, some of the things you've learned over the years.Tom Daly: I started doing this work before people called it digital transformation or innovation. The Earth cooled, at about the same time I began getting my head around this. I'm an advertising guy to begin with, and I can't prove it, but I think I created the world's first dedicated 30 sec TV commercial to a website. UPS. In that process, I picked up some vocabulary and I learned some things about how websites, quote unquote work, so that when people started calling, you know, back in the mid-nineties wanting to talk to somebody about the web or the internet, the calls came to me. And it was during that process where I started to build new networks within UPS, learn about new things going on at UPS and discover some of the opportunities. It's been a while. Brian Ardinger: You talk a lot about this ability to turn big ships in small spaces. Talk a little bit about what that means to you and, and what the challenges really are for corporations in, in this whole innovation space. Tom Daly: The idea of turning big ships in small spaces actually goes back to my boss's boss at UPS who noticed I was toiling. UPS has a reputation as a conservative company. A little bit unfair, there's some truth to that, but not quite what people think.It's actually a very, very innovative company and has been for its entire history, but it is collaborative. There's a lot of debate and a lot of discussion. So getting new things done, driving new ideas that my boss to encourage me, you'll get there, Tom, but it's like turning a battleship in the Chattahoochee.So, I don't know where listeners are, but imagine a pretty darn small body of water and a really big ship that you're trying to turn. So, a lot of back and forth, a lot of kissing babies, shaking hands, and just getting, you know politics, but in a good positive way to kind of really understand interests and concerns and build a better program, a better idea.So that's the idea, and it was encouraging to me. So, this notion of turning big ships in small spaces, it seems to be, to the degree I have any superpowers, that's the one I'm able to kind of figure out how to help larger organizations figure out how to extract value from, you know, kind of what's coming up around the corner.Brian Ardinger: Obviously you've seen a lot of changes, whether they're technology changes or business model changes that have happened over the years. Where do companies typically run into the problems when they see something on the emerging horizon and they're saying, we've gotta do something about this. What goes through their mind and what can they do to better prepare for some of these drastic changes?Tom Daly: The thing companies can do to help themselves most be prepared for big ships in the world that we all live and compete in, is, you know, the twin keys of openness and acceptance. Being open to an idea is really important, but it is only half the battle. Being accepting of the implications of those ideas is really key and the classic example would be Kodak. You know, Kodak early in, open to the idea of digital photography. But equally unaccepting of its implications. So they didn't jump in, they didn't do the things they needed to do, and as a result, very different company Blockbuster would fit in that category.Certainly, they understood the implications of streaming technologies and the web and the ability to distribute content. Given the retail heavy business, the land heavy business, they just weren't accepting, or at least not accepting fast enough to be able to secure position in the next evolution of how people consumed content. So those two ideas, being open and accepting both in equal measures is critical to getting yourself in a good spot. Brian Ardinger: Well, you touched on an interesting point. You read about the stories of companies failing or being disrupted, and from the outside it looks like, well, they didn't pay attention, or they didn't know what was going on.But it seems like, from the stories and the people that I've talked to, it's not that they weren't aware of what was going on. Or the fact that it was going to have a major impact or that they should do something about it. It was more to that line of it, like you said, acceptance of, well, how do we actually do this knowing that we're going to have to change our business models, change the way we make money, change everything about what we currently do to make this radical shift. And it's that classic innovator's dilemma. Are you seeing that changing nowadays, now that people are kind of more familiar with the concept of this and, and as more and more changes hit corporations, so you're getting faster at having to adapt to this. Are you seeing the world changing or are you still seeing the same problems exist?Tom Daly: You know, anybody in this space, Brian, doing what I've been doing for as long as I've been doing it, you need to be an optimist. You need to believe that, you know it's all going to happen. That said, the conversations I'm having today in 2023 are pretty darn close to the conversations I was having in the middle, you know, of the nineties, right?So, whether it was the dawn of, you know, this graphical overlay on the internet, the web, and when browsers enabled, or the introduction of now advertising and marketing opportunities on the web, which didn't really happen at the beginning of the browser era, that followed a little bit later. Or the introduction of mobile phones and then smartphones and all the, it's the same conversations. And they all come from a place of gaps.I won't say a lack because in some places there is confidence and acceptance and alignment with what's going on. But it's not uniform within organizations. Right. Then there are pockets of people within departments, IT people, marketing people, s...
On this week's episode of Inside Outside Innovation, we sit down with the legendary Tendayi Viki. Tendayi is co-author of the book, The Corporate Startup. He's an Associate Partner at Strategizer and one of the major influencers in the world of lean startup and corporate innovation. On this episode, we explore the evolution of the lean startup movement, how corporations are developing the skills to compete and become more innovative, and we talk about Tendayi's brand new book called Pirates in the Navy.  Let's get started.Find the Interview transcript and more at insideoutside.io.Interview Transcript with Tendayi Viki, Coauthor of The Corporate Startup & Pirates in the Navy Brian Ardinger:  Inside Outside Innovation is the podcast that brings you the best and the brightest in the world of startups and innovation. I'm your host Brian Ardinger, founder of Inside Outside.IO, a provider of research events and consulting services that help innovators and entrepreneurs build better products, launch new ideas, and compete in a world of change and disruption. Each week we'll give you a front row seat to the latest thinking tools, tactics, and trends, and collaborative innovation. Let's get started. Welcome to another episode of Inside Outside Innovation. I'm your host, Brian Ardinger, and as always, we have another amazing guest. Today, all the way from across the pond in London, England, we have Tendayi Viki. Tendayi, welcome to the show. Tendayi Viki: Thank you, Brian. It's a pleasure to be here. Brian Ardinger: Hey, I'm excited to have you on the show. We had you out in Lincoln at the last IO Summit. For those folks out in the audience, that have not heard of you. He's an author, innovation consultant, Associate Partner at Strategizer. You're the coauthor of the book, The Corporate Startup, which took a lot of the Lean Startup stuff and applied it to big organizations. You've got a new book coming out called Pirates in the Navy, so I could go on and on, but welcome to the show. Tendayi Viki: Thank you, man. Thank you. no, it’s an honor to be here.  And I had a lot of fun when I was in LIncoln. It was a fun conference and good people all in. Brian Ardinger: Yeah.  I think I want to jump in. You've been in this space, this lean startup movement for a long time, and you really did open the door to a lot of this lean startup stuff that started in the startup world. I think applied it to bigger corporations, this whole innovation process, whether you're doing it in a startup or you're doing it in a bigger company, a lot of the same principles apply. What are the biggest challenges or changes that you've seen over the last decade of how this movement is evolved and what's gotten better? What's gotten worse in the whole process? Tendayi Viki: Yeah, so it was a really interesting movement because it came out with an interesting philosophy, which is that one of the reasons why any innovation, either from a startup or from a large company, any innovation fails when people that are working on the innovations starts scaling their idea prematurely. Which means they start building the full product and launching it and investing a lot of resources and taking it to market before they really understand who the customer is. What the customer wants. How to reach that customer. How to earn from that customer repeatedly.  How to retain that customer. How to create value basically in a sustainable way. And also, how to deliver profits and whether customers are willing to pay. And how much they will have to pay. So that was the philosophy meeting, which was test your ideas before you scale them.The big challenge then became, well, we understand, we agree. How do we do that? And that's where the movement has been sort of incrementally building all the tools and resources you need to be able to do that work over the last year. Brian Ardinger: Talk a little bit about now where you're at. A lot of the times at the early stages when I started consulting or you started consulting, you had to explain the process. You had to get into the weeds of why this was even important. What's changed from that perspective? It seems like people have at least heard of the movement and heard of some of the processes, but maybe they're doing it wrong or there's different assumptions that they've made about the process in the first place. What are some of the things that you're seeing that are challenging in today's world? Tendayi Viki: Yeah, so I mean, it's not, it's not as hard as it used to be to convince leaders inside established, successful companies that they need to innovate. I think what's harder is getting them to change how they run their companies day-to-day because some of those processes are so calcified. It's so hard to break into those and have them change. I mean, one of the habits that companies have, for example, it's an annual budget cycle. Things that are on road maps that I executed against. You need to complete a five-year projection with a business case in order to get investments. Those are things that have been harder to break down.How do you have a conversation with the head of finance that they should invest in an idea, but that idea is not promising them any return. What is the sense of comfort that you can give them with that? You have to sort of take into them like a newer tool that was created to say, think about your investments as a portfolio of investments and think about your returns as returns from a portfolio rather than retrench from one idea. That's the way you allow these to fail, but these are concepts that are just emerging. That we're going to have the conversation with leaders around inside the company. Brian Ardinger: I'm curious to get your insight into whether you think this problem should be tackled across the entire organization. Should it be siloed? We've heard experts in different areas tackle this from different sides with different areas of effectiveness. What's your thought on how innovation should be attacked from an organization perspective? Tendayi Viki: So that's interesting, especially when you're talking about the Lean Startup Movement, right.  One of the problems we had at the beginning of our movement was being allowed to do the work.  How do we even get the space to be allowed to test ideas, run experiments, do Agile, Design Thinking? And so what we did was we fought really hard to get these spaces created for us because we needed to show that you can actually work this way. And now I think we have a different problem. I think the problem we have now is what we call the problem of success.If you are in a discussion of whether innovation should happen inside or outside your organization, you have to ask yourself a question. What happens when you find something that works? What happens when you find a business model that works? What happens when you find that idea that works and now you need light resources to scale. And you know what? I've heard people flippantly say, well, the company will just spin me out. Creating a spinout, it's actually more difficult. And requires much more leadership, attention, and legal and procurement than actually just scaling a product. And so even getting spun out requires some integration back into the company so that these decisions can be made.This decision of whether or not you should do it inside or outside the organization is wh...
On this week's episode of Inside Outside Innovation, we sit down with Chris Shipley, co-author of the new book, The Empathy Advantage. Chris and I talk about the changing forces driving the great resignation to the great reset, and how empathetic leadership will be the key to navigating change in creating value today and in the future. Let's get started. Inside Outside Innovation is the podcast to help new innovators navigate what's next. Each week we'll give you a front row seat into what it takes to learn, grow, and thrive in today's world of accelerating change and uncertainty. Join us as we explore, engage and experiment with the best and the brightest, innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneering businesses. It's time to get started.Transcript of Podcast with Chris Shipley, Co-author of The Empathy Advantage.Brian Ardinger: Welcome to another episode of Inside Outside Innovation. I'm your host, Brian Ardinger, and as always, we have another amazing guest. In fact, this guest has been on the show before. It is Chris Shipley. She's the co-author of the new book, The Empathy Advantage: Leading The Empowered Workforce. Welcome back Chris.Chris Shipley: Hey, I'm glad to be talking to you again.Brian Ardinger: Hey, I'm excited to have you on as always. You've been so gracious to be part of the Inside Outside community for so many years, whether it's speaking in our events or the last time we spoke, you had your first book out, the Adaptation Advantage. And that came out right during the middle of Covid.And so, I wanted to have you back on with this new book, to talk about what's changed and and where we're going. You've got a new book out called The Empathy Advantage. Tell us a little bit about why you had to write a book coming out of Covid? Chris Shipley: As you said, The Adaptation Advantage, our first book with Heather and I, it launched in April of 2020. So, we had all of these plans having finished the book at the end of 2019 to do all the things you do to launch a book. And the world came to a stop. We had to adapt ourselves to really get that book out into the world. But what we recognized or what happened is it kind of became this accidental guide to leading through the pandemic, because everybody was without.We continued to read and write and work on understanding what was happening and changing in the workplace. During the pandemic, what became really, really clear is that the pandemic didn't cause this disruption. It felt very disrupting, but it was, it amplified, it put a lens on what had been happening for a long time.So, for example, the idea of the great resignation that really took hold about a year ago, people started talking about it. Well, that's been going on since about 2009. The pandemic created; we had a lens to see it maybe more clearly. It wasn't a new idea. And so what we realized is that the amplifying effect of the pandemic combined with a workforce that was sent home, given a lot of autonomy, a lot of agency, in how they would do their jobs, they're not gonna come back into an office place and say, oh, you know, all of that stuff that trust you had in me, nevermind micromanagement again, I'll be fine with that. A new kind of leadership is required to move people sort of back into a mainstream new frame of work that really embraces the way in which these workers are more empowered, they have more autonomy and agency. And we think that the bottom line is it's a change in leadership that centers on empathy.Brian Ardinger: I wrote a book. I started writing it right before the pandemic, and this idea of disruption and changes are coming and how do you start preparing for it? And then Covid hits, and it made it real. Obviously, for everybody in a way that talking about it and seeing it hitting in different industries might not have.But nowadays we're coming back into the place where, so we've had a couple of years of practice, so to speak to how do we become adaptive in that. But it still seems like there's a lot of folks getting it wrong or trying to go back to the old way and that. So, what are you seeing when it comes to this natural pull to try to go back to quote unquote normal. Chris Shipley: We're never gonna go back to normal. And I don't think really we ever do go back to a normal, right? We, there's a new normal and it's, it exists for now and then tomorrow it'll be another normal. And that really speaks to being adaptive. And so I think one of our challenges is that there's kind of a new mold for leadership, but we're still trying to shove the old ways into it. Right, that being a leader meant I needed to know how everyone worked. I needed to be the absolute decision maker. I needed to be the one who could see everything and guide everyone and manage people to some greater profitability and, and productivity. That just doesn't fit in the mold now. So, we need to recognize it if, and everything has, so much, has changed through the pandemic.That what worked, that got us to where we are as leaders is not going to work to take us forward with this newly empowered workforce. And so, being able to, as a leader say, you know what? I don't know. But let's find out. Let's learn together. Let's work together to find this new way. You know, that's really hard for a lot of folks who have been ingrained with this idea that I'm the boss I should be all knowing.Well, you know what? You can't know everything. Things are moving way too quickly. There's too much. No one holds all the knowledge to, to get some, you know, to get work done today. And so, creating an environment of, of collaboration rather than a, an environment of competition means that people can come together, and problem find and problem solve in a way that you as a leader become more of a conductor or a coach, or a, of a mentor. that empowers and enables workers rather than commands and controls them. Brian Ardinger: And that's a great point. I was working with a company early in the pandemic and they were talking about, well, how do we adapt to this new hybrid approach? And one of the leaders was like, it's not really our core people that are having to adapt much, it's, it's us as managers that have to learn how to manage differently. And look at how do we create productivity and guidance and everything around that communication with our people because they seem to be adapting fine as far as getting the work done. It's us as managers that are having the challenge or trying to adapt on how do we manage differently. Chris Shipley: Yeah. I was reading recently in a piece that a large percentage of managers think that they need to closely manage their hybrid workers. That that will make their workers more productive, increase performance, increase profitability, and the data doesn't support that.Data supports giving people clear direction. Pushing decision making through the organization to cross your team. Being, you know, very clear on desired outcomes, actually produces the kind of performance that, that you're looking for. And in fact, the more there is a sense of oversight, and you know, keyboard tracking and all of the, you must be sitting at a desk in this work space, between these hours that actually tempers performance. It becomes a, you know, a bone of contention frankly, with workers who, like you trusted me a couple of years ago when, when we all got s...
On this week's episode of Inside Outside Innovation, we sit down with Maisha Leek, Managing Director of Forum Venture Studios. Maisha has had an amazing career in corporate innovation, company building and venture capital, and we talk about the new Venture studio model and some of the things that she's seeing in the world of venture. Let's get started.Inside Outside Innovation is podcast to help new innovators navigate what's next. Each week we'll give you a front row seat into what it takes to learn, grow, and thrive in today's world of accelerating change and uncertainty. Join us as we explore, engage and experiment with the best and the brightest, innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneering businesses. It's time to get started. Interview Transcription with Maisha Leek, Managing Director of Forum Venture StudiosBrian Ardinger: Welcome to another episode of Inside Outside Innovation. I'm your host, Brian Ardinger, and as always, we have another amazing guest. Today we have Maisha Leek. She's the managing director of Forum Venture Studios. Welcome to the show, Maisha. Maisha Leek: Thank you Brian. I'm excited to be here.Brian Ardinger: I'm excited to have you because you've spent a lot of time in all the different cross sections of innovation. So corporate innovation, company building, venture capital. Can you tell us about your path and journey in this innovation space? Maisha Leek: Sure. I'd love to say it was all brilliantly planned. There's a lot of trial error, error, error, error, and then trial again. I actually got into this world in the interesting route. I was for a long time in Washington DC. I was a policymaker and a fundraiser. And in DC we had oversight of most of the science and innovation agencies. So, everything from NASA to Noah to National Science Foundation, which is about the $54 billion proposition, which is a lot of responsibility. And we work with your tax dollars, placing the best bets we could to jumpstart the economy or to just position the United States to be competitive. And so that turned in everything from investing in commercial space flight. You see that now with SpaceX and Virgin Galactic and other companies. Those aren't the only ones. And investing in the advancement of batteries, which leads to all of the electric vehicles that we have now and, and sort of their ability to compete with their combustible counter parts.I knew I was far from all the action that everybody was in, in Silicon Valley and wanted to get closer to it, but by happenstance, met the founder of United Masters. Which was a music and tech company. And did not know what I was doing, except that I was an operator. I knew how to build out teams and build out a company and spent my time doing that. And we had the right as Silicon Valley goes investors. So had Ben Horowitz on our board. And David Drummond on our board. And was really active in managing those relationships. And when I was thinking about what to do next after spent some time at that startup, I had an executive coach and friends, they were like, you got to get into venture.And I'm like, that sounds really boring. And their suggestion I think is really apt for folks who are thinking about it. They suggested I would be good in the space because I had experience to do this on Capitol Hill, operating across a range of subject matters. And knowing to be sort of a generalist that can go deep in certain areas and analyze information and make quick judgements.My first experience was at Adventure Studio at Human Ventures. And that really influenced what I decided to do after that. And most of my time in the venture space, outside of being an angel investor or participating SPVs has really been in the venture studio space. I love it because of the close connection you can have with the founder and the founding team. It's not sort of like write a check. I'll call you once a month kind of thing. We're in it with them. But it also leans into the place where I'm strong. Which is I'm a really great operator and being able to do that with founders and helping them not make the same mistakes I've made in other companies that I've built or independent of that, also gives me great joy.So, I've done four Venture Studios - Nike Valiant Labs, Human Ventures, New Lab, which are across the series of categories. New Lab is Frontier Technology. Nike is really best to describe with CPG. Human Ventures, which is in large part direct to consumer. And Forum, which is B2B SaaS. And they all have their challenges. But again, I love the model. I'm an evangelist for the model. Brian Ardinger: Let's talk about that model. You know, people who've followed the show and that have heard more and more about Venture Studios, and if you've been in the space, you're hearing different flavors of what Venture Studios are. So can you talk about what is a venture studio from your definition and what were the differences between the different ones that you've started and where you're at currently with Forum. Maisha Leek: The term studio, when it's combined with venture, actually originates from Hollywood, which I did not know. Essentially, like the idea that the studio from ideation to putting it into theaters would be responsible for the build. Like they collaborate with some folks, but they wanted to sort of own the vertical of the product that went out to market. And Venture Studios do just that in a venture context. We are building small businesses as fast as possible.You do different things depending on the category, and there are few ways the model sort of shows up. On one extreme, they're starting with just the idea and there's no founder. On the other extreme, you've built out a business and you're hiring in a CEO. Most of the venture studios I've worked with sort of lean to the front end where we really are interested in and get really excited about the founder. And really help them determine what to build.And that's really a question of what the problem is that they want to solve. It's not really starting with a solution. And then we take them through a process to de-risk it, diligence it, figure out who the real customers are. What needs to be true for the MVP, and then bring it out to market. Most venture studios do that.I think that where we get variation is the degree to which the idea is evolved before the team that's going to live with the problem goes out into the world. I think that's where folks tend to have differing points of view about what's most important. And a lot of it's logical. Venture Studios exist because we have a better risk profile than a founder doing it on their own.I can get into why that is, but you can imagine it's just our expertise. And depending on the Venture Studio and their point of view about what they have to offer in terms of the early ideation, you have some organizations or groups who really want to use every insight that they have and stand up a company. And others who believe that the founder who's taking the risk should do most of that work. That's how folks are making those choices from what I've seen. Brian Ardinger: Yeah, that seems to be some of the key differentiation. It's how much additional resources perhaps are put towards it. So, some venture studios are very much hands-on. They have a team of developers that the founder can work with to build out, you know, early-stage prototypes an...
On this week's episode of Inside Outside Innovation, we sit down with Barry O'Reilly, author of Unlearn and Lean Enterprise and co-founder of the new Venture Studio, Nobody Studios. Barry and I talk about the ins and outs of a new model of creating and investing in startups called Venture Studios, and we discuss the power of collaborative innovation. Let's get started.Inside Outside Innovation is a podcast to help new innovators navigate what's next. Each week we'll give you a front row seat into what it takes to learn, grow, and thrive, in today's world of accelerating change and uncertainty. Join us, as we explore, engage, and experiment with the best and the brightest, innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneering businesses. It's time to get started.Interview Transcript with Barry O'Reilly, Author of Unlearn and Lean Enterprise & Co-founder of the Venture Studio, Nobody Studios Brian Ardinger: Welcome to another episode of Inside Outside Innovation. I'm your host Brian Ardinger, and as always, we have another amazing guest. You may have heard of Barry O'Reilly. He has been part of the Inside Outside Innovation community for a while. He's the author of Unlearn and Lean Enterprise. And co-founder of Nobody Studios, which we're going to have him talk a little bit more about that. Welcome, Barry. Barry O'Reilly: Thanks very much for having me. Yeah, it's great to be here. Brian Ardinger: It's great to have you back. You've followed Inside Outside the community. You've been a huge proponent of what we've done, and quite frankly, a huge mentor to me to understand this whole world of innovation and how do we get through it.I'm excited to talk about your new venture, which is Nobody's Studios. You've spent a lot of time as an author, as a consultant, working with big companies. Helping really develop the whole lean startup movement. And now you've decided to jump into the investment space and create a a studio where you're gonna hopefully incubate some amazing new startups in the world.Barry O'Reilly: Yeah. Well, first of all, one thing I want to congratulate you on is your new book. Literally it sits outside in my reading area. There are people that walk past it and see it all the time and pick it up. So, I just want to congratulate you on getting that done, and I really enjoyed reading through it. So, congratulations to yourself on that and highly recommend folks check it out.So in terms of Startup Studio, the real inspiration for me was, as you said, I've had the chance to work with some phenomenal people over the last number of years. Helping them either identify products that they wanted to build in enterprises or work with scaling startups that were sort of building their business and taking them as far as they could.And I was enjoying a lot of the sort of advisory side, but I've been sort of doing a lot of that now for, you know, close to a decade. And I was just getting itchy fingers, if you will. You know, I was like helping all these people, like I do a little bit of an angel investing. I, you know, would take sweat equity or be an advisor for these startups.Help enterprises build products, but I miss a daily grind of sort of being like right in there, building day in, day out. So, I knew I was just sort of looking for the right opportunity for me to bring a lot of my skills to bear and rather than put time in for money, put energy in for equity in these businesses and build something that would fire outlast me if you will.You know, started to share that with a few people and one of my good friends, Lee Dee, who was actually under advisory board of AgileCraft with me, which we sold to Atlassian and has now become JiraAlign. He introduced me to a guy called Mark McNally. And Mark was based down in Orange County. He was sort of interested or starting this idea of a company called Nobody Studios.And instantly I was just attracted to the name. Anything that's sort of contrarian and odd. I was like, why did you call this thing Nobody? And you know, part of the mission was we were going to build these companies. We really need to try and like put our egos at the door, if you will, and like be humble, challenge ourselves, work together to build these great businesses.And really the studio, it in itself is a sort of mix of all the best parts that I believe of the startup ecosystem that I can help with. We're not a VC. We do raise our own capital, but we raise our own capital so we can incubate our companies and ideas that we believe in. But we're not just an incubator.We have the capital to keep building, and we're not an accelerator where we just sort of put people through a program and give them the Y Combinator stamp and, and they go out the door. So, it's actually bringing all of these components together. We raise our own capital. We have our own ideas that we incubate these companies.We find founders and teams to help us bring these companies to life. And then the goal is to create really a repeatable, scalable business model and a fundable company where we've incubated something to the point that it's the high-quality business, it's maybe found product market fit, and they're ready to sort of go and get external capital.And that for us is sort of us doing our job well. But what we're actually optimizing from a business model point of view is to try a aim for early to mid-size exits. So, for those businesses to be actually, purchased, merged into, acquired, maybe even an early I P O, who knows? But that's necessarily our business model.So, by incubating and building these companies, we're actually looking to exit them for early to mid-stage exits. And that's how we will essentially generate more capital to go back into the studio to build more businesses. Brian Ardinger: So, let's talk a little bit more about the tactics around this. So nobody's studios you're looking to, I think, incubate a hundred companies over the next five years. That takes a lot of people, a lot of founders, a lot of great ideas. How do you tactically go about starting the studios. Barry O'Reilly: To be honest, and we share that with people. Half of the people run away from us, and half of the people run towards us when they hear that. For me, like that's actually the good sign of a big harry audacious goal, if you will.It's the calling card for some people. It helps sort of people who aren't thinking like that choose a a different option. With having a big audacious goal like that, you know, it forces you to start recalculating how you build businesses. So, when people hear a hundred companies in five years, they instantly think, oh, that's 20 companies a year.Like, how are you going to do that amount? But actually, it's a sort of exponential scale that we work on. So, on a first year, which was sort of 2021, our goal was actually to create three companies and learn and build both the systems to create companies as well as the actual businesses themselves. And then last year our goal was to try and create five companies, which was almost, if you will, like a 50% increase in company creation.And, if you sort of start to work those numbers out over the next five years, we basically go from three to five to 11 to 17 to 32, to 43, and then suddenly you're at a hundred, right? So, it's us also building the infrastructure capabilities and the systems to support...
On this week's episode of Inside Outside Innovation, we sit down with Stephen Taylor, Chief Innovation Officer at Untold Content. Stephen and I talk about the importance of storytelling, failure narratives, and its impact on the innovation culture of companies. Let's get started.Inside Outside Innovation is a podcast to help new innovators navigate what's next. Each week we'll give you a front row seat into what it takes to learn, grow, and thrive In today's world of accelerating change and uncertainty. Join us as we explore, engage, and experiment with the best and the brightest, innovators, entrepreneurs and pioneering businesses. It's time to get started.Interview Transcript with Stephen Taylor, Chief Innovation Officer at Untold ContentBrian Ardinger: Welcome to another episode of Inside Outside Innovation. I'm your host Brian Ardinger, and as always, we have another amazing guest. Today we have Stephen Taylor. He is the Chief Innovation and Chief Financial Officer at Untold Content, where he focuses on helping organizations accelerate innovation through the power of storytelling. Welcome to the show. Stephen Taylor: Thanks Brian. Glad to be here.Brian Ardinger: This whole concept of innovation storytelling, it's becoming more and more popular as people are trying to understand like, how do I actually get movement on my innovation initiatives? And a lot of it comes down to, you know, the stories that you tell. So, I wanted to have you on the show, because you have a company that focuses on this. Why don't we talk about the definition? What is innovation storytelling? Stephen Taylor: Yes. Innovation storytelling is something that is near and dear to my heart. So, I am a chemist by training. I did my PhD in chemistry, did a postdoc. Went out into industry and was there for about a decade. And I felt the pains of how you actually get buy-in, even within a smaller organization. I think we had 250 people. But how do you actually get buy-in on ideas. Or how do you kill ideas that don't fit? You know, how do you find out what is the right decision. And so that was something that I became very passionate about. And so, when I left industry and joined Untold, I really wanted to spend a lot of time focusing on how do innovators communicate, even as a scientist. How do scientists communicate?So, what we found through our research is that innovation storytelling is the art and science of communicating strategic narratives and personal stories around innovation objectives in order to drive them forward. It really works on trying to make things that are very strategic, but also bring those personal experiences in.Because what we found is that organizations have overall these strategic narratives that, that they're trying to force. When you have an idea or something that you're trying to bring forward, you have to ensure that there's good alignment between those stories and that narrative. And so, they really play in concert together. So that's why we include both those as a part of the definition. Brian Ardinger: Yeah, part of it's like that translation service almost. Sometimes it's a technical translation of, what the heck are you talking about? It's more about how do you align that with the other stories that are being told in the organization so that you can make sure that people understand what you mean.I think, you know, when I go out and talk to companies, you know, one of the first things I like to do is how do you define innovation? Because I think that alone, causes problems with a lot of organizations. It's like, well, for me it means, you know, creating the next flying car. Where another person in the organization may mean that innovation is creating something new with our existing customers. And so, right. You know, if you don't have alignment from that perspective, you can go sideways really quickly. Stephen Taylor: We spend time talking about story led innovations versus innovation led stories. So, story led innovation is essentially a project that you may get from your advisor. Or from your boss. And so, a project comes in, the story's already aligned, so it's easy to prioritize that work.And so, you're just working on communication at that point, a strategic communication. But if you're working on a innovation led story, that's where you come and you find something. Well, now how do you get it in line? How do you make something that's new, that has potential that's maybe adjacent? How do you decide, how do you try to create that alignment narrative? And so those are, those are things that we teach as a part of our curriculum. Brian Ardinger: That brings up a couple of interesting questions I have around this idea of innovation usually is in this uncertain area. You know, it's, it's a new idea that you want to create in the world that doesn't always align to the execution side of the business. But yet you have to try these things and do a lot of things to move that idea forward, and a lot of times you're going to fail at that. So, can you talk a little bit about power of failure and, and how do you translate that from a story perspective to let people understand that that's part of the process? Stephen Taylor: Yeah, that's a really good question. So, there's a lot of ways that you can go with this. One way that we think about failure is actually relates back to the Hero’s Journey. So, when it comes to the Hero’s Journey, you know, you can take the whole 17 step process from Joseph Campbell and his original work on the Hero’s Journey, or you can really try to simplify it.And the way that I like to think about it is you receive the call for a journey. You go out through a transition called the transition from the known to the unknown. You then go on your journey, you do your discoveries, whatever. You collect the boons from the journey, which are the gifts to be given back. You then bring those back through that transition point back to your community.And then the hero is recognized with monuments and statues and everything. Joseph Campbell's work was really based around tribal behavior. And when you think about tribal behavior, there's a lot of analogies to the innovation groups that are out there in the unknown trying to find what's next.For the heroes they get these large statues and monuments, but for the failures, they put together rituals. And because the rituals are points where we come back together and actually share best practices, share things that we've learned, to take those learnings from failure and use those to bless back to the community. And so, what we've seen through our research is that there are many points where people are starting to implement these failure rituals.And so, there's several different examples. There's a classic one, Ben and Jerry's. Ben and Jerry's Failure Graveyard is a classic failure ritual. There's Miter. Miter does Failure Cake. So, within Failure Cake, what happens is that they basically bring out a sheet cake into a cafeteria and they say, If you want a piece of cake, you need to share a failure story. And it's really to get those stories of failure being shared in those best practices and lessons learned.Then there's also DuPont. DuPont's doing an Annual Dead Project's Day around Halloween. And so, the whole point is to get lots of their innovators and their scientists together to share their experiences....
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