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Untold Stories of Innovation
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Untold Stories of Innovation

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How do leading innovators get people to believe, fund, and support their big ideas? Can the power of storytelling fuel a culture of idea-generation? Can storytelling ignite innovation? Join us as we sit down with the nation's top innovators to tell the stories of their innovations. After all, what good is an innovation left untold?

62 Episodes
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We talk with Dave Bossert, long-time animator at Disney, who worked on iconic films such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. He shares with us the power of animation to convey and evoke emotion, as well as the power of emotion to impact audiences and us as innovators. We get a closer look at how his writing, producing, and filmmaking exemplifies strategic storytelling. Listen in to hear his innovation story, from traveling across the country with $34 dollars in his pocket, to finding opportunity to create with the world's most premier storytelling company. For more information, visit our website: https://untoldcontent.com/ You can also find us on Instagram: @untoldcontent
Why do stories matter to the innovation process? What values can be instilled in innovators who share stories? How do innovation leaders inspire creators to tell and share their success and failure stories? In this episode, we speak with  Wendy Lea—CEO, board leader, entrepreneur, investor, mentor and community steward—about how to utilize innovation to spark a larger regional identity that accelerates the speed of innovation in that area. Wendy reveals that storytelling about a community’s distinct culture is instrumental in striking regional, economic transformation. Local government, startups, entrepreneurs, universities, and corporations who celebrate shared opportunities for growth and innovation can  transform their city’s future. For more on how to spark economic vibrancy, check out Wendy’s series of publications, as well as the latest Brookings Report, as discussed in the podcast. For more information, visit our website: https://untoldcontent.com/ You can also find us on Instagram: @untoldcontent
We speak with Ryan Hawk, author of Welcome to Management and Podcast Host of “The Learning Leader Show.” Ryan shares with us his mission to share the commonalities of leaders who sustain excellence and his passion to engage and inspire millions through his writing and on his podcast. Ryan considers himself a lifelong student of leadership, and he shares with us the depth of integrating compassion and empathy in our daily leadership endeavors, whether that be in our personal or professional lives. For more information, visit our website: https://untoldcontent.com/ You can also find us on Instagram: @untoldcontent
We speak with Scott Collick and Lindsey Karpowich from DuPont. Scott is Vice President of Global R&D for Transportation and Industrial and Lindsey is New Product Development Agile Coach. We delve into DuPont’s Dead Projects Day, a day where they specifically share and work through Dead Projects. DuPont knows that learning from mistakes and making sure others can learn and pivot their innovative project because of known mistakes is so helpful. But there must be a culture where brilliant failures are celebrated or learned from, not swept under the rug and ridiculed. Innovation, trying new ideas, is a fail game; it is natural, helpful, and company’s ought to create a safe space for sharing innovation struggles and failures so that people can brilliantly fail as well as brilliantly succeed, because they actually go hand in hand. For more information, visit our website: https://untoldcontent.com/ You can also find us on Instagram: @untoldcontent
We speak with Laura Marino, Chief Product Officer at TrueAccord and former Senior Vice President of Product at Lever. She shares with us the power of diversity and inclusion within innovation, such as the variety of different perspectives, better decision making, and increased creativity. She shares stories of her previous work in advocating for more women in a male-dominated room, and her current work with a non-profit called Leading Women in Technology, which is dedicated to promoting woman-led leadership. Laura dives into the importance of storytelling inside of the technology industry, discussing how she got where she is today and how driven she is to get other women a “seat at the table.” For more information, visit our website: https://untoldcontent.com/ You can also find us on Instagram: @untoldcontent
How does the largest branding company on the planet create innovative products that billions of customers love? We talk with Matt Doyle of Procter and Gamble about how innovation storytelling has played a key role in his successful product innovations, including Crest Whitening Strips. Matt shares how P&G has collaborated with their customers over the years for the betterment of their company. How? Customer feedback has led to new product iterations and ideas that resonate and change the end-user life for the better. Get a closer look at how connecting with your customer’s emotions through storytelling can accelerate your innovation process. For more information, visit our website: https://untoldcontent.com/ You can also find us on Instagram: @untoldcontent
We speak with Siva Muthukrishnan, Associate Vice President of Advanced Research for L’Oreal.  Siva talks about the importance of innovation, what he looks for when looking for new team members, the essential role of storytelling to our best guesses for the future and research, and how diversified thinking is essential to proper innovation.  Diversified thinking not only allows for varied perspectives in the workplace, but allows for creative solutions to be put forth and utilized in the workplace.  Diversified thinking, in teams and in individuals, goes a long way in advancing research and technology.  Interested in how Process-centric and jugaad-centric are his two ways of innovating?  Siva Muthukrishnan explains his two main ways of innovation and elaborates on how to develop and incorporate both to maximize innovation potential. For more information, visit our website: https://untoldcontent.com/ You can also find us on Instagram: @untoldcontent
Every year, public health is threatened by unknown mosquito-borne diseases that tend to be transmitted in the warmest areas of the U.S., including states such as California, Florida, and Texas. Certain mosquito-borne diseases, like Zika, can easily be transmitted via blood transfusion, which is why Dr. Benjamin, chief medical officer of Cerus, has worked with hospital systems and blood centers around the world to reduce the risk of transmission through pathogen reduction, which ensures that hospital patients are receiving clean, disease and virus-free blood.  Not all blood in the U.S. is pathogen reduced, but the FDA has recommended this method as a safety measure. The safety of the blood supply can make or break our healthcare system as we prepare for the next outbreak. Dr. Fauci published a paper recently outlining the importance of understanding and anticipating devastating disease emergencies caused by animal hosts. Today, we talk with the CEO and CMO of Cerus Corporation to understand new technologies for blood sterilization and pathogen-reduction—and the powerful ways they can help prevent or lessen the negative impacts of pandemics. For more information, visit our website: https://untoldcontent.com/ You can also find us on Instagram: @untoldcontent
We speak with Dan Ward, Principal Systems Engineer at MITRE Corporation, author, and Air Force veteran. His experience leading research and development teams within the US Air Force taught him that speed, thrift, and simplicity are the key elements in any technology developer program. Dan believes that playfulness in storytelling makes the stories more memorable and clear. A touch of whimsy with any subject matter, even engineering, helps the story land better. His professional takeaways and personal passions inspired his first three books, including LIFT, and he continues to advocate for storytelling in all areas of business, learning, and life.
Say it first, say it loud, say it often, and say it with others. This is key advice Doowan Lee shares with psychological operations professionals, and it's applicable to any innovator trying to gain traction in our digital age. “Short and distort” is a dangerous but effective strategy in digital communication. To combat this, Doowan and the intelligence team at Zignal Labs must both deliberate and try to answer the misinformation efficiently and succinctly. Timing is of the essence, and while Doowan acknowledges the importance of storytelling, framing, and motivation within innovation, there is the key factor of timing. Even among a plethora of disinformation and sprawling media coverage, Doowan Lee believes that truth and innovation will prevail among open societies.Listen in and share with us your own questions and advice on how you and your innovation teams are tackling disinformation in this fast-paced era.  Interested in the articles and information discussed in this episode? Check them out:  Freedom House, “Democracy Under Lockdown:” https://freedomhouse.org/report/special-report/2020/democracy-under-lockdown
Michael Kanaan, author of T-Minus AI, blends data with storytelling, old techniques with new ideas, and intended consequences with unintended consequences. He shares how a truly compelling narrative is rooted in and inspired by real facts and experiences. Therefore, especially when telling an innovative or brand story, numbers and language go hand in hand. They both inform and shape the story, to the point where they ought to come together. This way, the narrative has the ability to expose people to new information that is both interesting and applicable to their lives. Tune in to hear how AI, ethics, and human experience all inform each other and what the future of all may be, like how AI can actually improve instead of replace people’s jobs and connect rather than detract from social interaction, as well as moving politics forward instead of making it easy to disrupt agendas. Interested in his new book, T-Minus AI? Get it here: https://www.amazon.com/T-Minus-Humanitys-Countdown-Artificial-Intelligence/dp/1948836947 For more information, visit our website: https://untoldcontent.com/ You can also find us on Instagram: @untoldcontent
Innovation is almost always looked upon as a positive thing. However, what happens when a brand-new innovative idea has unforeseen implications? What happens when innovations are not necessarily created to have a positive impact in the first place? Today, Zach Davis, Senior Fellow at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, delves into understanding the potential threats and risks of innovation. Zach specializes in analysis of weapons of mass destruction and emerging technologies. He shares how the business world communicates with the government and vice versa, as well as the complexities of innovative technologies. While necessity is the mother of invention, what is necessary might not strictly be what is beneficial and inspirational. Instead of strictly necessity, let curiosity, passion, and interest spark innovative ideas. And with the global community brought on by technological innovation, storytelling and who gets to craft the narratives are essential questions to explore when considering “strategic latencies,” aka the ways innovation can be utilized and explored. Make sure to check out https://cgsr.llnl.gov/ for more on Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the complexities of innovative technologies. Interested in looking further? Take a look at an example of the opportunities and pitfalls of global dissemination of information in the article Stealth Research: Lack of Peer-Reviewed Evidence from Healthcare Unicorns, as well as the interesting predictions made by Samuel Huntington in his intriguing innovative prediction regarding conflicts and information in the Post-Cold War landscape: “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order.” For more information, visit our website: https://untoldcontent.com/ You can also find us on Instagram: @untoldcontent
In our conversation with Maria McLane, the innovation project manager at the United States Playing Card Company, we discuss interdisciplinary collaboration as a key driver for innovation. The US Playing Card Company has a long history of  uniting people through conversation, laughter, and healthy competition. Maria details how the company continues to develop games that foster nostalgia and connection for a wide audience and speaks to the importance of pitches powered by empathy and story. You don’t have to take our word for it—check out their new game, It’s Blunderful. For more information, visit our website: https://untoldcontent.com/ You can also find us on Instagram: @untoldcontent
Why do stories matter to the innovation process? What values can be instilled in innovators who share stories? How do innovation leaders inspire creators to tell and share their success and failure stories? Hearing is one of the senses that we cannot choose to easily ignore or “turn off.” Therefore, it is important to consider how sound should be utilized when curating a contemporary, multifaceted brand story. The Grammy-nominated brand Gwynne Sound has created many unique and innovative sounds through sonic brand storytelling. Today, we speak with Gwynne Sound’s Dan Carruthers and Adam Pleiman about considering sound, user experience, and pathos in branding. Human beings respond emotionally to sound and will remember the feeling evoked, linking it with the innovative product and brand. Knowing this, Gwynne Sound creates a personalized sound brand to elevate your innovative products by utilizing emotion and statistics to narrow down a brand’s message and aesthetic. For more information, visit our website: https://untoldcontent.com/ You can also find us on Instagram: @untoldcontent
Why do stories matter to the innovation process? What values can be instilled in innovators who share stories? How do innovation leaders inspire creators to tell and share their success and failure stories? It isn’t the latest and greatest technological innovation that is guaranteed to inspire passion. Innovators need to be interested in their prospective audience’s interests to craft a compelling innovation story. Melissa Pickering, Director at LEGO Education, tells us how innovators can create a captivating, successful innovation by having an innovation story that speaks to the consumer’s passion points. Passion-driven storytelling also comes into play in the early stages of the innovation process as a mechanism to garner buy-in and support from internal teams. Learn more about how LEGO utilizes test failures, storytelling, and passion points to curate their products! Also, make sure to check out Melissa’s inspiring Ted Talk regarding how tech should be designed for kids. For more information, visit our website: https://untoldcontent.com/ You can also find us on Instagram: @untoldcontent
Why do stories matter to the innovation process? What values can be instilled in innovators who share stories? How do innovation leaders inspire creators to tell and share their success and failure stories? We speak with Tim Raderstorf, Chief Innovation Officer at The Ohio State University College of Nursing, as well as the Head of Academic Entrepreneurship at the Erdős Institute. To top it all off, he founded the Innovation Studio, a makerspace that democratizes innovation, providing every interprofessional team that pitches their innovation with the funding, tools, and mentorship needed to turn ideas into actions. Tim shares his innovation story along with stories of other innovative leaders who effectively apply the “yes, and” approach.This approach improves organizations’ ideation rate: a way to measure innovation in companies in which the amount of positive ideas divided by the number of active participants. According to Tim, the higher the ideation rate, the higher your return on investment for innovation. You can connect with Tim on LinkedIn and Twitter. For more information, visit our website: https://untoldcontent.com/ You can also find us on Instagram: @untoldcontent
Why do stories matter to the innovation process? What values can be instilled in innovators who share stories? How do innovation leaders inspire creators to tell and share their success and failure stories? Tisha Livingston is a pioneer in the field of indoor vertical farming. She is the CEO of Infinite Acres, a global joint venture between Priva, Ocado, and 80 Acres Farms that is transforming the global food supply to create a world of delicious, nutritious, and readily available produce for everyone. Prior to forming Infinite Acres, Tisha was the co-founder and President of 80 Acres Farms, where they grow, operate, sell and distribute the freshest vegetables and herbs delivered to supermarkets and restaurants year round in environmentally controlled, pesticide-free facilities. These two companies have an overwhelmingly positive impact on the environment and food production: they use 97% less water, create more nutrient-dense produce, and aren't dependent on weather—not to mention the social impact of bringing fresh produce to food deserts. Interestingly, she’s learned that communicating all of these benefits can make the audience question if it's too good to be true. So, how do you get audiences to buy-in to an idea that seems larger than life? Tell stories with impacts that resonate with a specific audience. For more information, visit our website: https://untoldcontent.com/ You can also find us on Instagram: @untoldcontent
Why do stories matter to the innovation process? What values can be instilled in innovators who share stories? How do innovation leaders inspire creators to tell and share their success and failure stories? We speak with Gary Gray, vice president of racing, technology and service at Indian Motorcycle Company, Slingshot, Polaris. The Polaris-backed revival of American-based Indian Motorcycle Company began in 2011 and has flourished ever since, as new innovations and company history intertwine to create Indian Motorcycle’s unique story. Today, Gary shares how Polaris led a rebirth of Indian Motorcycles, as well as the different narrative and strategy behind Polaris’ unique model, the Slingshot. Gary describes how “visioneering” leads them to new innovations and helps shape their storytelling. For more information, visit our website: https://untoldcontent.com/ You can also find us on Instagram: @untoldcontent
We speak with Sue Baggott, a former BigCo executive turned strategic innovation consultant, and now President of the Power Within Consulting. An accidental angel investor and lean innovation leader, Sue shares the value of approaching consumers with empathy and  attuning to their passions, struggles, and goals. The most impactful innovations emerge from that approach. Sue shares her insight into what innovation storytelling  can look like, the key to successful and impactful innovation, and how to garner buy-in and consumer interest in innovative sectors. For more information, visit our website: https://untoldcontent.com/ You can also find us on Instagram: @untoldcontent
Why do stories matter to the innovation process? What values can be instilled in innovators who share stories? How do innovation leaders inspire creators to tell and share their success and failure stories? We speak with Temi and Busayo Odunlami regarding their non-profit work with Billion Strong, an organization that seeks to empower people through a three-pronged approach encompassing digital expertise, business expertise, and social expertise. To them, feelings of fear and discomfort often occur just before one reaches the threshold of fantastic opportunity, and should be embraced. Temi and Busayo Odunlami empower people to become changemakers by focusing on empathy, care, and equity in tech. For more information, visit our website: https://untoldcontent.com/ You can also find us on Instagram: @untoldcontent
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