Category Archives: podcast

Still Moving: How To Lead Mindful Change, with Deborah Rowland

My guest today is Deborah Rowland, a leading thinker, speaker, writer, coach and practitioner in the leadership of large complex change. Deborah has devoted her 3-decade career to the study, practice, and dissemination of effective ways to lead true transformation that takes individuals, teams, organizations and indeed whole societal systems to a genuinely new place.

Working alongside CEOs and their Executive Teams to help them navigate large scale transformation efforts, and importantly, attend to their own leadership practice as part of that, Deborah has personally led change in major global organizations including Shell, Gucci Group, BBC Worldwide and PepsiCo.

In 2017, Deborah was named on Thinkers50 Radar as one of the generation of management thinkers changing the world of business. Her consulting firm, Still Moving, pioneered original research in the field, the latest efforts of which were accepted as a paper at the 2016 Academy of Management and at the 2019 European Academy of Management. I found her in a wonderful book called, The Chief Strategy Officer Playbook: How to Transform Strategies Into Great Results.

Deborah brings a unique combination of experience, insight and research to the leadership of change. Although there has been much research on the benefits of mindfulness to the individual, Deborah’s research is original, focusing on the business impact. Her latest book, Still Moving: How to Lead Mindful Change, offers practical examples of how to bring a higher level of awareness into your company.

In addition to consulting, speaking and writing, Deborah has contributed to faculty teaching at Business Schools such as Henley Management College, Tuck, and Bath Management School.

Don’t be confused about mindfulness – you don’t have to be a meditation student or yoga instructor to understand it. Mindfulness is like a muscle that you build. It’s a stake you put in the ground that you say, my reaction to events is more important than the event itself. Mindfulness requires skill and is worth knowing about and building it into your repertoire.

For now, if you want to explore Mindfulness in a new way, and if you want to learn from a high-level Master, this conversation is the perfect place to start.

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Capital CIO of the Year 2018 | Enterprise ORBIE Award Winner, Judith Apshago

My guest today is Judith Apshago. Judith’s leadership talents were recognized in a big way in December 2018 when she was chosen from a group of 88 nominees, to receive the Capital CIO of the Year, Enterprise ORBIE Award recognizing her achievements as Vice President and Chief Information Officer of U.S. Silica, a leading producer of performance materials and industrial minerals and last-mile logistics provider. This award recognizes technology executives for leadership, innovation and excellence. She was awarded the Norma Miller Passionate Philanthropist Award the same year.

Judith is an accomplished IT executive with over 25 years of leadership experience in information technology, most recently in a new role as Assistant Vice President of IT at Amtrak, and prior to that as Vice President and Chief Information Officer of U.S. Silica where she spearheaded an IT and digital transformation to support the company’s rapid and substantial growth. She led a company-wide technology modernization, shifted IT from a utility provider to a high-performing strategic business partner, integrated multiple acquired companies, and collaborated with business leaders on strategic initiatives that enabled scalability, drove business efficiencies, and provided market differentiation.

This is a fantastic conversation and I know you will love it.

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What Is The Last Competitive Advantage for Humans?

Today I have a great interview with Dr. Jonas Ridderstråle from Sweden. He’s one of the world’s most influential and respected business thinkers and speakers. Since bursting onto the international scene with the bestselling book Funky Business in 2000, Jonas has remained at the forefront of the new generation of management thinkers.

In 2014, the Global Top 30 Management Gurus ranking put him at number 23 worldwide and among the top five in Europe. He has a PhD in International Business and an MBA. His most recent book, published in 2017 is called, Fast/Forward: Make Your Company Fit for the Future, and was co-authored with Julian Birkinshaw.

So with that, I want to introduce you to my wonderful conversation with Jonas Ridderstråle.

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We Are Fairy Godmothers of the Modern World

Deepa Prahalad is an author and an innovation consultant. She has worked with startups. She’s worked with large multinationals and co-authored the book, Predictable Magic: Unleash The Power of Design Strategy To Transform Your Business, which was selected by Fast Company as one of the best design books of the year. She’s written for the Harvard Business Review, strategy and business; Business Week and was elected member of the International Academy of Management and is ranked number 34 on the inaugural Thinkers50 India list. I love Thinkers50, it’s an amazing resource. Google it and you’ll see what I mean. Just some of the best thinkers in the world are associated with that organization and she was recently selected by leadership guru, Marshall Goldsmith, into his 100 Coaches Program from over 16,000 global applicants.

Rarefied air for sure. Deepa speaks on innovation and design strategy and mentors social entrepreneurs, and I might add social for-profit entrepreneurs and one of the organizations we talk about is ModRoof, an innovative sustainable roofing company in India. She has a BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of Michigan and an MBA from The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

Here are the learning points you’re going to get from listening to this conversation. Design is more than aesthetics. Most people think of design – as around the physical aspects of a product, but it’s more than that, it’s emotion. Then we talked about a story of how logistics can be impacted by looking at multiple disciplines. For example, we talk about a worldwide charity that delivers mosquito nets. They have a complete supply chain to delivers mosquito nets to populations that need to protect against malaria. Well, how is that similar to the US supply chain from a wood manufacturer, for example.

Asking those type of questions to develop similarities between problem solving. It’s no longer enough to own your own corporate story. Customers have to help you tell the story. They have to tell the about your wins. The power of open-ended questions to build momentum around ideas and how it’s not necessarily the idea, but the questions around the idea, where you build the momentum. I love this part that Deepa talks about. Information is no longer privileged, which is obvious, but next you are at the 10-yard line the imperative is to execute. If you’ve got access to the information and it’s not privileged, now it’s about execution.

Deepa talks about this other really great concept called the ‘needs versus aspirations’. If we’re taking care of the needs, we’ve lifted a lot of folks out of poverty, billion out of poverty, but what are their aspirations? What are their aspirations moving forward as they climb the economic ladder? Asking that question and creating something takes optimism, versus when you need something. Deepa breaks that distinction down during the interview.

We talked about the hero’s journey and the importance of emotion and the story that you’re telling and that hero’s journey. I also ask questions about nostalgia. How important is nostalgia? We talk about the sweet spot’ between the past, the important past and the future. We look at how we develop that sweet spot that people love.

Finally, social entrepreneurship, with so many people coming online, the needs for large segments of the population to be served by entrepreneurs who want to bring products and services to those billions. How does that happen? How much does social entrepreneur think? It’s a wide and varied conversation that you’re going to love and I want introduce you now to my conversation with Deepa Prahalad.

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Here are the learning points you’re going to get from listening to this conversation.

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Seeing Around Corners: How to Spot Inflection Points in Business Before They Happen

Today my guest is Rita McGrath. She is a best-selling author, sought-after speaker, and a longtime professor at Columbia Business School. She is widely recognized as a premier expert on strategy, innovation, entrepreneurship and growth during times of uncertainty.

Rita has received the #1 achievement award for strategy from the prestigious Thinkers50 and has been consistently named one of the world’s Top 10 management thinkers in its bi-annual ranking. As a consultant to CEOs, her work has had a lasting impact on the strategy and growth programs of Fortune 500 companies worldwide.

Rita is a highly sought-after speaker at exclusive corporate events around the globe, such as the Global Peter Drucker Forum. She is also the author of several books, including the best-selling, The End of Competitive Advantage (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013). Her new book is, Seeing Around Corners: How to Spot Inflection Points in Business Before They Happen (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019). She has written three other books including, Discovery-Driven Growth: A Breakthrough Process to Reduce Risk and Seize Opportunity, cited by Clayton Christensen as creating one of the most important management ideas ever developed.

She received her PhD from the Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania) and has degrees with honors from Barnard College and the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs.

Here are some key items that you will learn about in this podcast episode:

  • How did Walmart innovate in response to a resistant culture?
  • How retail will rebound, i.e. the story of Showfields.
  • Some practical ideas about How to See Around Corners.
  • Learn about Adobe’s innovative strategy using the Red Kickbox Program.
  • What Rita means by ‘Snow melts from the edge’ and the imperative for leaders.
  • Learn what Rita considers to be her Superpower, and why.
  • How innovation proficiency defangs an organization’s anti-bodies.
  • Personal inflection points and how to personally manage being an Innovation Leader.

Now, I want to introduce you to this amazing conversation with Rita McGrath.

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