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Innovation at large, established companies is hard. So we made a podcast to help you overcome obstacles and create change at your organization. Welcome to Innovation Answered, the podcast for corporate innovators. Join your host, Kaitlin Milliken from Innovation Leader, for a new episode every Tuesday at 6 a.m. ET. For more information visit innovationleader.com/podcast/.
 
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Venture capital funds provide the gasoline startups need to get from an initial sketch on a cocktail napkin to a global-scale giant like Uber, Amazon, or Airbnb. With so much change over the last year, we drove out to Los Altos Hills, California to sit down with Hemant Taneja, one of venture’s power players to understand what’s on his mind half way…
 
Bringing designers in early can help companies execute on big ideas more successfully and create smoother customer experiences. But how do you get that right, especially if design isn’t baked into the culture, or if other functions tend to dominate the innovation process? Phil Duncan, the Global Design Officer at Procter and Gamble, discusses his e…
 
Weddings in the COVID-era look a little different. Many couples staged “minimonies” to celebrate their big day, sometimes with a Zoom link as a substitute for in-person celebrations. Just as celebrations have adapted, the way people shop for wedding wear also had to shift. David’s Bridal CEO Jim Marcum discusses how he’s navigating the future of th…
 
How do CEOs determine focus areas and allocate budget to R&D initiatives? In this episode, Deborah Dunsire, four-time chief executive of public and private companies shares her experience. Dunsire has been the CEO of Lundbeck since 2018 — overseeing teams that discover new medicines in Copenhagen and California, as well as others who market and sel…
 
How do Chief Strategy Officers balance the core business with new opportunities? And, what can teams do to build the right portfolio of activities? Megan Lyon, Chief Strategy Officer of Herman Miller, explains how she approaches crafting strategy for the furniture company. George White, Chief Innovation Officer of Cantina, also shares best practice…
 
How do chief innovation officers they set priorities? And, what do they do to influence culture? Debbie Brackeen, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at CSAA, explores how she approaches the insurance company’s innovation portfolio, the metrics that matter, and disruption in the insurance space. Frazer Bennet, Chief Innovation Officer of PA Consu…
 
Dewayne Hankins, the Chief Commercial Officer of the Portland Trail Blazers, shares how the basketball team shifted the fan experience in response to challenges created by COVID-19. During the conversation, he covers how the team kept fans connected to players in the NBA’s 2020 bubble, how the team is approaching empty seats this season, and storyt…
 
How can organizations build a culture of innovation and effectively create buy-in for change? Sarah Chavarria, the Chief People Officer of Delta Dental, explains. Chavarria also shares how the dental insurance company developed its core values, the importance of gathering feedback from employees, and how the company responded to challenges caused b…
 
Innovation Answered, the podcast for corporate innovators, is back for its fifth season. And this season of our podcast is very special: We’re going to take you inside of the C-Suite of some very well-known, well-established organizations. In each episode, we’ll interview a different C-level leader to talk about their innovation priorities. That in…
 
COVID-19 has changed the way people get around. Instead of public transportation, cycling has become a preferred mode of mobility, as well as a way to safely exercise outdoors. A spike in demand might seem like a clear win for bike makers. But, more sales means greater stress on supply chains and longer wait times. To find out how the bike sector i…
 
2020 has been a year of racial reckoning — with discussions about police brutality and systematic racism stretching from the streets to the dinner table to the virtual conference room. To take a deeper dive, we gathered a panel to discuss how to make DEI initiatives at big companies more effective. Our panelists include: Irina Kozlovskaya, a Direct…
 
In so many ways, 2020 has been defined by sudden, dramatic change — from the shift to remote work, to redesigning brick and mortar locations, to changing buying habits, to the national dialogue around racial reckoning, to the aftermath of the presidential election. To find out how big companies have been responding to it all, Innovation Leader’s Ed…
 
Yellow boxes with CD-ROMs made Rosetta Stone an iconic brand in the 2000s. Since then, the company has transformed itself into an educational technology powerhouse. Matthew Hulett, President of Language at the company, discusses how Rosetta Stone pivoted from a physical product to a subscription service. He also discusses the company’s approach to …
 
While demand for shipping to office spaces is down, the team at UPS has seen an increased in customers shipping purchases to their homes. In this installment of Innovation Answered: Essentials, David Lee shares how his team has adapted to these new needs. He also discusses how his team has changed their approach to storage and gives best practices …
 
After planning for hybrid classes all summer, this month the team at Barnard College pivoted suddenly to another semester of online learning. What goes into making these decisions? And how will today’s pivots affect the future of higher education? We gathered an online panel of higher education experts to share. This episode features Barnard Presid…
 
The sudden onset of a global pandemic shifted priorities at many large companies. Innovation teams have been tasked with facing new challenges that can help save lives and keep people safe. Colleen Hau of Carhartt discussed how her team worked quickly to make PPE for frontline workers. Firdaus Bhathena of CVS talks about how the company’s COVID-19 …
 
What does it mean to practice empathy? Teams need to think about end-users as real live human beings — not just a rectangle on a PowerPoint slide labeled “the customer.” To learn more, we sat down with Irina Kozlovskaya, Director of Industrial Design at Fitbit. Kozlovskaya shares how the team at Fitbit listens to customers and pairs the process wit…
 
What’s changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic? What’s likely to come back? And when? Innovation Leader’s What the Future Looks Like report seeks to answer that question. Kaitlin Milliken, Multimedia Editor at the publication, shares data from the report. Stephan Chase, a futurist and founder of the consultancy Chase Intel, discusses how the pandemic …
 
Consumer packaged goods (CPG) describes any product that requires routine replacement — from personal care to food. Companies in this space have to create new offerings that shoppers will buy again and again. To find out how big R&D bets empower the process, we talked to Ranjani Varadan, VP of R&D at the meat alternative company, Impossible Foods. …
 
Steve Jobs once said it’s better to be a pirate than to join the Navy. Pirates refer to startups, built by nimble teams. Large organizations, which are slower to innovate, are compared to the bureaucratic Navy. But how do corporate innovators fall into this metaphor? In this installment of Innovation Answered: Essentials, Tendayi Viki explains. Mol…
 
How does AARP use innovation to empower people as they age? During a conversation with Innovation Leader, VP of Product and Startup Engagement Rick Robinson explains how his team uses design thinking to solve unmet needs in the 50-years-and-older community. He also discusses the importance of testing products with end users and the dangers of over …
 
Innovators in the public and private sectors face many of the same challenges: There’s resistance to change and internal politics that can bog down progress. However, teams in the government may have tighter budgets that come directly from tax payer dollars. These teams also face demands from both supervisors and constituents. To gather best practi…
 
Pursuing new ideas can be difficult when employees bogged down with day-to-day business. To foster new processes, many companies created separate innovation teams and labs. But how have these labs shifted during this period of remote work? What sets labs up for success? Linda Elkins, Chief Technical Officer of W.L. Gore’s Silicon Valley Innovation …
 
What are the risks when large companies dive into the venture capital game? To answer that question and more, we sat down with Rudina Seseri, Founder and Managing Partner of Glasswing Ventures. Amish Parashar, Co-founder of the Yamaha Motor Exploratory Fund, also explains why corporate venture is like a two-tiered cake and how the venture capital w…
 
Creating an innovative culture involves much more than fun activities and idea challenges. Building a healthy culture involves deliberate choices that create space for experimentation and risk. Wayfair Co-founder Steve Conine discusses how the online furniture retailer maintained its culture as it grew from a two person idea to a company with 16,00…
 
COVID-19 has transformed the way teams across the globe work. Stock markets have been in turmoil, and companies across industries have announced layoffs and furloughs. In this episode of Innovation Answered, experts share best practices for teams as they navigate uncertainty. Topics of discussion include shifting innovation teams’ priorities, switc…
 
How should teams pursue business model innovation? Why should companies “professionalize” innovation? Alex Osterwalder, creator of the Business Model Canvas and co-founder of Strategyzer, explains. Osterwalder also shares insights from his recently published book, Testing Business Ideas. His next book, The Invincible Company, will be out in the spr…
 
The supply chain can sometimes be regarded as a function far removed from the corporate headquarters. However, it's an essential part of most businesses, and it offers a massive opportunity for innovation to create new value. To learn more about supply chain innovation, we interviewed Aisha Nabiyeva from Retail Business Services, a logistics provid…
 
Getting innovation started at an established company can be fraught with challenges. So how can teams build the right foundation for new initiatives? To find out, we sat down with Executive Chef Robert Price, who founded Philadelphia Downtown Marriott’s 1201 Innovation Lab. Danielle Cohn, Vice President for Entrepreneurial Engagement for Comcast NB…
 
What can we expect from Quick Service Restaurants of the future? We sat down with Jessica Anselmi, Panera’s Director of Innovation and Category Growth, to find out what her team is working on. We also explore innovation inside Chick-fil-A’s Hatch Innovation Center in Atlanta and get tips from a former Vice President of Innovation for Starbucks.…
 
We introduce a new segment of the show — Innovation Answered: Essentials. Designed for innovators on the go, we break down one of our articles and read it aloud for you. In this episode, we take you inside innovation at The Nature Conservancy. Innovation Leader’s Managing Editor Kelsey Alpaio shares her takeaways and the reporting process. Want to …
 
Over the summer, we gathered listener questions about corporate innovation. Hari Nair, a current fellow at Harvard University and a former Global Managing Director at Kimberly Clark, shares best practices from his 25 years of experience in the innovation space. Innovation Leader’s Managing Editor Kelsey Alpaio shares tips that’s she’s learned in he…
 
Last week, we discussed best practices for tech scouting. In order to see advice in action, we went to Miami to visit Royal Caribbean’s ship, Navigator of the Seas. We also take a look inside the company’s innovation lab and hear about the company’s digital transformation strategy. Guests include Joey Hasty, Head of Innovation and Transformation at…
 
Every company knows that responding to technological change is important. But scouting for emerging technology can be really overwhelming. To gather best practices, we visited The New York Times’ headquarters and talked to Marc Lavallee, the paper’s Head of R&D. Other guests include Mona Vernon of Fidelity Labs and John Woods of Kalypso.…
 
In our recent Benchmarking Innovation Impact 2020 Report, 75 percent of respondents cited leadership support from CEOs, business unit leaders, and others as their top enabler. But how do you find innovation allies? To find out, we went to the Bose headquarters in Framingham, Mass. to talk to NB Patil, Head of the Bose Corporate Concept Group. We al…
 
In this episode, we take a deep dive into the world of data and how Experian’s DataLabs spread innovative data solutions across the company. Originally focused on credit reporting, Experian now works with all types of data, software, and decision analytics. The company also runs four DataLabs in San Diego, London, São Paulo, and Singapore. Eric Hal…
 
Silicon Valley and Seattle have created a number of startup unicorns turned trillion dollar companies — like Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google (FAANG). In order to find out what makes FAANG more innovative than other companies, we sat down with Faisal Masud, Chief Operating Officer of Wing at Alphabet Inc. Innovation Leader CEO Scott Kirs…
 
When it comes to consumer packaged goods, the Kellogg Company is a big player, with about $13.5 billion in revenue. But the company's best-known breakfast items face a tougher landscape as more people choose to skip the most important meal of the day. To find out how the company is reimagining their business through R&D, we sat down with Nigel Hugh…
 
While innovation can be difficult at any company, highly regulated industries with a thick rule book — both internally and from the government — face more roadblocks along the innovation journey. To find out how highly regulated companies can chalk up innovation wins, we sat down with Mohan Nair, Chief Innovation Officer at Cambia Health Solutions.…
 
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