Inside LaunchStreet with Tamara Ghandour

This human-centered innovation podcast will resonate with those that recognize that being more innovative is their ticket to reaching their full human potential. Tamara removes the traps holding you back and gives you a new framework to unlock your innovation advantage. A combination mindset, tangible tools, insightful deep dives, and research based on Tamara's proprietary Innovation Quotient Edge (IQE) assessment Tamara Ghandour brings a fresh perspective to innovation - one that will help you be a strong innovator and confident leader. As the author of Innovation Is Everybody's Business , founder of the Everyday Innovators Tribe and the creator of the Innovation Quotient Edge assessment, Tamara makes innovation accessible to all of us in this conversational style podcast.
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Inside LaunchStreet with Tamara Ghandour






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Dec 25, 2018

In this episode, I pull out five clips from a range of incredible innovators that have stopped by and shared their brilliance on Inside LaunchStreet in 2018. They range from an Intrapreneur shaking up his large, bureaucratic company, a Silicon Valley pitch expert, a master investor, a pair of rocking entrepreneurs that have built an empire and someone that trained under the management guru, Peter Drucker. These clips highlight just some of the nuggets of gold shared in our interviews.

Dec 18, 2018

We’ve entered a new era. One that requires us to solve challenges we’ve never seen and explore solutions we’ve never created. If you are like me, sometimes it’s hard to wrap your head around it. And that’s why I had Greg Satell on Inside LaunchStreet. He is the author of Mapping Innovation: A Playbook For Navigating A Disruptive Age, a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review and INC and a sought-after innovation thought leader. We talked a lot about how we are moving from the age of iterating what we know into exploring what we don’t know. He shared with me the top ways to stay relevant and ahead in this changing time.


Key Takeaways:

[:59] Tamara opens the show by sharing that the overarching theme in today’s conversation is the fact that we’re transforming the era that we’re in from iterating what we know into exploring new things. She invites listeners to take the IQE Assessment. This will help you to shift into the new era.

[3:52] Greg just released his book Mapping Innovation: A Playbook for Navigating a Disruptive Age. It was recently selected as one of the best business books of 2017 by


[4:52] You might be surprised to learn that Greg spent 15 years in the former Soviet Union.

[6:10] Greg teaches that we are currently in the digital revolution. It’s been driven by the ability to add silicon wafers. The value has now shifted to the front end to behavioral-design-type things. He thinks the digital era is nearing its end.

[10:13] What can we expect the new era to look like? What should innovators have their eye on into the future?

[16:22] Greg says you need to get out and widen and deepen your connections. Tamara believes it’s more about going wide and connecting the different dots. They talk about connection driving transformation. Greg thinks the key thing is to get away from the idea of constantly adapting. You need to prepare rather than adapt.

[18:31] Greg believes you can change and evolve to keep up, but you can’t win by evolving. Tamara and Greg talk about Google and Facebook evolving.

[21:50] Tamara questions where the fast-casual industry goes and how do businesses prepare for the shift? Greg discusses material science. It’s important to have an idea as to what new technology can affect your industry. Then, start laying the groundwork.

[25:54] Do smaller companies and startups have a handle on it?

[28:02] Get introduced to the 70/20/10 rule.

[31:26] How does innovation become responsible across the 70/20/10?

[33:20] Senior leaders have to make innovation a priority. It’s important to figure out how to sustain over time. Innovation isn’t about ideas. It's about solving problems. Go look for a good, meaningful problem to solve.

[37:27] Greg and Tamara discuss Malcolm Gladwell’s ideas. Tamara says he’s good at taking large and complex topics and making them easily digestible for the everyday person.

[39:28] Connect with Greg at or at

[39:59] Greg shares the story about Alexander Fleming and the invention of penicillin. Penicillin didn’t become available for twenty years. Listen in to learn how penicillin came to be the important medicine it is today. Tamara reminds listeners that it doesn’t just happen. Innovation is never a single event.

[45:44] Greg’s final piece of advice is to go looking for a meaningful problem to solve.

[46:40] Tamara loved Greg’s idea that innovators are connectors. They’re people out there gathering ideas and experiences. We need to think about how we can be connectors in this world. Get your IQE Assessment and start innovating and adapting.


If you are ready to:

  • get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea

  • be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change

  • foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...

Join us on LaunchStreet —


Mentioned in This Episode:

Mapping Innovation: A Playbook For Navigating A Disruptive Age, by Greg Satell


Dec 11, 2018

Let's face it — trying to be innovative in a workspace that feels boring and stiff is hard. Yet, that's what most of us face every day — a workplace that keeps you siloed and doesn't help you think differently. I find it super frustrating so I brought on Shama Hyder to talk about the Empowered Workplace and the new frontier in employee and customer experience. She’s an author, business owner and was called the “Millennial Master of the Universe” by


Key Takeaways:

[1:02] Tamara opens the show by inviting listeners to go to iTunes or Stitcher and leave a review about the podcast.

[2:32] Innovation is hard when you’re in an environment that feels stifling, boring and stiff. It's a lot easier when you’re in an environment that fosters innovation, collaboration, and a new perspective.

[2:52] You might be surprised to know that Shama is a very fast reader. She aced the verbal part of her SAT’s.

[4:48] Shama starts things long before the trend emerges. She started Zen Media, a marketing and PR firm to help brands stay relevant in the digital age, long before most people knew what social media was.

[5:09] How does Shama identify the next big wave?

[6:39] The new marketing frontier is physical space. Things are coming full circle. The digital space is shifting to a more traditional space. Shama shares that experience helps to take the friction away. She shares that Chase Business understands that they aren't in the business of banking, rather, they help businesses grow through banking.

[10:54] How does Chase operate differently from other banks in day to day business? Tamara shares that Square Space is successful because they help other people make money. Not that they develop an easy web service.

[13:03] Shama commented in this LinkedIn article, The Future of Workplace Design: The FETCH Model, that today’s workspace needs to evolve to meet the needs of today’s changing workforce. Tamara believes that organizations are successful when they realize that their people come first, along with their customer.

[16:01] How do you create an empowered office?

[16:35] The physical environment is a huge factor in productivity. How are you facilitating the needs of your base? The answer is never a ping pong table in the middle of the office.

[19:39] Tamara and Shama talk about not perceiving things incorrectly and being open to the next wave of innovation and what’s really happening. Shama refers to this as ‘small bets.” She looks at patterns and what's changing.


[24:58] Tamara shares that one of her mass marketing professors would send students to Walmart to interview customers to try to understand why people would shop there. They couldn’t grasp that anyone would want to shop there because they didn’t shop there. Shama talks about diversity. She believes that we think about diversity but it’s often shortchanged. We don’t think about diversity in thought, perspective, and experiences.

[27:44] Tamara reminds LaunschStreeters that what’s important isn't what works for you, but what works for your customers. How do you create experiences online and offline?

[28:28] Listen in as Shama discusses customer-based philosophies.

[29:22] Connect with Shama on Zen Media, at, and on LinkedIn.

[29:49] Shama shares a few key pieces of advice from her book, Momentum. First, the idea of really putting the identity of your customer first, Second: the importance of curation. The book provides five guiding principles for how to do business to grow your brand in the digital age. The five principles are agility through analytics, customer focus, integration, content curation, and cross-pollination.

[36:02] What’s the one action you’re going to take in the new frontier of marketing?


If you are ready to:

  • get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea

  • be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change

  • foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...

Join us on LaunchStreet —

Mentioned in This Episode:

Made Design

The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to Build Credibility, Generate Buzz, and Increase Revenue, by Shama Hyder

Momentum: How to Propel Your Marketing and Transform Your Brand in the Digital Age, by Shama Hyder


The Future of Workplace Design: The FETCH Model

Dec 4, 2018

Have you ever wondered how to take your team or organization from no or low levels of innovation to high levels? How to get people to buy into the idea that innovative thinking and processes are important to success? Heather Kluter, innovation thought leader, did that at Hyundai and she’s here on LaunchStreet sharing her experience and how she helps companies continue to think big. We talk about how to break down silos, the “not-creating-here” mentality that kills innovation, and why doing small things may actually be the right approach at first. We even talk about cake and huskies.


Key Takeaways:

[:58] Tamara brought Heather onto Inside LaunchStreet because she’s pushed back against the legacy systems and has really had to shift the culture to innovation that impacts the outcome. Listen in as you find out how little things affect the big things.

[2:50] You might be surprised to learn that Heather has recently become a dog lover.

[5:13] Heather believes that many companies are not breaking down silos and working together. Innovation hasn’t been ingrained in the culture. This causes them to miss the boat on innovation. Tamara adds that the innovation efforts ebbs and flows. Innovation needs to be spread across the board and consistent.

[8:45] Heather worked for Hyundai for almost a decade. Heather and her team started with little things that they could apply to the concept of improving the cars. They began taking field trips to watch for ways they could improve the car's functionality.

[12:16] What were some of the keys in getting the initial buy-in? How did the baby steps turn into the creation of the innovation team? Get introduced to the term “assertive grace.” Tamara reminds listeners that those baby steps are important and we need to eat the cake a bite at a time, instead of trying to eat the cake all in one sitting.

[16:26] Why were the baby steps necessary? What important lessons were learned in these small steps?

[18:17] Heather talks about how Hyundai broke down the silos and how they developed a core team and an extended team. The core team branded strategy and advanced planning. The extended team was comprised from the thinkers that have the passion to innovate. This included people from finance, service, sales development, and other areas of the company. She talks about how the off-site location in New Port Beach motivated people to be involved in innovation.

[22:45] Tamara points out that getting people out of the offices to think differently can be a positive thing. But, she struggles with innovation happening off-site because it separates the team of innovators. Heather discusses the challenges of working with the Korea team and the U.S. team. Someone always had the “home turf.”

[24:53] Heather breaks down the use of ethnographies versus focus groups. Tamara shares a story about working on a project to make cereal portable. They discuss that how people see themselves isn’t really always the reality of the situation.

[30:50] Heather talks about successful segmentation studies and algorithms. Tamara shares that long-term customer feedback is so important. Blending technology with the personal panel helps to get great feedback. We need to examine where the customer is headed and not just where they are right now.

[35:53] How do you get companies to think bigger? Heather likes to connect companies to other companies so that they can share success.

[38:11] Tamara reminds listeners to think about what other industries and businesses can you tap into that have a similarity to yours? Make a list and start connecting with these people.

[39:10] How can I identify who I should connect with?

[41:19] Connect with Heather on LinkedIn.

[42:03] Heather’s last piece of advice is to not worry about structure, approval, and budget at the beginning. Do little home-grown ideas that you can bring to the process.

Tamara adds that the small steps are OK. Innovators often get frustrated because they tend to try to sell the whole cake at first.

[45:49] Tamara challenges listeners to go out and find a person that shares a similar challenge. Reach out to learn from each other.


If you are ready to:

  • get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea

  • be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change

  • foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...

Join us on LaunchStreet —


Mentioned in This Episode:

The Luxury Marketing Council

Nov 27, 2018

Have you ever wondered what you need to build a real culture of innovation? I'm not talking about ping pong tables and trust falls. I’m talking at the base level or culture. The invisible glue that makes it happen. Well, thanks to our guest Yoram Solomon, it’s not so invisible to us anymore. In fact, it’s quite tangible. Yoram is the founder of the Innovation Culture Institute. He has published 8 books, 22 patents, more than 200 articles, and was one of the creators of Wi-Fi and USB 3.0. He was named one of the Top 40 Innovation Bloggers in 2015, 2016, and 2017, and was a columnist at Inc. Magazine and Innovation Excellence — and much more. We dig into the elements that make up real cultures of innovation at the not-so-invisible level.


Key Takeaways:

[:54] Tamara opens the show by asking listeners if you have ever wondered what makes a real culture of innovation? How do you build accountability, autonomy, and innovation? Go to LaunchStreet and take the IQE Assessment so that you know your unique way of innovating. It starts with you! You can add to the culture.

[2:37] You might be surprised that Yoram and Tamara both have coached in the Destination Imagination program.

[5:34] Yoram’s Ph.D. examined why people are more creative in start-up companies versus mature ones. Listen in as Yoram discuss how his research led him to a few truths. First, if you don’t have a culture of innovation, you will not be innovative. Second, This is not a money issue. Money doesn’t buy the innovation culture. He believes that on a team level, it's the ability to conduct constructive disagreements.

[9:20] Yoram believes that the culture starts in the education system. We educate for accountability.

[11:48] Tamara asks if extrinsic motivation actually kills creativity/innovation. Do incentive programs work? Yoram discusses the candle problem experiment.

[15:11] How do you get the team to unlock the intrinsic motivation? Listen in to learn the importance of shielding your team from negativity.

[19:51] Tamara reminds team leaders of the importance of giving your team room and the ability to be creative.

[20:31] Yoram compares two CEOs and two companies. The biggest difference between massive growth and bankruptcy was cheerleading. Find out how to be the head cheerleader!

[23:32] Teresa Amabile, of Harvard Business School defines autonomy as not letting your employees decide which mountain to climb. It’s letting them decide how to climb the mountain. Tamara reminds listeners that we all innovate differently. Take the IQE Assessment to find out your innovation power triggers. Yoram’s power triggers are inquisitive futuristic.

[25:48] Tamara shares that as a team, we can get up that mountain together.

[26:24] Yoram shares three steps to conduct a constructive disagreement. First, be vulnerable. Second, be willing to give direct feedback. Third, be receptive/listen to feedback. Tamara brought up the myth that we need to surround yourself with people that say yes, and… We also need the people that disagree with you and poke holes.

[29:34] How can we train in constructive disagreement? Yoram shares a powerful lesson from the TV series, The West Wing. Ainsley Hayes, a young Republican lawyer, questions why the democratic president would want her to work for him. The president wanted to surround himself with smart people who disagree with him.

[32:12] Why do you get your best ideas when you’re in the shower? How do you create an environment where accidents happen? Yoram shares four steps to create new ideas. One: Immerse yourself in things outside of your comfort zone. Two: Relax. Let ideas incubate. Three: Engage in intense activity. Your brain needs to go neutral from high intensity. Four: Relax in the shower. Let the ideas flow.

[38:48] Sarcasm uses the same area of the brain as creativity. When you have a well-bonded team, it can use sarcasm.

[40:25] Why is trust the underlying element on the team? Yoram has developed a formula to help others build trust.

[42:38] Connect with Yoram on the Innovation Institute's homepage.

[42:59] Yoram’s final piece of advice on how to build trust within an organization is that it starts with building trust.

[45:42] Tamara really liked the discussion about autonomy, accountability, and disagreement. She invites you to go to the blog and check out the videos and articles on building a culture of innovation.


If you are ready to:

  • get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea

  • be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change

  • foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...

Join us on LaunchStreet —

Mentioned in This Episode:

Innovation Culture Institute

Culture Starts With You.: The 5 Pieces of the Innovation Culture Puzzle,
by Yoram Solomon

Nov 20, 2018

Many of us struggle with the roadblocks of bureaucracy and legacy thinkers squelching innovation. Whether we work in corporations, for ourselves or as our guest does, in the behemoth that is higher education, we have to figure out how to navigate the system in order to drive innovation forward. Today’s Inside LaunchStreet guest, Alexader Lowry, has some experience in this so I asked him, “Hey, how do you pivot in an industry that wants to stay the course?” Last year he left J.P. Morgan in New York City and relocated to Boston to join Gordon College and launch the College’s new one-year Masters in Financial Analysis program. He wanted to prove that the old MBA model could work differently. We talk about how to find the right customer willing to take the leap with you, why we need to push back on the institutions we work in and how to move forward with a vision.


Key Takeaways:

[:50] Tamara opens the show by inviting listeners to get the right tools for innovation so that you can perform magic at work. Visit LaunchStreet to obtain the magic. Visit Innovation on Demand training videos to view the digital toolbox.

[3:14] You might be surprised to know that Alexander caught the traveling bug from his dad. His friends have labeled his traveling as his stupidity tour. Alexander has seen Stonehedge and watched Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow. His favorite experience was running with the bulls in Pamplona.

[4:58] How did Alexander come to the conclusion that the traditional two-year MBA system needed to be overhauled?

[8:17] How did Alexander identify which areas needed an overhaul? Get introduced to the term “long-term greedy” and learn about perverse incentives.

[9:42] Alexander believes ethical decision making is just doing the right thing. Under intense pressure and time constraints, it’s easy to not do the right thing. He shares an experience from his Wharton Business Class. His professor came into class and drops down a huge manilla folder. He explains that these are his students that have gone to jail in the last forty years.

[11:36] Tamara asks Alexander how he teaches ethics so that you don’t add to the manilla folder? Alexander believes that the program at Gordon College partially self-selects at the door due to the Christian worldview at the college.

[12:29] What makes the MBA at Gordon College different? It’s a one-year Masters in Finance. It’s done in half the time and with less than a quarter of the cost. This allows you to make different decisions after you are complete the program.

[13:44] What types of pushbacks has Alexander faced from the traditional programs?

[14:50] Alexander has experienced two types of people seeking his program. First, those that come directly from undergrad. And, second, those that come four to seven years out of school.

[16:57] Listen in as Alexander talks about why he left his glitzy Wall Street job and entered the world of academia. Tamara and Alexander talk about how life and your career are intertwined. Tamara tries to avoid the concept of balance. It’s a teeter-totter depending on what’s going on that day.

[19:19] Alexander took the IQE Assessment and his archetype is risk taker and inquisitive. He innovates by leaping and figuring out how things work. He also digs into assumptions and challenges things. Alexander’s wife says that he likes to figure out exactly how the system works so that he can figure out how to get around it. Because of this, he questioned what opportunity could be available that could challenge the Wharton MBA program. Tamara reminds listeners that quite often we miss the real opportunity because we are busy looking for holes in the product.

[21:12] Alexander shares his experience of leaving banking and NYC. He talks about challenging his own assumptions.

[23:06] Connect with Alexander at Gordon College or email him at

[23:27] What does the future look like for Gordon College’s MBA graduates?

[24:42] Tamara started her career on Madison Avenue in New York. She was an account coordinator. The best conversations occurred at midnight. She was put on a great disruptive team that had amazing results.

[26:25] Alexander’s final piece of advice is to start with something you’re passionate about. And develop determination strong enough to endure the ups and downs.
[28:00] Tamara reminds us that any industry has room for innovation and disruption.


If you are ready to:

  • get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea

  • be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change

  • foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...

Join us on LaunchStreet —


Mentioned in This Episode:

Gordon College MBA Progam

Nov 13, 2018

As a leader, you’ve probably been given the mandate to build a culture of innovation with your team. So you go back, have a great pep talk, tell your team to be more innovative and even give them a process. But very quickly you realize that efforts are fizzling out or even failing. That’s probably because you are making the one big mistake leaders make that is killing innovation — you expect your entire team made of diverse people to innovate in the same way. If you want to encourage innovation, you’ve got to empower your team to innovate in the way that works for them. On Inside LaunchStreet I dig into how to encourage innovation by empowering your team to tap into their natural talents and strengths, to find the room to innovate.


Key Takeaways:

[:38] In today’s episode, Tamara will be diving into the big mistake leaders make. She was recently on a plane and had a discussion with an auto executive. He mentioned that innovation inside the four walls of his company was struggling. Tamara introduced him to the Innovator Quotient Edge Assessment and explained that it will pinpoint how his employees innovate naturally.

[3:45] Why does the big mistake happen? Leaders are given the mandate to build an innovative team. So, leaders take the mandate to their team. Often, the efforts fizzle out or fail. Is the failure the fault of the team or is it you? She suggests its the leader’s fault. You expect everyone to innovate in the same way. Tamara believes we are failing to live up to our innovation goals because we aren’t tapping into the natural abilities of ourselves and those around us.

[6:54] Your team needs the knowledge of how they innovate, permission, and the ability to flex their innovation muscles. Today’s podcast will tackle the knowledge of how to innovate. You first need to invest in the processes and instruction. If you invest in the people first, the right processes and tools will come out of it.

[9:00] Listen in as Tamara discusses how to empower your people. How do you give them the knowledge? When people understand their innovator archetype — how they innovate best — they are powerful.

[10:23] Is there only one way to innovate? Tamara shares her personal experience about being an advertising account coordinator. She worked for an amazing team that gave her the responsibility of organizing the big creative strategy meeting. Find out what happened when the creative genius failed to show up for the meeting.

[15:04] The team learned some important lessons that day. They learned that everybody is innovative. And, they learned that everyone innovates differently.

[15:56] If you want to be a rockstar innovation leader, have your team take the IQE Assessment and give them access to Innovation on Demand training programs. This will help them flex their innovator’s muscles. Tamara has identified nine triggers or ways people innovate. They are: collaborative, tweaker, experiential, fluid, futuristic, imaginative, risk taker, instinctual, and inquisitive. The way your team innovates is unique. Tamara talks about Marc. He innovator archetype is fluid inquisitive. He innovates in the questions, not the answers. He likes to dig for things. He is really good at taking a mess and stickiness and finding the innovation in ambiguity. Marc’s innovation was hindered because he had too many guardrails. His team removed the guardrails and Marc’s innovation took off!

[18:11] Tamara shares that Kylie is an inquisitive collaborative. Her strength is that she challenges assumptions. Kylie had quit asking questions. When the team identified her strengths, they encouraged her to ask those questions!

[19:05] Shelly is a client from Wendy’s. Her team lacked trust. After taking the assessment, they began to understand each other. This helped to build trust and value each other’s strengths. The team was able to recognize that it’s OK to innovate differently.

[20:02] Tamara challenges listeners to empower their teams by allowing them to innovate in their own way. How can you think differently about how your team innovates?

[20:44] Tamara shares a quote from a corporate executive with Arrow Electronics. “With the IQE Assessment and Tamara’s presentation, I have learned more about myself in the first two hours than I have in most day-long presentations. Her experience has opened my eyes and allowed me to truly understand and leverage my innovator archetype. Using the knowledge I have gained, I am sure I will be able to grow and add value to my career.

[21:34] If you’re the type of leader that believes that investing in your people helps create a high-performance team, Tamara challenges you to go to and click on training, then go to team training. It all starts with the knowledge of how they best innovate. How about we allow the team to innovate in a way that they do best?


If you are ready to:

  • get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea

  • be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change

  • foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...

Join us on LaunchStreet —


Mentioned in This Episode:

IQE Assessment

Innovation on Demand

Nov 6, 2018

Doesn’t it feel like change is the word of the year?! We talk so much about the accelerated rate of change; how technology, competition, launching new products and services are constantly changing. But what about the customer, where do they fit in? And this is why I had Braden Kelley on Inside LaunchStreet. He is an innovation thought leader, the genius behind the Innovation Excellence website and he has a range of innovative tools. He talked to me about how the biggest challenge we face isn’t just technology, it’s the customer’s increased expectations around the rate of change. How the fast flow of information is causing this AND how trust is how you battle all this crazy change. We also dig into how being agile actually includes some level of fixedness. Let’s get to it.


Key Takeaways:

[:58] Tamara opens the show by inviting listeners to spend seven minutes and take the free Innovation Quotient Edge assessment. It will help to unlock your greatest competitive advantage.

[1:54] There’s so much talk today about the accelerated rate of change. Tech, competition, and speed to market are in a constant state of flux. Where does the customer fit into all of this? Find out why trust is the secret sauce to combat change.

[3:32] You might be surprised to know that Braden is only 5’8 and is pretty good at basketball. His superpower is to see what is going to happen on the court.

[5:04] Braden feels that the rate of change is accelerating rapidly. The age of companies has gone from sixty years to twenty years. Also, the rate of customer expectation is accelerating. The customer’s experience must be as good as another great customer service experience. Customer feedback and information can now reach people globally in minutes with technology.

[9:22] How do you make innovation accessible to everyone on your team? Braden shares some of his nine innovation roles.

[11:50] Tamara created the IQE assessment to help all players recognize that all people innovate. Braden often sees companies put the focus on launching things, instead of innovating.

[14:52] How do you as an organization increase your agility and speed of innovation? If you want to be agile, you must strike the balance of flexibility and fixedness. He shares that the first area to explore is finding time to innovate. Cisco offers internal internships. This provides exposure to different areas of the organization. This also provides an external perspective from outside of the group.

[18:54] Why does a long adoption curve kill innovation? How can you avoid this?

[22:54] Tamara questions if there’s something that gives people an anchor to help them understand where the innovation value is. When something is incremental, it’s easier to make the connection.

They discuss Apple and their genius bar. People needed to have help available to learn the new device.

[25:58] Braden runs the site, Innovation Excellence. It’s a knowledge hub where innovation thought leaders post articles. Braden launched the site with Rowan Gibson’s innovation manifesto. This gives everyone permission to innovate. It inspires them and helps them to be curious.

[27:44] Companies talk about a culture of permission to innovate but often, people don’t feel like they have true permission to innovate. Braden shares the analogy that you don’t throw a ball at someone without giving them a mitt. Most organizations throw lots of balls and don’t give employees a mitt. Processes for innovation must be in place from the very beginning. Braden created Charting Change: A Visual Toolkit for Making Change Stick, to help organizations deal with change.

[31:40] One of the tools organizations use the most is the Change Planning Toolkit. It is designed to be the central asset. Braden offers the experiment canvas as a free download to help people navigate their way through experiments.

[32:57] Braden’s book, Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire: A Roadmap to a Sustainable Culture of Ingenuity and Purpose, is about helping leaders identify and remove the obstacles that cripple innovation. Braden identifies some obstacles that get in the way. First: Risk management does not come without a cost. Second: Innovation often becomes hard because of barriers. Third: Organization psychology is often the biggest barrier to innovation. Fourth: Not having a vision, strategy, and goals.

[34:17] How do we get to the place that people feel like it’s not a part of the organization? Tamara talks about Otterbox and WhiteWave Foods. They both hit a tipping point where they started bringing people in to add more processes. This caused them to lose the innovation surge that got them to move forward.

[36:37] What innovation myth is hindering progress? Is it all about new product development?

[37:35] Connect with Braden and check out Innovation for lots of free resources.

[38:20] Braden’s final piece of advice is to not stand still. If you stand still, you’ll get run over from behind. Don’t be afraid to try new things and pick up some new tools.

[40:22] How do you distinguish between real innovation and leaping on the latest trend?

[42:02] Why does the innovation need to be widely adopted? Why are so many people getting patents for mousetraps?


If you are ready to:

  • get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea

  • be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change

  • foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...

Join us on LaunchStreet —


Mentioned in This Episode:

Innovation Excellence Homepage

Charting Change: A Visual Tool Kit for Making Change Stick, by Braden Kelley

Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire: A Roadmap to a Sustainable Culture of Ingenuity and Purpose, by Braden Kelley


Oct 30, 2018

Have you ever noticed how we attach traditional milestones to innovation? As today’s guest points out, it’s like putting a fast fish on land and expecting it to still be fast. In this episode of Inside LaunchStreet, growth hacking and start-up junkie and CMO of, Taylor Ryan talks to us about how growth hacking is a way to innovate and why innovation advocates are important. We also delve into the mistakes we make around creating benchmarks and how to avoid them.


Key Takeaways:

[1:22] Tamara opens today’s show by asking listeners to sign up for InsideLaunchstreet’s free weekly newsletter. It will help you stretch your innovator muscles.

[3:10] You might be surprised to learn that Taylor learned to hypnotize his friends in high school.

[5:47] Listen in to find out how Taylor defines growth hacking.

[7:21] Why is having growth tactics so important to business today?

[9:51] Taylor believes that incubators and corporate garages are getting smarter and using top-down approaches.

[12:04] Tamara and Taylor discuss why the C-suite need to be advocators of innovation. You must make the shift from only a few people innovating to leadership innovating.

[13:56] How do you set milestones so that the C-suite is comfortable allowing you to continue to play and experiment without giving up too soon?

[16:53] Tamara believes that sometimes we forget that the original idea took time. Seinfeld and Archie Bunker (All in the Family) took years before they actually caught on. Taylor and Tamara talk about if it’s counter to the standard, it’s a great indicator that the idea might work. Tamara talks about how Tough Mudder was counter to the standard when it first started.

[19:01] Taylor discusses his worst startup ever, Gluten-free VIP. The failure occurred because of the lack of user interviews.

[22:38] It’s so important to build those ideal customers profiles and find the customers that would actually get value out of your product. It’s easy to get blinded by the idea that you really want.

[25:20] Taylor reminds listeners that you have to be objective to even your best ideas. Sometimes even in the face of all that you know is right, you can be proven wrong consistently.

[26:07] What lessons has Taylor taken away from the failure of Gluten Free VIP?

Could the craziest of ideas actually work?

[29:15] Taylor talks about Valuer and why it works.

[31:34] Taylor shares the secret to what today’s young professionals are looking for.

[33:37] Tamara finds that if she invests in Millennials or X’s, they invest back. Taylor discusses choice anxiety and how that plays into the culture. They discuss old school benchmarks and how they hinder innovation.

[36:26] Connect with Taylor on his blog at Valuer and on LinkedIn.

[37:07] Taylor’s final piece of advice is to go where the puck is actually going. Not where it is right now. Tamara reminds listeners of the importance of looking into the future to find success.

[38:28] Tamara loved the part about having milestones and benchmarks for moving forward. She questions if you have the right benchmarks or if you are trying to put a fish on land.


If you are ready to:

  • get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea

  • be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change

  • foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...

Join us on LaunchStreet —


Mentioned in This Episode:

Valuer Homepage

Oct 23, 2018

We all talk about how Amazon has become this global force that is changing how we shop for everything from books to now food. I wanted to dig a little deeper into the Amazonification of the world so I brought in Penny Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. (AME) and Adjunct Professor at NYU. She is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. She knows the industry. We talk about Amazon from an industry and personal level. She takes us through the Amazonification that is impacting us all, even how we do our jobs. We talk about how your perception of change is even more important than the change itself. Why having a “figure it out” mindset helps you manage change and why today’s work environment demands an innovative mindset and entrepreneurial spirit.


Key Takeaways:

[1:43] You might be surprised to know that Penny considers herself a geek. She spent a lot of time in her dad’s shed learning how to take things apart and fix them. She loves technology.

[4:12] Penny considers herself an accidental entrepreneur. Listen in to find out how she started on her journey. One of the biggest things she’s learned is that a successful person must know how to turn the brick wall into a window.

[6:12] Penny was laid off multiple times. She shares that at breakfast, her friend celebrated her new found freedom and told her that she can now do what she was meant to do. This helped to open her window.

[9:41] Independent publishing was the first disrupter in the book market. Print on demand followed. Amazon followed shortly after. Books were how Amazon was built.

[13:24] How did Penny keep up with the changes and follow the domino pattern? Learn how to benefit from the changes. Tamara reminds listeners of the importance of leveraging change and harnessing change for an opportunity. You must have a mindset that you are going to figure it out.

[17:41] Tamara mentions HBO’s documentary, The Defiant Ones, and the transformation in the music industry. If you change your mindset, the change can be tremendous. She challenges listeners to ask how you can turn your walls into windows.

[19:11] How does Penny help clients?

[21:02] Indy Publish can help publish a book in thirty days. Short is the new long. Books no longer need to be 300 pages. If you are the expert, go ahead and get it out there.

[22:30] Tamara talks about her decline in book sales. She gathered feedback and found out that people aren’t wanting to read a whole book. People are looking for shorter reads.

[23:26] Penny wrote a really long book, Red Hot Internet Publicity. Because of its length, people were hesitant to commit to reading. In contrast, her book, 5-Minute Book Marketing For Authors, flies off the shelf, because the time commitment is five minutes. She encourages authors to think about the top five questions you are asked. That is what you should address. Address one major concern and write about it.

[27:39] Penny and Tamara discuss the importance of getting buy-in and hitting them with the value bomb, right from the start. Penny used to teach a class to help authors create an elevator pitch. The pitch should be one or two sentences. It must be clear and specific. Penny advises Tamara to break her book into smaller sections and re-release them.

[31:02] Tamara shares a personal experience with using a recipe on her phone. Consumers now want something that allows them to build and use it in the moment. She reminds listeners to think how the customer is absorbing it on the other end.

[34:06] Connect with Penny at A Marketing Expert or email Penny at

[34:30] What is Amazon doing that the rest of us need to be doing? What kind of convenience can you offer to your customer? Sometimes you have to give a lot to get a lot.

[39:06] Penny leaves listeners with one piece of advice: take your content down to one idea and then expand it into big ways. People will keep coming back to learn more.

[41:37] Tamara believes that the perception of change is more important in many ways than the actual change. She challenges listeners to think about your perception of change. Do you feel like it’s happening to you? Can you identify the change of an opportunity?


If you are ready to:

  • get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea

  • be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change

  • foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...

Join us on LaunchStreet —


Mentioned in This Episode:

AME Homepage

Indy Publishing

Tamara's book, Think Sideways: a game-changing playbook for disruptive thinking

Chicken Soup for the Soul Series

Oct 16, 2018

You know what feels hard? Change. In this episode of Inside LaunchStreet, I interview Gabe Shaoolian, digital marketing, and business development expert who started an agency as a one-man show and grew it to a mid-size global digital agency with over 250 full-time employees. He works with clients big and small that are trying to manage change. We talk about how the hardest part of innovation and change is breaking old habits to create new ones. How it takes more than the change itself but constant reinforcement. In fact, that reinforcement should become part of your routine. We also dig into how sometimes you need to break away from the day to day just to get out of the weeds and see the bigger picture and how badly it sucks when your customers tell you they don't like what you are hawking.

Key Takeaways:
[1:52] You might be surprised to know that Gabe still feels like he hasn't been successful and hasn’t achieved enough.
[3:24] Gabe started Blue Fountain Media and ran it for thirteen years. He sold it to a Fortune Global 500 company. He left Blue Fountain Media to start a product-based website. A few months after launch, he had to change the business plan. He was heartbroken that his original vision wasn’t going to come to fruition.
[5:04] Gabe talks about his original vision versus the shifted vision. He built Design Rush and realized he needed to look at the big picture after receiving some feedback from his users.
[9:00] Tamara reminds listeners that you can’t fight your audience or the feedback and that it’s often good to break away from the weeds to even see what’s going on. Gabe and Tamara discuss the importance of doing a test marketing pilot program.
[11:05] What other lessons did Gabe learn along the way? Tamara and Gabe discuss the positives and negatives of belonging to a remote work team. Tamara loves the vibe and energy of her shared workspace.
[16:20] Gabe's definition of a change agent is someone that helps you review, strategize, improve, and define your business goals. Change agents identify what can be improved to make it more efficient or more effective.
[18:27] Gabe identifies implementation as the biggest hurdle after the change is identified. Effort, time and a big executive push are needed to make the change. Listen in as he describes how to successfully begin making the change. Employees need to understand and execute the change.
[20:30] Gabe shares his experience about being trained while working at The Wiz electronics store in New York City. At first, he followed all processes and procedures exactly and was very successful. His fellow teammates weren’t doing it and so he quit. He wasn’t nearly as successful after he quit following the processes and procedures. Gabe reminds listeners that processes must be documented and enforced. They must be monitored every week by managers.
[25:32] Listen in to find out why change is so difficult. Gabe compares change to a commitment to going to the gym.
[27:28] Why is change harder for large companies?
[29:37] What does Gabe see as the next big game changers coming to the big companies?
[30:32] Tamara shares a personal story proving that mass advertising doesn’t work. Her boys were trying to bypass the commercials on TV. The commercials affected the boys in a negative way, instead of enticing them to buy the product.
[33:17] Tamara questions why aren’t the companies prepared for the ‘I want what I want when I want it’ movement? She thinks that large companies miss the mark in testing and validation.
[37:00] Gabe shares his two-minute blueprint for getting your business off the ground. Why is a fast loading site so important?
[41:00] Connect with Gabe at Design Rush.
[41:24] Gabe's final piece of advice is to be ready for an adventure.
[42:43] Tamara asks listeners to think about the one habit that’s holding you back. Then, think about the new habit you want to form. Finally, create an action plan for reinforcement.

If you are ready to:
get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea
be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change
foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...
Join us on LaunchStreet —

Mentioned in This Episode:
Design Rush

Oct 9, 2018

Have you ever wondered why some businesses are so complex? And if they even need to be? I mean, is that complexity even necessary? Me too. And so did Matt Scanlan, CEO, and co-founder of Naadam. They make cashmere sweaters and apparel. He took an amazing journey to Mongolia’s Gobi Desert and purchasing 40 tons of cashmere with $3 million cash packed in plastic bags. His company pulls out the complexity or as he’d say the unnecessary fat. He didn't create a disruptive product, he created a disrupted business. As you listen to this one I want you to think about where in your business or industry you can do what Matt did in cashmere. It’s incredible.


Key Takeaways:

[1:56] You might be surprised to know that Matt is a through-and-through natural homebody. He doesn’t like traveling.

[3:25] Listen in to find out how Matt and his co-founder, Diederik Rijsemus, withdrew $3 million in plastic bags to buy 40 tons of cashmere.

[6:46] What inspired Matt to go on this amazing journey to buy cashmere?

Why did they end up staying in the Gobi Desert for a month with the sheepherders?

[12:34] Matt and Diederik felt like the herders were being taken advantage of. They were not making the profit they deserved. Matt and Diederik disrupted the market by buying all of the product. They were then able to control their pricing on material and in turn, increase the price others were paying for the cashmere.

[13:41] Matt started cutting out the middleman and went straight to the sheepherders. He offered them a fairer price for the cashmere that resulted in an unparalleled degree of transparency. This allows him to continue to improve the quality of the product.

[15:36] Matt explains how transparency leads to a better product. He monitors the product through the entire process.

[20:03] Naadam is a Mongolian festival that celebrates the people. We are here as a company to celebrate people and places.

[20:31] You might be shocked to learn that the biggest resistance Matt has faced in disrupting the industry is convincing people that he is driven by a real passion and sense for what makes him happy.

[22:18] What did you do to get customers to get over the hurdle? Matt says they are still trying to get over it. We are always testing ways to communicate with the customers. Building that trust takes time.

[23:56] Real trust is never earned overnight. If I ever lack consistency in my message, people start to lose faith in the message.

[24:41] Matt talks about why you don’t need to take everyone with you on the journey. He shares who it is you must take with you.

[26:47] The early adopters are susceptible believers. Matt knows that you have to align the price first. The younger generations are more adaptable to this type of thinking.

[29:16] Tamara reminds listeners that it takes profit to make a change. She reminds listeners that money does matter.

[30:10] How did you figure out your milestones and benchmarks? What predictors did you follow?

[33:24] It’s important in today’s economy to have a purpose and cause. Technology has allowed people to access large amounts of information. It shows them what the right way should look like. A purpose and cause is a predictor of value.

[35:20] Matt took the IQE assessment and his innovator archetype is instinctual fluid. Instinctual thinkers see and create patterns. The fluid thinkers create innovation in ambiguity and fog. They are good at creating all-new paths. He feels like his success is less about connecting the big points but more about connecting the things that really matter. He really values and relies on his team. Tamara reminds listeners of the importance of listening to others’ opinions.

[42:05] Matt believes that having an opinion is really relative. It’s a really fluid thing. His humbleness comes, in part, from being in special classes in school.

[44:30] Connect with Matt at

[45:05] Matt’s final piece of advice to Launchstreeter’s is to allow other people’s perspectives to develop your own. Be humble enough to listen rather than talk all day.

[45:47] Tamara challenges listeners to think about how the industry you work in is built. How would you take the complexity out of it?


If you are ready to:

  • get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea

  • be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change

  • foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...

Join us on LaunchStreet —


Mentioned in This Episode:

Naadam's Homepage

Oct 2, 2018

Early adopters. They are the ones that are willing to try your new-to-the-world idea and if they like it, they spread it in their communities like wildfire. No one knows this better than Apu Mody, CEO of Lenny and Larry’s. Have you had one of their high-protein delicious cookies? On Inside LaunchStreet, Apu and I talk about early adopters, why success isn’t an overnight phenomenon and how you need to train your customer when you have a breakthrough product. He also shares something that I think is actually killing innovation at big companies — it's the “I’m not the consumer” mindset.


Key Takeaways:

[1:59] You might be surprised that Apu’s first job was selling books door to door.

[3:56] Listen in to learn how Lenny and Larry’s was born. Benny and Barry created sweet treats with protein out of personal need. Some of the greatest ideas come from personal needs.

[6:00] What was the initial reaction? Barry says that it was the longest overnight success. How was a fire in the bakery a turning point?

[9:49] What is the importance of early adopters? How much of an influence do they really have?

[12:52] Tamara shares her experience of taking the birthday cookie to the gym to share. She received a bunch of feedback that her friends had gone to buy the cookies. Apu believes that people trust the early adopters. They become the experts.

[15:34] The cookie/bar is a crowded market. Lenny and Larry’s have found that context in the store matters. Apu talks about being in the cookie/protein bar market. Part of the hurdle was pinpointing which shelves to best market the cookies.

[21:01] What roadblocks or points of resistance did Lenny and Larry’s overcome? Apu gives an example of switching from whey to soy and then again to plant-based proteins. Consumers provided them with feedback and direction to change the product.

[23:12] Apu shares that they are always trying to lower the sugar. The body is suited to process pure sugar versus sugar alcohols. Feedback is getting gathered and then the product is adjusted. It’s a constant dialogue that is occurring, not just a point-in-time exercise.

[27:02] There are two components to making sure the feedback conversation is continually happening. First: The employee base must believe in the products they are making. They are actively involved in making decisions. Second: You have to have an army of brand ambassadors. They get free t-shirts, discounts, free products. They provide honest feedback and help steer the direction of decisions.

[32:35] Who exactly is the consumer? Why is the mindset so wrong about consumerism?

[34:52] What is in the cards for Lenny and Larry’s future?

[36:32] Three things contributed to the exponential growth Lenny and Larry’s experienced. First: the cookie became the star and was the focus. Second: A couple of early adopter retail partners came on board. Third: We switched packaging and this allowed us a longer shelf life.

[39:23] Tamara reminds listeners that the focus on the cookie is so important. Too many options work against you. First, you have to have the driving force behind you.

[40:50] Connect with Apu on Linkedin and on the Lenny and Larrys homepage.

[41:42] Apu leaves listeners with a few words of advice. First: Be persistent and be focused. Second: Find a few fans to get feedback from. Build a strong relationship with one or two retailers to go deep with.

[43:00] Apu’s favorite product is the soon to be released apple pie cookie.

[43:40] Tamara invites listeners to check out the new website at InsideLaunchStreet Discover your innovator archetype and many other tools to start innovating today.


If you are ready to:

  • get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea

  • be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change

  • foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...

Join us on LaunchStreet —


Mentioned in This Episode:

Lenny and Larrys Homepage


Sep 25, 2018

Are you looking for innovation in the wrong place? Our guests on Inside LaunchStreet, Joel Clark and Cameron Smith, owners of the knocking it out of the park food brand Kodiak Cakes, think we might be. In fact, they grew Kodiak from a boutique to a $100 million business. The key? They look at categories in decline as an opportunity versus chasing high growth areas that we think we want to jump into. Definitely a mindshift and there’s proof to back it up. We talk about managing doubt from others and in yourself. We even validate some of your gut decisions when we talk about how decisions that don’t have data are often the times you see the trends and patterns before someone has the chance to turn them into data. Joel and Cameron also share how they built a culture of innovation on passion and transparency.


Key Takeaways:

[2:23] You might be surprised that Joel has a phobia of bears. He stays awake all night while camping. Cameron also shares a fear of animals. He grew a love for Nebraska sports selling pop on Saturdays.

[5:10] Joel and Cameron talk about how Kodiak Cakes first got started. Joel started selling Kodiak cakes in brown paper bags out of his little red wagon as an eight-year-old.

[7:14] Why did Joel and Cameron go into a category that was rapidly declining? Listen in as they talk about what motivated them to continue.

[10:58] Find out what changed after Joel and Cameron appeared on Shark Tank.

[13:22] Joel and Cameron believe that the perfect opportunity to bring people back into the category is during a decline. How did they convince stores to get their product on the shelves?

[17:24] Tamara was recently in the grocery store and was overwhelmed at the choices in the breakfast aisle. She asked Joel and Cameron how do you stand out to the customers? Cameron talks about how the protein powder pancake was an unanticipated explosion. He talks about the doubters and non-believers. He advises listeners to go with your gut and believe it’s going to work.

[22:08] Joel shares an experience about when they first started out. Some people doubted buyers would pay the extra money for the product. As entrepreneurs, you have to make irrational decisions and act on those. Tamara shares that lots of times, the trends are ahead of the data.

[26:20] Kodiak Cakes has experienced rapid growth since appearing on Shark Tank. How are Joel and Cameron building their culture so that they’re innovative and continue to grow?

[28:50] Kodiak Cakes believes transparency is key so that all employees feel free to innovate and create. Tamara reiterates that if the employees feel invested, the passion to innovate is huge.

[33:42] Kodiak Cakes is super excited that they are expanding their baking products. Look for various microwave products in a cup. They are looking for categories that need innovation, and need healthier options. Tamara reminds listeners of the importance of looking for products that need innovation and finding the gap.

[37:14] What are the downsides and risk of investing in declining categories?

[38:34] How do you decrease the adoption curve? Social media can help drive awareness and trial.

[40:38] Connect with Joel and Cameron at Kodiak Cakes and on Instagram.

[41:10] Joel reminds listeners that sometimes things take time. A lot more time than you think. Success requires patience and perseverance. Cameron tells listeners that you must have confidence in yourself. His biggest ‘aha’ is that you have to believe in yourself.

[45:06] Tamara really loved the part about leading with transparency. It’s key to getting ownership within the team. She invites listeners to go to the Inside Launchshtreet Blog, watch a video and implement one thing that will help build your innovative culture.


If you are ready to:

  • get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea

  • be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change

  • foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...

Join us on LaunchStreet —


Mentioned in This Episode:

Kodiak Cakes Homepage

Sep 18, 2018

Ever wonder how “the greats” do it? Me too. That’s why I had motivational speaker, business coach, and 11-time New York Times Best-Selling author Don Yeager on Inside LaunchStreet. He began his career as a writer for The San Antonio Light, and the Dallas Morning News until he became an Associate Editor for Sports Illustrated in 1996, where he worked for over ten years. You’ll appreciate how he defines greatness in a way that actually includes everyday people like you and me. His story about the baseball player, David Ross, isn’t actually about baseball. It’s a story of perseverance, being open to criticism, actually using criticism to move forward, and finding greatness in a totally unexpected way. The story Don shares, I think, is also one we innovators need to pay attention to. There are lessons in there for us as we fight the legacy systems, try to get buy-in, and push forward. We also talk about his book, Greatness and some of the traits of greatness, which aren’t about talent. In fact, it’s about the little things you do every day. He also shared some interesting perspective on why we shouldn’t celebrate our wins for too long; that is actually us, trapped in the past.


Key Takeaways:

[3:49] You might be surprised to know that Don plays the ukulele. It’s the thing that makes him cool in his kids’ eyes.

[4:49] Don believes greatness is an ideal, the pursuit of something. It’s not something that you can achieve. Tamara questions why you keep doing something if you never achieve your goal.

[6:58] James Bailey, a LaunchStreet listener, submitted the question, how do you identify your aha moments?

[9:08] Can you train yourself to celebrate your wins and wake up the next day in the pursuit of greatness?

[11:33] A great coach will see success if the team collectively improves on a daily basis. It’s not all about winning the Superbowl. It’s about creating change. It’s about doing small things to get there. It’s about a continual progression. Tamara reminds listeners that innovation happens when small changes work to create the big change.

[14:36] What’s the first step to getting past the “if only” and putting myself on the path to change? Don talks about his book, Greatness. He interviewed 2,500 of the greatest sports icons over a 25-year period. The question he asked was, what did you do that set you apart from other people? The most popular answer was that they hated to lose more than they love to win. Failure is the idea that drives most people. You stop making excuses and accept the failure for what it is. The truly great ones have long since stopped making excuses.

[17:20] Tamara talks about the sudden moments of self-sabotage. Oftentimes, not only do we make the excuses after, but even before, so that our failure is validated.

[20:50] The number two answer that came up in the interviews was that successful sports players surrounded themselves with people that were looking to achieve the same success or greater. If you’re surrounded by mediocrity, that’s what you’ll achieve.

[22:44] What does it mean to chase it with abandon? In my space, what does exceptionalism look like? Listen in as Don lays out how to engage in the chase.

[25:53] Tamara points out that you don’t have to be alone in a vacuum. Feedback is so important as you engage. Tamara shares that she is a Crossfit addict. Her goal is to stay in the top 100 in her regional age group. She realized that she doesn’t like to lose and it’s her motivation. Oftentimes, her friends aren’t helping her to achieve her goal.

[29:04] Don talks about visualizing victory. Mentally, put yourself visually in the place to feel success. He talks about Serena Williams and her routine before her tennis match. Successful people understand the value of self-talk. They use adversity as fuel.

[32:05] What things are gained in adversity? The most unappreciated muscle is resilience. You must have a short memory of failure. Human nature means that we sit and wallow in things far too long. We also celebrate success way too long. The key to all of this is to defy human nature. Step away from your past typical habit.

[36:44] Tamara believes that often we don’t deconstruct after we win. In some ways, it’s helpful to treat failure and success the same way.

[37:15] Don’s book, Teammate, is about baseball player David Ross. David was cut from the Cincinnati Reds and recruited by the Red Sox as a third-string catcher. David’s manager called him in and told him that his reputation is that he isn’t a team player and that he wouldn’t be renewed. He began a journey of making himself a great teammate. He went on to win several world series. David Ross learned to become invaluable without ever being valuable.

[43:44] Don had been doing speaking engagements about making teams better. He celebrated employees that were pointed out as being great team members. Many employees commented that they had never been celebrated before. Everything is all about out high performers. Tamara points out that you focus on the pursuit of greatness by taking the actions that you take every single day.

[46:57] How does stepping into greatness bring more innovation to the front?

[49:09] Connect with Don here.

[50:05] Don’s final piece of advice to Inside LaunchStreet listeners to pay attention to your inner circle. Seek out people that could help your mindset grow and flourish. Tamara finds that sometimes it’s the people that make you uncomfortable that can help you move forward. Don will email listeners the digital version of the 16 characteristics of greatness. Simply email Don at Put Inside LaunchStreet in the subject line.

[53:13] Tamara is going to begin seeing greatness as a daily pursuit instead of the end goal. She challenges listeners to think about what you are in pursuit of. She invites you to share your pursuit.

 If you are ready to:

  • get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea

  • be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change

  • foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...

Join us on LaunchStreet —


Mentioned in This Episode:

Dons Homepage

Greatness: The 16 Characteristics of True Champions, by Don Yaeger

Teammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series for the Ages, by David Ross with Don Yaeger


Sep 11, 2018

So, what do you do when the world moves faster than your company’s processes? Aren’t a lot of us facing that? Innovators dealing with systems that feel like they are working against us? That’s why I had Lewis Lin, CEO of People Maven, on Inside LaunchStreet. He took an outdated, legacy process, in this case, HR, found the broken parts and fixed it. And with People Maven, he found a way to leverage our hyper-connected world to your benefit. We dig into their company values which are a big part of their success — “40% innovative” and “possibility seekers.” He shares how living those values help them compete, and win, against the big dogs and drive innovation that helps you do more with less. He shared his favorite ideation exercise, the reversal method and why we should be focusing on progress, not strategy if we want to see innovation happen.


Key Takeaways:

[3:10] You might be surprised to know that Lewis chose his college major due to the open book test policy.

[4:48] Listen in to find out what prompted Lewis to start People Maven.

[7:33] Why does the traditional recruitment process take upwards of three months to hire? Is this advantageous to the hiring company? How does People Maven help solve the hiring problem?

[9:45] Tamara and Lewis discuss some of People Maven’s daily principles. The first principle they talk about is 40% innovators. The way that People Maven will win against the people with deep pockets is to think about the problems differently and attempt game-changing innovation. 40% is a symbolic reminder to us that we have to be swinging for the fences. We have to change the game by at least 40%.

[11:59] How do you look at problems differently? Lews is a huge fan of design and brainstorming. Get introduced to the brainstorming technique the “reversal method.” Lewis shares an example of a car company, Tred, that takes cars to the customer’s house instead of the customers going to the car showroom.

[15:14] The second principle discussed is 10x drivers. Strategy seems like the sexy thing. But, it doesn’t get things done. We need to strive for progress. Tamara asks Lewis how he tests and validates ideas.

[19:06] Lewis feels that the learning journey can be just as important as the positive result.

[20:52] The third daily principle they discuss is the principle of possibility seekers. It’s easy for individuals on a team to get scared. When you’re shooting for a 40% goal, there are often a lot of risks.

[21:48] It’s most important to stay positive and believe that we are the ones that could be successful. Tamara tells listeners that the thing that kills innovation is by not tapping into everyone to innovate.

[23:14] What kind of customers are using People Maven? How has using this tool changed the recruiting process? Find out why People Maven isn’t just for business recruitment.

[28:54] Tamara talks about her husband’s recent job search and the frustration that comes with the submitting the resume into the “black hole.”

[30:00] Lewis worked for Google and Microsoft in the past. The main thing he took away from his Google experience was to think big and believe that anything is achievable. From Microsoft, he learned how to build consensus and influence others.

[33:25] How can talking about a space elevator to energize your team? Tamara believes that talking about something huge warms up your innovation muscles to then apply that big thinking to other things.

[34:12] Connect with Lewis at

[36:09] Lewis’s parting advice is to not get fixated on the first solution that you come up with. Good inventors know that it’s not always the first idea that’s the answer to your problem. And, he challenges listeners to think about solving problems all the time.
[38:01] Tamara talks about an exercise where you shout out the first color that comes to mind. Often times, the first ideas are too close in. You need to give people time to get into the great ideas.

[39:11] Tamara challenges listeners to check out Innovation on-demand tools.


If you are ready to:

  • get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea

  • be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change

  • foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...

Join us on LaunchStreet —


Mentioned in This Episode:

Impact Interview Homepage

Tred Homepage

People Mavens Homepage

PeopleMavens Facebook

People Mavens Blog

Sep 4, 2018

You can have the best product in the world but if the customer doesn’t feel connected to you, they don’t buy from you. And that’s why I interviewed this guy — Ryan McCarty — on Inside LaunchStreet. He is an author, speaker, and the co-founder of Culture of Good, Inc. Building upon the success of his award-winning program at TCC Verizon, Ryan and TCC Verizon CEO Scott Moorehead created Culture of Good to teach for-profit companies how to operate with the soul of a non-profit. We talk about how to scale little moments into a movement that has a lasting impact. Why companies that focus on doing good increase their employee engagement, productivity, innovation, and bottom line. It turns out that when people feel connected to a purpose, they work harder, regardless of the job. Also, consumers don’t engage with business just for the products, they want to know your story and that you do good in the world. We don’t buy transactionally, we buy relationally. How your culture is your greatest differentiator and your greatest risk.


Key Takeaways:

[2:30] You might be surprised to know that Ryan has cut his own hair since he was twelve. In case you need a haircut, he also cuts his friends’ hair.

[4:29] Get introduced to the term “soulular work.” Ryan has always been involved to give back and felt like the for-profits were missing the feeling of connecting people to their life purpose and calling.

[8:27] Once you give employees an opportunity to do something meaningful, they know their own impact. Productivity increases and results in the business are astronomical. Ryan believes that profit and purpose don’t have to be separate.

[10:38] Ryan talks about building a culture of good in his book, Build A Culture of Good: Unleash Results by Letting Your Employees Bring Their Soul to Work. Ryan and Tamara talk about Chapter 4: Connecting moments into a movement. Ryan shares how giving away backpacks with school supplies led him to create the movement to help the employees of TCC Verizon connect their “why with their what.” This made a huge impact on the employees. You must make moments into movements, by creating a strategy of giving back and doing good. Ryan and TCC Verizon CEO Scott Moorehead, created a movement with three tiers: Big good, our good, my good. This speaks to every individual employee by connecting with the individual good, the team good and the corporate good.

[17:16] Since the launch of Culture of Good, same-store sales are up forty percent. A major part of the Culture of Good is teaching employees that their everyday work impacts the business. The business can then turn around and do more good year-to-year. Tamara challenges listeners to think about what your culture of good looks like and what your connection looks like.

[20:12] People are no longer engaging with companies solely because of the product. Ryan highlights Rosas Fresh Pizza, in Philadelphia. They have a culture of good by allowing people to pay an extra dollar, write a kind note and post it on the wall. Homeless people can then get a note off the wall and leave with a piece of pizza.

[23:10] Tamara highlights chapters 6 and 7: Making employees and customers better. Listen in as Ryan discusses the difference between transactional or relational customers. We are all customers of something. The engagement is different when you are willing to listen and care about the customer. Nothing is greater in a person’s life than when you’re serving with someone. If you can give that opportunity to a customer, they will be a customer for life.

[26:27] Listen in to find out why your culture is your greatest differentiator and also your greatest risk.

[29:13] Tamara reminds listeners not to get caught in the ‘er trap.’

[30:17] What does it mean to be emotionally disrupted? Ryan shares a personal experience and the power of the words, “I was there.”

[35:59] Tamara recently partnered up with Steves Club to help at-risk youth. Ryan feels that sharing good is contagious. It helps other people get involved.

[42:17] Profit can be an amazing catalyst for doing good. Your passion can be both profit and purpose. They can work together for synergy.

[44:46] It takes profit to make a change.

[45:21] Connect with Ryan and purchase his book at Culture of Good. Also, connect on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

[46:55] Where should LaunchStreeter’s begin to create a culture of good?

[48:19] Tamara asks listeners if they’re playing in a transactional space. It’s hard to innovate if you’re being transactional. She challenges listeners to go to Inside Launchstreet and watch the videos about customer innovation.


If you are ready to:

  • get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea

  • be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change

  • foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...

Join us on LaunchStreet —


Mentioned in This Episode:

Culture of Good Web Page

Culture of Good Book

Rosas Fresh Pizza

Steves Club

Aug 28, 2018

I’ve had a lot of conversations with you all about taking the leap into entrepreneurship — so I thought I’d bring on David Gee, the author of The Corporate Refugee Startup Guide and an entrepreneur himself. He wrote the book because of his experience of taking the big leap into that vast unknown. So whether you are looking to actually take that leap or just to be more entrepreneurial inside your organization, you’re going to get a lot out of this conversation — especially when we talk about the fallacy of work/life balance! David and I also talk about how we may be looking at risk in the wrong way, and why being rock bottom may actually be a good thing.


Key Takeaways:

[1:30] You might be surprised to learn that David was born in England and he loves home brewing.

[2:54] David speaks about what made him leave his job and become an entrepreneur. [4:54] How David defined risk back then and how he defines it now. Oftentimes, we create our perception of risk based on what we think we’re losing and not necessarily what’s ahead of us.

[7:25] Did having urgency in starting his business ultimately help David?

[9:18] What are the traits of people that gravitate towards starting their own business? David says a common link is people being delusionally optimistic and another is the ability to isolate a problem and creatively come up with a solution.

[11:00] David explains some of the toughest things that entrepreneurs face (from the lack of consistency to “the fog.”)

[13:05] David’s advice to those trying to take the leap or transition into a more entrepreneurial mindset. Be sure to talk to people that would pay you for your product or service (and not just your always-supports such as friends and family).

[15:50] Findings that surprised David in writing his book: the fallacy of work/life balance, and the notion that when you’re in a job you specialize and are not able to nurture your ability to become a generalist.

[19:34] What do you do in the beginning when you cannot afford to hire others to fill in the gaps in your skills (i.e. marketers, designers, etc.)? How do you build yourself up for success? David suggests you seek out resources and encourages you to reach out to others to fill out your gaps.

[22:09] How David defines success: it’s individual and personal for every person. The people he sees being successful are the ones who have gone out to solve a problem — not those chasing the money.

[25:19] How David defines success for himself now: creating generations of innovators and helping people be innovative.

[26:10] Would David define failure? Or is it all a lesson?

[28:45] One of the challenges we all face is we tend to create these unrealistic milestones based off of previous successes.

[31:11] Lack of resources forces you to be innovative.

[31:45] Where to find David online, connect, and find his book.

[32:15] David’s one piece of advice for those looking to take the leap as an entrepreneur: Prepare yourself, prepare your family, and build a solid business model that is focused on solving a problem.

[32:19] When do you know that you’re prepared enough vs. being over-prepared? David says when you start getting those buying signals it is a good sign to go ahead.

[35:02] What’s your big takeaway from this episode? Mine was that we may be looking at risk the wrong way and that it’s based around our perception of what we have to lose. It really shifted my thinking! This week, my call-to-action is to go to the podcast and leave a review to tell others what you get out of listening to this podcast and what you love about it. More reviews equals more amazing guests which means more insights like these for you!


If you are ready to:

■ get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea

■ be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change

■ foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...

Join us on


Mentioned in This Episode:

Peter Principle


Startup Grind

David R. Gee LinkedIn

The Corporate Refugee Startup Guide: How to Prepare Yourself, Prepare Your Family, Leave Your Job and Build the Ultimate Startup, by Dave Gee


Aug 21, 2018

This is the third part of the three-part series with Anthony Lambatos of Footer’s Catering and the IQE partner. In this conversation, we take a slightly different approach. Because Anthony is so well-respected in the events and hospitality world, he often gets asked to speak at conferences and consult other companies on how to achieve the growth that he has. Every time he does that, he speaks about the importance of innovation and power of the IQE assessment to help you make innovation tangible. 

I wanted to better understand why the events and hospitality world needs more innovation and how the IQE helps them deal with the challenges they’re facing. I wanted to dig into that because I think Anthony’s experience with teaching others about the IQE and helping them solve challenges through innovation is something that we can all apply to our worlds.


Key Takeaways:

[2:26] What’s happening in the hospitality and events world that makes innovation so important? Anthony describes why hospitality is ripe for innovation.

[6:04] Tamara tells a quick story about a recent rental car experience, relating it to the idea that you need innovation in your business or it will eventually fail.

[8:05] Why Anthony believes companies come to him to talk about innovation, and what he sees as being the major appeal of the IQE.

[9:24] The IQE assessment makes innovation tangible for people. Anthony describes what the IQE and innovation can do for people in the catering industry (and how it shouldn’t just be limited to the food).

[12:40] Many entrepreneurs are really good at the product they’re making but tend to lack on the business side. Anthony stresses the importance of amazing, innovative service.

[13:59] Some of the best innovation happens when you have a conversation with an extremely dissatisfied customer.

[14:26] Anthony gives three pieces of advice that tend to resonate with the people at the hospitality and events conferences he speaks at (from misconceptions of innovation, how to utilize the IQE, how to put a task force together, to the ‘look four ways’ exercise and giving a picture of what innovation could look like in their company.)

[19:11] Anthony expands on the idea of how when there’s no right answer people are more willing to share their ideas.

[21:04] What Anthony says about the IQE that gets people excited to learn. Anthony shares an experience he had with a salesperson to illustrate this.

[23:30] Other exercises and ways Anthony has brought out the innovator in people: encouraging them to reflect and by participating in the ‘look four ways’ exercise.

[27:39] Why thinking about how your favorite brand approaches a problem can help people become more innovative.

[28:52] Tamara talks about a recent experience with a client they did an IQE package with to help them come together as a better team.

[30:25] Anthony’s last piece of advice to people trying to build a culture of innovation.

[31:25] If you want to have that edge that Anthony has, go get a team pack and go over those opportunities together as a team. When you, as a team, come together and understand how each of you innovates differently and how you can leverage each other ... the power of innovation has exponential growth to it. Go to, get a team pack of assessments by reaching out to us directly or buying it online.


If you are ready to:

  • get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea

  • be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change

  • foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...

Join us on LaunchStreet —


Mentioned in This Episode:

IQE Assessment

Footers Catering

Aug 14, 2018

You’ve heard me say it before. Having an innovative idea is only half the battle. The other half is getting buy-in for your ideas. Many brilliant innovations come to a dead stop at the presentation phase. It got me thinking, “What are we doing so wrong?” So I asked Oren Klaff, author of Pitch Anything and Director of Capital Markets at investment bank Intersection Capital, onto Inside LaunchStreet. His book breaks down how he gets people to sign over multi-millions of dollars on his idea pitches. We have a fast-paced conversation where he breaks down the difference between our presentations and the lizard brain, why “winter is coming” is the start of every presentation (i.e. get ready for a change), how to show excitement without desperation so you can craft an irresistible presentation or pitch to anyone.


I know this borders on sales, but I’ll tell you right now, innovators — if you want to get traction on your innovative ideas, you’d better learn how to sell them in a way that makes people listen. Here goes.


Key Takeaways:

[2:51] You might be surprised that Oren has written 255 institutional pitches for money. He has written every single one of them with pen and paper.

[4:06] What is magical about the pen and paper process? Learn why Oren begins his presentations talking about The Games of Thrones and focuses on “winter is coming.” If you aren’t prepared for the change, you are going to be left behind, you are going to get wiped out.

[6:20] Ninety percent of the human mind is dedicated to detecting change. The brain is trained to do three things: detect patterns, focus on anything in the environment that’s changing, and detect deception. Oren reveals the elements that are necessary for a successful pitch.

[9:30] Get introduced into the term, lizard brain. Oren’s book, Pitch Anything teaches how the mind is different than the brain. Listen in to find out how the brain processes information.

[14:12] Oren suggests that Tamara tattoo the words, cognitive load, on her arm. Why are these two words so important? The neocortex uses up more than 20 percent of your energy. MInimize the amount of work their neocortex has to do. It’s your challenge, not their problem.

[17:08] Oren and Tamara discuss ways to limit the cognitive load.

[21:57] Learn about different kinds of frames and how to break them. Frames are a way of looking at the situation. What do you do when your listener exerts power over you?

[23:52] Oren and Tamara discuss ways to break through the power frame when the decision maker, Bob, didn’t show up for the presentation. Oren teaches how to change the dynamic from being controlled to controlling the situation.

[30:30] It’s scary at first to break through that power frame. When someone has power over you, three things happen: First, their focus becomes extremely narrow. It’s hard for them to appreciate the scope of what you’re talking about. Second, they have risk-taking behaviors. Third, they only see you at a very surface area. You have to break the power frame.

[34:31] When does the power frame show up? In the beginning, you must shift the power, take the risk.

[39:24] Why is it necessary to eradicate neediness? Neediness triggers something very uncomfortable in human beings. In primitive times, if you needed something, you were something to be avoided. Anytime you exhibit needy behaviors, it makes someone pull away from you.

[42:19] What’s the difference between showing interest and neediness?

[44:17] Listen in as Oren teaches how to deliver the prize frame and avoid the asshole effect. Tamara reminds listeners that doing this keeps you from taking on the bad clients that suck the life out of you.

[51:33] Oren’s upcoming book, The User’s Guide to Power, looks more deeply at the dominance hierarchy. It discusses where we fit in the people around us. Why do you frame your idea as the plain vanilla?

[53:36] Oren’s advice to listeners is to have the ability to talk about an idea for two to three minutes. Don’t say anything about you or your company. Just talk about the idea.

[55:14] Tamara asks listeners to leave her a message on Inside LaunchStreet about how you are going to pitch your product.


If you are ready to:

  • get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea

  • be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change

  • foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...

Join us on LaunchStreet —


Mentioned in This Episode:

Intersection Capitals Homepage

Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal, by Oren Klaff


Aug 7, 2018

Head trash! It's what keeps most of us down in the status quo dumps. In fact, have you ever noticed that the louder your mind is, the worse the head trash? And it's always negative and that negativity squelches creativity. With that in mind, I asked Matthew Ferry, coach to thousands of top performers to achieve Enlightened Prosperity and author of 7 Steps to Happiness and Success, to be on Inside LaunchStreet to talk about how to have a quiet mind and an epic life. We dug into how being tuned-in to life gets you to a more expansive and creative state, how we often attach the idea of risk onto the fear of losing out on an imaginary benefit, and he shared how pride, illogical rules and not being of service get in the way of the creative mind.


Key Takeaways:

[1:48] You might be surprised to learn that Matthew is a songwriter and producer. He is a trance music nerd.

[3:18] Find out what it means to Matthew to live an enlightened life. How does one know if you’re tuned into the enlightenment?

[6:35] Once you’re tuned into this state, how do you stay there? When you have head trash, your focus is narrow; things agitate you. When you are not in that head trash place, you see more, you're open to more, and the world seems more beautiful.

[8:01] Matthew believes you can live both a quiet life and a kick-ass, epic life. When you experience your infinite nature, you realize that nothing really matters. You get more space to clarify what really matters in your head.

[10:06] Tamara asks Matthew what tools or tactics can help you to minimize the mind chatter? You have to neutralize the mind’s reason for speaking, for talking, and for thinking. The mind talks because it’s part of our code. One has to be able to find the ways in which you’re being a traitor. Then, you have to release your motive for being a traitor.

[12:16] Matthew discusses the idea of success and failure and ‘am I giving it my all’?

[14:15] Find out why Matthew compares positivity to ice cream over mud pie.

[15:00] Matthew helps clients identify pride, grief, and where are you following illogical rules? He also helps identify where you’re being humble and pretending that it’s noble. Tamara reminds listeners that you bring creativity to the world by allowing yourself to think at this level.

[18:07] Matthew shares some examples of illogical rules: Be cordial, Do what other people do. Follow the rules. As entrepreneurs, it’s your job to question everything.

[20:51] Get introduced to the term, spiritual hooligans. What prevents us from breaking the rules?

[23:48] Matthew’s IQE archetype is fluid futuristic. He’s really good at challenging the status quo and navigating through the mud. He innovates in ambiguity and in solving tomorrow’s problems. Matthew believes that you have to decide if you’re creative. Accept that it’s OK if you aren’t.

[26:10] Why do we fail over and over again? Why do we keep resetting the goals?

Matthew believes that people want to have an experience — that’s what they actually want.

[30:52] Tamara and Matthew talk about the theory that you don’t quit when you want to quit. A deficit is the inspiration for all of our innovation. Watch Matthew teach about goal setting here.

[34:14] If you’re functioning in a state of deficit, do you settle for incremental thinking and ideas? Matthew suspects that you accomplish but you aren’t satisfied. You achieve, but you are unfulfilled. You must dance in between the finite and infinite. Tamara challenges Launchstreeters to examine which place on the teeter-totter you are playing.

[36:06] Connect with Matthew on his homepage and on his Facebook page, Spiritual Hooligans.

[36:51] Matthew challenges listeners to forget about the outcome of your goals and put your attention on the experience you think the outcome will create. Have that experience in the smallest ways, every single day.

[43:12] Tamara asks listeners to mindmap all the rules in your life and work. Find the illogical rules that are holding you back from your next big idea. Then, write a review on iTunes about the value that you get on Inside LaunchStreet.


If you are ready to:

  • get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea

  • be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change

  • foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...

Join us on LaunchStreet —


Mentioned in This Episode:

Matthew's blog

Matthew's homepage

Spiritual Hooligans

IQE Assessment


Jul 31, 2018

Story matters. In fact, research has shown that as humans we are more likely to believe, buy in and take action when there is story involved. it’s powerful for relationships and for business. Whether you sell a business service or a consumer product, you need story. That’s why I had Marc Gutman, founder of WildStory (Story Editor for Oliver Stone’s Illusion Entertainment) on Inside LaunchStreet. He applies his Hollywood story experience to business. We talk about how to craft a compelling story; how innovative ideas need story to succeed.


Key Takeaways:

[:37] Why do some brands find their way into your heart and some don’t? Marc Gutman, from Wildstory, joins Tamara on Inside LaunchStreet today to discuss the power of storytelling.

[2:08] You might be surprised to learn that Marc was a recently sponsored kiteboarder.

[3:36] Why does story matter so much in business today? How did Marc learn the craft of storytelling?

[6:23] By telling your customers who you are, it tells them who they are.

[7:07] Marc teaches that we craft our story by standing out. We can do this by looking at the past. It’s often the backstory that gives us motivation. A good story has four components: 1, vulnerability; 2, drama/conflict; 3, transformation; and 4, authenticity.

[11:10] Tamara shares that she was recently keynoting at a Women’s Food Service Conference. She noticed that businesses selling business-to-business pushback. Why does storytelling matter just as much to them?

[15:00] Tamara points out that often times we don’t trust data. We can argue that data can be skewed and presented from a certain perspective. If we storify the vision of what we are trying to sell and then support it with the numbers, we can have a successful conversation. It’s the storytelling that will connect you to the person. Marc and Tamara discuss the authenticity of Warbyparker. They have a strong vision of who they are and why they do what they do.

[20:50] Marc helps clients prepare for growth by guiding them through the difficult process of developing their identity, by developing the language to communicate, and by helping them create the tools to standardize their message.

[22:58] How is having a clear internal story advantageous?

[25:15] Tamara and Marc discuss customer touch points. Tamara talks about her experience of ordering knee high socks. The customer service didn’t match the original message. Marc reminds listeners that there is no insignificant touch. You need to honor your story and be authentic.

[28:31] Your story becomes how you do business. A strong story becomes your foundation and aids in making company decisions.


[29:50] Marc took the IQE Assessment and his power triggers are futuristic and inquisitive. Listen in to hear how Marc’s ability to stay steps ahead and build assumptions has helped him to build stories and help his clients.

[32:54] Tamara reminds listeners that often we have to let go of people that don’t want to see our true self. Marc points out that there may be some friction and you have to have courage as you move into this new direction. You might lose a few customers but over the long term, you will attract the right customers and employees.

[34:18] Tamara shares that they are working on their story at Inside Launchstreet. What are some of the pain points that can help you realize that you need to work on your story?

[37:06] Find out the magical link between your culture and your brand product. Tamara points out that you first have to work on things on the inside before you can work on the things outside.

[41:29] Tamara challenges customers to do a journal entry as if you were your customer. You cannot mention your products and services. It helps people to realize that our products and services are a very small part of their lives.

[43:20] Connect with Marc at Tamara tells customers to click on the “send me the secret” button on the webpage.

[44:20] Marc shares two things people can do right now to begin to incorporate storytelling into your work.

[46:14] Tamara challenges listeners to apply the power of storytelling. Practice telling your story. Find the conflict you’re going to resolve.


If you are ready to:

  • get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea

  • be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change

  • foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...

Join us on LaunchStreet —


Mentioned in This Episode:

Wildstory Homepage

Warbyparker Homepage

Jul 24, 2018

It’s time to dig into how to give people the knowledge and room to innovate so you can gain the edge and win. This is part two of three with Anthony Lambatos, president of Footer's Catering and IQE partner. On Inside LaunchStreet, we talk about how expecting all of us to innovate the same way sets us all up for failure, how it's not one person's job to contribute to innovation and why understanding his own power triggers (Tweaker — Collaborative) has helped him build his business. He shares how knowing his own power triggers has helped him know when and how to lean on the people around him. He also shares his experiences of putting all of the same triggers together versus balancing out the team. Anthony brings home why giving people the knowledge and room to innovate their way is the difference between incremental and transformative results.


Key Takeaways:

[2:24] Anthony joins Tamara for part two in the question-and-answer series. They open today’s show by talking more about leveraging the IQE Assessment. Anthony shares his experience of taking the IQE Assessment and how to leverage the assessment for himself and within the team. Anthony’s archetype is a collaborative tweaker.

[7:16] Collaborative thinkers pull ideas and perspectives together. Tweaker’s edit, evolve and adjust. Big innovation is just one little tweak away. Anthony shares how knowing his innovator type has helped him as the leader of Footers Catering. Tamara shares that she’s an experiential innovator. Knowing your innovator archetype helps you to shine in your arena and use your time in the most advantageous way.

[12:19] How has the IQE Assessment benefitted Anthony’s team? What happens when you have too many of the same archetypes trying to innovate? They build their teams by selecting different types of innovators. This helps to balance out the team.

[18:18] When you pull the right people into the team and create balance, they challenge assumptions and help to overcome barriers. Anthony shares how a team member took the IQE Assessment and had triggers in the futuristic. They ended up putting her in charge of the food presentations, and she’s very successful in her new assignment using her futuristic strengths.

[21:12] Why is it so important to allow people to innovate in their own way?

[22:18] How can your power triggers become barriers? Anthony believes that if you back down from struggles, you won’t ever have an opportunity to be awesome. Tamara shares that people need to know that it’s OK to make mistakes.

[25:08] Tamara shares an experience about how an incorrect link to the IQE Assessment was emailed out. They used this mistake as a great learning tool.

[27:34] Awesomeness is one of Footer’s core values. The whole team embraces awesomeness. Customers feel the awesomeness in their service. Tamara reminds listeners that the culture is the foundation of success.

[30:44] When you understand your innovator archetype it also helps you know when and how you need to collaborate with others. Tamara challengers listeners to take the IQE assessment and discover how you can perform at your best.


If you are ready to:

  • get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea

  • be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change

  • foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...

Join us on LaunchStreet —


Mentioned in This Episode:

IQE Assessment

Footers Catering

Jul 17, 2018

In innovation, we often talk about launching an idea but we don’t spend nearly enough time talking about sustaining and growing our ideas, or businesses. In fact, that's where the failure happens. For this episode of Inside LaunchStreet, I wanted to bring to you insights not just on launching but on sustaining, growing and scaling your brilliant ideas, both inside organizations and as entrepreneurs. With that, I talked to Rob Levin of PrintFly. You may know them as or College.Ink. As their president and a serial entrepreneur, he's done a brilliant job of stripping away complexity to build a successful and scalable business. We dig into why it's easy to launch but harder to survive, how knowing what business you are in really matters (it's not custom tees), and how business is like sports.


Key Takeaways:

[2:10] You might be surprised to learn that Rob recently started competing in Jiu-jitsu.

[4:03] Get introduced to the ‘plus, minus, equal’ Jiu-Jitsu concept. This amazing concept is as powerful in the business world as it is in Jiu-Jitsu. Find out why Rob believes that it if you just train with someone that’s your equal, you will never get any better. This applies to the sports world but also to the business world.

[9:01] Listen in to find out how and why Rob left the financial commerce field and got involved in Printfly.

[12:36] Rob shares some advice regarding how you grow a business and differentiate in a cluttered category. Businesses have to have some different qualities that make them stand out from the competition. Printfly brings some unique qualities to the table. First, they have an obsessive focus on the customer. Second, they own the entire supply chain.

[16:50] How do you communicate differentiation in the market? Tamara and Rob talk about the importance of taking the worry out of the customer’s experience. The customers need to feel the trust. Tamara shares her experience with ordering custom made tank tops for her Crossfit competitions. Most often, she is uneasy and doesn’t trust that the order she’s expecting will arrive. Rob believes that when people find value in what you do, they’re going to buy on something other than price.

[23:03] Rob and Tamara discuss the importance of recognizing when it’s time to shift gears and scale. Rob uses the analogy of shifting gears on a car. It’s important to shift gears without losing what made you unique in the first place. Often business either scale too early or too late.

[25:27] Tamara points out that often the innovator won’t let go and find help. it’s tough to recognize when you’re in a pattern. You have to identify that you’re lacking the skill set, and need to get outside help. Rob talks about evolution. Evolution is not the survival of the fittest. It rewards the ability to adapt.

[27:57] How do you balance the complexity of the day-to-day while keeping an eye on adaptability?

[30:44] Where is customization headed?

[33:40] Tamara shares her recent experience renting a car. Often consumers aren’t voicing concerns and are just dealing with the frustration of business.

[37:06] Connect with Rob at Printfly, College Ink, Rush Order Tees and on Facebook.

[39:38] Rob’s final piece of advice is to go where the customers are. Find out what their problems are and figure out how to solve them.

[43:20] Tamara really loved the comment Rob made that everything looks so easy after the Olympics. The real dedication comes with growing the business and surviving it. In innovation, we often focus on the launching. It’s the staying in business where the rubber meets the road. Tamara challenges listeners to examine if your focus matches the stage of work that you’re in. And she asks for you open your podcast app and leave Inside LaunchStreet a great review.


If you are ready to:

  • get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea

  • be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change

  • foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...

Join us on LaunchStreet —


Mentioned in This Episode:

Print Fly

Rush Order Tees Homepage

College Ink Homepage

Jul 10, 2018

You know, being entrepreneurial and growing a business is tough work. It got me thinking, what are those either big mistakes or smart decisions entrepreneurs make time and time again? I mean, we aren't reinventing the wheel every time right? With that question, I brought JJ Ramberg onto Inside LaunchStreet. You probably already know who she is... host of MSNBC’s “Your Business,” which focuses on business and entrepreneurship and she is the founder of She is also author of the best-selling book It’s Your Business – 183 Tips That Will Transform Your Small Business. She also recently launched a podcast Been There. Built That, where she interviewed leaders of billion-dollar businesses. We have a great conversation about the challenges small businesses face today, and how to break through the clutter. She's helped thousands of businesses on her show and we find out some of the stories that even with all that experience surprised her.


Key Takeaways:

[1:58] You might be surprised to learn that JJ read the complete series of Game of Thrones before it was on HBO.

[2:55] JJ started Goodshop the same time she began appearing on MSNBCS Your Business. She noticed that she was experiencing the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. She learned that successful people stay confident even in the low lows.

[4:17] How do you stay confident in the low lows? JJ finds that the common threads among successful entrepreneurs are that they believe in themselves and are willing to take the risk. They weigh the risk and feel like it’s riskier not to take the risk.

[6:50] Tamara and JJ discuss that as your business gets larger, the risk gets bigger.

[8:46] JJ shares some of the challenges small business are currently facing.

[10:35] Tamara and JJ discuss the need for patents vs. proceeding to launch without a patent.

[11:40] JJ shares her top innovation advice for small businesses. It is that innovators should think about product innovation as process innovation. Take a good look at how everything is working as a company. First, strive for simplicity. Second, make sure that everyone understands company goals.

[13:54] JJ and Tamara talk about the impact of letting the wrong person linger. Sometimes, your A players on one level, are not your A players on another level. JJ shares that straight out of graduate school, she worked for She was the head of marketing and business development. As the company grew, she didn’t have the experience to run this growing department. The company had to hire someone that was more experienced to meet the increased demand for marketing and development.

[16:33] How do you set goals in a way that the entire company understands? It’s a conversation, repetition over and over. You must talk about what you are doing today and how it fits in with the goals.

[18:21] What does it take to break through the innovation noise?

[23:18] JJ talks about why innovation needs to extend beyond product development and why the focus needs to be on the business approach. She shares a story about a plumbing company. Their competitive advantage is the way they provide the service. JJ shares that Zappos has changed the customers shopping experience.

[24:52] JJ’s podcast, Been There, Built That, has interviewed CEOs from billion dollar companies. She has found that the founders all have one thing in common. They believe in themselves. John Foley, founder of Peloton, talked with JJ and said, ‘if it were all to fall apart, would my life really be that bad?’

[29:34] Connect with JJ at and on Your Business. Buy JJ’s new book The Startup Club: The Big Idea, by JJ Ramberg, Melanie Staggs, and S. Taylor.

[31:42] JJ is currently excited to launch her website and is excited about her recent book release for entrepreneurial teens.

[32:20] Listen in to find out if now is a good time to start a business.

[33:10] JJ’s final piece of advice to LaunchStreet listeners is to find a trusted team of people that can give you advice. You can shortcut your learning curve if you ask questions. She believes that most people don’t mind sharing things they have learned.

[36:56] Tamara shares her ‘a-ha’ moment of this episode. It’s that it’s important to identify if it’s riskier to innovate or riskier not to do it. She challenges listeners to stop and think about the risks of not moving forward with your innovation.


If you are ready to:

  • get buy-in from key decision makers on your next big idea

  • be a high-impact, high-value member that ignites change

  • foster a culture of innovation where everyone on your team is bringing innovative ideas that tackle challenges and seize opportunities...

Join us on LaunchStreet —


Mentioned in This Episode:

It's Your Business: 183 Essential Tips that Will Transform Your Small Business,
by JJ Ramberg, Lisa Everson, and Frank Silverstein

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