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Innovation Inside LaunchStreet: Leading Innovators | Business Growth | Improve Your Innovation Game

Inside Launch Street is the innovation podcast where we interview top innovators out there shaking things up so YOU can innovate and differentiate and get further, faster in this crazy cluttered world. When you are ready to take your game to the next level, join the thousands of others that are upping their innovation edge on gotoLaunchStreet.com, the top online education, resource and community platform for innovators looking to use innovation to get measurable results.
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Innovation Inside LaunchStreet: Leading Innovators | Business Growth | Improve Your Innovation Game
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Now displaying: June, 2018
Jun 26, 2018

There are many factors that make or break the success of a new idea, especially an innovative one that bumps up against a traditional industry. There are two big factors I wanted to address with our guest today, Johan Lupton, creator of SoundGuard, soundproof paint. First, how to solve a big enough problem that you create a massive market for your product, and second how to actually leverage instead of fighting the traditional players in the industry. We dig into Jonah’s mistakes, successes, how we thought differently about where his product fits in the bigger picture and why staying focused on who you serve is key.

Key Takeaways:

[1:29] You may be surprised to learn that Jonah spent 8 years working in the investment industry. Also, he’s never been to California!

[3:24] Jonah left the investment industry and began trying to solve the problem of hearing his neighbor’s kids in the townhouse next door. He set out to create a noise blocker paint that looked nice as well. This began his journey of creating SoundGuard.

[7:44] Jonah built a partnership with the lab to help him build the paint. He knew that he needed expertise. Tamara reminds listeners to know your lane.

[10:27] Find out what lessons Jonah has learned along the production journey. Tamara points out that Jonah figured out how to identify the qualifiers that will take the unnecessary fear out of the conversation.

[15:32] Jonah has had great success in sending cold emails. He’s getting a great response because the subject line addressed a need. Tamara tells about a new idea of drone window washing. The biggest challenge the inventor is experiencing is inertia. Moving to something new is often a big hurdle. Jonah shares how he moves past the hurdles of new construction.

[19:22] What kind of proof do customers need? Is having faith in the product enough? Jonah shares his experience that he declined painting an elevator shaft because he didn’t have the proof that the paint would stop vibration sounds. Some projects, you just have to say no to. Johan pointed out that he has to stay in his lane and focus on the sweet spots of his product.

[23:32] Listen in as Jonah talks about how his dream and focus for SoundGuard has changed along the way.

[26:00] Tamara introduces listeners to innovation on demand, a course to help entrepreneurs create a kick-ass one-page business plan and a commodities no competition zone.

[28:26] What sustained Jonah during the two-year product launch? How did he keep the motivation and drive going? Tamara reminds listeners that you have to have faith in yourself and believe in your product during the uncertain times.

[34:40] Connect with Jonah at Soundguard.io or Google soundproof paint.

[34:59] Jonah gives advice on how to launch a revolutionary and defendable product. He advises that you don’t always need a co-founder. Other specialists can help you fill this space.

[36:41] Tamara challenges listeners that live in shared spaces to tell your manager/owner about Soundguard. Jonah offers a $1,000 referral fee if you can help him land contracts.

[38:35] Jonah reminded Tamara that you can battle the status quo. Yet, figure out a way to leverage the system, be complementary, and still be disruptive. Ask yourself, how can I leverage the system to my benefit?

 

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 — gotolaunchstreet.com

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

SoundGuard Homepage

Jun 19, 2018

Structure and innovation — can they work hand in hand? Can a big company teach us more entrepreneurial spirits about innovation? Michael Arena, Chief Talent Officer at General Motors talks about just that. He shared how he thinks differently about his work and what GM does to stay innovative, as well as his mantra "positively disrupt or be disrupted." We also talk about the importance of scaling and why that matters no matter your size. Whether you feel like you are a cog in a big wheel or the sole innovator, this podcast has some interesting lessons around how structure can foster innovation, not hinder it.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:41] Listeners may be surprised to learn that Michael’s garage is full of motorcycles, not cars and trucks.

[3:09] Michael’s vision for talent at GM is that GM needs to get the best people. He defines talent acquisition, building a robust talent pipeline, and making sure people are fully engaged so that they are leveraging all of their potential. “We are unique in the fact that we do a lot of work around social capital.”

[4:29] How does Michael define the ‘best people’? How do you know that people are in the right role?

[7:11] Social capital is defined as people who you have established trust with. Michael shares that he would rather have someone in the center of the network that can leverage what they know. What makes someone great at leveraging the network? Rob Cross researched organization network. He studied fast movers, people that migrate to the center of the network. He found that fast movers are givers, they help other people, they know that it’s about the team. Fast movers help others be better at what they do. Tamara questions LaunchStreet listeners if they are on the center or on the edge of your own network?

[10:36] Michael believes that today’s organizations need to embrace the mantra, “positively disrupt or be disrupted.” Today, it’s all about speed, swiftness, and agility. Would you rather be disrupted or be the disruptor? Tamara shares that when you aren’t the one disrupting, it takes you by surprise.

[13:00] Listen in to find out why you actually need canaries in the coal mine, people on the fringe of the network.

[14:45] How do you leverage the people on the fringe? Why do you need both external and internal bridges? The first thing an innovator wants to do is to go to the top of the organization and get credit. MIchael believes it’s the dumbest move you can make. You are much better off to find a credible friend that will advocate for you. People will listen and the idea will be energized.

[17:43] Tamara shares that Inside LaunchStreet has created Innovation on Demand. The videos that get watched the most are the ones about how to communicate your ideas. It’s not about the ego driving it, it’s about building the network to help you get your idea accomplished. Michael and Tamara discuss the “they versus them” group.

[21:25] Michael debunks the myth that you have to be startup to scale fast. He shares an example of a small company that was acquired by a very large organization. The smaller company was very unhappy. After relationships were built, they were able to scale the concept over the larger marketplace.

[23:18] Michael believes that you have to disrupt traditional models to scale quickly. You must start to think bimodally, cross-functionally. He talks about discovery connections and development connections.

[27:24] Michael compares launching an invention to an airplane taking off into the wind. Tension helps to build better innovation.

[31:36] Michael shares some nuggets from his new book, Adaptive Space: How GM and Other Companies are Positively Disrupting Themselves and Transforming into Agile Organizations. Companies share both tensions to produce and deliver and adapt and innovate. It’s important to make intentional connections in different intervals in regards to different timing. Discovery, development, and scale each need their own timing. Agility is so critical.

[35:18] Is there one person that owns the whole process of discovery, development, and scale? Tamara talks about the one-way tennis match.

[38:56] Connect with Michael at Adaptive Space and on LinkedIn.

[39:43] Michaels final piece of advice is to make the trade-off between ego and impact. You must be willing to let go of parts of it, the chances of getting it off the ground are much greater.

[40:34] Tamara reminds listeners that structure and innovation can work hand in hand. She challenges us to find the gaps in structure and processes and start to innovate. She shares Southwest Airlines Rap as an example of structured 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 — gotolaunchstreet.com

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Adam Grant

Michael's Linkedin articles

Derek Sivers Ted Talk

Charles OReilly Ambidexterity

Adaptive Space: How GM and Other Companies are Positively Disrupting Themselves and Transforming into Agile Organizations, by Michael Arena

Southwest David Rap

Jun 12, 2018

Yesterday someone asked me, “Tamara what are the rules of the new economy?” I get that question a lot. How do you get ahead? How do you become seen as a power player in your work? With that question in mind, I had Magdalena Yeşil on Inside LaunchStreet. She is a seasoned Silicon Valley Investor (one of the first in SalesForce), founder of several organizations and the author of Power Up! How Smart Women Win in the New Economy. We chat about everything from taking criticism and using it to get better to being a valued voice when you aren’t the most seasoned one of the team.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:35] You might be surprised to learn that Magdalena eats all day long!

[2:49] Find out how being comfortable with being an outsider helped Magdalena to get ahead in the startup venture capital tech world. She learned early to not focus on your differences, but instead to focus on your similarities.

[4:09] How can you leverage being an outsider? Attitude makes all the difference.

[6:26] If you focus on being liked, you have given a lot of power to the other side. If you focus on how good you are about playing the game, it’s all on you. It’s your own skill set. No one else can define you but you. Magdalena shares her childhood story about how she focused on playing the game.

[7:27] What does it mean to be a smart woman? What is the new economy? Magdalena has the answers to these questions in her book, Power-Up! Don’t let the title fool you. The same principles taught in the book apply to men too.

[10:17] Magdalena shares that the book opens with the theme, The Power to Flow. She shares a Turkish custom has been influential in her own life. When someone departs on a journey, the whole neighborhood throws buckets of water on the person. It symbolizing going around the obstacles in the journey and finding the cracks in the rocks for the water to flow through. Tamara reminds listeners to pause and see the water flowing in your own life, giving you power to overcome obstacles.

[12:33] Magdalena shares how to jump over some workplace hurdles. Get introduced to the delicious “f” you attitude. She shares her personal experience of her engineering design review meeting. Her attitude left a tremendous effect on her boss and coworkers.

[16:00] Her ability to remain unflustered and being open to feedback allowed her to improve her design to see success. After the meeting, the men felt like they could continue to give her feedback because she was open and genuinely seeking feedback. We grow by asking for feedback, accepting it and making yourself better.

[18:35] Magdalena shares a powerful strategy for when someone steals your idea at a meeting.

[22:41] What myths can hinder career progress?

[25:21] Is it more important to have a thick skin or be a flexible player?

[26:35] Listen in to find out why having women in the workplace is a competitive advantage. Diversity helps companies receive input and positivity impacts the bottom line. There has to be diversity to really understand what the customer will be doing with our product.

[28:14] Magdalena defines the new economy as any field that’s touched with technology.

[29:45] Innovation does not have a standard formula. Innovation often comes from looking at a problem and saying, “How can I solve this in a different way?” Everyday, Magdalena asks herself what would be the highest leveraging achievement today? She doesn’t leave her office until she has completed that task. Prioritization opens the door to innovation.

[32:21] Tamara believes that we tend to solve yesterday’s problems. We have to figure out ways to look into the future of where we are headed. She advises listeners to look for entrepreneurs that are out there trying to change the game.

[33:57] Connect with Magdalena on her homepage, Twitter, Facebook and on LinkedIn.

[34:26] Magdalena’s final piece of advice is that it’s never to late. Her mother got her first job at age 63. It’s never too late to launch a new career, or to do something you’re not familiar with. It’s never too late to do the exciting stuff you have always wanted to do.

 

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 — gotolaunchstreet.com

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Broadway Angels

Salesforce

Magdalenas homepage

Power-Up! How Smart Women Win In The New Economy, by Magdalena Yeşil

Jun 5, 2018

Do feel like you spend all your time preparing presentations? And even with all that time spent, it feels like none of the ideas you spent all that time of move forward? You aren’t alone. It’s the presentation loop and it's got to stop. Tatiana from KFC asked me how she could get out of the presentation loop and into what I call the “culture of experimentation.” This is where ideas get to breathe life, where you test out the real viability of your thinking. It’s where you stop presenting and start bringing ideas to life. It’s what truly innovative companies do. My co-pilot and I dig deep into the difference and how you can make that transition too.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:22] Tamara believes that the presentation loop squelches innovation. Tamara and co-pilot, Connie Warden, discuss how to get out of the loop so that you can create a culture of experimentation.

[3:10] Tamara recently delivered a keynote speech at the Women’s Foodservice Forum. Tatiana, from KFC, asked, “How do I get out of the deck loop”? Connie asked what a deck is. Tamara describes that a deck is basically a presentation or Powerpoint. The girls discuss the importance of using lingo that your audience understands. They also bring up that it’s so important to ask questions if you don’t know what is being talked about.

[7:00] Tamara believes that when we are stuck in the presentation loop that ideas go nowhere for two reasons. First, we spend all of our time presenting and none of our time doing. Second, It’s hard to gauge the viability of an idea on paper. If we can cut out some presenting time and spend time doing, we will know the viability of the idea and we will know where to spend our time. Connie talks about author, Robert Holden. People are taught to innovate but oftentimes aren’t even sure what idea or problem they are supposed to be working on. Tamara shares that a top retail executive recently came to her but didn’t know how to operationalize innovation. He lacked a focus on how to lead his team in innovation. The focus needs to be on shifting with the market, and harnessing change.

[10:55] How can you get into a mode of experimentation? Tamara shares how Inside LaunchStreet brought Innovation on Demand to life. Connie shares that you have to have courage and that you don’t go from idea to perfection all at once. Tamara and Connie talk about Connie’s idea about stress relief in a box. The first launch never looks like your the idea you envisioned.

[14:48] You can’t go from a Powerpoint to the perfect launch. Tamara thinks that if you can get out of presentation mode, you can move forward. It’s so important to build your idea. People can give response and feedback to physical ideas much easier than a piece of paper. If you can present the model and feedback, you can bring your idea to life much quicker. You are providing validation as to why this idea should move forward.

[16:46] Connie and Tamara discuss the need for courage. You have to be comfortable with people poking holes and not take it as a personal attack or negativity. Get those people to help you fill the holes. Take the feedback from the marketplace and use it to move forward, not shut you down.

[17:04] Find out why you need both “yes anders” and “no butters” to bring your ideas to life. People often shoot down ideas because of how the ideas is presented. Tamara encourages listeners like Tatiana to just do it! Build it, get feedback and then incorporate that into your presentation. People just need to see the difference between presentation and experimentation.

[20:12] It takes courage and a willingness to accept that you’re the first to shift change. Tamara shares that Inside LaunchStreet has developed their own Shark Tank. They each get $50 to experiment and bring an idea to life. Then, they vote on who moves on to the next stage. The ones who move on, get more money to continue testing viability.

[21:44] Tamara encourages Tatiana to think small scale, think consistency and to have courage to be the first one to try it.

[22:02] Tamara challenges listeners to build out their idea. Actually bring it to life and get feedback. Go to Inside Launchstreet to help you get started.

 

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 — gotolaunchstreet.com

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