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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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Now displaying: July, 2018
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 Wildstory.com. 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 — gotolaunchstreet.com

 

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 — gotolaunchstreet.com

 

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 RushOrderTees.com 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 — gotolaunchstreet.com

 

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 Goodshop.com. 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 cooking.com. 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 Goodshop.com 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 — gotolaunchstreet.com

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Msnbc.com/your-business

Goodshop.com

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

Jul 3, 2018

Part one of my conversation with Anthony Lambatos, President of Footers and IQE Partner. We do things a little differently for this episode. Anthony and I go deep into how to make innovation tangible. He shares how the rewards programs, voluntary committees, and the IQE assessment help him make innovation something that happens every day. We also talk about how setting expectations around the J-curve of innovation helps ensure the naysayers don't win and recognizing the power in the 80% rule — something you'll definitely want to consider after this interview.

 

Key Takeaways:

[2:30] You may be surprised to learn that Anthony has a separate sports bucket list.

[5:09] How do you create a great place to work? Anthony and April’s original goal was to do just that! Part of their mission statement is to make it better every day. They utilize voluntary task forces to help make things better.

[9:36] How do you move the shift past, one more meeting, and get them excited to join a task force? The fact that it’s voluntary is huge. It’s something that they genuinely care about and challenges them to work on something new.

[11:55] How do you pick what’s worthy enough to be a new project?  It’s driven by the strategic plan and the eight company directors. Each director is in charge of an area from the strategic plan. Ideas also come from our team.

[14:38] Anthony employee’s efforts are rewarded by submitting requests for team members to earn Jimmy bucks. The playing field is level in that every employee can submit the request. Tamara talks about the importance of celebrating the behaviors, stepping up, and trying something new. It’s when you only focus on the outcomes that innovation fails.

[17:10] Get introduced to the 80 percent solution, and find out how it’s opened the door to a lot more progress. Anthony talks about failing three times to automate the pack list and about the lightbulb moment about letting go of perfection. We focus on making it better. Our acronym, MIBED, is our internal branding within our team.

[20:50] We tend to focus on the 20 percent because it’s glaring. Everybody can see that this part isn’t working. Productivity doesn’t go in a straight line. Anthony shares the “J” curve.

[24:02] Tamara often shares in her keynote addresses that it gets harder before it gets easier. Setting expectations at the front end is so important to get through that “J” curve. Anthony shares that it’s important to point out what the inconveniences will be and how the team will work through the problems.

[25:24] Anthony and Tamara discuss the importance of failure. Anthony believes that the task forces are a safe place for employees to throw out all ideas. Challenging people to be open with their ideas is essential. He likes the team exercise, Look for Ways.

He shares an example how a one-star review of Snowbird ski resort, was turned around and used as marketing tool.

[28:12] Footers, comes out of the gate differently. At the base of that, is the motto Make It Better Every Day. How has this view impacted your culture, innovation? Anthony shares that Thomas Edison didn’t invent the light bulb, Others had invented it before him. Edison invented the first commercially viable light bulb. Anthony believes that the key to innovation is making small incremental movements that will make it better.  Innovation is tangible and manageable. Tamara talks about rearranging the box, instead of getting out of the box.

[32:42] The secret sauce to a great culture is to genuinely care about the people that work for you, and in turn, the people want to do a great job. Anthony feels it’s also important to give the team opportunities to grow and improve.

[34:17] Tamara encourages listeners to pick one action point that Anthony talked about and implement it 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 — gotolaunchstreet.com

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Footers Catering

IQE Assessment

1