Innovation at large, established companies is hard. So we made a podcast to help you overcome obstacles and create change at your organization.

Welcome to Innovation Answered, the podcast for corporate innovators. In each episode, we explore one major roadblock to change at large organizations. We gather advice from experts — academics, reporters, our strategic partners, and innovation executives like you — to help you move your industry forward. Join your host, Kaitlin Milliken, for a new episode every Tuesday morning.

Innovation Answered is created by Innovation Leader. We’re a media and events company with a laser focus on helping 100-year-old companies survive for 100 years to come. For access to articles, videos, and downloadable resources, check out our main website.

If you want to suggest a topic for this podcast or send feedback, email kaitlin@innovationleader.com.


Innovation Answered Season 2

Episode 7: Inside Silicon Valley's Innovation Culture

Silicon Valley and Seattle have created a number of startup unicorns turned trillion dollar companies — like Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google (FAANG). In order to find out what makes FAANG more innovative than other companies, we sat down with Faisal Masud, Chief Operating Officer of Wing at Alphabet Inc. Innovation Leader CEO Scott Kirsner also shares insights from his interviews with FAANG founders. This episode also features Steve Wozniak, Co-Founder of Apple. 

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Special thanks to Planbox for sponsoring this episode.

Episode 6: Remaking R&D at the Kellogg Company

When it comes to consumer packaged goods, the Kellogg Company is a big player, with about $13.5 billion in revenue. But the company's best-known breakfast items face a tougher landscape as more people choose to skip the most important meal of the day. To find out how the company is reimagining their business through R&D, we sat down with Nigel Hughes, Senior Vice President of Global Research and Development at Kellogg's. 

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Special thanks to Planbox for sponsoring this episode.

Episode 5: Innovators vs. the Rulebook. Who Wins?

While innovation can be difficult at any company, highly regulated industries with a thick rule book — both internally and from the government — face more roadblocks along the innovation journey. To find out how highly regulated companies can chalk up innovation wins, we sat down with Mohan Nair, Chief Innovation Officer at Cambia Health Solutions. Guests include Steve Faktor, host of the McFuture Podcast and the former Vice President of Business Growth and Innovation at American Express, and Ludwig Melik, CEO of the agile innovation company Planbox.

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Special thanks to Planbox for sponsoring this episode.

Episode 4: Bringing Star Wars to Life at Lucasfilm

While everyone knows Star Wars and Indiana Jones, not everyone is familiar with ILMxLAB, Lucasfilm’s immersive entertainment division. In this episode, we sit down with Vicki Dobbs Beck, the Executive in Charge of ILMxLAB, to find out how her team uses new technology to bring stories to life. Topics of discussion include, virtual reality, augmented reality, tech scouting, and testing new ideas with end users.

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Special thanks to Planbox for sponsoring this episode.

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Episode 3: Playing in the (Startup) Sandbox

Corporate teams know they should be tapping into the startup ecosystem somehow, but they don’t always know how to get started. In this episode, we explore different ways innovators engage with startups and how they forge more meaningful relationships. Guests include Arvind Purushotham, the Head of Venture Investing at Citi Ventures; Northwestern Professor Mohan Sawhney; and Jenny Lawton, COO of Techstars.

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Special thanks to Techstars for sponsoring this episode.

Episode 2: Staying Relevant in Retail

In the age of Amazon, how are retailers staying relevant with customers? We went to the National Retail Federation's annual Big Show to find out. Guests include Kambiz Hemati, Footlocker's Vice President of Global Store Design; Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, founder of the publication Retail Minded; and Joe Pine, author of The Experience Economy.

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Special thanks to Techstars for sponsoring this episode.

Episode 1: Inside the Mind of Clay Christensen

Clay Christensen is one of the most influential figures in corporate innovation, and his book, The Innovator’s Dilemma remains a business leader must-read. We wanted to know how Christensen's ideas apply in 2019. To find out, we sat down with Innovation Leader's Scott Kirsner to discuss his interviews with the acclaimed professor.

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Special thanks to Techstars for sponsoring this episode.

Episode 0: And We're Back, by Popular Demand


Bonus Content

The State of Innovation 2019

What are corporate innovators thinking about in the first quarter of 2019? We sat down with Professor Gary Pisano at Harvard Business School to find out. In this interview, Pisano discussed last years innovation wins and his new book, Creative Construction. We also talked to our Editor and CEO to find out what Innovation Leader members are thinking about in the new year.

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Special thanks to Techstars for sponsoring this episode.

TGI Fridays: Turning Customers into Regulars

As more millennials opt for fast, inexpensive dining options like Shake Shack, casual dining faces a tough landscape. So how are restaurants keeping up? We talked to Sherif Mityas, the Chief Experience Officer of TGI Fridays, to find out how the chain is using AI and personalization to create a dining experience that keeps customers coming back for seconds.

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Lyft, Tesla, and the Future of Mobility

With increased traffic and decreased parking, many urbanites have opted out of owning a car. So what will the future of mobility look like? We talked to Jon McNeill, COO of Lyft, about what consumers can expect moving forward. In this interview, Jon also discussed his experience at Tesla and his move to the ride sharing industry.

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Innovation Answered Season 1

Episode 8: Startup Culture in Big Companies

Startups are viewed as innovative utopias, filled with a dedicated workforce of entrepreneurs. So can big companies behave like startups and capture their culture? To find out, we sat down with Steve Blank, a key player in the lean startup movement. This episode also features insights from Lyft COO Jon McNeill and Innovation Leader’s Kelsey Alpaio.

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Special thanks to Wellspring for sponsoring this episode. 

Episode 7: Innovating the World of Sports

What’s disrupting the world of sports, and how are teams adapting? We asked sports innovators how teams and franchises can knock innovation out of the park. Guests include Angela Ruggiero, CEO of the Sports Innovation Lab, and Jack Elkins, Director of Innovation at the Orlando Magic.

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Special thanks to Wellspring for sponsoring this episode. 

Episode 6: Moving Fast...Full Speed Ahead!

Innovators are always encouraged to move faster and avoid disruption. But can a big, slow company really move fast? And is faster necessarily better? We sat down with Rachael Schwartz, formerly of Keurig, to find out. This episode also features insights from TripAdvisor CEO Steve Kaufer and Innovation Leader’s Kelsey Alpaio.

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Special thanks to Wellspring for sponsoring this episode.

Episode 5: What's Digital Transformation, Anyway?

Digital transformation has become a buzzword. However, the perfect formula — and even the definition — are a mystery at most companies. So what's the right strategy for making digital transformation happen inside a big organization? To find out, we went to Chicago. Guests include Patrick Bass, the CEO at thyssenkrupp North America, and Marcelo De Santis, former Chief Information Officer at Mondelez International and Pirelli.

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Special thanks to Wellspring for sponsoring this episode. 

Episode 4: (Better) Business Model Innovation

Avoiding disruption is often central to innovation teams. But can changing your business model make your company an innovation powerhouse? We sit down with Rick Paster of Walmart Global eCommerce and Mark Johnson of Innosight to find out.

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Special thanks to Startgrid for sponsoring this episode. 

Episode 3: The Ex-Files

What is it really like to head innovation at a large company? We talked to former innovation executives to find out the good, the bad, and the ugly. Welcome to the Ex-Files. Guests include Rick Waldron, former Vice President of Innovation Strategy & Partnerships at Nike, and Ace Moghimi, former Global Head of Innovation Strategy at Manulife John Hancock.

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Special thanks to Startgrid for sponsoring this episode. 

Episode 2: Those Darned Millennials

Millennials are murderers. At least according to the headlines, where the generation is blamed for killing all sorts of industries. But are millennials really killing established brands? Nondini Naqui, a millennial engagement consultant and former CEO of Society of Grownups, discusses how companies can connect with the age group. Innovation Leader's Kelsey Alpaio also explains how brands like Cadillac, L'Oreal, and Denny's are staying relevant with the kids.

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Special thanks to Startgrid for sponsoring this episode. 

Episode 1: The Innovation Survival Guide

Innovation initiatives at large companies often have a short life span, leaving unfulfilled ideas in their wake. So what kills innovation at established companies? And what can you do to survive? Innovation Leader's Editor Scott Kirsner and Assistant Editor Kelsey Alpaio share best practices that can help initiatives stay afloat and create organizational change.

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Special thanks to Startgrid for sponsoring this episode. 

Episode 0: Welcome to Innovation Answered