Innovation Answered show

Innovation Answered

Summary: Innovation at large, established companies is hard. So we made a podcast to help you overcome obstacles and create change at your organization. Welcome to Innovation Answered, the podcast for corporate innovators. Join your host, Kaitlin Milliken from Innovation Leader, for a new episode every Tuesday at 6 a.m. ET. For more information visit

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 Running Innovation Labs | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 35:31

Pursuing new ideas can be difficult when employees bogged down with day-to-day business. To foster new processes, many companies created separate innovation teams and labs. But how have these labs shifted during this period of remote work? What sets labs up for success? Linda Elkins, Chief Technical Officer of W.L. Gore’s Silicon Valley Innovation Center, shares. Other guests include Frankie James from General Motors, Jeffrey Welser from IBM, and Sara Husk of Planbox.

 What Corporate Venture Funds can Learn From VCs | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 29:39

What are the risks when large companies dive into the venture capital game? To answer that question and more, we sat down with Rudina Seseri, Founder and Managing Partner of Glasswing Ventures. Amish Parashar, Co-founder of the Yamaha Motor Exploratory Fund, also explains why corporate venture is like a two-tiered cake and how the venture capital world has responded to COVID-19.

 Creating Culture at Wayfair | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 18:26

Creating an innovative culture involves much more than fun activities and idea challenges. Building a healthy culture involves deliberate choices that create space for experimentation and risk. Wayfair Co-founder Steve Conine discusses how the online furniture retailer maintained its culture as it grew from a two person idea to a company with 16,000 employees. He also shares advancements in augmented reality and virtual reality at the company.

 Coming Soon: Innovation Answered Season 4 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 02:10

Innovation Answered returns for a fourth season on May 5, 2020. Producer Kaitlin Milliken and Intern Molli DeRosa share what listeners can expect in upcoming episodes. Upcoming topics include the future of food, inside Wayfair’s culture of innovation, innovation labs in Silicon Valley, and more. 

 Pursuing Innovation During COVID-19 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 16:50

In this episode, experts share best practices for teams as they navigate uncertainty. Topics of discussion include shifting teams’ priorities, switching to remote work, and cultivating a “service oriented” mindset. Russell Rogers, former Vice President of Global Innovations at Blue Shield of California; Christian Ponce, Director of Operational Transformation at LogMeIn; and Nancy Tennant, former Chief Innovation Officer at Whirlpool share insights. 

 Loonshots — Crazy Ideas that Just Might Work | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 25:44

Hhow can companies embrace risky — but potentially revolutionary — ideas? Authors Safi Bahcall and Hugh Molotsi tackle this question in a main stage session at Innovation Leader’s 2019 Impact event. Bahcall also discusses learnings from his time as the CEO of Synta Pharmaceuticals, a company focused on developing new cancer treatments. Molotsi shares his experiences as a CEO of a startup and Vice President at Intuit. This session is moderated by Innovation Leader CEO Scott Kirsner.

 Drones, Self-Driving Cars & the Silicon Valley Problem | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 32:12

While drones present a world of opportunities, these unmanned aerial vehicles face regulations across different levels of government. Chris Anderson — CEO of 3DR, a drone software company — shared his experience building and deploying drones at our 2019 Impact event. During the conversation, Anderson also discusses autonomous vehicles and the problems with corporate innovation in Silicon Valley. This session is moderated by Harvard Business Publishing’s Chief Product and Innovation Officer Josh Macht.

 Failure: The Other F-Word | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 25:49

Innovators often repeat the mantra, “Fail fast, fail cheap.” But is that the right approach to projects that flop? To find out, we sat down with Rita McGrath, a professor of strategy at Columbia Business School. We also called Shaun Stewart, CEO of New Lab, to discuss how startups and entrepreneurs in the space approach failure.

 Inside the Mind of Alex Osterwalder | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 26:25

How should teams pursue business model innovation? Why should companies “professionalize” innovation? Alex Osterwalder, creator of the Business Model Canvas and co-founder of Strategyzer, explains. Osterwalder also shares insights from his recently published book, Testing Business Ideas. His next book, The Invincible Company, will be out in the spring of 2020.  

 Innovation Essentials: Revera Senior Living | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 16:08

In this installment of Innovation Answered: Essentials, we break down our article on co-creation at Revera Senior Living. Innovation Leader’s Producer, Kaitlin Milliken, shares what she learned from the company’s president of innovation. Want to read along? Get the latest issue of the magazine or visit our website. 

 Inside the Supply Chain | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 28:41

The supply chain can sometimes be regarded as a function far removed from the corporate headquarters. However, it's an essential part of most businesses, and it offers a massive opportunity for innovation to create new value. To learn more about supply chain innovation, we interviewed Aisha Nabiyeva from Retail Business Services, a logistics provider for Ahold Delhaize US. Gerry Collins from J&J and Josué Velázquez Martínez from MIT also share insights.

 Getting Innovation Started | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 30:53

Getting innovation started at an established company can be fraught with challenges. So how can teams build the right foundation for new initiatives? To find out, we sat down with Executive Chef Robert Price, who founded Philadelphia Downtown Marriott’s 1201 Innovation Lab. Danielle Cohn, Vice President for Entrepreneurial Engagement for Comcast NBCUniversal, discusses launching LIFT Labs. Natalie Painchaud also shares best practices from the consulting company, Innosight.

 Fast Times in Quick Service | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 29:31

What can we expect from Quick Service Restaurants of the future? We sat down with Jessica Anselmi, Panera’s Director of Innovation and Category Growth, to find out what her team is working on. We also explore innovation inside Chick-fil-A’s Hatch Innovation Center in Atlanta and get tips from a former Vice President of Innovation for Starbucks.

 Innovation Essentials: The Nature Conservancy | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 17:47

We introduce a new segment of the show — Innovation Answered: Essentials. Designed for innovators on the go, we break down one of our articles and read it aloud for you. In this episode, we take you inside innovation at The Nature Conservancy. Innovation Leader’s Managing Editor Kelsey Alpaio shares her takeaways and the reporting process.

  All Your Innovation Questions, Answered | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 45:23

Over the summer, we gathered listener questions about corporate innovation. Hari Nair, a current fellow at Harvard University and a former Global Managing Director at Kimberly Clark, shares best practices from his 25 years of experience in the innovation space. Innovation Leader’s Managing Editor Kelsey Alpaio shares tips that’s she’s learned in her reporting.  Have questions for future episodes? Email


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