Building the Innovation Muscle of Your Company

This episode could have just as easily been called “The Democratization of innovation.” After all, the fundamental thrust of this book and our conversation was about moving innovation beyond the “usual suspects,” i.e., the R & D Department, and spreading innovation opportunities across the ranks. Most promising of all for soliciting input might be front-line employees, who know best the frustrations and disappointments of customers. Others to include range from current and potential customers to distributors and other business allies. Where might resistance emerge to such an expansive view of the innovation process? The answer could be middle managers, focused on executing the current business model. To win them over, it may be necessary to combine coaching about the importance and means of innovating with monetary incentives or placing limits on their career growth if they don’t “play ball.” If there’s a regrettable need to play the heavy, at times, it’s because as the saying goes, “It’s not that people see the light so much as they feel the heat.”

Released today: episode #90 of my podcast series “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring Ben Bensaou discussing Built to Innovate: Essential Practices to Wire Innovation into Your Company’s DNA. Click on https://newbooksnetwork.com/category/special-series/dan-hills-eq-spotlight to get to the new episode.

Images of Author Ben M. Bensaou and his new book "Build to Innovate: Essential Practices to Wire Innovation into Your Company's DNA", for Dan Hill's EQ Spotlight podcast, episode 90, entitled "Building the Innovation Muscle of Your Company" Broadcast by the New Books Network.

Ben Bensaou is a professor and former Dean of Executive Education at INSEA. He’s also been a visiting professor at the Harvard Business School, a research fellow at the Wharton School of Management, and a visiting scholar at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.

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Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc. His latest book, available on Amazon is Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo.

The Invisible Thumbprint

Remember the Marlboro Man, who symbolizes rugged individualism? Minal Bopaiah is here to suggest that the idea of the “making it on your own” is and has always been a myth. That’s because there is always, inevitably, a social context that favors one group more than another. It’s not that individual efforts aren’t valid; it’s just that the story is always more complicated, and those in positions of power are eager to camouflage the degree to which the “game” is tilted by factors like gender, race, and of course relative wealth.  Beyond corporate life and the usual topics covered when discussing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), this episode also explores the world of non-profits, where “doing good” has aspects to it that should welcome reform. Get ready for a passionate guest. Minal Bopaiah doesn’t deliver “talking points” – “feeling points” is closer to the mark.

Released today: episode #89 of my podcast series “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring Minal Bopaiah discussing Equity: How to Design Organizations Where Everyone Thrives. Click on https://newbooksnetwork.com/category/special-series/dan-hills-eq-spotlight to get to the new episode.

Minal Bopaiah is the founder of Brevity & Wit, a strategy and design firm focused on DEI initiatives. She’s written for the Stanford Social Innovation Review and TheHill.com an author, among other activities and career accomplishments.

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Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc. His latest book, available on Amazon is Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo.

How To Be a Glass-Shattering Organization

The statistics are, frankly, exasperating. Gender equality remains a mirage. For instance, the proportion of female CEOs at major companies in America struggles to break 10%. On Fortune 500 boards, only about 20% of the seats are held by women. The problems with achieving gender fairness go on and on. Fortunately, my guest Colleen Ammerman covers solid ways of addressing the injustices still present. Those steps include not tolerating bad behavior from “rainmakers”—even to the point of disallowing severance pay or other benefits if that person gets terminated due to sexual misconduct. Declining invitations to events that don’t prioritize gender diversity among its speakers is another avenue of applying pressure for change. For anybody who wants to witness both structural and cultural changes within companies, this episode is well worth a listen.

Released today: episode #88 of my podcast series “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring Colleen Ammerman discussing Glass Half Broken: Shattering the Barriers That Still Hold Women Back at Work. Click on https://newbooksnetwork.com/category/special-series/dan-hills-eq-spotlight to get to the new episode.

Images of Author Colleen Ammerman and her new book "Glass Half Broken: Shattering the Barriers That Still Hold Women Back at Work" for Dan Hill's EQ Spotlight episode 88 titled "How to Be a Glass-Shattering Organization"

Colleen Ammerman, the director of the Harvard Business School Gender Initiative. She’s also a researcher with Life and Leadership After HBS.

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Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc. His latest book, available on Amazon is Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo.

Discover New Watering Holes and Eco-System Partners

Almost all of the new jobs created in America come from small businesses. As Pamela Slim reports, the precise number may be as high as 99%. And those same small businesses also provide over 50% of the nation’s GDP. So why not focus more on these often-unheralded engines of growth? Slim honors small businesses with an expansive focus that includes Native American, Black, Latinx, Asian, disabled, and LGBTQ entrepreneurs. How can these businesses best find their respective niches, then expand them? Who’s their ideal customer? What kind of community partners can best further their mission and goals? Those and other vital topics are raised in this practical-minded episode.

Released today: episode #87 of my podcast series “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring Pamela Slim discussing The Widest Net: Unlock Untapped Markets and Discover New Customers Right in Front of You. Click on https://newbooksnetwork.com/category/special-series/dan-hills-eq-spotlight to get to the new episode.

Images of Author Pamela Slim and her new book "The Widest Net: Unlock Untapped Markets and Discover New Customers Right in Front of You" for Dan Hill's EQ Spotlight podcast Episode 87 titled "Discover New Watering Holes and Eco-System Partners"

Pamela Slim is an author, community builder, business coach, and former director of Training and Development at Barclays Global Investors. Among her accomplishments is partnering with author Susan Cain to build and launch The Quiet Revolution. Among her books is Escape from Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur.

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Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc. His latest book, available on Amazon is Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo.

The Psychology Behind Business Resilience

The New York Times columnist David Brooks once joked that, ultimately, the “revolution” promised us by the Baby Boomers amounted to nothing much more than the founding of Whole Foods. What will Millennials bring us? Already it seems that the answer is employees and consumer-citizens for whom the values they want to live by and be known for on social media will be paramount. Why is that the case? As Nathalie Nahai argues, a primary reason is the looming environmental disaster of climate change. The stakes are high, and the result is that nothing can be taken for granted. With trust being the emotion of business, today’s agile, atomized and antagonized workforce wants some measure of justice: for women, for people of color, and in general for everyone who wants to rally around the mantra of “profit with purpose” rather than “profits ahead of people.” From topics ranging from cancel-culture to woke-washing, this is a very timely episode.

Released today: episode #86 of my podcast series “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring Nathalie Nahai discussing Business Unusual: Values, Uncertainty and the Psychology of Brand Resilience. Click on https://newbooksnetwork.com/category/special-series/dan-hills-eq-spotlight to get to the new episode.

Images of Author Nathalie Nahai and her new book "Business Unusual: Values, Uncertainty and the Psychology of Brand Resilience" for Dan Hill's Podcast, EQ Spotlight entitled "The Psychology Behind Business Resilience" episode 86.

Nathalie Nahai is an acclaimed international speaker, author, and consultant, with clients ranging from Google to Unilever, Accenture and beyond.

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Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc. His latest book, available on Amazon is Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo.

Better Together

What’s it like to live in a time warp, needing more time than other people to process what’s being said, what it might mean, and therefore how you should feel in response? Sarah Nannery knows the score, given her struggles with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Meanwhile, as a “neurotypical brain” person, her husband, Larry Nannery, adds his perspective about helping Sarah navigate situations ranging from office politics to social outings. Highlights of this episode include what internalization means to Sarah as she copes with feeling “bottled up inside,” and how she makes a “conversational sandwich” to handle the small talk that others can handle so readily.

Dan Hill, PhD, is the author of nine books and leads Sensory Logic, Inc. (https://www.sensorylogic.com).  His new book is Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo. To check out his related “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight” blog, visit https://emotionswizard.com.

Released today: episode #85 of my podcast series “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring Sarah and Larry Nannery discussing What to Say Next: Successful Communication in Work, Life, and Love with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Click on https://newbooksnetwork.com/category/special-series/dan-hills-eq-spotlight to get to the new episode.

Images of Authors Sarah and Larry Nannary and their new book "What to Say Next: Successful Communication in Work, Life, and Love with Autism Spectrum Disorder" for Dan Hill's EQ Spotlight entitled "Better Together", episode 85.

Sarah Nannery is the director of development for Autism Initiatives at Drexel University. Larry Nannery is a technology consultant who focuses on organizational change and life-coaching. 

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Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc. His latest book, available on Amazon is Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo.

Understanding Today’s Changing Customers

What do customers most want nowadays? According to David Avrin, the three-part answer consists of immediacy (instant gratification), individuality (flexible, customized assistance) and humanity (concern trumps indifference). Of them, while immediacy should in theory be the easiest to enact, ironically enough automation is making that goal more elusive. What else is of interest from Avrin’s version of ranting about the ills of customer service? For one thing, the desperate measures companies take to ward off negative reviews appearing on-line. For another, Avrin’s favorite exercise to help his clients improve their operations: have front-line employees imagine that they are creating a rival company, which benefits from knowledge about what customers really want most but aren’t getting right now. There’s nothing like the risk of losing existing customers, after all, to grab management’s attention!

Released today: episode #82 of my podcast series “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring David Avrin discussing Why Customers Leave (And How to Win Them Back). Click on https://newbooksnetwork.com/category/special-series/dan-hills-eq-spotlight to get to the new episode.

Image of Author David Avrin and his new book "Why Customers LEave and How to Win them Back" for Dan Hill's EQ Spotlight Episode 82 titled "Understanding Today's Changing Customers"

David Avrin is a highly popular speaker and consultant on the topics of the customer experience as well as on marketing. He’s a former CEO group leader and speaker for Vistage International. This is his third book, following It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Who Knows You and Visibility Marketing.

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Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc. His latest book, available on Amazon is Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo.

Thriving as a Sensitive Entrepreneur

Sick of the frequent images of entrepreneurs as machismo, take-no-prisoner, Rambo-like action figures? Look no farther than this episode, in which Christine Kane admits that conquering bulimia was the test that gave her the fortitude to first enter the music industry on her own terms, and then help thousands of (often female) fans become entrepreneurs themselves. The key to Kane’s approach is acknowledging that the soul part of business is ultimately more important than focusing on strategy because, as an entrepreneur, your values inform your value proposition and how it gets enacted.

Maybe it’s because Kane has been a musician herself that I find her story connecting to a part of how I spent my Thanksgiving weekend: watching the Beatles’ documentary Get Back. In it the “quiet” Beatle, George Harrison, has a hard time getting Paul McCartney to show him respect. Two suggestions to add his song “All Things Must Pass” to the repertoire draw no acknowledgment, let alone endorsement from McCartney—even though that song and “Let It Be” are thematically of a piece. Even worse from Harrison’s perspective, McCartney all but dismisses the Harrison-inspired visit the band made to India, causing Harrison to visibly wince. How fitting that at the end of Part 1 of the 3-part series, Harrison’s “Isn’t It a Pity” (how we cause each other pain) plays as the credits roll.

Released today: episode #81 of my podcast series “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring Christine Kane discussing The Soul Sourced Entrepreneur: An Unconventional Success Plan for the Highly Creative, Secretly Sensitive & Wildly Ambitious. Click on https://newbooksnetwork.com/category/special-series/dan-hills-eq-spotlight to get to the new episode.

Christine Kane is the founder of Uplevel You, a multimillion-dollar business coaching company, which evolved from her 15-year career as a touring singer-songwriter with her own record label. Both businesses were built without any investors.

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Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc. His latest book, available on Amazon is Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo.

How to Thrive in an Upside-Down World

The joke is that the only person in the world who normally welcomes change is a baby with a dirty diaper. Indeed, a change in the status quo means we have to exert energy to deal with that change and people are generally loath to expend more energy than necessary. Scientists call this phenomenon trying to avoid the “metabolic cost” of expending mental and physical energy. You and I call it preferring to live life like a house cat, if we only could! In this episode, April Rinne offers advice based on her eight rules for navigating change more adroitly. Part of her advice has to do with slowing down, setting a sustainable pace to avoid burnout in ever more demanding careers. But there’s more. How may higher education change, including MBA programs, in a world where more and more of us will be part of the Gig Economy? Listen in for Rinne’s unique perspective.

Released today: episode #80 of my podcast series “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring April Rinne  discussing Flux: 8 Superpowers for Thriving in Constant Change. Click on https://newbooksnetwork.com/category/special-series/dan-hills-eq-spotlight to get to the new episode.

Images of Author April Rinne and her new book "FLUX: 8 Superpowers for Thriving in Constant Change for Dan Hill's EQ Spotlight podcast episode 80 called "How to Thrive in an Upside-Down World"

April Rinne is one of the 50 leading female futurists in the world, a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum and a Fulbright Scholar. She’s also traveled to over 100 countries as part of having a front-row seat to a world in flux.

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Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc. His latest book, available on Amazon is Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo.

Decoding Your Risk Fingerprint

Today I talked to Michele Wucker about her new book You Are What You Risk: The New Art and Science of Navigating an Uncertain World (Pegasus Books, 2021)

Your risk fingerprint is a mixture of how personality traits, experiences, and social context have shaped how you approach risk and uncertainty in life. Also crucial is your risk empathy and the degree to which you are risk-savvy, both of which value reading your environment in analyzing the risk you and others face and how people are coping with unknowns. This episode explore risk in terms of a variety of situations and segments of the population. Are millennials risk-averse or risk savvy? Why are white male who are risk-takers people who tend to trust institutions and be anti-egalitarian? How should companies approach mergers and acquisitions when the two companies have very different risk cultures? And finally, which professions tend to be the most prone to over-confidence? In every case, “it depends” is a fair answer but by no means all that you will hear on these and other topics.

Michele Wucker has been honored as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and a Guggenheim Fellow. Her third book, The Gray Rhino, inspired a popular TED talk and has influenced world markets, government policy and business strategies.

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Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc. His latest book, available on Amazon is Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo.