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Rapid Response

Rapid Response: How Main Street retailers are out-pivoting big-box giants

Max Rhodes, Co-founder & CEO

December 8, 2022

Small, independent store owners have been perpetually hit by waves of disruption: from malls to big box stores to e-commerce giants. But Max Rhodes, co-founder and CEO of the $12 billion online wholesale marketplace Faire, argues that Main Street retailers are actually better positioned right now to navigate today’s stormy shopping landscape than the competition. Max digs into how Faire is using technology and data to help stores maximize their advantages — nimbleness, adaptability, and smaller inventories — and combine them with the scale benefits enjoyed by the likes of Amazon and Target.

Rapid Response: Risking an iconic brand — and $40b — in a race to go all-electric

Ola Källenius, CEO

December 2, 2022

How do you reinvent a world-renowned automaker for an all-electric future? At Mercedes-Benz, CEO Ola Källenius has set the jaw-dropping goal to put fossil-fuels in the rear-view mirror by 2030 — ahead of other competitors and well ahead of Paris Climate Accords recommendations. Pushing the company’s tech, customers, and workforce to operate in a new gear, Källenius says, is repositioning Mercedes for whatever challenges and opportunities are ahead. From strategizing for the luxury market — balancing volume with desirability — to grappling with the complications of economic disruption, Källenius takes us inside the epic transformation of an iconic brand.

Rapid Response: Don’t be a unicorn, be a dragon

Maëlle Gavet, CEO

November 17, 2022

The tech industry and its investors have been captivated by the spell of the Unicorn for too long — and the ambitious goal of a billion-dollar valuation has done more harm than good. Instead, founders should aim to be resilient Dragons. That’s the view of Maëlle Gavet, who as CEO of early-stage investment business Techstars has unmatched insight into the hopes, dreams, and challenges of thousands of founders. Maëlle also shares her experience as a “Fixer and Scaler” and offers important lessons for all entrepreneurs, from pre-seed start-ups to corporate change agents.

Rapid Response: Expand your definition of leadership

Julia Boorstin, Senior Media & Tech correspondent

November 10, 2022

Despite only 8% of Fortune 500 companies with women CEOs, women leaders more often utilize leadership skills that are perfectly suited for the current business climate. Julia Boorstin, who created CNBC’s Disruptor 50 platform, argues in her new book When Women Lead that counterintuitive approaches used by women leaders can have a great impact on business, and can be learned by anyone. Julia, as a senior tech and media reporter, also offers her in-depth knowledge on big tech from Twitter, Meta, and TikTok.

Rapid Response: Why design matters more than ever

Mauro Porcini, Chief Design Officer

November 3, 2022

Design is more than aesthetics. It is an essential competitive tool for an age of perpetual disruption. PepsiCo Chief Design Officer Mauro Porcini shares his 5-point system for sparking creativity at scale. Author of the new book The Human Side of Innovation, Porcini explains how anyone can deploy a designer’s mindset to improve their business and organization. Sharing stories from 3M to Mountain Dew, Porcini emphasizes the imperative of excellence and why innovation is “an act of love.”

Rapid Response: Rally a team in turmoil

Sandra Douglass Morgan, President

October 13, 2022

As a new leader, how do you honor an established brand while trying to shepherd it into the next era? Las Vegas Raiders’ president Sandra Douglass Morgan took the helm amid a front office scandal and a team new to the desert. Morgan talks about prioritizing customers over all else, taking risks at the beginning of a new venture, and why to bet on yourself from the moment you apply for a job.

Rapid Response: Mastering the hybrid workplace

Priya Parker, Facilitator

October 6, 2022

Hybrid, remote, in-person, a little bit of everything? Work has transformed into a giant experiment. Priya Parker, expert facilitator and author of The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters, shares her advice on how to manage the new hybrid workplace. Where to start? Focus first, she suggests, on making your meetings better.

Rapid Response: How Covid lessons get tested by inflation

Danny Meyer, Founder & CEO

September 29, 2022

After slashing his NYC restaurant team from 2,400 people to just 45 in the teeth of the pandemic, Danny Meyer has rebuilt Union Square Hospitality Group back to its former size. But in his fifth appearance on Rapid Response since Covid struck, Danny says he isn’t yet triumphant. With inflation creating fresh challenges even at Shake Shack, Danny shares lessons on the good and bad of leading through a crisis, plus explains why he’s handed off his CEO title — and where he finds inspiration to fuel new innovations.

Rapid Response: Flipping your strategy in a volatile market

Susan Daimler, President

September 22, 2022

When markets are in turmoil, you can’t rely on business as usual, but that doesn’t mean you should panic. As the housing climate has turned volatile, rest estate marketplace Zillow has been forced to rethink some priorities, while doubling down on others. Zillow president Susan Daimler talks about the importance of a strategy focused on the future, despite layoffs and pullbacks, and how maintaining a clear shared mindset has enabled forward progress in a challenging climate.

Rapid Response: Charging toward a clean energy future

Cathy Zoi, CEO

September 15, 2022

Partnerships can be the secret weapon to rocketing your company to the next level. That’s what Cathy Zoi discovered when she became the CEO of charging station network, EVgo. Whether it be partnering with grocery and department stores, or aligning with the Tesla customer-base, targeting allies and collaborators are a crucial catalyst for how EVgo has grown to become the nation’s largest public EV charging network.