Creative energy is the raw fuel of entrepreneurship, but if you fail to direct that energy effectively, you risk chasing multiple ideas and delivering none. Tony Fadell learned this lesson time and again through his journey to co-create the iPod, iPhone, and Nest. He shares how he struck the tricky balance of channeling his creative experimentation into world-changing products.
“Hope is a practice. It comes from doing.” As the head of Planned Parenthood, Alexis McGill Johnson is regrouping in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to remove the federal right to safe abortion. Johnson is now faced with the challenge to move her team from tears and shock to action. Any leader faced with a worst-case scenario can learn from her vision: “to fight and stay courageous, and maintain ourselves.”
Volunteering and service are muscles that can close America’s divides and push social change. Speaking live at the 2022 Social Innovation Summit in Washington, D.C., AmeriCorps’ new CEO, Michael Smith, shares a vision for healing sociopolitical divides through partnerships and on-the-ground experiences. When it comes to tackling natural and social crises, he’s prioritizing impact over volume.
The first stage of building up a business is to break things down. Michael Dell started a computer company in his dorm room by cracking open some early IBM PCs and figuring out what he could do better, faster, and cheaper. Then he did the same thing to the entire model of computer sales. Learn from Dell how to revolutionize an industry — using deconstruction to gain insight your competitors lack, and then building something bigger and better.
Massive change isn’t something you can brute-force — you need to ignite buy-in, again and again, up and down your organization. Because even if your changes will make things more fun, more interesting, and more profitable, you’re going to face defiance and inertia until you clue everyone in. That’s what Bill Ford learned while working to remake Ford Motor Company as an environmental powerhouse — against surprising internal and even national-level resistance.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the sanctions that followed, radically impacted supply chains around the world. Jennifer Bisceglie, CEO of Interos, a risk-management firm focused on supply chains, has seen her company’s risk dashboards light up in new and far-reaching ways. Meanwhile, a more sophisticated supply chain is coming together in real-time.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine presents a new level of disruption to an already fragile global trade system. Sara Menker, the CEO of Gro Intelligence, offers a window into the shifts across all parts of the economy. She shares what we need to understand about Russia’s trade with China and largely overlooked impacts in the Middle East.
Tjada D’Oyen McKenna is the CEO of Mercy Corps, an NGO on the front lines of the Ukrainian crisis. They began scenario-planning well in advance of Russia’s aggression, and they’re now deploying food, cash, and social services to refugees in need. She shares their strategy — and how they’re also keeping focus on other struggles around the world.
GM is working on two daunting goals: an all-electric vehicle future, and building its rep as the world’s most inclusive company. Gerald Johnson, EVP of manufacturing and sustainability at General Motors, helped lead GM’s COVID-19 response; he’s now tackling these next, twin challenges.
It may appear off-brand for Betterment, a digital investment adviser, to acquire a cryptocurrency investing platform. But as CEO Sarah Levy says, Betterment approached this volatile space with long-term thinking. Levy, who became CEO in the midst of the pandemic, offers perspective on how new digital finance platforms are shifting the norms of the industry.
Ken Frazier, the longtime CEO of Merck, was one of the few Black CEOs at the top of corporate America. Now as an adviser at General Catalyst and co-founder of the social impact organization OneTen, he’s re-shaping how business addresses racial and health equity. There’s an important role business can play, he says, by stressing our commonality.
As the global chip shortage unfolded in 2021, Qualcomm’s engineers quickly redesigned their products – an effort that tapped into “every possible capacity we could find,” says CEO Cristiano Amon. Their story is a great lesson in how an established company can and must move with the speed of a startup.