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Podcast: Episode 98: Must Listen

How redefining boundaries drives performance

Unilever’s Paul Polman

When Paul Polman joined Unilever as CEO in 2009, the consumer goods company had been stagnated with years of lackluster performance. His famous turnaround of the company centered around his ability to redraw the boundaries of Unilever’s mission to emphasize sustainability and long-term growth.

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Launching a $500b startup

Jet.com’s Marc Lore

Since stepping down as Walmart’s president of e-commerce at the start of 2021, billionaire entrepreneur Marc Lore has had a busy year of big ideas. Chief among them: a new American city called Telosa, centered around sustainability and inclusion. Lore approaches moonshot ideas by reverting to the fundamentals: “VCP: vision, capital, people.”

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In hard times, the show must go on

BroadwayHD’s Bonnie Comley

When hard times hit, the show must still go on. But as Drama League board president and Broadway HD CEO Bonnie Comley explains, even when the lights are dark, progress can be made. Broadway’s 41 theaters were dark for 18 months, but the 18-month pandemic closure created an opportunity for the $16 billion industry to expand the customer base and embrace digital engagement.

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Podcast: Episode 84: Must Listen

How to adapt to changing rules (Part 2)

President Barack Obama

Creating a prototype isn’t the same as leading a team of thousands. You need to keep your mission constant, but your tactics fluid as you scale. This is the challenge President Barack Obama faced after winning the 2008 election. In the second part of interview, we dive into how he grappled with the Great Recession, the Affordable Care Act, and the disastrous rollout of healthcare.gov. Through it all, he learned to let first principles guide the way, even as he and his staff adapted to new realities and changing rules.

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Inside Google’s Pandemic Safety Squad

Google’s Dr. Karen DeSalvo

Google search may be the world’s most powerful public health platform. Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Google’s chief health officer, has built a team of doctors, scientists, and clinicians who — alongside engineers and designers – together determine what information and advice shows up when we search for answers about Covid-19. Learn how Google approaches personal risk assessment.

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Podcast: Episode 75: Must Listen

How to be the steward of your idea

Smart Eye’s Rana el Kaliouby

Great entrepreneurs aren’t just product obsessed; they’re impact obsessed. Rana el Kaliouby, co-founder and CEO of Affectiva, has spent most of her career thinking about how to project – and steward – the possible uses of artificial intelligence. Affectiva uses AI to read people’s emotional states, but Rana won’t put her software to work for just anyone. She’s walking a fine line between thoughtfully nurturing her idea and being a cranky custodian: potentially throttling the scale of her business. It’s a risk she’s willing to take. She understands that entrepreneurship isn’t just about providing a product or service that people love, or creating jobs; it’s about asking: “Am I making a net contribution to society – not just right now, but for future generations?”

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Podcast: Bonus

In a crisis, steer toward the emerging opportunities: Reid’s 2020 Commencement Speech

Masters of Scale’s Reid Hoffman

New graduates are like entrepreneurs — standing on the edge of that cliff, ready to build their own plane and fly. But what if the blue skies and calm winds disappear? In a commencement speech for 2020 graduates — and anyone embarking on something new — our host Reid Hoffman says: Be optimistic. Be bold. But most of all, steer toward the opportunities emerging in this new world. How do you find them? Cultivate a network of people smart, curious people. This network creates a map of the world. And at uncertain times like these, you’ll definitely need that map.

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Podcast: Episode 58: Must Listen

How to unite a team (Part 2)

Burberry & Apple’s Angela Ahrendts

In Part 2, Angela arrives at Apple, which feels like another planet after her years in fashion. In never-before heard stories, Angela shares how she learned the language of tech (the physical store is the ‘hardware’; the experience inside the ‘software’), then introduces innovations that change the face of Apple retail, from an app (The Loop) that let store managers collaborate to the landmark “Today at Apple” program, building community through free classes inside each Apple store. Throughout, Angela shows her team, through words and actions, that each person matters, and that they’re all a part of something much bigger than themselves. Cameo: Eric Trigg (Trigg Ranch).

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Crisis lessons from inside the ER

Jefferson University Hospital’s Dr. Bon Ku

Dr. Bon Ku, an ER physician and director of the Health Design Lab at Jefferson University in Philadelphia, takes us inside the practice and mindset that medical professionals — and all of us — require to perform under extraordinary pressure.

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Podcast: Episode 41: Must Listen

Entrepreneurship as a second act

Goop’s Gwyneth Paltrow

It’s never too late to join the entrepreneurial party. We’ve all heard the stories of young geniuses, but plenty of influential entrepreneurs founded companies in their 30s, 40s, 50s. There’s value to being a late-stage founder — like the fact that you’re bringing along all your life experience. That’s what Gwyneth Paltrow did when she launched Goop. Paltrow transitioned from Hollywood star to startup founder with her lifestyle brand, which now has over 8 million subscribers — and she did it by leaning in to what she knew, embracing what she didn’t, and coming up with strategies to fill the gap. With cameo appearances by Sara Blakely (Spanx), Brian Chesky (Airbnb), Boyd Martin (Olympic horse rider), and Ruben Harris (Career Karma).

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Podcast: Episode 38: Must Listen

Open or closed? The answer is both

Joi Ito

No organization that’s entirely closed – or entirely open – can scale as successfully as an organization that combines both. Yes, organizations that are open invite a bit of chaos – but that chaos breeds innovation. Knowing which aspects of your organization should be open and which should be closed will set you on a path to rapid scale. No one knows this better than Joi Ito. He has spent his career championing radically open systems, from Creative Commons to cyber currency. Now as Director of the famed MIT Media Lab, he’s focused on facilitating open conversations so we can keep pace with the shifting challenges we face in our companies, institutions, and societies. Cameo appearance: Megan Smith (former U.S. Chief Technology Officer).

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