Inside LaunchStreet Greg Satell business podcast innovation podcast

The Importance of Preparing Rather Than Adapting

We’ve entered a new era. One that requires us to solve challenges we’ve never seen and explore solutions we’ve never created. If you are like me, sometimes it’s hard to wrap your head around it. And that’s why I had Greg Satell on Inside LaunchStreet. He is the author of Mapping Innovation: A Playbook For Navigating A Disruptive Age, a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review and INC and a sought-after innovation thought leader. We talked a lot about how we are moving from the age of iterating what we know into exploring what we don’t know. He shared with me the top ways to stay relevant and ahead in this changing time.


Listen now to this episode on Inside LaunchStreet:

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Key Takeaways:

[:59] Tamara opens the show by sharing that the overarching theme in today’s conversation is the fact that we’re transforming the era that we’re in from iterating what we know into exploring new things. She invites listeners to take the IQE Assessment. This will help you to shift into the new era.

[3:52] Greg just released his book Mapping Innovation: A Playbook for Navigating a Disruptive Age. It was recently selected as one of the best business books of 2017 by 800ceoread.

[4:52] You might be surprised to learn that Greg spent 15 years in the former Soviet Union.

[6:10] Greg teaches that we are currently in the digital revolution. It’s been driven by the ability to add silicon wafers. The value has now shifted to the front end to behavioral-design-type things. He thinks the digital era is nearing its end.

[10:13] What can we expect the new era to look like? What should innovators have their eye on into the future?

[16:22] Greg says you need to get out and widen and deepen your connections. Tamara believes it’s more about going wide and connecting the different dots. They talk about connection driving transformation. Greg thinks the key thing is to get away from the idea of constantly adapting. You need to prepare rather than adapt.

[18:31] Greg believes you can change and evolve to keep up, but you can’t win by evolving. Tamara and Greg talk about Google and Facebook evolving.

[21:50] Tamara questions where the fast-casual industry goes and how do businesses prepare for the shift? Greg discusses material science. It’s important to have an idea as to what new technology can affect your industry. Then, start laying the groundwork.

[25:54] Do smaller companies and startups have a handle on it?

[28:02] Get introduced to the 70/20/10 rule.

[31:26] How does innovation become responsible across the 70/20/10?

[33:20] Senior leaders have to make innovation a priority. It’s important to figure out how to sustain over time. Innovation isn’t about ideas. It’s about solving problems. Go look for a good, meaningful problem to solve.

[37:27] Greg and Tamara discuss Malcolm Gladwell’s ideas. Tamara says he’s good at taking large and complex topics and making them easily digestible for the everyday person.

[39:28] Connect with Greg at or at

[39:59] Greg shares the story about Alexander Fleming and the invention of penicillin. Penicillin didn’t become available for twenty years. Listen in to learn how penicillin came to be the important medicine it is today. Tamara reminds listeners that it doesn’t just happen. Innovation is never a single event.

[45:44] Greg’s final piece of advice is to go looking for a meaningful problem to solve.

[46:40] Tamara loved Greg’s idea that innovators are connectors. They’re people out there gathering ideas and experiences. We need to think about how we can be connectors in this world. Get your IQE Assessment and start innovating and adapting.



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