Ep. 205 – Chris Shipley, Co-author of The Adaptation Advantage on Innovation, Agile Mindset & Being Uncomfortable

Ep. 205 – Chris Shipley, Co-author of The Adaptation Advantage on Innovation, Agile Mindset & Being Uncomfortable

Inside Outside Innovation is the podcast that brings you the best and the brightest in the world of startups and innovation. I’m your host, Brian Ardinger founder of InsideOutside.io, a provider of research, events, and consulting services that help innovators and entrepreneurs build better products, launch new ideas, and compete in a world of change and disruption. Each week we’ll give you a front row seat to the latest thinking tools, tactics, and trends in collaborative innovation. Let’s get started.

Interview Transcript with Chris Shipley

Brian Ardinger:  Welcome to another episode of Inside Outside Innovation. I am your host, Brian Ardinger and as always, we have another amazing guest. Today we have Chris Shipley. She is the co-author of the new book, The Adaptation Advantage.  Welcome to the show, Chris Shipley.

Chris Shipley, The Adaptation AdvantageChris Shipley: Thank you very much for inviting me on. I appreciate it.

Brian Ardinger: Hey, I’m excited to have you on for a number of different reasons. You and I go back on number of years, mentoring Pipeline Entrepreneurs, and you were one of the first speakers at one of the first IO Summits that we had few years ago. So, I really appreciate you jumping back into the community to talk about your new book and everything that’s going on in the world of technology, coronavirus and everything else it’s happening. So, thank you very much for coming on.

Chris Shipley: Is there anything else going on in the world, but coronavirus right now?

Brian Ardinger: I don’t know. ProbChris Shipley, The Adaptation Advantageably not.

Chris Shipley: Well, you know, it certainly contextualizes everything. I didn’t plan to release a book in the middle of a pandemic, but it’s put the writing and the thinking about future of work really in sharp definitions. Oddly, it’s a good time.

Brian Ardinger: Well, the timing is perfect for this. And you and I have been in this space talking about disruption and startups, technology, and all of this. And we’ve been warning folks for a long time about the coming changes. Whether it’s new technology like AI or self-driving cars or global climate change, et cetera. And it seems like it’s only now hitting folks that, oh yeah, this disruption thing might actually be real. So, I’d like to get your thoughts on that mind shift that a lot of people are going through right now. Like they may have heard about it change and, and talked about this, this rapid pace of change, but only now are beginning to see it.

Chris Shipley: I think you hit it exactly right. It was easy before January to think about this future is something that’s out there. It might be months or years or decades away, but it’s, it’s something I can deal with then. And very forward-thinking companies and individuals, of course, were doing strategic planning and doing longterm thinking, but again, it was very easy to focus on the immediate thing in front of you. What’s been so important now is to see this acceleration that a lot of the things that we write about in the book, a lot of things that people have been concerned or working on strategic plans or longterm planning, it’s just been compressed into a very short period of time where we’ve started to have to activate a lot of those plans or make plans and activate them very, very quickly.

So, this time, whether it’s the virus or our reaction to it, has been an accelerant to get to the kinds of transitions that we know we have to make that are really hard to do when you’re very comfortable where you are. It’s really difficult. If you’re on firm ground to take a step onto something that might be a little uncertain. Now everything’s uncertain. So, leaping from the one Lily pad to the next, starting to feel like it’s not such a bad thing after all.

Brian Ardinger: Well, it’s also interesting to see which companies are jumping on that and adapting faster. I’m currently at Nelnet. Now we have 6,500 employees in multiple different states and we basically transitioned 6,000 of those employees to remote work in a matter of 10 days. And that’s something that I think if you would’ve gone into the boardroom two weeks earlier and said, Hey, I think this is what we need to do, we just need to go remote. I would have never happened.

Chris Shipley: Yeah. You would have said, Oh, that’s an interesting idea. Think about what that could save us in real estate and HR costs and blah, blah, blah, you know, and let’s form a committee. And we’ll create a strategic plan and let’s make that our goal for 2022. Instead, it was like, we gotta do it right now. So, what right now do we have to do?

And I’ve seen a number of companies looking at that from we’ve got to make sure that every employee has the best possible bandwidth or one company that has been deploying their ergonomics specialist to FaceTime meetings where they say, well, point your camera at your work situation. Why do you have your laptop on a hamper? And you’re sitting on a beach chair that really can’t be healthy now, can it. Let’s set up a pickup station so you can come by campus and get your office chair. I mean, they’re doing things that are, we never think about, even in a very deliberate strategic plan they’re making happen in matters of days. If not even faster.

Brian Ardinger: It’s not just the bigger corporations it’s you and I both work with smaller startups. And a lot of times they’re thought of as nimbler and things along those lines, but they’re also struggling with the fact that our business model doesn’t work right now, or the business model we are trying to evolve our work on is now totally disrupted for six months. And we don’t have six months of runway to figure it out the next step. So, what do we do?

Chris Shipley: You’re telling the story that I’m living right now. I’m working with the company, tremendous potential, and you know, we’ve been able to make rudimentary progress over the last 18 months. We’ve made more progress in the last two weeks than we have in the prior, certainly six months in terms of understanding where we need to go focusing, being laser, you know, in our execution, because we know we’ve gotta be in a place to either extend the runway we have, or really be an attractive investment vehicle by mid summer.

That doesn’t give us time to, it was my father would say lollygag around, waiting to hope that something good is going to happen or that people are going to get around to figuring out what our brand strategy should be. Whatever. It had to happen like that. And so that’s the positive that comes from this that we have become extraordinarily focused on. What’s important, both in work and I would say argue in our personal lives as well.

Brian Ardinger: So let’s go back to the book. It’s called Adaptation Advantage.  Can you give us a little thesis about it. And maybe how you got to write this book.

Chris Shipley: On the way back machine a little bit, it was 2015 and I was speaking at a conference in Sydney, Australia, and another speaker, Heather McGowan, who gave a presentation. And afterward I approached, I said, well, you just talked about my life. It was this presentation about how work is changing, how individual contributors play a different role on the corporation. And, and so we just, I got to talking and discovered that at the time, anyway, we were living about six miles apart, both in the Boston area.and a friendship formed. We spent a lot of time just having conversations around these issues ultimately realized that we shared a lot of common views and we were really an interesting collaboration. Heather’s a very visual thinker and if you’ve seen the book, you know, it’s filled with about 80 and graphic frameworks.

She will say she’s pictures, I’m pros. And that collaboration really worked as a writing partnership. We started looking at future of work, probably four or five years ago and found ourselves at a conference where a lot of academic thinkers we’re talking about, the future of work is going to be all about the gig economy.  Or It’s all going to be about distributed workforce. Lots of people had lots of ideas. And one of the speakers said, you know what? I got my first job after my postdoc. I was 38 years old and Heather and I looked at each other, I got my first job I was 14 and I was bagging groceries. When did you get your first job? Oh, well I was 12 and I was delivering newspapers.

We had the sense of that a lot of people who were thinking and writing about future of work issues were also really very academically minded and just attached from actual workers. So that was one component of it. The second was that there was this again, distance again, a speaker said, well, I’m pretty sure it’s gig work because when I talked to my Uber driver this morning, he said, blah, blah, blah. Heather and I left that conference. And as you do, we, went and had a couple of cocktails and we’re talking about what we heard. By the end of the evening, and this is why the cocktail mention’s important, I was signed up as an Uber driver, a worker on Upwork.  I think it was on Thumbtack or some other service because we really thought we needed to have experience.

What is the human gig economy with a global workforce of atomoized work and this sort of thing. And that it was in 2016, it was about a four to six-month experiment. I was pretty sure that I never wanted to be an Uber driver. And I always tip my Uber drivers really well now, as a result of it. But what it became clear is that especially the experience with driving for Uber was that I was picking up people, usually young men dressed uncomfortably in suits from one VC and driving them to the next.

And as you know, my background is in working with startups, I’ve done it for 30 years. And so I would say to them, you know, what’s your company. What are you thinking about? And they would give me their pitch and I would give them a lot of feedback. I suggest they talked to this person or did they look this idea, or have they thought about this business model?

And they would say, oh man, this is great. They would take notes and we’d arrive at the office of the next VC and they would jump out of the car and run off. And it’s like, no one ever said, who the hell are you that you would ask me these questions? And what I realized there was that when I was sitting in the driver’s seat, I was just the back of a head. I had lost my identity as Chris Shipley, the tech analyst who had launched, you know, 1500 companies.

Chris Shipley: And that became the kernel of the thesis of the book to get finally to the answer, to your question, which is we are so tethered in our personal professional identities, that when that shifts from us or in some cases, as it is now for millions of people, when it’s taken from us, we don’t know how to act. We don’t know who we are. Because we have a definition of, you know, I am a tech analyst, or I am a journalist or I’m a doctor. I am an educator. And when those, those careers shift, when that work shifts, whether it’s because of coronavirus or it’s because of fundamental changing technological economic underpinnings, we don’t know how to adapt.

And so, our thesis is that we have to let go of our professional identities in order to embrace a more agile mindset and more adaptable understanding of who we are. It’s very purposed focus rather than professionally focused. Meaning what am I doing? What is my…? What’s the thing that gets me up in the morning and what’s the needle I want to move in life.

There are a lot of ways to address a particular passion or mission, and you can find a lot of pathways there if you are adaptable. And so, when one closes to you, understanding what your passions are, what your skills and your capabilities are and reapplying them in new ways, will help you navigate a future of work much more efficiently. And that’s true for individuals. The same thing is true for corporations. Purpose should be the focus of the company. Not necessarily product.

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Brian Ardinger: You talk about in the book, the secret identity crisis. And you’re alluding to the fact that you have the opportunity or disadvantage, I suppose, depending on how you look at it to redefine who you are and what you do. What are you seeing as far as experiences of the types of skillsets mindsets that are going to be able to make that transition more effectively, or if you’re not ready to make that transition, what can you do to start preparing for that?

Chris Shipley: I think they’re probably two things. The first and fundamentally is that agile mindset, the learning mindset, recognizing that you know, I don’t know everything. We’ve grown up in a, in an environment that was built for an industrial revolution. Took kids off of farms, we put them in classrooms. We made them very disciplined to sit in rows, to learn how to go be very disciplined workers in factories and offices. And you learn about a bunch of stuff between the ages of, I don’t know, four or five and maybe 21, 22, maybe a little bit older, depending on your graduate degree, then you’d work for a bunch of years and then you’d retire and you die. And then that retirement and die part was a pretty small window because we needed you to go so that we could bring the next group up.

Now we’ve got longevity. So, people are looking to live a much longer. You and I, it’s not unreasonable to think that, I’m 58, maybe I have 40 or 50 more years ahead of me because of the advances of medicine and all sorts of things. We will live longer lives. So, if I stop working in four years, which is what the actuarial tables are expecting me to do. That’s a heck of a long time to be retired. And the learning that I had as a college student in the eighties probably is losing some of its relevancy, at least around specific skills. So how do we start to make learning and working in retirement a much more cyclical experience that goes through, through our lives.

That’s only going to happen if we embrace an agile mindset, a learning mindset that says, you know, things I used to know to be true, may not be true anymore. I need to unlearn those things and I need to reimagine new ways of doing things. I might need to top up some skillsets, but that continuous learning is going to be the number one survival tool for people as they move through their careers now, and that will be guided by a real sense of purpose. When I think about what do I do? I don’t think I put words to paper and create books. That’s the exact. But what I do is, is try to think deeply about things. Try to be a connector of dots and a catalyst for other people’s thinking.

Chris Shipley:  So, whether it’s doing a podcast or it’s writing a book, or it’s walking down the street and having a conversation with someone, there are lots of ways I can do that. And some of those ways are very efficient and earning money. Some of them aren’t. I’ll figure that out as I go, I need to find more than that are certainly, but the point is I can apply that in a lot of ways. If I think of myself as just a journalist in today’s environment where newspapers are dying, that’s a real nonstarter for a next phase of a career and a next phase of a career.

The two things, agile mindset always be learning and always be driving to a purpose. And that doesn’t have to mean save the world and end starvation and bring peace to the Middle East. It means, you know, my passion is helping people or my passion is teaching or my passion is connecting dots and being a resource for people are lots of different ways you can define passion, but once you’re focused on what that is, you can fulfill it by a lot of different avenues.

Brian Ardinger: Well, and it’s interesting when I talked to folks it’s really democratization of innovation, which seems to be coming about, and yeah, you and I have been both in this space for a long time in technology and that, and I think back 20 years ago, when I had to build a brand new website and it cost $2 million to do so. And now you have all the world’s knowledge in your pocket and no code tools and things along those lines that makes it easier.

Even for a non-technical founder, to kind of get up, get going experiment. I think we’re entering this age of impact. I guess it’s either age of impact where you’re going to be doing the impacting or it’s going to impact you, but I’d like to hear your thoughts on some of the trends that you’re seeing from a technology side that may help people navigate this.

Chris Shipley: I like that idea of age of impact. I think that that’s right. Technology is moving so quickly. We’re things that we thought we needed to learn or code that we needed to be able to write or the latest technology trend. The shelf life, the half-life of any new technology is increasingly short. And so, it’s really hard for me to say, well, this technology or that technology is going to matter most. Democratization is a really good word that the ability to push that out, but also to be thinking about as a individually and as a business leader, what are the levers that I get to pull?

And today it might be artificial intelligence or big data, or 3-D manufacturer individual custom manufacturing, 3-D printing. It could be a lot of different things. It’s just what makes sense in context of where I am today and what I’m trying to accomplish. And it feels like kind of a non-answer to your question. But I think that the trend really is what can I grab today as a resource and really test in the market and innovate quickly to better serve my customers to purpose.

And you know what’s been interesting is watching a lot of small businesses, they’re really scrambling to think about how do I stay in business? An example, maybe an overly simplified one, but there’s a, a little, um, cafe in Palo Alto across the street from the Stanford hospital. And as you can imagine, it’s wedged between the Stanford shopping mall. Nobody there anymore, the Stanford hospital, people that are pretty occupied. Their business virtually disappears. It’s a little, you know, lunch counter kind of business. And they, we can’t have customers coming into our shop anymore. But a large number of our customers work in the hospital.

What if we put on our lunch menu for a hundred dollars buy sandwiches for this, the nursing staff and all we’ll do is fulfill those orders. We’ll, we’ll just take food that the generosity of our community to feed our first responder works and they have been able to thrive. It’s a really different way. You know, they had to figure out how to put a website up, but I use social media to communicate this idea. How to get the word out that they were doing this, but they are 10 packs of sandwiches at a time, making that business work during this really disruptive period.

Saw this thing the other day of a Dunkin’ Donut franchise, where of course it can have customers coming in. They’re not making donuts. They turned their shop into a face mass production facility. We’ve seen local microbreweries and some actually even larger corporations are saying, well, yeah, we used to distill perfume in our factories. Now we’re going to make the hand sanitizer. People are thinking about just how do they pull different levers of technology, of need, of understanding to get through these periods. And I don’t think anyone came at it and said, what’s the trendy technology. How can we leverage AI?

Now there are companies..I work with one based in Spain who was doing a personal digital assistant, technology predictive analytics. They’ve been working with the government of Spain to do predictive models for the virus. So, it’s a different application of that technology. They didn’t start with, we’ve got a hammer. What are the nails out there? What are the problems that we know that we could have leverage to fill? And that’s where real innovation happens. When we have this constraint, we have this unexpected emergency. When we, don’t have enough money or time or resources, but we know we’ve got to do something. And we’ll find the right technologies. Whatever’s trending at any particular time to help us do that.

Brian Ardinger: I was working with a startup the other day and they were, again, struggling with the fact that they’re going to be out of their normal business model for at least 90 days or longer as they’re trying to figure this out. I was talking to I said, yeah, I used to run an accelerator. And it seems to me like, this is a perfect time to use that model.

Like assume you’re going into TechStars for the next 90 days with your initial idea. How far can you get with whatever that new thing is? And it gave a different framework for the problem. It’s like, well, we may not end up here in 90 days, but let’s use this time to pivot or change things, experiment, try some different things that may get us to a new, new or not, but at least we’re actively trying to make progress versus, Hey, nothing’s going to happen in the next 90 days. Anyway, we can either sit and die or do something about it.

Chris Shipley: That’s right. You know, when we’ve been seeing restaurants turn into grocery stores because they have the supplies or meal kit companies, because they have the ability to do that. It’s just taking a look at what you can do and where your skills are, where your resources are, where your expertise is. I’m thinking about how you apply it differently. We’ll see the companies that, you know, unfortunately won’t make it through this.

We’re going to see companies that will muddle through and then pick up again on the other side. We’re going to see companies that do really well and then thrive. And then companies that completely change who they are. And then thrive on the other side. This is a horrible thing that’s affecting our country and our world. I don’t wish it on anyone. If we look at it as opportunity, we’re going to find, that we are a creative and imaginative, innovative, bunch of people that are going to find much better ways to get through this.

Brian Ardinger: Yeah. Businesses are built on solving problems and now we’ve got a lot more problems to solve.

Chris Shipley: Years ago, a colleague said to me, you know, you don’t have any problems. What are you talking about? Oh no, you always say you’ve got an opportunity. We’ve got plenty of opportunity right now. And I think if we embrace it that way, we’re going to…some really interesting things will come out of this.

Brian Ardinger:  So, one of the things I liked about the book is you do talk a lot about the individual and helping that person understand that the new new is coming. But you also have a large section of the book talking about how organizations are doing this. And we’ve touched on it a little bit, but this idea of culture and that. Can we talk about how organizations are adapting and how do you see the changes that are happening? Give me a little bit of outline of the book of how organizations can prepare for some of this.

Chris Shipley: I think that the number one thing we can do as leaders is create an environment where our people can innovate and thrive and adapt. Maybe not in that order but adapt and innovate and thrive. Because if you don’t have an environment in which to do that, if you don’t have the operating system and the general instruction set, if you don’t have the psychological safety to make mistakes, if you don’t have you know, the guideposts and the real direction to purpose, then you’re just kind of sitting there waiting for the next tactical order to come down the line.

I think it’s really difficult for companies to move fast enough. If all your people are just waiting for the next instruction. That’s kind of stuff you want to the offloads algorithms, right? They’re really good at managing instructions. We want people to be doing things that are really pushing the boundaries. So, the third part of the book is about how as leaders, we create those environments. And I think it starts with culture because culture is our operating system. It’s our roadmap. It’s our true North whichever metaphor you’d like. If we all understand why we’re here, by what rules we will operate, then we can, we do a lot of really interesting things. We can disseminate decisions throughout the organization. We don’t have to have this command and control center that demands approval of every thought or every action or decision.

I know that if my organization is about, you know, in the case of Intuit, I think is a company that’s grown up around a strong culture. Delight the customer is one of their primary values. Well, I know if I do something it’s going to make a customer uncomfortable that’s not good. If I do something, that’s going to make an executive uncomfortable, but make the customer delighted, that’s okay.  As an employee, then I know how to navigate through my culture and make decisions as I have customer facing interactions. Without that, I don’t know, do I please the boss, or do I please the customer? So that’s just a very simple example, but culture is the playbook for the rest of the company.

So really understanding that and really articulating that and not just saying you, we value these things, and this is the way we operate. But also celebrating it when it goes right. And I use the word sanctioning it when it goes wrong. Well, I’ve worked with companies that have had these really lovely mission statements and value statements and culture posters that are all around the organization. And they’ll say things that, you know, we’re about X, but you look around and it’s really Y. Right. And if it’s Y but you say X and what you really have done as a culture of dissonance, you know, where people don’t know how to act, behave to make decisions in the best interest of the company.

So, as leaders, we have to make sure that culture is never a poster on the wall. Culture is what happens every day in the organization. And if you could make the poster on the wall and what happens every day in the organization align then good on you. That’s really what you want to be able to do. So that’s, I think the starting point, I think, for any organization, and then it’s sort of, how do you put the pieces in place that make your employees, put them in a place to be much more learning and adaptive. And the number one, we talk about a number of things, but if it was nothing else, it would be about creating this environment of psychological safety.

We looked at some studies that were done in a number of organizations and the places that thrived were always, those where employees knew that it was okay to make decisions. It was okay to make mistakes. It was okay to push the envelope or to challenge colleagues. That they could do that without it being punishing.  Clearly there’s a place where explosive mistakes are going to have consequences, but the ability to speak up, the ability to challenge, the ability to ask an executive anything and get an honest, transparent answer.

Those environments were ones where workers went away and really thrived and really contributed to the environment. That they felt safer. They felt more confident. They felt that their vulnerability was mirrored by the vulnerability of the executives. And that created a shared sense of purpose and safety that allow people to work together. If a strong culture and a sense of safety are the only two pieces you can work on right now, go work on those because that then lays the foundation for all the other things that you can do in your organization.

Brian Ardinger: It will be interesting to see how cultures and organizations adapt to that, because I think you know, in the old way of thinking, you moved up the ladder based on your expertise and you had to level up each time. And by the time you got to the top of you were smarter or knew more domain expertise or whatever, then the people below you. But now that’s not always the case. And in fact, a lot of times you’re going to often have to be able to raise your hand and say, I’m no longer the expert. What do we do next? And I think, yeah, that is going to make people uncomfortable. So, are there tips or hints on how to become more comfortable in the uncertainty and ambiguity?

Chris Shipley: Well, I think that’s it. You’ve got to get comfortable being uncomfortable, Heather and I, over the last several weeks have been doing a lot of virtual reading clubs and book clubs and podcasts. And we ask how do you feel about these transitions in your organization? As people move around and they bring new capabilities into your team that you don’t personally have, does that make you feel uncomfortable? And when people answer, honestly, they typically say. Yeah, I’m kind of insecure when I bring in somebody who’s really smart at that thing, or really good at that thing. And I’m the boss, by whatever definition, I feel a little insecure.

Acknowledging that owning that is a really important step in getting to that place where you’re comfortable with discomfort. I used to say, I want to be the dumbest one at the table because I want to learn from other people, you know, and yes, I have enough ego to believe I’m pretty smart. So, if I’m the dumbest one, our organization’s going to be really smart. We’ve talked about this in startups. You know, you want A teams, hire A teams. And B teams, higher C teams. We always want to be hiring the A teams because that’s where we learn. If I knew everything, I wouldn’t need to hire a bunch of people, I’d just coded in a bunch of algorithms and we’d be done.

So I think recognizing that your opportunity as a leader, your value as a leader and your opportunity to demonstrate your strength is in embracing these sets of talents and capabilities that you don’t have, but are found in other people in your team. And by being willing to quickly acknowledge, I don’t know that one, I don’t have time to learn it.

I need to bring somebody here who has expertise and my contribution to the company is not that I know that thing, but that I know how to get that resource. That’s a different way of thinking about it that makes you…put you back in that sense of leadership that I’m going to put together, the right team. That’s my skillset, put them together and give you the environment in which to thrive. Not, I feel like I have to know how to do everything that everybody else on my team does.

Brian Ardinger: I want to give opportunity for folks in the audience to ask any questions. I know we’re pressing to the end of our time here. But as people are typing in any questions, one of the questions I have is you’ve been in technology and trends and writing about that started the demo conference, all this stuff. And you’ve always been on the cutting edge of this. What are some of the resources or ways that you stay current and up to date with what’s going on?

Chris Shipley: I read a ton. I wake up when the sun comes up and so it’s probably a lack of appropriate window coverings. So, the first thing I do is grab my iPad and I just start reading. I read news across a range of outlets, because I think it’s important to have not just my stereo view of the world or my myopic view of the world. I want to have this 360 view. The place I’ve always learned the most is in conversation. It’s, you know, we used to say about when I was doing the demo conference, I was meet with literally 2000 companies a year and hear about the products that people were building and the ideas they had. And that’s, you know, it’s easy to predict the future when everyone tells you what they plan to do in it.

But those conversations they fed, what I think is in me, an informed instinct. And so I could hear ideas and then, you know, the next person company would come in and they’d talk about something. There’s a connection there. And I was able to see those patterns, but not because I was particularly brilliant at any one thing, but that I was listening to enough people that the patterns start to emerge. Yeah. Reading is important. Sometimes diving deep into something that seems odd that why would I want to know about that is actually insightful that you bring something from one discipline into another but listening and talking to people and listening more than speaking. I think it was my secret weapon for really understanding what was happening in the industry.

Brian Ardinger: Yeah. I think that idea of having a solid network inside and outside your organization. I think a lot of, especially in the corporate environment, and you get stuck in your industry and you start hearing the same heads talking about the same things, and sometimes it’s better to poke your head into a different industry and see if there’s anything you can leverage or pull out of that.

Chris Shipley: Absolutely. There’s great research from the Institute for Young Australians. And it says that someone coming into the job market starting their career today we’ll have 17, as many as 17 different jobs across 5 different industries. I suspect that that’s an underestimate as we go forward. So if that’s the case, then having those deep dives, talking to somebody who is an educator, talking to somebody who’s in healthcare, maybe front lines of healthcare, having a great conversation with the small business owner or pick any industry, but doing that with great intention, because you want to listen and learn about what they’re experiencing.

And then being able to connect the dots among them. I think that kind of learning is invaluable because I don’t know that I’m ever going to be in the airline industry, but fascinating conversation with a head of an airline understanding how they work. Which totally impacted how I thought about air travel and how I was able to talk about retail space with somebody else, because you know, effectively a plane is nothing more than retail space.

And so, what does that mean in the context of selling this fungible good which is an airline seat. That actually applies to a lot of different industries. If you pull your head back up and think about it. Yeah. Go dig deep with those around you who are doing really different things. I’m blessed with many, many friends and with a great tech network, but most of my close friends don’t work in tech. And so, know we get together to socialize. We’re not talking about the latest technology we’re talking about legal cases and architecture and. communications and lots of other things that it gives it a broader worldview. And I’m very grateful for that.

Brian Ardinger: Well, Chris Shipley, I really do appreciate you being part of my network. And sharing your insights with our community out here. If people want to find out more about yourself or the book, what’s the best way to do that.

Chris Shipley: You can visit cshipley.com, which will be a gateway to all the information about the book and other things, but also the Adaptation Advantage will give you more details about the book, but you sign up to our newsletter, which comes out every couple of weeks and shares ideas about the future of work. We’ll certainly share a link back out for this podcast. You Google me, you’ll find me, and I encourage you to do that and to reach out. Because I do, like I said, conversations are my learning modalities, so I would welcome that.

Brian Ardinger: Well, once again, thank you very much, Chris Shipley, for being on the Inside Outside Innovation podcast.  Looking forward to continuing the conversation.

Chris Shipley: Thanks, Brian.

Brian Ardinger: That’s it for another episode of Inside Outside Innovation. If you want to learn more about our team, our content, our services, check out InsideOutside.io or follow us on Twitter @theIOpodcast or @Ardinger. Until next time, go out and innovate.


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Ep. 205 – Chris Shipley,...