To Err Is to Innovate

Season 9 Episode 51

Guest: Beryl Tomay

One of the biggest keys to success is failure.

It seems counterintuitive, but the reality is we ALL make mistakes. Highly successful leaders embrace stumbles and fumbles, and learn from them.

As Beryl Tomay points out, that’s especially true at Amazon. Their innovation culture is so highly effective because Amazon learns from each step, good or bad, and builds from it. Indeed, some of Amazon’s most successful products wouldn’t have seen the light of day if not for what was learned from products that didn’t make the cut!

Beryl started as an intern and rose through the ranks to be Amazon’s Vice President of Last Mile Delivery and Technology. Here’s what she and Maureen cover in this episode:


1. The tools in Amazon’s innovation culture that breed success – including mentors, resiliency, and perpetual learning;

2. The drive to (and importance of) planting seeds for the future; and

3. How a love for Radiohead facilitated Beryl’s career path that led to Amazon!


Other episodes you’ll enjoy:

– Delivering the Future: Amazon’s Innovation Culture with David Carbon, John Love, Dr. Vin Gupta, & Tye Brady

– Mastering Skills that Empower Innovation with Jeff DeGraff

– Humans in the Loop: AI’s New Business Models with Suchi Srinivasan

Guest Information:

Beryl Tomay

Show Note:

delivery, resiliency, hub delivery, apprenticeship, mistakes, moonshot ideas, innovation process, Amazon, Cyber Monday

Humans in the Loop: AI’s New Business Models

Season 9 Episode 50

Guest: Suchi Srinivasan

AI is disruptive. It’s already disrupting society, and is disrupting business faster than the internet did. It’ll disrupt you, too. But is that bad…or good?


The answer is up to you. Guest Suchi Srinivasan of Boston Consulting Group shares her comprehensive view of the effects of AI on business now – and in the near future. The bottom line? Artificial intelligence is a tool like any other: embrace it and adopt it wisely, and it can be a significant boon to your operations and for your staff. And it has the potential to finally solve food insecurity and other global issues that have plagued humanity for centuries.

Here’s what Suchi and Maureen cover:

  1. The new business models – and ethical dilemmas – AI brings to your decision-making;
  2. The role of technology in boosting your balance sheet…and in solving hunger and other global issues; and
  3. The persistent gender imbalance in the tech workforce, and what women can do to overcome it.


Other episodes you’ll enjoy:

Guest Information:

Suchi Srinivasan

Show Note:

Artificial Intelligence, ethics of AI, business models, women in tech, AI enterprises, efficiency, disruption, humans in the loop, interconnection, women in business

Seeking Success in Simplicity

Guest: Rini Das

Simplify. Streamline. Succeed. Seems simple enough, but most big organizations do the opposite, bogging teams down with more and more complexity. But as the world itself becomes more complex and changes (like AI) arrive more rapidly, resilience is absolutely key for any organization’s survival – much less success!

Rini Das knows complexity; she worked in healthcare early in her career, which has layers upon layers of processes. Fortunately, she knows simplicity and resilience, too. In this episode, she reveals the ironies and challenges faced by leaders striving to create simpler, more adaptable companies in the face of VUCA. She shares solutions, too!

Here’s what Rini and host Maureen Metcalf cover:

How to foster resilience – making your organization strong against the unpredictable;
Dissecting the potentials and pitfalls of using AI to revolutionize your operations; and
Your role in confidently steering your team through changing tides.

Other episodes you’ll enjoy:

Simplify Work: Crushing Complexity with Jesse W. Newton
Facing Uncertainty: It’s VUCA with Chris Nolan
Uncharted: How to Map the Future Together with Margaret Heffernan

For daily wisdom from our guests, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn. We’re on Instagram, Threads, and Twitter, too!

Guest Information:

Rini Das

Show Note:

Simplify, Streamline, Succeed, Big Organizations, Complexity, World Complexity, AI, Resilience, Organization Survival, Healthcare, Processes, Adaptable Companies, VUCA

The Rationale of Irrationality

Season 9 Episode 49

Guest: Greg Moran

When your competitor’s (or CEO’s) decisions don’t make sense, pause: there’s something to learn there. What do they know that you don’t?

That’s just one insight guest Greg Moran offers about dealing with the irrational in your organization. Sometimes a decision is just bad; but more often than not, it’s been made from a perspective or with information you don’t see. And that perspective might just be the missing key to your success!

Here’s what Greg and Maureen cover:

  1. The impact of rational and irrational decision-making on your organization’s success;
  2. How your company’s structural incentives might be the cause of some of the worst decisions your peers (and maybe you!) make; and
  3. The changing dynamics of the employer-employee relationship as society changes.


Enjoy your own Moran-athon with:


Guest Information:

Greg Moran

Show Note:

rational thought, irrational thought, irrationality, mindset

Nurturing Peace from the Ashes of Violence

Season 9 Episode 48

Guests: Hyppolite Ntigurirwa and Mike Hardy

Seeing your family members tortured and murdered will have a major influence on your leadership mindset. But not necessarily in the ways that you think. 


Hyppolite Ntigurirwa survived the Rwandan genocide as a child. Growing up, he thought of vengeance and retribution. But after encountering exceptional kindness, his mindset shifted – and he now leads efforts for peace and reconciliation. As he reveals his gripping story, Mike Hardy joins the conversation to discuss his friendship with Hyppolite, and his own work in pointing leaders to peace. 

Here’s what Hyppolite, Mike, and Maureen cover: 

  1. The atrocities young Hyppolite witnessed, and why humanity still practices such hatred; 
  2. The simple acts that turned Hyppolite’s heart from revenge to reconciliation; and 
  3. Steps leaders at any level can take to help people remember their humanity. 


Trigger Warning: This episode discusses rape, murder, and other atrocities of genocidal acts. 


This episode was produced in partnership with the International Leadership Association: 


Other episodes you’ll enjoy: 

Guest Information:

Mike Hardy and Hyppolite Ntigurirwa

Show Note:

trust, peace, genocide, Rwanda, loyalty, refugee crisis, humanity, global leadership, love, ILA

Coming Soon to a Business Climate Near You!

Season 9 Episode 47

Guest: Matthew Griffin

Feeling uncertain about the future as a leader? You have good reason: a staggering 55% of a company’s fate lies beyond the CEO’s grasp. In fact, 40% of CEOs believe their companies won’t survive the next decade. So what can you do?

Futurist Matthew Griffin shares his insights in this episode — with game-changing strategies that will reshape the way you perceive your own future leadership.

Here’s what Matthew and host Maureen Metcalf cover:

  1. What the statistics say about the growing irrelevance of today’s type of CEO;
  2. The qualities you need to win in the current (and future) climate of business chaos; and
  3. How the future of work is shaping up as AI infiltrates the office space.


Other episodes you’ll enjoy:

Guest Information:

Matthew Griffin

Show Note:

future of work, VUCA, uncertainty, futurist, lead by example, out of control, guidance, splitting

Avocados: When Produce Produces Innovation

Season 9 Episode 46

Guest: Alvaro Luque

Innovation is key to success in our changing world. And avocados are the key to innovation!

They’re a superb example, at least. By fostering innovation, Alvaro Luque — president and CEO of Avocados From Mexico — boosted the overall market for avocados in the United States. And that market is still growing.

One major move involved the Super Bowl, a move no one in the produce sector had ever tried before. Learn the results, and Alvaro’s tips for fostering innovation, in this episode!

Here’s what Alvaro and Maureen cover:

  1. The role of internal innovation champions within your organization;
  2. Why innovation is crucial to brand marketing that makes a difference, and
  3. Why boosting an entire market, including your competitors, is more profitable than just focusing on market share.

Other episodes you’ll enjoy:

Guest Information:

Alvaro Luque

Show Note:

Avocados From Mexico, produce, innovative leadership, agriculture, avocados, Super Bowl, creativity, marketing, disruption, accountability

Delivering the Future: Amazon’s Innovation Culture

Season 9 Episode 45

Guests: David Carbon, John Love, Dr. Vin Gupta, and Tye Brady

Do you want to foster a work environment that sparks innovation and fuels creativity? You can learn from Amazon’s success!

In this episode, Amazon execs David Carbon, John Love, Dr. Vin Gupta, and Tye Brady discuss how the e-commerce giant delivers the future through its highly successful innovation culture – using examples of new developments in robotics, drones, and a unique patient-centric pharmacy-in-your-pocket. Underneath them all is a common thread of improving customer experience with convenience and speed. Their experience becomes your takeaway to boost your leadership, too!

Here’s what our guests and host Maureen Metcalf cover:

  1. The four questions the Amazon Pharmacy team ask to guide developing their new ideas for innovation;
  2. What the Golden Window is in healthcare, and why that motivates Amazon’s goal of delivering your prescriptions in less than 30 minutes; and
  3. How starting every new initiative from your customer’s perspective reframes your leadership for success.


Other episodes you’ll enjoy:

Guest Information:

David Carbon, John Love, Dr. Vin Gupta, and Tye Brady

Show Note:

Amazon, innovation, delivering the future, new tech, robotics, tech leadership

Leadership Myths & The War on Truth

Season 9 Episode 44

Guest: Paul Gibbons

What happens when you apply hard science to leadership? A lot of truths turn out to be unfounded myths.

Paul Gibbons, who strides both the corporate and consulting worlds, dug deep to uncover those myths, particularly as they affect change management. From flaws in personality assessments to the ineffectiveness of adapting to learning styles, Paul reveals many of the major workplace myths he’s uncovered researching his latest books.

Here’s what Paul and Maureen cover:

  1. Why Meyers-Briggs tells you what you already know;
  2. Understanding the human element in change management; and
  3. Why it’s so important to be a LIAR (and what that really means!).

Language Advisory: The language in this episode is rather salty; s**t is sprinkled liberally throughout.

Other episodes you’ll enjoy:

Guest Information:

Paul Gibbons

Show Note:

leadership development, change management, research, leadership myths, logic, intuition, authority

High Performance Medicine: Healthcare and Innovation

Featured Guest: Brian Ferguson

The COVID pandemic has elevated a long-overlooked narrative: we ask A LOT of the nurses, doctors, and frontline medical staff who shepherd our communities in times of public health crisis. And while they are required to step into unknown, high-pressure + high-stress work, we do not equip them with the same tools for resilience and recovery that we do for professional athletes and elite military units. Brian Ferguson joins the show to discuss how Arena Labs is focused on pioneering what they call “High Performance Medicine” in order to bring those same tools, training, and technology to frontline medical teams.

Guest Information:

Brian Ferguson

Show Note:

COVID pandemic, Public health crisis, High Performance Medicine, Tools for resilience, Technology for medical teams