42. Bill Veeck

The Iowa Idea: Bill Veeck

I try not to break the rules but merely to test their elasticity.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, Gino Chirio returns as we celebrate October baseball, even though our beloved South Siders were bounced from the playoffs. Gino and I are not talking about his Harvard Business Review article. Instead, we are talking about one of our innovation, customer experience, and baseball heroes, Bill Veeck. Veeck, as in wreck, was a promoter, an innovator, and a romantic. Through his journey, we’re able to see a true innovation and customer experience pioneer.

Bill Veeck created some of the most iconic experiences in Chicago baseball – he installed the ivy at Wrigley Field, as well as its classic scoreboard. He designed the exploding scoreboard at Comiskey Park and was in charge during the Sox infamous Disco Demolition Night promotion. Veeck’s promotional stunts and support of the players (from integration and support of Curt Flood’s free agency) enraged baseball’s white-collar, and frankly boring ownership, yet he engaged with and enthralled fans. Gino and I look at Veeck’s inventions through the lens of Doblin’s 10 Types of Innovation to highlight innovation and engagement across an array of categories. Deep down, Gino and I believe that Veeck was the inspiration for Dos Equis most interesting man in the world. Bill was a pioneer and a free-spirit that demonstrated the importance of bringing your authentic self to work. As Veeck said “I was in the game for love. After all, where else can an old-timer with one leg, who can’t hear or see, live like a king while doing the only thing I wanted to do?”

Thanks to Gino for taking the time to join me and help explore the innovation and genius that was Bill Veeck. I hope you enjoy the episode.

Credits

Episode produced by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

41. Dana James

The Iowa Idea: Dana James

“Your voice is valuable.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Dana James. Dana is the founder of Black Iowa News, a website and newsletter, to chronicle the lives of Black Iowans in the era of COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement.

She is a lifelong Iowan and award-winning writer. Dana wants you to know three things: We are still in a pandemic, Breonna Taylor still needs justice, and Black Lives Matter.

She worked for seven years as a reporter at the Des Moines Register where she covered education and minority affairs. Her work has appeared in several publications.

We discuss Dana’s interest in news and her path to journalism, as well as the reasons why she created Black Iowa News.

It was an honor to have Dana on the podcast. I thank her for sharing her time, her voice, and her insights. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Dana

Dana James is a lifelong Iowan who founded Black Iowa News, a website and newsletter, to chronicle the lives of Black Iowans in the era of COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement. The award-winning writer wants you to know three things: We are still in a pandemic, Breonna Taylor still needs justice and Black Lives Matter. Full stop.

She worked for seven years as a reporter at the Des Moines Register where she covered education and minority affairs. Her work has appeared in several publications. In between writing positions, she obtained an Iowa insurance license and worked in benefits and underwriting.

Outside of work, the newlywed enjoys spending time with her husband and visiting the beautiful John Pappajohn Sculpture Park in downtown Des Moines.

She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Grand View University.

You can find Black Iowa News at https://blackiowanews.substack.com.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlackIowaNews

Twitter: https://twitter.com/blackiowanews.

Email blackiowanews@icloud.com

Credits

Episode produced by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

40. Cassini Nazir

The Iowa Idea: Cassini Nazir

“It’s about people.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Cassini Nazir. Cassini is a designer of conversations, curriculum, and interfaces.

He is a Clinical Associate Professor in New College at the University of North Texas where he teaches classes in design thinking and interaction design. Prior to joining UNT, he taught at The University of Texas at Dallas, where he was founding director of the ATEC Usability Lab, which fosters collaborative research with community partners and offers experiential learning to students

While at UT Dallas, he was Director of Design for the ArtSciLab, a transdisciplinary research lab helping the arts, science, and technology communities by pursuing initiatives of societal urgency and cultural timeliness.

We discuss the importance of cross-disciplinary collaboration and intentionality in good design – covering topics like the Heilmeier Catechism and exformation. We dig into advice and mentorship. I was moved by a story Cassini shares about his father that serves as a reminder of leading by example and at the end of the day “it’s about people.”

It was an honor to have Cassini on the podcast. I thank him for his time and insights. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Cassini

Cassini Nazir is a designer of conversations, curriculum, and interfaces.

He is a Clinical Associate Professor in New College at the University of North Texas where he teaches classes in design thinking and interaction design. Prior to joining UNT, he taught at The University of Texas at Dallas, where he was founding director of the ATEC Usability Lab, which fosters collaborative research with community partners and offers experiential learning to students.

In spring 2020, he was Designer-in-Residence for the SMU Masters in Design and Innovation program.

While at UT Dallas, he was Director of Design for the ArtSciLab, a transdisciplinary research lab helping the arts, science, and technology communities by pursuing initiatives of societal urgency and cultural timeliness.

He holds bachelor’s degrees in English Literature and Economics as well as an MFA in Arts and Technology.

https://www.theiaconference.com/

Credits

Episode produced by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

39. Michele Williams

The Iowa Idea: Michele Williams

“2020 Is really the year of sensemaking.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Dr. Michele Williams. Professor Williams, Tippie College of Business, University of Iowa, has taught negotiations to executives, startups, MBAs, and undergraduates at leading schools of management for over ten years. She is co-author of the Four Capabilities Assessment. Michele’s research focuses on negotiation, leadership, sensemaking, and trust, as well as women in leadership and entrepreneurship.

We discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion improving sensemaking capabilities. We dig into the importance of sensemaking through the lens of her latest article “The Overlooked Key to Leading Through Chaos.” If you’re looking at ways to improve leadership in your organization, you’ll love this episode. Links to resources from Dr. Williams are in the episode description.

It was an honor having Michele on the podcast. I thank her for her time and insights. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Michele

Professor Michele Williams, Tippie College of Business, University of Iowa, has taught negotiations to executives, startups, MBAs, and undergraduates at leading schools of management for over 10 years. She is co-author of the Four Capabilities Assessment.

The research and work of Dr. Williams (University of Michigan, Ph.D.), which began with a focus on Trust and Relationships at work, now intersects with work on Women in Leadership & Entrepreneurship. She addresses two challenges that organizations face:

Trust and Relationships—Building, maintaining, and repairing trust in team-based relationships and across demographic and organizational boundaries; Sustaining high performing, cross-boundary relationships.

Women in Leadership & Entrepreneurship— Social construction of gender; Gender equity within firms and across established and entrepreneurial ventures; Factors affecting women as team members, boundary spanners, and business owners.

Michele, assistant professor and the John L. Miclot Fellow in Entrepreneurship, recently joined the Management & Organizations’ faculty at the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business. She is also a scholar at Cornell University’s Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution and with the Smith Family Business Initiative Cornell’s Johnson College of Business. Previously, she was a member of the faculty at Cornell University and MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

She has authored papers and case studies, published in notable academic journals, and speaks at academic and professional conferences on her topics of research. She produced a unique course offering on Women in Leadership, Negotiation & Entrepreneurship, and has spoken on this topic at JP Morgan. She is co-author The Four Capabilities Leadership Assessment—an online 360° assessment used by organizations to enhance the leadership potential of managers.

Dr. Williams earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at Johns Hopkins University, her Master of Arts degree in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.

Sensemaking quiz:  http://drmichelewilliams.com/leading-through-chaos-quiz/

Sensemaking article: https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/the-overlooked-key-to-leading-through-chaos/

Website: HTTP://drmichelewilliams.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/drmichelewilliams/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MicheleWilliamz

Credits

Episode produce by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

38. Gary Kroeger

The Iowa Idea: Gary Kroeger

“Life is a journey.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Gary Kroeger. Gary was born in Cedar Falls and attended Northwestern University. In Chicago he helped found The Practical Theatre Company with fellow alums Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Brad Hall.  This association caught the eye of Saturday Night Live producers and the three of them became regulars on SNL. A political enthusiast who has run for Congress as well at the State House, Gary continues his blog and podcast “Gary Has Issues” and is a featured columnist in the Waterloo Courier.

It was Gary’s work on SNL, specifically a sketch of Larry’s Corner, that hooked me on Saturday Night Live. We talked about the fun and challenges of producing a weekly live show.

Gary and I talk about his journey\and approach to craft, the importance of putting in the reps, and the application of an improv mindset in business. I appreciated Gary’s advice from one of his teachers – “do something every day to improve yourself.”

It was an honor having Gary on the podcast. I thank him for his time and insights. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Gary

Gary Kroeger was born in Cedar Falls and attended Northwestern University.  In Chicago he helped found The Practical Theatre Company with fellow alums Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Brad Hall.  This association caught the eye of Saturday Night Live producers and the three of them became regulars on the venerable late-night comedy show.

After SNL, Gary moved to Los Angeles for a series on CBS, called Spies with George Hamilton and later produced George’s daytime chat show The George and Alana Show.  Television appearances on many popular shows led to starring roles in films A Man Called Sarge, The Return of the Shaggy Dog and Archie To Riverdale and Back.  Gary went on to host versions of The Newlywed Game and the classic Beat the Clock. He was the weatherman in a popular episode of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm.

In 2003 Gary moved back to Cedar Falls and works as Creative Director for Mudd Advertising and is the CEO of Outlier Creative Solutions.  He also starred in Holiday Inn, The Man of La Mancha, I Do I Do, The Music Man, White Christmas, and Guys and Dolls at the Cedar Falls Community Theater.

As the father of two boys, as well as a stepfather to 3 other children, community involvement has been an important factor in Gary’s life.  He is the statewide spokesman for Court Appointment Special Advocates for abused and neglected children, and was instrumental in the creation of Safe Kids, Iowa.

A political enthusiast who has run for Congress as well at the State House, Gary continues his blog and podcast “Gary Has Issues” and is a featured columnist in the Waterloo Courier.

Credits

Episode produced by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music was written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

37. Aaron Proietti

The Iowa Idea: Aaron Proietti

“Make the offer.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Aaron Proietti. Aaron is the author of Today’s Innovator. He is an innovation expert with seventeen years of experience innovating in complex organizations. Aaron views innovation not as an activity, but as a core business competency that must be developed, led, and nurtured within both the individual and the organization. Aaron has spoken at numerous conferences on topics related to technology trends, innovation leadership, innovation strategy, and culture change. A former Chief Innovation Officer at Transamerica, Aaron is also an expert in technology trends and their impacts on people and businesses. Through his company “Today’s Innovator” and his writing, Aaron’s mission is to connect and empower the innovators found within each of us.

Aaron and I talk about his journey as a data scientist, innovator, and leader. We explore some of his lessons and insights regarding innovation. We dig deep into the leadership, organizational culture, and people challenges that impede innovation.

It was great having Aaron on the podcast. I thank him for his time and insights. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Aaron

Aaron Proietti is an innovation expert with seventeen-plus years of experience innovating in complex organizations. Most recently, at Transamerica, a multinational Fortune 500 insurance company, Aaron built and led the company’s Insights & Innovation department consisting of six centers of excellence designed to fuel innovation. As Chief Innovation Officer he led a division- wide effort to transform the culture of 6,000 employees to a culture of innovation, collaboration, and trust. As Chief Customer Advocate he merged the company’s customer-centric service strategy with its forward-looking innovation strategy. And as the Head of Marketing Innovation he built and staffed a cutting-edge Research & Development team tasked with building customer experiences of the future and integrating them back into Transamerica’s core business.

After getting his Master’s Degree in Applied Mathematics from Georgia Tech, Aaron got his career started as a Data Analyst at Capital One, one of the nation’s largest banks — a role that for sure would be called a Data Scientist today. It is there that he gained his first exposure to innovation as part of a team that developed new products and processes that contributed over $50 million per year. Aaron later worked as a Product Owner in Capital One’s “Invention Factory,” as well as several other roles that would shape his career as an innovator. It is at Capital One where Aaron learned the value a strong corporate culture has in driving innovation. He left Capital One in 2007 to gain experience in the startup environment, working to develop a new way of packaging and selling life insurance.

In 2016, at the age of forty, Aaron stepped away from the corporate grind to decompress and reevaluate his career trajectory. He recently founded Today’s Innovator, a coaching and training company working to “connect and empower innovators.” Aaron is the author of the book Today’s Innovator (Motivational Press, 2019). He speaks at conferences and events on topics related to technology trends, innovation leadership, innovation strategy, and culture change. Aaron has also been a regular writing contributor at Future Shapers, InnovationLeader.com and Insurance Thought Leadership.

Today’s Innovator Website

Today’s Innovator Book

Credits

Episode produce by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

36. Mike Maddock

The Iowa Idea: Mike Maddock

“You can’t read the label when you’re inside the jar.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Mike Maddock. Mike is an entrepreneur, inventor, writer, keynote speaker, and an idea monkey. He is the CEO and founding partner of Maddock Douglas, an internationally recognized innovation consulting firm. Mike has founded six successful businesses. He is a long-time Forbes contributor and the co-author of four books: “Free the Idea Monkey,” “Brand New,” “Flirting with the Uninterested” and “Plan D: Lessons from the World’s Most Successful Disruptors.” Plan D was released in February 2019.

Mike and I talk about his journey as a creative and entrepreneur. We explore some of his lessons and insights regarding innovation. We discuss why innovation is harder for organizations now than it was ten years ago. We dig into the connection between strong brands and innovative organizations, as well as the importance of insight-driven innovation.

It was great having Mike on the podcast. I thank him for his time and insights. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Mike

Mike Maddock is an entrepreneur, inventor, writer and keynote speaker. He is the CEO and founding partner of Maddock Douglas, an internationally recognized innovation consulting firm that has worked with more than 25 percent of the Fortune 100 to design and launch new products, services, experiences and business models. A serial entrepreneur, Mike has founded six successful businesses. Mike’s fun and interactive keynote presentations have consistently rated 9.5+ at business conferences around the world. He is a long-time Forbes contributor and the co-author of four books: “Free the Idea Monkey,” “Brand New,” “Flirting with the Uninterested” and “Plan D: Lessons from the World’s Most Successful Disruptors.” Plan D was released in February 2019 and is an Amazon best-seller, reaching #1 in Strategic Business Planning.

Credits

Episode produced by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

35. Melissa Murer Corrigan

The Iowa Idea: Melissa Murer Corrigan

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Melissa Murer Corrigan. Melissa was the founding Executive Director and CEO of the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) in Washington, D.C. from 1994-2011. In 2012, Melissa joined the educational assessment leader ACT as an executive leader for the Workforce Development Division. She then took on the role of Vice President of Social Impact in ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning. Melissa currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Institute for the History of Pharmacy. Her contributions to pharmacy have been recognized by Drake University, who honored Melissa with the Weaver Medal.

Melissa and I talk about her journey into pharmacy, including her career start that included working in 52 Walgreen’s stores in her first year. We explore the importance of mentorship and paying it forward, as a way of paying it back. We discuss Melissa’s drive to encourage more women leaders. We also dig into the fascinating story of Zada Cooper. Zada was the first woman to graduate from The University of Iowa’s College of Pharmacy in 1897.

It was great having Melissa on the podcast. I thank her for her time and insights, and I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Melissa

Melissa Murer Corrigan was founding Executive Director and CEO of the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) in Washington, D.C. from 1994-2011.  She also is an innovator in credentialing and pharmacy workforce initiatives.  Melissa’s leadership launched the PTCB program that has now certified over 700,000 pharmacy technicians working across the United States in large chains such as Walgreens and CVS, health systems and community pharmacies. PTCB certified technicians serve millions of patients annually.  Murer Corrigan embraced ambition, took risks, and was the only woman on the PTCB Board of Governors during her 17-year tenure as CEO.

In 2012 Melissa joined the educational assessment leader ACT in Iowa City as an executive leader for the Workforce Development Division and then progressed to serve as Vice President of Social Impact for ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning. Her current chapter includes leading the healthcare and credentialing consultancy Manville Heights LLC. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Institute for the History of Pharmacy and is the host of the MelisRxScripts podcast.

Melissa has served as adjunct faculty with the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy since 2013. In 2015, she was named a Fellow of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and in 2016 Melissa was named a Fellow of the American Pharmacists Association. Also in 2016, she received the Honorary Alumni Award from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy.  She had the honor of being the commencement speaker for the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy in 2013 and Drake University in 2014.

Passionate about both leadership and encouraging women leaders, Melissa provided the vision for the inaugural Zada Cooper Leadership Symposium. This now annual event features women in pharmacy leadership roles and celebrates the legacy of Locally in Eastern Iowa, Melissa has been recognized as a Woman of Influence and has served on the Board of Directors for Corridor Women Connect.

Melissa is a graduate of Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. She received the 2010 Weaver Medal which is Drake University College of Pharmacy’s highest honor. Melissa is a past president of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence and received the association’s distinguished Certification Industry Leadership Award in 2008. She has served as President of the Board of Directors for the Council on Credentialing in Pharmacy. Melissa also received the Henry Cade Memorial Award from the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy in 2012.

Links:

https://www.melisrxscripts.com/

https://www.journimap.com/

Credits

Episode produced by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music was written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

34. Chris Gersbeck

The Iowa Idea: Chris Gersbeck

“xxx.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Chris Gersbeck. Chris is a producer, publicist and writer based in Queens, NY. He currently produces and makes regular appearances on comedy podcasts Dave Hill: History Fluffer, Dave Hill’s Podcasting Incident, and So… You’re Canadian with Dave Hill, the latter two of which are on the Maximum Fun network. Chris also produces numerous live comedy events throughout New York City under the banner of Dumb Industries and handles publicity for several popular podcasts and comedians including Frank Conniff & Trace Beaulieu, The State, RISK! and Keith and The Girl.

Chris and I talk about what led to the end of Ernest Borgnine and Ethel Merman’s 32-day marriage. We dig into show business urban legends as well as Chris’s journey from comedian to podcast producer and publicist.

It was an honor to have Chris join the podcast. I really appreciated his perspective. Thanks to Chris for joining me. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Chris

Chris Gersbeck is a producer, publicist and writer based in Queens, NY. He currently produces and makes regular appearances on comedy podcasts Dave Hill: History Fluffer, Dave Hill’s Podcasting Incident, and So… You’re Canadian with Dave Hill, the latter two of which are on the Maximum Fun network. Chris also produces numerous live comedy events throughout New York City under the banner of Dumb Industries and handles publicity for several popular podcasts and comedians including Frank Conniff & Trace Beaulieu, The State, RISK! and Keith and The Girl.

Links:

Dumb Industries website

Dumb Industries on Facebook

Dumb Industries on Twitter

Personal Twitter

Credits

Episode produce by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

33. Alex Hillman

The Iowa Idea: Alex Hillman

“I’m really bad at faking it.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Alex Hillman. Alex is always thinking about the intersection of people, relationships, trust, and business. These days, he splits his time between running Indy Hall (Philadelphia’s oldest coworking space), teaching creative people how to bootstrap their own business, and collaborating with people and organizations towards the goal of helping 10,000 people become sustainably independent by 2029.

Alex and I talk about business, creativity, community, collaboration, and his journey that led him to create Indy Hall, as well as his latest book The Tiny MBA. We discuss the importance of trust and authenticity to build ongoing partnerships and business collaborations.

It was an honor to have Alex join the podcast. I really appreciated his insights and passion. Thanks to Alex Hillman for joining me. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Alex

Alex Hillman is always thinking about the intersection of people, relationships, trust and business. These days, he splits his time between running Indy Hall (Philly’s oldest coworking space), teaching creative people how to bootstrap their own business, and collaborating with people and organizations towards the goal of helping 10,000 people become sustainably independent by 2029.

He’s worked globally with hundreds of coworking operators and thousands of business owners, executives, entrepreneurs, and community leaders to deploy his lessons in the intersection of business and community building.

Alex’s expertise has contributed to everything from academic research to mainstream media, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Philadelphia Inquirer, WIRED magazine, and many more.

https://dangerouslyawesome.com/

https://stackingthebricks.com/

https://stackingthebricks.com/tinymba/

Credits

Episode produce by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).