Imagination and The Power of Change with Beth Comstock | Chase Jarvis LIVE
Hey buddy what's up its chase welcome, to another episode of the chase driver's live show here on creativeLIVE you, all know the show this is where I sit down with incredible. Humans and I do everything, I can to unpack their brain with the goal of helping you live, your dreams whether that's in career, in hobby or in life my. Guest today is a powerhouse. Forbes. Called, her one, of the most powerful, women in business as did, fortune, fast. Company called her one of the most hundred. Creative, people in business, former. CMO, of GE and many many other things my guest today is the. Congratulations. Thanks for having a good you so much for being on the show happy, to be here long time coming yeah and, congratulations. Thank, you a new book yes we're, gonna come baby we're gonna cover a gorgeous, court cover but I'm really happy with that Rodrigo, Corral's the artist Rico. Corral, well, we're gonna cover a lot of ground. Of course imagine it forward courage, creativity in the power of change. There's. A lot of themes that your, book covers that is are super, relevant to, our audience whether, they're I. Like. To think of the, groups of people who want to show the kind of two compartments, really there are people who, have. Understand. The value of creativity, entrepreneurship, building, things they've started they identify. With that and they're they're, trying, to move on and upward in their career, their journey and then there's the people who are just starting to figure out, and. So it's, part inspiration. We. Want to add a lot of sort, of tactical, things in there and one of the things that I loved about your book I I'm. Gonna sneak peeks at the galley here which is oh yes. Night night and day gorgeous. But Mike my cover is or my copy is all dog eared and whatnot so. Let's, start. With the title and then go I was, enamored. With the title I I. Think. A lot goes into naming, something words matter. So. When. You chose to write a book, why. Did you name it imagine, it forward yeah well it was quite a process to name it I mean because when, I've learned when you do something yourself you're too close to it and maybe, you're not the best judge yes, I don't, know I had dozens and dozens and dozens of, titles, but. Imagination. Has always been important to me in is I had, a business career and life and I actually feel business doesn't value imagination. Enough yeah, and, that was the reason I was writing it other. Titles, like I kept toying around with this idea of permission granted because, there's a big theme about giving yourself permission, it. Kept coming up with somewhat spiritual, connotations. So I was having a hard time getting it to say what I wanted it you wrangle that into a business yeah yeah. And, then I've, often joked to myself maybe I should have called it fail forward because, I tried, to share a lot of things that didn't work yeah.
And So but imagine for it is just it's it's what was important to me and I think that at that subtitle. Courage, creativity. And then it's a book about change, and I do think there's power and change what. Most of us think we don't like change I don't like change that comfortable. In the short term yeah and it's like why am I doing this I caught, up with an old friend of mine we went to college together and I said I'm working on this book she's, like well I'm not gonna read it Thanks, because. I hate really good friend exactly. She's. Like I hate change and I think most people when you say that word so, I felt like I needed to remind people that actually there, is some power in change it's not something you run from and it's ironically. It's the only thing that's constant it is I know I feel it all around you so, aside. From the title I thought, let's go to this sometime I'll courage creativity and the power of change if I. Think. There's a as, run you know running a huge part of GE you, know massive, company. I think, that there is an, outward understanding. With rather I'll say the lack of understanding of, what. Goes into creating, change, but, what goes into innovation. And, you. Know for the folks at home who are solopreneurs. Entrepreneurs. Artists, creators, and don't have, multi-billion. Dollar budgets, I think there's this there's basically a gap an understanding, of, how. Do you drive change. And what I'm here to try, and bridge, is there's. Actually a lot of similarities that what. Happens an individual, and small scale you've. Done in, an arguably the largest, scale. In the world so. A bridge, a gap for, me like around around change around creativity, innovation what, are the the habits that you have had to have as an, organization or, probably. Similar to the folks out yeah, well, I think the, to, me the guiding principles just change starts with you, and. So you're in a big company but it's still a very personal, act that's why I thought it was really important to be personal, and share personal stories but so I think for everyone, trying to confront change and. Really. Unleash. Their creative idiot starts with you knowing, what you were good at and getting out of your own way and I think that's the basic premise big, company small company, I one. Book I have always loved for, much of my career I guess and she put it out as Twyla Tharp's creative habit in crud I love that I think that's a great business book and she's a choreographer, I mean she ended up having a nice business life but really she's an artist yeah and what, I got out of that it was so inspiring to me it's just it's the discipline, of it yeah that without. Some discipline, creativity. Untethered. Is just chaos and, so, again, in a company, you think oh it's just all process.i, yeah we've been saying it like I can't breathe right. But yeah you need some of that discipline, to make sure stuff happens, so, I think there's there's probably a write, in those two things of like how do you get yourself going and, then how do you come up with some kind of practice, or discipline, around it I remember, leaving. Graduate. School to, become a photographer. And, there. Was you, know in graduate, school I was and I went to a particular graduate school it was very rigid about how you needed to write and what were they the, canons, in in philosophy, what you needed to draw, from and how you needed to be like and so immediately. I was like oh man go, be a photographer and I thought it was like no one's gonna keep me down him it like whatever schedule and I know creative, like and the, man yeah, and.
The. Reality is that that, didn't. Produce a lot of results I. Felt. Like, there. Was a time where it was you, know joyful, but that ended pretty quickly when I realized I didn't create results so. Talk. To me about you. Know discipline. But how does one what's. And rather than one how. Have you, put. The, discipline, that you just, mentioned was required, for, change for creativity, or innovation, how. Do you do, that in your own life both, in for, yourself and in, managing. Some of the biggest so, for the first part about changing, myself I I, had, to get on my own way I mean I I am, especially, earlier, on I was incredibly, reserved. Shy, introvert. And that, held me back and I'm, very very voice that I was a very creative person I grew up with parents that really encouraged me to be creative. And so, here I end up in these companies. I mean it was in media first which somewhat, creative. But. Yet I held myself back because, I was reserved I would be the one always sitting, back, you. Know I'm at the chip Bowl I'm never like in the never the line for the party and I, started just realizing, people were getting their ideas out there and I wasn't and I'd leave, there really well, first I'd come in timid and I'd leave pissed. Yeah because I was like I think I had a better idea than that or I thought that idea and they'd be like what you didn't say it so, doesn't, matter and, I'd see the people who were out there and participating. And, frankly. Realized I couldn't go, forward if I didn't do something so I just said a series of personal challenges, for myself you, show up and ask one. Question come, up though a crazy idea out in a meeting you know so just little small steps, to. Put myself out, there. That. Was kind, of what I had to do to get out of my own way and then I think for me I ended up in this huge company GE work, my way through media, to get there and what was ironic. I I don't think people believe me when I say this but I it's. So truth to me I worked, in this incredibly, creative industry, media I was at NBC, and I went to GE I get bread count on one hand the number of people who actually wanted, to leave NBC, to go to GE there weren't many, and. Yet. GE was such a creative, outlet for me and I. Said. I had not very many people know I got probably. Very few people because. At the positions, that I had I was able to connect, dots and see patterns and see things I was in a more horizontal position. And they just suited me yeah and I think it encouraged me to develop those skills that. Are I think, fundamental. And creativity where you're connecting, things it's not that you have to have the best idea it's.
That You have to see things maybe, earlier, in, a different way than other people do so those, would be two examples. I mean I I just I, felt. Really unleash, creatively. Now there was a lot of bureaucracy and process, and all that stuff I had to fight and I think that would be the other thing for me just this sort. Of something came out of me this not, only like you better get out there but I gotta fight for these ideas, and and, a bit of a rebellion. And somebody who grew up in a small town good girl kind of person this, rebellion, to say like no. We're gonna fight for this idea we're gonna keep going I call it no is not yet so you know just know. Okay knows an invitation, what do you mean no and. How many times and companies do, I in a companies I work for people get told no and they leave and you never hear from the idea again so, out of that kind, of environment, the, bureaucracy. And the process, just brought out a troubling me that I didn't know existed there's, some tenacity, yeah to aggress, yeah for a shy person right it's sort of it's that it's, tension, I want to unpack him a bunch of things that you said I also, want to take a small tangent. Which is I, love. The work of the artist Christo and act just randomly, had dinner seated, next to him not too long ago to what is it yes, is she he's, a character, at, a sushi restaurant in the Lower East Side and. What. The. Project, that he did in Central, Park I I. Heard, that his approach this is a room I didn't get this from his his mouth but it. Took, 23. Years, in the making well did. The I think was called bridges, or gate, saw the arm yeah yeah exactly gates, or bridges and, that. Managing. Through, the, bureaucracy he, looked at that as part of his crit process, why, does he if he didn't he would have gone mad, wouldn't, have got things accomplished, so it really dials into your like no isn't no it's not now or not yeah you can be Kafka, or you can be Christo maybe is would take us on that right either. K yes. The. The. Idea, that, you. Could. Manage. It could be tenacious, inside, of an organization I, don't think that's a widely, held belief yeah so, I want, to go back to something you said you. Know two paragraphs, or that which is like I set up a series of small challenges, for myself and, as, the shy person, who as you said would hang up by the chip Bowl. You. Glossed over a couple them but there are, thousands. Of people at home we're listening and watching now seem like I need. That so. Just. My. Dad dick you're just to say it now what are some of these things and you you you you you flew through a couple but lame. Out for it what does it actually mean, to break through in to try and get your ideas out there well the first thing is just to, just. Put them out there and realize their temp, their temporal, you, know we want idea today you have another one tomorrow five minutes later and if, you're like me you overthink, things and so you you, know you imagine you have to go with this beautiful little gem here chase I'm going to give you it's this well thank, you yes much and and, meanwhile, everybody's. Onto the next thing yeah so you over, I overthink, I overthink i overthink, and then like, I put too much emphasis on it so I had, to learn that the ideas are just, ephemeral, there there go then they're gone and then you move on to the next thing so don't overthink it okay to. Like do your homework don't just you know I actually. Don't like that advice where people say well just, show up and say anything so people know you were in the meeting well like any that's kind of dumb advice because, what if you say something really don't um. Just. Get your voice out there right um every. Time person. X talks it's very dumb. Nobody. Heard of the meeting anymore so, I think you have to do your homework obviously, you have to come in and say alright, this is the topic I have, ideas about X, and feel confident, about them and that I think leads to the third thing is know, your strengths so, if I walk into a meeting on gap accounting I doubt. I'm going to feel very confident, that I'm gonna give you a creative idea, creative, accounting is one of the fields that we don't want such a gap accountant, and I know I did, not do well in accounting, but um I, go.
In As marketer okay that's my strengths what, does the market say what are the insights, what are the trends when. You go with your base of strength it, gives you confidence and, the, gap accounting people can't argue with your you, know with your marketing your marketing because they're not in marketing although in marketing a lot of people think they are but um but, so those would be a couple of things and then just, put an idea out there and I often for. Myself I would find I do it in smaller groups I mean don't go to like the company's, board meeting and launch your first idea. Do. It with a smaller group maybe, just a group of folks you go to lunch with and say hey what do you think of this idea give, me some feedback, so. Those are just just just really, what I came to learn about change, and. Is this like a diet I think. It's just why, do we all buy keep buying diet books maybe I don't you everybody fit I don't know but many, of us keep buying diet books but we don't want to do the hard work yeah, and changing innovation, is the same thing so. You. Want to get an idea out there you. Got to practice it and you got to have a routine to do it so those would be a few, steps one, of the thank. You for that one, of the things that I loved in, the book is the. Attention, to storytelling, and, as. A marketer obviously. That that. Is a core, pillar of marketing, as you're telling stories because that's, the they need to be emotional. Connections, but. You. Know to what do you credit that, insight. Or how, have you employed. It and maybe. More. Prescriptively. Like what, do you see is is missing. From. Storytelling. And, contemporary. Sort of like. Magus pop culture marketing yeah oh well, I think you and I are united in story I mean I hate to me it's the glue that connects, everything and in, business we often think it's what you do at the end which. Really frustrates, me because story is what it is to be human it's it's, how we pass it's, it's our DNA right it's our cultural DNA whether you're a, generation. Of your family, generation, to generation, or company, and we. Just forget that and so I don't know just stories always resonated with me my mother was a schoolteacher, I remember, her reading stories. To. Me I remember my. First internship, I went I was a biology major in school and kind. Of late in that trajectory. I thought it was going to go to medical school but I realized what a wonder he was a science reporter, and Romero.
Is Boy remembers a great school but they wouldn't let me do this like double science English major, and. I was really frustrated but, I got an internship at the, local public radio station, and it. Just reminded, me like I'm I, have, to tell stories in some way I just it brought that out in me and I remember going to my hometown and doing, interviews. With, migrant. Apple, pickers in the apple, orchards near my house and, they were singing these beautiful. Songs, of, you know that sort of past the day away so, I just, I found, those moments, like I want to be part of this and for me I wanted to tell stories about science and. In the end I got to do that at GE, even, though I wasn't, a reporter and I wasn't very good in front of the camera eventually, I got I got to do that and so in some way I think stories just always been what's pushed. Me forward because. It's how you make a connection you know I know your story your photographer. You, studied, philosophy I, have a connection with you now rather, than just hey you're chase this you know this, you're. Famous I you know and, that what what is it about story, I Wyatt I think, we, know it's important, we, think it's soft we think we're not good at telling stories like I'm not good at telling jokes but I probably am better than I think but we think we're not good at it and. And. I think in today's world just everything moves so fast and, we. Think that you have to be able to tell a story in 140. Characters and. We're. Not Ernest Hemingway we don't. But. I think, that puts pressure on us well. That's for what it's worth that's one of the reasons that this show is what it is and you've. Done a lot of TV a lot of speaking, and you, know as, have I and you know that you can it, you're lucky if you have a four-minute segment that sounds like an eternity on television, it's rare yeah and to capture it's, more like 90 seconds or 120, to, capture, this little sound buddy thing I get it there's a culture that's moving fast but there's also you. Know the rise of sort of podcast for example I think that taps into something deeply. Human yeah and of, course it's nice to be able to pop in your ears and go about your day but I think, you right yeah the utility, is less it's less about the utility of being able to listen rather than watch and a lot more about the emotional connection that a story makes yeah and you. Know I'm gonna you. Called it. Rewriting. Your story. Yet in particular, so that's, a for, those of you who are not watching or listening I mean, that was, a section. Of the book called story craft, and. One. In particular a chapter called rewriting, her story talk. To me about that for you yeah so um well. I think part, of my journey through GE was just always trying to connect to this story we spent, a lot of time connecting, to the story of our past I, think we all need to know where we're coming from to make sense of the future so. For us it was reconnecting, with Thomas, Edison, and. In, that particular in. That particular case it was right after the financial crisis and. Sort. Of everything GE, had thought was the future you know capital, financial, services this big conglomerate, model which was falling, out of favor anyway but it was totally.
Just. Taken apart that's you know the capital business suddenly, was in peril, and seemingly, made no sense and there was a march to be more technical technically. Focused so. You had to tell a story about who are we where. Are we going why. Are we here, and, again back to that founding, and okay these these these, children, of we were edisonian. DNA, like, this invention machine, is in our DNA how, do we reinvent, ourselves again, for the future and so what we did is we just returned. To the stories of the people who work at GE we. Knew we wanted to get more into a making, future, making, great machines was already in works like when to do more of that so, we just returned to the stories of the actual people who make things and let. Them tell the story and my favorite, story of that is we went to the. Air that one of the factories that makes aircraft, engines, jet, engines and these. People were amazing, and, surely, flown on planes but they had never seen the engine they made take, off so, they didn't really have a direct connect I made this here's, the impact and it's moving 270. People so we took him to Boeing field and. They got to watch their engine, take, off like, they were falling. Crying, like. We. Could have told a nice story about these, people, who made it and you would have liked it but to see that like that, said everything, human-robot. Zac there's, unmediated, emotion. So, I think in those moments of change in, those moments of oh my gosh. Who. Are we yeah, what do we stand for I bet. It's in the human story and that's where you need to go unpack, before, you put together some fancy, business strategy, I'd start with your story. So. Cocaine. In that for a second you. Just talked really, eloquently, about. Rewriting. G's story after, a financial crisis we're gonna get back to the basics we're enabling people making things. How, could, you do me the favor of flipping, the script on yourself yeah. So you. Again. Top. 100, most powerful women, in business you. Know managing. Fortune, fortune 100 marketing. But. You. Know you, don't do either of those things, you're you've, captured one. Of the things I love about ebooks is that you. Know entire. Lifetimes, and all wisdom is captured, in books but. What are what's how. Are you thinking about your own personal, journey here and what story, are you writing. Or rewriting, yeah, that's such a good question I, am so, I left you at the end of last, year I. Knew. I was going to leave at some point in, the new year how many years first of all 27, years if I count the NBC and the GE I mean it's an eternity, and. I probably stayed too long which is a whole other discussion but, I was passionate about the work we were doing but. So I'm like hey I'm a about, change I call myself a change maker this is gonna be easy it's been a really challenging, year. Because. It is back to that who, am i.
What. Am i these are fundamental. Fundamental and, simple, things get reinforced. Another, friend said, you, know it's, like how, do i how. Do I introduce you anymore, well. I still have a name my name is Beth but, they don't have a title right so so again like on one hand you don't I don't care yeah on the other hand I do care cuz I worked for that and it's it was a way to shorthand. And you're, representing, a company and people you, you get, access suddenly. It's. Just me and, it's. Really really hard and what. Do I want to do and I I think, what I've sort of the narrative I've come comfortable. Within myself going if I go back to what we said earlier you know where did you come from where do you want to go what. Are you good at. And. How do you put those together. Storyteller. For sure but I think really the the. Word I keep being drawn to his beginner I just love learning yeah, I love starting over and so now I may have this opportunity to start over with some wisdom and I. Want to do something in a very different, way and I'm not sure and, if tried not to pressure myself but it's really, hard, I am. In the first few months. I. Love, this I. Had, this because. I was like I'm. If. My what. I share in the book a lot is me coming, up with money, finding social courage was a lot of what that stories about working, with others all that now I feel like my destiny. For me is finding creative courage, and so. I was like okay great so I took an art class oh, my, gosh it was I was so bad and I love art and I used to do when I was a kid but I was, just too uptight about, it I took an improv class I, took I've, just been I love, these fit, yet but I'm still out there trying different things but. Um but, you put these pressures, you know and so I'd still had these old patterns so I'd sit there in the morning and I'd, have my to-do, lists, but, I did creative flourishes, with it and they were beautiful to-do lists I have to say I was quite creative I got like my different color pens out and like today, is Tuesday. And, I spent, like half an hour on, Tuesday on Tuesday and I had each to do thing and beautiful colors and it was a work even head whilst and I bought for it Wow but then you realize like okay, you're pathetic, because. You still have a to-do list. You're. Still in a sort, of routine. And. Doing. Things the same old way and then I threw myself into the book and I'm, just like I used to be working, crazy like. Frenetic. And like. That's not what I wanted I mean I've been happy with the book but I that's. Not gonna cause not get my creative courage. Thing, so. So. I think I've learned that about myself I, am much clearer. Anyway. That could go let's, do it this is what people want to hear like you're again, one of the most recognizable. And successful, women in business. And I, think, people we all want to hear stories of reinvention, and that. It's hard for the people who are at the pinnacle of their career who taste not hard I wouldn't believe I mean maybe there's a rare person that they know exactly what they want to do and good for them. But, I also think you just have to kind, of stop and wallow in things yeah, and the ambiguity I'm pretend. Like I lie gamba guity and I'm generally good about that in business I'm actually really good at it in business for myself I, like, certainty, I like, structure my coffee I'm going to do this I want to stand for my to do exactly, so, so, I had to wake up to those realities, that. What. I say and who how I act, are very different things. So. I think you have to just and be, kind, with yourself, okay. That you don't have the answer or that, that you, like. I'm, an artist this, is my chance, I'm gonna do this in like the first thing I do looks horrible. And it's like a five-year-old, did it and you just want to cry and you want to just like throw your, crayon, from the paper and walk away and go oh my, god you, know I'm. Not an artist I'm an artist and the way I with all that but I like. You just you just don't pick it up and be. Brilliant yeah that doesn't happen yeah there's a work and then it's funny we were just talking about a mutual friend of our South code yeah he gave, a great quote for your book which, is this book as a rare grift and honest behind-the-scenes, look at the power success, and influence combined, with vulnerability and practical advice book. You can soon forget and, one. Of the things that he had just said I know you guys just missed each other I would have cried. Cross paths but. Talks, about if you haven't you. Know if you look at the work and you acknowledge that it's not good you're. Your role is singular, it's to keep making yeah and to. Me that is a that's a theme that you know for the hundreds of people who have found the show there's this sort. Of a relentless. Continuance. Of doing. The hard work you know I.
Have Had five websites this year trying to get ready for a book five and here I'm thinking I've been somebody who's done, digital, and media I'm, supposed, to be the expert five five. Websites, and like. It's, so frustrating, right, but that's what you have you what are you gonna do yeah, you're, gonna do, it yeah we're not gonna do it and so I've learned a lot but, it's. It's. It's, hard, work for, sure so. Thank. You for sharing that stuff I think that's that it's, super. Meaningful on the, tip of reinvention. But also on. Doing, the work on being uncomfortable, on being vulnerable those, are all essentially, if Rene Brown we're here coaching. Us she would say good job keep going and there's this sort of keep going aspect, of it, so. I want, to put a pin then I want to shift back to sort of a professional. Career and, and. To. Me you. I think it was, the. The innovation. Gap was an innovation imagination. Imagination gap. I'm. Giggling the word imagination yeah it's it clearly, imagined. It forward. Our. Tagline Ajit was imagination. At work I just I that, word is so powerful to. Me in business and, I just I I, feel, like I have to be a vessel for it in some way well, you, picked a great me and I think it's it's it suits you really well and you've done it in business and now that you're bringing it out to us in this form that's super digestible, because I think people, look at GE, and innovation, imagination like, wow I don't know yeah. I don't know that's, hard for me to grasp yeah and, that's why you. Embody it, is. The human so I want, to explore this idea of the gap I have. On the show talked about Ira Glass the, creative, gap and that, is the gap between, the. The, image, you saw the. Completed, image that you saw with your crayons before. You started drawing and, then the one that you, actually created. Presumably, there was a gap there you think I wanted I wanted to draw something beautiful yeah and the. The, way that you close that gap is repetition, yeah and so. You know by extension or through that lens what. Is the, imagination, gap and. Is. The, goal to close it isn't goal to create it is that explain. Your, philosophy yeah well I just I feel like I learned this across multiple industries working. In the company and the businesses I did, it's. Just I think over, time our, businesses, have become mechanistic. Almost, machine minded, it's all about the formula, it's, all about the math and look that's important, I'm not I'm not arguing to get rid of that but we have given up on imagination, and to the imagination, I'm refining, the the definition, for the sake of this to. Be kind of those leaps of faith and, creates. The. Ability to think ahead about, unintended. Consequences. Both good and bad. The. Ability, to wallow, in ambiguity. And be okay not knowing the answer and, I I really, worry in Businessweek especially. The bigger company, gets ya when it goes public there's, that pressure of just. Repeatable. Precision. Certainty. All, of our models for businesses, future are based on the past and, so we're not ready for these disruptions, I mean remember in, 2000. Right after 9/11, and, Black. Swan as a concept, came out the, book came out and the, concept you know these hundred, year thousands. Have. We seen since then like, every day yeah and yet. We're still believing, in business we are in a risk-free environment. Where, our job is to mitigate. And, rid us of risk. Imagination. And that kind of practice, in business says you're ready for it yeah you you figure, out how do you make it work because you're not gonna get rid of it and I just I'm actually worried, I'm really worried I share a story in the book about I was invited. To speak at the CIA I loved, I wasn't damn sure wasn't you approached it like why she. Loved. That I love that um but. But, I I was really important, they may help me make my point because you recall after 9/11. The 9/11, Commission said the CIA had suffered a failure of imagination, because. They couldn't imagine that. Some, of the forces that were happening with. Terrorism, you, know it was a more distributed, terrorism. World and they were gone in their old models, of doing it well business is exactly the same and so. How, do we how do we get. More of that in it it's education. I mean it's what you're doing with creativeLIVE right I mean the, reality is I worry a little bit I'm glad everybody's, learning to code I think that's important, but where are the critical thinking skills yeah, the judgment, the ability to think expansively. To, be okay not knowing, the answer yeah. We're not certainly, training people in work to do that and I don't think we're training people in secondary. And college, education. To do that either yeah the steam. Or system and yeah I think that's really may be prudent time to inject so Jack Ma.
Obviously. What Alibaba. Yeah whatever Multi multi, billionaire, one of the richest people, on the planet, he. Was asked at the World Economic Forum, like about, education, and, I'm. Paraphrasing, radically. Paraphrasing, but is like look at you people understand it like the coding, ship, has, sailed the, machines are gonna be writing code for the machines and right now we are gonna yeah right now we already have a robot. With two arms and when the right arm learned something, it writes code on the fly for the left hand yeah, and so. What. My kids are learning is about. Creativity. Yeah it's about painting, what do you do I'm really fat my kids, are grown hopefully I did something somewhat a decent job and I but what do you what are you exposing them to what are you what, are you teaching them so I think, that the the wait I don't have kids myself but, at. CreativeLIVE I think we largely serve people who have already identified as. Creator. But as I said at the early part of the show there's a whole subset, of people who are we're trying to inspire. Them what we realize is that you. Have to be inspired, before. Learning, and or we can sub sort, of curiosity. Yeah in there and so if people like oh I don't know what it feels like to be inspired, like, okay what are you curious about Oh, curious. About and like. Don't make this a big thing like when, you see a thread that makes you want to pull out was that thread look like and then as soon as you pull do, you feel more excited or less excited, yeah and and, so there's this inspiration. Piece ain't you know in large part we. Find, that people consume we had, billions and billions of minutes if we're using creative life as an example billions. And billions of minutes of of, Education. Consumed on the platform, and there's. A lot of it that's exploratory. Like. And you know I want to go here to this this concept. You have in the book about discovery, yeah it's, very similar it's like you have to actually play. Think. About your the doodles that you did you, know like I'm making your to-do list and you know you're it's beautiful. Yeah we can discredit them for their functionality. But you can say, that they're beautiful but. A way, in which they were useful. Which, is both different than, sort of you, know the other two useful, is that. It was play yeah yeah, and that, is like such. A word. You don't hear at work for sure right right yeah, and so. That's, the way that I, think what we're experimenting with is there are people who come to platform and identify with the thing I want to give them all that but, we also show them just enough of other things yeah they can play, and move laterally for.
Me I have, to in order to have breakthroughs I have to go through this process of. Being. Sort of bored, or frustrated and. Say. Bored it's mostly like okay. I'm just doing this thing why am i doing it I need its awareness really and then I just say oh now. It's my job to play and immediately. When I use those words I do I use play yeah and, this. Is after a, book. That a friend of mine wrote named Charlie hone and it's, called play it away and it has a lot to do with anxiety, and if you actually tap into some of these things that when, you were a kid there. It's, just this big unlock and you don't have to know everything we have to know is what to do now, and then now, and then how about now yeah and if you're if you're oriented. Toward play and experimentation, that's, why you know when you talk about the imagination, gap what. You're doing is that's a muscle yeah. Creativity, is is, a habit. Not a skill yeah and, so what can you do to put yourself like think of the other muscles that you want to build you put those under duress small, dress, not like you're not going, out on the Olympic stage, what's, so small ways that you can do that and so I would argue that your your doodle, is. Valuable. It's. A great way to think about it I used to think when. We had a GE when we G, was really big on leadership development and, training horse spent, at the time I was zero up to a billion dollars training, people across the company was a huge commitment yeah and, it was really some great programs but back, to this I always thought like maybe. We should be shaking it up a little bit too I know it would happen if we just took a group of people instead. Of in a traditional. Class and like took him to I don't know, pick any city in the country Akron. Why, not and say. We're gonna take we're, gonna take your wallet Akron, we're coming for you and we're just gonna come him you have to figure out how you're gonna get back right, we're not gonna we're not book anything for you I mean maybe have to give me their phone or something isn't that if you could be really cool you could take their phone away too and just see could they figure their way out of it like to, me those are the kind of friends that is it naked and afraid. Yeah, I was excited I was thinking of it work that would've been really. Yeah. Awkward but good I do think those are the that is what. You're trying to fill with the imagination, gap is that it fill that gap is the figure it out miss because you 80, I love that we put inspiration, and curiosity, so you're trying to put people in a situation to. Inspire themselves yeah. That they can figure it out for sure right nothing's to tell them for sure you have that's like there's this ultimate, sort, of turning of the finger it's like instead, of like entertain, me yeah, it's lucky. Let. Me Entertain yeah my, kids used to say oh but I'm bored, it. Was like that was like the worst thing they could say I'm bored, like. It's exactly that I'm bored. And I think that happens at work to what you you know like we have that feeling, and when, people go I'm bored I think they have a choice to be cynical or, to, take action give, themselves permission to just do or to be cynical I talked about this group that I worked once, they called, their group the table of lost dreams and they, clearly had taken that path of, bored that's, a cynical yeah, and there.
Was It was a black hole yeah, that's right an a20 they were really funny I have to give him credit they they made you laugh with their cynicism, but. Who, wants to work with people like that yeah, I don't, have that appetite, I can't tolerate a lot of things as a leader like cynicism, I'm like, what. I need to go, explore, this and, figure out if you think about critical, thinking because, I again. If that's in short supply in the imagination, gap where to me it's judgment right we'll just make. A decision based, on your best knowledge and. People. Get frozen, and. They're unable to make those. Judgment. Calls and they wait for people to tell them what to do I always. Marvel. At, larger. Institutions, and what creative lab we built this thing an, enterprise product then it's been ramping. Up really quickly is very successful, by, you. Know category, defining, brands the ones that you you think about and, what, we find is that they're investing, in the whole human hmm, so you, know sort of training, or learning inside. Of an institution, or a, bigger company used to be like how can we give you this widget so that you can do your how can we teach you pivot tables so you can be better at your you. Know project. Management job, yeah but that's who does that who does that sir yeah that really serves the organization, yeah exactly, and what. We've experienced. Especially with around creativity and innovation which you, know accidentally. We built the best catalog, in the world for that it's like no, no we, want you to take pictures your kids we, want you to experiment, and things that you're gonna do on the weekend are gonna energize you, and you're gonna you, know neuroplasticity. Is not a joke, it's like you're literally retraining. Your brain to use new pathways, and the. The surgeon, that you, know is also a musician is more likely a better surgeon yeah and, and so I think, as we, thought, about how to empower organizations and, going. Back to your imagination.
Yeah I think there's some solutions, there, but. Let's shift if we can to, the. Way that you thought about discovery. Because obviously there's a lot there's it's tangential, or we're talking about so talk, to me about the. It's a beautiful chapter in the book on discovery, why, is it in the book what do you mean by it and, how. Did it manifest, in your world yeah to, me it, is the. Most. Passionately about it. Is I can't the. Just. A critical step in being. Ready for change and thinking about the future imagining, at Ford you have to get out in the world you have to just get out and discover. You can't just have people tell you what's going on in the world you have to go see for yourself I mean it's just that simple go see for yourself what, happens when you pick your head up and, it's counter, to everything we're, teaching. And studying in work it's all about focus and productivity, and efficiency and, I don't have time for that as usually what people say I don't have time for that, I see, how do you not have time for that yeah and, so discovery, is just getting, out going. And just being, good, at getting, good at pattern recognition which. Then helps you build confidence about, trends, that are unfolding it's that simple it's not scientific, I have, mechanism. I use called going on Three's its. First. Time I see it I go huh interesting out in the world I spot something that's interesting. Second. Time why I'm seeing this in two different contexts, huh. Instead, a coincidence, third time there's. Something going on here I just declare it's a trend and I got to figure out what what it means I shared in the book. Sort. Of the early maker movement and how I mean, people making forever sound like a. Painting. Where. The craft their return to craftsmanship, that we're seeing and we, just wouldn't looked at that as the impact it could have on GE is a manufacturing. Company and, now. You could, say, oh that's cute, you know he wouldn't went to makerspace, brief how does this place and in, Brooklyn, you guys know wasn't that cute like they're making these things then you go oh wait a minute that's cute but they're making, solar. Panels, and water purification and. People. Are gonna be living off the grid making, these things that's, vertical farming exactly, that potentially, could disrupt, us yeah, how, do we and. They're doing it faster cheaper potentially. Better how do we understand. That so, I think part of your challenge and discovery, is not just to be the person, in the company who's like the cool kid who's always like I got the trendiest thing let me tell you it's how, might, this trend impact, us and, so you have to pay attention to everything but, you do have to sort of do that translation function, a bit do you have an example, of something that you've recently seen in threes besides the maker movement a great example is it wait, a minute maker. Maker movement maker bot maker, it's. Like a it's. It's, become, a pop-culture, term, even, though making, is better huh yes you said Stone. Age yeah I mean I think I, think it's interesting a couple, of things I'm sort, of trend watching on I think, people. Are seeking out more analog experiences. Yeah. Were. Inundated, with digital, and I believe, and, I'm singing enough trends. Now that people are gonna pay a premium to. Create have. Experiences, created for them that people take away their phone take away create something else I'm. Already seeing that in some, cases, so, I mean really intrigued by that today. At Apple is a great example super, brave bringing. People together to create in in in, store as an apple yeah, volunteer. That but it was that right yes that's, part of it but I think this, the, concept, of analog, keep going on this because I think it's power so that I'm not, sure where it goes but it's, on my radar, since. I'm no, longer employed, I am and I'm in the world of people who have side hustles. And. Different. Definitions. Of themselves, I'm, really just, for myself and others seeing this this growing, trend of professional, fluidity and we. All want we don't just want one title we don't want just one job that we're doing and our company's gonna be good at that probably. Not on the path or on so does that mean we're all gonna leave companies, right. Now I on the five websites I've built I'm I'm, getting great talent, it's not the people who were bad it was me but I'm able to access amazing.
Talent, Of people who are frustrated in their day job or, they're not able to express themselves in the way they want to and so, I think that's a, growing trend that maybe he's already existed, and I'm just catching up with it but, I think for established, companies it's definitely, and probably people who are part of the creative live community, that's, why they're here is they they want to hone those skills they, want to they consider themselves, a - yeah you said it it used to be like oh wait you can't you can't save that many things about who you are and now, it's like oh you're. A youtuber, you're, a career you're an entrepreneur, you're bam bam bam bam and, to. Me that's not only is that not going, away it's it's. Mainstream. And there's some great data like I remember. By. 2020. Half of the American, working, population. Is. Gonna have a site house now, that's not 2030. Or, 2050 yes that's a year and a half from that amazing yeah and what's it how many half, half. And I don't know the work I think it's like 80 million yeah or something so it may be the economy, but I'm sure I think because you can access. To the opportunities. With digital tools is so much better I think people were inspired by people doing, it I mean you've got David Solomon running goldman sachs as a DJ right, so we've now got mainstream. Examples, of people defining, them -, right and also, you mentioned the workplace you, know how. Can you do do all these things I also look at education, like there's. Institutions. That are you. Know made of marble on hills covered in ivy, where. Physical, real estate is really important and I get the analog, component. Of that there. Also when you go to school and you learn something you come out with a thing then it's for years like the, reality is is that can't possibly, keep pace with the rate of change and, sort. Of release rescaling, and learning so that's, the writing on the wall I think we're about to see. 50. % of the u.s. colleges, will be out of business in the next day remember. In colleges, and what the mininum still do it you had this sort of general studies or, kind of I don't know what they call in these days but it was kind of like you don't know what to go figure it out and it was kind of looked down on like sure we should be having more of those if I could go back and have that even, just science, and writing together. Like I might, have had a much different career path had, that been unlocked in me so. I'm. Gonna use that to latch, onto this term that you do a lot of talking about in the book which, is fear and it's. I think, usually the way you say it is it's not about ideas, because. There's lots of ideas, it's.
About Fear so. Whether, it's you going back to school or someone who's watching and listening deciding. To. You. Know take on their next challenge or write, a book or, draw. A to-do list. What. Role I, think. Let's let's talk about it in two ways one a huskier, manifest, itself there's a lot of people who are again. Who are full-time. Employees are watching listening there I want to be inspired to go work or or take that into their own world so let's. Talk about how fear Menace manifests, itself in an organization, and. What. You can do about it and then. We'll talk about fear in the individual after that but for, now how, does fear manifest, itself in organization, and what. Can those organizations, do about it you're a leader and you've. You've managed, through this so help these people I wish I had learned, this earlier in my career because I to me one of the secrets of just life but certainly business, that most, people are actually really afraid yeah, and so they they act badly, because they're afraid they're, afraid of losing face they're afraid of losing power they're afraid of losing a, job. They're afraid they're just everybody comes to work with some fear, of some, something, being, a fraud I know the answer and. It just gets manifest, at work because it's, theater we just sit here and pretend like we're. Supposed to be so good and I have this expertise, and I know the answer I mean how many I can, I've lost count of how many times they sat in meetings with people just act, like they know what they're talking about and, then you realize later like they, have no clue what they're talking about they are just good actors, and all that time I felt intimidated yeah. That they were such, geniuses no there are also geniuses, but um so, I think that would be I think in companies, we don't talk enough about fear, because. It's fearless, it's the bravado, of business, we know all the answers and so we're just we're, just kidding ourselves, so, I don't I mean I think it'd be hard to bring your team and anyone who's what you know okay tomorrow we're gonna come in and like tell me your fears just walls and do, all that I it's. Probably bit unrealistic, so I think as a team leader you, can be aware of that I. Talked about a few things in the book I mean just simple things but like name your fear give. It a crazy name like let's, all just be honest right like we're, afraid of the competition right. We're. Nike we're afraid of adidas right let's just say that let's call it something goofy let's call them the you know the I don't think we're with a creative name to make it seem, less fearful but. Just call it what it is, get, to know the people your, colleagues, who you were afraid of I see, so many things that I did in my career where I was just afraid of the other person, I was, afraid to tell my idea was afraid how they were gonna react I was afraid that they knew more than I did and, what, I didn't do is get to know them as a person they, said an advisor who would see me just take him out to coffee I can't, stand - what do you have to take him to coffee anything like meeting with him now I have to go have coffee with them and I never did those things. All right took me a while to do them so, sometimes it's just stopping, and getting to know each other as people not, as well, that sales, well I'm marketing and now, you're tom yes exactly right, you, are there you go again you engineers, you always, do that and so it just instills, those fears, of, and.
So I just again, it's it's kind of basic what you had said earlier kind of bringing that everything's, bad it's, basic I think we're talking this is blocking, and desist simple is like that's, one of the things that I realized and having the, good fortune of so you know a lot of smart people like yourself is that there are very simple patterns and by. And large the solutions. Are not. You. Know about how to land on the moon I hear it's about, literally. About taking your colleague out to coffee to, connect. With them as a human and try and transcend the problem and I think when you have that, that. Anxiety, or. Just. See yourself I'm afraid like, it's okay I what, if I been here before yeah. I love that as a technique when have I been here before, and it. Either, turned out or didn't what what, remember like it turned out okay or it didn't but you didn't do that this time yeah so it's a little bit of a pep talk you give to yourself I. I. I still. Have this feeling where that you've, taken a risk on something you're, so afraid like you can't sleep you get up early the next day you. Just become a mess right, I mean that happens, I up, until the last day I worked I probably had those moments it's not like you suddenly get more senior, or you have all this expertise, and you don't have fear in, some ways your fear gets bigger yeah right because it's, a bigger stage and more that you can so. I think that's the other thing is just that is a part of the experience, and it's not like suddenly I'm, this new job I don't, fear it I'm a fear free yeah no said no one ever a bigger paycheck a bigger, title more, people on your team does. Not take away your fear if anything it exacerbates, it. So. That's. I think I'm super. Helpful from a business context. Let's. Go out. To the individual, and, because. Individuals. Are what make up businesses yeah and also. You, know individuals, are the people whose were in their ears right now so. So I'm and the more you can give about your own experience. Like the, better so talk to me about a time where, specifically. You were afraid. And what. Did you do about it where you actually were successful, and then, maybe, a one. Where you were, not successful yeah. Well. There's, so many successful. You, do it you do a great job no. I'm sharing in a book honestly it's like oh I, mean, there was a there was a fun one that I had in the book of just. I I worked, at CNN Turner Broadcasting and. I worked, for Ted Turner and he didn't know my name and I'd given him no reason to know my name I was the PR person and, but, I I showed, up and did a good job but he didn't know my name and I was afraid to tell my name it's just so stupid but, it, was a real fear at the time and, I just I, was like this time I'm gonna do it I want to walk up I'm gonna introduce myself and, you, read the book you'll see it I picked, the worst time possible I. Think to really an opportune, moment to. Do, it and he was coming out of the men's room sipping. His fly and wet. Hands, and I'm like hi Ted I'm Beth and he's like okay. Hi whatever, and you, know like now I can laugh about it but at the time like so like, you, do this thing so, quickly. Right like there's like I probably just went home and just oh yeah. You. Idiot. Right like you bozo. I live. To tell about it but, you have to laugh at them yeah you, have to laugh and we all have those they're so dumb the only matter to it maybe as an introvert they matter more I don't know and then there were there, I shared a story of a big company we had invested in and partnered. With and quirky a great, founder, who I really loved working with in Ben Kaufman and it, was this model of connected, devices and, we were just early and. I. Just. Had a lot of fear of what if this doesn't work and it was almost like by will were together we're gonna make this work because. His company went bankrupt and, everything, we tried to do didn't, work and I've. Also started to think that sometimes I don't want to say like you the.
Fear Becomes, real like you will the fear to have them but, there is a bit of that where you're. So fearful, and, you try everything you can like, there comes a moment you just have to say I've done everything I can't I got to walk away and, so, that's another way, of thinking about fear, in your cell yeah is, that's. Why I stayed at my job probably longer than I should have, I was, afraid of betting, on myself and, so, I think that's another like sometimes fear, keeps, you from giving. Up quitting, sometimes you just do need to quit yeah say, this. Is I've done all I can do and it's fear of failure, fear of looking like a fool fear that I didn't try hard enough, yeah and so, that's, also what I've had to figure out for myself I, share in the book of or. Story. That I anomie and I believe endorsements. But you. Know it was very tough, and hard especially traumatic for my older daughter and, and yet, I felt like I had to do, that to, live, the story I wanted, to and I had to face those fears of, what people see you this way and people. Expect, you to be this kind of person and I was choosing a different path those were huge fears, huge yeah and there were every reason to not do. Something about that I'll keep going on that then yeah I need every, reason I had my, husband and I then had a young baby daughter, I. Was. You know he, was a lovely man, you know my. Parents were very happy that I was married I had, a very nice future, in this path there, were a lot of reasons, why the. Fear of you but this isn't right for me he gets muted, and. You. Listen to everybody else and you're afraid to take the step so those. Would be I think though that was the biggest one for me in my personal life um. And. But. Then once you make that decision you just you like I got to make it work there. Are pieces of it that aren't going to work and I have to give up some of that anxiety. And. Almost, kind of give up some of the control you don't you don't control that change often you just have to do your best to make it work I like to think that the universe is happening, for us not to us, yeah, and. Also, reference to Scott Belsky is new book the, messy middle yeah it is, really good yeah and none of this is like. It's. This way for everybody there is no you, know there's I think there, is if this is its. This, is called life yeah, and I don't know. Very many, divorces, that are just obvious and everybody loves it and that's not it's not conscious. Uncoupling wasn't. A thing, when I was in that stage. So. Well, if we're, gonna to. Depart. From fear for a second and let's shift to sort. Of radical.
Successful. Innovation. And. You. Get, to work closely with Nike yeah, the, board there I believe yep and. Incredible. Role to be you, know a great company front row see yeah at one of the most successful, and. Thought. Leader driven. Companies. Of all time. What. Is it like and what are the what. Are the. Characteristics. That you, see. There. That. You don't see in other companies like what. Let's talk about you as a professional, business person, you're sort of pattern recognition and. My. Hope is that people at home gonna like take what's happening at Nike and literally. Apply to their own design. Business or interior decorating or whatever and I understand. That one is an enterprise but I'm, looking for the commonalities. I feel, like what I want, to spend just such a great experience I've been on the board for eight years it's. A great company I mean they're. Incredibly focused, mark. Parker the CEO came, up through design. He's. Incredibly, focused like the word he used a lot of surgical so they. They they, spend time discovering what's next but they're also really focused on what they choose to do he. Has a phrase added. To amplify so he's just really good as a design, to thinker to sort of take out the stuff that's just noise. Their. Surgical, on the most important lesson I've learned from them is they. Know who their customers, it's an athlete and, everything. They do is making the athlete perform better and I love it's like that if you read shoe dog which I highly recommend actually, one of the best books of all time from, Phil Knight the fount one of the co-founders, and Bill. Bower and his co-founder had, this just great phrase of you, know it, you know basically, your if you have a body you're an athlete there it. Is, you know to serve the athlete asterisk, and hey by the way if you have a body or an athlete and so. That clarity, of mission, it's. A little bit of a wink yeah, right but that clarity, mission we're gonna help athletes perform. Better it's. Ever it permeates. Everything they do so it's not just written on the wall sides and that's what good strategy, is and I think companies lose sight of that so. If you have a one-person, shop or a two, hundred thousand person shop keep, going back to what, am I in this for who's. My customer, that. Peter Drucker quote from the 50s without a business without a customer, there is no business never, goes, out of style, so I think Nikes really good at that I think the fact that Phil, Knight I mean he's no longer chairman, of the board. But still, that founder, ethos of, it there's, somebody around back, to what we're saying earlier the history and. He. Still cares just immensely. And so there's somebody who that. History, has, a reason to go forward, it still looms large there and so I think that's another message for any company is you. Know you, all started, somewhere don't lose sight of that ethos. All. Right others, we talked to specific about Nike but clearly you've seen other, companies. That are wildly. Successful at, innovating, there are times a GE where you felt like you really broke, out. Trends. In the, the style of thinking or leadership, core values any of those things that you could I'm, sure in, terms of just companies, would, get innovation, stories yeah yeah well and, less about the stories of innovation. Just the characteristics. Yeah of what makes a good cup of what makes them be, able to innovate and to be able to like, I took plenty, from Nike but I also want to explore, if there are some others yeah well I'd say what I learned from GE is just um you, know never forget, to make it personal right no matter how big a company is it's about the people the, people who you serve the people who who, work there and. So I think a lot of the work was to reinvest, and remind. Yourselves, about the people, but that you build a brand it starts with your employees it's, not going.
Advertising, Like your employees have to take that message out, I've. Had the opportunity to be on the board as a trustee, of National, Geographic and, I love. Their storytelling right, they're just fearless. Yeah, storytellers. They, they are really they're about the human experience right, it's not the, globe as much as it is what's the huge shared human experience no, matter where you are in the world you want to talk about global, warming let's, let's go talk to an Inuit family exactly, and they're not about like science, says X Y Z it's like what is this particular, you. Know native anyways, person's. Experience, yeah document, that four months and you go and you I've met some of their explorers, who I just I. Love, these people for. A number of reasons because, just one that's cool and an explorer right that's special that's our gets on he's like that yeah these people are like they, teach scuba, diving, to go be, cave divers, right Pete I don't think people because they don't get paid a lot yeah to go do, the crazy things that they do but they're just they're, they're just they want to do, better they want to do better in the world and they want to find something new, so, I think again, back to what your mission why are you here I think those are the most the best stories, I've seen in organizations. Big, or small I'm. Gonna pull a couple of quotes okay from, the book and a like II respond to. Discoveries. About engaging the world as a classroom to. Extract, ideas, that. Will create the future. Discoveries. About engaging the world as a classroom to. Extract the ideas that will create the future and, I think I'm just trying, to probably echoing what you were saying earlier just, this