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#10—John Hagel: Why You Should "Zoom Out, Zoom In," and Scale From the Edge

#10—John Hagel: Why You Should "Zoom Out, Zoom In," and Scale From the Edge

John Hagel has had a prosperous 40-year career in the Silicon Valley world. Through it, he's learned firsthand how quickly things can change, and how easy it is for companies to fall behind when they lose sight of this.

John has experience as a management consultant, author, speaker, and entrepreneur. As a partner from McKinsey & Company, he helped open up their Silicon Valley office and launched two new practices as a partner at Deloitte and established the Center for the Edge after recently retiring. He recently published his new book The Journey Beyond Fear that addresses the psychology of change, which will be accompanied by a series of programs to help people navigate through change and many levels. John is also a faculty member at Singularity University, where he speaks on the mounting performance pressure created by digital technology and promising approaches to help traditional companies make the transition from a linear to an exponential world.

John has several bestselling books under his name, including, Net Gain, Net Worth, Out of The Box, and The Only Sustainable Edge and is widely published in major business publications, including The Economist, Fortune, Forbes, Financial Times, and Wall Street Journal among many others. He has won two awards from Harvard Business Review for best article and has been recognized as an industry thought leader by a variety of publications and institutions, including the World Economic Forum and Businessweek.

In this episode, John shares two of his most important concepts, "zoom out, zoom in," and "scaling from the edge." Each will transform the mental model by which you think about strategy. He argues that we are indeed facing a big shift in business. He'll also unpack insights from his latest book, The journey Beyond Fear, which in the words of Dan Pink shows "how to move past fear to improve performance and deepen meeting."


"If you zoom out 10 to 20 years—and you understand exponential change—and you think you're going to be the same business that you are today, go back to the table. You haven't figured out what makes leaders out of their comfort zone."

-John Hagel


Episode Timeline:

00:00—Introducing John Hagel + The topic of today’s episode

2:33—If you really know me, you know that...

3:20—What is your definition of strategy?

4:23—What got you interested in strategy?

5:08—What are your big strategic ideas that people have adopted?

5:36—"Zoom out, Zoom in" explained

8:45—More on "Scaling from the Edge"

10:55—What are you seeing now that is changing the way organizations need to strategize or lead or function?

12:25—How fear drives people

15:17—The "Passion of the Explorer" concept

17:20—What has been the most impactful piece of advice you've received?

18:45—What are you working on now?


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The Outthinkers podcast is a growth strategy podcast hosted by Kaihan Krippendorff. Each week, Kaihan talks with forward-looking strategists and innovators that are challenging the status quo, leading the future of business, and shaping our world.