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#7—Josh Linkner: Big Little Breakthroughs

#7—Josh Linkner: Big Little Breakthroughs

Innovations aren't born overnight, and we already know that. What many overlook is the idea that you don't have to have big changes in order to be innovative; some of the best out there were born out of a succession of small steps toward it. In this episode Kaihan welcomes Josh Linkner, a Creative Troublemaker passionately a believer that all human beings have incredible creative capacity, and he’s on a mission to unlock inventive thinking and creative problem solving to help leaders, individuals, and communities soar.

Josh has been the founder and CEO of five tech companies, which sold for a combined value of over $200 million and is the author of four books including the New York Times Bestsellers, Disciplined Dreaming and The Road to Reinvention. He has invested in and/or mentored over 100 startups and is the Founding Partner of Detroit Venture Partners.

Today, Josh serves as Chairman and co-founder of Platypus Labs, an innovation research, training, and consulting firm. He has twice been named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and is the recipient of the United States Presidential Champion of Change Award.

In this episode he breaks down why we should focus on “little” innovation breakthroughs rather than big ones and some practical steps to unlock innovation in your employees.


"I think as leaders, because I know we have a lot of leaders listening, it's critical for us to create the conditions that foster creativity. If you think about like a greenhouse what is the optimal conditions for plants to grow. We as leaders probably need to be thinking about creating a greenhouse to nurture and grow the creative capacity of our team."

We're often told that innovation only counts if it's a billion-dollar idea, where only certain rules can be innovative, like unless you're wearing a lab coat or a hoodie, forget about it. This is the opposite. It's sort of like innovation for the rest of us. And it encourages people not to take giant, highly-risky moonshot swings, but rather to cultivate high-velocity, high-volume of small micro-innovations, daily acts of creativity."

-Josh Linkner


Episode Timeline:

00:00—Introducing Josh Linkner + The topic of today’s episode

1:34—If you really knew me, you know that...

2:43—What is your definition of strategy?

3:52—What got you interested in strategy?

4:28—What would you say you're most known for?

5:30—The founding the unicorn company StockX

6:10—"Big Little Breakthroughs" explained

7:53—Examples of little innovations that have had a big impact

11:18—What's something that you believed in that you've changed your mind on?

12:38—Can you give us some practical tips or ideas on what we can do to empower greater employee-led innovation?

14:08—What is one takeaways from this discussion?


Resources Mentioned:

Big Little Breakthroughs - Josh Linkner - Download an assessment tool

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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.