9 Essential Podcasts for Corporate Leaders & Innovators

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Busy corporate leaders, thinkers and innovators often turn to podcasts as a source of inspiration and knowledge. We’ve picked these 9 sources that feature stories, interviews and use cases of the world’s largest companies, industry-leading tech innovators and corporate leaders. Highlighting best practices and strategies, these podcasts are a go-to source for insights that would unveil best business transformation and people transformation stories.


NINE GO-TO PODCASTS FOR CORPORATE THINKERS WHO SEEK FOR CHANGE AND GROWTH

 
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#1 The Innovation Engine

Bi-weekly podcast featuring interviews with best-selling authors and innovation experts from around the world. The main focus of these podcasts is to dive deeper into the world of corporate innovation through the lenses of leadership, company culture, emerging trends and technologies.

#2 Innovation & Leadership

This podcast series has over 1 million downloads. Featuring interviews with uncommonly high achievers from CEOs and NY Times bestselling authors to pro athletes and venture capitalists. Its masterclasses help on practicing skills pioneered by FBI hostage negotiators, Harvard professors, and some of the worlds most successful companies.

#3 Lean Startup podcast

When speaking of innovation, you ultimately stumble upon lean thinking. As a methodology and a mindset, lead startup encourages innovation in iterative, agile and experimental mode. These podcasts consist of interviews with leaders and innovators in the Lean thinking world, use cases on "how lean is done elsewhere", best practices on integrating lean into large organizations and many more lead-related "dive-ins".

#4 HBR Ideacast

The popular Harvard Business Review articles turned into short information podcasts featuring the leading thinkers in business and management. Covering everything from digital leadership, gaps in equality to founders' stories and corporate innovation.

#5 The Growth Show

“It’s never been easier to start a business, but it’s never been harder to succeed”. Podcast by HubSpot, it explores the inspiring stories behind how people grow a business, an idea, or a movement. It is a deep dive into trends, turning points, and wins into a sustainable business growth.

#6 The Innovation Show

Exposing stories from industry leaders, authors, renowned professors, inventors, innovators and change-makers to inspire, educate and inform. These podcasts celebrate change and satisfy human need to learn in a vastly transforming world.

#7 The McKinsey Podcast

McKinsey is running conversations with experts on the issues that matter most in business and management. Featuring inspiring stories on topics of business, leadership, transformation, organizational culture, innovation strategies, market insights and many more topics relevant for the leaders of today.

#8 Startup Meet Corporate

This original podcast by Startup Daily is looking at the way corporates and startups across Australia and New Zealand work with each other and approach innovation. The podcast features stories and use cases from large companies across various industries and verticals.

#9 Outside In

This podcast takes a look at the strategies, best practices, tools and philosophies of the world’s most customer-centric brands. Featuring interviews with executives, journalists, authors, and thinkers. Great source of knowledge and inspiration for the consumer trends, industry disruptions, and cultural forces that are influencing business from the outside.


6 Stages of Digital Transformation

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Ever heard of “Digital Darwinism”? - It’s us living, working and building companies in the era when technology and its impact on business and society are constant with inevitable degrees of evolution. Digital Darwinism ultimately created an environment, where businesses must “adapt or die”. To conclude - ignoring change is no longer an option for any organization across the world. To thrive in these times, many companies are investing in digital transformation, which, firstly, should begin with a radical shift in perspective.

63% of executives revealed that the pace of technology change in their organization was too slow. And the most frequently cited obstacle to digital transformation is a lack of urgency.
— MIT/Sloan Research

Digital transformation strategy of any organization must align with market changes. Companies should exploit new technology that serves as an enabler to compete at scale in the new (and rapidly changing) world. To guide organizations through the stages of digital transformation, a series of patterns, components, and processes have been identified and analyzed. That, in turn, led to the creation of these 6 distinctive levels of digital transformation maturity:

  • Business As Usual

  • Test & Learn    

  • Systemize & Strategize

  • Adapt Or Die

  • Transformed & Transforming

  • Innovate Or Die

Digital Transformation

What stage is your company at?


STAGE #1 | BUSINESS AS USUAL

“We’re profitable today! Why should we change?” is a common definition for this stage of digital transformation maturity. Processes and tools are scattered and decentralized across many departments within a company. If your organization is at the “Business As Usual” stage, there will be evident signs, like (1) lack of urgency, (2) outdated technology-first roadmaps and processes, (3) lack of understanding or infrastructure around digital, (4) technology is not viewed as a mechanism for optimization, scale, and efficiency in operations, (5) lack of “one” customer view across the organization, (6) marketing is still campaign-based across multiple social, digital, and traditional channels with little or no collaboration across different disciplines, (7) data exists in separate caches for every channel… And the list goes on.

STAGE #2 | TEST & LEARN

At this stage, teams usually still work in silos but become increasingly efficient at experimentation and tracking results. It takes a “change agent“ within a company to recognize that things aren’t working, that other businesses doing things differently and that it’s time to take action. That, in turn, might create an internal buzz and hype around change as well as amplify the chances for chaos as inconsistent experiments occur in isolation from other departments. At that point, companies start to courageously explore how to better understand the connected customer journey and start to invest in research, internal training programs, workshops etc. If your company is at the playground of “Test & Learn“, it is normally time to farewell with the comfort zone.

STAGE #3 | SYSTEMIZE & STRATEGIZE

Time to accelerate the speed of change! At this level of digital transformation maturity, companies are getting smarter, with its change agents seeing the bigger picture and starting to progressively work toward it. It’s when the corporate team begins to explore tech investments and partnerships to scale pilots and possibilities. Additionally to that, (1) metrics start to mature for investment optimization, (2) data becomes a fundamental tool for decision-making, (3) digital customer is placed at the center, (4) executive education is introduced, (5) digital literacy becomes a primary focus, and (6) most importantly, innovation as a strategy becomes a focal point to identify new business opportunities and potential disruption outside of the company.

STAGE #4 | ADAPT OR DIE

At this point, there comes a notable momentum, wherein change is recognized and appreciated by the entire organization. Businesses in this stage are becoming resilient. Efforts in digital transformation become intentional with short- and long-term goals supported by investments in infrastructure, people, processes, and technology. Resources are shared across departments (Data, CRM, Content, Education & Training and Governance). Remarkably, learnings gained through the digital transformation journey bring teams and executives together. New roles are established to further lead transformation in priority areas. Efforts shift from the traditional sales/marketing/commerce funnel to a more dynamic model that adapts change in technology and consumer behavior.

STAGE #5 | TRANSFORMED & TRANSFORMING

Digital transformation is no longer a temporary phenomena, but a gene in company’s DNA. At this stage, leadership establishes new agenda around culture, purpose, and the future of the organization. Digital literacy is now a way of leading and growing business. Learning becomes consistent, continuous and conscientious. Decision-making is optimized and focused on immediate and next-gen results. Every part of the organization is in sync, is aligned with goals and is responsible for jointly undergoing digital transformation and adapting innovative culture. Most importantly, new products and services are developed as a result of this transformation. Now, it is evident that organization is operating in a more unified manner with digital transformation efforts led by a governing body.

STAGE #6 | INNOVATE OR DIE

You did it! The teams/departments once dedicated to transformation and technology are now shifted toward innovation and disruption. It is when a culture of innovation ultimately becomes prevalent. Now, new models, roles, and investments shift towards innovation to accelerate transformation and identify new (unconventional) opportunities for business growth. At this stage, companies often form in-house innovation departments or centers or move those to an innovation hub around the country and even beyond. The main mission for these teams, naturally, vary but often include: (1) Recruiting new talents, (2) Identifying new technologies for internal/external piloting, (3) Investing in or acquiring startups, and (4) Scouting new opportunities for products and service development.

 
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What is your company’s level of digital transformation maturity? Book a free 1-on-1 consulting session with us to find out what data-driven steps your corporate can take to successfully undergo digital transformation.

 

Evaluating Startups: What Metrics Matter the Most?

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In the previous blog, we have discusses what are the “5 most important questions to ask your organization and yourself before going to bed with startups?” Now that you are ready to dive into the startup world, let’s review the essential metrics for startup evaluation to determine how suitable the case is for your needs and how likely it is to survive long-term.

It is important to understand that the company evaluation for early-stage startups and more advanced growth companies (aka scale-ups) can and will differ. The younger (the more early-stage) the company is, the more essential it is to remain focused on finding the first paying customers as soon as possible to find and prove the product-market-fit. Wherein growth companies fight for the firm position on a market space comparing to its competitors, set a steady revenue stream, scale its operations, grow the team and attract new investment/partnership opportunities. Hence, identifying what stage company your corporate seeks for will then determine what metrics matter the most in startup evaluation.

Since Catapult’s services rely heavily on data, only more advanced growth companies are to be seen in the data-pool, and consequently to be validated for startup-corporate collaboration. Metrics presented below correspond to the needs of corporates to find and collaborate with more advanced cases.


What metrics matter the most when evaluating a startup from corporate perspective?

 
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FINANCE DATA

  • Investments & Investors

  • Turnover

  • Valuation estimations

  • Estimates of the runway with present funding


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TRACK DATA

  • Descriptions of the product/service

  • Growth speed

  • Growth speed of the company compared to competitors

  • Presence in different medias weekly compared to competitors


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TEAM DATA

  • Founders & their success with previous ventures

  • Team members & their background

  • Employees growth

  • Board members & Advisers

 

In the next blog posts, we’re going to dive deeper into each data-driven metric and understand how to comprehend data to make conclusions on startup evaluation.

 

5 Questions to Ask Your Organization Before Partnering with Startups

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The global business landscape is transforming at a speed of light. Why? - Rapid digitization. Not only did it boost the creation of many new products and services, but a new way of thinking. Big companies, aka corporates, are now stepping up and speeding up the game by finding external technologies and innovations rather than developing those in-house.

In fact, based on the results of a recent survey (study by the Unilever Foundation) of 204 corporate brand managers and 114 startups about how their companies planned to collaborate together: 80% of corporates believe that startups can have a positive impact on a large company’s approach to innovation; 89% of startups believe they’re able to deliver business solutions which can scale. Great numbers, right?

Before acting on them and starting collaboration with startups, let's review some crucial questions that each corporate and its CTO (or Head of Digital) has to answer. 


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What questions you should ask your organization and yourself before going to bed with startups?

 

Question #1: Do you know what you want to achieve?

Sounds basic and trivial? Maybe. But often companies embrace startup-corporate collaboration for the wrong reasons, that are not aligned with company’s short-term and long-term strategies, across departments or among corporate’s leaders. Understanding what is the main target and why to partner with startup is crucial. It is also about setting preliminary goals in accordance with available resources (budget, people, time, know-how etc.) within organization.


Question #2: Did you decide what type of collaboration is suitable for your organization?

There are many ways to build collaboration with startups. Are you seeking for new technologies, innovations and solution providers to collaborate with? Is your main goal to find an investable company? Are you serious about acquiring a promising startup? Or perhaps you are looking into establishing in-house acceleration program? Or it is just about becoming a client for an interesting startup company utilizing / redistributing their products and services? Could it be something entirely different? Drawing a clear path for partnership is not only one of the main criteria for startup scouting and validation, but a fundamental internal strategy to be agreed upon in advance with staff involved in venture collaboration.


Question #3: Do you have a dedicated person or a team for venture collaboration?

Undertaking a project like finding new technologies or building sustainable relationship with startup(s) is a herculean task, that is not to be tackled alone. It would mean recruiting/assigning a dedicated person, or a team, or even an entire department to oversee venture-collaboration activities. It is of the essence to ask: Can we validate ourselves which startups/technologies are the right ones, or we do recruit an external partner with in-depth knowledge about startup ecosystem? Are we going to scout relevant technologies through digital tools, consulting firms, events or elsewhere, and what human resource do we need in accordance to the chosen path? Assigning roles and responsibilities before diving into the world of startups and growth companies is one way to minimize risks and assure successful collaboration.


Question #4: How do you feel about the future of your industry, and your company’s place in it?

Take a look at your industry, its trends, its market leaders, its growth. Nowadays, timing is a pressing matter. With more Ubers and AirBnBs challenging big traditional players, corporate giants need to act fast to the changes in the industry, predict future trends and compete with new, more agile growth companies and technologies. Approach it as a standard interview question: “How do you see your organization in 5 years?!” And continuing: Will the industry still exist? Are you confident that your current direction will strengthen your position on the market in the near future? Are you fast enough to find promising technologies, growth companies and innovators? What are other corporates doing in this focus area and are they succeeding?“ Senior management needs to understand how new technologies may impact their business field in order to recognize and develop relevant solutions.


Question #5: Are you ready to adapt startup culture?

Good startups are like good programmers. You don't choose them, they choose you. Ask yourself: what can we offer to a startup? Are we sexy enough? Can we move along with the same speed? Here are just a few major differences and pitfalls in innovation and organizational structure that you might face: (1) Startups cannot be approached top-down way, but rather at eye level. (2) Failure is a natural milestone for a young company, wherein in many corporates even the slightest sign of failure has a heavy cost for those involved, hence are often avoided and not openly acknowledged. (3) Things move at a speed of light in a startup company - few months can mean growth or death valley, new corporate deals, radical pivoting etc., wherein corporates might take months just to make a decision on venture collaboration.

At the end of the day, it’s all about expectation management, ambition level, speed and adaptability. Senior management has to be ready to adapt, make fast decisions, and throw overboard conventional and tested ways of thinking, i.e. be curious and open-minded.


Let’s see whether you’re ready to collaborate with startups?

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Conclusions for 2018 & Announcement for 2019!

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The Year of Great Results!

Concluding this year, we would like to share our biggest accomplishments and learnings with you - our partners, readers and colleagues. 2018, like for many, was a year of contrasts - high growth brought new exciting challenges and with it new opportunities. Pursuing our mission to help companies step up the digital game and build success stories in the world of innovation, we've been constantly improving our processes, developing our state-of-the-art AI algorithms and broadening our understanding of the market and startup scene. More ambitious than ever, we are ready to catapult into the year 2019!


Catapult in 2018

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growth x 2
team x 1.5
clients x 2 

12178 startups scanned by catapult team & ai
158 validated startups introduced to clients
52 startup-corporate meetings ->
36 of which are going forward  

 


Launching Market Research

In response to the high demand for in-depth market understanding, Catapult is launching an additional service - market research! An extensive data-driven market research will equip corporates with in-depth understanding of the startup landscape and address the following topics in the industry-specific domain: 
 

  • Market insights of the most valuable business segments;

  • What are the biggest growing trends relevant to specific industry;

  • What services have generated most traction and investments;

  • Insights into investment operations;

  • What type of startups other industry-specific companies are investing in;

  • Market opportunity landscape;

  • Crystallizing new business opportunities based on market insights;

  • What services / innovations could be utilized; 

  • What services could be offered to your consumers and business clients;

  • The most interesting growth companies in 2018.


Great Teams Build Great Products!



New Year, New Plans!

2019 will be a crucial year for companies undergoing digital transformation. On the verge of setting your next year's KPIs and ambitious goals, start a conversation about digitalization, new tech and innovations already today!

 
 
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