My Favorite Mistake — 158: Innovation Expert Karen Hold’s Telcom Bubble Burst — How Did She Diversify?

Episode page and links:

My guest for Episode #158 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Karen Hold. She is the Founder of Experience Labs and her work is grounded ina core belief that design thinking provides an enabling social technology that facilitates adaptation and effective problem-solving in complex social systems.

Karen began her career in business and strategy on the Folgers Coffee brand team in the early 90s (part of Proctor & Gamble) — influenced by the work of Tom Peters, who was my guest in Episode 58.

She is one of the authors of the Book: Experiencing Design: The Innovator’s Journey from Columbia Business School Publishing.

In today’s episode, Karen shares her “favorite mistake” story about having all of her professional eggs in the telecom industry basket. What did she learn about the need to diversify when all of her customers went bankrupt? What actions did she take to move forward in a better way?

We also talk about questions and topics including:

  • Being more intentional about diversifying in what to do next?
  • Folgers experience? Lessons from learning brand management?
  • The influence of Tom Peters? In Search of Excellence
  • A family of designers Who were some of your key mentors? Grandfather Leroy Grumman

Leroy Grumman: “A rough answer to the right question is better than a detailed answer to the wrong question.”

  • How does that idea connect to entrepreneurship, innovation?
  • “Effective problem solving in complex social systems?”
  • What is a complex social system?
  • How does Design thinking help with customer understanding and problem solving?
  • “From ego centricity to empathy”
  • Why is “the discovery process” so important, something to dive deeply into, before we start testing products or services?
  • Can you apply the lessons from the book to the writing of the book?
  • “Test your way to success” — peer review for an academic book

Support this podcast: