Jim Stengel, Former P&G CEO and Author on How to Unleash Innovation Through Company Partnerships


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Do startups have anything valuable to teach the world’s largest companies? Can they work together to unleash innovation in a way that makes an impact in today’s world? These are the questions my guest, Jim Stengel, Former CEO of P&G and author, sought to answer in his new book, “Unleashing the Innovators: How Mature Companies Find New Life with Startups.”

On today’s episode of Unconventional Genius, I have the privilege of talking to Jim about his book and the potential that business partnerships have to unleash innovation.

The movement of business and branding with purpose

In starting my conversation with Jim Stengel, I wanted to talk about one of his greatest impacts on the current culture of business. His book “Grow” calls companies to leverage their influence in business for more than just profits.

This movement is motivating companies to unleash innovation by looking beyond the bottom line to find ways impact the world around them for good. While focusing on purpose, a business will find that profits will follow. I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that Jim started this movement. Find out more about how his influence is unleashing innovation during this great conversation.

Unleashing innovation through strategic partnerships

Jim Stengle’s new book “Unleashing the Innovators: How Mature Companies Find New Life with Startups” is based on an idea Jim had while he was still with P&G. He says he was approached by a startup that wanted to work with P&G. That startup was Google, which at the time was relatively unknown. He visited with Google’s executives and realized the two cultures were radically different.

That launched discussions about what to do to bridge the divide and move beyond an advertising transaction relationship. The lessons learned from this partnership led Jim to explore how startups can help enterprises conquer the “Innovator’s Dilemma.” Find out more about Jim’s research and how the partnerships between startups and large companies can unleash innovation on this episode.

The playbook on how to use startups to change your culture

As Founder and CEO of a consumer tech PR company, I know the importance of developing and protecting a company's culture. One of the concerns I see in a partnership between a startup and large company is the potential for culture clash. Large companies have very different cultures than startups.

There can be mutual benefit from combining cultures as long as there is alignment in purpose. Jim Stengle talks about how these companies can avoid culture clash and unleash innovation together. He also shares stories of successful, as well as some not-so-successful, partnerships. Don’t miss this enlightening conversation with Jim Stengle on this week’s episode of Unconventional Genius.

How structure and serendipity help develop partnerships that unleash innovation

Companies that often work with startups usually have a clear process for doing so. They can clearly identify their areas of need and then find startups who can help address those problems. However, while having a structure is important, there is also a bit of luck involved.

During our conversation, Jim reveals how to allow room for both structure and serendipity so that a beneficial partnership might form. You can hear more about this and more on this episode of Unconventional Genius

If you are with a consumer technology company planning to launch a new product at CES, or are even looking ahead to CES 2019, the Max Borges Agency can help you succeed. To learn more, check out: www.maxborgesagency.com.

Topics Featured In This Episode

  • [3:20] Max gives Jim Stengel’s extensive resume and expertise
  • [5:38] Jim Stengel on the movement of businesses finding purpose beyond profit
  • [9:45] The inspiration behind Jim’s new book “Unleashing the Innovators”
  • [16:55] What larger companies are leaning from startup companies
  • [21:52] Jim Stengel on why a startup should consider partnering with a large company
  • [24:40] How businesses can overcome a potential culture clash when working together
  • [26:39] Lessons learned from the failed partnership of Quirky and GE
  • [31:07] Successful innovations from company partnerships and why they work
  • [33:48] How innovative business partnerships are made

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Jim Stengel

Connect With Max Borges

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