LIVE BROADCAST NEW YORK
Thank you to everyone that joined us for our third live show in New York. Also, a big thanks to Makovsky for hosting us in Manhattan.
We learnt so much from our three guests:
Mitchell Caplan, Managing Director, US at Flock
Katrin Zimmermann, Managing Director, the Americas at Tlgg Consulting
Scott S. Williams, President at TNP
Hello and welcome
to the moon shots podcast. There's lots of fun. cool looking hips to New York. Yeah, he said New York people. Right, these Yankees because they got hustle, right.
Yeah, there's Brooklynites here there's Manhattanites. There's some Jersey, Jersey, New Jersey,
Connecticut. Oh, my gosh, this is all four corners of New York State. Welcome, everybody. It's so good to have everybody here together. For the moon shots. podcast. What a special moment for us. Because we have traveled the world, we've done Amsterdam, Bucharest,
and now, New York. And,
guys, I want you to give it up for our original new boy, Mr. Chad, Oh, come on. Give me
a Brooklynites here
in the house.
What do we do you say, peace to Brooklyn. Let me do you have special call signs. I mean, I don't know how it works. And, you know, you just roll with it. You got to be hipster. Cool. Just kick back.
Yeah, that's what I got the monochromatic Brooklyn look. Okay.
So here we are. We got the the Brooklyn look happening. And we have got some fabulous guests. And with each of these people were on a mission to find out not only what they've done, because they've got some amazing achievements that traveled a far they've done some crazy things. Some of them are mad men. But we'll get into that in a second.
But this is at chance also to discover how they did it to kind of try and learn if they were habits if there are ways of doing things that we can all adopt for ourselves. So the mission that Chad and I are on is really to find out how people have achieved the things that they've done in their life to see if we can adopt some of their thoughts. Some of the mental models is a common one. And we we really love to try and transfer all of that into actions that we can take things that we can do in order to be more successful, to follow our dreams to follow our passions. Now, Chad, we do have a little bit of your famous crowd surfing to do because this is a live event, you bet a brief our live studio audience here, what's going to be expected of them. So after we talked to each
guest, we would like for you to kind of give us your biggest insight and thing that you're taking away. And if you if you have a question, you can also ask that as well.
In in all of Mike's in my podcasting themes begin to emerge from what we are are hearing from, from our guests and the people that we're learning from and talking about. So I already have a prediction I made a prediction with Mike earlier what what tonight's theme
might be, but we'll have to see if that comes to pass.
Right. So I think it's time to work welcome. Our first guest and for all of the online view is, don't forget to check out moonshots.io there you're going to find all of the archives of all of our show, we will have show notes will have an archive of this show lots of information there. So you can pick that firstname.lastname@example.org. And for our studio audience might be thinking what is this strange looking device This is actually a camera and out massive Hollywood production crew is well encapsulated here on this, this device. So we've got all the modern gadgets, I think. I think we're ready to jump in and meet our first guest. Absolutely. Okay. Now what I want to tell everybody is that our first guest, he's a little bit shy, so you have to give him a rousing welcome when I tell you about this person. Okay, so Mitch Papillon. Mitch is the MD at flock associates. This man has done some amazing things. He has worked in some great agencies. He's worked with a couple of good guys in the ad industry, too. And we've got a lot to learn from each. So would you all please
show up very warm New York.
The room setup makes it sound like there's a lot more people here. That's great.
That's good. See the audience at home they can actually see behind us.
It's just three people.
Hey, Mitch, I'm like, Oh,
nice to see you. Yeah, you too. Yeah. I wanted to start out questions
on an interesting note. You you actually studied journalism, but quickly found your way to Madison Avenue. And I really want to understand it's almost like out of the gates there was a big jump you made? And I would love to know, like, how did how did that happen?
Well, originally, I wanted to be the drummer and kiss
Well, that's sort of fell to the wayside
is still time
I did, I do have a journalism degree from University of Maryland. But I was long story short, sitting in my fraternity house watching TV one night, and a commercial came on
in the state of MIT for the state of Maryland. This was right around even though you call me a madman, not quite have that error. But we'll get to that in a second wait when the seatbelt laws were starting to change. And it was a picture of a calendar with hundreds and hundreds of dots. And it faded out and faded back in and the calendar was backed up with only a couple of dots. And the voiceover said, the original voiceover said, this is how many people were killed on Maryland highways last year. And when it came back in, faded back in with just a couple of dots and said, this is how many were wearing
and I thought, heck Well, it had an impact on me. And while there were other things that I was interested in doing, like writing and being a journalist, and back in the day, when the post and the times or a big deal I thought, I want to do that. So I actually went up and changed my major slightly to get a minor in marketing and skipped a trip to Europe with my best friend, the senior year after summer after my senior year to take a job that I was offered an agency in Rockville, Maryland, worked in that industry in the city of Baltimore, which has a big industry. Long story short, 1993 moved to New York for girl married somebody else. She's here and have had a 25 year run in the agency slash marketing space that has led me
small agencies. I was in the interactive space very, very early big agencies. I was a web y&r for a long time, six years in the private equity space, and now as a consultant. So I've had a great run. It's not over yet. I still got another kid to put to college. But it's been great and really interesting. So
I want to do time machine with you.
how you're sitting there. And you had you had quite a moment where you had your aha moment
where you're like, oh, true story. Yep.
I want to make one of those. How did you find the courage to do you know, in Silicon Valley, we call that a pivot, you did quite a big pivot. And let's not forget it. This time advertising and editorial journalism, that was church and state separation, they weren't as close together as they are now. So it's not like being at Buzz, buzz feed media and walking from one to the other. It was like, editorial is on the top floor. And the ad guys are locked away down the bottom. So and yeah, they want to put as many floors as possible between between all of them. Tell us a little bit how you managed to make such a jump. Like, where did you do it wasn't blind courage? How did you how did we make jumps like that?
Well, the courage came and telling my parents that I wasn't going to be a lawyer. And the reaction was, we don't know anybody who does advertising, right, which was a real thing for them. So for me, I liked to right there was something about I, you know, I was a disc jockey in college. And I love music, I still still do, there was something about the creative side of being a professional that I was attracted to, but had no talent for so I I knew I wasn't going to be a creative but I I was attracted to being in an industry where you could engage with these artists and these people who created ideas so that led me you know, and sort of classic path I was an account guy when I moved to New York I was an account guy I got into the digital space very early and got to experience that whole iteration that a lot of new business and other things but the attraction of the business for me has always been those moments when you get to engage with the copywriters and the art directors and the other technologists in the last 1520 years who create things and come up with these ideas. And being in that environment has been brilliant and to have any impact on how things get created was just my small part of it. But
I'm curious about what some of the big risks that you took after you made that transition.
Maybe because you weren't the creative, you were pushing the creatives to do something in a new way to kind of further your goals,
you know, working with your clients. I think
for me, when that started, I had a very classic sort of upbringing. My first real job in the city was in the Chrysler Building an agency called Bates, which ultimately became part of W PP in the early days. But I got a call one day from a recruiter who said, I met these two guys, they started an agency called think new ideas. It's an interactive agency. This is 1996, when the alley here in New York was just starting to grow. And a lot of you folks don't know these agencies. But digitalis and Razorfish think new ideas agency.com, medium
us yeah, this was
the very early days, there was no alley, there was no startup environment. So to be in that space, 96 to 2001 is rare, beginning in the beginning. And Adam curry, who is one of the founders of think new ideas was if you look them up on Google, this looking blond guy was in the second generation of the Jays on MTV. So after Martha Quinn and Mark Goodman, he was in that next group. But at home at night, he was writing code. And he started this agency, I got to experience he and his partner on taking it public. And we were primarily just building websites. And the fascinating part of that was, as we started to get into media and online advertising literally started I mean, we're talking 20 years ago only. That was the most interesting moment for me, where you got in a room with both creatives and technologist and talked about what if, and what was possible video had wasn't really even online yet. I mean, it was just a remarkably interesting period of time, because everything next was new. And we were discovering as we went. So I was, I felt really fortunate to have experienced that they've been through a public offering to be part of a an organization that was doing digital first.
So I wanted to do a little follow up question,
what is the skill when you've got creative people and technology people all coming together and you love it sounds like you love being in the room. And in these moments of creation, what is the this
you've developed that's helped you go across so many different types of businesses on different sides, from Digital to above line from big to small. Now, you mentioned private equity. Now, you're talking about this very sophisticated advisory? What's this?
All of those together? what's the what's the Mitch Kaplan thing? What, what do you love to do in that, and what is what does it look like,
what it feels like is, when I was younger, I was very impulsive,
I did not have a lot of patience, and I was vocal about it. And it got me a lot of trouble.
And what I've learned over the years is when it comes to the creative process, and the creativity has many paths, as you know, business strategy of a private equity firm looking at an acquisition and advertising agency creating a campaign is to let it play out,
these are on the agency side. And in many other paths, folks that are artists and brilliant at what they do. And it's very infrequent where the solution comes up like that. And I think where
a lot of people make the mistake and I certainly did was, especially in the creative process in the agency world, a lot of stuff gets thrown up on the wall. And the iteration process is a very complicated one, folks are putting their blood and sweat into it. And the ability that I really only learned in the last 10 years to let it just happen to be demonstrative around what I think is some ideas you know, you and I were talking before we started about you realize that I coach soccer for a long time with my boys are into it. And I've got a buddy who was the director of coaching for our soccer team in town. And the greatest lesson I ever learned was from him
on the field. One time some kid gets on the ball and I start yelling like an old football coach screaming at him, you would be that parent right
out and said, Come to relax,
poses a question
when it comes off the field, ask him what he could have done differently, as opposed to saying, Why didn't you so the ability to take a step back, very thoughtful about being away way of the process, other people are going through and be able to frame guidance, not necessarily as definitive, but as open ended so that folks can solve it for themselves. And the have the patience to let it play out for me, was the biggest change in hopefully allowing me to be a better collaborator and consultant,
what I'm hearing you say, is kind of the opposite of the move fast and break things that that Mike and I have kind of heard when we're pulling nuggets of wisdom from from Silicon Valley,
you know, talking about the likes of Richard Branson or or Mark Zuckerberg. But I think this giving creativity space is a really interesting idea that you both seen on the creative side in the agency. But also you're talking about like in private equity, maybe not jumping into soon into a deal or, you know, where something maybe didn't pan out. And it was a good thing that you didn't jump on the opportunity. I'm curious how else that patience has, has benefited yo and the company's
those patients. And then there is also when you get the privilege of being in the position of being the decision maker of
being able to make those types of thoughtful decisions. So the private equity space I got hired a few years ago to helps run and set up an agency in Minneapolis for sale an old friend of mine from WP and then brought in as the CEO, he brought me in as the CMO we thought it'd be three to five years or both commuting back and forth from New York. And 18 months later, we had a an acquirer who is highly interested and they wanted to move fast. And the thoughtfulness on that part was, while we had a short period of time to make a decision, we were very thoughtful about getting input from everyone looking at all the data that was available to us, by the end of the day, it was the private equity firms decision and other shareholders. But I had to set it up in a in a way that they could make a decision quickly. But it was still based on getting input from all different parties, and quickly putting it in a structure that could be decided upon so great
experience, this, this, this patience and this thoughtfulness. I want to imagine that you're now
What's one practice
that you have to to make that happen. And while you're thinking about I give you an example,
you know, there was a famous Roman emperor who was advised by a very wise man that said before you make any decision, do the alphabet A to Z because he was rather impatient. And
sister take a step back and, and, and be more thoughtful in your case, if you giving us advice on how we can put these practice into place, what's a what's a tape or a suggestion that you can give to us to bring about some of
the the simplest thing for me,
has been realizing, unless there is
really a sense of urgency, everything can wait.
So I used to feel like I had to answer an email right away, right? Yeah, I don't like what that person saying, or they need an answer from me right away. And almost 95% of the time, it can wait. So I will give it a couple of hours or even a day so that I can take a minute to take a breath and really think about it. I did not do that. When I was younger. Absolutely not. I was I was bad.
So I have learned through actually being a husband and a father and a soccer coach and all those different things and making tons of mistakes, that it's okay to take those moments The world will wait business will wait. And you will almost all the time provide a much more thoughtful response, both in how you react and the actual content of what you're out there.
That's great. So thank you for that I before
and, and quick warning for our massive How many do we say 1000 people? Audience? Yeah, yeah, we follow, we go to the throngs who are going to get to ask their questions to me, which I know that you'll actually have returned to your lecture circuit. And you actually have the chance to talk to young college students and give them advice apart from this reflection that you've put into your practice in this patience.
Anyone here in the studio? Or
what other fundamental learnings Have you had on your journey that you feel like
have really guided you what practices tell? Tell us a little bit
when you're with those when you were that guest lecturer and you've got all these young hopefuls with you? You know, obviously, this reflection is one thing, but what else do you trying to impart on them to guide them through the career path.
So for me,
I've had a great career. But there is a big part of me that thinks when I was 2122, and just starting to get out of school, what would have happened if I'd gone to San Francisco or had an opportunity and been a concert promoter, my my aunt
was buddies with Bill Graham, and I was like, Oh, my God, I have I had a job offer at an ad agency, I have to take this I didn't go to Europe. So when I'm at the end, see Marilyn, and I'm a visiting lecturer, or I'm talking to a kid who's thinking about going to Maryland, I do some of that kind of work for their alumni session, or anybody else who's just coming out of school or in those first five years, I tell them,
make sure whatever you do is the one thing you really, really, really want to do. You want to be a journalist and go work for a newspaper. If you want to be a copywriter and an advertising agency, you're 22 or 23, if in two years, you hate it, you'll be 25 and you can make a pivot, you can make a change. So for younger coming out of school, or juniors or seniors, my biggest piece of advice has been
if there's something you really love, go after that first. And if it don't work out, you're still you're going to work the rest of your life. For the most part, you can change, right. And I think that has been for me,
while I don't regret most anything.
I wish I'd taken a couple years to venture out and play around a little bit and follow a little bit of a passion, although this was another path for me. And that turned out just got to meet you. Yeah. So how much better? Much
good advice by the way? very thoughtful advice. Do you remember those coals I used to call you in New York? And like Mitch help, I can't really talk about that because they have a
for those of you
that have a question or an insight, I'm
what this this theme is, I'm
I'm looking at me. Hey, that gentleman there.
Thank you, Chad.
Mitch, do you have a failure in your career that you always come back to that you feel like you You learned the most from and
grow the most?
Is there one that always stands out for you, though? Thank you.
Hmm, I have to think about it.
I wouldn't call them failures, I would call the moment like I've been fired from jobs, right. And in those moments, it's happened a couple times. For me, sometimes it was my fault. Sometimes it was just circumstances. And in those moments, I could have gone in a bad place. And I think aside from marrying up and having someone I can really count on in those moments, I never really lost faith in my ability to make a living at doing something that I really liked. And that's things would always work out. If I stayed true to myself, and took those moments as just another speed bump in the road,
then it always it always just works out for me. So failure isn't the right word, but a challenging moment. And it always works out for me in a place where I wind up almost in a better place. So I wouldn't I wouldn't recommend getting whacked every once in a while. But if it happens to the stuff happens to people, and you're if you're talented, and you're passionate and you're thoughtful, you'll recover and you'll be in a better place.
Yeah, one more. I'm looking for us. Here we go.
You spoke a lot about the early part of your career coming out of college, the different decisions you made along the way as a an accomplished professional, how do you look at a more mature part of your career? And how are you approaching this?
It's a really interesting question, mature part of my career.
For me, I'm very lucky in that
I have fallen into a job at flock, which is a consultancy that works of clients around marketing transformation. And what that means is we go in the client organizations, some of our clients have been Ford, Campbell's and J and J and McDonald's and I'm able to take the learning of derived from 25 years of the agency business, excuse me, and apply it to some of the principles of organizational design, capability, assessment, procurement, around their agency relationships. So the maturity for me has come from
being able to very thoughtfully go back on my experiences, both good and bad, and apply those to helping clients
take a look at how they are structured, how they work, and the outcomes they want from their outside partnerships in a manner that's not just all about what are they all doing wrong, but what we can do better. And it's been really interesting, and the the ultimate maturity pivot for me is that when we go off and teach, but a lot of the work that I do workshops where I'm up in front of a group like this, and taking folks through a workshop and guiding them to try to figure out what is the right solution, as opposed to telling them which I likely would have done earlier my career so
well, then you
asked guest our first of three, inspire?
Number two, would you please show your appreciation for Mr.
What I think we all discovered in that conversation is that
which to which most of our work happens, which is at high speed, we're bombarded with messages, the expectation to return that email almost instantly. So we live in this moment where we're expected to work at almost an inhuman speed. But what we what we just learned from Mitch was take a breath,
you know, take a pause and just introduce that thoughtfulness. And I really like
what seems like a burning fire right now is often not really the DEFCON one, the sirens are going the horns of blowing, it's not actually like that. And we often create that, that chaos not only for ourselves, but the people around us. And we can just relax and take a breath. So thank you ever so much for that Mitch Kaplan,
come to a very exciting,
I think it's time to invite our audience to show their appreciation from trans continental get
trained. Welcome. Welcome to the show. Hopefully, you have some some fellow countrymen back home.
it would be rather than
saying it's good enough.
Yeah. Right. Very much. So. So thank you for coming on
that kind of chain. And
now there's a couple of things that we really want to get into.
this lady was instrumental in creating an innovation hub, which was a pivotal moment in your career. And
but she has been bold and correct
bags and to get on probably I look tons of life
at this one
into New York. And as somebody who has been an expat several times, I can only begin to tell you this, this is an amazing amount of work. It's
and this is a great
learning. So I'm really excited.
I can only second all of it. Okay, good.
to talk about here.
But maybe we should start where
you're in your home city. You're in your home country, and you have chosen to invite all this change into your life. Yeah, and you've come all the way to New York to lead a business. TL GG Absolutely.
Yeah. So we're going to talk about what you do here. But I want you to take us back to this moment where you're like, you know what, I'm going to New York,
it's actually a funny moment, I was drinking a cocktail at a bar in Frankfurt, and my current boss was sitting next to me and he was like, so we've just been bought by Omnicom and and I'm planning to open an office in New York, don't you want to go and run it? And I'm like, well, that's a
that's a message you weren't expecting. You
know, I wasn't expecting it. But I had actually lived in New York for an internship before and back in 2003, which is quite some time ago, I lived in Brooklyn at heart, shame on you as a Brooklynite will know that and how it changed since then, in the last 15 years. And I was very excited by the by the thought and I've been like, yeah, let me think about it. And then probably a day or two later, I was like, yeah, and let's do it. Okay, I can, you
went a little too quickly for me
signing. But how do you how do you actually when it becomes real? Yeah. How do you actually say yes, in a meaningful way? How do you make that that leap tell us how do you make those leaps?
And I honestly I just said, Yes, but that yes, then it took another 15 months until it actually happened. So I'm just saying yes. Isn't isn't all it takes, to be honest,
it was a gut feeling. And it was a bit of a roller coaster ride until it actually happened. from getting all of your papers in place to make it happen, telling your family that you're actually leaving, telling your boyfriend that you're that you've decided to take that leap, and whether he's open for a long distance relationship across the
only in all of these beautiful conversations and saying, why are you embarking on a journey that takes you so far away from all of your loved ones? And what is a good argument to do that? And why doesn't it sound super egoistic head on a stick and all of these negative terms. And
I'm curious, I'm curious what the opportunity you saw here that wasn't available to you. And I'm guessing apartment was you're, you're now running this new this new part of the business whereas before you weren't, but what what brought you what was the opportunity
I think it was a moment in my career where I for the last probably five years being in corporate innovation haven't worked from a flight attendant to an executive assistant of the executive Porter Lufthansa. And it was really that moment where I realized, well, I've been talking about changing and the need for change. And for transformation of organizations in the last five years, years, maybe to be more credible. And what I'm talking about, I actually have to take that leap of faith and get an understanding what it actually means when you change something, and how much discomfort and how much anxiety and how much excitement and how much curiosity that instills and walk through all of these different moments of change the change curve that you're going through as an individual, and I think probably I was well equipped, I've always been very curious. And I'm a big traveler, I love to go to places I like to learn about people and their perspectives and lives, new cultures. So I guess all of that kind of transpired in that moment where the opportunity was at the table, and I grabbed and I said, This is what I gotta do. This is the right decision,
such a remarkable journey, you've, you've reminded me, we need to come back and find out
I mean, the journey
you went on, from working on the planes to working with the board to come into you know that that's, that's something I want to come to
romanticize this idea of being an expat and all of a sudden, when you land in the country, it gets real. Oh, yeah. And frankly, speaking, those first three, six, sometimes 12 months are
on average, a little bit tougher than in the inspiring, joyful thing you had imagined. Let's go a little darker.
challenges you faced in that first year and talk to us a little bit about what happened,
what we really
did you get through it,
oh, there's a combination of things. So probably the first week I arrived, we really literally carried the furniture into the office. And then the second week will enter with backpacks on our floor.
That first month, I was like, Oh, great. This is the one that goes
and there was a bit of a personal challenge, because my grandmother actually was very sick. And she eventually died in the second months that I was here. So there was a lot of, like, personal struggle in terms of, whoa, now, I'm very far away from my family. How do you support moments like that, that are kind of extreme, we were very close. But then on the other hand, you realize the world is a small place because it literally happened on the day that my mom called me and said, Well, she's not so well, I booked a flight, I had no clothes, I went to the airport, I flew back and I went, you know, stayed with her for four more days. And then I had to come back to New York, and she died the day later. So
for you for whatever that means. And so whenever you take bold decisions, and there will be something that is given back to you. I think that was probably the lowest moment in first three months. And
for everyone here in the studio and online.
I want you to imagine there's an impending crisis, which we all seem to have it on, what advice do you have for us? Because you're obviously a very your engineered to be an optimistic, curious adventurer, not all of us have have sex? What advice do you have for us to soldier on through those those tough moments
it to me, and I think that's a basic like characteristic, I guess who I am, and how I've been approaching my life, I kind of have this and look at the bright side and smile at yourself in the morning, in the morning, because you are your best friend. And as long as you're taking yourself on the journey with you, in a very conscious way, always have someone by your side. And I feel like that is probably the most positive thing that's been, you know, carrying me through living in six different countries, and always finding new social circles, you know, having great people around me learning about a new cultures and new environments, new organizations, new opportunities.
So a big thing that's coming back is this curiosity and these learning that you spoken about. And one of the amazing things is how many shows have we done 50 or so
47. So you can say, here's the one is
so so. So check this out
one of the things we see in growth
is, is the practice of learning. continuous learning. What's nice is often people say that the best form of learning is teaching. So I think Mitch has got great learning experiences ahead of him. So I would love to ask you a little bit about how do you learn, and maybe this time, tell us about in your work,
because you're a very, you're in a very creative and very strategic environment. So there's big ideas flying around, tell us a little bit about how you learn and how you keep growing.
and what you've learned from the clients that you've worked with, because you've worked with a lot of enormous, very successful companies, and then maybe some smaller startups as well. So I'm curious what you've learned from them
a lot of things,
few things that might might stand out in terms of
how do I put that best, and it always feels like we're living in a world where, you know, we're well, there's some of us who are very expressive of the things that they've learned and what they have to talk about. And then there's a whole lot of the community that listens to these people and their ideas and how that's being expressed. And probably one of the greatest learnings that I had throughout my career, you know, working with startups working in a corporate working now with amazing companies who are all in the innovation space, looking at curing diseases, you know, transforming histories, transforming themselves, and is that it's all about looking at the outside. And then also sometimes looking at the inside and in what what do you bring to the table, what creates value, and what is out there that you can connect it with, to spark or create that next leap of faith, or that moonshot work and that new practice and it's really about cross pollination. So the more you go out in the world, the more you look from, you know, take that from that industry to deploy it in this industry. I think that is probably one of the greatest insights in the last couple of years.
This is very interesting, because this outside inside perspective, I see it reflected in how you think about your practice. But it's very reflective also of how you made those choices to pack your bags from Germany and get on Lufthansa flight land in New York
Times. I love the marketing
we'll get to your work, by the
faster pace here a little bit. So I'm sorry about that. We'll get to it. But But this inside out. And if you were to imagine you're teaching us now, how can we look outside and look inside to inspire us? Because that's obviously a really nice contrast. What can we do? How can we do that in teachers? Like, what could we do in our way to incorporate that looking outside looking in
another teacher, like my chest, and I, I'm more I don't know, I can only tell you how I'm doing it. And then maybe you can take something away for yourself. I don't know. It's just an idea. I'm a big fan of self care. And I think as much as we bring out there and express ourselves in the world, as much as we interact with one another as much it's important to interact with yourself and look at all of the different components of mind, body and soul that you want to take care off and do that quite actively. I know, it's a bit of a trend these days, which is
unfortunate. I think sometimes he gets a little to train. Yeah, it's a the trendy kind of subject where, you know, it's, I'm not in that marketing aspect of it, although, obviously working in that industry. So
yeah, it's a tool you use for reflection, you talked a little bit about looking inside and self care, what does that look like? What could I do, it's
a quiet moment. Ideally, it's, you know, sitting with a tea on the couch, or in the park or a waterfront, and then taking that moment to step back from everything, and pretty much similar to what matches that take yourself out of a situation, step back and reflect on things that is something you can do, but also can be the absolute opposite for me, sometimes I just love to go somewhere else. And, you know, challenge the mind with a new culture with a new experience with something that I haven't, you know, experienced yet to go to a music club, you've never been to the music you don't like, for example, and expose yourself to the situation. Talk to someone who has a politically opposite opinion of yours, and try to understand why they have that opinion. I think,
don't we do that in America?
Oh, quite easy. But then I have lived in Oklahoma. So you know, I have the full broad spectrum of what's possible here.
Okay. So that's really inspiring. So So you're saying, search out the different things.
One of the things you're saying is go with a curious mind, just be open and just discover, you know, don't pass judgment
it strongly agree. I mean, I am I must, maybe 2004 I traveled I was before the Olympics in China. I flew to Beijing didn't speak, obviously, word of Chinese all by myself, took a cab to the Chinese
to the wall
water, it was 100 degrees, almost died. You know, some Chinese gentleman gave me a bottle of water, and I walked through Mexico City or by myself, despite the fact that everyone said, don't do that. I think it's Yes, it's sometimes taking a risk. And, you know, taking that leap of faith that the positive activity that you bring to a place might reflect in that place.
She doesn't know the Star
City. I remember the first time I went to Mexico City, it felt like I had to like a personal Omri me to the office from the meeting, which was a bit
you don't have that as a floater left hands. I say if I then go outside all by yourself to stay in the hotel. I would always go
okay. So I feel we have to to get some advice from you here. Because
you started your career and made one of the most wonderful journeys obviously
for you to share with our audience. This remarkable story went on working at Lufthansa because it's, it's really very inspiring.
Thank you. And why it's an interesting I know if it's an interesting story. It's just what happened to me, me, I suppose. So I started in a very interesting program that some of the German corporates offer, which is a vocational training, which is something that is not so common in the US, I think, in combination with a study program. So I did classical bachelor's degree in business. And I became an expert on at traffic management. And so I know what it takes to calculate the right way to balance for for an aircraft to take off into land, for example, and some very basic mathematical knowledge that I never use, again, my career
with my studies as like, great, what I'm going to do now I'm 22 years old, I really don't want to work in an office. And seriously, I'm not going to eat in contains every day. And so I decided, Well, you know, your left hand side become flight. So I did that for three years, started to study psychology, because I was curious of the mind. And the human realized maybe that's not a career choice. But I was able to provide travel to 60 countries and the time
from I ran to Ethiopia to, you know, China, everywhere, whatever. So
intriguing. I enjoyed that a lot. But at some point, probably the top of the hill I was like yet is this will get boring eventually. And I had done a master's degree in Spain and was done with it in hospitality management. Just hang on a second. I you guys have you guys got a visual
Chris costs, Crisco. I'm trying to limit how are you frequent flyers, by the way off the charts.
And these days, yes, but now I fly delta. So
it's the US right and back then I was employed by the company. So you have a wonderful benefit of being able to fly for quite some discounted.
do Janie because you ended up being instrumental in the airlines innovation. So we'll just skip over the fact that you were taking care of the whole board, we just give it that will just get to the innovation report. Okay, how how did you get there? And and if you were to be speaking to young people watching at home, or our fabulous studio audience, how, how might we invite such possibilities into our lives.
I'm also curious, like many of us are working at companies where we millennials, you know, want to buck the trends and be innovative and do our own things. And it sounds like you were very instrumental in kind of making
making that happen inside of a company like Wisconsin. So I'm very curious kind of the message you have for as young folks that are trying to bust you know, bust through this, the ceilings,
I think it's gonna be a bit disappointing because it was a lot of
perseverance. Probably it was me sitting on all happened. We were lot of young kids seeing that digital transformation was a subject that was a lot talked about in media and all of the information that were given to the board from consultancies to whoever, but really, in the day to day, nobody spoke about it in the company. We were like, best mismatch. And so we wanted to, to discussion piece, but everyone was like, yeah, you know, not, you know, not that important.
I was sitting with the CFO at the time in a meeting. And she asked for some cultural change management, a subject that
Mitch also talked about, why don't we use Facebook for that? And that's kind of that question actually led to her than being more curious about the subject of digital transformation, how that comes about why maybe as a corporate, you do not want to use Facebook for your internal communications.
And so she embarked and she said, Well, we have some ideas, but we will get some money. And then she actually gave us a budget to explore that journey. And in and we founded the company six months later with four of us to build the Lufthansa innovation hub in out of Berlin as its first
location. And the just I think last week, they opened a second location in Singapore. Wow.
I want to ask one more question before chatting about some crowd surfing 2.0. Yeah,
I want to pick up a little bit on what Chad was saying. And I want you to you've obviously had this search and you've had this curious mind. And you've been so open to going out into the world and finding new things and exploring
if people who are
listening to our conversation right now I wondering like, Oh, geez, I would love to do that. But But where does it start? what's what's the practice that I can go into today, that might, because it sounds
sort of do you have a bike a practical thing that we can start doing to, to invite the sort of possibilities into
start with yourself, I guess
you are the master of your own life, you can decide what you want to do, you can pick it up, you can think about it in a positive way, you can think about it in a negative way. And that sounds obviously, I mean, I have been very fortunate, I'm not saying that I'm, you know, coming out of a challenging environment. So that definitely is something that, you know, as part of the basis where I'm coming from. And for some people that might sound very, you know, unreachable.
So many people that, you know, have come from way more challenging environments, and reached such great, great career steps, such great output in their life, that I think it lives within you, and you can make it happen if you want.
Well said, Okay, so this time, remember, for our audience, it's your chance to decode what's happening. You're giving it back to me.
Oh, okay. Hello, audience
who's got a question for Catherine? Who wants to invite these sort of adventures into their lives? And I'm getting I have this extra sensory ability to find a question and I feel drawn into this space of the audience. So Chad, take the take the microphone, and I can feel that, you know, this question potentially someone wearing Oh, there we go. There we go. That I could tell you, I could feel it.
Is there anything you would have done differently in your life? Because you've obviously done some amazing things? Is there anything that any regrets that you've had?
Well, that's probably a few. Yeah,
it's good to have them. Because the biggest learnings you probably take out of these moments of event didn't go the way I kind of had it in mind, or planned or anticipated or thought about it. And
yeah, for sure.
But I still feel I'm tremendously lucky in everything that happened to me. I would not, you know, I would always say that, well, I had a very,
very amazing life in any kind of sense. very fortunate.
Okay, who else?
You've already done so many things. But what's next? Like, what new frontier for you?
I think probably, it's gonna be a little bit in my mind, my private life focus than it is in a career focus. I think, you know, when you reach whatever level you reach, and you have a feeling, I didn't ever expect that this would happen. And probably that was
a moment sometime late last year, I thought, like, wow, I did not expect that this would all happen in my life. And I, you know, in my 30, so just like, okay, maybe I'm looking at shifting focus a little bit and the other things that might be important
am sure you did some quiet moments on the couch. I think we're in the park he said,
and come to this realize I
was it was Miami Beach. But yeah,
anything, I don't think many
in courage and curiosity? Would you all please give it up for
do the famous wardrobe chance I want you to make
what's really interesting, if you notice the conversations that are happening,
if you know, notice, this is interesting thing of learning of courage and curiosity.
So when, when I already reflect on our first two guests, I'm immediately ready
to go to
Toronto in the external, the curiosity, that sense of adventure, but
interesting for me, is that there was this thought of taking a moment of self care,
as not everything is a burning bush fire emergency, it will be okay. So I want you all to kind of take this on board and think about it, because I think it sets us up so much to orientate ourselves, on how we can go out in the world do the things we love, which was also by the way, a great piece of advice from each to go out and just do it. So this fills me with curiosity, and why for what our guest is going to share with us tonight. But
it means one thing as we welcome Scott to the stage
San Francisco and I reached out discussing Scott when
he's on and you don't, you don't want me
now You don't want me on the show. And I was like, Scott, you have the most amazing
and there is so much to learn. So I want you guys to like double down and really enjoy what we're about to get into. Because to introduce
president of the Nantucket project, and we're going to talk a little bit about that. But he is also got a fabulous Korea that has spends but see if my memory serving me well in the jet legs not getting hold of me. We've got HBO, we've got ESPN, we've got the
under the moniker of the Nantucket project is such an exciting spectrum, all the experiences that we can all learn from
with the Nantucket project
it seems like such a fabulous fest.
But tell us a little bit about it, and what it means to be kind of curating such a special event.
founded nine years ago, up on Nantucket by a guy and a two co founders who would work together at Nantucket actors, Tom Scott and founded the company
on the heels of
winding down plum TV, which was a media company and I came in as chief restructuring officer and interim CEO during that sale of the company. So I had met him there. It was really designed as a four day
Ted like Aspen Institute like thing for exactly what you just talked about with
Katrina, Katrina, Katrina, Katrina, which is, you know, lifelong learners, these seekers of exploration and such. And it's now after this is our we're going into our ninth year, it's now divided into live events. So we do four days up on Nantucket. Four or 500 people on a under a tent at the white elephant. And then we take that show on the road. We go across the country. We do one night events. We're doing
spectacular tour of the country. This summer, we've been just back from Sundance
and then so there's a live events division. And then we invite
this past year. It's, you know, on one spectrum, it's Tony Blair, and President Bush, and Neil Young, and Paul Giamatti. It's a crazy collection of art, and science and technology, and politics and, and the like, and then out of let's say, it's Mike Parsons, talking about moon shots, what happens is, you inspire us, we have five filmmakers in the crowd all staffed up by us, or a stable of filmmakers that we work with, they're inspired by something you talked about in the moon shot, we may use a little bit of your talk, we're not TED Talks. But we then go out and are inspired defined that the thing about moonshots that completely transforms the idea and it's a
but it's not feature length, it's all short form content.
So So it's almost like the event sort of stats like a like a chain reaction.
Yeah, the talks become films become something else. And so there's this, what we call the TMP lab, and the group of content makers. And then we have an academy, which we take 15 scholars a year and run them through a battery of curriculum they're selected for basically, the criteria is, how are you impacting the world, they're either about to go to market, or they're already in the market with an idea of product or service that is got some sort of an impact. And we help accelerate them through learning, storytelling, business planning, human engagement business plan, if they need it. And then our network, you know, we usually see two or three pop through a year. And then we just launched this thing, and then I'll shut up
now, just Did you see the list of the job description was doing this, I'm like, I'm
clear. We have a great,
great, great group of people. And this is not my baby. This is Tom's baby, and I'm along for the ride. But we did a what essentially was a proof of it wasn't even a proof of concept. This is along the lines of the moon shot. A friend of ours said, you know, she was so inspired by the four days, she said, We, you come over to my house, and I want to help promote your thing. People don't really get it. And so we went to her house, we brought an what was probably a 45 minute real of our content. And by the way, our content is about humility, acceptance, Grace, reclaiming democracy, all packaged into these,
it's now called snappable, digestible, whatever you want in the digital world
content. And we strum probably 45 minutes together, and people's reaction, and they were just invited for popcorn. And the reaction was, I haven't had a conversation like this in years, I talk about small things, but I don't talk about big things. And we did it again, same woman's house. And then Tom said, let's start a conversation series. And so what started as something called conversations with think of a book group with our content. So you gather a group like this, you press play, nobody has to read anything, there's no homework, you press play, and you watch a series of it's probably 22 to 30 minutes. And then you have a conversation. And we're now in 22 states. We have, I think, 12 modules. So we're 12 months into this thing. And the beauty is, Mike starts a group chat starts a group web street Do you live on,
okay? So it's called the Rosemount Avenue project. You submit that on kind of a creative brief to us, we do all the artwork, and then we push it back to you, then that becomes a paperless post invite, you're responsible for getting your 12 people in your living room, anybody can manage it anyway. So we want to have eventually, if we get scale as we're getting will have a national conversation. Our goal is March 1, the neighborhood project conversation on moon shots, and we'll have 100,000 people talking about moon shots that would be on Tuesday morning, whatever it is. So
it's it sounds like at the heart of what the Nantucket project is doing is convening in interesting diverse sets of people to have these conversations that maybe are being had
group of diverse people were kind of stuck in our echo chambers in talking to people that are like minded with one another. And what's interesting to me is much of what Mike and I have found in our discovery in the moonshot podcast is it it is about getting the right people together to do the thing that they want to do. But what you're doing is you're you're not only doing that with your own team in the Nantucket project, but you're actually scaling that out in the world, putting those projects together all over the place. So I'm, I'm,
I'm inspired. And I'm going to create the Myrtle Avenue project as soon as as soon as we as soon as we leave. But I'm curious what you have learned about your experience, like, what does it take to get the right people
together? How do you inspire them? And how do you give them that, I guess, push to then have those maybe difficult or unlikely conversation?
Well, all the science, all the statistics are in our favor, the science is that if you create more meaning in your life, you'll live longer, you'll be happier, you'll be less depressed, you'll sleep better. And so it is a method of creating greater meaning in one's life, whether it's
with five people, or 12 people, or in a tent with 500 people, and then having the real conversation so there's no,
we ask that there's no small talk. It's not,
where's your kid going to school, which is what we all get a lot of us get caught up, and what are the scores? And how are they doing? And what trip Did you take, and
what was the service like, which is all great,
is this massive disconnect that's occurring with social channels. And oppression is spiking with young people. And so this is an anecdote
and and what a
what a broad spectrum of activities that makes this antidote. I want to segue a little into how I mean, as you were explaining, as you're giving us the spectrum of the all of the programs that you're running
in a very practical manner. Explain to us how do you manage across so many different areas? And of course, there's teams working, but how do you personally deal with tracking is this on track is the soundtrack is you spoke about so many different you've got the cohort of the 15, you've got the new projects initiating. You have an event, I mean, you're making investment, like, how do you personally, I mean, you've obviously got a notebook. So that seems like a good start. But how do you manage personally across that
invested in Scrum, which is you're a good you know, when we first met, you had sunrise. Do you remember that? Remember that app? I don't
know what happened to it. But that Microsoft button up
there you go. Yeah, Mike top about sunrise, which was a organizational tool. early on. We use Scrum pretty religiously through our units. So we were inspired by
a book called
above the line, which is Urban Meyer, who coached
Florida and then went to Ohio State. He wrote this book, and he talked about his unit. So we've adapted all of our I mean, we're a tiny little group, we have 29 full time employees. When I joined, we were six,
it's, but without Scrum we'd be
dead. Because there are
10 units in the company. We just
okay. Ours, john adores book what matters most, which is so aligned with what matters most, which is in our mission,
because we are in search of what matters most. So,
of us that aren't in the know. Yeah, like Scrum. Okay, are
Yeah, yeah. Tell us.
Okay, so the scrum technology or Scrum the methodology is just tracking project work. It was developed in the valley probably with Agile Software guys and it's great tool for engineers and we're all like what what the hell are we going to do this with such a creative staff and it it's just moving post its around and having Sprint's on a weekly basis so that if I'm responsible for
getting w PP to sponsor the train that we're going to take around the country have those costs and it's doing its
the project itself, and then it's doing and you move it over to done by the end of the week. So it creates transparency. If Mike's not holding up his end of the bargain in my unit, I can see on the post it so do you need help? How can I remove the obstacle and it's just like marching down until you done there's a little bit of tactile feel of finishing the job because you get to take the post it down, throw it away Yahoo. Ring about and then Tom decided to move to okrs you got as we scale, it's becoming untenable. We were doing
short form content for a lot of clients and then for ourselves and entering them in film festivals and premiering them on the road and premiering them at the Nantucket project. And so there's a factory like,
you know, from Warhol to the end
factory system, and then there's, there's, it's a good way to collaborate with
people that have different capabilities, I would say.
So you know, we've talked about agile with talk about scrums, and okay. As and these are all different methodology by which you can organize people and get work done. But I wanted to ask you, you know, those fun, those functional ways of organizing are one way to look at it in your role. I want you to tell us like what do you focus on when you're working with those 29 team members across so many different projects? How are you thinking and feeling when you're you're sitting with a team where you're working with the team, what is the thing you'll focus most upon when working with that team and helping them get to that job done on Friday, what's Top of Mind in how you can help them and how they can move,
I look at the end and work backwards. So say, if one of the
inspirations around the offices create miracles, and if you're going to create a miracle in customer relations, or the event or have a
short film that's talked about how do you get here and then work back and figure out right,
so reverse engineering? Yeah, yeah, definitely. Okay. So this is a really interesting
calm down. I mean, I would take a page from Mitch which is you know, just I'm old enough now to know that and I'm a cyclist and there's a cyclist prayer which is there will be chaos,
keep pedaling. And and it's it's kind of counterintuitive because you do want to embrace the moment and understand coach but you just have to keep going. Otherwise, you know, the peloton falls apart and every cyclists
is got to
have some kind of so when you get to those moments, and this just reminds me of when Katrina had said you know what, Deutschland a fetus in
New York here I town
take these big leaps. And then you often after your peak of expectations go on a very slippery slope into the value of darkness when you're facing in moments where you're like I'm questioning whether I should keep pedaling. But you kind of some way you know you have to keep pedaling. But it would be just so nice to stop pedaling. It's a bit like when the alarm goes off. And you look at the snooze button and you're like, Ah, that would be so nice. How do you in your case? How do you keep pedaling? How do you keep going? Is there some things that you do
that help you just keep on track? And just keep going?
yeah, I wish I had something pithy to say. I, I I think you just have to keep
the momentum and much of it is
whether it's management or leadership. And it's that incentivizing people that that idea is
the idea or
it's not the best idea you've had, I know that you can do better we work at such a pace that I'm,
you know, you get afraid that people are used to just turning it out and there is time for reflect and there is time for better words, and you just have to remind yourself that there is oftentimes a better path and it's not always full of bumps and bruises and not sure that's is pulling off the peloton.
Yeah, I have just one final question. And I would like to ask two other people in the audience kind of what some of the themes you've heard from from everyone this evening. But what surprised you most about working with this particular team. So you've led other teams you said, you know, you've been interim CEO, and you've had other positions in leadership, the people have been talking project sound like a very interesting group of people. I'm just kind of curious, what has surprised you most about working with this particular group, and kind of what you've learned and adapted your, your leadership in order to help
you all achieve what your, your your Okay, ours,
I would say there's a
it's sounds so hokey, but there is a passion and an
unquenchable thirst for making the human connection of a better thing, which is, which is why coming from hospitality and media and the theater before that, creating the greatest experience you can. And that doesn't mean that means something like this, that means making sure that every touchpoint is reflective of the brand reflective of the purpose and that I don't think we compromise on and that's a testament to the senior most leadership at the country as a company.
holding on tight to the vision and almost done Don't settle for any compromise on vision. Maybe it sounds like he can be flexible and how you get there. But But I really, I
would say with with most brands today, there should be a fun framework and a filter in which you can make decisions and let people make good decisions. But it's so fluid right now, with all brands that you have to punch above your weight, you just have to in order to cut through it in any and so you cannot be afraid to go out of bounds and risk not risk everything but certainly swing for a fencer too
I like that that was also very very connected to you know the search of adventure and just meet you is to saying to yourself just go for it right just go for it
we're gonna send
get ready to take the jump the lunch and remit
sensory device it's definitely
for where question might come from and I feel like this maybe some be drinking troublemakers right up the back there. Chad, who would conjuring Good question.
Yeah. Oh, I'm also curious about the themes that you've heard emerging
Yeah, I'm not sure I have a question. But I have been thinking about sort of what you've all been speaking about. And I think there's some some element of appreciating one's own agency and controlled
you know, taking a step back and not letting necessarily, you know, outside forces sort of influence too much
and just sort of recognizing you know, your role in in sort of charting that course and figuring out what it is you want to do and and interesting because you've all had a pretty broad assortment of experiences and courses but that seemed to resonate sort of throughout all three was you know don't don't lose sight of your own role in you know the and how you ended up
there things like that.
Yeah, I would frame that as your own work code if anybody read the paper day about Carlos
known I think you pronounce his last name guy from Reno and
Nissan who's been in jail right? And so the Reno cut him loose today or yesterday whenever the news cycle broke, but the quote today, and I wrote it because I thought this was a quote from him, and this comes back to Don't forget who you are, and I don't care how big your job is.
he's apparently accused of misappropriating funds that were used for personal gain.
When you invite people to a party, they say, maybe when you invite them to Versailles, they will come so apparently expensed his second marriage, right. Mitch is was it is now
his second marriage. So I want to read that again. I mean, just don't forget who you are.
When you invite people to a party. They say maybe
when you invite them to come to Versailles, they'll come
Wow. So. So yeah, that was a quote from today's paper.
Who, who does this shit,
really, we're going to
the shareholders of Nissan and we know are going to pay for his second wedding at Versailles.
It was really it was really
see these photos. Oh, my gosh.
But it happens time and time again.
Yeah, we we see it all the time. All the time. Anyone else that had some reflections on maybe something that they're taking away from this wonderful discussion that we've had here on the moon shots podcast live in New York,
I'm sensing his agenda today is going to contribute. I can just I can see it.
really don't know if I have a question. But just appreciating kind of automatically what was said. And that last comment kind of hits home, having worked with a company called MDC partners in there. They're all former show runner, miles and all, so not quite as bad. But any event,
I digress. I just
personally just, you know, really appreciate it kind of the, you know, going back to Mitch, I took it as kind of like an interdisciplinary approach like learning through teaching really stuck with me and kind of the coaching aspect and how you parallel that with with business practice. And as millennial myself, I think the pacing of how you respond and how you prioritize is constantly an issue. So I think, you know, that is a big takeaway, and just trying to keep that in the back your mind, how you operate, how you channel your contribution, again, how you just kind of prioritize all all that really struck me so much appreciated. Not that I didn't appreciate everyone's comments, but
Okay, guys, it's
still some beer and pizza left. But I really want to invite all of you just
people offered. And remember that as long as you keep learning. I think this is the big thing we've learned together, isn't it? we've we've studied all of these entrepreneurs and innovators. And tonight, what we've seen is, once again, there is curiosity, learning intentionality. And if we can just remind ourselves of those things and bring those into our workday, then we can all shoot for the moon. So guys, I'd love you all to show your appreciation for our three guests
thank you to you to all
Thank you. Please go and check it
out archive of this show and all the other 47 so
on the moon shots podcast. Thanks, everyone.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai