Advocating Innovation on NYBERG

By Tony Vengrove

I had the pleasure of joining Ann Nyberg on her show to discuss innovation and the challenges facing our great state, Connecticut. There are many issues and opportunities to consider and we only scratched the surface. But, I’m encouraged by the amazing community of entrepreneurs and change agents that are collaborating to make a difference. Working together to build community and a bigger collective brain is the only way we’ll make a meaningful impact.

Ann is a true advocate for sharing the stories and work of innovators–it’s clear she cares about helping make a difference. I encourage you to sign up for her Network Connecticut newsletter or business directory.

Jeff Shore Interviews Tony Vengrove on Profiles in Boldness

By Tony Vengrove

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Jeff Shore on his Profiles in Boldness series. We discussed several matters related to Creative Leadership including: the Idea Climate Equation®, what people can do to foster creative thinking, how to use objectives to empower employees, and the difference between culture and climate–plus more! We covered a lot of territory in 16 minutes.

If you’re not familiar with Jeff’s work, he’s a powerhouse in the sales world. Be sure to check out what he does and peruse his fantastic content on his website.

The Stories of Creative Leadership: John R. Bell

By Tony Vengrove


Welcome to Episode 3 of The Stories of Creative Leadership. Our latest conversation features John R. Bell, retired CEO, management consultant, and author of Do Less Better: The Power of Strategic Sacrifice in a Complex World.

As you’ll hear in the interview, John is a leader that truly embraces creativity and innovation. Having served at the helm of a large corporation, John has many lessons to share regarding his creative leadership journey and what principles served him well.

We also talk about his new book Do Less Better, which is packed with relevant insights on strategy, innovation, and leadership. I devoured it and predict it will be on this year’s top-10 business book list. I highly recommend it!

Highlights from the interview include:

  • Why “Creativity is the last great bargain in business.”
  • How John honed his creative leadership skills and what you should do more of and less of starting today.
  • How doing less better brings agility, foresight, adaptability, and resilience.
  • How doing less better enables you to compete with larger organizations with bigger budgets.
  • “One of the most important things a CEO can do is establish an environment that will not force him or her to compromise their strategic principles.”
  • “Creativity without strategy is like spitting in the wind.”

John hit a home-run during our 7 C’s of Creative Leadership lightening round–you won’t want to miss it. He offered a kind endorsement of our creative framework: “I’ve got to tell you, I love the concept of those 7 C’s–it’s a terrific checklist for anyone who wants to break through with creativity.”

We have a lot more exciting guests coming down the pike. Be sure to bookmark our new series landing page so that you never miss an episode!

Founder, Miles Finch Innovation LLCMiles Finch Innovation helps companies navigate the messy territory of corporate innovation. We’re strategic thinking partners who can help you get unstuck and identify creative solutions to your toughest challenges. We also love to train and speak on the subject of Creative Leadership. Email us or call us at 860-799-7505 to learn how we can help you you unlock the creative potential of your employees.

Seven C’s Lightening Round with Mark Fernandes


A tradition on The Stories of Creative Leadership Podcast is to ask our guests for a pithy quote about each of the Seven C’s of Creative Leadership. Mark Fernandes of Luck Companies recently joined us to talk about Values Based Leadership and how his company embraced creativity as one of its core values. We really enjoyed his lightening round!

Communication: “Remember, the biggest fallacy of communication is when we think it happens. So the pep talk is this: keep going back, and just because they don’t hear you, or they’re not getting on board, it doesn’t mean you’re not saying it. It just means you might want to say it a little bit differently.”

Curiosity: “That’s one of the big three for me when I think about young leaders. We know that curiosity killed the cat, not sure where that came from, but I think in the future world of work, those of us who aren’t curious, I think that’s going to be a very short story. And I think the big idea here is don’t be afraid of what you might find, be open to it.”

Creativity: “One of our company values. We are creative creatures. I think each of us should look inside of our own souls and look at the video of our own life, for creative inspiration, it’s in there if you just open your eyes to it.”

Connecting: “I would say the idea here is that we’re using it a lot in the context of the digital world, the high-tech world. And I think the magic is: the future is not just about high-tech, it’s also about high-touch. Let’s make sure that when we think about connecting, that we’re looking at it both through the lens of high-tech and high-touch.”

Culture: “How things get done around here. Our biggest message on this is: it will happen. And left unattended to, my question would be, let me know how that works out for you. So be very purposeful and intentional about your culture. Think of it as a brand. Have an aspiration for it, and then make sure you’re doing the things that move you in the direction of that aspiration.”

Change: “How much has been written about change management? I think we process it to death. I think the magic around change really lives on the human side. And our biggest insight here is that human beings are going to go through steps of learning. And for a lot of type-A leaders, it’s like, “Well, I gave it to them why aren’t they doing it right now?” That’s not the way this works. I think the best word to associate with change management is patience, and then persistence. People are going to go through the cycle of change, and we all know part of that is despair. Our role as leaders is to inspire, breathe life into people, not take it personal, not get defensive about it. Just understand that that’s part of the cycle of despair. And it is our job to lead them through that and back up to the performance part. Don’t judge them for that.”

Courage: “I don’t think you can lead without it. If you lack it, you’re going to walk the earth needing from others versus being able to give to others.”

We invite you to listen to the entire conversation with Mark.

Don’t forget to join us on The Stories of Creative Leadership–a podcast series devoted to uncovering the leadership attributes and behaviors required to lead innovation and change. You can follow the series HERE.


Seven C’s Lightening Round with Ivy Ross


One of our traditions on The Stories of Creative Leadership Podcast is to invite our guests to offer a pithy quote about each of the Seven C’s of Creative Leadership. In the season one finale, Google’s Ivy Ross served up a bunch of wisdom and inspiration in her lightening round. Enjoy!

Communication: “The glue that holds ideas together.”

Curiosity: “Asking the “What if?” question or, “But why?” and “How did things work?”

Creativity: “Seeing things beyond what they appear to be and being free to make new connections.”

Connecting: “I think that’s how the brain makes new ideas, so it is imperative.”

Culture: “Be immersed in it and be the observer of it at the same time.”

Change: “Or die. I think the only thing guaranteed is that things will never stay the same. There used to be an invention every ten years, now it’s every ten seconds.”

Courage: “Nothing new will ever come about if you don’t have it.”

Listen to the entire conversation with Ivy.

We hope you’ll join us on The Stories of Creative Leadership–a podcast series devoted to uncovering the leadership attributes and behaviors required to lead innovation and change. You can follow the series HERE.