72 episodes

Real-time wisdom from business leaders in fast-changing situations — covering the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. These fast, focused interviews with CEOs are the in-the-moment counterpoint to the timeless episodes in the classic Masters of Scale podcast. Hosted by Bob Safian, former editor in chief of Fast Company. 

Masters of Scale: Rapid Response WaitWhat

    • Business

Real-time wisdom from business leaders in fast-changing situations — covering the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. These fast, focused interviews with CEOs are the in-the-moment counterpoint to the timeless episodes in the classic Masters of Scale podcast. Hosted by Bob Safian, former editor in chief of Fast Company. 

    Why business must be a force for good, w/former American Express CEO Ken Chenault

    Why business must be a force for good, w/former American Express CEO Ken Chenault

    "Corporations can be a force for good – and they can also be very successful," says Ken Chenault, chair of investment firm General Catalyst and former longtime CEO of American Express. During the past year, Ken has been an outspoken advocate for business leaders to actively engage in societal matters. After George Floyd’s death, he and Merck CEO Ken Frazier launched OneTen, a coalition to create 1 million jobs for Black Americans that now includes major brands from IBM to Nike to Walmart. Chenault has pushed corporate chiefs to use their leverage to protect voting rights, and he's come out with a platform for Responsible Innovation that puts what he calls “social due diligence” alongside financial due diligence. Standing up for what's right, Ken says, fuels long-term success: "The most important thing is the quest for truth, character, and values." See our Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and our California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 25 min
    Fashioning a greener closet, w/Rent the Runway's Jenn Hyman

    Fashioning a greener closet, w/Rent the Runway's Jenn Hyman

    Fashion became secondary amid Covid lockdowns. Sweatpants-only life pressed apparel-subscription service Rent the Runway into layoffs and furloughs. But as co-founder and CEO Jenn Hyman explains, the business saw a surprising rebound early this year, fueled by new customers in unexpected places – and by a renewed consumer focus on sustainability. Building a “closet in the cloud,” as Jenn describes Rent the Runway, may not have been an essential pandemic service, but as we move into the next phase, her experience illuminates how accelerated change is remaking the marketplace. See our Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and our California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 30 min
    The promise and peril of engineering biology, w/Ginkgo Bioworks Reshma Shetty

    The promise and peril of engineering biology, w/Ginkgo Bioworks Reshma Shetty

    Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine would not have scaled without Ginkgo Bioworks. Reshma Shetty, co-founder and COO of Ginkgo – slated to go public via SPAC acquisition at a reported $15 billion valuation – explains how biotech innovation can build a better future now. Ginkgo's platform already serves industries from food and agriculture, to materials, to healthcare. Shetty acknowledges that engineering genes is a high stakes pursuit, and says Ginkgo is trying to pair the ambition of Silicon Valley with a "higher level of care" than consumer tech companies like social media have demonstrated. The key, Shetty says, is creating an unstable equilibrium – propelling progress but not at the expense of principles. See our Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and our California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 25 min
    Upskilling and the war for talent, w/Guild Education CEO Rachel Carlson

    Upskilling and the war for talent, w/Guild Education CEO Rachel Carlson

    How do you win the post-pandemic war for talent? Send your frontline workers to online school. That's the pitch that Rachel Carlson has made – successfully – to big businesses from Chipotle to Disney, Walmart to Waste Management. As co-founder and CEO of Guild Education, Carlson runs a digital platform that enables workers to get degrees and certifications as a free employee benefit. Though virtual schooling for kids is under fire, virtual education for adults has caught on over the last year like never before. To meet the ongoing need for “upskilling” in the modern economy, Carlson says, company-sponsored digital classes should be as ubiquitous as company-sponsored health plans. The ROI, she explains, is astonishingly high. See our Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and our California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 28 min
    Why real estate matters more than ever, with Compass CEO Robert Reffkin

    Why real estate matters more than ever, with Compass CEO Robert Reffkin

    "We may not be able to survive this," remarked Robert Reffkin, founder and CEO of real estate platform Compass, after pandemic lockdown rules essentially outlawed U.S. home selling. Yet today the housing market is booming, and Compass has successfully IPO'ed. Reffkin shares how he kept his team together, why he stayed optimistic, and what businesses lucky enough to have benefited from Covid times owe their communities. He also shares insights on housing prices – after correctly predicting last year that summer 2020 would be the most successful in the history of the real estate market – and on the future of big cities. It’s a house tour worth taking. See our Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and our California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 28 min
    Inside Google’s Pandemic Safety Squad, w/Chief Health Officer Dr. Karen DeSalvo

    Inside Google’s Pandemic Safety Squad, w/Chief Health Officer Dr. Karen DeSalvo

    Google search may be the world’s most powerful public health platform. Dr Karen DeSalvo, Google's chief health officer, has built a team of doctors, scientists and clinicians who – alongside engineers and designers – determine what information and advice shows up when we search for answers about Covid-19, the pandemic, vaccines, and more. She also heads Google’s employee health-safety efforts and leads external in-the-field efforts to broaden vaccine access in the U.S. and across the globe. Her message to businesses is that we all have a role to play in combating the virus – and that, when it comes to return-to-work, our own personal risk assessment can’t be discounted. See our Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and our California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 32 min

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