Professional AF: Failing Your Way To Success
After a failure, why do some people panic and others prosper? Diana will shed light on the art and science of being wrong at work in hopes of significantly improving our ability to identify failure much sooner and recover from it once it happens. Diana will interview thought leaders on the topic as well as professionals who were at the frontlines of epic public failures to find out exactly what happened and what they learned from the fallout. This season will be packed with lessons you can use no matter where you are in your career.
S3 | E11: The Shocking After Action Review of New Coke - with Sergio Zyman
It's been 35 years since the launch of New Coke and we're still talking about it. What has been labeled one of the greatest product failures in corporate history, has actually been grossly mislabeled. It's actually the greatest story of a corporate pivot that I've ever heard. Within 12 days of launch, the company shifted gears and within 77 days they were able to introduce coke classic and create a significant boost to sales. The sales boost was so high that some people at the time even speculated that the new coke failure was done on purpose to draw attention to coke classic. This is an incredible story that rewards not taking long established tales at face value and getting curious about what really happened.
6 things to know about today's guest Sergio Zyman:He was named one of the Top Three marketing pitchmen of the 20th century by Time magazine.He created New Coke, as well as diet coke, cherry coke, and coke classic.He was influential in the positioning and development of the strategy that resulted in the election of former Mexican President Vicente Fox.He left coke in 1988 as a result of new leadership, and was persuaded to come back in 1993 to hold the first Chief Marketing Officer position ever created in any company. Sergio re-conceptualized the company's marketing strategy and boosted worldwide annual sales from nine to 15 billion cases--the most explosive growth in the company's history. He is the author of 4 books including the international bestseller, The End of Marketing As We Know It.Sergio and I discuss:How the story of New Coke is actually an incredible success story and the tale of the best corporate pivot of all time Why innovation is a lazy move for most companies How companies develop blindspots, And we debate whether marketing is a penalty you pay for having a product that doesn't solve a problem. Thanks for listening and be sure to find me online to tell me what you thought of the episode!@DianaKander on Instagram and Twitter Professional AF Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/943925015810362/Diana online: www.DianaKander.com
S3 | E10: Why we should treat business failure like a broken heart - with Guy Winch
In this episode, we talk with Guy Winch about his amazing book, Emotional First Aid: Healing Rejection, Guilt, Failure, and Other Everyday Hurts. Guy has a surprisingly helpful message for professionals looking to become more resilient, build self-esteem, and let go of a setback.
Guy Winch, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist, author, and keynote speaker whose books have been translated into twenty-six languages. His TED Talks have been viewed over 25 million times and one of them is rated among the top 5 most inspiring talks on TED.com. He's also the co-host of the Dear Therapists podcast with Lori Gottlieb. The podcast is executive produced by Katie Couric for iHeartRadio.
Guy received his doctorate in clinical psychology from New York University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at NYU Medical Center. He has been working with individuals, couples, and families in his private practice in Manhattan for over twenty years.
Guy and I discuss:Why professional setbacks feel like a broken heartWhy most of our natural instincts after a failure lead us down the wrong pathHow to properly grieve after a failure and find the valuable lessons it has to offerThanks for listening and be sure to find me online to tell me what you thought of the episode!@DianaKander on Instagram and Twitter Professional AF Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/943925015810362/Diana online: www.DianaKander.comGuy Winch online: www.guywinch.com/Guy's podcast: Dear Therapists
S3 | E9: What led to the fall of Atari? - with John Hagel
In the early 1980s Atari owned 80% of the video game market and accounted for 70% of the profits of its parent company Warner Communications. By 1983, they had racked up over half a billion dollars ($536 million) in losses, and by the end of 1984 Warner had sold the company.
To answer the question of what happened, I spoke to John Hagel who served as senior vice president of strategy at Atari and was there right at this pivotal moment when they peaked and quickly went out of business.
In addition to his time at Atari, John has spent over 40 years in Silicon Valley and has experience as a management consultant, entrepreneur, speaker and author.
He has worked at Deloitte, McKinsey & Co. and Boston Consulting Group. And is also the founder of two Silicon Valley startups.
He is the author of 7 books, including The Power of Pull, Net Gain, Net Worth, Out of the Box and The Only Sustainable Edge. He has won two awards from Harvard Business Review for best articles in that publication and has been recognized as an industry thought leader by a variety of publications and professional service firms.
John and I discuss:What happened that led to the quick demise of AtariJohn's theory on why success breeds failureWhat he has learned about creating change in an org in his 40 years of practice How to create a learning culture in your organizationThanks for listening and be sure to find me online to tell me what you thought of the episode!@DianaKander on Instagram and Twitter Professional AF Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/943925015810362/Diana online: www.DianaKander.comJohn Hagel online: www.JohnHagel.com
S3 | E8: After Action Review - The Amazon Fire Phone with Ian Freed
The Fire Phone is widely regarded as one of Amazon’s biggest failures. The phone sold what industry experts estimated to be 35,000 units in its first 25 days and they reportedly wrote off $170 million loss due to the phone’s failure in its first year.
This episode is an interview with Ian Freed, the product owner of the fire phone, who took it from inception to product launch.
At Amazon, Ian was a Vice President and served as Technology Adviser to Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos from 2004-2005. He led the Amazon Kindle business including business strategy, product development, business development, and marketing from 2006 until 2010. Additionally, Ian led the Amazon Echo/Alexa business from inception in 2011 through first product release in 2015. From 2016-2017, Ian led consumer services including Amazon Restaurants - a one-hour food delivery service from local restaurants in 25 cities.
In 2018 Ian took his Amazon learnings and launched Bamboo learning - focused on developing breakthrough at home learning experiences for children and families
Ian and I are going to discuss:What happened to the Amazon Fire phone – where it went wrong and why they didn't create a version 2How Jeff Bezos makes failure ok and his favorite story to tell to reinforce this pointHow Amazon decides which products are good but not good enoughThe advice Jeff Bezos gave to Ian after the Fire phone failureThanks for listening and be sure to find me online to tell me what you thought of the episode!@DianaKander on Instagram and Twitter Professional AF Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/943925015810362/Diana online: www.DianaKander.comIan Freed on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ifreed Bamboo Learning: https://bamboolearning.com/
S3 | E7: The Greatest After Action Review of All Time: Nokia's Historic Collapse with Timo Vuori
In 2007 Nokia had 50% of the world’s cell phone market. The cover of Forbes magazine in November of 2007 read – Nokia – 1 Billion Customers – Can Anyone Catch the Cell Phone King? And in less than six years Nokia’s cell phone division tanked so quickly that they stopped selling cell phones and sold the division to Microsoft. Six years! It was one of the fastest collapses in corporate history.
Thanks to the research of two business professors, Timo Vuori and Quy Huy, we know that it was fear at Nokia that precipitated its fall from grace.
Today we have one of the professors to discuss the interviews with 76 of Nokia’s top managers, including two CEOs, vice presidents, middle managers, engineers, and external experts. These conversations, lasting an average of 90 minutes, are, in my opinion, the best after action review ever created.
And they highlight something really profound. While the senior executives were externally focused and worried about competition from Apple, Google and Research In Motion (RIM), their subordinates didn't share their concerns. Instead, middle managers were internally focused, worrying about what their managers wanted from them. And this dynamic that we're going to discuss today is prevalent in every other organization Professor Timo has studied.
Timo and I are going to discuss:The most comprehensive case study every done on a companyThe danger of doing after action reviews internally rather than asking an outsider to helpHow organizations inadvertently create fear within their workforceAnd how those fears prevent an organization from taking corrective action when it's in danger. Thanks for listening and be sure to find me online to tell me what you thought of the episode!@DianaKander on Instagram and Twitter Professional AF Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/943925015810362/Diana online: www.DianaKander.comLink to the Nokia AAR: https://knowledge.insead.edu/sites/www.insead.edu/files/images/asq_2015_print_vuori_huy_distributed_attention_and_shared_emotions_in_innovation_process.pdfTimo on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/timo-vuori-37226a5/
S3 | E6: How to Decide With Annie Duke
Annie Duke is an author, corporate speaker, and consultant in the decision-making space. Today we discuss Annie’s latest book, How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices. As a former professional poker player, Annie won more than $4 million in tournament poker before retiring from the game in 2012. Prior to becoming a professional player, Annie was awarded a National Science Foundation Fellowship to study Cognitive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.
Annie is also the co-founder of The Alliance for Decision Education, a non-profit whose mission is to improve lives by empowering students through decision skills education.
Annie and I are going to discuss:
- How to be the most humble
- How to make better decisions
- Decision hygiene – how to make sure your opinion doesn’t infect others when asking for feedback
- Why looking back at past decisions is so hard and what you can do to make your reflection much more useful
- How to know if you are really learning from both failures and successes
- And you get Annie Duke's contact info in the episode!
Thanks for listening and be sure to find me online to tell me what you thought of the episode!@DianaKander on Instagram and Twitter Professional AF Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/943925015810362/Diana online: www.DianaKander.comAnnie Duke online: https://www.annieduke.com/@AnnieDuke on Twitter
After Action Review
I have thoroughly enjoyed this podcast as Diana manages to Book interesting guests and provide very engaging content. Most recently, I listened to the “after action review” episode. It was particularly interesting because the guest was a former executive at Amazon who shared his experiences and learnings from major failures and successes during his time at the rapidly growing company. It was riveting!
Humble and thoughtful
Genuine and authentic conversations. Can’t stop listening to episodes this week! 🧡 .....However, there was one guest you had discussing fear and anxiety.... the guest expressed some seriously questionable information on PTSD and healing from ptsd. As a trauma therapist, I found it very invalidating to any trauma survivor. So, That was a bit disappointing... ...Fortunately, I adore the host in EVERY episode.... she always makes the episodes focused and interesting! Thanks for a great podcast (95% of the time 😉).
Love this podcast!
Diana - you’re a great, down-to-earth, sincere host. I love your guests and have bought some of their books and checked out other resources. Thank you so much for the detailed liner notes. If you are someone looking to become a better leader, I recommend this podcast.