43 episodes

Looking Outside is for curious business leaders looking for a fresh take on familiar topics. Each episode is a conversation with an influential and original thinker, diving into well known areas in a new way.

Hosted by Jo Lepore, business innovator and human-centric futurist.

Looking Outside Joanna Lepore

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

Looking Outside is for curious business leaders looking for a fresh take on familiar topics. Each episode is a conversation with an influential and original thinker, diving into well known areas in a new way.

Hosted by Jo Lepore, business innovator and human-centric futurist.

    Looking Outside Food with Purpose: Moritz Everding, Social Entrepreneur

    Looking Outside Food with Purpose: Moritz Everding, Social Entrepreneur

    In this episode of Looking Outside, we speak with someone crazy enough to think one company can make a difference, social entrepreneur Moritz Everding. Moritz founded food start up SOCHILI to act on his vision of creating food with purpose.
    Combining his love of spice, his experience in business innovation and his passion for positive social change, Moritz created his business from Germany with far reaching impact into sub-Saharan Africa. On this episode, Moritz speaks to his conviction that a profitable business idea, whether by someone inside a big corporation, or an entrepreneur, can and should be pressure tested against social, ethical and environmental standards.
    With his business model, Moritz balances the desire to make a big difference, in this case to 600 million people living without access to electricity, with the long term sustainability behind a small but growing product idea. He shares how his business was created to give back, visibly and transparently, directly to the farmers who supply the chilies for his hot sauce, most self-evidently in that for every bottle sold, the company is able to give first time access for its farmers to electricity for one day.
    Jo and Mo also discuss the distinction between a profitable social enterprise and an NGO and that it’s still the responsibility of the start ups, who are often much more severely critiqued for their social, ethical and sustainability initiatives, to not act like charities, but to live by the standards of social consumerism in giving people more of what they want. In this case, a delicious, great looking, functionally-smart product that also ticks the socially-responsible boxes. It’s no easy feat but Moritz believes it is possible, and is motivated in encouraging more food businesses to go the same way.
    Moritz’ belief that profit and purpose can go hand in hand also inspired him to start his Purpose Projects podcast where he gets to research a variety of topics changing the global food landscape, speaking directly to the social entrepreneurs working to make it happen. Social consumerism is the way of the future, Moritz says, and he is a living and breathing example of it.
    To look outside, Moritz started a testing community. He asks community members, who all have varied perspectives that touch on the 17 SDGs, to pressure test (and taste test) the product against his impact model. Moritz says it's easy to get stuck in one lane, only listening to reaffirming positive feedback. To get outside his comfort zones, he seeks honest and varied perspectives from this community.
    Find out more about the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): sdgs.un.org/goals Listen to the Seth Goldman episode mentioned on ActivismListen to Moritz' own podcast, the Purpose Projects Podcast (in German)
    Moritz Everding is Founder & Managing Director of SOCHILI. Crazy about impact, crazy about hot sauces - Moritz is a social entrepreneur and advocate of purpose in the business world. As founder of the food start-up SOCHILI, he proves that social impact can also be tasty and spicy. With every single 'SOCHILI good hot sauce' the business empowers farmers in the Global South in the truest sense of the word: 1 hot sauce = 1 day of electricity.
    Connect with Moritz on LinkedIn Find out more about

    • 38 min
    Looking Outside Comedy: Monty Franklin, Stand-Up Comedian

    Looking Outside Comedy: Monty Franklin, Stand-Up Comedian

    Another Aussie joins us on Looking Outside to explore the power of laughter and positivity through comedy, with stand-up comedian, actor and TV personality, Monty Franklin.
    Having lived in the US and toured 42 states over the last ten years, Monty has performed to more than a million Americans, and whether it’s on stage or at the bank, he speaks to the privilege of making people forget their troubles, even for a little while. He says laughter is one of the greatest things people can experience, and it's his role to find the kind of comedy that is relatable; stories about day to day life that despite being his, are not really about him but his listeners.
    Story crafting has been an interest area for Monty since he was little, whether it was standing up and telling stories in front of his (funny) family, learning about the stories that shaped his home country of Australia, through indigenous culture, art and The Dreaming, or exploring the stories that live within other art forms like film or music.
    Today he funnels his love of storytelling into his comedy shows or in his writing. Monty says all we leave behind on this earth are the things we hear, learn and pass down. So it’s either in the fields of education or storytelling that we pass on the history of the world and learnings of our time on it.
    Monty speaks to positive stories about good people, doing good things for each other, as the ones we’re drawn to today, despite seemingly being divided by politics. Monty believes 99% of people are good and want to get along, and what helps in that is thinking outside the parameters of what we perceive as true; to consider a different take on things and not shut ourselves off to the evolution of ideas.
    Jo and Monty also chat through the ups and downs of Aussie relocation to America, particularly in having to ‘start over’ no matter what success was previously gained, of benefiting from the strength of the Aussie brand (a testament, Monty says, of the “good people” that went international) but also wearing its novelty-factor … and even after so long feeling a little out of place.
    While Monty admits that it is an ego-boost to be ‘in the limelight’, he says great comedians listen more than they talk. And while being on stage gives you a thick skin for critique, you’re not immune to feeling hurt from negative comments, or from having good and very bad days, which reinforces the need to strengthen your mental health to handle the swings of life, which ultimately should be expected because you can’t be up and laughing all the time.
    To look outside, Monty listens to TED Talks in the morning. A 12 min video over breakfast on a range of topics gives him a fresh perspective and knowledge about something new and interesting. Monty says learning this way is quick and he gets something surprising from it every time. Once a year, Monty also takes a surf trip, with his friends and without a phone.
    Monty Franklin is an Australian born stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and television personality, now based in LA.
    He tours all over the world headlining some of the biggest comedy clubs and also opens for Rob Schneider, Joe Rogan and Jim Breuer.
    Monty was on Ep #1794 of The Joe Rogan Experience and he is currently appearing in 'Real Rob' on NETFLIX, season 1&2.
    He has had roles on 'New Girl' - FOX, 'Becoming Bond' - Hulu and is the creator and star of 'The Manny' - TV Pilot.
    Monty’s numerous television stand-up performances include AXS TV's Live At Gotham, Channel 10s The Circle, Foxtel’s Stand Up Australia, and as part of The Comedy Channel’s special – The Best Of Stand Up and Comedy Gold.
    Monty has produced, written and starred in two TV Pilots of sketch-comedy show No Monkeys on Bikes for Channel 7, co-hosted a weekly radio show on Fox...

    • 39 min
    Looking Outside Openness: Marcel Braun, Pharmacist & Novartis Exhibition Director

    Looking Outside Openness: Marcel Braun, Pharmacist & Novartis Exhibition Director

    In this episode of Looking Outside we explore living your life and career curiously through an openness to learning with trained pharmacist and director of the Novartis Pavillon exhibiting the wonders of medicine, Marcel Braun.
    Marcel studied pharmacy but throughout his career has remained open to entering new fields and living in new places, something he calls both accidental in drifting from one opportunity to another, and intentional as he ticked off ‘dream roles’ from his bucket list. From roles in forensic accounting, corporate philanthropy, even national pharmacist for Vanuatu, and across disciplines ranging business administration, biology and chemistry … Marcel has worn many hats. He credits this to both chance (“What are the odds that I got to do everything I did?”) but equally to openness; as opportunities came up, scary or divergent as they may have been, Marcel first and immediate said yes, then worked out how to make it happen second.
    Committing yourself to new career paths doesn’t mean it has to be forever, as Marcel says, “A career is like a ladder, you can climb up and realize it’s leaning on the wrong wall.” Just as shifting careers doesn’t mean a complete departure from what you did before. Today Marcel heads up the exhibition in Basel, Switzerland for Novartis’ Pavillon, an exhibition that displays the past, present and future of medicine. While this may seem like a departure from pharmaceutical research or philanthropy, Marcel explains it’s connected, as much of the work in medicine is about good communication. Medicine, science and treatments are detailed topics with complex histories that must be explained simply.
    Jo and Marcel, both having lived and worked in various parts of the world, also explore what it means to adapt to and learn a new culture when relocating (in Marcel’s case, more then 11 times). Marcel says for him it’s about learning the culture through curiosity, as often it is little differences that mean an act can show offense or respect. He also credits being able to speak at least a little of the native language in building comfort and confidence, and to staying away from ‘toxic’ people who are unhappy with their experience (in other words, don’t just hang out with frustrated expats).
    Marcel and Jo also discuss the benefits of building interdisciplinary skills, as a way to create more unique career paths and a unique identifier for yourself by combining seemingly unconnected backgrounds, training or cultures. Marcel did this, wearing his ‘pharma backpack’ along with his ‘financial backpack’, and found it’s the cross-over of varied disciplines that helps you find new solutions to old problems.
    Despite having pushed himself into so many varied careers, Marcel says he wished he had said yes to more things. As it’s often the case that you underestimate what you’re capable of until you push yourself to the point past discomfort. But it’s only when you keep your radar wide, and stay open, that you find those new opportunities because often, “You can’t imagine what else could be out there”.
    To look outside, Marcel became a passionate beekeeper. This is something that he never dared to start with extensive travels, and now has the time, patience and perseverance for. This is Marcel’s place to settle and be in the ‘now’, because when you’re in the beehive you have to focus. He calls the experience fully immersive, from the noise of the bees to the stickiness of the honey, and therefore uses it as a way to refresh his senses like a holiday. And even though he has been stung painfully and many times, 15-20 stings per year, it doesn’t deter him, in fact it reminds him constantly to stay in the moment.
    Marcel Braun is the Director Novartis Exhibition at the newly opened Novartis Pavillon in Switzerland. Marcel took the “Wonders...

    • 43 min
    Looking Outside Semiotics [LIVE]: Dr Rachel Lawes, Semiotician & Social Psychologist

    Looking Outside Semiotics [LIVE]: Dr Rachel Lawes, Semiotician & Social Psychologist

    In this special LIVE episode of Looking Outside, recorded at the Insights and Innovation Exchange event in Texas, we look more closely at the symbols and signs that surround us, the study of Semiotics, with semiotician, author and marketer, Dr Rachel Lawes.
    Rachel blends her 20 years in Market Research and her academic training as a Social Psychologist, with a focus on how people communicate through the study of semiotics. Rachel describes this as looking more deeply and critically at what is at face-value, and how that can help us make more deliberate decisions.
    Stressing this point, Rachel says that semioticians can very easily become theoretical or academic; in essence become enamored with the art of hypothesizing what things mean, and often forget that that all this theory needs to be actionable to inform business strategy.
    Having authored two books on the topic that explore semiotics in the marketing and retail landscapes, Rachel speaks to how semiotics can help give brands a competitive advantage by paying attention to what is often missed. Rachel describes this as the unique tipping point from natural observation, which everyone does in noticing what is obvious, to looking at what’s not said and seen and what that tells us.
    Jo and Rachel also discuss the importance, for those of us in the job of observation, to catch when we’re over-analyzing things, because over-studying something can be dangerous, and what's critical is to remind ourselves about what is truly represented and representative of human culture.
    To look outside, Rachel travels. This allows her to get a little uncomfortable and gain exposure to new experiences and people she wouldn’t otherwise have had.
    Dr Rachel Lawes is a semiotician and marketer, and one of the original founders of British commercial semiotics. Through Lawes Consulting Ltd, established in 2002, she supplies semiotics to brand owners, ad agencies and marketers around the world. Her specialties include pharmaceuticals, banking and aviation, as well as everyday consumer goods.
    Rachel is author of two ground-breaking books on the business applications of semiotics. ‘Using Semiotics in Marketing’ (2nd edition published in 2023) is the first book to set out a step-by-step course in semiotics for marketers and market researchers. Her other book, ‘Using Semiotics in Retail’, is the winner of the Sales & Marketing category of the Business Book Awards 2023.
    Rachel’s PhD is in social psychology. She is a Fellow of the Market Research Society.
    Follow Rachel on LinkedIn and InstagramLearn more about the work Rachel does through Lawes Consulting: lawes-consulting.co.ukBuy a copy of Rachel's books from koganpage.com with a special Looking Outside 20% discount, using the discount code "SEMIOTICS".Rachel's books, Using Semiotics in Marketing and Using Semiotics in Retail, are also available on Amazon.Read more about the story behind the Princess Diana photo at the Taj Mahal.
    Looking Outside is a podcast dedicated to exploring fresh perspectives of familiar business topics. The show is hosted...

    • 35 min
    Looking Outside Flying: Ricardo Nunes, Airline Pilot

    Looking Outside Flying: Ricardo Nunes, Airline Pilot

    Are some people simply more cut out to take on big responsibilities, where lives are at stake, or is it actually just good training? In this episode of Looking Outside, we explore the mindset and skills of preparedness in Flying with commercial airline pilot, Ricardo Nunes.
    Being responsible for hundreds of people on the plane is not something Ricardo takes for granted. While many of us would find that extreme level of responsibility crippling, Ricardo says the confidence comes from understanding the weight of the responsibility, and taking that seriously by training for the worst.
    Ricardo describes how preparation has been pivotal to surviving challenges faced in his aviation career and prior to that, before he crossed to ‘the dark side’, when he flew Search and Rescue helicopters for the Portuguese Air Force. It’s all in the training, Ricardo stresses, as while the scenarios faced are different, the way to think through them is the same.
    Jo and Ricardo also explore the intersection of flying and foresight, in how anticipatory thinking allows you to ‘fly ahead of the plane’. Explaining that the mindset is similar in the military as in foresight, particularly in leveraging methods like scenario planning, Ricardo says constantly testing out different pathways in flight means he is prepared for unforeseen situations so that when a tough decision has to be made, its already been thought-through.
    While the life of a pilot may seem both illustrious and solitary, the success of the airline industry and its crew is entirely dependent on being humble and highly communicative. Ricardo explains how airlines strictly follow a “just culture”; where decisions, omissions and actions are reported or called out without reprimand. It is only by showing, not hiding, mistakes that the airline industry maintains a culture of trust and builds on knowledge that leads to its incredible safety record.
    Ricardo also speaks to how this kind of approach in pushing yourself into complex and challenging situations, and consistently training for them, makes you a better person … one who is less prone to panic in the moment, and one who can enjoy a unique life (for example, where you get the travel the world). Train hard and fight easy, as they say in the military.
    To look outside, Ricardo says to talk to someone different; someone who doesn’t do what you do for a living or doesn’t think the same way. Sometimes you need an outsider view to help you think outside the box.
    Ricardo Nunes is a former Portuguese Air Force pilot turned commercial airline pilot with a passion for foresight and scenario planning.
    Ricardo began his career in 2005 in the Portuguese Air Force, where he flew various fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, including the DHC-1 Chipmunk, TB-30 Epsilon, Allouette 3, and EH101 Merlin. He flew numerous Search and Rescue (SAR) missions, eventually becoming a SAR captain in 2011.
    In 2013, Ricardo transitioned to the civilian world, where he now logs thousands of flight hours aboard Airbus A320/321 aircraft, connecting Lisbon to destinations in Europe, Africa, and the Americas with over 5,000 flight hours under his belt.
    But flying is not Ricardo's only passion. He is also a founding member of the Portuguese Foresight Association, a non-profit organization established by like-minded individuals to promote foresight and future studies in Portuguese society. 
    Despite his busy schedule, Ricardo remains true to his Lisbon roots, where he was born and raised. He holds a Master of Science in Air Transport Management from City, University of London, and post-graduates degrees in Foresight, Strategy, and Innovation from the Lisbon School of Economics (ISEG), and in Management from the NOVA School of Business and Economics.
    He has never lost his love for flying or his...

    • 39 min
    Looking Outside Innovation BS: Lars Behrendt, Innovation Engineer

    Looking Outside Innovation BS: Lars Behrendt, Innovation Engineer

    Lars Behrendt joins us for this episode of Looking Outside, discussing the bureaucracy, ego and over-perfection that gets in the way of great innovating … in other words, Innovation Bullshit.
    Now a voice of influence in the innovation space, particularly in his home country of Germany where he gets 10 million content views weekly, Lars shares how he ‘engineered’ a voice of authority in order to break through the clutter of innovation nonsense; with a few cuss words, a ton of humor and big hit of straight talk.
    Believing innovation shouldn’t take years and cost a fortune, and most definitely shouldn’t be designed to death, Lars shares how he orchestrated a new way of innovating in just one week (through his company Granny&Smith) that allows real customers to make a decision on what’s a good idea, based on the most important metric of success: real sales.
    Jo and Lars discuss why innovation without execution is b******t, and why no one but the customer is the real expert in what a good idea is. Besides, as Lars says, real market feedback is the fun part of innovating. He makes this shift in process successful only by getting absolute commitment upfront in a fast, iterative process where skepticism is left at the door and a safe bubble is erected with risk-averse people unwelcome. Why? Ultimately, people in the process who are ‘trying to find a problem, will create a problem.’
    Lars also discusses the plight of engineers, product designers and innovators who invest heart and soul into a system that often fails them; through roadblocks in getting a product to market, or a poor process of pre-testing that relegates the idea to failure. And how lowering the bar is a pivotal change that must happen in the innovation system.
    To look outside, Lars goes deep on one single topic, completely blocking out all other distractions. He says only in this zone of intensive focus, while often exhausting and high pressure, can you discover new ways to approach old problems.
    Lars Behrendt is considered one of the leading international innovation developers because he has been gaining real practical experience for more than 15 years, which makes him a true innovation expert. As a managing partner of the Granny&Smith Innovation Lab, which he founded in 2006, Lars has gathered profound expertise while working with numerous Dax corporations and Fortune 500 companies.
    Born in Northern Germany, he started his company as a creative engineering firm and quickly became an innovation insider to major corporations.
    Today, he works for 7 out of 9 of the most innovative German companies. He is also a co-developer and driver of numerous groundbreaking innovations and supported companies like IBM, Telekom, BMW or Volkswagen in their innovation processes.
    Together with his team he co-developed more than 50 startups and launched countless innovations with the world's most renowned companies.
    Learn more about the innovation process run by Granny&Smith: www.grannyandsmith.com & Lars Listen to the Boiler Room podcast (in German).Buy Lars' book Get Real Innovation.Follow Lars on LinkedIn
    Looking Outside is a podcast dedicated to exploring fresh perspectives of familiar business topics. The show is hosted by...

    • 46 min

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