We give C-Suite leaders the knowledge and inspiration they need to create lasting change through the power of strategic narratives.
Engineering the Future of Accessibility w/ Heather Dowdy of Netflix
In this episode, Chris is joined by Netflix’s Heather Dowdy for a conversation about her work in shifting the narratives that impact how people with disabilities and people of color with disabilities are received in our culture.
Heather is a child of deaf adults (CODA) who grew up on the south side of Chicago at the intersection of race, disability, socioeconomic status, and technology. She became an engineer and eventually the first director of product accessibility at Netflix. In that role, she sets strategy and helps her team use technology to innovate so they can delight members who have disabilities.
Chris and Heather explore:
Heather's journey from Chicago to college and then Motorola, Microsoft, and now Netflix Her vision of the future, one where we all recognize that no two people and no two disabilities are alike but every person's needs are met What happens when a company's stated purpose and the demand for profit collide How Heather stays connected to her audience at Netflix to ensure she and her team are creating the most delightful experiences possible How we can use AI to unlock greater personalization to meet people's access needs and supplement their abilities And much more!
Amazon, Customer Obsession & the Stories That Aren’t in the Data w/ Pete Sauerborn
In this episode, Chris is joined by a friend, former colleague, and mentor from his time at Amazon Marketplace, Pete Sauerborn.
Pete is a seasoned eCommerce leader with impeccable credentials: a VP at Amazon Marketplace, an MBA from Chicago Booth, stints at Apple and McKinsey, and owner of a $300 million P&L at Teleflora.
But what sets Pete apart is his customer obsession. That’s a buzzword, for sure, but there is no better phrase for what guides Pete.
You’ll hear how Pete’s obsession with serving his customers led him to uncover stories at Amazon about real people that didn’t show up in the data. These stories ran counter to the narrative that Pete and his team were using to run the business—and ended up redefining the future of Amazon Marketplace.
Chris and Pete explore:
The path that took Pete from reviving his brother’s failing paper route as a kid to growing Amazon Marketplace from 15 people to 4,000One of Pete’s biggest failures as a leader at AmazonHow writing Amazon’s famous 1-pagers and 6-pagers forces an intense clarity of thinkingWhy pain is necessary for business transformationThe time Chris turned himself into a robotAnd much more!
The Narrative That Drives the Future w/ Kyle Arteaga of The Bulleit Group
Today The Storied Future Podcast welcomes Kyle Arteaga, cofounder and CEO of the Bulleit Group, an award-winning high-tech PR agency.
From an early age, Kyle believed that the science fiction of movies and television could become reality—had to become reality.
At the core of Kyle and his team’s mission is a recognition of the ways technology has shaped the present, and a determination to tell the stories of the companies that will drive the future.
In this episode, Kyle and Chris discuss how companies that are inventing the future can thrive in the midst of uncertainty and use narrative to change what happens next. They cover:
The influence TV shows like The Jetsons and Knight Rider had on young Kyle’s vision of what was possible How comms can evolve to address the acceleration of invention, the proliferation of communication channels, and the complex desires and demands of customers, employees, and policy makers How startups and enterprise tech companies can effectively tell their stories in a way that brings their vision of the future to life Why having a strong narrative in times of uncertainty is critical to the future of your company How to build an authentic narrative, and the importance of bringing your audience along on the journeyAnd much more!
Proving Your Value w/Mark Stouse of Proof Analytics
Welcome to the seventh episode of The Storied Future Podcast, where Chris talks to Mark Stouse, founder and CEO of Proof Analytics.
If you’ve been listening to the show regularly, you know we explore how leaders use narrative to transform the future of a business. Mark has done that many times over, but his story of personal transformation is not to be missed. He also highlights how analytics can be a powerful tool—an empathy engine—that can help marketing leaders become greater multipliers of the efforts of those around them.
Chris and Mark discuss:
How the thing Mark detested at an early age—math—eventually changed his lifeWhy being a “data-driven” organization isn’t enoughHow Mark proved the value of investing in brand building at Honeywell Aerospace, a traditional organization that had historically spent nearly 100% on demand generation The roles of marketing and sales, how marketing mix modeling (MMM) helps align them, and why great marketing is a sales multiplier Why understanding time lag is a key to relating marketing performance and sales performanceThe narratives that guide the relationship between CMOs and CFOs, and how analytics can help shift those narrativesAnd much more!
The How and Why of Building a Great Strategic Narrative w/ Andrew Walsh of Applicate Commerce
Today’s guest is Andrew Walsh of Applicate Commerce.
As the president and CEO of Applicate, Andrew is at the helm of one of the biggest shifts in the company’s sixty-year history. The company—previously known as Paint Sundries Solutions—had stayed in their lane for decades as a distributor of applied architectural products.
But the rise of ecommerce was disrupting their linear supply chain, threatening the market share of brands and local retailers, and training consumers to demand more, better, faster, and cheaper.
So they turned to The Storied Future to help them define a strategic narrative that would draw their organization, partners, and customers toward an irresistible future defined by value creation, growth, and transformation.
In this episode, Chris and Andrew cover:
The history of Applicate Commerce, and the challenges they faced with the rise of ecommerceAndrew’s experience as a janitor on the shop floor of Applicate that showed him the power of a cohesive narrativeHow Applicate worked with The Storied Future to create a strategic narrative to guide them and their stakeholders as the business evolvedThe crucial importance of getting CEO buy-in on a new strategic narrativeWhy operating from their values is a catalyst, not a constraint, for Applicate And much more!
Drop us a line at email@example.com to get a copy of The Anatomy of a Strategic Narrative, The Storied Future's ebook about how we built a great strategic narrative with Applicate Commerce.
A Father, His Daughter & the Path to True DEI w/ Ebbie Parsons III of Yardstick Management
Our guest on the fifth episode of the Storied Future Podcast is Ebbie Parsons, III.
Ebbie is the founder and managing partner of Yardstick Management, a renowned Black-owned management consulting firm based in Atlanta, Georgia that helps clients transform their organizations to be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. They count among their clients some of the top companies in the world, including Netflix, Prudential, EY, Whirlpool, Amazon, Medtronic, and LinkedIn.
Ebbie embodies a relentless pursuit of a future defined by true equity and inclusion, from the boardroom to the front lines of a company.
In this conversation, Chris and Ebbie talk about:
His dream of becoming an astronaut as a five-year old in Detroit, and the belief his parents instilled in him that he could achieve anything he set his mind to. His jarring transition from Detroit to what he calls the “real world,” where he saw how the evil of racism wreaked havoc on people’s beliefs about the future and their access to opportunity. A meeting at Olive Garden in 2003 where he and his friends cast a vision for the future that eventually led to the creation of Yardstick Management. The future he envisions, and how C-suite leaders can move beyond performative DEI initiatives to bring about true and lasting change. And much more.
Content warning: This episode includes discussion of an experience of Ebbie’s that involved a threat of racialized police violence.
The Ebbie Parsons episode was the best so far. We need more of these stories across the whole business landscape. Well done - keep ‘em comin!
As someone who coaches business leaders, I am LOVING listening to these. The questions are stellar and the interviews aren’t just “good PR pieces.” Rather, the narratives and self-concept and personal development through the process of leading—all of it really shines through in a way that says “this is how I design, how I think about design, and how I lead design—this is the power of design, and you can design, too.”
Two thumbs up.
The guests and shared that Chris facilitates are unique and simply great :) can’t wait to hear more of them!