How Spotify Continues To Innovate With Simon Marcus, VP of Operations At Spotify

How Spotify Continues to Innovate with Simon Marcus, VP of Ops at Spotify | Entrepreneurial Spirit in the Enterprise Podcast

Sam Hysell By Sam Hysell on August 16, 2016

In our first episode, we’re thrilled to interview Simon Marcus, the VP of Operations at Spotify. As part of the leadership team at Spotify, Simon has played a pivotal role in the development of Spotify Rhythm, Spotify’s internal innovation program. Prior to Spotify, he was Chief Operating Officer of The Library Corporation, where he lead an extraordinary whole-company lean/agile practice. He also co-founded TLC Labs, an enterprise innovation lab at the forefront of exploring change management, organizational design, process improvement, product design, and user experience.

In this episode, join us as we cover:

  • – How Spotify manages “bets,” strategic decision making and execution with Spotify Rhythm
  • – How Simon is focusing on creating an environment where employees are comfortable to “tinker in a corner”
  • – Why Simon is skeptical of over-investing into internal branding when it comes to fostering internal adoption of “innovation initiatives”
  • – How Spotify manages areas of exploration across a simple portfolio Kanban broken down into Now (stuff being fully productized), Next (pretty confident in problem space, now focused on validating solution space) and Later (exploring the problem space).
  • – How Simon leads up operations at Spotify, yet remains heavily focused on structuring operations around continuing to innovate instead of just refining existing products
  • – Why a high-trust environment acts as the foundation for thriving as an organization
  • – How prior to Spotify, Simon helped The Library Corporation coped with the disruption of libraries
  • – Why the part-time initiative model isn’t conducive to innovation
  • – How The Library Corporation introduced Lean Startup into their organization

Creating an Ambitious Culture and Fending Off Disruption with Neal Cross, CIO of DBS


By Sam Hysell on September 13, 2016

In this episode, Aaron Eden (MTN Co-Founder and COO) and I interview Neal Cross, the Chief Innovation Officer of DBS. DBS is a bank headquartered in Singapore that generated $11 billion in revenue and $4.5 billion in profit last year. They know the finance landscape is changing rapidly, and as a result are on an inspiring journey towards not only creating an innovation group within the bank, but turning the entire bank itself into an innovation group.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How this year they’re on route to putting about 5,000 people through the lean startup and design thinking training.
  • How valuable it’s been to have a CEO who doesn’t just talk about innovation, but backs it up with a deep understanding, money and KPI’s that revolve around human centered design and experimentation.
  • How Neal focuses on increasing the ambition of employees along with providing protection, education, and freedom.
  • How he was able to get the bank to run 1,000 lean startup experiments in 2015 by matching up an internal PR strategy with the tactical guidance practitioners needed to actually deliver.
  • How Neal manages a healthy balance between PR and execution.
  • Some of the challenges Neal still faces despite having support from key executives and the CEO.

100 Startups in 100 Days with Intuit Innovation Leader, Bennett Blank

Source: Entrepreneurial Spirit In The Enterprise: 100 Startups in 100 Days with Intuit Innovation Leader, Bennett Blank

By Brant Cooper

In today’s episode, Aaron Eden and I are really excited to have Intuit Innovation Leader, Bennett Blank join us as Aaron and Bennett talk us through their journey of 100 Startups in 100 Days at Intuit. We also dive into how 100 Startups in 100 Days has evolved since then as Moves the Needle has begun to run it within other organizations looking to act the same way they’re pushing their innovation teams to, bold, fast, and with impact.

Creating an Entrepreneurial Culture in the Public Sector with Kelly McAdoo, City Manager of City of Hayward

Source: []

By Sam Hysell on September 27, 2016

In this episode, we interview Kelly McAdoo, the City Manager of the City of Hayward. We cover lots of ground, including deep dives into topics like:

  • How Kelly has been driving impact through creating an entrepreneurial culture within a bureaucratic organization.
  • How City of Hayward has been able to drastically shorten the scoping process for new projects using Lean Innovation.
  • How City of Hayward is redefining the way public sector entities should function in the 21st century.

The Interpersonal Side Of Innovation With Tony Cooper And Kyle Mccray

Source: The Interpersonal Side of Innovation with Tony Cooper and Kyle McCray | Entrepreneurial Spirit in the Enterprise Podcast

By Sam Hysell on January 24, 2017

When trying to transform organizations to become more innovative, it’s easy to forget about the interpersonal side and get caught up in the process.

In today’s episode we dive into just that: how can you better understand your colleagues’ preferred styles of communication and leadership, so you can work together in a way that they’ll be most receptive.

Our guest Tony Cooper, CEO of Market Force, has become an expert at helping people and organizations these traits so companies can remove these “invisible blockers” and drive the impact their after. Our other guest, Kyle McCray, Innovation Manager at American Pacific Mortgage company, shares stories of how he’s leveraged this awareness to drive impact through innovating on the core business instead of focusing on flashy new products.

We also have an offer in there for that’s currently exclusive to our podcast listeners so be sure to check it out.

Lessons Learned Doing Mergers & Acquisitions

Source: [Lessons Learned Doing Mergers & Acquisitions | Entrepreneurial Spirit in the Enterprise Podcast](

**By Sam Hysell on February 7, 2017**

Usually we’re focused on helping you create innovation from within, yet M&A’s play an integral role in a well rounded innovation strategy.

In today’s podcast episode we’re excited to switch things up and focus on lessons learned doing mergers & acquisitions.

**Some of the key topics we cover in this episode are:**

* The role M&A has in a company’s innovation practice.
* Acquiring technology vs. human capital.
* Ways to prevent culture clash and a deal from going bad.
* How the 3 E’s (Empathy, Experiments and Evidence) apply to M&A.
* How to run experiments on M&A’s.

Listen here or don’t hesitate to pass it along to someone else in your organization who you think may enjoy it.

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Innovation Practices Within A $20 Billion Defense Company


By Sam Hysell on March 21, 2017

In today’s Entrepreneurial Spirit podcast episode, we’re really excited to have our guest, John Kelly, from BAE Systems. [] []

John leads the empowered innovation program within BAE, which is a nearly $20 billion multinational defense, security and aerospace company.

In the episode, we dive into how they have organized their innovation strategy into 4 operational buckets and how they not only identify new products but innovate on the core business. We also talk about how they have done a fantastic job getting rid of the distance between the end customer and new product development teams amongst other things.

Also, we’re getting great feedback on our Lean Innovation Assessment tool, so if you want to try it out and identify opportunities for growth in your organization, email me at and I’d be happy to pass it along in exchange for some feedback.

Other topics in today’s episode include:

  • Balancing internal innovation with external innovation scouting.
  • How BAE organizes their innovation strategy into 4 operational buckets.
  • Innovating upon the core business functions in addition to exploring and implementing new products.
  • How BAE moves products from discovery/search mode into the execution engine of the business.
  • Implicit vs Explicit needs, and how BAE maintains a competitive advantage by constantly searching and creating solutions for the implicit needs of customers.

Innovation Within Compliance Departments and Legal Services, with Stephen Poor


By Sam Hysell on April 4, 2017

As an intrapreneur, dealing with compliance can certainly be a hurdle to overcome. In today’s episode, Moves the Needle CEO Brant Cooper and I are excited to have Stephen Poor talk about how compliance departments can better enable innovation and how law firms can be more innovative. Stephen is the Chairman of Seyfarth Shaw, an international law firm comprised of over 900 lawyers. Whether you’re a lawyer or an intrapreneur, you’re in for a treat.

If you’d like to have a conversation around how you can transform your organization to make discovering new value business as usual, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at I’d be happy to help you get a call scheduled with one of our Innovation Champions.

With that said, let’s jump into the show where we’ll discuss:

  • – Similarities and differences between innovating in the legal industry vs other types of organizations
  • – The ideal relationship between innovation departments/intrapreneurs and compliance
  • – How Seyfarth goes about innovating upon their legal services
  • – How to establish a set of guidelines with the compliance team in your organization
  • – How to restructure teams and language to enable innovation
  • – The importance of resilience as a lawyer and innovator

Ending Hunger Using Lean Innovation With Vanessa Moore From The San Diego Food Bank

Source: Ending Hunger using Lean Innovation with Vanessa Moore from the San Diego Food Bank | Entrepreneurial Spirit in the Enterprise Podcast

By Sam Hysell on April 18, 2017

In today’s episode, we’re really excited to have with us Vanessa Moore, the VP of Programs and Operations at the San Diego Food Bank. They are striving to end hunger in their area by serving over 370,000 individuals every month.

Not too long ago, they went through one of our Lean Innovation Bootcamps tailored for Non-Profit and Social Impact organizations. As a result, they reinvented their volunteer program to better serve their stakeholders and have changed the way the organization functions when it comes to creating new value.

We’re also lucky to have as my co-host, Amelia Klawon, one of the leaders of our Non-Profit and Social Impact organization programs and services. If you’re interested in learning more about that, please don’t hesitate to reach out to her via email at

Other topics that we’ll discuss include:

  • How the San Diego Food Bank goes about identifying new ways to create value.
  • How to put a repeatable, creative system in place.
  • How they reinvented their volunteer program.
  • The huge importance of having leadership buy-in.
  • How to do customer development with leadership and other employees.
  • How to go from empathy and experiments to a brand new initiative and roll-out.

Innovating the Core Business and It's Functions With Ryan Staggs of HCA


By Sam Hysell on May 2, 2017

We’re really excited today to have our guest, Ryan Staggs. Ryan is the Assistant Vice President of Integration & Mobility Services at the Hospital Corporation of America. Ryan’s work revolves heavily around increasing innovation within the the IT department and making it more nimble and responsive. In this episode, we dive into how he’s been able to make that happen. When thinking about innovation, people quickly default to new products so hearing about the impact that Ryan has been able to drive by transforming IT department functions is refreshing.

Other topics include:

  • Innovating how the core business works (within IT, HR, finance, et cetera)
  • Transforming how the IT department functions to be more nimble and responsive
  • Creating a more fulfilling work environment by discovering and creating new value
  • Innovating at scale in a Fortune 70 healthcare organization
  • Leveraging the SEE model for IT – Stabilize, Enhance, Expand
  • Being fearless and willing to fail
  • Building an interactive data visualization for ER in 12 weeks

Using Comic Books To Build Leadership Buy-In With Kyle Nel

Source: Using Comic Books to Build Leadership Buy-In with Kyle Nel | Entrepreneurial Spirit in the Enterprise Podcast

By Sam Hysell on May 16, 2017

In today’s episode, my co-host, Aaron Eden, and I are really excited to have our guest, Kyle Nel. Kyle is the Executive Director of Lowe’s Innovation Labs and has a very unique approach toward innovation which was fun to explore in this episode. They leverage a narrative-driven approach that uses story (and comics) as a strategic tool to map out the future for Lowe’s that they are working to bring to life. They then work backward to build that future, rapidly testing technology prototypes to solve everyday problems.

In the episode, Kyle takes us through his journey of making this the working reality of Lowe’s Innovation Labs.

Other topics we cover are:

  • How to get an innovation lab up and running
  • How to use comic books to build leadership buy-in and excitement
  • How Lowe’s is applying virtual and augmented Reality
  • How to understand the motivation of the people in your organization
  • How to leverage behavioral economics to drive organizational transformation

The Tables Turn – An Interview with Moves The Needle Co-Founder, Aaron Eden

Source: The Tables Turn - An Interview with Moves the Needle Co-Founder, Aaron Eden | Entrepreneurial Spirit in the Enterprise Podcast

By Sam Hysell on May 30, 2017

In today’s episode, the tables turn and my frequent co-host and MTN Co-Founder, Aaron Eden, is the interviewee. We cover many of the most pressing topics that come up time and time again when folks try to drive innovation within their organization. This is an all-around great episode including what Aaron learned at a recent trip to SpaceX to demystifying “transformation”.

Topics include:

  • How SpaceX launches rockets faster than most companies launch websites
  • How to create a culture and workforce unified around a compelling mission
  • What separates the top 1% of corporate innovation initiatives from the top 10%
  • How Aaron defines transformation and the ideal state to work toward when undergoing transformation
  • Other learnings from recent engagements
  • Some of Aaron’s recent favorite books like Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, and Unlocking Potential: 7 Coaching Skills That Transform Individuals, Teams, and Organizations

Preparing Your Company for an Enterprise Transformation with James Carbary and Aaron Eden

Source: Preparing Your Company For an Enterprise Transformation with James Carbary and Aaron Eden | Entrepreneurial Spirit in the Enterprise Podcast

By Aaron Eden on July 5, 2017

In this episode, MTN Co-Founder Aaron Eden is interviewed by James Carbary of Sweet Fish Media on their B2B Growth podcast.

We narrow in on how marketing professionals can support innovation transformation in their own organizations. Key areas of focus from this discussion were how marketing professionals can:

1) Think big and start small to move quickly. 2) Guard against premature scaling to reduce risk. 3) Behave like a product leader to increase impact.

Exploring The Corporate Startup With Dan Toma

Source: Exploring The Corporate Startup with Dan Toma | Entrepreneurial Spirit in the Enterprise Podcast

By Aaron Eden on August 2, 2017

In this Episode, MTN co-founder Aaron Eden hosts entrepreneur and intrepreneur, Dan Toma. As an entrepreneur, Dan has been involved with high-tech startups globally. Over the last few years he’s been primarily focused in the enterprise and has worked with companies like DT, Bosch, Jaguar and Allianz. He has also recently co-authored a book titled The Corporate Startup – How established companies can develop successful innovation ecosystems.

Our areas of focus for this episode are:

  • Why the enterprise ecosystem should mimic a living organism.
  • Innovation thesis.
  • What is an innovation thesis and why is it important?
  • Is it different from a company or product vision?
  • How can we use it to ensure we aren’t killing opportunities too early?
  • Why it is important to focus on arenas rather than industries.

What Dan Toma is reading:

Ten Types of Innovation: The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs []

Beyond Budgeting: How Managers Can Break Free from the Annual Performance Trap Beyond Budgeting: How Managers Can Break Free from the Annual Performance Trap:Amazon:Books

How to Create World Class Coaches from Within, with Jeremiah Gardner

Source: How to Create World Class Coaches from Within with Jeremiah Gardner | Entrepreneurial Spirit in the Enterprise Podcast

By Aaron Eden on August 15, 2017

In our very first episode of the Innovation Coach Spotlight Series, we caught up with Jeremy Gardner to some key questions about how organisations can foster and empower their innovation coaches to create sustainable innovation transformation from within. Beyond the buzzwords and script, Jeremiah breaks down what it means and what it takes in this candid interview. Check it out!

About Jeremiah Gardner @JeremiahGardner

Jeremiah Gardner is a principal at Moves the Needle and NYT Best-selling author of The Lean Brand. He has experienced many startup successes as well as crushing failures and brings incredible insights from these experiences to help us in becoming better coaches.

Breaking Down Barriers: Key Areas For Growth In Healthcare

Source: Breaking Down Barriers: Key Areas for Growth in Healthcare | Entrepreneurial Spirit in the Enterprise Podcast

By Aaron Eden on August 29, 2017

Today, MTN co-founder Aaron Eden hosts Roy Rosin, chief innovation officer for Penn Medicine.

Previously, Roy served as the first VP of innovation for Intuit (the makers of TT, Quickbooks and Quicken). Roy also built innovation programs that dramatically increased entrepreneurial activity, with annual new releases increasing from 5 per year to 30, while time to market decreased from one year to a few months. After five years of Intuit’s new approach to growth, the company had delivered shareholder returns of 3 times Google and 33 times the S&P 500.

Roy received his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and graduated with honors from Harvard College. Outside of work he serves as a board member and angel investor for venture funded startups, an advisor to Fortune 100 companies and a coach to his son’s little league baseball teams.

Some areas of focus from this episode are:

  • Roy’s background and experience.
  • Responsibilities as CINO inside Penn Medicine.
  • How Penn Medicine has driven significant impact through their Heart-Safe Motherhood program.
  • Key behaviors that leaders of growth teams must consistently role-model.
  • Top barriers to growth in a large, successful healthcare organization.

How To Create A Built To Last Innovation Program In The Enterprise


By Aaron Eden on September 12, 2017

How can design thinking and lean methodology help grow your company? This week, Dan Kaiser shares insights and important perspective that he has gained during his successful launch of the CUNA Innovation Center.

In the latest episode, Dan shares his expertise in answering the following key questions when it comes to creating breakthrough initiatives and launching and innovation center in large, successful insurance companies:

  • How do YOU get started with a new innovation center?
  • What are some key aspects of launching an innovation center?
  • How do you balance stakeholders and grow the program in a sustainable way?
  • How do you break through internal political barriers?
  • How do you build internal policies critical to the long term survival of the Innovation center?

About Dan Kaiser @CUNAMutualGroup CUNA Mutual Group (@CUNAMutualGroup) | Twitter

Dan Kaiser is the Senior Vice President Innovation at CUNA Mutual Group where he has established, built and currently leads a team applying key innovation practices like “lean startup” and design thinking disciplines to an industry-disrupting, new insurance solution. As a top corporate priority and multi-million dollar investment into a completely new and innovative area of insurance and financial services, Dan applies decades of expertise.

Metrics and Values for Scaling Innovation with Bennett Blank, Innovation Leader at Intuit

Source: Metrics and Values for Scaling Innovation with Bennett Blank, Innovation Leader at Intuit | Entrepreneurial Spirit in the Enterprise Podcast

By Sam Hysell on October 11, 2016

In this episode, we’re honored to have Bennett Blank (Twitter Bennett Blank (@BlankBen) | Twitter & LinkedIn) LinkedIn, Innovation Leader at Intuit, talk about how Intuit has spread innovation thinking throughout the entire organization. Bennett is a Lean Startup in the Enterprise veteran so you’re in for a treat.

Here’s some of the key things we talk about:

  • What customer benefit metrics are, how you can identify them, and how they can set teams up for success instead of focusing directly on business impact.
  • How Bennett has gone from working in the trenches as a product manager and designer to leading transformation throughout the entire organization.
  • How Intuit applies Lean Startup to HR and other functions throughout the business.
  • The strategic levers of transformational change Intuit is using to change the way employees work.

The Best of 2016

Source: Best of 2016 | Entrepreneurial Spirit in the Enterprise Podcast

By Sam Hysell on January 10, 2017

Today’s episode may be our best one yet (and no, I don’t say that every time).

In this episode, we go through some of the most powerful snippets from all of our podcasts in 2016. In it we have clips from the Operations Lead at Spotify, an Innovation Leader at Intuit and much more.

The topics we cover are:

  • – What is the end goal of innovation.
  • – How have Pearson and Spotify scaled their innovation initiatives.
  • – How does Pearson evaluate and allocate funding to new products.
  • – How does Intuit measure success.
  • – What do leaders want to see most.
  • – Why we’re driving innovation and how breakthrough innovation really occurs.

This one is not to be missed. Also, we’re getting ready to do a Q&A episode so if you have any questions you’d like to hear our founders Brant Cooper or Aaron Eden answer, please pass it along via email to!

Host Chat #1: Practical Tips, Tactics And Stories With Brant Cooper And Aaron Eden


By Sam Hysell on December 20, 2016

Today’s episode is hands down one of my favorites as it’s filled with practical tips, tactics and stories to building a more entrepreneurial organization. It’s our first time doing a host chat, where I’m joined by the Moves the Needle Co-founders, Brant Cooper and Aaron Eden. In it, we cover:

  • Why you need to start by identifying problems and opportunities within core business lines.
  • How to get buy-in by tying innovation into your leaders’ and company’s strategic priorities using the leadership zoom tool.
  • Why we need to redefine the word innovation.
  • Which mindset shifts leaders need to undertake to create an entrepreneurial culture.
  • What sort of results leaders want to see.
  • How to navigate the ego’s of your bosses.
  • What are some things you can do right now to build more momentum at your organization.