The Strategy Sphere podcast — brought to you by Intapp — features interviews with leading experts in academia, innovation, and business. Our hosts are Lavinia Calvert, who leads the global marketing and business development solutions business at Intapp, and Deborah Farone, a marketing strategy consultant and author. In each episode, Calvert and Farone explore today’s world of professional services marketing, leadership, innovation, and education.

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In the inaugural episode of Strategy Sphere Season One, Calvert and Farone spoke with Jennifer Leonard, Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director of the Future of the Profession Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School.

Leonard explained how innovation is something everyone can practice, and discussed how taking a few simple steps or even looking at things in a slightly different way can lead to great change. “Innovation isn’t about disrupting everything and turning the world on its head,” Leonard said. “Innovation can be a tiny adjustment in the way you operate.”

Here are some of the key takeaways from Leonard’s conversation with Strategy Sphere:

  • Asking the question “Why?” can be an essential way of learning new information, even when we think we already know the answer.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, educators and other program organizers have observed the dramatic breakdown of global communications barriers. Videoconferencing allows students and others to access expertise around the world.
  • By focusing on end users — not the product or service they’re providing — people can use the tools of “radical collaboration” and possibly develop new answers to current problems.

Leonard offered extensive detail about what it’s like to communicate and teach in a time of videoconferencing, and provided techniques to enable creativity and conversation when people are physically distanced. She explained why it takes much more than simply hiring a chief innovation officer to make a company more innovative, and explored the role that culture and leadership play in an organization on the cusp of change.

Leonard also shared her ideas on how to get people to create “radical collaboration” by listening to end users, and imparted some of the meaningful lessons she has taken from the greatest minds — and wonderful books — on the topic of innovation.

Be sure to listen to the full episode to learn how questions about mosquitoes are related to the future of innovation.

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