In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Charles Conn. He is co-founder of Monograph Capital, a life sciences venture firm in London and San Francisco, and was previously CEO of the Rhodes Trust in Oxford. He is the Board Chair of Patagonia and sits on The Nature Conservancy European Council. He was the founding CEO of Ticketmaster-Citysearch and was a partner at McKinsey & Company.
Charles is the co-author of the bestselling book Bulletproof Problem Solving: The One Skill That Changes Everything and The Imperfectionists: Strategic Mindsets for Uncertain Times.
Imperfection is a powerful tool for problem-solving in a rapidly changing world. Instead of striving for perfection and following traditional industry structures, it’s important to be curious, gather diverse perspectives, and embrace uncertainty to find solutions from unexpected sources. The right mindset for approaching this world includes thinking about strategy like art, and learning from failures can help you develop new skills, capabilities, and understanding. Overall, imperfection is a valuable approach to problem-solving in modern business.
Questions I ask Charles Conn:
- [02:23] So talking about the change in Patagonia, how unprecedented was that change, and how important for the environment do you think it’s been or will be?
- [03:59] In the subtitle of your book, you used the term uncertain times. Are we in particularly uncertain times?
- [05:52] There’s a particular type of problem-solving that I always find intriguing. The business leader is faced with solving the problem of their cash cow going away. The industry is changing in such a way that they are going to have to kill “the golden goose” and some choose to ignore it. How do you address that?
- [07:06] Many people would agree with this idea that trying to be a perfectionist, is a kind of a dead end. You have taken it to another extreme that might be interpreted by using the word imperfection as something good.
- [09:44] So, you like all good authors have a framework, in your case the six mindsets. Can you explain the Dragonfly Eye?
- [15:55] I think people would think about this idea that you’re explaining in maybe 10-year windows, like where are we going to have to be? You’re really talking about real-time?
- [18:05] For this real-time strategic problem-solving leader of the future, are there attributes that they need to develop or have that you think are going to serve them?
- [19:41] Some companies may consider themselves part of a boring industry. So how do you acquire curiosity? How do you just bring people in that are not from your industry in any way, shape, or form to go “Why are you doing that”?
- [22:26] Does culture have to change in companies?
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