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Innovation is humanity's ability to adapt to change

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"What is Innovation?" is back with Episode 76! In this episode, Jared sits down with Alex Goryachev, former managing director of Cisco’s global Co-Innovation Center and author of the book "Fearless Innovation." In this episode, they discuss innovation's role as the natural enemy of bureaucracy and how constrained environments stifle innovation. How do you keep up with change to continue innovating? How can you adopt a mindset of "playful pragmatism" in your businesses and day-to-day life? Alex's expertise and insights will help guide you to a more mindful and decentralized view of structured innovation processes.


Alex Goryachev is the former managing director of Cisco’s global Co-Innovation Center, where he spearheaded programs and initiatives to accelerate innovation. He is a Silicon Valley veteran who is a sought-after speaker on innovation and is often referred to as the ‘innovation therapist’. This episode dives into innovation's role as the natural enemy of bureaucracy and how constrained environments stifle innovation.

More about our guest:

Over the past 20 years, Alex made it his business to turn disruptive concepts into successful ecosystem-centric business models. He has an extensive track record of building and leading global cross-industry business & technology teams focused on revenue and market share growth, increasing customer acquisition and profitability through new digital products and offerings.

Alex is passionate about leveraging innovation purposefully and pragmatically to create opportunities for all. Today, he is serving as Innovator-in-Residence at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Tulane University. He is an active venture partner with Interlock Capital, a community-driven venture fund primarily investing in underrepresented founders and geographies. Alex is also a US delegate and Technical Advisory Group member in the International Standards Association (ISO), defining global common standards for Innovation Management.

Episode Guide:

1:01 - What is Innovation? 2:21 - Innovation: playful pragmatism 4:50 - Bureaucracy vs Innovation 7:06 - Ability in adapting to change 8:50 - What isn't innovation? 10:25 - Conflations and implications: Idea and Innovation; Invention and Innovation 12:20 - Quantifying Innovation and Metrics 16:10 - Innovation Indicator: 'Spent' 17:29 - Employee Sentiment Metrics 19:43 - Innovation: Shaping Careers 21:24 - Life Outside Work 22:38 - Advice to Innovators

Resources Mentioned:

Company: Best Places to Work Rankings: 'World’s Best Workplaces™ 2022'

Company: Napster

This podcast originally appeared in What is Innovation Podcast on December 15, 2022


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