WhyWeWork BrianVee
WhyWeWork BrianVee

Episode 49 · 2 years ago

#49 Natalie Born - Innovation Consultant - BrianVee Whywework

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

SHOW LESSNatalie Born is an innovation consultant and VP of Innovation for Territory Global. Today she takes us on her journey from her teenage years of working in an office to her present position where she leads team to be more efficient in theirs.  

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FB, IG, Twitter https://linktr.ee/innovationmeetslead...

@Innovation Meets Leadership  

Natalie’s Profile 

linkedin.com/in/natalie-born-mba-pmp-csm-68bab4  

Email 

natalie.m.born@gmail.com  

Twitter 

nataliemborn

...welcome to why we work with your host Brian VI ous. He speaks to people like you from all over the world as we together dive deeper into our motivations, struggles, joys, seemingly missteps, hopes, warnings and advice, which would be an encouragement to us all to get up, get going on, keep on working. Working is tough, but working is good. Now here's your host to why wait? I'm Brian V, and this is why we work today. Have the great pleasure speaking with Natalie. Born Natalie is an innovation consultant, a strategy consultant, and she's the vice president of innovation for territory global. Not only that, she's a pretty good storyteller, as she has her own podcast. The innovation meets leadership. I want to find out some of the good and the bad ideas that she has come across and maybe even some of her own. When we look into the future of innovation, join me in this conversation with Natalie born I'm Brian V. And this is why we work. As I just mentioned, I have the great pleasure speaking with Natalie born. Good morning, young lady. Good morning. Will you do me a favor? I just did an introduction of you. Could you just tell us a little bit about yourself? And then we'll get into some of the questions I have. You have a for you. About why you work? Sure. So I'm Natalie born and I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia went to college out here at Oglethorpe and then began working at the age of 19 and have kind of worked ever since along that journey. Got my MBA, and then today, actually the vice president of innovation for territory global. So I essentially help organizations Thio think outside the box, remove some of the barriers that they might be feeling in order to innovate and work forward. So that's what I'm doing today. Not only you mentioned you started working at 19 but I like Thio, bring people further back. If at all possible. Was that your very first job? I was at your very first professional job. That was my first professional job. But I first worked at probably age 15 in an office, which is kind of weird to say as a kid working, you're the first one that said in office I had lemonade stands. I had a guy today. He was doing a puppet show for 10 cents a show. You're the first one to say an office job. How did you get that job and what got you out of the house to get it. So you know, it's interesting. My parents have always shown me a pretty strong work ethic growing up. So I've always seen my mom and dad working. My mom actually owned her own modeling agency, so I always would goto work with her. I was up for six. Sometimes I would end up at her work laying on a pallet by her, you know, in her office while she worked. So I was just accustomed to seeing my family contribute. And my brother worked at a very early age. His first job was at Chick fil A. So? So there's the food service. Um, but you know, so So when I saw that, I also wanted to contribute when I got to an age where I could. So for me, that was that was really, um I don't know why I wanted to work in an office. I think growing up, I always played in the office with the stapler and the markers and the paper. And I just enjoyed organizing things. I enjoyed organizing people, um, initiatives. And so I was always organizing something. And so just going...

Thio in office toe work felt natural. And so we had a family friend that, um asked me, Thio come work at their office. And that's how I got started in the business world of 15 eso at that time. I mean, you seem if you're in it at 19 to as a professional, 15 isn't much earlier than that. Did you have you said your parents helped you along the way, But the mind frame of work is very important at 15 and I just to give you context at 15. I didn't And I know there's many people that did not as well is. You know what you know which my friends doing or where is the next party or something like that? Did you have that different mindset which said work is really important and I need to start saving and I'm going to think very strongly, but my college in my in my future career, even at that age, you know, I was a big saver, but I wasn't thinking about college. I was just saving and I didn't have, like, a vision for saving, um, which is unfortunate. So I did have some money saved up, but it was nowhere near enough money to send me to college. And so I had to work during college and also go to college. So I worked near full time and then also took a full time load. Um, in college, in order to get through that season And looking back, if I had thought about the big picture, I would have saved along the way to save up for my own college. But I didn't really have that vision at the time. And so one of the things I think it's so important for your listeners that have kids is to give their Children a vision from a very early age of, um, you know what? Why are they doing what they're doing? And so in some places, my parents did a really good job in other places they just didn't know. And, um, and now I'm having to reflect on where those areas were. And so for my Children, I'm saying, you know, when they get money, let's talk about what you like to do with that money. Let's give that money a purpose. And so it wasn't until much later in life that I realized that you could give your money a purpose and that if you put enough of that you know money towards the purpose, you could actually, um, when and be successful in a specific area, whether it's saving or giving or or paying your way through college. So unfortunately, no, I did not learn that as I was, I was working. It's funny you mentioned parents and a Z. You say. I'm thinking so many blind spots we have, right, like we're trying to do this and we're But we're missing out on some other valid point that would help our kids along the way. I heard of a man who had leave 45 daughters, and they must have been in their twenties by then, and he said, You know what I have learned so far that I know nothing and like he was probably a very good father. But you miss out and you miss those opportunities. So, while you know, give giving credit to your parents for doing some really good things, something they missed out. But now you'll have even more solid foundation for your own kids and for listeners and for myself to say, Well, yeah, school is very valuable. Money is also very valuable. And then the different ways that you can use your education. And as you just said, using money not only saving for yourself, but to give and to use it wisely. That Z Yeah, you said you got into you did your MBA. So getting into college was it you were business oriented all the way through. Where were you leaning at all? Because you're in innovation. And that doesn't usually I know it is now, but coincide with business, like, you know, maybe more arts or outside of the box sort of thing. Where you weaving between those two? You know, it's interesting. So when I was in, if we go back to high school, actually wanted to study genetics actually loved just the understanding of DNA strands and receptive e e don't know why, but prepared jeans and you're...

...looking at genetics. So, uh, maybe I was just a nerd. Let's call it what it was. No, no, listen, I appreciate all types and let's say it how it is. You had your head on straight. Yeah. I mean, from an early age, I just I just love studying that stuff. And I remember that I got into advanced biology, but everybody in my class had already been in advanced chemistry chemistry together, and I had not been with them. So the teacher kept referring everything back to will. Remember in advanced chemistry where we did this and I'm like, I'm lost. So it was at that point in time in that class that I realized I don't think I'm gonna make it is geneticist, I'm gonna have to switch my major. So because I barely made it through that class, I think I got to see out of the kindness of the teachers hard. And so I said, Let me get out of this This field, Obviously I'm kind of in over my head. And that was, you know, probably 16 or 17 when I said, Let's go into business. And so one of the things that you're right I mean, mhm businesses. It can be very structured and sometimes boring. And as I took classes in college, I realized I don't want to study accounting. I don't want to study finance. That's not interesting to me. But there was this one class that was called entrepreneurship and innovation. And so I went and sat in that class. Yeah, yeah. Business innovation or entrepreneurship? Greatest class ever. So that was an amazing class. And obviously I had to get through the accounting classes and all the finance classes, but and I did not enjoy those. But what I enjoyed was that entrepreneurship class where we had to put together a business plan and we had to figure out how to launch a business. What would that be like? What would we do? How do we create the idea? That was the class that just captivated my attention. What was your business? So one of the girls in our in our group your group e remember those groups like, great. Yeah. People in their those groups were great or they were horrible. Way had three people. It was it was too late. The smartest people in the class e feel like I'm the one that always got, like, stuck doing all the work at midnight. Yeah, OK, sorry, I didn't get it. done. Sorry about that. Yeah, but we have, like, three people in our group and one of the girls. I think it was her boyfriend or something. He was a musician or something. So she wanted to start a record label. So which was not really what I wanted to do, but she was very passionate about it. So we went along and started this record level together, and we had to create business plans for it and all this other stuff. And so that was really, at the end of the day, the business plan, not what I would have done. I would have done something very techy. But that was where we landed. We had one business plan size Joseph and I because it was too in this particular group. Uh, it was a in Nova Scotia, Canada recycling. This is 20 years ago, So recycling was very, very big. And composting is very big. So we invented the idea of having a truck come by and clean your compost bin. It wasn't innovative, but it was important in Nova Scotia time. And now it's But it was great. It was great working with him. And we did very well in that class. So with the did you have any other because I was going to get into some of the ideas that you're dealing with now on innovation? Did you have any other ideas like you mentioned, um, working with your mom or being around your mom and modeling and your brother in Chick fil a? Did you have any other ideas that could be something like innovative? You mean just growing up? Just growing up? Yeah. Um, so, you know, honestly, this is this is kind of a funny conversation I had with my mother and Aziz you were talking about, um, art as well, actually had a bent towards art.

So when I was younger, I like to design. I like to design clothing, and I would actually teach myself how to sew and design clothing. And, you know, I think my mom and I had this conversation where she's like, Hey, artists are, like starving. So you may want to pick another field to go in because I don't want you to starve. And so that was kind of part of the way that I landed in businesses. Well, but I always had this like design portion that I really liked, which was Let me look at something and figure out how to design it or how to make it more interesting or more intricate or more artistic. Let me. How do I make it beautiful and give it clean lines. So I've always kind of had that peace in me to, um which I know is kind of At times, I've always felt like I've been fighting with my left brain and right brain of, like, who's gonna win, Right? And And so but But that that piece of art, which you mentioned earlier is has always been a part of me, too. And so for me, ideas in the early age, um, we're always kind of design based. You may wanna highlight some of the careers because I know you've kind of jumped in a couple of different paths, like in the automotive industry. Aziz. Well, um, what has led you to your job today, And how have you settled where you are? Mhm. Yeah. So, growing up, I started at a start up when I was 19 called headhunter dot net. And then headhunter got bought by CareerBuilder and we became CareerBuilder dot com. And so, throughout my career, I was 11.5 years. Um ah, lot of what I did was I would get dropped into a team. I would learn everything I needed to learn there, and then I would figure out how to make that team better. And then I'll be honest, I would get a little bored and say What's next? And then I would go over to another team and figure out how I could, you know, a serve, that team and do better than what was kind of being done. And then I would get bored and say, What's next? So throughout CareerBuilder, I moved around a lot. I probably had eight or nine positions in 11 years. Um, so just and it was a high growth organization. So you were expected. Thio, you know, not just sit, but you were expected Thio to move. And so what it taught me was that I needed to be able to drop myself into any team. Any problem learned very quickly what the issues were, what the roadblocks were and then be able to overcome those roadblocks. And really, when I think about my mantra, I'd like to create. Um, I'd like to make sense out of chaos. I just do it, Z, you know, you walk into a team and you can see puzzle pieces just scattered all along. I like to gather them up and be like, OK, so this is a picture we're trying to build on. Each of you only have a little small part of it, Natalie, Like I know my dear wife. I don't know. I think there's something on Netflix called like tidy house, Not like tiny house, but tidy house. It's like it's like a Japanese lady who goes in people's dirty houses or unorganized houses and tidy this e. I mean, she lives. If you can fold undershirt, she'll fold it like five times. Supposed thio me if I fold it a fold it once this chuck it in there And my dear wife, you can organize anything so well. And so you're talking about making the most out of chaos. Is there Was that also a path in your life is well of doing this. Is this a motherly instinct? Is where is this coming from? Because that you are probably you are such a valuable asset to a team because, you know, even from your college days, you know, being in that team and organizing and making the best of what you have is one of the best things you can possibly have. So was that something had in mind. You, my...

...dear wife, organizes too much at times. So you probably have people say Okay, Natalie. Okay, we got it. We can be better. We got it. But is that something that you have found along the way as well? And this is where you drive? Yeah. You know, e think my husband would wish that it transferred into the house because e am not unorganized person in my like, personal life. Um, but I think, you know, I organized concepts and ideas, and so that's where I think, um, where I shine. Unfortunately, I don't shine in doing it to a house, but I do shine. And the concept is there, though I mean, for you to be able to do that, that even shows, you know, a different mind set a different ability to organize thes rather large issues you're having with company. Yeah, definitely. So in. And how did that bring you to where you are today. So I think you know one of the reasons you know, I'm willing to try anything. I've tried some different things in my rules. So I've led led product. I've led sales. Um, but ultimately, you know, for me and why I love the career that I'm in right now, which is consulting and innovation, is because, um because I mentioned I'd like to come in and bring order. But once the order is established, somebody has to operationalize that and I'm not your operational izing type of person. I can get it to a certain point. And then when I see it's running like a well oiled machine, I'm Look, I'll look at you and I'll say, Great. Now what's next? And so the beauty of the role that I'm in today is I can step into organizations. Look at you know where there might be an area of challenge or chaos, or things aren't just running the way that they should and say, OK, let's let's put all the pieces on the table. Let's figure out what the picture is now. Is that the picture we want or do we want to make a different picture. And then once we've done that, how do we want you guys into a place where you can be successful and operationalize this? And then I get to go to the next client and start that question all over again? So the idea of bringing innovation and consulting together I wouldn't have been able to do that right out of college. And so, you know, just the experience that I've gained from running product development from running sales has helped me be able to step in the organizations and to have been in your shoes. I've dealt with this problem before. There's 30 ways we can solve it. But let's figure out what makes the most sense for your organization. So as an innovation consultant, did you see someone else in this role that it's something you aspired to do? Or was it something you just fell into? How did that come about? Yeah, so I have not. I don't think I've ever worked with an innovation consultant in my career. Um, this was an area of just personal passion for me and reason being, I find that there's two areas in all the organizations I've worked in and just all the different people I've worked with. I find there's two areas where if people don't have this, it's almost impossible to be successful. The first area is is leadership and being really good at understanding people, having empathy, leading people well, and then the other area is innovation. If you lack innovation, the ability to generate ideas and push ideas forward, then I find that that's also an area of harm overall to your career. Because even an operational role, you have to be able to think outside the box. What do you like? So when you speak, can you define innovation for you? Because I'm thinking more of technology and all, but you're speaking the whole gamut of way of businesses operate. So can you define your role? Exactly how that especially for someone wanting Thio, they find themselves in your...

...shoes, similar shoes and that they like to make the best at a chaos. They have a lot of experience, but they don't like to stay stagnant in a particular job, and they like this constant challenge of helping but also moving on. Could you define it? Absolutely. So I mean to me at just the basic level. Innovation is the ability to create new ideas and to move those new ideas forward. And so if we think about innovation like that, that can really apply anywhere at any time. Um, and so there are a couple of different types of innovation. Um, you know, there's transformative. There's disruptive. Disruptive is like when you're disrupting an entire industry. If you think about, um, I'll give you an old school example. Like when Apple first came out with the iPod. Um, it wasn't just a technology thing. They were. They were disrupting the music industry as a whole, and they were disrupting the way it was distributed. We all know the blockbuster Netflix example as a disruptive thing in an industry on DSO. There is that type of innovation, and that's important. But there could be transformative innovation. So when you move from iPhone 7 to 8, you made the camera better. Well, that's important. That's that's taking something and improving on it, incrementally, making it it better. And that is also a form of innovation. So we kind of have, you know, a couple different buckets that we would put innovation in But what's important is that you are creating something that doesn't exist today, and you're creating something that's, you know, knew it doesn't have to be Greenfield, and no one's ever heard of it before. But it does need to be be new, and it does need Thio be something that you're not working on today. So how difficult it is it being in your position, whether it's the VP position or just being an innovation consultant in that you're looking for new things or, you know, maybe to reshuffle a company to help them out a little bit better. But it's something that's not quite there. And then you have to be, maybe encourage or push people to think outside of that box. Where do you find difficulty? Yeah, I mean, it's It's definitely hard when you're saying, Hey, you've always thought this way and now we're asking you to think differently. What I find is that, um, people, you know, I love the quote that someone said, like, people don't It's not that people don't like change. They just don't like the way you're trying to change them. So part of the journey, the change journey that you have to take people on is from You have to help them. Number one. Understand that there's a need for change. One of the most important things that I found in organizations is if they don't disrupt their Selves, they will be disrupted, whether it's by the economy, which we've experienced in 2020 whether it's through, you know, pandemics, whether it's through, Ah, security breach, anything like that. Those things create disruption and organization. And so what you're trying to do is create a need in them. And it has to be genuine and real. It can't be just contrived. It has to be something that helps them to understand the need for change once they understand the need for change, and they can see that there's a bridge to get to change. People are more willing to go with you on that bridge. And so what's important with with that is that you hand hold them as we go, you don't push them over the edge, right? So you have to show them there is a bridge to get you there. It's not gonna kill you. You're not gonna die. And as we go over this bridge, you're gonna help me build it. So one of the most important things about change is that people have to see it as something that they it has to be their idea. And the beauty about what I get to do is often times the answers are already in the room. They just don't know it. And the hardest thing for people to do is collaborate. So when we're not collaborating, we don't know that. You know, Brian, you've got ah, part of the idea, and I have the other part. And if we would just talk to each other, we...

...could actually build this thing. And so part of my job is to get all those people out of their offices and into, ah, room together and and have their ideas start to come out. And then we start to take those ideas and shape them. In a way, we're now nobody. No one person could say that was my idea, because we all own the idea and it's moving and it's growing and it's maturing. And when we leave that room on day two or three, we're in a completely different place. And we were in day one when we were all holding our ideas and saying, You can't have this. This is mine Now we're saying, I love that. Who did that were like, We did that. And so it's really helping people go on this change journey in a way where they feel, um, like they have a shared sense of ownership and so we're not pushing them, were leading them. And I just I love that part of my job. That's what makes it fun. Well, that leads into my next question of satisfaction. Where do you find satisfaction? I can only imagine being in this group, and you have Bob and Jane and they're sharing ideas. And then they're looking at each other like we have it. Thank we had we had it the whole time. What do we mean, Natalie, but obviously way. But it's like, Hey, we we could have you know, we could do this together. So what is the satisfaction or the most satisfaction? You get out of your position now. Yeah, I think for me it is in these sessions where we step back. So So we kind of, you know, there's two ways we work these days, right? A lot of us are not going into people's office anymore. We're actually So I work on the mural, which is taking sticky notes and putting them on a you know, on a on a board that's digital versus having to do it, Um, live in a room. But it's that point either in the room or in the mural where you zoom out, you have everyone step back and stand at the back of the room and look at all the work they did. And you're like, Look at all that you've accomplished. Look at all you've done And we started over here in the beginning of the day and we were a little rough in a little grouchy, and we didn't know where we were going to go or how we were going to get there. And at the end of the day or at the end of the couple of days, look at what we've created. We've created not just one solution. We've created five solutions that are really viable. We're going to go test a couple of those and then if those you know, if you don't like those, we've got a couple more. We contest. But we went from just disparity ideas, people that you know wanted to own their silo. Two people that were willing to pull the silo down and say, Look what we did as a team together and that's how we should be working. And so that's what I love is is being able to change the way people think and work. What would you say? I mean, this takes, I think, a little bit of humility to say, What kind of character does it take to do your position? So, I mean, you might have the perfect character, but you're also learning that, you know, maybe a little push here is maybe good for this person and maybe a little bit more sympathy and understanding for people to start speaking and to share their ideas. So how do you finding that, um, balance and character with yourself? Or where other innovation consultants kind of failed for these companies. Yeah. I mean, so let's start here because you just brought up something really important. Very beautiful. So when I first started working in my career early on, it was about me. It was about here in 19. Well, even when I was 25. It was still all about me. And I think you're only 25. You don't want to know what I was doing in 1925. You're talking about being a career woman like all the power, do you? So all the grace goes to you, but yeah, So I mean, you know, it's interesting. There's, I think, in order to do what I do, which is facilitation, you have it cannot be about you. You kind of have to drain yourself of the ego, and we all have it, and we have it to varying degrees. And when you own a silo or part of an organization, typically, um, you become the person in charge of that silo and...

...everybody else becomes the enemy because now you're fighting for resource is you're fighting for time, face time, time for my initiative, Thio be presented versus someone else's. And then it always becomes the zero sum game right where no one can really win. And that's unfortunate. And that's the way most people work. And I think that part of what I love that I get to do is I couldn't necessarily solve for why that was when I was deep in the trenches of it. But now that I've stepped outside and looked at, you know looked at the scenario in this situation, I've realized that, Ah, lot of times and organizations we need to spend more time teaming than we do, telling people what to get done and what their initiatives are, because the team that can confide back to back is the team that's always going to win. And the team that in fights will never actually be able to look up and understand what what's going on in the market because they're so busy fighting one another. Unfortunately, that's very normal for corporate culture. So so being able to step back as a facilitator and say It's not about me, it's not about my ideas because this is their company. My job is to draw the best ideas out, to help them draw all the ideas out, get him on the board, help them arrive and prioritize the best ideas, and to really help move them through this day in a way where they could be successful. That's that's the beauty is you're not looking at your own success now. Your success is tied to someone else's. And when each of our success is tied to the other person, we now are in a place of giving, not in a place of taking when. It's only about my success. I want to take when it's about our collective success. I now want to give. And so moving people into a place where they see each other as humans, as people, as you know as individuals that matter and helping them move towards collective success is, you know, really the job that I do. And the beauty is I don't need an ego to do that. Is this easy to wed together? The knowing and the doing So as you're sitting there and you know there's a board room in front of you and you have an idea you you might want, Maybe you have to bite your telling you might know something that could help them, but just to step back is, Is it hard? Thio ease that temptation, Or is it your professional now? You've been doing it long enough. You know exactly what to Dio. It's hard Thio and but I I understand that I have Thio because if I have the idea in the 1st 30 seconds of the meeting, then nobody feels that they own it, and nobody is going to is not going to feel like a shared sense now. There's been several times right where I may be like, Oh, it was so good if they just did this and that might be close to where they write just slip that on there. But it doesn't matter what I think, because if I can't get them to build the future together in that session, they'll never do. Yeah, it'll never happen. So that's so important. Toe to bite my tongue. I might be like, Okay, just jot it down for yourself so you can say you knew. But then close the binder and put it aside because it's not about you. And so I think that even if we can approach this as people who work in corporations and go into teams and say, you know, hey, let's let's put ourselves aside and figure out what's in the best interest of the organization And so it's so hard, I think, for us as humans to take off the silo hat, you know, I run marketing or I run sales and to put on the Hey, I'm on the executive team. What do we is the executive team need to do to make sure this company is successful? Not only this year, but in the years to come. You're You are humble, and as a humble person, this might be a difficult toe question toe answer. But what is something that you would like people to understand about your job and what it is you do so they...

...can have a better appreciation for the work that you're doing? Yeah, I mean, I think it's, um that's a great question. Gosh, I think it's what I'd like people to understand about. My job is that, you know, at the end of the day, I'm here to help people surface the very best ideas and to help their organization win. And, you know, you can call that a number of different things, right? You could just call me a facilitator, just a consultant. But bringing in the innovation edge, I think, is very important because what we can then do is step back and look at okay. Great. This is the solution for your organization. Let's step back and look at the expanse of the industry and understand, Um, if you're taking a bet on something, that's not going to be the future. Perfect example really quick. Nokia and Apple, right Nokia. Let's go back to 2000 and 4 to 2000 and seven. They invested. Nokia invested $22 billion in R and D. Apple invested $2.5 billion in R and D. You can see the disparity there, and you know how much each person invested. But it was Apple that moved ahead. Why? Because Apple bet on the smartphone. They bet on that technology. That was the future, whereas Nokia was betting on the technology they had today. So it is amazing as a team to get a good idea. But then you have to step back and look at the expanse of the industry and say, Where is the industry going? And is this idea going to leave us behind? And are we going to be left in the dust by our competitors? So the innovation edge not only grabs that idea and says, What's the idea? But it says now let's throw it up in light of the industry, what is the industry doing, and then we can look at that and say, That's a great idea, but we're gonna be five years behind if we invest in this idea because we already have people that are leaning into technology that we don't have. So it would be better for us to figure out how to lean into that technology and come back in six months and create an idea that will will sit on that technology versus going with our outdated technology That won't get us where we need to go. You talk about being left behind and in the dust. How do you not get left behind? I mean, you're you're in a in innovation, but you also have to sharpen your skills as well. So how do you stay productive and keep going? Yes. So I'm I'm a big reader. I'm always reading. Um I've probably listening to four books right now, inaudible all the same time. And then typically, what I'll do is if I'm really drawn to the book, I will buy it. That way I can see the visual pictures, whatever is in there to help. You kind of connect all the dots. So reading for me is like fun. It's really fundamental and and making sure that, um, that I'm moving with the industry. But then I'm you know, I'm always reading, like Harvard Business Review. And then, um, I'm always watching videos. So I keep up a lot with, like, you know, Space Six and Elon Musk and some of the things that they're doing because the models that they've built for innovation, the speed at which they innovate, is a very important thing that I think a lot of organizations can learn from. And so one of the cool things that I took away from, like something recent that I that I was listening to from Elon Musk cause he was talking about how there is punishment if people don't innovate. So you're fired if you don't innovate, if you're in a role that you can and you don't do it. But then there's small punishments if you fail, which I find really interesting because I've always, you know, I've never thought Let's celebrate failure. But they say we're going to celebrate it with a small punishment. Um, but the idea that you know your innovations need to be thoughtful. You can't just place the organization's money. It needs to be thoughtful, and you need to be able to think through what you're doing. And so that's really important. And then, you know, and so is as I look at what I read and what I'm staying up with, it's...

...really important to do that. And then I also helped a couple of startups just to understand, you know, what are you incubating? What are you working on and how are they gonna move that forward? So part of it is reading part of it's just staying really close to the innovation and just, you know, um, innovations in the industry and what's going on with them. And, yeah, it's a lot of reading, but that's kind of how I stay. Stay up with what? Are you encouraged by what's happening or what seems, or what's coming up in the future? Are you encouraged to see some of the new innovations and how people are thinking about the future? I am more so than I've ever been. I think you know, I think we were stagnant for a little while. I mean, we've had a lot of innovation and software, but it's great to see innovation in automotive through through what Elon Musk is doing. It's great to see it in space exploration. Um, one of the cool things you know that that he's built is this rocket booster that we don't have to throw away billions of dollars every time we launch someone to space video today about something that has landed. Yes, it's recently. It's his seventh land, so you don't It's not just flashing up into the ocean, exactly. So just little little incremental innovations like that have been really powerful. And, you know, when you talk to Elon Musk, you kind of not that I've spoken to him before, but you know, when you listen to him interviewed, um, you think, man, this guy is kind of out there, right? Like, but he's actually doing stuff. And so one of the things he said recently is like we should be taking Starfleet missions like we should be taking missions in space and the idea that like, Oh, I don't know that anyone else is thinking like that. But then he's actually backing it up with action, and he's doing stuff. And so it's. You have to combine those things. If you're going to be an innovation, you can't just be talk you have to be delivering on. That is encouraging. I mean, you think about there's some people who think, I mean, I don't know if you remember the commercial time to make the doughnuts. I know it was Robin doughnuts or something. I mean, so the idea and it's not that he was an actor, but this is I got to do this. I'm going to work. I'll go to work, come home and this is my day. But you have Elon Musk. Okay, we need space invaders or, you know, let's make tunnels in L. A right so people can travel underneath like you're just thinking outside of the box and that whether that particular thing works, it's at least stretching the boundaries. Yeah, and I feel like it's been a while since we is a You know, people have stretched the boundaries in a way that is really meaningful on DSO. We've done it incremental pockets, you know, we've done it in certain industries, but seeing something that could be, um, used, you know, worldwide, that's that's really to me. Um, the purpose of innovation and the excitement about innovation On a side note, I wonder. Excuse me. I wish we had one little island that we could just dedicate to garbage. And everyone in the world agrees to This is the place. And we'll make it the best garbage place of all places and will process it. And we'll spit out other things. Reusable things. But this will be the place. And then we won't have to be dumping it in certain people countries and then laying blame, including different places. Just some What? I Some idea. Speaking of technology, what is something that you use that you couldn't do without? And it may not be technology. It could be your mind, right? It could be something that you use it just very integral to your job. And it keeps you very efficient. Yeah. So Okay, after I am going to say a software so eso I use mural a lot. Have you ever used mural? No, I heard of it like Tello. Would that be a similar? Hello? Yeah, Hello. Yeah, So, um, the reason I love mural so much is because it z become a way where I can help people work better...

...collaborate better. Um, I've taken it into a couple meetings and I'm like, OK, guys, we're gonna all get in Mural, and we're gonna work. And afterwards, I get all these messages. Like what? What was that we were in? Because this was the best meeting I've ever had. And that wasn't me leading the meeting. That wasn't what made it so good. It was the fact that everyone saw their ideas getting recorded because a lot of times we go into meetings and we just do this. We talk, talk, talk, and then we leave. And no one has a clue what happened. Was there any productivity and did anything get done? But when you start to get all their ideas up on the board, what happens is they say I feel heard. I see my idea right there on that blue sticky. Now, maybe it will evolve, and it will become a different idea later on down the road. But I can see that you saw me. You heard me. And those are two of the most important thing. So mural allows me to do that. Especially when we all went into lock down with Cove. It I was walking around in people's offices with sticky notes and helping them, you know, innovate and think outside the box that way and tohave mural in my pocket and say, We're not going to miss a beat. We're still going to collaborate. We're still going to innovate. You were just going to do it A synchronously, right? You can You can take this board. You can work on it at any time. You can evolve this idea. I don't have to be in your office to do it. Um, you wake up at 2 a.m. and have a amazing thought. You can put it in here, and I don't have to be awake to help you with it. So just the idea that we could still continue to move people forward and we could continue to move ideas forward despite the lock down. Can that be found mural dot com? Is that Yeah, I think it's I want to say it's mural dot co Cool. Yeah. Mural dot co m u a r l dot co. Um, but yeah, I mean that that's been huge. Just to be able to help people move forward and not miss a beat. It's It's been, um, like it's been my livelihood sustained having mural. So so that's been something I haven't been able to live without this this year. What would you say? Natalie is a top tip for people getting into work or changing the career as you have done different things for ever finding your your passion. Um, people disgruntled with their work or just someone coming out of high school looking for work? What would be a tip that you have for them? Yeah. I mean, I could remember back in in my career when when I was in a role that was not working for me. And the first thing I did is reached out to an executive coach and we sat down, and the first thing she helped me understand was how to talk about my talent. So I think as a as anybody, whether you're, you know, coming out of high school coming out of college or you've been in a career for 10 years. But you're not happy. The first thing you have to do is learn how to properly articulate what your talent is, and so I couldn't keep you know I couldn't just bounced from job to job, trying to figure it out. At that point, I was way too far in my career. I had to be really deliberate about articulating that. So I had to say, What is my talent? What am I good at? Once she helped me articulate in a way where I could tell other people. Then it made it very clear. And we had this really interesting conversation where she was like Natalie, you need to go work for a startup or you need Thio. Go be a consultant or you need to go do something on your own. Start your own company. She's like, because you have an entrepreneurial spirit that you can't survive in a corporation for a long period of time with that entrepreneurial spirit, because if they won't let you move or go work on different things like it's, it's going to frustrate you. So I had to acknowledge that, recognize that in myself, and then figure out what best career path, which suits somebody like me and so often times you know, when we're younger, I would say, Don't be afraid to try things, but make sure that you're always leaning back into...

...that thing you tried to say. What did I love about it? And what did I hate about it? So that you can better articulate your talent. And at the end of the day, if we can't articulate our talent to ourselves, we're gonna end up in jobs we hate because we don't understand what makes us tick. And one of the beautiful things my coach help me understand is you are not an operational person, but you're in a operational job. You need to move out of that operational job and get into a job that can help you. Really, um, leverage the skills that you have and you have an entrepreneurial spirit, not operational spirit. So that's really important if you're in a job where you have to generate ideas, but you just wanna operate things and run them, you're gonna be miserable. So So, finding what what matters to you and what makes you tick is is incredibly important, as you know, as a leader, as someone working, because you wanna have joy at work and you want to enjoy what you're doing. And if you're in a job that's just not a good fit for you personally, you're not going to enjoy it. I wish I had your coach. It's amazing. Amy Baylock, shout out to Amy, I I think a lot of people wish they had a me Oh, that would have been great advice. And it still is. It's still applicable today, and it's for anyone listens. It's finding what it is that you're good at and keep leaning towards that, even if you're doing something else, so you are busy. So how do you find a balance in separating work from the rest of your life? And what do you do? Thio? Balance that out? How do you find that work? Life balance? Yeah, you know, So several years ago, a long time ago, maybe, even like I want to say, maybe back in like 2000. And for something like that, I heard Jack Welch speak, and it was just incredible to hear him. He's, you know, he's passed away now, but he was the president of G for many, many years, and he said this thing that stuck with me forever, he said, It's not about work, life balance. It's about work life choices and the idea that at any given time. The choice lies with me. It's my choice how I work when I work and what I dio. Um it's one of the reasons why I changed. You know, my career to go into consulting is because I was one of those people that got up first thing I checked my phone, um, you know, ran out the door. I'm on the conference call on the way to work, you know, working a full full day, coming home, having dinner with the family, putting them to bed. And then I'm on my laptop again for three hours. And what I realized was that mode of operating was not sustainable. It's not sustainable long term, and you will burn out and, um, you will be replaced and and you will be the one to to suffer for for that burn out. So what I realized is, you know, a couple years ago I kind of hit this wall where I realized I need to change the way that I approach work and the way I think about work, and so that's going to require me thio to really think differently in order to be productive, and it's gonna require me to think outside the box about what Onley, the things that I could dio and those are the things I need to dio. And if they're things that someone else could do, I need to let them do that so that I could be successful not only at work, but at home. And so oftentimes we only think of ourselves as being successful at work. We don't think about the impact in our home if we're not successful, but that can tear your home upside down, right? So if you're not successful in your home, it doesn't matter if you're successful at work. Those two things have toe work deeply, and they have to work together. And so if they don't your success, that work doesn't matter. And that's oftentimes I would tell my team if you're not successful at home, I don't care what your how your winning at work. Both of them need to be operating well, and so for me it had to take a step back. So now my husband can call me on it and say, Hey, get your laptop out of the bed. It's time, you know we're going to bed So just that idea of having someone that you could be accountable to, to say Hey, like you've been doing great...

...for six months. But I see like the work stuff starting to take up again. We need to change that, having someone that can call you whether it's a family or friends. You know, in your life that could just say, Hey, this isn't healthy again. Let's let's go back and reiterate Why do we work and work while it is fulfilling? It's also, you know, we don't live toe work. We work to live. And so remembering that is really important. Well, I had the question, Why do you rest? And then someone said, No, it's not about rest. I do. Then they said, you know, where is that work? Life balance. But I think I like work life choices. I think that that is, it is a choice, right? You have that choice. Thio, take out the laptop or pick up the phone and how you're going, Thio, be productive or you know how you're going toe. Manage your day, whether it's with family or with your work. What is something, Natalie that you wish you would have known. I mean, you really did have your head screwed on very well properly right from the get go. But is there something that you wish you would have known back in the day that you could tell someone about? Now that maybe that could help them? Yeah. So I remember this journal to your point. I really was. I think I grew up way too early in terms of being at work. I heard this journal I had, and I would I would record you know, how much I was making and how much I wanted to be making. By the end of the year, I would record the title I had in the title I wanted by the end of the year and this one on for years where I would say, Okay, I missed it by two grand or whatever. You know, I didn't get my goal. But one thing I forgot to do is enjoy the journey. I forgot to really just hope that yeah, I forgot to enjoy the journey. I forgot to especially early in my career. Really See people you know, something that's so important. I think about us as a career. People in its leaders is people need to truly feel seen. They need to know that you care about them, that they matter. And I think that I was too busy seeing my next move to see people for a very long time. And so for me, if I could have changed, if I could have gone back in time and spoken to myself, it would have been a truly slow down and enjoy the journey. Because whether you get that job in a year or two years, that honestly doesn't make any difference. It's what are you learning, what you growing along the way in yourself and in others and so very much. I think, you know, my earlier career was about me in the part I love about. What I do now is it's very difficult to make it about me because it's it's It's about someone else to success. Every project I drop in, no one's ever going to know that I was there. Once I leave, it's the team that gets held up, as as the people that win, not oh, it was, you know, Natalie, that that facilitated that typically that doesn't happen. It's it's them that gets to celebrate that win as a team. And so I had to, because I was, I think so about myself and about my own success. In my early career, I've had to kind of flip that and say, I need to be about other people's success because I have enough experience to do it, but also because it's just right. And if I had learned that earlier, I think I could have been a better manager. Better leader, better boss. It's the essence of what you're saying about companies that work well to rather than having the boss dictate what needs to be done encouraging the team's Thio grow within themselves to come up with the ideas and and to be a force within themselves. That's you know, your own realization there. Is there a particular missed a quick that you made that you have learned a lot from, or just a culmination of mistakes that you were able to take life lessons from? How long do you have? No, I'm just kidding. E think I think for me the biggest mistake that that I've made...

...is is truly just it is selfishness. Just seeing myself a zoom or important want, though Natalie and people have been saying that. I mean, you've been saying this and people have been hearing it, but you're humble because a lot of people won't admit. I mean, in just the people say, Oh, yeah. I made a lot of state mistakes, but you're going back to being a 19 year old professional. You're 15 working in an office. You really did have your ducks lined up rather early. But even going back then and saying, you know what? I wasn't his professional. I wasn't doing what? It's very commendable. So by you saying, you know, I just didn't have it quite right. You had a lot, right? You had ah, lot. Right. So for you to be able to say, you know, there was even more than I could have improved on is truly humble of you. Thank you for saying that. You know, it's funny. I've heard this definition of humility and I loved it so much that I use all the time. Humility is agreement with the truth mhm and its agreement with If I'm good at something, just saying, Hey, I'm really good at this. This is what I'm good at, but it's also, you know, when you mess up just saying, Yeah, I messed. I messed that up. Its its agreement with the truth. And when we can do that, that's like where humility is allowed to come in. So I would say earlier in my career, I was afraid to Mitt when I did something wrong, I was just afraid of it. I didn't want to be called out in a meeting. I didn't want to be publicly humiliated, so I would actually hide my my failures, and I would I would not let anyone know about them. Or maybe they would find out. But then it was like, Who can we collectively blaming this on so it doesn't have all the heat, doesn't have to follow me? Um, And so I think one of the ways that you can see yourself making that shift in your career and in your life is when you're willing to raise your hand and say before anyone else calls you out to say, Hey, I messed, I messed that up Like I want to tell you I messed it up before you tell me, Um and then let's talk about what we need to do to fix it. I think that, you know, earlier in my career where I felt that I did not do well was accepting my failures. And I think as a you know, as you as you grow And as you get through things, you realize sometimes those failures are actually the birthplace of innovation. Um, a failure is you learning something that may be a win would not have ever taught you. And so seeing the failures for what they are and seeing how powerful failures could be if used properly in your life. To me, that becomes, uh, what's more, more important. So I wish that someone could have told me that earlier in my career that like, Hey, not every failure is is a death sentence. Failure could be a lesson learned, and it can actually catapult you towards something better, because oftentimes what happens when we fail is we stop and we close up in that area. And we don't keep pushing into that area because we just stamp it a failure and move on. That's what you said about. I think it was Elon Musk about their small punishments, but there's new opportunities to. There's new opportunity for growth and learning how you've touched on this with your own education. But for listeners, where do you place education? Regardless of the job? It could be a trade. It could be on the job training. It could be formal education. How high, or how much do you value education for the individual? I think the younger you are, the more critical it is because I think what's really important is you have to expose yourself to a lot of different ideas and a lot of different ways of thinking. And I think when you're younger, that's that's supercritical. Just toe. Have yourself exposed to a number of ways of thinking and working. Um, as you get older, you still need to do that. But it doesn't necessarily need to look like education. It could look like reading. It could look like, you know, all these different things, but But I do think for me it was very important. Thio expose myself to education very...

...early. And so, you know, I graduated, um college and, you know, maybe about five years into my career, I said, I feel like I'm hitting a ceiling where I don't have the acumen that certain people have, because early in my career I was dealing with R C level executives and I could tell I had no clue half the time what they were talking about, and I didn't have the acumen that they had. You know, a lot of these sea levels that I was dealing with had law degrees and all these other things. So I realized that I had kind of reached my lid with my college education. So I decided to go Thio, get my graduate degree or get my MBA because I need it to be able to speak to them on their level and not feel like they knew it all. And I knew nothing. I wanted to feel like I at least had enough acumen to be in the room. And so I think in our in our career we will see points where we feel like we're hitting a wall, we're hitting a ceiling, and the importance is not to just feel like, you know, we throw our hands up in the air, but to say, What do I need to get to the next level? And because these people were highly educated and highly, um, you know, just very, very brilliant what they did. I knew that, you know, intelligence could be grown. It doesn't have to just be is either in your it's not That's not how it works. I knew that I could grow my acumen in a number of these areas in order to feel like I could have, ah, intelligent conversation with them. And I'm sure you held your own as well. And I'm sure no one felt or was this critical on you as you were of yourself. And it was just something that you were ahead of in the game And just knowing in the future that this might be good for me rather than being where you were and feeling that you're you were, you know, a small fish in a big pond. I think you're probably doing very well as your career shows that you kept growing and being promoted in what you did. Is there anything else, Natalie, um, that you would like to say in terms of encouragement for people feeling, you know, maybe disgruntled in their job, not liking? Not sure. You kind of touched on this with talents, but just a word of encouragement for people in their work or getting in tow work. Yeah. I mean, I just, you know, one of the things I think about it, you know, I've been in a couple of different roles where I just knew that I was, you know, it was not the right role for me, and I was super disgruntled about it. Um, but I also realized that that wasn't actually helping me, um, toe have that mindset. So I had to kind of think of it in this way. Um, first, why is it that I don't like this role and articulating that is very important so that you don't end up in the same roll over again? Because sometimes we can keep choosing the same roles, and then we can't figure out why we're so miserable. Eso Why do I not like this role? And then what have I liked in the past that was enjoyable to me. So asking myself, you know, what have I done in the past that I just loved where I felt like I was, you know, being pushed out of my comfort zone in a good way and I was enjoying it, articulating what? I didn't like, what I did like and then asking myself where the similarities in the role and where the differences so that I'm really leaning into understanding that, Ah, lot of times we don't take the time. To retrospect, you know, to look back and ask. We're just really pushing into I hate this job. I needed a different one in that that that kind of movement doesn't help us, so we need to slow it down and be a little bit more deliberate about the wise. Sometimes, you know, I feel like there's always three things in your career. It's It's who you report to. So a lot of times your boss can make or break how you feel about your job. It's the culture of the organization and its the work you dio. So if you look at those three things and say, which one of those three is it? And then once you can articulate that, you have to ask yourself, Well, if it's my boss, that's making me miserable. What's the type of boss I'd like to work for? On DSO you have to start bringing these things to the surface. Once you do that and you make your plan, then this is something...

I wish I had learned a lot earlier. You have to network, so you have to. The best way to get in the door that you'd like to be in is to find someone who's already in the door toe walk you in. And so it's so important that in our career we don't just, you know, someone once told me the lie. You just put your head down and work as hard as you can and you'll go straight to the top. That's not true. You have to, you know, you have to network with people. You have to see people. You have to empathize. You have to create and build friendships with people, and then they will walk you through any door you want to go through. So if you're not happy in your career, ask yourself those questions and start building those bridges and those relationships now so that when you need them, they'll be there. But then also, when they need you, you could be there for them. A swell, Yeah, I've done this in the past. Just going to any door that seemed to be open without, you know, if a door closed on you taking assessment, as you're saying, look at these aspects to realize what it is that is best suited to your needs. And not only that, making a good network connection to get through that door. Very vital information. How can people reach you? Natalie? Yeah. So, um, if you are on instagram or Facebook or LinkedIn, you can find me at innovation meets leadership. That's how you can find me there. And then also Twitter and LinkedIn. You can find me at Natalie born. Now, one more question. Why do you work? Well, I feel that work is personal. It is something that's just in our DNA and were created to Dio. And, um I worked to not only provide for my family, but also to provide fulfillment and purpose for my days here on this earth. And then also to make an impact. So toe leave people with a legacy of ideas and frameworks that they can use to make their work in their life Better. Natalie born I like created and purpose and legacy. Those are very good words. Thank you. Natalie. born. It's been a pleasure. Thanks, Brian. It's great to be here. Thank you for listening to this episode of why we work with Brian V. Be sure to subscribe, Follow and share with others so they too can be encouraged in their work. I hope that you have yourself a productive, joyful day in your work. Mhm.

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