On Air: April 7, 2015

Pierre Loing, VP Product Planning, Nissan North America

Pierre Loing is Vice President, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc., a position to which he was appointed in January 2012. In this role, Loing reports Fred M. Diaz, senior vice president, Nissan Sales & Marketing, Aftersales, U.S., Nissan North America, Inc. and is responsible for advanced and product planning for all Nissan and Infiniti vehicles throughout the region.

Most recently, Loing was vice president, Product Strategy and Planning for Nissan Europe. In this role he was responsible for all near-future Nissan products. In addition to the Qashqai, Loing played key roles in the development of other high-profile vehicles including the Nissan LEAF.

Loing joined Nissan in 1999. Prior to taking on his role at Nissan Europe in 2006, Loing was general manager, Advanced Product Planning, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and based in Tokyo with responsibility for projects ranging from six to eight years into the future. In 2002, he joined Nissan from Renault-Nissan Alliance partner Renault where he was general manager of Product Strategy in Paris and a prominent contributor to the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

Loing holds a degree from Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Rouen in northern France and has completed the Executive Development Program INSEAD, one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools. He is based at Nissan North America, Inc. in Franklin, Tenn.

On Air: March 31, 2015

Josh Stein, CEO of Adhere Tech

Josh Stein is the CEO and Cofounder of AdhereTech (, a health-tech company that makes patented smart pill bottles to track and improve medication adherence. These innovative devices are currently being used by top healthcare companies to increase adherence for commercial specialty medications and clinical trials. AdhereTech has won numerous innovation awards, and Josh has been a featured speaker at TEDMED (for each the past two years), The Wharton Health Care Business Conference, SXSW, Stanford Medicine X, Health 2.0, and many more.

Josh has an MBA from Wharton and a BA from Washington University in St. Louis. He founded AdhereTech during his MBA studies, and he has been pursuing the venture full-time ever since. He credits Wharton with much of AdhereTech’s success to date, because his day-to-day role requires deep knowledge of healthcare, entrepreneurship, finance, product design, and general business acumen.

On Air: March 31, 2015

John Venhuizen, President & CEO of ACE Hardware

John Venhuizen is President and Chief Executive Officer of Ace Hardware Corporation. Venhuizen, 45, is a 22-year veteran of Ace. Prior to this role, Venhuizen most recently served as President and Chief Operating Officer.

Venhuizen joined Ace within the marketing department in 1992. After serving a number of roles both in corporate and the field within marketing, category management and merchandising, Venhuizen was promoted to Manager of Marketing in 2000, where he oversaw Ace’s brand strategy, customer relationship management initiative, e-commerce and consumer research, among other duties. In 2004, Venhuizen became Director of Business Development where he led Ace’s aggressive growth strategy and implementation. In 2006, Venhuizen was promoted to Vice President of Business Development. In 2008, Venhuizen served as Vice President, Business Development, Retail Training and International as Ace launched Ace International Holdings to expand brand licensees around the globe. In 2010, he was promoted to Executive Vice President where he oversaw Ace’s supply chain, IT, international and strategy.

Venhuizen currently serves as a Director on a number of boards including the Mark Morton Memorial Foundation, Ace International Holdings and Ace Retail Holdings. He is a graduate of Trinity Christian College. Venhuizen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration.

On Air: March 24, 2015

Steven Krupp, Senior Managing Partner at Decision Strategies International and Author of Winning the Long Game: How Strategic Leaders Shape the Future

Steven Krupp is a Senior Managing Partner at Decision Strategies International (DSI), a firm devoted to help leaders become more strategic and organizations more adaptive. DSI provides executive development, strategy consulting, and organization transformation to the world’s largest organizations in six continents. DSI offers solutions that equip executives to implement dynamic strategies for an uncertain world, and designs adaptive organizations that flex to rapidly-changing demands.

Dr. Krupp is a renowned thought leader on strategic thinking and agility. His new book, Winning the Long Game: How Strategic Leaders Shape the Future, provides a leadership roadmap to navigate today’s volatile environment. He has also published a number of articles including: “Strategic Leadership: The Essential Skills” in Harvard Business Review, “The Power of Asking Pivotal Questions” in MIT Sloan Management Review, “Competitive Anticipation: How To Enhance Leadership By Sharpening Your Competitive Edge” in Leadership Excellence; “How To Rally Your Team Around A Strategy” in; and “Women as Strategic Leaders: The Need and the Critical Skills” in American Management Association’s MWorld. Other publications Steve has been published in are: Harvard Management Update, CLO Magazine, Talent Management Magazine, Wall Street Journal, and Philadelphia Business Journal.

Dr. Krupp and his DSI colleagues help build capabilities for strategic thinking, change, decision-making, collaboration, customer centricity, and innovation required to shape the future for global organizations. Clients include AIG, Asta Zeneca, Bank of America, BlackRock, British Petroleum, CEMEX, Comcast, Deutsche Bank, Genentech, General Electric, GlaxoSmithKline, Lenovo, L’Oreal, Lockheed Martin, Merck, Microsoft, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Royal Bank of Scotland, Sanofi Aventis, Thomson Reuters, Total, and Transocean.

Before joining DSI, Dr. Krupp was a Senior Partner at Oliver Wyman and the Senior Managing Vice President at Right Management Consultants, where he led the human capital consulting business for the Americas. He holds a Ph.D. from Temple University in Organizational Development.

Steve Krupp

On the show, Steven spoke about innovating in the current world, which is faster moving, and faster changing, than ever before. He discussed innovation using the example of Tesla, the electric car company that released its patents to anyone who wants them in pursuit of building an ecosystem for electric vehicles, which founder Elon Musk believes Tesla will be able to dominate. Krupp said that in an uncertain world, a company need to takes bets like an electric car, some of which may fail, but some of which may redefine industries, and smart companies are defined by learning from the bets they take and having an excellent feedback cycle. An example he used is the rise of the company Spanx, founded by Sara Blakely.

On Air: March 24, 2015

Paul Paetz, CEO of Innovative Disruption, Author of Disruption by Design: How to Create Products that Disrupt and then Dominate Markets

Paul Paetz is the CEO of Innovative Disruption, a boutique consultancy that works with innovators to bring disruptive products to fruition and market success. His deep knowledge of disruptive innovation was first acquired the hard way back in the 1980s, when he began his career with a highly innovative software company that could have, but didn’t, disrupt the market — something that he remained curious about, and continued trying to discern why some companies with superior technology never had breakout success, while others with unlikely products scored big. Clay Christensen’s Innovator’s Dilemma resonated strongly with Paetz’s earlier experiences, and he found his true calling when he joined The Disruption Group, a consultancy that specialized in providing advisory services concerning market disruption. In 2008, he started his second company, Innovative Disruption, focused specifically on advising and helping startups with disruptive potential, and providing insights for larger companies whose markets were being disrupted. Paetz is the creator of the Disruption Report Card, a tool that scores disruptive potential, and is the author of the popular blog Disrupt This.

On Innovation Navigation, Paul spoke about what disruption is and how it’s identified. The traditional idea of offering a lower quality product to an underserved market segment at a lower price point is not actually that useful for identification – that could also just describe a bad product! He identifies disruptive products by their effects, looking for “ripples, not stones.” These come about from disruptions in supply and demand curves, as products’ price drop to zero, as a smartphone makes a watch needless for many people, for example.

On Air: March 10, 2015

Dan DiMicco, Former CEO of Nucor and Author of American Made: Why Making Things Will Return Us to Greatness

Dan joined Nucor Corporation in November 1982 as Plant Metallurgist and Manager of Quality Control for Nucor Steel in Plymouth, Utah. In March 1991, Dan became General Manager of the Nucor-Yamato joint venture in Blytheville, Arkansas and became Vice President in January 1992. Dan became Executive Vice President of Nucor Corporation in September 1999, and in September 2000 he was elected President and Chief Executive Officer. Dan was elected Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors in June 2001, and Chairman of the Board in 2006. From January 2013-January 2014 he served as Executive Chairman. He presently serves as Chairman Emeritus (effective January 2014.) Dan served as Nucor’s CEO longer than anyone since company founder, Ken Iverson. Under Dan’s leadership, Nucor delivered dramatic growth in profits and shareholder returns. From September 2000 through the end of 2012, Nucor completed over 50 acquisitions for a total investment of $6.5 billion, and Nucor’s total shareholder return growth was 720%, which is almost four times greater than the total return of the S&P Steel Group Index and twenty-eight times greater than the S&P 500’s total return. In addition to this impressive record of profitable growth, Dan proved himself an effective champion for domestic manufacturing and rules-based, rules-enforced free trade.

Dan was appointed to the United States Manufacturing Council in 2008 by then-U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez, and served on the board until 2011. Dan also served on the boards of the National Association of Manufacturers and the World Steel Association on the Executive Committee. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Duke Energy Corporation and continues to represent Nucor on the US Council on Competitiveness and the Coalition for a Prosperous America(CPA)

Many of the nation’s leading business authorities recognized Nucor’s exceptional performance under Dan’s leadership. In 2005, BusinessWeek magazine ranked Nucor the nation’s No. 1 Company, based on sales growth and return on investment. In the coming years, Nucor made three additional appearances on the BusinessWeek 50 list. In 2008, Dan received theCharlotte Business Journal’s sixth annual “Business Person of the Year” award. The Harvard Business Review included Dan in its 2010 top 100 list of The Best Performing CEOs in the World. Institutional Investor named Dan to the 2012 All-America Executive Team and the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) in January 2012 awarded Dan the prestigious Robert P. Stupp Award for Leadership Excellence, noting that “[The award] gives special recognition to individuals who have provided unparalleled leadership in the steel construction industry. Recently Dan received the prestigious 2013 “Citizens of the Carolinas” award by the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce.

Dan was named to IndustryWeek magazine’s Manufacturing Hall of Fame in 2011 where he was one of ten members selected for the year. In describing the inductees for 2011, IndustryWeek said, “This year’s inductees have made names for themselves by challenging the established norms of their organizations, their industries and their world.” In selecting Dan IndustryWeek cited the return to shareholders during his time as CEO, his commitment to Nucor employees, his “shepherding the company through a period of unprecedented growth as well as the harrowing recession of the late 2000s (during which Nucor hewed to its no-layoff philosophy),” and his work to keep trade issues at the forefront of U.S. public policy. The magazine described DiMicco as “a leading voice for U.S. manufacturing and the nation’s steel industry,” especially for his criticism of China’s trade practices.

Dan is always quick to note that “None of these honors would have been possible without the tremendous work of my thousands of Nucor teammates.”

Dan graduated from Brown University in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Metallurgy and Materials Science. He graduated with a Master of Science Degree in Metallurgy and Materials Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1975.

On the show, Dan spoke about the history of Nucor in investing heavily electric arc furnace “minimill” steel production, as opposed to massive integrated mills operating blast furnaces – this was a radical change at the time, only able to produce low margin, lower quality products. Through constant innovation, Nucor was able to constantly improve their ability to produce higher and higher quality steel and steel products and rapidly decreasing cost, leading them to become the largest steel and steel products producer in the U.S. by volume.

In addition, he discussed his new book American Made, and the way he sees the future of the United States as a resurgence of manufacturing. He feels that a nation must have a strong manufacturing component of GDP in order to sustain wealth creation. The loss in U.S. share of world manufacturing comes primarily from illegal trading practices and currency manipulation from other nations that the U.S. government did not actively pursue, according to DiMicco. His book is harshly critical of U.S. government policy with regard to trade policy.

On Air: March 10, 2015

Jeremy Gutsche, Founder of, Author of Better & Faster: The Proven Path to Unstoppable Ideas

Jeremy Gutsche, MBA, CFA, is an innovation expert, award-winning author, “one of the most sought-after keynote speakers on the planet,” and the founder of, the world’s largest trend website, with roughly 2 billion total views and 3 million fans. Prior to Trend Hunter, Jeremy grew a $1 billion portfolio for a bank, and today, over 350 brands, billionaires and CEOs rely on his innovation expertise and management consulting, including Victoria Secret, Coca-Cola, Sony, IBM, NBC, Wells Fargo and Hughes Aerospace.

Routinely sourced by the media, Jeremy’s broad appeal ranges from The Economist and CNN to Entertainment Tonight and The New York Times. He has been described as “a new breed of trend spotter” by The Guardian, “an eagle eye” by Global TV, an “Oracle” by the Globe and Mail, an “intellectual can of Red Bull” by Association Week, “the rockstar of keynote speakers” by Meetings Professional International and “on the forefront of cool” by MTV.

Before his dot-com success and work as an innovation keynote speaker,Jeremy studied innovation at Stanford, completed an MBA from Queen’s University, became a Chartered Financial Analyst, and graduated as a Chancellor Scholar from The University of Calgary, where he was later awarded Graduate of the Decade. He was one of Capital One’s youngest Business Directors and innovation leads. Prior to Capital One, Jeremy spent several years as a Management Consultant at the Monitor Group.

Good video (1:10 is a good breakdown)

Book review:,-better-and-faster-234798

On Innovation Navigation, Jeremy spoke about the difference between ‘farming’ and ‘hunting,’ meaning between constantly gaining revenue from incremental improvements to a profitable core product versus being a hungry hunter, not knowing where your next meal will come from, and accordingly being risky and iconoclastic in pursuit of innovation and success. This sounds like a simple idea but it’s incredibly difficult – he spoke about the example of Kodak, who had invented the digital camera in the late ’70s, but film was making roughly 95% margins at the time, it’s not easy to decide to disrupt that profitable a business! But if a firm fails to do so when it has the opportunity, it will be too late by the time the core ‘farm’ loses profitability.

On Air: March 3, 2015

Peter Espersen, Head of Community Crowd-sourcing at The LEGO Group

Peter Espersen is the head of Community Co-creation for the LEGO Group, focusing on the 13+ age group. Peter spearheads Digital Community, engaging teen and adult fans of LEGO to create unique products and experiences, and also works closely with a wide range of business units across the company. Among the initiatives Peter has worked on are the social media amplification project, ReBrick, and the LEGO Mindstorms co-creation, LEGO CUUSOO. Previously, Peter was the country manager for Sulake in Denmark and Norway. Sulake runs Habbo Hotel, which has almost 12 million users worldwide Before that, Peter was the development manager of all digital platforms at Danish TV2, where he was responsible for developing commercial possibilities. Peter is a regular speaker at conferences within communities, social media, and gaming around the world, and guest lectures at The University of Copenhagen and the ESCP Masters Program in London and Paris.

On the show, Peter spoke at length about his experience helping to manage co-innovation efforts at LEGO Group. LEGO has a vast community of users, and many contribute to efforts to design new sets, in fact there is an established process by which fans can design a set online, and if the set meets a threshold of community votes, LEGO reviews it for possible production. If it does go into production, the net sales are shared with the designer!

Additionally, Peter discussed what it’s like to manage these efforts, requiring openness and transparency, very clear rules and expectations, respecting the value and talent of your user community, start small, experiment, and improve as you go, and finally to clearly lay out what parts of operations the community can be a part of, and just as importantly, which it cannot. An important lesson talked about was putting hierarchy on the community – clubs and co-innovation groups are organized around community leaders. These individuals can communicate directly with LEGO. This is so important because it allows LEGO to effectively communicate with thousands, and it also provides excellent incentive for community members to become that leader.

On Air: March 3, 2015

Angus MacLane, Director at Pixar

Angus MacLane was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. He studied 2D animation in school and received a bachelor of fine arts from Rhode Island School of Design in 1997. Initially he wanted to be a comic book artist but midway through school switched to animation. He joined Pixar in 1997 and his first assignment was as an animator on Geri’s Game. Angus has the distinction of working on every Pixar feature film except the original Toy Story. This included animation on A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, For the Birds and Finding Nemo. In addition to his regular animation duties, he also helped with character development on Monsters, Inc. and The Incredibles. For his animation work on The Incredibles, he was awarded the Annie for Outstanding Achievement in Character Animation. Angus served as the Supervising Animator on Academy Award nominated One Man Band, but then switched gears to work on the story team for Andrew Stanton’s WALL-E. After animating a small scene in the film for an ancillary character named BURN-E, Angus wanted to know what might happen to the character, he eventually developed it into a short. BURN-E (written and directed by MacLane) debuted alongside the WALL-E DVD/Blu-ray.


  • Geri’s Game (1997) (animator)
  • A Bug’s Life (1998) (additional animator)
  • Toy Story 2 (1999) (animator, additional storyboard artist)
  • For the Birds (2000) (animator)
  • Monsters, Inc. (2001) (animator, character developer, additional storyboarding)
  • Finding Nemo (2003) (animator)
  • The Incredibles (2004) (animator, character developer)
  • One Man Band (2005) (supervising animator)
  • Cars (2006) (additional animator)
  • Ratatouille (2007) (additional animator)
  • WALL-E (2008) (directing animator, storyboard artist)
  • BURN-E (2008) (director, story, voice of BURN-E)
  • Up (2009) (animator)
  • Toy Story 3 (2011) (animator)
  • Small Fry (2011) (writer,director)

Angus MacLane spoke on the show about being a part of the co-innovation efforts discussed with other guests on today’s show, but from the other side – he is one of the co-innovators that designed a kit ultimately produced by LEGO. As a director at Pixar, he is intimately familiar with WALL-E, and he designed a kit so that people can now build the lovable robot! Angus told us how difficult a process is – not just in terms of creating a very accurate model but also the very long and difficult process of accruing the necessary 10,000 votes for a design to be reviewed by LEGO.

On Air: March 3, 2015

Mitch Resnick, LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research, MIT Media Lab

Mitchel Resnick, LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research and head of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab, explores how new technologies can engage people in creative learning experiences. Resnick’s research group developed the “programmable brick” technology that inspired the LEGO Mindstorms robotics kit. He co-founded the Computer Clubhouse project, a worldwide network of after-school centers where youth from low-income communities learn to express themselves creatively with new technologies. Resnick’s group also developed Scratch, an online community where children program and share interactive stories, games, and animations. He earned a BA in physics at Princeton University (1978), and MS and PhD degrees in computer science at MIT (1988, 1992). He worked as a science-technology journalist from 1978 to 1983, and he has consulted throughout the world on creative uses of computers in education. He is author of Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams (1994), co-editor of Constructionism in Practice (1996), and co-author of Adventures in Modeling (2001). In 2011, Resnick was awarded the McGraw Prize in Education.

Mitch is the LEGO Professor at MIT’s Media Lab, and he’s working on new technologies that will hopefully be used by LEGO in the future – it’s his job to re-invent the brick. One of his strongest beliefs is that kids ought to be learning to code, because just as LEGO is about kids creatively making something with their bricks, coding allows kids to creatively design something on a computer (or other digital device). He also spoke about the way he reconciles MIT’s open research process and LEGO’s proprietary process (as a for-profit company). Finally, Mitch gave advice on how some companies work well with academic research centers – relationships become long-lasting and productive when there is a truly shared vision between the company and the academics. This vision involves shared values, and these will sustain the relationship even when specific prototypes and projects don’t work perfectly on one end or the other, and thus these are absolutely vital.