At RedZed, we’re big fans of podcasts that are all about the lessons self-starters and those who own small businesses can teach each other. And one of our favourites is the Harvard Business Review’s IdeaCast.
Each week, senior editors from one of the world’s biggest general management publications host episodes that feature leading business management thinkers and experts. And while it’s focused on big business, we think there’s a lot of important lessons for small businesses and self-starters, too.
And the episode we’re featuring today is timely, because we’ve spoken a lot lately about businesses making a pivot due to COVID-19. Making that work isn’t easy for anybody. But what if you were the CEO of a company with 170,000 employees across the globe? That’s not as much a pivot as it is turning the Titanic before it hit the iceberg.
But as co-host Curt Nickish says, in this episode that features AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito, “sometimes being a big ship gives you a view that smaller boats don’t have.” AB InBev are the world’s largest brewer, and the organisation behind some of the most recognisable drinks in the world – including Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois.
And despite the episode featuring the CEO of such a massive brand, there are big lessons for small businesses to take away – especially when it comes to making sharp changes in what you produce or sell. For example, Brito talks about the company turning beer brewing equipment into systems to make hand sanitiser. And plastic drink bottle machines into production lines for face shields.
But more importantly, there’s talk of how to do those kinds of things in ways that keep people and the planet safe. And some good chat about how to keep the culture of a business in place when the world is undergoing such huge change – and why people should always come first.
If you enjoy this episode, you’ll be glad to know that the podcast has been running since 2006 – so there’s 14 years of back catalogue to dig through. For this one, click here to listen on the HBR IdeaCast website, and here to listen via Apple Podcasts.
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