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Beth Comstock on Courage, Creativity, and the Power of Change

Beth Comstock is former Chief Marketing Officer and Vice Chair of General Electric and is the author of Imagine It Forward: Courage, Creativity and the Power of Change.

For the opening episode of Season 2 we are fortunate to have an international powerhouse in the world of marketing. Beth Comstock spent 25 years at GE where she led efforts to accelerate new growth and was named GE’s first Chief Marketing Officer in 2003. Beth served as President of Integrated Media at NBC Universal, from 2006-08, overseeing ad revenue and the company’s digital efforts, including the early formation of Hulu. She is a corporate director of Nike and has been named to both the Fortune and Forbes lists of the World’s Most Powerful women.

We discussed Beth’s new book, Imagine It Forward. We covered many aspects of innovation – how entrepreneurs approach it, how entrepreneurial people within a corporation can innovate and disrupt, and how the corporation can encourage and support them. We explored the personal and professional price that disruptors might pay as organisations resist change. Beth gave practical tips for introverts like herself – introverts who wish to lead, as well as tips for managers of introverts. We touched on the problems that have rocked GE and talked about gatekeepers versus goalkeepers and how they can shape your job choices.

My favorite quote was: “You cannot mitigate risk, you have to navigate it.”

Beth recommended three books: The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp, Management Principles by Peter Drucker and The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker.

If you would like to follow Beth on social media you can find her on LinkedInInstagram, and Twitter. Her book, Imagine It Forward, is available in stores and online.