17 March 2024

Season 4, Episode 21. Do Bigger Things with Dan McClure

Can the complex, interconnected challenges of our era be addressed through traditional innovation methods, or is there a more powerful approach waiting to be unleashed?


In this episode, host Natalie Born engages with Dan McClure, a visionary in the field of innovation, to explore his latest book, "Do Bigger Things." McClure delves into the necessity for a new, potent form of innovation capable of tackling today's complex, wicked problems. Through a lively discussion, the episode unfolds the concept of "Innovation Choreography," offering insights into how individuals and organizations can navigate and influence the intricate web of modern challenges.


This conversation is a deep dive into reimagining the potential of innovation to create meaningful, transformative change.

Dan is an innovation choreographer, a big picture innovator whose job is to run into burning buildings looking for exceptional opportunities to reinvent the way the world works. He is a recognized thought leader in the emerging practice of ecosystem innovation and the author of the Fast Company Press book "Do Bigger Things – A practical guide to powerful innovation in a changing world". Throughout his 40 year career, he has worked with global firms facing threats of obsolescence, pioneering businesses in fast changing markets, and international organizations tackling tough challenges like climate change and pandemic response. He is excited about the future and the possibilities for pursuing bold ambitious ideas.  

[00:00:17 - 00:01:22] Unveiling the Next Innovation Frontier

McClure introduces the premise of "Do Bigger Things."


  • Innovation must evolve to address complex challenges.

  • The concept of "Innovation Choreography" as a strategy.

  • The importance of rethinking traditional approaches.

[00:02:09 - 00:05:38] The Choreographer's Mindset in Innovation

  • Discussion on McClure's background and the origins of his innovative thinking.

  • Embracing complex problems as opportunities.

  • The role of a diverse skill set in driving innovation.

  • The significance of "playbooks" in managing complexity.

[00:06:13 - 00:09:19] Building Modular, Adaptable Organizations

  • How to structure organizations for flexibility and innovation.

  • The metaphor of innovation as building with Lego blocks.

  • The necessity for organizations to support innovation at all levels.

  • Designing organizations to be modular and adaptable.

[00:10:13 - 00:15:00] From Vision to Implementation: The Innovator's Journey

  • Strategies for aligning innovation with organizational vision and making it actionable.

  • Aligning innovation efforts with the organization's broader goals.

  • The importance of a holistic approach to innovation.

  • The role of cross-functional support and partnerships.

[00:15:55 - 00:24:40] The Role of Innovation Choreographers

  • Expanding on the concept and importance of innovation choreographers.

  • The unique skill set of an innovation choreographer.

  • How to identify and nurture these individuals within organizations.

  • The impact of innovation choreographers on industry and societal challenges.



"We live in a world that has the problems that need us." - Dan McClure

"It's nice not to have to apologize for the talents that you've got." - Dan McClure


Connect with Dan:


LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mccluredc


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