MOBE | Introducing Rick Waldron, Vice President of Innovation

Introducing Rick Waldron, Vice President of Innovation

Rick has devoted the better part of his career to new business creation. He gained expertise by building innovation teams and capabilities for some of the world's premier technology and consumer brands and Fortune 100 innovators. He tackles challenges around digital transformation, services innovation, and new product businesses.

He now joins MOBE as the VP of Innovation. Learn a little more about his background, what drew him to MOBE, and how his passion for continuous improvement and desire to help others made him a perfect fit for the role.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

I have been designing, building, and leading transformational growth within large organizations for more than 17 years. Across all of that work, regardless of industry, has been a consistent set of themes and questions. How do we continue to advance the core business and guard against being blindsided by the competition, emerging technologies, and disruptive business models? How do we help keep the enterprise vital and growing? How do we leverage the assets, capabilities, and brand relationships the business already has with its customers? And how can we find new ways to deliver value to those customers?

After working in mergers and acquisitions for Intel, I moved to their internal “business incubator,” which was all about identifying, validating, and beginning to build new businesses. During my time in the incubator, I wore many hats, including building and running a business development team and leading a group of “entrepreneurs-in-residence” who were chasing down new business opportunities.

In 2014, I had the opportunity to join Nike and stand up a similar business innovation capability and business incubator. That was super exciting for me because it allowed me to jump into the world of consumer-facing products and services and leverage the skills and expertise of an amazingly creative organization and brand powerhouse.

For the last two years, I have been leading a coaching and advisory practice helping innovation leaders who are building or rebooting a business innovation capability for their companies. It’s always a challenge to manage the change that comes with innovation because it requires the innovation leader to teach the company to be flexible. They have to embrace new ways of working, funding, evaluating, and managing innovation while at the same time maintaining excellence in the core business. I was able to leverage my experience from Intel and Nike and draw from many of the lessons I learned the hard way in service of my clients.

What drew you to MOBE?

I had been looking for a mission-based organization committed to doing good and delivering value to society for the past several years. And when I found MOBE, how much more mission-based could it be than helping people be happier and healthier? And especially because I have a coaching background, I believe in MOBE’s concept of self-management.

What excites you about working in innovation in general?

I consider myself a “pragmatic idealist.” In other words, I believe that the world can be changed for the better and the tools exist out there to figure how to do that. At the end of the day, I think that’s the heart of valuable innovation work. I love the exploration and learning that innovation entails because you’re always moving into new areas and trying new things. However, I’m not satisfied unless that translates into something practical, usable, scalable, and that adds value to people.

What excites you about leading innovation at MOBE?

MOBE is an incredibly innovative team, and it’s wired into everything MOBE does already. What I am excited about is to help amplify that in three parts:

  1. How do we use innovation tools to help supercharge the services and offerings that our Guides are bringing to our participants? For example, how can we use digital tools to help participants get even more out of what we’re already delivering?
  2. What are new things we can add to the MOBE tool kit? What else can we offer that will complement what we’re already offering today?
  3. What other business models are out there so that we can deliver new value to new customers?

At MOBE, we’re all about relentlessly pursuing awesomeness. “What does that look like in your own life?

For me, it’s about showing up each day and striving to be my best self so that I can support others. It’s the only way an organization can achieve its maximum potential, its version of awesome. As an individual, awesomeness is about pursuing a meaningful, inspiring purpose in life and finding a way to contribute my skills and abilities toward that purpose. If I focus on giving more than receiving, and I stay mentally and physically healthy, I can achieve my own awesomeness.

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