SPOS #933 – Steve Dennis On Driving Leadership And Innovation

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Welcome to episode #933 of Six Pixels of Separation – The ThinkersOne Podcast.

Here it is: Six Pixels of Separation – The ThinkersOne Podcast – Episode #933. Let’s dive deep into the transformative insights of Steve Dennis – a strategic advisor, retail leadership expert, and bestselling author. Steve’s latest book, Leaders Leap – Transforming Your Company At The Speed Of Disruption, dissects why so many transformations fail and reveals what leaders must do to keep their organizations relevant in an ever-evolving landscape. With a diverse career that includes c-suite roles at two Fortune 500 companies and his current position as President of SageBerry Consulting, Steve brings a wealth of experience to the table. First he was at Sears and then Neiman Marcus Group, where he pioneered customer insight, loyalty, and omnichannel marketing strategies, making him a sought-after voice in retail innovation. Steve underscores the urgency for leaders to aim higher and move faster to navigate a world of abundant choice and zero friction. He argues that being remarkable is not just about standing out but creating an emotional connection with customers. In an era where technology has leveled the playing field, businesses must differentiate themselves and offer value beyond price. Steve stresses the need for agility in leadership, urging leaders to understand the factors impacting their business and respond swiftly to volatility. He warns against the trap of incrementalism and highlights the importance of creating a sense of urgency and embracing change. Steve’s insights are not just theoretical – they are grounded in his extensive practical experience and are vital for any leader looking to thrive in today’s fast-paced business environment. He is also a Forbes senior contributor and co-host of the Remarkable Retail podcast, which amplifies the themes of his first book, Remarkable Retail – How To Win And Keep Customers In The Age Of Disruption. Enjoy the conversation…


  • Being remarkable is about creating a distance between your brand and the competition, and making an emotional connection with customers.
  • Leaders need to aim higher and move faster in order to stay relevant and avoid becoming irrelevant or extinct.
  • Technology enables access to information and substitutes, making it crucial for businesses to differentiate themselves and provide value beyond price.
  • Leaders must understand the factors that impact their business and be agile in responding to a volatile and uncertain environment.
  • Creating a sense of urgency and embracing change are essential for driving innovation and staying ahead of disruption.
  • Success anomalies can be misleading and it is important to analyze them critically and not draw general conclusions from them.
  • Attracting and inspiring talent is crucial for the success of a company, and it is important for leaders to create a culture that values and leverages the unique gifts of their employees.
  • Brands taking a stance on social and political issues can be a complex and risky endeavor, and leaders need to carefully consider the impact on their customers and stakeholders.
  • Physical retail still has a role in a digital world, particularly for experiential and social shopping experiences, but it needs to evolve and provide unique value to customers.


  • 00:00 – Introduction and Background
  • 02:49 – The Power of Being Remarkable
  • 06:04 – Aiming Higher and Moving Faster
  • 08:55 – Navigating a Volatile Business Environment
  • 13:03 – The Role of Technology in Driving Innovation
  • 28:48 – Analyzing Success Anomalies
  • 30:39 – Self-Reflection and Adaptability for Leaders
  • 39:21 – Attracting and Inspiring Talent
  • 44:03 – Navigating Brands and Social Issues
  • 49:20 – The Role of Acquisitions
  • 51:08 – The Evolving Role of Physical Retail

Download the Podcast here: Six Pixels of Separation – The ThinkersOne Podcast – Episode #933.

Before you go… ThinkersOne  is a new way for organizations to buy bite-sized and personalized thought leadership video content (live and recorded) from the best Thinkers in the world. If you’re looking to add excitement  and big smarts to your meetings, corporate events, company off-sites, “lunch & learns” and beyond, check it out.

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