London Futurists

Innovation as a mindset, with Aidan McCullen

August 16, 2023 London Futurists Season 1 Episode 52
London Futurists
Innovation as a mindset, with Aidan McCullen
Show Notes

Our guest in this episode is Aidan McCullen. For ten years from 1998 to 2008, Aidan was a professional rugby player, delighting crowds in Ireland, England, and France. He made the very natural transition from that into sports commentating, but he also moved into digital media.

He started as an intern at Communicorp to learn digital media and marketing, and he learned about digital by doing it, living it and building it – as he puts it, by jumping off a cliff and building a plane on the way down. With typical humility, he says he was just a few Google searches ahead of everyone else.

With this grounding, Aidan has made himself a genuine expert on innovation. He is a keynote speaker, an executive coach, a board director, a lecturer, and the author of “Undisruptable: A Mindset of Permanent Reinvention for Individuals, Organisations and Life”.

Aidan may be known best as the enthusiastic and generous host of a podcast called the Innovation Show, which offers weekly interviews with leaders in their fields, including writers, academics, inventors, executives and mavericks. The central message of that podcast is that we all need to stay open to new ideas, and always keep learning.

Selected follow-ups:

Topics addressed in this episode include:
*) Lessons from Aidan's time as a rugby player
*) The gift of discipline
*) Being ready to take advantage of unexpected good luck
*) Avoiding the "WASP" trap - wandering aimlessly without purpose
*) The "centaur" model - half human and half machine
*) Aidan's own use of generative AI - embellishing graphics, developing metaphors, suggesting questions for interviews
*) An alternative to a lemonade stand: creating an entire cartoon book using generative AI
*) Why audiences are leaning in, more than before
*) Various ways in which automation will impact the jobs market and the cost of services
*) Career advice for a nine year old
*) Encouraging students to use and understand generative AI tools
*) Tangible examples of Amara's Law
*) The special value of skills in communication, collaboration, 'cobot'ing, coordination, and looking after your health
*) Actions today in anticipation of being healthy at the age of 100
*) Deciding who to collaborate with
*) Developing a "stem cell" mindset - knowing our purpose, but keeping our options open
*) Bruce Lipton's research on epigenetics
*) What drives Aidan: helping people make better decisions and lead better lives
*) Building a community of people who are prepared to think differently

Audio engineering by Alexander Chace.

Music: Spike Protein, by Koi Discovery, available under CC0 1.0 Public Domain Declaration