Amantha Imber, founder of innovation consultancy company Inventium, has picked up a thing or two from hosting her podcast.
The podcast, titled “How I Work”, features interviews Imber has done with business leaders and executives from Australia and around the world and explores the tactics they use to achieve more during the day. These guests come from some of the most recognisable brands including Amazon, Dropbox and Atlassian.
Imber, who has a PhD in organisational psychology, has completed more than 140 episodes since the podcast began in July 2018.
She told Business Insider Australia she began the podcast after hearing her clients at Inventium say they don’t have enough time to focus on innovation.
“I was looking around at people that I thought were really successful and great innovators,” she said, “And I thought, well, they’ve got the same number of hours in the day – so what are they doing differently?”
With plenty of interviews under her belt, Imber shared some of the biggest tips she learned:
Imber’s first interview was with Wharton psychology professor and New York Times bestselling author Adam Grant. There were two main tips which stuck out to her from that interview.
The first was that Grant “batches” all his meetings, meaning he does them back to back. It came from research from Ohio State University which found that productivity decreases by 22% if you know you have an upcoming meeting.
Another tip Imber picked up was that when Grant finishes work for the day, he will finish half-way through a certain task. “That way, when he starts the next day, it’s super easy for him to pick back up because he’s already halfway through it,” she explained.
When Imber interviewed former Pinterest president Tim Kendall, she said he talked about using clothes as a communication channel.
“When he was at Pinterest, one of the focus areas strategically was about just focusing … on doing a small amount of things really well,” she said. And so Kendall had several different t-shirts that said ‘focus’ which he would wear.
“He literally wore that all year,” Imber said.
Brian Scudamore, founder and CEO of junk removal company 1800 Got Junk, told Imber he would get his assistant to change the passwords to his email and social media accounts when he goes on holidays. In doing so, he ensured he isn’t “lured” to answer them.
Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress, discussed how small hacks or changes can help you develop good behaviours. He described to Imber a little hack that would encourage him to read, right on his bedside table.
“He finds if he puts the Kindle on top of the phone, he’ll be more likely to read it,” Imber said.
Author Daniel Pink explained how he reads his work out loud during the editing process to see if the sentences flow.
“He will…read or have someone read his books – the whole book, end to end – out loud,” she said.
Imber explained that from every interview, there would be at least one thing she would try out when it comes how to she works. She also said she gets people writing to her saying it has changed the way they approach work too.
“I just want my podcast to continue to have that impact and improve people’s lives for the better,” she said. “For me, that makes it an intensely rewarding project.”
And her dream interviewee? Playwright, composer and actor Lin Manuel Miranda.
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