Disclosure: this post is sponsored by Capital One. All opinions are mine.

I recently viewed the live stream of Capital One CapX Talk: Reimagining Perspectives featuring thought-leaders and innovators in the world of business. The session was part of Capital One’s sponsorship of Boston’s Outside the Box performing arts festival. Talk about reimagining perspectives: the world of finance and banking meets performing arts festival! That should give you a clue that this wasn’t your standard, stuffy business session. The session was facilitated by Mario Armstrong, Host of NeverSettle.TV & NBC TODAY Show Contributor, and featured the following panelists:

  • Feng Chang, Director of Digital Marketing Strategy at Rue La La
  • Jim Kresge, Head of Digital Commerce Engineering at Capital One
  • Dave McLaughlin, General Manager of Eastern U.S. & Canada at WeWork
  • Pat Petitti, CEO & Co-Founder at HourlyNerd
  • Wombi Rose, CEO & Co-Founder at Lovepop Cards


Willingness and Readiness to Change – Impact on Success

There were some thought-provoking questions posed to the panel, and many thoughtful and insightful answers. A key theme I found running through all these replies – although not necessarily explicitly verbalized – is that the size of our success and lessons learned from our failures is predicated on our ability and willingness to change – change yourself and accept changes around you or your industry. Here are some key moments that expressed this idea of change as a key ingredient to success:

Love Pop Cards has taken the age-old idea of greeting cards and reimagined it by taking an entirely different look at them from the recipient’s perspective.

Hourly Nerd is all about changing the ways companies get work done. It’s harder than ever for great companies and sharp talent to connect. Hourly Nerd sees technology as the best facilitator of those connections. In fact, Hourly Nerd doesn’t see itself as similar to some of its freelancers-for-hire competitor sites. Instead, Hourly Nerd has approached the talent gap problem by creating a software platform with carefully curated talent for clients to hire.

WeWork is an organization that recognizes the cycle of change in the way work gets done. As Dave McLauglin pointed out during the session, the world of work changes every 60 to 70 years. The decisions today’s entrepreneurs and businesses make are different from the ones faced by early and mid 20th century entrepreneurs. WeWork wants to help people start businesses and pursue their professional passions in a nimbler way.

Capital One has changed its approach to banking so that it adapts to the needs and desires of customers. Capital One recently worked with Amazon to create software for Alexa to allow customers to talk about their accounts and money with Alexa.

Rue La La has changed the online shopping experience to connect with the shopper wherever she is – even beyond shopping mode. Rue La La has followed changes in customer shopping habits and taken steps to evolve with those changes by improving its mobile experience for customers.

These examples above are terrific lessons in how organizations must change and grow with customer expectations, society, technology, and more. But, the theme of being change-ready during this panel session didn’t stop at the organizational level. These thought leaders had advice for entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs. Mario Armstrong mentioned that it’s often a matter of “chance and try” when it comes to pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors. Being ready for your chance and the willingness to try are traits that I definitely associate with people who are adaptable and ready for change. Some of the panelists had these words of advice for those trying to unlock their inner entrepreneur:

Wombi Rose conveyed that it’s important to know who you are and what you love. It’s important to follow your purpose and be passion driven. It’s great advice to those who are ready to take it, but it can be daunting to those who feel pressure to follow a traditional or expected path. This is where Feng Chang’s advice is a nice complement for those who are a little more risk averse: think big, start small, and prioritize projects.

Jim Kresge of Capital One urged listeners to expand your horizons and ideas about boundaries and barriers. You must be willing to change your outlook – or at least be open to different approaches on how to get things done. I love that advice; however, it does take you back to the fear of failure, doesn’t it? “What if I try to do this differently and it fails?” That’s where Pat Petitti and Dave McLaughlin shared similar encouragement: you have to be willing to fail. Dave stressed that it’s not about perfection, it’s about learning.

Are You Change-Ready?

As an entrepreneur or business owner, how change-ready are you, your employees, and your business? You don’t need to change for the sake of change, but sometimes you do have to embrace change for the sake of your business or your professional aspirations. Share your story or thoughts in the comments section below on how you, or entrepreneurs in general, must be change-ready to reimagine new perspectives and embrace success.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Capital One. The opinions and text are all mine.

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