Peter Sheahan

Peter Sheahan

Internationally Recognized Thought Leader and Bestselling Author on Innovation, Behavior Change, Exploiting Business Trends and New Markets

Feb 1, 2019

Peter Sheahan

Founder & Group CEO of Karrikins Group, Peter Sheahan is internationally known for his innovative business thinking and thought leadership. With over 120 staff, in 24 cities, across nine countries, Sheahan knows firsthand the challenges of growing a business in the rapidly-changing marketplace.

Peter, and his firm Karrikins Group, have worked with some of the world’s leading brands, including Apple, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Hyundai, IBM, Pfizer, Wells Fargo, and Cardinal Health. He is the author of seven books including business best-sellers Flip, Generation Y, Making it Happen, and Matter.

You can see that even politically in the fairly identity-driven politics and quite populous environment that we’re in, it doesn’t matter which side of the spectrum you’re on. People are taking strong positions and people are attracted to that.

Episode Highlights


I’m going to guess with your life experience that there’s thousands of stories. Have you found some that work best that help lead into these kinds of conversations?

I think number one, it’s all about story. So if you were to watch a video of me presenting, it would be 13 stories strung together in a 60 minute experience, or if I do three days and I literally facilitate three day leadership programs, it’s still all story.

And the couple things I’ve learned about using stories is number one, start at a level of abstraction that people can’t disagree with, okay? Because there’s no disagreement in abstraction. The reason things like Make America Great Again, or We Stand for The Working Class, or insert political slogan here, the reason they appeal is they’re abstract. There’s no specificity, there’s no detail at which I could disagree with.


I try to help people figure out how do I just take the first step. That’s the hardest thing, isn’t it?

I think so, because you do get momentum. Although I will say, at an organizational level, a senior leader needs to be pretty smart about the steps they take in a row, right? Because one of the things that executive teams don’t really get, even though they intellectually understand, is that their behavior sends signals to the rest of the organization. And if just start is the way they think about it, but they’re not quite clear in that direction, you can cause a lot of chaos. It’s possible to respond assertively to change and disruption and destroy value rather than create it. And so it’s definitely one in a row, but the reason we get paid the big bucks at the top level of the sport is ’cause you’re meant to have a sense of what the row looks like, like in what direction is that going. And if you’re not prepared to make those sort of decisions, then throwing a whole bunch of mud at the wall isn’t necessarily the right approach.

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