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Natalie Born Innovation Strategy Growth Expert Episode 24

Show Overview & Notes

We listen today to Natalie Born, she’s a strategic corporate innovation expert consultant, she describes her career journey and points of views around the art of corporate innovation to drive organizational growth. She has been focused on creating corporate innovative strategies to drive growth and disrupt industries for almost two decades.  Natalie implements the innovation design process to make a positive impact on leadership’s way of thinking about innovation to drive revenue and market share results.

Natalie has an incredible career background working in senior executive management roles at leading companies within diverse industries, such as CareerBuilder, First Data, ADP, IHG and now currently as VP of Innovation at

We have a very powerful conversation around what organizations can do to embrace and execute innovation, how to approach innovation with a team and futurist mentality, and how to be disruptive in your industry to win.

Growing up in the Peach State

Growing up in a small town of Duluth, Georgia for Natalie, she always felt that she was the only one, she didn’t belong, in the ’80s there wasn’t too much diversity in suburban Georgia.

However she took that feeling of being different through her collegiate experience from Oglethorpe University to Maryland’s Global Campus for her MBA and during an overseas business education program in India during her MBA, all these experiences began to shape herself to the corporate professional executive and consultant she has become

“Noticing that I was different at a young age was difficult, but as I grew older I embraced being different and how  special it is to bring your differences to the table” – Natalie Born. 

Challenges to break through doors, being the only women and of color at the table in companies and tech

Natalie describes and shares how her childhood, collegiate experience, and early corporate experiences prepared her to have a diversity and design thinking approach throughout her career.

“Alot of people talk about luck, I personally don’t believe in luck, but rather in alot of hard work, working twice as hard to get ahead” – Natalie Born.

What a reverse merger at CareerBuilder taught her about having a superior work ethic

Natalie describes how a week after the company she was working within HeadHunter was acquired by CareerBuilder and being fired and hired again as part of the leadership team by CareerBuilder in a span of a week.  She has always had a drive to over-deliver and do much more than the bare minimum, always striving 150%, to wanting to do more to get to the next level.

Her Reason Why and Origin of Her Entrepreneurship Journey

“My career reached a level after more than 15 years in corporate, where it wasn’t about me and I really wanted to help others around ideation, innovation and knowing how to help people freed from their mind ” – Natalie Born. 

Becoming intentional about providing diversity and inclusion towards a more equitable and innovative corporate culture.

“Cheryl Sandberg talks about until you have a diverse set of candidates how can you pull the trigger on hiring that person. You need to bring the elephant into the room and painting it red and having those discussions around diversity and the same opportunities for career advancement.” Natalie Born.

The Art of Corporate Innovation with Design Thinking and Planning for Future  Growth

“Innovation is no longer individual based, it’s now very team-based, so it’s all about getting the best and brightest team together and then you draw, putting all the ideas on the table, bad and good ones, to let the good  ideas take shape and win.” – Natalie Born.


Most companies will be disrupted by not being disruptive proactively

“Too often companies are so focused on how much money we are making today that we are not creating the future. My fear is that large organizations are not disrupting themselves, so they end up being disrupted” – Natalie Born. 


Pivoting and forecasting into the future is more imperative than ever

“If your a leader you have to be a futurist. Corporations struggle with leadership side or innovation and the ability to create the future.”– Natalie Born.


Back to the Future with Natalie Born

“Don’t sweat the small stuff, overempahasis the things that have long-term impact and under-emphasize the things that have short-term impact” – Natalie Born. 


Book recommendations to help you get 1% better

1. Scaling Up by Verne Harnish

2. From Impossible to Inevitable by Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin 

3. The Art of Opportunity by Marc Sniukas, Parker Lee, and Matt Morasky 


Natalie Born is the VP of Innovation for Territory Global and the Founder & Host of The Innovation Meets Leadership Podcast. As an innovation consultant, Natalie helps her clients move from idea to execution. Natalie has spent the last 15+ years designing and creating products with the goal of creating customer delight. She has contributed to two approved US patents during her career and is passionate about helping organizations leverage the incredible talent they have, to create the outcomes they want.

Natalie worked with organizations such as CareerBuilder, First Data, IHG, and ADP, leading major initiatives in the acquisition, integration, and international product development in over 18 countries. Throughout her career, she has authored numerous articles and speaks nationally.

* Received her Masters of Business Administration  and International Business from the University of Maryland Global Campus

* Received her Masters of Business Administration  and International Business from the International Management Institute, New Delhi India 

* Received her Bachelors of Science, Business Administration  from Oglethorpe University 
* She is a Scrum Alliance  ScrumMaster® (CSM®), Project Manager PMI Certified

You can connect with Natalie at the following:

LinkedIn Natalie Born

The Innovation Meets Leadership Podcast 

Facebook Innovation Meets Leadership 

Instagram Innovation Meets Leadership

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The Smart Chickens podcast’s goal is to bring the workforce diversity, inclusion, and equity narrative into focus the right way.  One which focuses on why our differences make us better not just different and how companies, individuals, and society can benefit from more diversity.

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