Episode 41 - Deb Hart

The greatest reinvention stories are personal. This episode captures a conversation about change, personal growth and the power of getting out of your own way with mid-Michigan FM radio personality Deb Hart.

What makes Deb's story so great is that it's relatable, and she has done the hard work of extracting the lessons from her experiences so that we can all learn from them.


“It’s helpful to not have a judgement about it until you allow yourself to experience it.” (6:54)

“It’s exhausting to own our strengths and weaknesses; either we can change it or accept it - make peace with it. ” (13:25)

“We have teachers around us every moment of every day. I can learn as much from the guy standing behind the counter at the gas station as I can from a CEO, and I think it’s a mistake to believe otherwise.” (19:24)



Right around 10 minutes in Mike asks Deb how she balances what is in her control and out of her control. Her answer couldn’t be more on point.

At 16:50 Deb tells a story about how she took on a challenge to do something completely out of the ordinary for her and it led to a lesson she’ll likely never forget.


1- Surround yourself with a wide variety of people and learn from them.
2 - The best first step you can take toward reinvention is to open yourself up to the realization that maybe what you are doing isn’t as effective as it could be.
3 - Be open to what’s next, even if you don’t know exactly what is the next step.
4 - Seek opportunities to grow, learn and shine.
5 - Many times the barriers you believe exist are self-imposed. Let them go.
6 - You have the responsibility to create your own meaningful journey.

Direct download: Deb_Hart_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am EDT

Patrick Bero, Part 2



In the second part of our interview with Patrick Bero, CEO/CFO of the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority, we get a better look at the business and financial side of Cobo’s reinvention.

Patrick shared a really interesting tidbit about the market demand for Cobo’s bonds being three times higher than what was available while the City of Detroit was in bankruptcy. Surprising, right? That’s around the 19:25 mark - but don’t just scan ahead to that! There is so much more to this story. 



“Long time customers tend to get taken for granted.” (3:55)

“If you embrace competition, that tends to keep you sharp. Organizations that try to shield themselves from competition are the ones that in the long run end up having more difficulty.” (20:57)



Patrick describes around the 5:00 mark how a shift in customer expectations pointed to an unsustainable business model.

At 14:55 we learn how Patrick helped transform Cobo’s headline risk into a reinvention story that allowed the DRCFA to meet the capital needs of doing business in an unconventional way.



1 -You can only cut back and reduce so much; instead commit your resources to things that will deliver a return.
2 - Establish a level of trust and transparency with your members/customers then demonstrate a commitment to those values every chance you get.
3 - An effective board offers fundamental principles and a strategic vision to enable staff to execute.
4 - Survey the market, and don’t forget to include the people who have taken their business elsewhere.
5 - Asking simple questions opens up the path to new solutions.

Direct download: Patrick_Bero_2_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am EDT

EP 39 - Patrick Bero Promo

Detroit and Cobo Center may seem synonymous, but Cobo has a unique reinvention story all its own.

In this episode, Patrick Bero, CEO/CFO of the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority gives us an interesting account of Cobo's reinvention starting with a major disruption in the belly of the economic decline.

Patrick has a lot to say about what happened after the reality set in that there was no way Cobo could keep doing business the same way and remain in existence.

“[Political leaders] knew that the city didn’t have the resources to do what was being asked of them. And this was going to require a broader solution.” (5:22)

“It all starts from a crisis point. We had to clear a lot of hurdles to get to this point. We had to earn a lot of trust.” (9:28)

“Are you really going to just change the cosmetics and throw a little paint on something or are you going to fundamentally change the way you live and work every day?” (15:55)

At 5:45 to hear Patrick give the back story on how the five entities that make up the DRCFA came together to do things differently and rally around Cobo’s comeback.

Around 15:20 Patrick describes their struggle with whether or not to rename Cobo and why they decided to stick with it even though they had an image problem.

1 - It takes courage and leadership to admit it’s time for a complete overhaul even when you don’t know exactly how to execute it.
2 - Make a commit to transparency to build the trust of your market despite the desire to dress up reality for a more pleasing picture.
3 - Empower employees to do their jobs well by giving them the training and experience they need.
4 - A unified decision making body that is fully invested in the outcome can drive big results.
5 - Don’t just tolerate something when you can take action by demanding higher expectations and change the outcome.

Direct download: Patrick_Bero_Episode_1_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am EDT

Ep 38 Bridget Russo Promotional Image



Bridget Russo took a big risk when she left New York to live in Detroit and devote herself to marketing Shinola's wristwatches, leather goods and bicycles that are assembled and sold in Midtown. But that's not the story she sat down with Mike to tell - although we think that would be a pretty interesting one! (Perhaps next time, Bridget?)

In this episode, Shinola's marketing director talks with us about why they couldn't resist making Detroit home base and how the company blends an authentic story with quality products to create a highly desirable brand.

Listen to the latest episode now.

“Everyone sort of said, you know what, it hasn’t been done before but let’s roll up our sleeves. What do you need us to do?” (3:34)

“There’s nothing wrong with embracing the past, but you have to look towards the future and be ready to change and be nimble.” (14:51)

Bridget explains why a strong story makes a brand more compelling to your consumer at 5:11.

Beginning at 18:30 she paints a terrific picture of creative connections linking automotive manufacturing to watch-making and the creation of a degree program in fashion accessory design.

1 - A great story will captivate your target market, but you have to follow through with a quality product.
2 - Embrace your history but don’t get stuck in it.
3 - Don’t just pile on products or services for the sake of adding; make sure what you’re offering provides a meaningful service that is useful to your consumer.
4 - Detroit’s creative space has an authenticity and resilience that is inspiring people, ideas and brands.
5 - A thriving, reinvention-driven culture has to be lived, not just talked about.

Direct download: Bridget_Russo_-_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am EDT

Josh Linkner Podcast, Part 2


Part two of our conversation with entrepreneur, author and venture capitalist Josh Linkner goes deeper into his ideas on change and concepts for effectively staying on top of the reinvention process. In this episode, get useful change agent hacks and good tips on making your business unusual in the best way possible.

If you have a question for Josh, PureReinvention will be moderating a Twitter chat with him next Monday, August 10, from 10:30-11:30 am EST. Follow #DLab and #ASAE2015 to be part of the conversation!


“That’s why people come to Detroit, to drive their own great art.” (4:25)

“All of us need to take the responsibility of being change agents.” (11:51)


At 7:10 Josh talks more about his encourage courage philosophy.

Jump to the 14:15 mark to hear him explain why it’s necessary to confront your standard way of doing things and find ways to disrupt it.


1 - Be the source of change instead of the need for change.
2 - Hack your process - tackle old habitats in an unorthodox way.
3 - Conduct change experiments; use controls and measurements.
4 - Take small bets toward big change to gain accelerated growth.
5 - Regularly confront previously held beliefs to test for a new or improved approach.
6 - If you’re not seeking change, it will be thrust upon you.

Direct download: Josh_Linkner_2_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am EDT






August 2015
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31