Can You Teach an Old Dog New Tricks?

The answer is yes!

Throughout the early years in the footwear industry many of us that worked at companies like Nike, Adidas and New Balance in the 70’s and 80’s were referred to as Shoe Dogs. Surprisingly enough this was a sign of respect for those that knew everything there was about building a great shoe that was comfortable, looked great, fit like a glove and had the quality built in to endure time.

Every industry has their “shoe dogs” or the experienced craftspeople that have gained the knowledge through time and our challenge today is to find a way to pass that knowledge on but at the same time honor and help the “shoe dogs’ see the benefits of technological advances.

I had the chance to lead a knowledge transfer project for Nike’s Global Footwear Development organization the Steve Trautman group( and they helped us identify ways to harness the knowledge and systematically pass it through practical experience in a knowledge transfer process.

Many successful companies go through rapid growth and change that can impact the successful transfer of knowledge and experience.  I was initially inspired by one of my friends and mentors, Geoff Hollister, (1946-2012) who owned and drove a  Morgan Motor Car ( ) Geoff was passionate about how the company and it’s leaders valued the transfer of knowledge of crafting a car with wooden panels and a leather suitcase attached to the back to innovating at the highest levels of automobile technology and delivering unsurpassed innovation and performance.

He would always attend their  annual gathering in the UK and admire the generations of craftsman honoring the past and changing the future. He would tell me that there were Grandfathers, Fathers, Sons and other family members sharing the history and craft of the special automobiles.

I am excited to be working with groups, companies, universities, teams and people that will experience exponential growth through this intersectional thinking. I have been working closely with applying the Medici Effect at many intersections of my recent

I love being an Old Dog that continually learns these new tricks and after some time we lead the way of new thinking.

The opportunity to  combine experience, be open to learning and lead with passion is a formula for success to perfect these new tricks.

Innovation through Inspired Stories, IncubatorU.