We have mentioned before that 2023 is the year The bluEPrint podcast moved from an intermittent thing to a regular weekly piece of content, and we are excited to add our YouTube Channel as one more way to highlight some of the great conversations we are having both at our events and through virtual interviews in between summits. Just before last Christmas we put together, ‘Our Favorite Interviews of 2022’ to showcase some of the discussions we were most proud of in the run-up to this year’s expansion, and then in early April we did another collection, “Showcasing the Interviews You Missed” published in the first months of 2023 that may have escaped our audience’s notice as we ramped things up.

Since then, we have regularly published between one and three episodes of the podcast every week, and as we enter into Q4, it occurs to us we have not really circled back to give a curtain call to anything we have done since April. There have been a lot of great conversations you may have missed. Here are a few we want to bring to your attention again.

As we said in the previous ‘best of’ collections, there really isn’t one fair way to say what should and should not be included in a retrospective celebrating good content. For one thing, if we choose an arbitrary number like five or ten, some episodes will be left out that we wanted to include but keep off the list for arbitrary reasons like, “We already had too many interviews about X.”

For today’s list, why don’t we use just three reasonable guidelines to put together a collection of episodes that we want to put on your radar again? First, the conversation has to have been published since the last retrospective in April. Second, it has to be an episode we have chosen to use as a good example when we were setting up future interviews. Third, when looking for the interviews that stand out in one’s mind, it can be very clarifying to remember which ones have been mentioned to friends and family outside work. Does that seem a fair way to put together a few discussions to feature?

We will list them in the order they were published, and we will also include a couple of sentences pitching you why we are including them on this list.

Let’s go!

One of the best interviews we did several years ago when the podcast was very much in its infancy was with Dr. Steven T. Hunt, a recognized expert on strategic human resources who is an advisory board member of the Society of Human Resources Management, the Workforce Institute, the Journal of Management, and other talent management organizations. He spent some of his time during the global pandemic writing a fantastic book about the forces that are shaping the way HR works in a changing business landscape.  He makes the point that organizations can choose how to act in relation to these forces, but they cannot ignore them any more than we can ignore tectonic plates or glaciers or other knowable but unstoppable realities that shape the world we live in whether we like it or not. In this terrific interview, we talk about his book and how Human Resources as a discipline, as a profession, and as a business function works best with an awareness of why things are changing and where things are going to best serve their organizations and their people. Anyone with an interest in how the Big Picture impacts everything else —including you and your own job— will enjoy this episode. Give it a listen!

We have had the pleasure of speaking with Willem Sundblad of Oden Technologies a couple of times before in the early days of this podcast, and he remains one of our favorite people to talk about Digital Transformation with because he puts it in real terms that anyone can understand and imagine applying to their own working life. In this interview —one of the first in our new format where we get to sit down and have a proper back and forth conversation on camera— Willem took things a step further. Rather than take an abstract concept like Digitization and illustrate it with some real-world examples, in this interview we discussed how the tipping point has now been reached where digital tools are about empowering front-line workers doing the job on a day-to-day basis, rather than something middle and upper management are doing to process large quantities of data. Now that high-level analysis still happens and is still important, but in a changing business landscape where high turnover in a tight labor market is impacting the shopfloor disproportionately, what can technology do to empower workers, increase retention, improve productivity, retain institutional knowledge, free people from boring, uncomfortable, and repetitive tasks to do more interesting and valuable work, all while keeping headcount down, enhancing safety and compliance, and giving everyone real-time visibility on what they need to be able to see and do at all times? If any of that sounds exciting, give this episode a listen!

We are so fortunate to get regular updates on what is happening in the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical manufacturing space from our friends at Compliance Architects. This sit-down conversation with Teresa Gorecki though was something special. Since we switched to our new studio setup, I believe this might be the best in-depth unscripted back-and-forth conversation we have had the pleasure of recording onsite at one of our events to date. It was timely. It was topical. It was comprehensive without being overwhelming. It had the level of detail subject matter experts need, but it never got so technical that we worried a layperson could not enjoy the episode. We have not had a chance to tell Teresa this yet, but this is one of the recent episodes we have sent to every other person we have interviewed or will interview since it was published. If we are that happy with it, how could we not share it again here?

Drew Dudley is the Wall Street Journal-bestselling author of, This is Day One: A Practical Guide to Leadership that Matters. He has spoken to more than a quarter of a million people on five continents, has been featured on The Huffington Post, Radio America, Forbes.com, and also TED.com where his TED talk, “Everyday Leadership (the Lollipop Moment)” has been viewed more than five million times, was voted one of the 15 most inspirational TED Talks of all time, and was named by both TIME and Business Insider as one of the seven TED Talks That Will Make You a Better Leader. In this wide-ranging conversation with an accomplished author and public speaker, we explore everyday leadership that matters, personal and professional development as a daily discipline and commitment to life-long learning, the power and importance of mental health, and what we all need to hold onto as the consensus around what we mean by the New Normal of Work begins to solidify. 

On a personal note, this is the interview the author sent to his wife and mother when they asked me how the ‘doing virtual interviews from your home studio’ was going. How can we be willing to share it with them but not include it in this list?

We would be crazy not to include this interview in any kind of highlight reel of what I have been doing in the last six months. Marvin Cooke is the EVP – Manufacturing for Toyota Motor Europe, and we were so excited to have him as a member of the speaker faculty for the first event in our new European Supply Chain Executive Summit series. Marvin agreed to do a long-form deep dive interview via Zoom in the lead-up to the event, and it has become one of the most downloaded and shared episodes we have published in 2023. Give it a listen!

Here’s another interview done virtually ahead of an upcoming event. This time Ryan Crisman of Umoja Biopharma talks about one of the biggest topics we will be discussing at Biomanufacturing World Summit 2023: The capacity challenges the next generation of ATMP manufacturers are facing, and how to strike the right balance between buying capacity, building your own capacity, or seeking a blended approach to meet the needs of each organization’s unique circumstances. This one does get technical at times, but it is also an amazing window into something that is happening right now that is going to shape the future of medicine. For anyone interested in that, give this one some of your time and attention!

There are a lot more interviews we could choose from, but if you only have time for one more suggestion to revisit, how about something on Food Safety Culture? Regardless of who you are or what you do, you eat, so there should be at least a passing interest in who is keeping your food fit for your consumption. Now let’s talk about the people who are genuinely passionate about Food Safety and Quality, who view it as both a profession and a calling. How do those people build and maintain a culture not just of true believers, but also of everyone who ever touches anything you might eat or drink from the farm right through to your home? It is a big, important topic, and Amit Jagirdar does a great job sharing some of his ideas in a way that will resonate with his fellow FSQ professionals but also make perfect sense to the public at large. Again, give this one a listen!

Geoff Micks
Head of Content & Research
Executive Platforms

Geoff joined the industry events business as a conference producer in 2010 after four years working in print media. He has researched, planned, organized, run, and contributed to more than a hundred events across North America and Europe for senior leaders, with special emphasis on the energy, mining, manufacturing, maintenance, supply chain, human resources, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, finance, and sustainability sectors. As part of his role as Head of Content & Research, Geoff hosts Executive Platforms’ bluEPrint Podcast series as well as a weekly blog focusing on issues relevant to Executive Platforms’ network of business leaders.

Geoff is the author of five works of historical fiction: Inca, Zulu, Beginning, Middle, and End. The New York Times and National Public Radio have interviewed him about his writing, and he wrote and narrated an animated short for Vice Media that appeared on HBO. He has a BA Honours with High Distinction from the University of Toronto specializing in Journalism with a Double Minor in History and Classical Studies, as well as Diploma in Journalism from Centennial College.