In this episode of the Agents of Innovation Podcast, David Knies is joined by Jessica Anselmi, Head of Marketing at online plant retailer The Sill. Prior to becoming part of the leadership team at The Sill, Jessica led innovation teams at Dunkin’ Brands and Panera Bread, and worked in PR with a number of leading agencies focused on corporate social responsibility. They discuss working within big established brands and adjusting to the culture of a high growth, venture-backed start-up. Instead of the big company “culture of no” that can often kill innovation, Jessica prefers the entrepreneurial “Yes, and” culture of The Sill, which is about elevating great ideas and turning them into action with an emphasis on pace, not perfection.

Podcast Highlights

5:06 – Bringing plants into homes: “We really view the whole process of bringing plants into people’s homes. We want to make that as something as wonderful as the plants themselves. So that really permeates throughout the culture. It’s not just the marketing team that’s responsible for customer happiness and customer satisfaction. Our core values really extend throughout all pillars of the organization.”

9:40 – Yes, and, vs. the Culture of No: “We try to always position it as “yes, and what if we did this instead.” Our engineer, Dan, actually asked me to read an article a couple of weeks ago. I think it was adapted from a book called how to ship work that matters, but we read it because marketing and engineering partner very closely together.”

14:00 – Males are a growing demographic for The Sill: “Surprisingly, a demographic that’s really been growing throughout the pandemic is our male customer base, the millennial male.”

24:00 – The culture of innovation: “There’s no real recipe for being able to create a culture of innovation. It’s very unique to every organization. I would say every company has its own beat, its own pace. Um, some innovation is more the lifeblood of the organization than others. And it’s just a matter of having that investment and innovation come, not only bottom up, but also top down.”

32:00 – My superpower can also be my kryptonite: “My superpower is bringing passion to what I do everyday can also be my kryptonite in terms of being able to disconnect, turn off and take some of the quiet space. That’s really important for people. Especially with innovation backgrounds or who want that to continue to be a pillar of their career, to be able to reflect and make the time and space for the next big idea.”