Introducing… Jonquil Ridge Innovation!
Twenty years ago this month, the wild and crazy entrepreneurial phase of my twenties ended with a bang. On the 20th anniversary of that spectacular splat, I’m thrilled to announce the launch of Jonquil Ridge Innovation — my new entrepreneurial adventure!
My First Entrepreneurial Phase
When I graduated from college, I thought I was going to be a magazine writer. Landing at Men’s Health Magazine’s fast-growing international division, I found myself instead transforming into a brand marketer and businesswoman. To my surprise, I loved it! Alas, I didn’t love the constraints of the magazine industry.
Back at the turn of the millennium, you may remember an incredible innovation boom was underway over in the dot-com space, so I pivoted fast. My journalism dreams quickly morphed into eBusiness branding and content strategy dreams. I was privileged to learn about user/market research and business strategy from incredibly wise mentors in the eBusiness consulting world. It was exhilarating, exhausting, and glorious while it lasted. Spoiler alert: It didn’t last very long. 😊
By 2001, I’d gotten clear that the real love of my journalism adventure wasn’t actually the writing part. I liked that, but I really loved the interviewing, the research, the chance to ask “why” and “why not?!” as often as possible. I’d refocused my career plans on market research and business consulting. After a dotcom bust, I’d landed a gig supporting an ad industry exec who was just starting a marketing innovation business.
On the actual day of infamy — September 11, 2001 — I was in Atlanta on a multi-city research trip. Ready to head for the airport to fly to Boston, I glanced up at CNN on TV in the hotel lobby and watched the first Twin Tower fall in fiery disaster. My boss and I ended up commandeering our rental car and driving all the way home to Chicago that day. The next morning — September 12, 2001 — she suddenly laid me off, having decided to let the world settle down before she resumed a road warrior business travel schedule. Oh. Alrighty, then.
In the months that followed, I did a lot of soul-searching and informational interviewing. I loved the intellectual challenge of helping clients create new growth with technology. I loved the freedom of entrepreneurial life. But I also loved paying my rent, having health insurance, and other pesky details of a stable adult life. Finally, I vowed the next entrepreneurial business I worked for was going to be my own, took the GMAT to start my MBA journey, and landed a marketing job in the healthcare industry.
My Corporate Journey
I’ve learned a zillion lessons over the last twenty years in Corporate America. Working at Advocate Health Care, Medtronic, Boston Scientific, and most recently Cardiovascular Systems, Inc. (CSI) has been an incredible ride learning from world-class leaders, colleagues, and medical professionals, and working on amazing technologies that save and improve patient lives every single day. I finished my MBA, learned the joys and pitfalls of innovation first-hand managing teams of all sizes, and built an incredible network of people with whom I’ve loved working and creating amazing results together.
However, I’ve always held on to that corporate rebel inside itching be an entrepreneur.
Today, I’m thrilled to introduce you to the result of years of thinking, planning, and dreaming: Jonquil Ridge Innovation. As of July 2021, I’ve transitioned my role at CSI to a part-time internal strategy consulting one, creating space for me to ramp up the next phase of my career.
My New Entrepreneurial Adventure
Jonquil Ridge Innovation is a business created intentionally to give you — my friends, colleagues, and new clients in healthcare and technology businesses — access to my highest and best expertise. I’ve learned my unique talents are better applied to highly focused project-based work than broad corporate roles. My years of experience mean I can help you focus on the right projects to do, advise you on answering strategic questions for critical projects, and lead you through my unique process that manages the risks of doing new things very well. My fiery passion for growth and innovation combined with my Midwestern practicality means we will discover great new insights and ideas together, and then you can also expect that I’ll gently but firmly nudge you to make sure your entire team is aligned, and you can start executing things quickly.
As you can read in more depth on my new website, there are four main services that I’m offering through Jonquil Ridge:
- Craft: Advising you on market insights needs assessment and planning
- Clarify: Leading qualitative market research projects
- Conceptualize: Leading my novel workshop approach to developing and testing new ideas
- Catalyze: Leading projects to keep new ideas moving towards execution
In my experience, the best place to get started with a new client is either on the “Craft” and “Clarify” stages of my process. As I get to know your team and business issues, the “Conceptualize” and “Catalyze” phases make more sense. We can partner on one phase, two phases or the whole shebang — whatever meets your needs. Ideally, I’m looking to create long-term partnerships that span the coming years.
What You Can Expect
As I establish myself in the marketplace, I’m also kicking off my first marketing campaign.
- I’m returning to my writer roots with a monthly blog where I will tell case stories and share lessons learned about market insights and innovation work. I’ll promote new updates through my email newsletter, on LinkedIn, and on Instagram.
- For both you and me, I’m also launching a biweekly social media campaign on LinkedIn and Instagram featuring some of my favorite quotes from famous and not-so-famous people.
My goal is to inject a little humor and positive inspiration into our social feeds and to remind you that innovation and risk-taking is not just fun, but critical to continuing to develop ourselves, our businesses, and the impact we can make in the world.
I would be undyingly grateful for your support along this new journey. Please read and comment on my blog posts, subscribe to my LinkedIn or Instagram feeds, reach out to book a time to chat about an upcoming need you may have, or forward this post to someone you think I should meet. If you would like to get a quick email every time I update my blog, please use the link at the bottom of every page to sign up for my mailing list.
Isn’t innovation and risk-taking why we got into this career in the first place? If not us, then who? What kind of juicy challenges are you facing that I could help you with?