joe jackman
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Joe Jackman

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Founder | CEO | Author | Keynote Speaker

Value creation – Joe Jackman

“And when I say reinvention, I really mean to take the original invention of the legacy business. It can be medium-sized or large, sometimes small and just be created with leadership,to be the next best version of it in the least amount of time. It’s the way I’ve learned how to do it. It’s not like throwing everything out again. It’s taking what you actually are and making it more powerful and relevant for today’s circumstances.”

ABOUT

Joe Jackman is the Founder & CEO of Jackman Reinvents, the world’s first and foremost reinvention company. An advisor to consumer brands, retailers, B2B companies, and private equity partners for more thirty years, Jackman has proven invaluable to leaders intent on sharpening strategy and orchestrating insight-led reinventions of their businesses. Throughout his career as strategist, creative director, marketer, and Reinventionist, he has helped companies create the most powerful and relevant versions of their brands and businesses in record time; he is widely considered to be the leading expert on rapid reinvention.

He is the author of, The Reinventionist Mindset: Learning to love change and the human how of doing it brilliantly, launching in January, 2020.

Prior to founding Jackman Reinvents, Joe spent over 25 years consulting to and working within consumer sector businesses, acting in transformative leadership roles at iconic brands such as Duane Reade, Loblaws, Old Navy and Walgreens.

Joe lives in Toronto, Canada; works across North America; and speaks regularly to major brands and organizations around the globe.

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THE FULL INTERVIEW

Joe Jackman

The full #OPNAskAnAngel talk

Potvin: Welcome to Supporters Fund Ask An Investor. I’m your host, Jeffery Potvin. Let’s please welcome Joe Jackman, the GP at Catapult Capital Partners and author to the recent launch of the Reinventionist Mindset as our investor today. Welcome Joe. It’s a real pleasure to have you today.
Joe: Jeffery, thanks for having me on. It’s a treat. I’m excited to have this conversation with you.
Potvin: likewise. I think over the transition of say the last 20 years. because I think I met you in your Perennial Inc days. I didn’t think I did meet you in your Perennial Inc days because we were working with you guys around the e-commerce reinvention, if you will at the time. And we started to work with Perennial Inc and Allison was our key point person back in the day. And from that, there was the integration and then you moved into Loblaw’s. So, without me stealing your thunder, the way we like to start is we want to learn a bit more about you. So, maybe you can share a little bit more about your background from the Perennial Inc days, school, all those great things up into what you’re doing today including the book because the book is phenomenal, I must say. And then one thing about you that nobody would know.
Joe: Okay, Great. Well, maybe I’ll try my best to string those things together. So, I was trained in industrial design and I finished design school. I moved back to Toronto. And when I was a kid, I used to play music hack around on guitars. a very musical family. But all my older sisters and brother were generally a lot better than me. And I could do okay on the guitar. But so I set up an office in my sister’s law office. this was me and a couple partners when we finished school. And I’ve been playing with my sister and she was actually a professional singer at the time. And one day, I’m walking down Queen Street West in Toronto if you’re familiar with it, and there’s a Horseshoe Tavern which is just a legendary place. some of the best bands I’ve ever seen live I saw there. And there’s this poster in the window and it says musical review. a bunch of names including my sisters, Margie Jackman, and then below it says accompanied by Joe Jackman. And that was the first I had heard of it. So, I phoned my sister and said like, wait, I’m performing with you at the at the Horseshoe Tavern, and she says oh, sorry, I meant to call you. the guitar player that I had lined up can’t make it so I just put you in. okay, well thanks for letting me know that. So, very few people know that story. But anyway, that gives you the trail. From design school, I went to the Fanshawe College in London, Ontario. I took Industrial Design, started a practice with a couple of college mates and then just never looked back. i ended up building a couple of different consultancies and then eventually doing some work with Loblaw Companies and then joining Loblaw Companies as executive vice president for marketing for about two and a half years and leading the charge there which was a great experience. But that’s sort of the trail here. I can tell you more but maybe back to you.
Potvin: oh, it’s brilliant. I love it. And that’s a great story. I guess that’s a good way to fall into your music career or at least setting the stage for one. So, going back to your Perennial Inc days, maybe you can share a little bit about what got you started in this. because what I love about your background is that right now, you’re sitting in a cult of trifecta experience. You were an entrepreneur, worked for a big business and now you’re investing in startups. the perfect trifecta at least in my world.
Joe: I agree with you. I think it’s a great intersection because you have the benefit of a number of different perspectives.
Potvin: exactly. And then I think when you’re given back, that makes a big difference. But just to get started on the Perennial Inc side, what kind of brought you into that? obviously you’re a creative person. So, that kind of lured you into that side. But you went in with partners and you started to build this company. was there something that kind of tripped you into this or got you excited and you’re like we can fix this problem?
Joe: Well, it was interesting. I was freelancing. I built a small practice with some schoolmates as I mentioned. We were doing pretty well but it was pretty scrappy. I mean it was right out of college, very challenging to get enough revenue to support the three of us at the time. So, anyway, we all agreed. Let’s go get some work experience somewhere else. And then we’ll regroup at some other point. So, I did that. I went to work for Don Watt and Associates. And I learned so much from Don and his wife, and partner Patty so many of the people at the law firm. And what I saw was a picture of how you professionalize creative consultancy. how do you connect what I learned how to do in design school and then subsequently practicing but to connect it to business and business outcomes? And that’s why I think Don really was a pioneer, not only in Canada but around the world. So, I worked for Don for about two and a half years and then I went and worked for another company called Boulevard which was all ex Watt Group people. And at some point, I thought I really want to do this myself so I started back with my tiles and we reconstituted the company and we ended up bringing in some other partners. And for about 16 years, we consulted with retailers, CPG companies right across North America, built what was then one of the largest brand consultancies in the country. And I absolutely loved it until one of my biggest relationships, Loblaw Companies. My company had replaced the Watt Group when that relationship changed. So, we became the go-to brand store design pack design, etc. partner to Loblaw Companies. And eventually the president at the time John Letter reached out. He said what would you think about doing what you do and maybe some other things but do it from inside the company not as an external partner. So, that was the beginning of two and a half years of retail exec boot camp as I call it, working for a giant publicly traded company running marketing. And I knew half of what I was setting out to do but the other half was like a steep learning curve. But it was amazing. it’s a great experience. I remember it like it was yesterday because I remember when this whole merger acquisition piece happened because we were working with you guys through our branding for all the online e-commerce platforms. And then there was a big change where you moved into Loblaw’s. And I would say that you say there’s a big steep learning curve. But how much of being able to jump in at that position in time as an entrepreneur? I think when most companies get their businesses purchased, they end up working for a company, the big company that bought them. And they work maybe one or two years and they’re always disgruntled. they’re like this terrible. I hate working for a big business and they all want out and they leave early and all this stuff. it usually never turns out to be the successful merger of small and big business.
Potvin: But you came in and I think you really changed the way people looked at marketing or at least from my perspective and the teams that we had because you did bring such a different vast creative level. that box store didn’t see or didn’t utilize at the time and having you kind of jump into this position, it didn’t seem like you were like, I’m out of here. This is terrible. it seemed like it was a great learning but a great drive for the business. there was so much innovation that came out of you moving into how much you loved it or you didn’t lo