THE AGILITY SHIFT By Pamela Meyer, PhD Is Released

So who’s dressing up as a unicorn this weekend?

Uptake, the predictive analytics startup led by Groupon co-founder Brad Keywell ⇒, raised another $45 million at reported $1.1 billion valuation. 

Rather than wringing his hands about whether Chicago is Silicon Valley or not (hint: not), he’s found a very Midwestern way to make money on this one: pairing with Caterpillar and building verticals on energy, rail, construction and mining. 

Not only another unicorn this week, but another Chicago startup on “Shark Tank.” The founders of Rent Like a Champion, a platform for renting rooms on game weekends that started at Notre Dame and now operates in 21 college towns, face the sharks Friday night.

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What happens after a shark bites? Haley Hinkle caught up with some Chicago companies who have been there to see what they’re up to now.

>Photos from the Chicago Innovation Awards
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The Chicago Innovation Awards celebrated its 2015 award winners with all the usual spectacle at the Harris Theater. And we turned our leadership spotlight on a handful of the winners, with photo editor Keri Wiginton posing questions to Shradha Agarwal ⇒ of Context Media, Marc Halpin of Kapow, Maria Kim of Cara, CJ Przbyl of Snapsheet and Blair Lock of Snapsheet. Przbyl, by the way, lays down some serious book recommendations.

Find the full list of winners here, including another Chicago unicorn: Avant.

Executive coach Marshall Goldsmith shares advice that seems obvious on paper but that many people never internalize: “Every decision in life is made by the person who is empowered to make the decision. Make peace with that,” he says, quoting a lesson he learned from Peter Drucker.

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“Assuming you stay with the company and take the check, you need to learn how to influence people. You realize that sometimes these people are not logical or rational or fair, but they’re still the decision-makers, and you have to do your best to learn how treat them like customers.”

Why all the leadership study? It can actually be learned, and no one needs it more than companies making change.

You know, all of them.

Tony Weisman, North American CEO of DigitasLBi, notes that just because someone makes leadership skills look easy doesn't mean they haven’t worked at them.

“When it looks easy, you tend to forget the time and effort that the individual put into it,” he said. “That includes having values and goals, mentors, resources and studying.”

In the Hub, Buffer explores the necessary balance between confidence and humility in effective leaders. “The balance between the two can be incredibly delicate and nuanced,” the piece notes.

On the issue of rapidly changing companies, Pamela Meyer told us about her new book, “The Agility Shift: Creating Agile and Effective Leaders, Teams, and Organizations.” 

Business schools and management practices still assume “the plans we make today will be effective tomorrow or three years from now, when we have no way of predicting certain kinds of things in the environment, let alone new opportunities and challenges,” she told Cheryl Jackson. “The idea is to balance planning and analysis with agility.”

>Video-game pioneer bets Apple Watch is future of gambling
> John Carpenter

Chicago video-game legend Larry DeMar’s career started with coin-hungry, appliance-sized arcade units and wound its way to the graphics-laden sirens of the modern casino slot-machine floor.

Now he’s putting his money on Apple Watch as the next great video-gaming frontier.

DeMar’s Leading Edge Design,...

Chicago video-game legend Larry DeMar’s career started with coin-hungry, appliance-sized arcade units and wound its way to the graphics-laden sirens of the modern casino slot-machine floor.

Now he’s putting his money on Apple Watch as the next great video-gaming frontier.

DeMar’s Leading Edge Design,...

(John Carpenter)

Here’s a story of evolving with the times: Chicago video-game legend Larry DeMar’s career started with arcade games and pinball machines. His new platform: The Apple Watch

DeMar’s Leading Edge Design has released Double Luck Nudge, which plays like a traditional slot machine. The idea? They’ll be ready for legalized betting when it becomes more widespread, DeMar told John Carpenter. 

And in other vices, Google is coming for your swear words, or why Amina Elahi uses the “f” word in a story.

Fiddlesticks, obviously.  

>Nov. 4: 'Find a Way' with world-record swimmer Diana Nyad
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Diana Nyad’s book “Find a Way” chronicles the triumphs, trials and lessons she and her team faced in her world record-setting swim from Cuba to Miami in 2013. Nyad will be joined by Blue Sky reporter Amina Elahi for a discussion about her book at Chicago’s iconic Music Box Theatre. Nyad’s achievements...

Diana Nyad’s book “Find a Way” chronicles the triumphs, trials and lessons she and her team faced in her world record-setting swim from Cuba to Miami in 2013. Nyad will be joined by Blue Sky reporter Amina Elahi for a discussion about her book at Chicago’s iconic Music Box Theatre. Nyad’s achievements...

Amina is also gearing up for her interview Wednesday with Diana Nyad, the record-setting swimmer, Ted Talker and author. We hope you’ll join us at the Music Box Theatre for an inspiring conversation.

Meg Graham’s Office Tours took us to Gogo to see their airplane seating and other flight-fueled features.

GrubHub, Groupon and Inventables are among Chicago companies offering Halloween specials, from emergency candy delivery to milling-machine craft ideas.

The Exit’s favorite Halloween decor is at Dylan’s Candy Bar in the Tribune Tower.

I think you’ll understand.

Dylan's Candy Bar
Haley Hinkle, Blue Sky Haley Hinkle, Blue Sky
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Email: >ahanis@tribpub.com • Twitter: >@andreahanis


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