Nicole Leverich | The Innovator 25 Americas 2017

2017 Innovator 25 Americas - Nicole LeverichThe Innovator 25:

Nicole Leverich

Senior Director, Corporate Communications
San Francisco 

“Understand the risk to reward ratio that your company can accept and take intelligent risks within that range."

Nicole Leverich leads engineering, crisis and culture communications at LinkedIn, both before and since the recent acquisition by Microsoft. Due in part to her positioning work, the engineering lead for LinkedIn is now also the CTO for Microsoft. Under her stewardship, LinkedIn has aligned with the Open Source movement very publicly, has increased their relevance in machine learning and data science and been a vocal leader in developing programs to increase the number of women and other minority groups in technical leadership positions.

How do you define innovation?
Finding a new and unexpected way to achieve your goal

What is the most innovative comms/marketing initiative you've seen in the last 12 months?
REI's move to go against the commercialism of Black Friday with #optoutside on Black Friday 2016.

In your opinion, what brands and/or agencies are most innovative around PR and marketing?
Wieden+Kennedy, purpose-driven brands (Patagonia, etc.)

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider 'innovative.'
It's only when I've put myself in the uncomfortable position of not knowing what I should be doing that I've become innovative — because I've left myself no choice. Taking on a marketing role, with no direct marketing experience, at Google, which had/has a world-class marketing organization.

Who do you admire for his/her approach to innovation? 
Jonathan Mildenhall

How do you get out of a creativity or productivity rut? 
Walk away from what you're doing, talk to a non-expert and come back to it in a new direction.

What advice would you give to the PR industry around embracing innovation?
Understand the risk to reward ratio that your company can accept and take intelligent risks within that range.

In your opinion, what's the most innovative place in the world?
Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo

What's your favorite hobby that's not work-related?