Welcome to Unserious, a podcast that explores how creative people create and communicate to achieve uncommon results. Join hosts J.B. Skelton and Molly McMahon as we try to have some fun with the changes that fall into our laps. Because when we can get some distance from the seriousness, we see problem spaces in new light and opportunities we might not have otherwise. And, lowering the stakes helps us take care of our teams and ourselves. Tune in and follow Unserious wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow us on Instagram at @unserious.fun.


April 11, 2024 35 mins

We’ve all heard the stories of that young person who pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, made it out of that small town or that rough neighborhood, and moved to the big city to make something of themselves. That concept of “I made it out” is so prevalent that we accept the premise without much thought. In this episode,  Nancy Gutiérrez, Lead Executive Officer & President of The Leadership Academy and co-author of the new ...

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We've all struggled with delivering or receiving feedback on work. Feedback given at the wrong time or in the wrong format can cause all kinds of problems. In this episode, Sarahlyn Bruck, an award-winning author and professor of writing and literature, introduces us to an ingenious solution. The Feedback Barometer is a game-changer for navigating the murky waters of feedback in the creative process. She breaks down how this s...

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At work we constantly have to stand up to tell our stories, advocate for resources, and convince our teams and leaders to join us. Navigating internal and external workplace communication can be daunting, but in this episode Elisabeth Diana, Head of Communications at HR one stop shop Deel, shares her playbook for developing messages that are on-point, authentic, and strategic. And using examples from recent press events from Calist...

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Do your team icebreakers ever elicit a groan? Have you ever stressed out being asked to share your innermost feelings at the top of a meeting? In this episode of Upshots, learning experience designer Lauren Vono shares a treasure trove of strategies for creating inclusive team-building icebreakers that aren't just fluff - but generate real connection and lay the groundwork for better collaboration.

"Some folks co...

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March 28, 2024 36 mins

Great relationships are crucial to producing great work - at home and in the workplace. Striking the perfect chord between personal life and a demanding career with high-profile notables is not an easy task. In this episode, J.B. and Molly explore the delicate balance with guest Adria Marquez, founder of Latidos Media and former Director of Digital Content in the Obama administration. Adria's approach to life's juggling a...

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Introducing Upshots, a new Unserious short format to kick off your Monday morning with one quick idea that you can put to use today. 

Have you ever unwittingly held your team back by being overly hands-on? In this first episode of Upshots, producer Micah Vono is joined by Ian Saville, a coach and founding partner at the collabic, who casts a spotlight on the counterintuitive effects of leaders rolling up their sleeves a bit too far....

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March 21, 2024 36 mins

We’ve all complained about office politics… someone was able to influence a decision or get a project over the line through the shear force of their personality or relationships. But what are we really complaining about? Power. In this episode, Ebele Okobi, CEO of The New Humanitarian, discusses the dynamics of power: challenging it, finding it, using it, and sharing it. This conversation takes you through the importance of rest no...

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Embracing failure as a force multiplier for growth and creativity is a core belief here at Unserious. So in this our final episode of the season, we journey back to the origins of our podcasting adventure, reflecting on some of our favorite moments and valuable insights we learned along the way. In this episode, Unserious producer Micah Vono joins J.B. and Molly to talk about storytelling and narrative building from his unique angl...

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Research shows that joy and high performance are tightly correlated, so it's worth asking: why don't we play more? And how can the power of play help us produce better, more innovative, and more personally satisfying work? In this episode, J.B. and Molly speak with Lauren Cooke, the creative director behind diverse brands like Alamo Drafthouse, Mondo, Snap Kitchen, and Bestow Life Insurance. Her insights reveal the transf...

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November 30, 2023 32 mins

When we think about our best work, the things that come to mind are probably about the work itself, but guest Denise Burchell poses that team member relationships are the real determiners of success. In this episode, J.B. and Molly learn how to design those relationships for maximum impact and innovation as Denise shares valuable insights garnered from years spent leading cross-disciplinary teams. They also explore shifting focus f...

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Creative processes and frameworks are often presented as neat and linear orders of operation. But looking closer, we'll find a circuitous mess of unexpected twists, turns, and detours that we hope are worth it in the end. In this episode, J.B. and Molly explore with rogue creative director Mary Michael Pringle the crucial roles of joy, play, and vulnerability for fostering creativity in the workplace. She shares her approach t...

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November 9, 2023 33 mins

At the advent of a transformative time in technologic history, skills like empathy, compassion, collaboration, and curiosity are becoming more crucial than ever. In this episode, J.B. and Molly speak with magician-turned-technologist Ryan Modjeski, the driving force behind the top-grossing literacy app, Reading Rainbow's Skybrary, as well as UNICEF KidPower and most recently, Empatico. Ryan shares advice on building empathy an...

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In this first episode of Unserious, J.B. and Molly speak with design leader and coach Courtney Kaplan about practical ways to manage creativity and personal growth during a particularly difficult time in the workplace. She shares advice from founding design operations at Facebook, highlights how leaders can create safe spaces for their teams and manage stress effectively. Finally, Courtney discusses coaching and the benefits it can...

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October 31, 2023 8 mins

Welcome to Unserious! Get to know hosts J.B. Skelton and Molly McMahon as they kick off a season of exploring how to manage and manifest creative impact in an era of constant disruption. Also, there are fireballs. 

Follow Unserious in your podcast app, at unserious.com, and on Instagram and Threads at @unserious.fun.

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