Center Stage Podcast

Center Stage: The Voice of the Project Economy

Welcome to the Center Stage Podcast

The Voice of the Project Economy

Hosted by PMI Chief Customer Officer Joseph Cahill

In this podcast, PMI presents the real meaning of innovative change, focusing on the strengths of virtual teams and cross-functional project-based work. We’ll help you stay on top of the trends and see what’s ahead for The Project Economy, and your career.

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Dr. Yousuf Ahmad , President & CEO of Assurecare

The Future Ready Enterprise - Lessons From Healthcare

Dr. Yousuf Ahmad has over 25 years of healthcare experience including health insurance, physician group practices, and multi-hospital health system. For the past 5 years, he has been leading AssureCare, transforming it from a start-up to a high-growth company with industry leading care management technology platforms. 

In this episode of Center Stage, Dr. Ahmad shares the importance of learning and gaining knowledge in his journey in the healthcare industry from programmer, to president of a large health system, to the CEO of a healthcare technology company. He speaks to the importance of building collaborative, motivated teams with open communication and commitment to an agreed-upon set of outcomes.

Dr. Ahmad also offers insight into how technology, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, is revolutionizing healthcare, from increasing diagnostic accuracy on mammograms to improving racial disparities in care and health outcomes. As technology continues to evolve, practitioners including project managers must be open to lifelong learning to remain relevant and future proof their careers.


Dr Marcia Anderson

Real Consequences of Valuing Cultural Diversity

Marcia Anderson, MD, is Cree-Anishinaabe whose roots go back to the Norway House Cree Nation and Peguis First Nation in Manitoba. As a medical resident, Dr. Anderson found the opportunity to connect with her cultural identity through experiences with healthcare for indigenous peoples. This journey also showed her firsthand the racism that is systemic in healthcare and how it can have marginalizing and even life-threatening effects on minority peoples. 

Dr. Anderson shares with the Center Stage audience her efforts to combat discrimination against and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion for indigenous peoples, their knowledge, and their traditions. She also challenges us to think about our biases and make ourselves uncomfortable in the pursuit of inclusiveness in our organizations and communities. 


Dr Nabeel Ahmad

Helping Organizations to Change Faster

How good is your company at change management? How can we combine technology and change to improve performance? How can organizations create more effective environments of learning? How do we find the hidden talent within our organization?

This Center Stage podcast is with professor and entrepreneur Dr. Nabeel Ahmad about the disruptive effects of change, automation and data on talent development. Dr. Ahmad is Chief Strategy Officer of Changeforce.AI, a software platform for helping organizations to change faster. This discussion is focused on keeping up with the rapid pace of change though technology that helps people focus on critical strategy outcomes and finding the hidden talent within an organization.


Katrina Pugh

Reinventing Organizations Through Networks

Katrina Pugh, a faculty member and the former Academic Director of Columbia University’s Information and Knowledge Strategy (IKNS) Master of Science program, helps our Center Stage audience explore the value of networks. Kate emphasizes how networks build interdependence and spaces where people come together for conversation, collaboration and co-creation.  She highlights the significant variety in networks, spreading a spectrum of possible outcomes, from marketable products, to providing just-in-time problem-solving, to providing solidarity and scale. She also helps us distinguish between enduring networks and time-bounded project teams.



Susan Coleman, host of the Peacebuilding Podcast

Empowering Women for the Future of Work

In this podcast, Susan Coleman and Ed Hoffman discuss the importance of empowering women in order to create collaborative organization cultures where diversity, creativity, innovation and the easy negotiation of difference can thrive.

Susan Coleman has over 30 years of experience training and facilitating tens of thousands of people around the world in negotiation and collaborative strategies to build common ground as well as empowering women through negotiation.


Greg Robinson, James Webb Space Telescope Program Director

Leading the James Webb Space Telescope


Pim De Morree, co-founder of Corporate Rebels

Making Work Fun

Pim de Morree and Joost Minnaar quit their professional jobs and co-founded Corporate Rebels to identify companies that have innovated how to better engage people with their work. By learning from the experiences of others, they developed insights on things that any organization or practitioner can do to make work fun. Pim de Morree joins this episode of Center Stage to share those insights and a new venture to help shape the future of work. 


Ronit Avni, Center Stage podcast guest

Replacing Brain Drain with Brain Gain

Ronit Avni founded Localized, a platform that unlocks educated talent for global companies, because she wanted to enable talented professionals living in emerging markets to have world-class career opportunities regardless of where they live. With the ability to connect to global firms through technology, professionals no longer have to leave the countries where they’ve been raised to find a job. The resulting “brain gain” can increase the share of knowledge economy jobs in countries that have previously struggled to grow in knowledge-intensive industries.


Johanna Rothman, "The Pragmatic Manager"

Re-Envisioning Management Through Teaming

The nature of work today requires collaboration and teaming to drive business outcomes like never before.  Johanna Rothman, known as the “Pragmatic Manager,” provides frank advice for organizational leaders, managers and teams tackling tough problems.   In this episode of Center Stage, Johanna shares how optimizing individual achievement over that of the team or organization deeply roots lose-lose propositions into organizational culture.  Incorporating key concepts and learnings from her books, the Modern Management Made Easy series, she provides practical examples of how organizations are shifting structures and reward systems to create win-win engagements among managers.  More importantly, she offers seven principles of modern management aimed at increasing performance, rather than overseeing people and their work. 


Ade McCormack headshot

Preparing Cognitive Athletes to Tackle Disruption

For the past two years, PMI has discussed gymnastic organizations that need to be adaptive and innovative to survive disruption.  This session explores how practitioners too need to become cognitive athletes, putting adaptive, creative and sensing muscles into enhanced performance.  Listen as Ade McCormack, the founder of the Disruption Readiness Institute, and Joseph Cahill explore how to prepare for an unknowable future. This podcast is full of insights focused on the post-Industrial age and 21st century talent.


Ron Young (top left) and Peter Merrill (lower right)

Creating Standards for Knowledge and Innovation Management

Peter Merrill is leading the development of the ISO Management System Standard on innovation management; Ron Young chaired the BSI Standard committee and was part of the ISO Working Group that developed the Management System Standard on knowledge management. In this episode of Center Stage, they talk with PMI Chief Customer Officer Joe Cahill about how you standardize such abstract concepts.


Jason Warnke

Digital Experiences and Technology-Enabled Transformation

In this podcast, Jason Warnke and Joe Cahill discuss the impact of digital experiences on technology-enabled transformation. Warnke serves as Senior Managing Director for Global Digital Experiences at Accenture. Digital Experiences is located within Accenture's internal IT leadership team and is responsible for driving technology-enabled experience transformation.


Dr. Rodolfo De Acutis headshot

The Power of Leadership Emotions

In this podcast, Dr. Rodolfo De Acutis, Global PMO Lead R&D at Nestlé,  and Joe Cahill discuss the leadership of emotions and the critical role of power skills for PMO and portfolio organizations.  Dr. De Acutis shares that project leaders and change makers face a range of emotional triggers when engaging with stakeholders that they will need to manage.  These triggers increase stress and can affect a project leader’s performance. He suggests a range of techniques leaders can use to reframe emotional responses, such as reflection and explaining the “why.”


Alan Richter

The Business of Ethics

In this episode of the Center Stage podcast, Alan Richter and Joe Cahill discuss ethics in business and its impact on projects and organizations. As business becomes more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous, organizations must address ethical considerations both internally and externally to stay relevant and reputable. To do so, they need leaders who can navigate the complexities of ethical decision making by understanding the impact of culture on ethics and the need for inclusivity. 



Cali Williams Yost

Flexible Work Strategy

The rapid and widespread shift to remote work during the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in creative and innovative solutions to how people get work done. In this podcast, PMI Chief Customer Officer Joe Cahill explores these issues with Cali Yost, the founder of the Flex + Strategy Group.


Liam Fahey

The Insight Discipline

In this podcast, we meet Liam Fahey who is the Cofounder and Partner at Leadership Forum LLC. The Forum allows intelligence and insight practitioners to learn from each other, hone their personal and professional skills, and augment their organizations’ thinking and decision capabilities.


Iain Hamilton

The Leadership of Creative Projects for Economic Development and Growth

In this podcast, Iain Hamilton, Head of Creative Industries for Highlands and Islands Enterprise, discusses the leadership of creative projects and initiatives. Iain is a senior leader who works with the Scottish Government’s economic development agency – Highlands and Islands Enterprise. 


Naoki Ogiwara

East Meets West: Perspectives on Knowledge at Work

Our age of global collaboration has created a profound exchange of knowledge across the world. Knowledge, however, is still local and practiced in diverse ways. In this podcast, Naoki Ogiwara, Managing Director of Knowledge Associates Japan, discuss the differences between Eastern and Western firms on knowledge. 


Sean Kelley

Talent Acquisition, Change, and Technology

Our world is one of ideas, thoughts, and technology. At the core are talented people who generate the ideas and products we desire. Sean Kelley, talent innovator, has worked across leading organizations responsible for creating this world. In this podcast, Sean Kelley is an advisor to leaders offering insights on change, talent acquisition, and women in technology.


Lili Csorba and Gavin Henderson

Coaching and Entrepreneurship

This story explores entrepreneurship, knowledge transfer and co-creating with a focus on PMI’s long-standing partnership with ENACTUS and its student teams. This episode features Lili Csorba, corporate relations executive for the ENACTUS Queen Mary student team, and Gavin Henderson, project management business advisor from the PMI United Kingdom Chapter’s London Branch.


Abhishek Gupta

Ethics, Technology, and Innovation

The podcast proposes some practical steps organizational leaders can use for developing a framework for AI ethics. Incorporating findings from the most recent The State of AI Ethics Report, Abhishek Gupta, founder of Montreal AI Ethics Institute walks us through examples of positive and negative social outcomes of AI.


David Dabscheck

Innovation to Deliver Value

In this podcast, David Dabscheck helps us explore innovation through a lens that will highlight important factors for delivering value to organizations. This includes considering the low cost environment using failure for learning and how to think about experimentation. Dabscheck is the founder and CEO of GIANT Innovation, which transforms the way organizations and people think and act to become world-class innovators.


Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu

Building Africa’s Entrepreneurs

Believing that Africa’s economic development lies in the lands of the private sector, the Tony Eluemelu Foundation (TEF) is training, mentoring and funding entrepreneurs across all 54 African countries to transform the continent. Join TEF Chief Executive Officer Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu and PMI Chief Operating Officer Joe Cahill as they explore TEF’s efforts to unleash the power of African entrepreneurship. Learn more about Tony Elumelu Foundation and the partnership with PMI at:


Peter Temes

Innovation in Large Organizations

Peter Temes, Founder and President of the Institute for Innovation in Large Organizations, will be sharing insights into how large organizations innovate. In 2005, Peter founded the Institute for Innovation in Large Organizations (ILO), a membership organization providing research, community, and knowledge-sharing for upper-level executives leading innovation inside multi-billion-dollar corporations. This podcast explores the innovation practices that have emerged as a result of COVID. 


Laurence Prusak

Talking about Project Knowledge

In this podcast, Laurence Prusak will discuss with PMI COO, Joe Cahill, how the most successful teams and organizations find, create, nurture, and distribute knowledge for the ultimate competitive advantage. Larry is the co-author of several of the most successful management books on this subject, Working Knowledge: How Organizations Manage What They Know, and What’s the Big Idea? Creating and Capitalizing on the Best Management Thinking.


Ricardo Vargas

The Brightline Initiative - Helping Organizations Transform

In this podcast, Ricardo Vargas shares insight on how to execute strategic intent for moving ideas into outcomes. The strategy to outcome gap is an issue that every leader must address. Dr Vargas discusses how Brightline conducts research, sponsors events, and creates content around organization transformation. The transformation compass is a system for focusing on building employee commitment and empathy with customers. It is a systematic way for “putting people at the center of the process” and for increasing workforce engagement. 


Bryan Steil

Servant Leadership in a Time of Crisis

In this podcast, Member of Congress Bryan Steil examines the importance of execution and disaster response during the pandemic crisis, ordinary citizens coming together during trying times, and American resilience in the path to recovery. Rep. Bryan Steil (WI-1), co-chair of the Congressional Future of Work Caucus, talks with PMI COO Joe Cahill about building coalitions to achieve maximum results, improving the education system in America, and readying the country for the future of work.


Nancy Dixon

Reimagining the Workplace for Engagement

Dr. Nancy Dixon is a world-renowned leader helping organizations in collective sensemaking, managing knowledge, and designing virtual learning systems. There is a revolutionary shift in workplace practices and it offers a great opportunity to replace traditional toxic workplace settings, with more healthy and productive work. Nancy offers insights on our reimagined work landscape, and how leaders can excel through practices that promote collaborative response based upon conversation.


Tom Stewart

Lessons for Leaders from Middle Market Companies

Joe Cahill and Tom Stewart discuss the trends in work with a focus on the middle market industries. The middle market companies bring revenues between US$10M and US$1B a year, and account for about 60% of net new jobs over the past decade. This conversation discusses the current challenges and opportunities for business, as well as ideas for focusing on customers.



Barry O'Reilly

Unlearn to Achieve

In this podcast, Barry O’Reilly shares the system he uses to help Fortune 500 executives and business leaders rethink their strategies, retool their capabilities, and revitalize their businesses for stronger, longer-lasting success. The best-selling author of Unlearn and Lean Enterprise talks with PMI COO, Joe Cahill, about how to rapidly adapt to changing circumstances, identify what to stop, what to keep, and what to change to unlearn, relearn and breakthrough to achieve extraordinary results.



Madelyn Blair

Resilient Leadership

Dr. Madelyn Blair is a leader, author, and researcher who has studied the factors that lead to resilient leadership. This capability is more relevant than ever before, exploring how individuals, managers and senior leaders can increase their agility. Madelyn will share perspectives with PMI COO, Joseph Cahill, about the qualities that promote excelling in a world of challenge, uncertainty, and loss.


Tom Davenport

The AI Advantage

Tom Davenport is the President's Distinguished Professor of Information Technology and Management of Babson College, a Digital Fellow at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, and a Senior Advisor to Deloitte's Analytics and Cognitive practice. His recent book is The AI Advantage: How to Put the Artificial Intelligence Revolution to Work.


Michael Ciannilli

The Challenge to Succeed

Michael Ciannilli is NASA’s Program Manager for the Apollo Challenger Columbia Lessons Learned Program and has worked for the administration for over 24 years, during which time he’s seen great success and great tragedy. In conversation with PMI’s chief operating officer, Joseph Cahill, he talks about how he and his teams work to enhance the efficacy of complex programs, and deliver lessons learned through inspirational projects.


Be Part of the Center Stage Podcast Club

Enjoying the Center Stage podcast?

Take the next step and be part of the Center Stage Podcast Club! This webinar series brings together guests from the podcast for thought-provoking discussions on leadership, innovation, and the future of work. 

Knowledge, Unlearning and Innovation featuring Barry O'Reilly, Larry Prusak, and Peter Temes, hosted by Tammy Ashraf.

Young entrepreneurs are making reality through new ways of working featuring members of ENACTUS UK, hosted by Tammy Ashraf.

Building resilience, creating dialogic organizations and establishing deep learning, featuring Nancy Dixon and Madelyn Blair, hosted by Tammy Ashraf.

Balancing progress and ethics in artificial intelligence featuring Dr. Wanda Curlee and Mohamed Hassan, hosted by Tammy Ashraf. 

The past, present, and future of working with knowledge featuring Dr. Ed Hoffman and Larry Prusak, hosted by Tammy Ashraf.