Lessons In Innovation And Leadership In The Supply Chain Space With Stephany Lapierre


As an entrepreneur, you need to display the ability to drive innovation and leadership if you wish to succeed. It’s time to learn how to leverage these qualities and drive your business to the next level. In this episode, Tony Martignetti sits down for a conversation with the Founder and CEO of Tealbook, Stephany Lapierre. Stephany talks about the influence her grandmother had on her professional life and how she learned to choose the right people for the job. Tune in and learn more about disruption and how innovation can lead to success.


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Lessons In Innovation And Leadership In The Supply Chain Space With Stephany Lapierre

It is my honor to introduce you to my guest, Stephany Lapierre. Stephany is the Founder and CEO of Tealbook, a highly coveted supply chain thought leader and one of the most influential minds in emerging data technologies. She has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Women In Supply Chain. Her company, Tealbook, has been named a Top 50 company to watch by Spend Matters and has won the Cool Vendor Award by Gartner.

Prior to Tealbook, Stephany spent years building a successful strategic sourcing and procurement consulting firm focused on large-scale sourcing optimization projects. Given her experience and visibility into the data issues crippling procurement, she has made it her mission to deliver a trusted source of supplier data to an ever-growing eProcurement space.

Tealbook is the only big data company that provides a self-enriching and self-maintaining mechanism to fix enterprise supplier data. She lives in Toronto with her three beautiful girls. We had known each other when I was in my finance career, so it is my honor and pleasure to bring her onto the show. Stephany, welcome.

Thank you for having me, Tony. I'm honored.

I'm looking forward to having you on. It's funny. When I think about the premise of the show, I know it's really about bringing people on who’s showing up in this place where they are making an impact in the world, which you truly are. There's a journey that gets people there. I want to uncover what brought you to this place where you are doing what you do. You are an example to so many people. I'm really thrilled and honored to be able to share your story with the people. With that, I'm going to give you that space.

I can go as far back as you want me to. Originally, I'm from Quebec so I’m French-speaking. That's where this slight accent comes from. I was born in the environment of entrepreneurs. I’ve got to watch my mom having quite a few different businesses and always redefining herself. My grandmother, my dad's mom, took over Pepsi when my grandfather passed away. She was quite young with three kids, never worked, and saw the opportunity to take over the business so she could provide for the family and not selling. She figured out a way to live out of the capital.

She figured, “If I keep it and hang on, I will create value for my family.” She was a lady boss. I’ve got to grow up with this image of this very feminine and strong role model who owned manufacturing and distribution of Pepsi-Cola in Quebec, it's the only place in the world that Pepsi has a higher market share than Coke. I would like to attribute this to my grandmother. I’ve got to watch her. I have always been inspired by her. Unfortunately, she passed away when I was eighteen and I feel like I didn't get a chance to get to know the business person.

Certainly, I saw in her the ability to remain feminine, authentic, build a business, help people and employees in the community. Beyond that, I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. There's the only way of life for me. My surroundings were all made up of entrepreneurs. If I look back, all of my high school friends are entrepreneurs, which is insane. Even if they are a real estate agent, they have their own business. If they are lawyers, they have their own firms. I definitely think it's part of my DNA.

You're going to have friction when you have very different goals from your customers.

I had a business when I was younger but my first real business was Matchbook. This was the company I was building when we met. The premise of that business was to help find innovation initially for pharmaceutical companies that were looking for innovation. For me, coming from the pharmaceutical space, I saw that it was very difficult to find innovation because you sit with suppliers that are telling you how innovative they are. Ninety-seven percent of the time they are not that innovative. It requires a lot of coffees and lunches to get to those conversations with a not very good outcome.

In 2007, I started Matchbook on the premise to help organizations find innovation through suppliers. That business was successful very quickly, even in pre-social media. I launched a communication to my network and got a call within four hours. I knew I was onto something that continued to evolve to become more in any suppliers. My customers like the process. The outcome always turned to be really positive and it put everyone on the same wavelength to remove the bias of the selection process. Allow them to come to the table with qualified suppliers.

At that moment, procurement was trying to define itself beyond cost savings and trying to align with what procurement typically is to save money. Trying to bridge the gap between that and the business, we are spending money. Right away, you are going to have friction when you have very different goals. My customers start recognizing in the process that we were applying in the consulting firm that we could have built a strategic sourcing function and bridge the gap between procurement and the business to create more value for the business out of this procurement function.

In my mind, it became more around spend optimization than procurement. I enjoyed that. The biotech boom in Boston was just happening so fiercely and fast. A lot of executives came from larger companies like Genzyme, Biogen, AstraZeneca, and GSK. Suddenly, we are executives of these pre-commercial biotech companies. They realized how many things they needed to commercialize a first global asset. It's a lot of suppliers.

Pre-commercial typically have anywhere between 600 and 2,400 suppliers. We are talking about suppliers that supply anything from R&D, clinical, logistics and everything. My business starts shifting. As we were supporting the need of those companies, I started seeing a blueprint of all these companies were going through the same roadmap of what they required, the timing of when they required certain things, and where they had to duplicate suppliers to submit to the FDA.

Matchbook became much more about building this function for pre-commercial biotech companies, enabling them to commercialize faster to build a sustainable, scalable, and transparent procurement function. It put me very much in the forefront of some of the challenges that I start recognizing very quickly with early-stage companies that had a chance to start with a clean slate. They are running into the same issues as my more sophisticated customers who had invested heavily in systems.

As soon as my clients start introducing software as a way to workflow payments, contract, sourcing, compliance or third-party risk management, they started to create disparity in data. Each of those systems required data cleansing, categorization, maintaining, and they invited suppliers to come to a bunch of portals. What we saw is that it just doesn't work because supplies are not doing it and it requires so much services. If you want to integrate these systems with each other, it's a massive infrastructure. That's very expensive.

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It's a continuous investment and still doesn't result in the connectivity you need to see your supplier base at the depth and completeness level that you need to be able to effectively operate and have a chance to optimize this huge asset. When you are looking at thousands of suppliers that you have invested in the sourcing, and then doing diligence onboarding them, which often takes months to pay them, maintaining them, try and leverage them, and you have no visibility, you are essentially losing hundreds of millions of dollars and lost opportunity. I saw this as being one of the biggest untapped assets of the enterprise and decided to do something about that.

When I listened to this story, it starts with succeeding something, then it starts to evolve into something bigger than you probably even ever expected it was going to be. There are two real themes that I hear around this, which is to say, you are cutting through the noise that all of this creates. There are a lot out there.

For people to be effective, you need to cut through all of the suppliers that are out there. You want to make sure that you get the right suppliers matched with the right people who are buying. The core of all of that is, everything has to be procured. It's just how sophisticated you are going to get around building the right tools to ensure that the procurement process is done most effectively.

There are processes but a lot of the processes are there because you need to collect information to make a decision. As a CFO, a Leader in Finance, when you are looking at your overall spending, you are spending at a high level but you don't understand what the suppliers are providing. I will give you a couple of pretty impactful examples.

Right away, when we take the master data, we are talking about large Fortune 500 companies like hundreds of thousands of suppliers. We reduce a supplier base by 22% on day one. We can eliminate a lot of duplication because our customers have such complex systems. Even if they didn't have complex systems, pulling out of their ERP or their financial system doesn't give a lot of contexts and the data is often full of duplicates. It's hard to map it back to something. Everything you do in supply chain and procurement leads to the company.

If the data about that company is poor or not high qualities and not in relevance to what you do, it makes it very difficult to have that visibility allows you to see. For example, supplies that may have multiple contracts with the organization, you knew that you couldn't see the extent. We had a client who saw they had 33 separate contracts with different pricing with a supplier. On day one, you can go and negotiate a blanket MSA, get consistent pricing and save millions of dollars. Some of our customers on day one will see they have 400 market research firms in their master data.

The cost of maintaining this information is really high. That's typically a default. Employees are not able to find the information they need because there's nowhere to go that's insightful, readily available enough so they go to Google, they call John or they hire consultants. Now you are imposing additional costs of diligence onboarding, paying them, maintaining their record and contract. You may have never needed to go and hire this other market research company.

Understanding that there are 400 companies that you can leverage, even consolidating into the ones that are providing the most value for different requirements, then be able to start driving more compliance to those suppliers. It's not always about finding suppliers. That's the outcome of having an intelligent network. First, amplifying the information you have, identify gaps and opportunities to consolidate or introduce competition.

Hire really smart people who complement you. That's very important and hard to do.  

Sometimes you just want to increase competitiveness to drive savings because you have hardcore savings targets that you need to hit. You may be growing so fast that you need to replicate your supply chain or find supplies that have the capacity. Our clients are relocating their supply chain from China to North America to comply with the Executive Order. There's a huge focus on ESG, supplier diversity, especially if you are in the pharma biotech space and you have government or hospital contracts.  You need to access small diverse spending, be able to track and report it.

What we are seeing is even in industries that didn’t have any compliance requirements, just the pressures from shareholders and investors that are looking to invest in companies that are using best practices have some ESG component or tracking and reporting is very high. Having access to that data at hand, know that you are making an impact, and be able to report can be a huge competitive advantage. Also, make your company more attractive to investors and customers as well.

You are so well versed in what's happening on the cutting edge. This is not something that you just evolve. You evolved to this place. You didn't necessarily have this on day one. Tell me about the stumbling blocks on the way to building your company. Were there people you needed to bring on board that helped to compliment your skills and your way of moving through the world?

I started Tealbook I would say the stupid and naive way. Maybe in some ways, it was a gift because I had no idea what it would take to build a tech company. A consulting firm was a bit more straightforward because I’ve got the business, delivered the business, it was good. I’ve got more business and hired people. I never borrowed money and I never even had a line of credit on that business.

Tealbook was very different because we had to build a technology. It was pretty cutting edge. Machine learning is not that old. The application of machine learning and the type of computing is evolving so fast. I had no tech background. I identified a business problem. I could see the solution but I didn't know how to build it.

I want to say amazing, no tech background, you identified a problem, and then you jumped in and started to build a business around that. That is something that a lot of people miss. They don't see that they can do these things that you can just jump in. We hold ourselves back because we feel like we need to have all those things figured out but not necessarily.

No one has it figured out. That was maybe a revelation, too. I fought Tealbook for many years. The first inspiration was on my first week when I built Matchbook. I was at a client, a large pharma company, and one of my clients said before I left, “Steph, you need to meet this company. They are amazing. There's this new startup. I know these guys from another company before and they have made a huge impact on my brand.”

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She grabbed a 2-inch binder under a desk and started flipping through business cards. It took her ten minutes. She couldn't remember the name of the company because it was an acronym. She gave me the card and says, “Write their contacts down and give it back to me because I don't want to lose their contact information.”

This is one of the largest pharma companies in the world. No one across the organization has access to that binder. This information about this amazing company she's talking about and corporate was trying to consolidate their supply base by 50%. They are doing it with high levels of spend risk. As they are consolidating, they are going to eliminate all these small, amazing, innovative suppliers that were driving value that they just couldn't see.

That, to me, is where I had the moment of like, “This is a crazy thing.” These suppliers are trying to build their business, knocking on different doors within the same organization because there's no visibility. What they are doing for this pharma company can't be easily available to another pharma company because they all start from scratch doing their own things on different islands.

That's where I thought, “There's a huge opportunity here.” I fought it because I had a successful consulting business and I have three kids. I chose to do Matchbook to build a work-life balance. I knew I couldn't be a home mom. I want to stay challenged and in the business world. I want to be able to spend time with my kids.

Building Tealbook went against what I had decided for myself. At some point, every single problem that we had run into was a data problem. It was not a software or a process problem. Sometimes it wasn't even the people's problem because the people may be smart enough. If they can't get the information fast enough, they are losing credibility or the opportunity to influence. I became determined that this thing had to exist and I looked for it.

At some point, I was like, “All these guys or women have built these companies. What's so special about them that I can't myself build a tech company?” In the early days, I would say that I was looking for the business version of a prince charming like he was going to come in and know how to build a business. I did hire an amazing CTO. He just transitioned for all the right reasons. We have a new CTO that came in.

I hired someone else thinking because he had exited before and he had successfully built a tech company that he was going to know better than me. I gave a lot of control very fast in the early days. Over time, I realized that it was not the right role for him. I had given up too much control and now I have to take it back. That is so painful. He still works with us. He's amazing. It was just the wrong fit for the wrong role.

Taking control back of something when you have already given away is harder. My learning here is to follow my instincts. I know my business, I make good decisions and I had to grow into that confidence. The other is we have to hire the right people but no one else will know all the answers. Hire really smart people that compliment you. Hire the right people that's very important is hard to do.

When you don't learn from your mistakes or the mistakes happen again and nothing changes, that's when we have an issue.

Follow the instincts that you have because they are typically right. That was a huge learning moment for me. When I give responsibilities, I give 30, 60 or 90 days, just response, and I give the opportunity for the person to earn. Getting more responsibilities so that I make sure that we are giving the appropriate amount based on the person. Usually, it accelerates really fast because we are hiring the right people. Once you have that confidence, you know that they can take on more than what you are giving them. It's much easier than the trust that sets in.

You used the word that I love, which is intuition. Intuition doesn't just arrive. It actually comes from experience and making mistakes along the way. When you talk about what you give up in terms of control and what you have given as you bring people on board, it is important to recognize that when you give someone something, you have to make sure you measure that with where do I want to allow them to grow and give them the chance to prove themselves. Also, make sure that I'm also there for them. Allow them to see where if they are challenged, I'm here to support them. That's where you have maybe built that intuition of when is it right to let go and when is it right to hold on.

First, I hire with trust. That's the first thing. If I don't trust you, I would not hire someone in the first place. Trust has to be set up front. What I have learned in the beginning, I was like, “You could lose my trust over time.” It's true. I do think that setting up clear expectations upfront, being really transparent about my expectations in the role and the person's skills. We are hiring people who have done this before, which helps a little bit.

In the early days, I gave a chance to people that did not necessarily do the job and they have been amazing. It's balancing those two things. The times that they may have felt overstretched, it's important to be transparent and have a real conversation about what's working, what's not working, and what's getting in your way. What is there that if it could be removed, you would be more successful or make us more successful? Giving that person appropriate support and resources. If you can find leading indicators early on, it's much easier to be able to take action on it.

I have had an executive that stretched itself too thin. It was very difficult because we missed some important KPI. The learning there was fantastic for both of us is recognizing when someone is stretched too thin, be able to raise their hand for me to be able to call this out earlier, and then giving that person the opportunity to change things. Given the proper support, we were lucky we just raised around. I was able to give him the opportunity to hire more experienced people under him. He has been phenomenal. He's hit all of his KPIs and more.

When you see the talent and the potential of someone, this is someone that's super committed, that's smart, you give them everything that they could possibly need to be successful. It’s the same with me. As soon as I learned, I adapt really fast, I'm able to recognize and have the agility to do something about it, we are fine. It's when you don't learn from your mistakes or the mistakes happen again, and nothing changes, that's when we have an issue.

I have a challenging question for you. It comes to the fact that you seemingly move fast in all the areas of your business. How do you set personal boundaries for yourself to ensure that you maintain a balanced life?

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I have more energy than some. I have to be careful not to expect the same from people around me. I grew up that my mom would say like, “You are making me dizzy. You never stop.” I have an incredible amount of energy. I love what I do. I'm able to balance the fact that I am so passionate. I love the learning. Friday, I'm bummed out because I'm so fired up. I don't want the weekends because nothing happens on the weekend.

One, I can perform at a high level most of the time. There's an instance where years ago, what we were doing was just not working. It was the point in time where we were trying to find a product-market fit. Luckily, we found it. It was a time we were trying to find a product-market fit. We were going to a death zone because when you are building a data platform, your data is never good enough for customers to trust it. We built some workflow for customers to be able to extract useful information but we were not robust enough to compete with the procurement space.

It was going to be a slow death because we need data. The way that we could get data is if we can deliver more value to the enterprise by showing them something that they can see before they trust that's valuable, then we are going to ingest more master data to start building out the network. What's different about our technologies, we have used machines to go and grab data on every B2B company in the world. When you start, you get baby data. If you learn from that data, then you continue growing.

It was painful when I was going through a big restructure with the company as well. My husband called me and he's like, “I booked the house in The Bahamas for two weeks.” I was like, “I can't leave for two weeks.” He’s like, “Too bad it's booked. We are going to go to this tiny little island called Harbor Island  for two weeks.”

I had a new executive that came in to help us reposition Tealbook. He was starting that week, too. I was like, “I can't believe I'm not going to be here for him.” I ended up leaving. In the first week, I would check in the morning and he would say like, “Steph, I'm good. Don’t worry. You don't have to call in. I’ve got it.” The first week, I was a little bit like, “Is he okay?” I feel like I'm not there to support him.

By the second week, he had it. He was good. He's like, “Take the time to be with your family.” In the second week, I had finally gotten to vacation mode. I don't remember the last time I had taken this much time off. I was myself again. I was looking at my children and pausing in a way that I hadn't done in a while. I was reconnecting with my husband in a way I hadn't done in a while. I was goofy like I normally am. It felt so good. I came back from there inspired and re-energized. The business hadn’t fallen apart. It was just fine.

We actually ended up doing phenomenal. That's where things start picking up for us is finding that voice. We repositioned Tealbook as a data foundation that powers these systems and does not compete with them. That's where the market leans our way. Our customers had invested in all these systems and it was just not delivering the type of value that they were hoping for. It was not a software problem. It was a data problem.

The learning there for me was to take time to step away. I’ve got to say that for all the things that COVID has been terrible for, I have been fortunate that the business has exploded. We have been able to grow from 32 to we are going to be 100 employees. We have been able to do two rounds of capital. Most importantly, I have been home with my kids and with my husband every day. That pause was so welcomed. I started gardening, baking like most of us and spending time with my kids. I remember when one of my daughters slammed the door in my face or something.

It's hard to be your best self if you're not in the right relationship.

Before that, I was traveling so much. I was gone all the time. When I was home, it was a lot of like, “Mommy.” They wanted my attention. I've got three. Years ago, they are pretty little. Suddenly, they were arguing with me and slamming doors in my face. I loved it because this was real. I was there. This was a more real relationship. I’ve got to know them better, they’ve got to know me better and we had dinner together every night. That was a gift for me.

Inspiration is a big part of what I do. I think about inspiration a lot. When I think about your story, which was so amazing, it's about breathing new life into something. You didn't think there was anything wrong at all but when you stepped away and you changed the way you looked at things, you can bring new life into your world. Oftentimes, we find ourselves in that place. People think burnout comes from this place of there's a dreadful thing that's happening or you are constantly in a situation where you are doing something you hate.

What I have seen even in my company is if they are in the wrong role, it's not good for the company they work for, their colleagues and for them. Recognizing like, “Am I being overstressed or overwhelmed because it’s over my head or I am in the wrong job.” We had someone in sales who’s a fantastic person. She is such a relationship builder but she was not a closer. She missed the forecast by a landslide in 2020. At that point, you let her go because she didn't hit her quota. What we saw was she's very operational. She always wants to fix it. That was the problem. She was always trying to fix other things and building relationships with customers not focusing on understanding how to challenge customers to get them to close.

We ended up moving her under partnership enablement. She has been a superstar. We just moved her into operations because she's so phenomenal. She came into the presentation one morning, where we had a bit of a bottleneck in something. We pulled her out of the partnership to just focus on that for us. She came in prepared with a deck and showed us the end-to-end customer journey where we needed to make some improvements with our recommendations. We were floored. All of us were like, “She did this.” Our VP of Operations was like, “Can I hire her? Can I bring her to our team?” She got a promotion.

In a year, she has been able to find a place where you can see the light. As soon as you start talking about the operation, her whole body lit up. You can almost see that in someone. She was fading. It's so important as you are thinking about your career, “Are you in the right place? Do you have the right people around you?” In the story of The Bahamas, my husband is recognizing that I needed a break before I did. Having a partner that supports you. If you don't have that, you are single or the right person is being in the wrong environment with the wrong people, I can't even imagine how draining that would be.

The distraction of not being in a good place personally is hard. It's hard to be your best self if you are not in the right relationship and then recognizing what is your skillset. That's something I did with Matchbook because I was not happy. I was working for a company before Matchbook when we moved to Boston. I didn't love it. I started becoming just unhappy.

At some point, I wrote down the things that I thought I was really good at and loved, the things that I hated and those that I don't want to do. That's how I came up with Matchbook as an idea. All the things I loved were connecting people, we're driving better outcomes and seeing it through. It was balancing and deciding that Matchbook was the perfect job for me, and created that because I didn't think it existed.

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The thing that comes to mind as I think, change your environment and change your mind. That's how all things these come up come about. Just a little shift will make a big difference.

Given that example with that executive, I thought my company was going to fail if I was going to move him out of this role. I literally thought everybody was going to walk out because he hadn't built a lot of the initial foundation. People didn't walk. The company actually did better. Sometimes, we get caught in our own heads that if something changed, things will fall apart.

If you think you are in the wrong space, making that decision faster will allow you to move on faster. Usually, the world doesn't end. When the time it does, you have a chance to just reinvent yourself. It's scary but the benefit of it and the earlier you do it, the more you are going to reap the benefit. You are going to wonder, “Why did I never do this?”

I know people who had hip surgery who waited years before they did it and finally, they get it done. They were like, “Why did I not do this years ago?” It’s the same analogy. If you have a chance to do something about the situation that you are in, if you are in a good situation, keep it going. What's the next thing that's coming at you that you want to be challenged with and write?

I wrote on my phone what I wanted. The milestones of my company that I wanted. They are pretty aggressive. I want to IPO at $8 billion minimum. That's my goal. I say minimum because it could be $15 billion. Who knows? I want to put something that's achievable that could go higher. What do I want for myself? Part of that text that I wrote to myself in a note was also about my relationship. I want to still be married. I want to be happily married. I want to be involved with my kids. I want them to find something that they are passionate about and support them. It's not just monetary or KPIs around my business. It’s about personal. What do I want in the next years? I believe if you write it down, it happens.

You’ve got to set goals for yourself that scare you a little bit, then it starts moving you towards it. I could go on for hours. There are so many great things that we could talk about. I have a question. What have you learned about yourself that you want to share with people? One last lesson that you have learned from your journey that you want to share.

I already said it, trust my instincts. For part of my childhood, being my parents divorced when I was little, I was in summer camps and boarding school. I had no choice but to fend for myself. That allowed me to define who I am and be comfortable with that. When you are going to business and you are seeing people have built companies, I was easily impressed when I started this company. Other CEOs of tech companies that were more advanced than I was impressed me.

In the later stage of the company, I started meeting those founders and CEOs. I was not as impressed because they were not gods. They were humans like you and me, and they were making mistakes. Some exited where I would have not wanted that exit and some failed. There's a guy that I was looking up to, that has been doing so much for the community, shut the doors of his company. They raised $16 million. I thought like, “How does he raise so much capital?”

There's always something that's going to break and you have to see it before it does.

This company was all over the news here in Canada. It’s the $2 B Shopify and they closed their doors in 2020. It's stressing but when I look back, I’m like, “We are doing pretty well.” I am part of a group of founders, and we are cheering and helping each other. It's realizing that we all go through our own journey. I asked myself, “Am I the right CEO for the company?” The answer is yes. As long as I learn fast enough to do things, I don't make mistakes again, and I'm transparent with my board and my executive team. It works.

The time where I'm going to feel like I'm in it over my head if that happens is to recognize it. What are the leading indicators of that and be able to say, “Put a plan together.” I'm up for the challenge of being a CEO for a while. It would be awesome to IPO and be a female founder of a tech company, especially being here in Canada. Although we do have a lot of people in the US and most of our customers are global, that would be incredibly rewarding. Hopefully, inspiring for my kids. It's good to be self-aware of where your limitations are and I will try to keep my eyes open for that.

One of the things that come to mind around running your own race. Don't worry about what other people are doing. Ultimately as you run your own race, you surpass your own expectations of what you can possibly achieve. You are living proof of all of that. One last question, what are 1 or 2 books that have had an impact on you and why?

Three books came to mind as we started chatting. I had to come up with a couple of books. One is Trillion Dollar Coach. I'm sure you have read that. As a coach, it's pretty inspirational how you have to care about the people that are in your company. Having that care allows you to attract the best talent and retain talent. My entire executive team got a copy.

Another book is a tiny little book that my first boss ever gave me. It's about little things that make a big difference. In that book was saying that the words that you use, you can never take them back, so be really thoughtful with your words. I would say that to my kids. You say something and it just seems the right thing to say because you are angry or something, you can never take what you say back.

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If you are hurtful or you don't mean something, make sure that you think about it before you say it because those words will stay with someone else. If you are going to commit to something, just go 100%. The last one is completely random. It's called The Orenda by Joseph Boyden. It's a Canadian book. It's about the first nation indigenous community at a time where there were incredibly sophisticated.

We have a cottage and I was looking at a documentary that said, “The first nations were in that land for 10,000 years.” We messed it up for them. For hundred years, we completely blew it. To me, something that has existed for so long that was as sophisticated as it was is gone that fast. The message there is around don't get complacent.

Don't assume because something has been around for a long time is worked for a long time that there are no threats around that could be disruptive. We are seeing disruption coming from all angles so don't get comfortable. If I get comfortable, I'm like, “Something is wrong.” There's always something that's going to break. It's typically you have to see it before it does. If you identify it, you need to change it really fast. That's part of being agile and resilient.

Startups are really good at that. If your team or your leader, and you are feeling complacency and people are not comfortable with change, just get a startup team to come in and inspire. Honestly, you will hear the pace, what they have to go through in the day, the ups and downs. The realities of the constant change, you are just going to inject some inspiration into your team to say like, “What’s the art of the possible if you open your mind to a different framework or way of thinking?” That was my wisdom.

It's quite some wisdom. I'm really inspired, thrilled, and honored that I had you on the show. This has been such an amazing time with you. Thank you so much for coming.

Thank you for having me.

I want to make sure that people know where to find you. What's the best place for people to learn more about you and maybe even the company?

Tealbook.com if you are interested in learning more about the company itself. I'm very active on LinkedIn. I do publish a lot on supply chain, disruption and procurement data. If you want to geek out with me, you can connect and comment or reach out to me directly. If you want to learn about me more personally, I'm on Instagram. My profile is public. It's more family, friends, the other side of my personality. Those are three ways that you can learn more.

Your passion for the supply chain is palpable. It echoes through. Thank you so much for sharing all of that. Thank you, everyone, for coming on the journey. As you can see, there's so much here. You are leaving with so many great insights and things to be actionable on. Thank you again.

Thank you, Tony.

Important Links:

About Stephany Lapierre

VCP 149 | Innovation And LeadershipStephany Lapierre is the Founder/CEO of Tealbook, a highly coveted supply chain thought leader and one of the most influential minds in emerging data technologies. She has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in Supply Chain, and her company, Tealbook, has both been named a Top 50 company to watch by Spend Matters and won the Cool Vendor Award by Gartner.

Prior to Tealbook, Stephany spent 10 years building a successful strategic sourcing and procurement consulting firm focusing on large-scale sourcing optimization projects. Given her experience and visibility into the data issues crippling procurement she has made it her mission is to deliver a ‘Trusted Source of Supplier Data’ to an ever-growing eProcurement space. Currently, Tealbook is the only Big Data company that provides a self-enriching and self-maintaining mechanism to fix enterprise supplier data, forever.

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