Jeff Perkins on How to Be a Problem Solver


September 14, 2021

Picture yourself in a parking lot packed full of cars in a downpour. You’re hauling five overstuffed bags in each hand, and you can feel the handles start to give from the dampness. You’re in a sea of bobbing umbrellas and rain jackets, but you can’t see your car…anywhere. Is it over by the lamppost? No, wait, it’s next to the traffic cone. Was the truck parked next to it blue or black? Gaaahhh!!

Being an innovator means finding a relevant problem and trying to solve it in a unique way. In business, that job can be even more daunting. Because let’s face it, putting customers at the bull’s eye of everything we do is hard. It’s ever changing and demands a lot of creativity and flexibility. 

Jeff Perkins is the man behind the brand. He was the chief marketing officer at ParkMobile until his recent promotion to CEO. His marketing background taught him that the most important part of company culture is the people. How can you and your team create a brand of innovators and continue to win? Jeff tells all.

Takeaways from my conversation with Jeff Perkins

To make sure you don’t get stuck in a rut, dedicate time to solving problems. “Twice a year, we give our team a full week to work on whatever they want to work on. We pause the day-to-day of the business and encourage everyone to break into teams and explore some new ideas. We want them to go look at a problem that we know exists and try to figure out how to solve it.

Knowing the problem doesn’t mean you magically know how to fix it. “I do an exercise where I fill in the blank of whatever the biggest challenges are. We are not growing revenue faster because of blank, or we are losing deals because of blank. Once you identify whatever the term in the blank is, that should be where you spend almost a hundred percent of your time. Cut through the noise and focus on doing fewer things and doing them very well.

Let your customers yell at you. If they’re going to be brutally honest, let them. Feedback is one of your most useful tools, so use it. “During COVID, we did a lot of research with our users to hone in on things that they’re looking for in the app that we weren’t delivering. Consumers will be brutally honest with you most of the time when you ask them, especially in the parking world that’s fraught with a lot of frustrations.”

To hear more from Jeff, check out his new book How Not to Suck at Marketing. Look at his jam-packed resource guide, or reach out to him directly if you’d like to talk. Watch the video to get more advice about how to spearhead any challenge and make the world a better place with your business-savvy, problem-solving skills.

About Carla

Carla Johnson Innovation Creativity Speaker Author

Carla Johnson helps leaders who are often paralyzed by traditional thinking. They suffer from slow growth, an eroding competitive advantage, low employee engagement, and depleted investor confidence. Their teams lack purpose and progress and constantly battle a resistance to change and new ideas.

As the world’s leading innovation architect, Carla’s spent 20 years helping leaders shatter limits and discover undiscovered possibilities. Through years of research, she’s developed a simple, scalable 5-step process that teaches people how to consistently produce inspired ideas that lead to uncommon outcomes.