Category: Innovation

Diversity of Thought Results in Higher Performing Teams

Lisa GuessBy Lisa Guess, VP of Systems Engineering, Juniper Networks

“That person just isn’t a good cultural fit…”  

Have you ever heard this phrase when a panel interviews a candidate for a job? Or worse yet, have you ever uttered this phrase yourself? While cultural fit can be an important factor, too often it is used as a way to avoid hiring someone who thinks differently than the group.

Yet when we choose only those we are most comfortable with, we end up with extremely homogeneous teams where everyone thinks the same way. The team doesn’t challenge popular assumptions and devolves to “groupthink,” where the desire for consensus and conformity results in inferior decision-making and outcomes.   Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Embrace the Unknown, Innovation, Success & Leadership Tagged , |

Free Teleclass | Tap the Hidden Forces That Influence People

Jonah BergerTap the Hidden Forces That Influence People
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
10:00-10:30am Pacific

Eventbrite - Tap the Hidden Forces That Influence People (Free Teleclass with Jonah Berger) Read More

Posted in Teleclass Signups, Communication Skills, Innovation Tagged , |

Junk Gypsy Jolie Sikes’ Advice for Entrepreneurial Free Spirits

Jolie SikesWhat do you do when you realize that the corporate life just isn’t your jam? When you’re Jolie Sikes or her big sister Amie, co-founders with their mom of Junk Gypsy, you hit the road, hightailing it out of Houston and Austin, respectively—and keep driving for 15 years.

Of course, they weren’t aimlessly roaming Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. They were scouring flea markets and roadsides for discarded treasures that they could fix up and resell. “It was Mom’s idea and her $2,000 stash for the slot machines that we used at first,” says Sikes. “She said, ‘Let’s just go to Canton [where there’s a giant four-day flea market every month] with open minds and figure out what we can do.’” Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Embrace the Unknown, Innovation, Life on Your Terms, Marketing Yourself & Your Small Business, Small Business, Transitions Tagged , , |

Podcast | Increase Your Productivity with the Secret Power of Visual Note Taking

Heather WillemsCan you really draw your way to success? Heather Willems, co-founder of ImageThink and co-author of Draw Your Big Idea will prove you can in this 30-minute talk where she explains the secret power of visuals for achieving your goals in the workplace. Willems offers techniques to harness your creativity and master success using nothing more than your basic drawing skills. Learn how to clarify complex ideas, spark creativity, solve problems and propel your productivity to the next level—all from picking up a pen.

Download the companion PDF and then click Play below to listen.
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Posted in Conference Sessions, Communication Skills, Innovation, Podcasts Tagged |

Free Teleclass | Increase Your Productivity with the Secret Power of Visual Note Taking

Heather WillemsIncrease Your Productivity with the Secret Power of Visual Note Taking
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
10:00-10:30am Pacific

Eventbrite - Increase Your Productivity with the Secret Power of Visual Note Taking (Free Teleclass with Heather Willems)

Download the companion PDF to follow along and practice with Heather.
Read More

Posted in Teleclass Signups, Communication Skills, Innovation Tagged , |

Trade Secrets of a Tech-Savvy Entrepreneur

Stanard, Tiffanie

A word to the wise: If you ever take a meeting with Tiffanie Stanard, make sure you’re fully caffeinated. The marketing and branding strategist and CEO of Prestige Concepts in Philadelphia talks fast, thinks faster—and does what most people consider a full morning’s slate (i.e., sends emails to current, past and prospective clients, updates her to-do list, prepares for meetings and exercises) before she has even arrived at her office. Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Communication Skills, Innovation, Marketing Yourself & Your Small Business, Small Business Tagged , |

What to Do about Gender Inequality in the Sciences?

Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code, was interviewed for the movie.

Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code, was interviewed for the movie.

By Christina Smedley, Vice President for Global Brand and Communications, PayPal
 
You’ve heard it before: there aren’t enough women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. Computer science is an industry dominated by men. Female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies lag behind their counterparts by a 1:20 ratio.

According to NPR, it hasn’t always been this way. In 1984, the percentage of women in computer science flattened, and then declined dramatically, even as the share of women in other technical and professional fields kept rising.
 
So what are we, at PayPal, doing to change the statistics? For one, we’re supporting content that sheds light on the issues and encourages dialog and progress.
 
The documentary “Code: Debugging the Gender Gap,” directed and produced by Tracy Hauser Reynolds, premiered at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival in April to a large audience, and garnered an overwhelmingly positive reception. The film explores reasons that more American women and minorities do not pursue careers in computer science, despite high demand and lucrative job opportunities. “Code” features expert voices like White House Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith, Pinterest Software Engineer Tracy Chou and CTO of Twitter Adam Messinger, among others. PayPal is proud to be a sponsor of such an important initiative.
 
The documentary asks the question: what would society gain from having more women and more minorities code? We know that diversity helps the bottom line: According to research by Catalyst, companies with more women board directors experience higher financial performance, and diversity at all levels can surely help companies look at problems from multiple angles. “Code” is about imagining a world with greater equality and envisioning the power of women in forces. For this reason, go see “Code,” but more importantly, be a part of the ongoing movement to get girls involved in coding and start narrowing the gap.
 
What else can we do to narrow the gap? Tell me at @smedleyus and check out my blog at windoworaisle.net

Sponsored By:

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Posted in Uncategorized, Speaker Articles, Innovation

Cultivating a Work Culture of Innovation

MA_Boston-Scientific-270x300By Jennifer Veilleux, Sr. Manager, Corporate Citizenship, Boston Scientific Corporation

While people may traditionally think innovation only happens in a science lab or at the desk of an engineer, innovation has become ubiquitous. In today’s business environment, every employee is expected to innovate. Innovation isn’t just inventing or improving products—innovation is thinking beyond the expected to improve all aspects of business. In the words of Albert Einstein, “If you do what you always did, you will get what you always got.” At Boston Scientific, we never settle for the status quo.  Meaningful innovation is a core value, and we live it every day in many different ways.

A Unique Brainstorming Challenge

The Boston Scientific Women’s Network, which promotes the professional development of women to enable them to thrive and contribute to the success of the business, recently held an “Innovation Challenge” workshop that encouraged participants to think about applying meaningful innovation to solve business challenges. David Bee, vice president of development systems, kicked off the session with a discussion about the evolution of innovation—what it looked like yesterday, and what it may look like tomorrow. David emphasized, “You don’t have to be an engineer to be innovative, [because] innovation takes on many forms and exists everywhere.”

Participants were divided into teams and then led through a series of stations set up in the Marlborough Collaboratory (an unconventional, free-flowing meeting space), to brainstorm possible solutions to three actual business challenges: how to make meetings more effective, how to develop a best-in-class mentoring program and how to improve collaboration across functions, divisions, sites and countries. Facilitators helped guide the discussions. During report-out sessions, each team presented three to four innovative approaches to address each business challenge. The participants will come together again to discuss the proposed approaches and select those they expect can have the greatest impact if implemented.

Women’s Network executive sponsor Joanna Engelke, senior vice president of global quality, wrapped up the session with this thought: “We have a deep pool of talent right here in this room. We have the resources and passion to drive improvement and everyone can contribute.”

A Venture-Style Approach

The Innovation Challenge is just one example of how Boston Scientific actively engages its employees in innovation. Earlier this year, Boston Scientific announced the creation of the ImagineIF Innovation Fund, a venture-style approach to bringing breakthrough ideas to life. Since its launch, ImagineIF has received more than 350 unique employee-created ideas  from across the company. These ideas are aimed at improving what we deliver, how we deliver, and how we operate. Thirteen of those ideas received funding and executive support.

Fostering Innovation for All

In the words of President and CEO Mike Mahoney: “We are on a cultural journey to inspire and expand meaningful innovation. Everyone can be an innovator, regardless of role.” Boston Scientific hires top talent and fosters a never-ending passion for innovation and new ideas across all of its business units. We’ve seen that to build a culture of innovation in the workplace, you need to follow these five steps:

  1. Encourage continuous learning to develop and improve skills in order to perform effectively and adapt to change.
  2. Empower decision-making at all levels to show that innovation is truly the responsibility of every employee.
  3. Support risk taking, within reason, and apply the lessons learned from both successes and failures.
  4. Enable global collaboration with physical and virtual workspaces conducive to the informal and spontaneous sharing of thoughts.
  5. Establish a value system that rewards innovative contributions and accomplishments.

You have heard the term “disruptive innovation,” those ideas that disrupt traditional methods of building and discovery. It is in the moment of breaking things where true innovation finds itself most comfortable. Whether you work for a law firm, small business, or large corporation—you too can innovate in your role, change the way you think, collaborate with colleagues and redefine your future. We encourage everyone to think about innovation as a journey for all, not an experience for a chosen few.

Sponsored By:

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Posted in Speaker Articles, Innovation

ENCORE: Courageous Innovation™: Innovating in Your Organization, Your Team and Your Career

How do some companies innovate quickly and easily while others struggle with slow-moving decisions and missed market opportunities? After over 5,000 interviews across organizations in all industries and from around the globe, results reveal the defining characteristic of successfully innovating cultures is courage. How do organizations create courageous cultures and ignite the innovation within teams? How do we as leaders create courageous innovation within our work groups and our own careers? We’ll explore the answer to these questions and others through this provocative session with women who have created innovation both within their organizations and in their careers. Read More

Play
Posted in Conference Sessions, Innovation, Breakout Session Tagged , , , , , , |

Courageous Innovation™: Innovating in Your Organization, Your Team and Your Career

Listen to a complete audio recording of this 2015 breakout session below.

How do some companies innovate quickly and easily while others struggle with slow-moving decisions and missed market opportunities? After over 5,000 interviews across organizations in all industries and from around the globe, results reveal the defining characteristic of successfully innovating cultures is: courage. How do organizations create courageous cultures and ignite the innovation within teams? How do we as leaders create courageous innovation within our work groups and our own careers? We’ll explore the answer to these questions and others through this provocative session with women who have created innovation both within their organizations and in their careers. Read More

Play
Posted in Conference Sessions, Innovation, Breakout Session Tagged , , , , , , |
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