What Is Process Innovation Challenge (PIC) – Dave Ruane From XTM International

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Innovation in localization? Check. Did you know we have the PIC – Process Innovation Challenge? Dave Ruane from XTM International will tell you about the contest inspired by Dragon’s Den / Shark Tank.

Welcome to part 1 of our interview where you’ll learn about:

  • What’s Process Innovation Challenge (PIC)
  • Why you should participate in this contest
  • Tips to pitch your innovations more effectively
  • Can anyone be an innovator?
  • The one thing missing in most presentations
  • How to foster a culture of innovation in your company
  • Innovate like…. a rat?!

This is episode 40 of my social practice, also known as The Localization Podcast 🙂 #localization​ and #translation​ insight delivered to you by the power of voice, this time with Dave Ruane.

⏲️ Timestamps ⏲️
0:00 – Intro
03:42 – Origins of PIC, The benefits for you
13:30 – Sharing ideas, Improving your pitch, Voting
30:14 – Dragons, Tough questions, Culture of innovation


Andrej Zito 

Dave, welcome to the podcast.

Dave Ruane 

Thank you very much. Andrej. It’s very nice to be here.

Andrej Zito 

How are you doing, man? pretty well. Yeah. Where exactly are you located?

Dave Ruane 

I’m in the southwest of Spain, and very cold Kenny’s race on the Atlantic coast.

Andrej Zito 

But you’re not Spanish, right?

Dave Ruane 

I haven’t been called Spanish. Yes. I’m from Dublin originally. And I’ve been living in Spain 17 years. But I’m born and bred from Dublin in Ireland.

Andrej Zito 

What was the reason for you to move to Spain?

Dave Ruane 

Well, love on one side, and quality of life on the other. And a few other bits and bobs in between. And since I’ve been here, the reasons keep piling up. Because the sun, the climate, the food, the the way of living, is quite fantastic. In all of Spain, I think,

Andrej Zito 

yes, yes, I also relocated from Czech Republic to Barcelona, at some point in my life. But for me, it was more about like going away from Czech Republic rather than going to a specific place in the world, and happened to be Barcelona because Alfa had an office there. Were you working for when you were moved to Spain,

Dave Ruane 

I was working for one of the language service providers in the industry lionbridge. And I was working on the technical side of things. So that time, it was leading a team of engineers, who were working on localization projects, to basically build, fix, deliver completed projects, many of them software at the time. So run that time, in the army, northeast, we’re still dealing with a lot of software, in the localization workflow. And then, since then, while there’s still quite a lot of software, that the effort required to do this a lot less because processes and technologies have come to play, and build in a lot more automation.

Andrej Zito 

So what I’m wondering is how you got into localization, like in the first place?

Dave Ruane 

Yeah, well, I’ve been localization, 25 years. And I, it was the first industry I joined, strangely enough. But it all started back in Dublin, when at the time, many folks like me who had been involved in engineering, or electronics or computer science, were looking for jobs in computer software. And so I got a job in testing localized software and content, Dublin, the 90s, just to paint the picture, was really virgin in Software Center, really just at the green shoots side, but a lot of global companies are setting up their European HQ is there. So you have the likes of Microsoft, Intel, Lotus, Sun Microsystems, and many others. So for engineers coming out of college was a great landscape. And so I worked in localization and localization technology for the next eight years or so, predominantly,

Andrej Zito 

when we had our introduction call, we discussed that we will mainly talk about PIC process innovation challenge in this interview. So can you maybe describe pick to the people who are not familiar with it?

Dave Ruane 

Yeah, surely, it kind of goes back a little bit to one of the things we did when I was involved in running engineering teams was we shared smart ideas with each other. And, you know, invariably, we’re all working on slightly different projects for different customers. But there are some similarities, procedures, in fund management, build procedures, things like that. I remember very clearly, many occasions where I was talking to one team member who was struggling to solve a problem with a build, and then their neighbor would overhear and say, Oh, I have a script to solve that. And then the other one would say, why don’t you tell me that three weeks ago, it kind of from that point, we all realized that we really good to have a kind of a, an automation forum to discuss and share innovations that one person had built that could be helpful to another. So this is the kind of originating idea of the pick. That sometimes we don’t realize how great whenever ideas or innovations is, or can be for other people, then jump forward 20 years and I met bowler caymus from luck world luck Institute, that their event in Montreal we got talking about innovation, and my idea of connecting innovators and share this knowledge and he gave me a place to run it and it really start From there, so what is the PIC us it’s really a platform for people to share their innovation to the audience. And the way we do it, we try and do it in a smart way, giving innovators an opportunity to pitch their proposals, and try and get shortlisted to join the event. When they get to the event, whether it’s online or live at a physical event, they have four minutes to pitch their idea. So it’s really a pitching competition, it feels like a little bit like Dragon’s Den, or Shark Tank, depending where you watch your television. And you’ll get the idea. We’re not as nasty, maybe, as they can be on some of those programs. And we try and create an environment where innovators, many of whom would be more introverted in their approach, to give them an opportunity and platform stage and the support to, you know, pitch in there in the four minutes they have and get their ideas out as best as they can. Because sometimes, you have to really chip away at the rock to see the Golden Nugget inside. And that’s really what we’ve seen and why we set this up in the first place.

Andrej Zito 

mentioned that it’s a platform for connecting innovators. Who do you consider an innovator To me it sounds like, like by default, if I think about like the stereotype of an innovator, it’s kind of like an engineer, like a techie person who created some tech innovation. But I remember, I was doing one one coverage of I think Slater’s article, where the winner was somebody who changed the process. I think she said, like, there’s no source text, like we are not translating based on source text, but we are like recreating something.

Dave Ruane 

Yeah, that was Julia turgidity, from moniece. 2019, right. And it’s, it’s actually one of my favorites, innovations, although I don’t have favorites. I’m a bit of an innovation geek. So I tend to like the vast majority of innovation. And it was exactly it, there was a concept an idea. And but then, unusually, to a large degree, there was the data to back it up to show that actually, it made sense to do this. And as you said, her concept was that instead of using source text, as the source for translation for certain types of user interface, pieces, specifically on mobile applications, what she found was when you used a description of the concept, and gave that to translators, then they were able to use the correct side of the brain, the creative side, to actually create better localized copy. That’s the concept in nutshell. And she had proven and shown the results of the percentage gain and growth of the applications interest. So it wasn’t just oh, you know, it looks better. And we like it better actually had impact on the footprint that application was able to create and grow. So as I said, she had the data to back it up. And so it was a fantastic concept and idea. And I know, many people who saw it actually got this is something that we should consider seriously, rather than something which is maybe limited in its applicability.

Andrej Zito 

Why do you think people should participate or apply for this competition?

Dave Ruane 

There are many different reasons. And we’ve had people who have a concept idea at an early stage or late stage, and we get a whole mix of things from technology, processes, you mentioned conceptual technology, ideas with data, you know, the whole plethora of things that can come true. And we see, you know, what is the common vein that’s running through here, it’s that you have people who either know their idea is getting out there, or they want to share this idea and see if someone else has faced similar problem and dealt with in a similar way. So they’re trying to, you know, Shine a light to see who else is maybe got some common ground that they can then have fun on cushions on or we have people who have been building something. No, it works and want some guidance and validation from the community, from the industry, and in particular, most innovators who pitch that’s what they will get immediately. It’s some level of validation, commentary. And we provide guidance before the event, crew, or advisory board, and our process dragon switcher, basically, and the guides, and the folks who are asking the harder questions to innovators, but also helping them prepare. And that in itself, having someone who’s, you know, independently and openly providing you with feedback on your idea. Remember, a lot of ideas that we come up with innovations are very personal, and they’re ours. And we don’t necessarily want to share them with the world. Because we want to avoid rejection, or maybe don’t feel it’s up up to the level that’s needed. So all of these things come in play, what we say is well put your proposal in, we’ll have a look. And if we feel that there’s marriage, dentists that will try and help you to, to bring it on, where we can give you an opportunity to pitch us not to pick stage. And it’s very much, you know, we look at it as just an abundance attitude approach to finding innovations, because many of them stay hidden, just because of that fear factor, right. So it’s a little bit time to dissolve. But then we have others who are quite mature, very smart technologies. We had one a couple of years ago who submitted and didn’t make it true to the funding round was not very happy about it, because they believed and knew that they had a great innovation. And I got talking to that person. And I explained to them, well, we didn’t really get enough information from you to be able to understand what was the core innovation piece and the applicability. So there’s some missing elements in the the proposal, a person went away, came back the next year, proposed to us again, got shortlisted and won the competition. So it’s alright, sometimes it’s obvious how innovative your idea can be. And it’s obvious to everyone else, but more time, it’s not obvious to everyone else. So having a platform like this, where you have to position this in a way that, as I say to people, sometimes like if a 10 year old, can’t understand that, then you have a little bit of work to do. And they’re, you know, many people have said to us a data loan has been of great value to where they had to re evaluate how they are proposing and pitching their whole concept to fit into the pic. And by doing that, they learnt a lot about what was important in the idea really wasn’t. If you four minutes, you can’t put in the the 32 slides, and the intros and all of that stuff, right. You have to just get it and the bare key. Two points. And that’s it. You know, you have time to do that, and very little else. So it really gets us to focus in on what’s important.

Andrej Zito 

One thing that I’m curious about, and when you were talking about abundance, there’s usually abundance of ideas, but many people are still protective about their ideas. So how do you think about like confidentiality when it comes to ideas? Because I think one of the reasons why people are afraid to talk about like fear of rejection or turning down judgment. What if I think I come up with something revolutionary, and I want to share with publicly at a very early stage, because I think that some other people might persist in the idea?

Dave Ruane 

Yeah, absolutely understandable. Like what I would say to people as well. Where do you want to go in that tightrope? Do you want to maintain your IP completely until you know, some? Something magic happens? And then I think running? Or do you want to test enough of what you can show to an audience to probably be pretty dead on the money in terms of target audience and people who can give you very valid feedback. So I see it as a kind of give and take situation where in most cases when we’ve had people bring that up, but we’ve said as well, you don’t have to share anything that is IP. You want the innovation to be seen as innovators. But you don’t have to go through the nuts and bolts of it. In fact, that discussion with innovators tends to be about moving away from going into the all of the details and focusing in more on the key outcomes impacts the effects of the innovation, the applicability of it, and then the core innovative concept and why is it innovative, what does Do that’s innovative, and rather than a lot of the other bells and whistles, so if you keep the focus on why is it innovate? What is the innovation, it tends to focus on the issues around IP and sharing information that you may not want to end. When it comes down to the pitch itself, we found that the people actually get into Storify knows a little bit more, and talk about the actual impact for users and the impact for people who can gain something from him. And that, you know, you know, doesn’t normally cover any IP, when you when you go down that route.

Andrej Zito 

You mentioned some of the improvements that you suggested to the people who are pitching their ideas like how to make the pitch better, and fit within the four minutes. What are the other tips that you would say, for the people who want to apply to think about in their in their pitch

Dave Ruane 

deck? You know, I think it’s goes back to the old argument of what would you use? Or what would resonate to a potential user of your innovation? Right? What would they like to see if you were wearing the shoes of someone who’s going to use that innovation? What would you like to see being proposed? What elements would you highlight? And I think it goes back to, you know, simple kinds of structures when you talk about solutions and problems. One is, well, what is the challenge that the solving? What is the need that is serving? And so if you start with, and then move into, well, why is that important? To sounds that need? or fix that challenge? You know, how big is the hole? Once you scope that stuff out? Then you can actually explain? Okay, well, this is how we we then solve or we fill in that hole. And this is what it does, a little bit about how it does it. And then here’s how it benefits users and the applicability of it. doing that, or using a similar kind of structure to showing the innovation covers, it takes most of the boxes, right? It’ll take the ROI box. On benefits, it’ll take the How big is the problem? Is it worth solving those kind of boxes, and then after that, you can get as detailed as you want on what are the potential, you know, cost value arguments to do with the innovation, but if you follow that simple kind of assumption for a minute, you can do little else, but people do it very effectively. And they they build a story into it to really engage the audience and with the pick at the moment. And really, what we do is we have the audience cast votes. And so the audience and the dragons, and normally you have three dragons will cast votes, and then determine how you get on and who wins the process innovation of the Year award. And that’s, you know, part of the fun and a little competitive element to it. But it’s not really a competition, just with that end, right. It’s more about going through that process. And we’ve had people who had asked us about that, that they really didn’t feel competitions were for them. And we’re questioning whether they should submit their innovation and our arguments and discussion with them tends to be well, you know, the competition is just part of it. That’s the head fake. The actual going true with this is going to help you understand how your innovation, whether it’s an innovation that has value for other people, and you can determine it in a safe and comfortable environment, because you’re not alone, you have other innovators in the same situation potentially as them. So that’s how we kind of get around. And that’s where we find, and particularly with folks who may be more introverted who tend to make it a bit of a generalization here, but tend to have fantastic ideas of very deep thinking ideas. That enabling them to have a platform as well as anyone else.

Andrej Zito 

You talked about how the process of voting goes that there’s also involvement of the community. And also you have the dragons. How is that how do you value the the votes of each individual party like let’s say the audience versus the dragons to the dragons have like a powerful, more powerful votes.

Dave Ruane 

We do weighted slightly, but every vote counts. And normally in the voting stack, we’re dealing with somewhere between Under 200 votes in total. That’s typically the audience that we’re talking to. Then we do have a waiting for the dragons. But the the audience still has the majority of the the voting waste, let’s say. So we continue to evolve that. But it’s actually, we believe, fairly open and fair. And gives every audience member a chance to, to pick the innovator they’re interested in. Yeah,

Andrej Zito 

yeah, let’s talk about the obvious inspiration from Dragon’s Den or Shark Tank. And besides the publicity, in this shows, it’s also about getting the investment from dragons. And he also mentioned that some of the ideas that could come pitch for pic can be also early stage. So are you eventually thinking? Or is it already possible that people could be looking for actual investment to kickstart their idea?

Dave Ruane 

Yeah. Apart from the kind of mentorship gains, the growth gains, and all of those things, the biggest game for people to get involved is visibility, and being seen by the community seen on this platform, but seen by people at the event and their poster. For winners, they get part of the prize, whereas further visibility true things like multilingual magazine, supported in the past. And that is, I think, for a lot of the innovators, it’s incredibly valuable, and important. And in fact, we hear from innovators all the time who’ve been in the event, both participants and folks who’ve done well in the event. And just given us an indication of how valuable it was to that, you know that they grew their contact base with other innovators, they grew their contact base with potential customers, they added customers over time they turn those leads into sale, they were spotted by other groups, build partnerships, all of these things have happened as a direct result of the PIC. And we had one case recently from a winner last year, who told us that the PIC was, in her words, a key part of them being able to pivot their focus where their technology, which has to do with video dubbing world AI within video dubbing where their technology should be pitched. And I gave them a contact list. They didn’t have prospects. I know they’ve closed deals. And it’s been part of multi million dollar revenue, revenue growth for them under a very favorable Senate. That is as a result of pick, which we were a bit aghast by were saying, Well, you know, we’d like to think we’re doing okay. But when you hear stories like that, it just validates for us that, yeah, this platform has a place. And for certain people, it can really be very valuable. But we hear stories like that all the time and get thank you notes and things like that. We do this on the basis of sticking to the original values that we have for creating and shining the light on innovations, you know, basically enabling smart innovations to be seen in terms of investment, and VNC. And the light. This is something which we feel we can grow into. And we can certainly look at how we can create the link and the relationships there. And it’s something that we’re actively thinking and working on for future PICs.

Andrej Zito 

How do you differentiate an innovation from an already established product? Because I was looking at some some videos that you had on YouTube when you recorded the online sessions. And I think some people were like, there were some new features for Memsource. I think I saw there was Adam with model front, which are things that already existed. So how do you differentiate between I have something new, and I have barely like one customer, maybe I have a beta users testing out my product, versus people who already have their product out there in the market.

Dave Ruane 

Yep. That’s a great point. And we kind of had as a very flat platform for the moment that we did differentiation a couple of years ago where we had two tracks, one which was processed so that kind of an early stage kind of ideas maybe focused more on process or It’s important Protestant directly. And then we have second track technology only. And that was a way for us to kind of split the hairs a little bit. And also to have like minded folks, let’s say, degree, but also with like minded innovations within each of the groups. Now, if that’s, I suppose the starting point, what are the things that would look needs to be addressed, is having similar types of innovation in terms of stage or size compared with each other, and it’s certainly something which we haven’t seen a situation where, you know, the bigger than the best is necessarily one. So we feel that the, the voting and the way we have it, this is quite democratic, in the US, if you’re innovation on the day doesn’t look great or visually isn’t presented as well as other than maybe, even though your innovation might be the best, it might actually do it on the day. In fact, we’ve, one of the things we look at, when we look back is, what does it take to win competition like this? I’m sure having a good innovation is important. But more important is how is that innovation explained and presented? How do people accept it? And we found a good enough innovation presented fantastically well, typically will do better than a fantastic innovation presented, okay. And it’s quite an interesting concept, you know, but that’s part of it. The show showmanship is a priority, and understanding how to communicate to the audience.

Andrej Zito 

It’s an interesting comment, I’m not sure how to ask this, because when you say like, okay, like the, the pitches that, say, appeal to the most people that are entertaining, they can win. But you also said they may not be the best innovation. So it seems like you, you have an indication of what is the best innovation, but it doesn’t win. So what is the best innovation to you.

Dave Ruane 

It may be something that is more innovative, just from the perspective of being innovative, right, so and so underneath that had the best to be seen as the most innovative. My favorite innovations sometimes are the ones that are old innovations applied to a new problem. So it’s recycling, repurpose in an innovation, if you like, and applying it to a new problem. And suddenly people go, Oh, yeah, because that’s just been smart. That’s basically saying, Oh, we don’t have to do this from scratch, we can actually take something that existed. And we can adapt it and apply it to a brand new problem. To me, that’s, you know, innovations by being smart as well. And as much as we would like to create stuff from scratch, if you can, you know, be working on the backs of giants to learn to read the newer plan, the smart game. So I tend to like those those as well.

Andrej Zito 

One of the things that Dragon’s Den that does is that they revisit the innovations after some time, have you ever done something like that?

Dave Ruane 

We do. We, we try and keep an open channel with the innovators from the past. And it’s something that we need to do more of, to be honest. But we do keep in touch, and from time to time checking to see well, how are they getting on? And invariably, it’s also to say, if they have any more innovations, you know, would they like to bring something else to the platform? And you know, remember, we have asked people if they do submit, because shortlisted then, that innovation, as it is, we don’t say proposed again. But that doesn’t mean that that if you have updated parts of it and created a new innovative aspect to the overall technology. Of course, you can submit that again. So there’s a continuous flow, if you like of people continually innovating and then if they want to submit a subsequent version. Now what we would add is that there’s enough additional innovation and to differentiate it from a previous one, but in most cases there is anyway, because innovators innovate.

Andrej Zito 

Let’s talk about the dragons. Who are they and how do you pick them are they like us? Table team of dragons or do you pick different people for each edition of

Dave Ruane 

its recycled? group. So we, we change the dragons. Each version that’s something we’re looking at now is to develop an overall advisory board approach, which we may do in 2021. What dragons tend to change on each version, and then we had some dragons who have been in numerous versions and really been fantastic supporters of the pic. And yeah, the dragons tend to be people who have a good understanding of the industry, from a tech technological and process perspective and have experience you know, dealing to some degree with innovations, but certainly dealing with getting challenges solved, and problem solving.

Andrej Zito 

So, as I understand PIC, use to be done as part of LocWorld. Right before was it in person during the events?

Dave Ruane 

That’s right, it’s, it’s still part of LocWorld. Right now we’re more virtual Of course, right. And it’s part and parcel of the LocWorld agenda. So the next one is going to be the end of January to the 2021. And we’ll be there. And we have a good lineup of people there. But it’s, it’s definitely it’s been a very nice platform for us to work on a news and Loc World have been very good to the PIC.

Andrej Zito 

Two, how did how did you transition PIC to online format?

Dave Ruane 

Yeah, it was actually a lot more straightforward than many of these things, because we asked people to pitch for four minutes. Normally, what we try and do is in a physical event, we would have all of the pitch deck together. And we we create a kind of a fairly fast, fluid event. So once the first innovator gets on stage, they form minutes, they then get asked questions from the audience and dragons, typically the dragons first, and then that’s two minutes. So they’re off stage after seven minutes. And the next room comes on immediately. And we just cycled through that for for all of the innovators who are pitching ideas. So it’s quite lively, it doesn’t, you know, there’s a high level of energy and, and it’s a bit nonstop in the event itself, so that can transfer quite easily to the online world, you know that you, you basically have a very similar format. And then within the hour, we can have six or seven, innovative pitching, then q&a, the next one, and then at the end of it all, we do voting. So we’ve always had to use some kind of digital online voting system, because it’s the audience and the dragons that vote. So we use online voting anyway, at this point, and so that fits just fine with the digital and online events. So actually, it was quite, quite seamless. And to be to be fair, you miss Of course, the reaction from the audience when someone has a tough question to answer, or they do very well. And you know, of course you do. But online, can work in its own way to

Andrej Zito 

do it resume or how do you get the people to the audience to join and participate with the voting?

Dave Ruane 

We’ve used different technologies for the voting. And we’ve used I think slideshow is used when saying, we’ve done direct poll, you know, it’s a couple of nice applications out there that can be used. And, you know, our mantra on this is always, you know, simplify, simplify, you know, make it as easy as possible for people to vote. The function is we want to get the votes in, we then do less than 30 seconds of a discussion and just to validate, and one of the things we always do in the pic is we keep it as independent because we want anybody to feel that they enter it’s absolutely fair, it is very important to maintain that level of independence. So all of those things that we do for voting for shortlisting people, and then the voting system itself is arbitration unfettered and just done right, because at the end of the day, you want the audience and the dragons to have the sight.

Andrej Zito 

You mentioned the pictures answering the tough questions from the dragons. What do you think is like one of the toughest Questions are, what is that? What is the question that the dragons have to ask? Seems like most of the time, so like what is lacking in the individus

Dave Ruane 

applicability tends to come up. So how can we apply this innovation in a real environment? You know, what, what is the value of what, who are the personas, the use cases, for the usage of Atos, that tends to be the area that comes up, you know, almost all of the time, sometimes it’s clarity on the innovation of aspects, you know, why is that innovative? So, the question that gets out? Because it might be that obviously, clear, right, it may be something that the mind of the innovator, they see the innovation, why is it innovative might not be that obvious to the audience. So, I hear that one quite a lot as well those two tend to be leading. And then after that, it’s, you know, it’s the return, you know, have you measured it, at what stages that is deployed as of now, and a little bit more of the tactical detail of where the innovation, that at that point,

Andrej Zito 

speaking about the best, and also the worst, what are the best and worst ideas if you can share in her experience?

Dave Ruane 

Well, it’s hard to judge best of words isn’t as, as it’s very much, from the point of view of the observer, you know, I’m a bit of a geek for innovation. So I like most of our comes in, as I mentioned, mentioned the Julius idea last year, you know, to me, that was, you know, almost a perfect innovation in the way it was centers conceived, then the end game on with the data to show and prove that it worked. The first pic that we did, was quite amazing, we had a visual duel on stage between George Tao from video localize and an engineer from Microsoft. And they’re both in the final. And we had a preliminary round the day before. And this was a localization world, then we told them to come back in the funnel The following day, and both of them worked on their pitches and their videos. Because both of them had some kind of video involvement, real visual pitches the night before, so instead of enjoying themselves at the event, they decided, you know, they’re rigorous, and they created this amazing, spectacular on stage. And unfortunately, one of them had to win. But it was just quite amazing. That was the first pick. And we’ve had moments like that happen all the time. And, you know, we don’t have any worst ideas. But, you know, some have been interesting to see in, you know, how people have formed ideas, or maybe haven’t come full circle and the full idea or the some parts are missing in a, you know, a variably, in idea of mine score, well, we don’t have enough information, right. So it seems like parts are missing, or it may be a direct sale of a product, rather than letting the innovation shine. And we, we just try and guide people on that and always, in the call for papers will say, look, this is kind of what we’re looking for. And in many cases, as I mentioned, innovators have come back after first time not getting true and being successful in subsequent times. And to us, that’s exactly what we want to see. You know, no problem submitting and not getting true. Come back play again. And, you know, we’d be happy to see.

Andrej Zito 

Speaking about innovators, do you think that anyone can innovate?

Dave Ruane 

Yeah. I don’t know if you remember the film, Ratatouille?

Andrej Zito 

I do. Yes. My mom’s favorite. Yes.

Dave Ruane 

Yeah. A great fellow. And, well, anyone can cook was one of the themes and mantras, right? And then I think the not only one could cook but you know, the best cook could come from anywhere. And I think in innovation, it’s I like to think anyone can innovate. And with the best innovations can really come from anywhere. And that’s why we’ve set this up and we work and run the pick every year, a couple of times a year, because we know that there’s innovations there and the innovators there who may be hidden may not have a platform, and this enables them to be seen, and for other people for the audience to see. There’s an innovator there. There’s an amazing innovator right there. And we’ve seen that happen a number of times, and it’s, it’s fantastic when it does, because then you know, that that’s just going to positive energy is going to increase the innovators. Confidence, it’s going to increase their ability to do more innovation, to build on the innovative idea. So yeah,

Andrej Zito 

do you but do you really think that people go to living their day? And they just think about what could be better? Or is it only a few of the people who are trying to look at what could be improved?

Dave Ruane 

I think it’s, it’s more people than we might consider. But it may stop at a certain point and say, well, I’ve too much to be doing, I need to focus here, I’d love to be able to spend time in that. But I really can’t. And then you have other people who just, they see an idea, and they follow a true and they know it, they trusted and they listen to that idea. So it’s it becomes a guiding light for the CIO. Sure, you’ll have differences. But I don’t think you could say that innovation is in a particular, you know, group personality type or anything like that. I think a lot of people have great ideas. And what we’re kind of trying to teach people to do is to follow through, submitted to the platform and and see if how it fits. And, you know, there’s no file nothing lost. Like, oh, this isn’t a situation where anyone’s going to be sent anything, one way or another about your innovation. It’s everything we received, it’s private. We do, as I mentioned, our vetting in confidence. And we don’t let that information out. In fact, we have a policy not to share results, which we think is fair to everybody. So yeah, it’s the absolutely just go for it, give it a shot. And if nothing else, what I will say to anyone who’s kind of thinking, Oh, I have an idea, but I don’t have time, or I said well give it a go with the pick. And what you’ll probably find is that you learn something. So if it’s worth your time to learn something, or connect with somebody you don’t have a connection with and then go first.

Andrej Zito 

If I would take this concept of innovation to a company level, let’s say to the culture, how, how can a company foster the culture of innovation? Like to to, to embrace that people come up with ideas? And they’re not shut down? Or did they follow through? Like you mentioned?

Dave Ruane 

You have to Yeah, so ideas tend to be tough? bottoms up, right? So someone comes up with an idea, and then it’s all How can I apply this and so if you can foster the culture for, like, acceptability and enablement for people to build those ideas, and then that enablement has to come top down, so that, you know, from the very top of an organization, true, the various layers that they enable, and in allow ideas. You know, no matter how the ideas seem to actually have their day in the sun to be validated in some way or to be tested, maybe run proof of concepts and certain ideas, things like that. So you get the bottoms of ideas by enabling the culture top down. I think there’s plenty of, you know, books and approaches that you can take to enabling the culture. But it’s, it’s that simple. If you don’t, at the top of the organization, look to enable a culture of innovation, and see that as an important part of doing business, then it’s very hard for you to actually get the bottoms up innovations to pop up. You’ll see them in certain groups that may be more innovative than others anyway. But you may not see a full culture of innovation and the example I tend to, to use is for Amazon, have an approach to this where they anyone who has an innovative idea or proposal for setting up a product team or anything like that they ask them to write a press release. A pure, basically, that is done published internally in one of the Amazon internal servers for all to see. So these press releases come true each day. And, you know, it can be short enough document release. But the idea is this, that you back your idea enough that you can write a press release for us that you have no problem with anybody in the organization reviewing, of course, you’re going to write a very good press release, you’re going to develop all your ideas, your ROI figures, the whole thing you’re going to get, right. Because anybody in the organization could be seen as In fact, you know, Jeff Bezos, or whoever else in the senior hierarchy of that company, deuces. And they, they then if they see a fantastic idea, and they like the proposal, they pick up the phone or send a message to that person. And in many times, what has happened is, you have a senior VP or someone very high up in the food chain, who says, Look, I’m gonna post x million behind your idea, can you have a concept on my table next Wednesday, and let’s develop this out. So be careful with your ideas on one side, but also, that’s a fantastic opportunity for someone who knows and trusts in their innovative idea that they can actually have support, top down support, and a place to actually show their wares. So at the peak, we, you know, in a smaller way than the Amazon system, we would give a place to show the where, and then we kind of leave it up to the community then to pick up and to like, and follow up on innovations they want to.

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