One of the biggest lessons we have learned from the pandemic is the capability to adapt quickly to sudden changes as well as the importance of resiliency. Nevertheless, it is that mindset of creativity, innovation and openness for uncertainty that allow us to go with the flow, adapt effortlessly and be ready for the pivots in business and life we can’t control. While highly structured, rigid companies had to go into survival mode, innovative companies have seized the adversity, transforming it into new opportunities.
Organizations have their own ways of fostering a culture of innovation. In some, innovation comes from the leadership team where founders and officers lead the way and are the main voice. At Wovenware, our culture of innovation is driven by everyone. We have created the environment for this culture to grow organically giving employees the forum to present their ideas and own their critical thinking. This culture causes a rippling effect across our teams.
One of the initiatives I nurtured in house two years ago was the AI Think Club. The club was a space where the data science team met to discuss topics and debate ideas. Every Friday afternoon, one team member prepared and presented a topic of his/her interest related to AI. That space has sparked valuable debates. The fact that the club met at the end of the week had an effect on the team as they would go home infused with energy and curiosity. On Mondays, the morning coffee break sometimes was related to weekend discoveries inspired by the session.
The idea for the club came from the famous “Journal Club” where Berkeley Labs scientists would meet for two hours a week to discuss ideas during the era of the verge of big science. The members of these meetings included Nobel Laurates like Ernest Lawrence, Glenn Seaborg, Robert Oppenheimer and even Enrico Fermi. In our case, we have not yet made a science- changing discovery but the club has been the space where ideas have turned into concepts which eventually turned into valuable software assets for the company. Most importantly, that space gave us a bubble to be crazy, creative and embrace the idea that it’s good to be one of the crazy ones.
Today we are incorporating human-centric design practices into our project life cycles, since they are crucial components to our ability to grow that spirit of innovation in our culture and relationships with clients. This moment in time is the right one for us to extend the intention, curiosity and energy that flourished from the AI Think Club across the entire enterprise.
Next month we will start the new the WOC, Wovenware Think Club beginning new sessions enterprise wide to cover topics that converge disciplines and lead to solving problems and new challenges that are around today. By nurturing a culture of innovation and discovery the possibilities become endless.
Look for future blogs, as we will continue to write about our practices, culture and how these have been augmented with service design.