In the lead up to our 5th innovation week, Silverstripe welcomed Brett Holland and Pritesh Patel to talk to our staff. Innovation Week is an opportunity for all staff member at Silverstripe to step away from their daily work to experiment with edgy and innovative new ideas.
Brett Holland is Chief Innovation Officer at CreativeHQ in Wellington, New Zealand. Brett and the team at CreativeHQ support start-ups from all over New Zealand to innovate and bring their ideas to market. Silverstripe was one of the first start-ups to go through the Creative HQ incubator 20 some years ago.
Brett shared many useful tools and frameworks that he uses with start-ups with us. This included:
- approaches to balancing the personalities on your team
- where to focus team time
- overall learning and validation process
- how to identify and define a vision
- how to refine a problem statement with a problem canvas.
Brett's talk gave us a lot to think about and we look forward to trying out some of the tools he showcases in our own Innovation Week projects.
Pritesh Patel heads up Digital Natives NZ at Google. He talked to us about the culture of innovation at Google and how it contribute to Google’s vision of Organising the world’s information and making it universally accessible and useful.
Pritesh went through the 10 Googley pillars that foster a culture of innovation. At the top of the list, he highlighted:
- Psychological safety, to create a space where risk taking is encouraged and failures are accepted.
- Focus on the user and falling in love with the problem.
- Innovation through high-risk-high-reward Moonshot projects.
Pritesh provided some concrete approaches innovators can take. For example, when looking at why something went wrong blame the systems, rather than individuals. This creates an environment where everyone can acknowledge mistakes and work to build solutions to remedy them.
Pritesh also presented an interesting allegory Google X uses when tackling very complex problems. If you are tasked with teaching a monkey to recite Shakespeare atop a pedestal, what would you focus on first? Most people would be tempted to do the easy part first (e.g.: building the pedestal). Pritesh explained that you should focus on Tackling the Monkey because validating or invalidating the hard part first will tell you whether it’s worth taking the project forward.
Pritesh’s wisdom will help us take our projects forward beyond Innovation Week.
We were delighted to hear what Brett and Pritesh had to say. We’re feeling excited about the week of innovation and experimentation that lies ahead of us. We look forward to sharing the benefits of our projects with our customers and the Open Source community.