Digital Innovation from Unlikely Sources
Through different practices, disciplines, and hobbies, you start to uncover certain things that tend to be true.
These truths can be applicable to so many facets of life. And by dedicating yourself to uncovering a particular truth, what you discover can then be used for other people.
In this episode of Conquering Chaos, I talk with Tope Sadiku, Global Head of Digital Employee Experience at The KraftHeinz Company, about how to find and fuel innovation from sources you may have considered unlikely.
We also talked about:
– Using learnings from disparate places to solve problems at work.
– Uncovering and sourcing truth with curiosity.
– Discovering innovation through diversity.
– Connecting people to sources of digital information.
Are you ready to start your digital transformation journey? Request a demo today.
Check out the full episode below:
[00:00:00] Josh Santo: Welcome to Conquering Chaos, the show for manufacturing leaders. In each episode, we’re connecting you to the manufacturing leaders of today who are driving the innovations needed to future-proof the operations of tomorrow. If you feel like your time is spent fighting fires and trying to control the everyday chaos, this show is the show for you. My name is Josh Santo. I’ll be your host.
Welcome to today’s show. Today’s guest will challenge you to do something that you may not be comfortable doing, thinking differently. With a background in finance, behavioral science, and more recently technology, and a passion for learning, she’s been able to achieve a significant amount in a relatively short amount of time. In addition to working as the Global Head of Digital Employee Experience at Kraft Heinz, you might find her speaking at events or serving as a board member for a few non-profits. Please, welcome to the show, Tope Sadiku. Tope, thank you for being here.
[00:01:03] Tope Sadiku: Oh, my pleasure. Thanks for having me. Good morning. Oh, good day.
[00:01:07] Josh: That’s all right. I always start with one particular question. We bring in a lot of different guests with a lot of different backgrounds who are currently serving in a lot of different roles. There’s a lot of variety here. I would love to start with what a day in the life of the global head of digital employee experience looks like.
[00:01:26] Tope: A day in the life. I am like a creature of habit, which is the truth. I tend to have a relative consistent structure to any day, whether it’s a Monday, Saturday, or Sunday. Typically, I wake up on a roundabout full 4:30, 4:00 AM, I wake up I do the brain train. I’ll read some articles, consuming a lot of information through LinkedIn. I don’t know these email subscriptions. That’s probably how I spend my first, I don’t know, 30, 40 minutes before I get out of bed, get out of bed, do a two-hour workout every single morning without a shadow of a doubt. It’s something that I’ve embedded into my routine over the last, let’s say, 10 to 15 years.
Then I’ll take the dog for a walk, grab a Starbucks, left my child latte. Typically, I’ll take a call in the morning. I always find that my best hours at anything before 10:00 AM just to be super, super productive. Already today, I’ve done a lot. Yes, that’s always been my morning. Then I break my day down into about two or three different sections. I’ll have a session around about focus deep work in the morning. When it gets towards the later afternoon, I have a bit of creativity time, and then towards the wrap-up of the day is literally just a wrap-up and I go into my second phase. I’m pretty structured in that sense. No matter what day of the week, that’s probably how I spend my first three to four hours. I think I’m incurably curious. I didn’t watch TV, but I consume a lot of content. That is a day in the life of topic. I guess probably you want to know what I do for work too.
[00:02:58] Josh: We could get that. I already feel like the note that I wrote down was get it together, Josh. Going to start getting up earlier and stuff because I’m impressed by the structure, the focus, and the consistency because for me, I know that that’s something that I struggle with is consistency. If you would love to share with us a little bit more about what the working side of things looks like. I think that’s great as well.
[00:03:23] Tope: I said I consume a lot of content because I love research. I call myself a practical academic and I love just what is going on in the world and how can I apply it to what I do. Typically, I’m working on a number of big projects. I’m always trying to connect disparate pieces of information and apply them to things that any different project that my team are working on. Some of them are roundabout like return to office, designing like the workspaces the future, what could it look like if we were to use VR in a collaborative space and extrapolates out the white-collar space, the manufacturing space?
There are a number of different projects because as you can hear, I crumb a lot into my day. I’m continually trying to see where there are synergies and where there are opportunities to leverage something that I’ve either learned or someone that I know in a new space.
[00:04:10] Josh: I love that. Actually, that gets into some of the ideas behind today’s episode. We’re getting into this idea of how you can find and fuel innovation from sources that you make considered unlikely. That was what really stuck out with me when we were first introduced is how you take these learnings and coupled with your own unique perspective on the world, you’re able to say, “How do we challenge what we’re doing today based off this learning, or based off this opportunity?”
I could spend a significant amount of time talking about how there’s so many lessons you can learn from so many different completely unrelated aspects, and then take those into your personal life, but the show is not about me today. I do want to get into some of those things that you are passionate about. You’ve talked about before, not just with me and our pre-show, but some of the opportunities I’ve had to hear you speak.
You’ve talked about your passion for psychology, for digital, even looking at nature as well. It seems like these different topics are some of those ideas that factor into the projects that you pursue and the initiatives that you end up leading. I would love to hear a little bit about these interests and how you successfully draw upon them in your role.
[00:05:25] Tope: I think I’ve always been a curious person when I was a kid. I’m actually quite an introverted person. I guess when I think about introversion, I think about how you’d like to spend time. I really like to spend time on my own just thinking about things and looking around and just wondering. Probably when I was younger, I used to think, I didn’t know why I just never felt too comfortable in very big social events, but as I got older, I guess I went into it a bit more.
If I was to say like taking learnings from disparate places, I think we in the pre-show and I was telling you about a time when everybody moved to the remote office and transparently, I felt really excited because I was like, “Yes, I got to just spend time at home.” Then I remember there was one day I had this wave of anxiety flow through me. I’m not really an anxious person and I didn’t really know how to deal with it. I remember I stood in the way of my apartment. There’s a mirror and I looked in the mirror and I was like, “Oh God. What are you going to do?” I knew that if I focused too much on it, it was going to overcome me and I wouldn’t be able to think.
I thought, “Okay, go for a walk, just take the dog for a walk, and just burn the energy off. Maybe that’s what you need to do.” I remember I walked all the way up to Lincoln Park, I’m in Chicago. I walked all the way to park, not too far from where I lived and I was walking around and I just remember thinking like, “Huh, isn’t it funny?” I was trying to distract myself. It’s like, “Isn’t it funny that the trees don’t overlap, but there’s not a gardener who plants the trees and who tends to them so they don’t overlap?”
I’m sure there’s someone who trims the hedges and whatever, but who really put them in a location that they can get watered, that they’re in a perfect place for the sun? Was anybody intentional about that? How do they share information? I remember thinking, “Oh, it must be the root system. I wonder if it’s something to do with that.” I guess if someone planted a new tree, it would somehow be able to communicate with the existing tree so that it wouldn’t overlap.” I remember thinking, “I wonder if that’s the way that humans could connect. I wonder if we have a human root system, what that would look like and what that would do.”
That’s really what gave me an idea about how people could collaborate in the workspace. If you were geographically dispersed, what would that virtual root system look like? What are the properties of a tree root system that you can apply to the workspace? I know we spoke in the past where, in fact, we were just talking just before we hit record, we were talking about the simplification of life and how the answers lie in the most obvious, simple places. For me, I’m a big believer that the answers to the questions in the world just exists already. We just have to put ourselves in an environment where we can explore and not take anything for granted.
That Park I had walked around at so many different times, but had I not have thought I need to distract myself from me right now, die to the self of Tope, I probably wouldn’t have had my mind open enough to just think what’s going on around me and then how can I apply that to some of the other problems that I’m working on?
[00:08:25] Josh: What I love about that is that idea that the answers exist already. Now, part of the prerequisite for that is the question, come in with a question and what you’re describing is just the genuine curiosity of, “I wonder how this works,” and it sounds like you sought the answers for yourself. When you got that learning, this is how this works. Then it’s, “Well, how could that be applied in another situation or how does that apply to something that I’m working with or that I’m curious about, or that a problem that I’m trying to overcome?”
I see something similar to what you see. I think that there is this idea that there’s a right answer out there and it’s different practices, disciplines, hobbies, activities. The more you dedicate yourself to a particular discipline, you start to uncover certain things that tend to be true, or at least consistently true. I think that we can find these consistent truths to be applicable to other places. By going through this discipline and this experience of dedicating yourself to a particular topic, what you uncover could then be used for other people.
That’s really one of the biggest arguments for building things like a diverse workforce is because of all the different experiences and the opportunities that very different people have had in their lives. How do you really help shorten the time it takes to uncover those, for lack of a better word, insights? I say for lack of a better word because it seems like such a buzzword these days, what are the insights, but those things go hand in hand. Is that type of approach, that background, that discipline, that curiosity How do you really source and bring those together to uncover these truths?
[00:10:06] Tope: Do you know the first thing that I thought of as you’re describing this as like, what is the truth because I don’t want this to become a really philosophical question, I just guess he spoke about, like diverse backgrounds, right? Diverse experience and all of that, like, the combination of that is what results in somebody’s perceived truth.
Remember, there’s like a picture, and it’s like a six on the ground and there’s two people standing on either side of it, and one person sees a six on one person sees a nine, but depending on your angle, it’s a different number and when I think about diversity, that’s kind of like, what I like is that it’s the combination of everybody’s like, unique blend of human experience that results in their truth.
I guess I’ve started to move away from this idea that there is one truth, but more than the truth is when it is to the individual, and just to respect and appreciate that, my mother used to teach me when I was a child, like, if you believe A, you have to understand that somebody else can equally and passionately believe Z, as you guys call it in America. I never really understood what she meant until I became an adult and then I started, I was in the workforce and I started to see how I used to sometimes struggle with people not like not understanding someone’s point of view, really trying to convince somebody to change their mind and I just realized that they were just, that’s the truth.
I don’t know if that answers your question but for me, at least, I like diversity, because it is that complex, unique blend of everybody’s human experience but I’m less focused on one type of truth, and more focused on the truth for the individual and then how do we like flourish in that because I don’t know, I come up with great ideas but great ideas are just great ideas about people being able to like help you execute and deliver and the time that I’ve been the most successful is when I can come up with an idea and I share it, and I am willing to seek counsel.
In the interview said think differently, and it reminded me of a book that I read called Think Again, by Adam Grant, by the way, guys, I would 100% recommend that book.
First of all, Adam Grant is just phenomenal. I got a call yesterday when someone said, Hey, Tope, we’re doing we’ve got Adam Grant and conference Mark, can you make it and I said, you know what, I don’t even have time, yes, I will make it just invite me and I will clear my dairy because I think he’s phenomenal but in the book, think again, he talks about this idea of thinking like a scientist and let’s like break down what it means to think like a scientist.
You create a hypothesis, and you actively look to disprove your hypothesis and only if you cannot, then that’s right but you’re happy to you’re not like stuck on the idea of this being correct. There’s like, you can be a preacher, you can be a prosecutor, you can be a prophet, or you can be a scientist is when he says, and I really like that idea of the truth as opposed to something that I’m unwilling to shake, something that I’m happy to work with others and I’m also willing to disprove it makes it more fun, actually.
[00:13:03] Josh: I think that that’s such a critical point to call out is that the term truth can get a little subjective and debatable, and really bringing it back down to this idea of what is it that we know to be consistent and what are we doing when we find out new information, because when better than you should do better, that really ties also the idea that you brought up of just an idea is one thing, but put in an idea to us.
What we see frequently when you look at current day, innovation is like the hot thing, like how do we innovate. Many people in organizations, if we’re really being honest, seek to do the same thing that they’ve been doing because it’s easy, it’s comfortable, it’s known. It’s known that it works. Some of these topics, and as ideas, when you’re finding these innovations in these sources is how do we find out a better way or how do we improve it or is there something to try? It may not even be starting out with a goal, just a curiosity but having that perspective like you call it out that scientific perspective, or because it’s our hypothesis that the way we’re doing things now, is the best way to do them.
We should always keep in mind that that’s a hypothesis that we need to constantly test and improve and iterate on. I think we both see the applicability of digital tools in that regard. I think when you and I had talked, when you were talking about the root system that inspired some of your approach to the implementation of Microsoft Teams, if I’m correct and I know Teams is something that was widely adopted, especially with the pandemic but it’s fascinating to me to hear that your strategy was inspired to a degree by the observations you had, going on a walk just to get yourself re-centered and destruct yourself.
[00:15:00] Tope: I read this book recently called Hyperfocus, I can’t remember who it’s by. There was something that they spoke about when it comes to creativity, you have to have a wicked problem that you’re trying to solve and the brain works like in the background on problems that are not solved, problems that are still pending or in progress, or whatever. Sometimes we want to sit with a problem, we will not move until we come up with an answer but sometimes it’s okay to have questions and then go forth into the world and be intentional about finding answers.
I think there’s a story about Archimedes, I think it could be called Archimedes, and he’s trying to understand if a crown is made of pure gold, and in those days, there’s no way to measure I think now we could even use like lasers to say, okay, is this gold, whatever, that wasn’t around in these days. he’s just meandering, I’m the problem and then he goes to a bath, and he says, Oh, hang on, and people go into the water, the water increases up to a certain level.
Therefore, if this crown is made of pure gold, and it weighs the same as something, another object made of pure gold if it goes up by the same amount that we know, it is pure gold, if it doesn’t, then we know that it’s not. I really like that, because it’s like, I’m calling it a wicked tough-to-solve problem that he didn’t just sit there and say, I’m not moving until I resolve this. You explore everything you know and then you go forth into the world and continually challenge what you see against what you’re trying to solve. For me, I really, really loved that because the book Hyperfocus talks about the idea of, you need to have quality input.
It’s okay to say I’ve got a problem, and then you go and watch like Netflix or something. I mean, maybe you’re going to find a solution in a Netflix documentary. I’m not saying you wouldn’t, but you probably want to take rich content, almost like if I say exercise, I have to have a particular exercise to be able to sustain a certain particular diet to be able to sustain that level of exercise on a consistent basis. I can’t just eat what I like, what is it that you consume?
For me, I’m always a big advocate of consumption being more than just what you physically but the company you keep, the content you consume, how you spend your time, how you relax, how you rejuvenate yourself. Sometimes we focus a lot on the output, but there’s got to be a degree of intentionality with the input as well.
[00:17:28] Josh: Yes, and I think we see that a lot. Especially in the line of work that I’ve worked a lot in, which is implementing software to solve solutions, you really have to consider, I’ve seen projects fail. Whenever a project fails, it’s easy to say, Oh, well, that software wasn’t the right solution but to your point, that’s really just part of the input or output. Part of the other input is who was involved? What was their level of commitment? What was their own motivations? How much priority did the company give. There’s many different factors that would involve these different ideas of what’s actually going into your project or your initiative.
It’s always easy looking backwards, like, here’s the output, the output was failure, failure was defined as blank and that’s one of the things I love about manufacturing is the focus on the root cause analysis, because you’re really that idea of inputs, what were all the and there’s many, and I could go on a tangent on artificial intelligence and machine learning, and how that’s really going to help come together to identify all those different inputs. I think that there’s a topic worth exploring there with you, especially, with you being the Global Head of Digital employee experience. That idea of digital, that idea of employee experience. How do you bring those two worlds together?
[00:18:44] Tope: I didn’t think like it’s that complex. What is the purpose of my role? The Global CEO of Kraft Heinz called Corrado and he said, your aspiration topic should be that employees have a delightful experience with technology. That sounds simple but when you think about technologies in everything we do, and how do you like to find delightful, and if I think although I’m going to say it’s complex, is actually also not really that complex because at the end of the day, my aspiration is to eliminate waste in the day.
Enable people to be productive that they can have time back to be creative and inspired and then give people the tools to be creative and inspired that at the end of the day, an employee says, I just feel good when I come to work. If I say that technologies and everything you do, and you should feel delightful, then really you should come to work and say, I feel good. I feel as though my contributing towards my life purpose, and maybe I’m contributing something that’s bigger than me. I feel valued, and I want to feel good.
A lot of it is around understanding this employee journey, like what’s the employee lifecycle? In the same way as the human life, there’s a part of preconception and there’s a part, once we pass away, then what is our legacy. Understanding what is that employee life cycle, then where are the big moments of truth? We live every single day, but there are pivotal moments that we remember in our lives. Maybe the day you had a sibling or something like that. Maybe the day you then get married, you got a job that you really wanted. Maybe you then have your own children. Some significant life events that stick in the mind.
Because they’re 365 days times how many years you live, we don’t remember every single day, but we remember specific days. How do we win on those specific days? There’s moments of truth for employees. Then what do you define as win and what do you define as success? That, to me, that is really understanding the personality of the family. When I say, personality of the family, Kraft Heinz is very different personality. It’s a number of different organizations. Maybe if you look at your family, you might be a big sports family. If you’re a big sports family, then your big moments of truth maybe around big sports events.
Maybe someone’s got a family that really like to dance. That’s the characteristically big part of that family’s personality. If we take all of these into combination, it makes it actually a lot simpler. I tend to believe now, where most things fail is because we didn’t invest enough time upfront to really define what are we trying to achieve and what’s the personality of this group or family.
Again, look, I’m talking about work and I’m using the analogy of a family. Because, again, the answers to the questions of the world exist in the world already. How do you have a successful family? Well, how do you then have a successful organization? Then technology is a supplement by which you deliver that. It’s not that the leading thing. I’ve always thought the tech is the means by which we achieve an objective
[00:21:54] Josh: Thinking about some tech and some of the solutions that are on your mind, which are the ones that are the tech solutions that get you more excited in this realm of bringing employees and digital together?
[00:22:09] Tope: If you want to talk about what gets me excited– I like this. I was thinking with a guy called Adam Gazzaley. I think he’s another phenomenal person. He is part of the company or a group. It’s part of actually, I think, it’s the University of San Francisco. They’re looking at neuroscience and how you can use triggers and signals in the brain to enhance wellbeing. For me, that’s what really gets me excited.
I have this vision. I remember before this whole pandemic, we talk about this idea of a virtual office. In those days you’d say, “Oh, yes, three to five-year roadmap.” Little did we know it was three to five months. What really gets me excited is this idea of blurring the lines between the physical and the virtual and how you can do that. How the brain is so dynamic and so complex. We receive things like 40 billion bytes of information and we process 40 at any one time. What we see is what we project based on historical experience and our expectations.
Well, then how do you use that to make people feel great, heal trauma, enable people to stay in their flow, enable people to feel like they’re achieving the promise of life, of work. Then if I talk about technologies, I can deliver that. Well, there’s a number of different things that are going on in the neuroscience space, but then even how do you use VR, AI, and mixed reality? There’s a number of organizations, Six Sense is another fantastic one, looking at VR to heal trauma. I really think it’s so phenomenal. That’s so what gets me so excited?
I’m not sure about the application today in craft times. I know we all looking at VR, but maybe around how we can use VR to support around remote assist in the blue-collar space or the frontline worker space and how we can eliminate barriers to entry and create this global organization. That futuristic outlook and then the today application is also quite fun.
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Now back to the show. I think that there’s something really interesting about that idea of neuroscience that you were talking about, which is really just coming down to understanding like how the brain works, which does a lot as far, how are people going to behave or respond. What really comes to my mind is that idea of reward what’s going to be the most rewarding. When you think about some of the approaches to design, there’s a big focus of gamification.
I know that that’s something that we explore with our customers is how do you make this fun and rewarding and you show people the impact that they’re making. Because the way that they’re doing it right now, a common complaint that I hear from frontline workers, whether they’re operators or mechanics, or even some of the supervisors on the lines is, what I say doesn’t really matter? No one really listens to me.
What we found is that that’s not actually true. It’s just that you don’t have the record trail to see the impact that you are making. What you said, the questions that bring to my mind is how does that understanding of what motivates and feels like reward to people, how can you use technology to convey that so that you continue to have the same behaviors that you’re looking for, you’re looking to reward and the people that you’re looking to grow? Because there’s a pretty big issue in manufacturing right now, which is like, how do we get people in? How do we keep people? You keep the people and you bring people in when they feel like they’re going to be rewarded.
[00:27:18] Tope: Listen to what you’re saying, because when Corrado says people should feel as though they have a delightful experience with technology, what I wanted to tell you is your perception is reality. That’s like the placebo effect. “Did this medication actually work or did I feel like it worked? Well, either way, I felt better at the end so that’s really what counts.”
For me, I think perception again, is reality. How do you feel? I’m glad you said the word feel, because that, again, perception is reality. I keep saying the same thing over and over again because I want to hammer that one in, because we can even feel the same. Maybe someone will say, “Hey, IT, I didn’t feel like you’re investing in me.” We can say, “Do you know we spend X, Y, Z millions of dollars a year on investing into infrastructure but do you feel like it actually makes an impact?”
Sometimes people generally just want to be heard. Sometimes you ask people a question, you listen to their response and you go back and say, “Because you said this, I did this.” There are a number of different ways, but for me, that whole idea of how people feel is even more important now than ever. We have this opportunity as well to slow down and pause and find our balance.
My personal trainer always says, “Okay, Tope, stop, find your posture, and then go again.” I think there’s something about that stopping, reflecting, and then feeling strong to move forward. Then you really have to understand like give people that ability to be heard. I didn’t even think it’s that complex. Sometimes it really just requires us to stop, go a little bit slower, and then have the strength to go forward again.
Josh: I think part of the difficulty I’ve seen is there can sometimes be a disconnect between what the leadership of the family wants, and then how that actually trickles down to people who are just so far removed. That takes that idea of how do you instill that culture, but how do you at the local level? That supervisor to employee, that direct relationship, how do you make sure that each individual feels so that it trickles up to the organization feels.
That’s a tough challenge to measure. You can do surveys. Sure. I think that that’s probably one of the best ways to do it, but it’s how do you actually get that engagement of how the people are feeling so that as a leader, is that perception like, “Well, is there a gap between the perception and the reality.” Because if you’re making efforts, then maybe it’s maybe the root causes, people just don’t know about it. Now, you know we got to get the word out. Here’s what we’re doing.
[00:29:56] Tope: , pretend that we’ve nailed it because we are even now exploring, how do we get the input from all of the different personas and archetypes that we have in the organization? Not just predominantly looking at those who sit in the white-collar office space, but everybody. By no means, have we nailed it? Because we really want to know, but people are so dynamic and different and they’re just these different personas and archetypes, but because you don’t have the answer, it doesn’t mean that you should not at least try.
The biggest thing that came into my mind, I was like, “Well, in a family you have parents and then children.” Let’s say. Not more families, but let’s just talk about a potential family that has parents and children. How did they keep that relationship? Because there’s definitely that parent archetype, and there’s definitely the child, let’s say, not an adult child, but a child adolescence architect.
How did they keep the valance? Because surely there’s things to learn in terms of how that works, but you can apply to the workspace because I can imagine a child may say, “Parent, I don’t like this food.” Does the parent listen or change anything? Or do they just produce enough? No, the type of meal without saying, okay, you didn’t like this? Which one would you like instead? Or, maybe why is it that you don’t like this” There’s so many different ways to go about it. I genuinely just because we don’t have the answers now, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.
Communication is a very big thing. I would say when it comes to this COVID. COVID is the one thing that no one had ever been through. No one really knew exactly how to fix it, but what we realized you could learn, probably it’s just communication, and even if you don’t have the answers to how, sometimes people just want to be kept informed in that thought process, and that sometimes is actually just enough, even if you don’t have an answer. Again, maybe that’s it, maybe the key there is communication and it just takes a little bit of time. It’s not actually that complex.
[00:31:56] Josh: It could be. I think back to our earlier point of, this is what we know now, and here are the things that we can learn from and examples we can learn from to try and know better. I’m reminded of a conversation that you and I had where you gave the lives of bees as an example and their experiences with a hive mind. That’s something that really fascinated me because I think that there’s not to say that’s, or we need to make people drones or anything, but that idea of being on the same page that connected mind, I think would go a long way. Would you mind sharing just the takeaway that you had on the bees and how that’s inspired you?
[00:32:39] Tope: I think the listeners are going to think I’m quite a rounded person, which is true. I read this book called The Democracy of Honeybees because I was just curious. I didn’t even know. I was just curious to know anything about bees. One of the things I took away was that everybody has their position and everyone knows their position, but everybody is contributing for the greater good beyond themselves and I thought, “Wouldn’t that just be great if organizations work like that lab.”
No one felt threatened, but everybody knew what they needed to do, and they were able to make a collective decision they had. When bees go to source a new hive, they spend 25 minutes in this new location, and they’ll say, “Okay.” they’ll actually look at the conditions and they’ll say, “If we can fix this.” For example, if it’s dumb, I don’t know if it’s quite windy, they can then put their wax or whatever. “If we can fix it, we’ll stay. If we can’t fix it, we go.” I thought, “Isn’t that great?” How many times, the sunk cost fallacy, where you’ve invested a lot of time or people are reluctant to let go of an idea or a solution because they’ve put so much into it.
I thought, “We need to just be great people like bees, and we can say, “Does this still serve a purpose of calmness so far to serve a purpose?” If yes, go forward. If no, move on.” Wouldn’t it just be great if we could just be like them? Again, everybody has a position and information just flows through the hive. I really want to understand more about how they share data. I guess I don’t know if anyone knows about that, please help me understand how bees communicate because it’s not like the way humans do, but somehow they’re able to disseminate information, but I liked that hive mentality and being part of something for the greater good, knowing your place, and also knowing when to go.
[00:34:19] Josh: I think that reminds me of an episode that we just released with Brian at CMC materials, where he spoke about his approach to making sure that the right people get the right information at the right time so that they can make the right decisions. It sounds to me what you’re describing with what these bees do, each one understands their tasks. They go there, but they’re also empowered to make the right decisions because they have some way of sharing information. Whether that may be the bees have a best practice and an SOP that they’re able to access.
[00:34:55] Tope: We’ll ask them.
[00:34:56] Josh: Exactly, and their inputs are shared. I know I’m being a little goofy right now, but that reminds me of especially what we do at Parsable here, that idea of a connected worker, how do you connect people to different people, to sources of information, to systems and machines so that they can get the right information at the right time to make those right decisions? I love that idea of the bee in that connected pursuit. I’m going to have to pick that book up.
[00:35:23] Tope: You should. Also, I like this idea of the right people with the right information at the right time. I can tell you what Teams has done for us, and actually, this is not a podcast or I’m not here as an advocate for Teams, I actually believed I’m like tech agnostic. I just believe in the objective, as opposed to, as a particular tool, most of these collaborative tools do the same, but what they enable people to do is move conversations from traditional mechanisms, like email into a space where everybody could see him.
When I say everybody, people who are working together on a particular objective could have access and eliminates this idea of, “Okay, oh, should I copy this person into the distribution list? Somebody new joins the team, how do we bring them up to speed?” I love the idea of just data existing in the heart of an organization, almost like the tree of life and avatar, and then people can connect to it as they want to, somebody new joins and they get that information immediately. You can leave.
I liked the idea of the democratization of information for the right sources because I’m sure there’s probably going to be somebody here saying, “Well, what about sensitive business information?” If you have a tool which is just for your organization, think about avatar, the Navicom they connect, but they still need a novel, you can do it, and only they’re able to connect because of this shape of their body, to that tree of life, not like a random person could just come and join.
You do have to make sure that you’re very secure, and you also have to make sure that you have ethical considerations for the data too, but how are you creating that tree of life, that connection between people so that you just eliminate that wasted time of, “Did I copy this person? Or I’ve got to repeat the message however many times?”
[00:37:04] Josh: Absolutely. I love that you’re applying exactly that, which is you’re taking inspiration from this one source, which is not related to work at all and saying, how do we make that happen? Now we’re going to need a lot of tools and protocols in place to make it happen, but how do we achieve that vision? Well, I think this has been a great conversation.
I think we covered a lot, which is looking for innovation, taking that, challenging what you know today in order to find what’s better, and treating things as a hypothesis. Also, I got to plug it again, looking at that knowledge, that what is known across the world and how you can use it to improve your own organization, and putting the right inputs into the projects, I think are pretty critical. I really appreciate your time. Is there anything else you want to leave our listeners with?
[00:37:53] Tope: No, actually, what I would say is extend grace to yourself and to others. Don’t be afraid to be proven wrong. There’s actually nothing wrong with that. I enjoy it because it helps you to move forward quicker. extend grace and compassion to yourself and others because it helps make life a little bit more pleasurable.
[00:38:11] Josh: All right. Well, Tope, thank you so much for your time.
[00:38:14] Tope: My pleasure, take care.
[00:38:18] Josh: That’s the show. Thank you so so much for joining us today. Conquering Chaos is brought to you by Parsable. If you’re a fan of these conversations, subscribe to the show and leave us a rating on Apple podcasts, just tap the number of stars you think the show deserves. As always, feel free to share what’s top of mind for you and who you think we should talk to next. Until then, talk soon. Take care, stay safe, and bye-bye.Listen to find out how you can achieve digital innovation from unlikely sources