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Steve Spear09:06:48

@mik @jwillis @nicole.forsythe

Steve Spear09:06:07

@nickeggleston @mik @mr.denver.martin @david.sol-llaven @jeff.gallimore @james.moverley @adam @ahunt Problem Imagine you’re the new CTO of a large existing organization (10,000+ people.) And you want to know about where the real innovation teams are in your very large company. The rest of the exec staff points you to the existing incubators and all the attendant innovation theater. But from experience you know somewhere two, three levels or four levels down the organization are real centers of innovation who have been beating their heads against the wall trying to work against the existing process and procedures. But are frustrated because there’s no innovation processes/doctrine. Question How does a newly hired CTO go find the real islands of innovation? What type of repeatable “here’s how you find your hidden islands of innovation” process can someone create? Is their existing literature on this?

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Jim Moverley14:06:56

I've seen a couple of methods for this.. #1 hold centre of practices : where people with particular interests are encouraged to collaborate and help out (e,g python group, or ansible group).. you'll usually find early adopters / keen folk will be the ones who get involved) #2 hold internal "challenge cup" where teams can submit their innovations to a competition (gamify), for some form of award/recognition/sponsorship. #3 skill surgery: similar to centres of practice, however, rather than community based, setup monthly surgeries where people are invited to join and talk with key tech staff / maybe even CTO?! The core question you have to ask yourself: what motivation does someone have to push an innovation into the company?! Gitlab have an awesome process, where ANYONE in the company can make architectural proposals.. etc. so the socialisation of ideas / innovation is cultural <- culture is a key component!

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David Sol16:06:20

That is a great question. I am very interested in the answer.

Jeff Gallimore (CTIO - Excella, he/him)20:06:25

indeed. a good question for which i don’t know of any clear answer or any literature. i know if it were me, i’d start asking lots of people questions. like… 1. who do you think is doing really innovative stuff? 2. who is causing friction within the organization because of what they’re doing or want to do? the consistent names that show up as the answers to those questions are probably a good indicator of who is involved in “the rebellion”.

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Bryan Finster - Defense Unicorns (Speaker)12:06:18

At Walmart we had a 1.5 hour meeting every 2 weeks for teams to share what they've been doing. It died as soon as another SVP wanted to put more structure around it to make it more "fair".

Bryan Finster - Defense Unicorns (Speaker)12:06:37

"what motivation does someone have to push an innovation into the company?!" I pushed CD because it made my life better as a developer and I wanted everyone else on board to make it harder to kill when leadership changed.

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Denver Martin, Dir DevSecOps, he/him20:07:16

@steve773 at a few of the companies I have worked for, we have our own DevOps Days where innovation is the theme, sometimes we call it Roadshow, sometimes called Geek Week. We will have different areas of innovation, some would be showing where 5 minutes a day can be saved in your current position, or where 30 minutes a week can be saved, to some items being shows off your largest time-saving changes, it may process improvement, or new tools, or different ways of organizing work. These events often will give people a chance to shine and help with adoption. With the 5 minutes a day target being small, you will get tons of input and those 5 min adds up over time, if others can do those things, you could have some great innovation. We also set "bug bounties" on wasteful time syncs, If you find something that is delaying or wasting time (like standard changes that still have to go to the change committee) and you call it out and help fix it, you can spot bonus from $100 - $500 gift cards. These add up.

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