Innovation is the Future

Innovation Value

We’re big on innovation at Iridia. In fact, it’s so important we’ve built it right in to our annual performance evaluations. That’s right, along with teamwork, quality and many of the other performance indicators you would find on a typical review, we’ve added innovation as a performance criteria.

That means when managers sit down with employees to talk about their year, one of the things they review is what efforts the employee made to innovate in their role at Iridia. Did they bring new ideas to the table? Did they implement something that made them more efficient or effective? Did they find ways to use technology to improve productivity or performance? Were they able to look at a problem or challenge and come up with an innovative solution?

Innovation is part of the DNA at Iridia. We talk about it all the time. For the past four years, we have held a monthly “Innovation Corner.” Each month someone brings an innovative idea to share with the group.

 

Here’s a sampling of some of the services / ideas that have been shared over the years:

As with lifelong learning, we talked about the importance of continued learning because it changes the way we think, feel, and behave. So it is with innovation. As the world changes rapidly, we must constantly be thinking of new ways to improve our productivity, better serve our clients, manage our resources (both capital and human), and solve problems.

“Innovate or die” is the battle cry of modern business, and Iridia is making innovation part of its life blood in order to stay healthy and vibrant in these changing times.

 

Iridia in the Community Wrap Up

Iridia in the Community

Our Iridia in the Community initiative has wrapped up and we’d like to thank our staff for participating in the activity. The goal of Iridia in the Community was to provide our employees with a unique way of engaging their community through charitable activities. We wanted “community” to be a broad topic and provide no constraints as to what the definition of that was.

What came of this was a wonderful range of unique donations to many different organizations and causes. We’ve provided a brief wrap up video below:

We’d also like to include a list of the various organizations our staff donated to:

We know this event was an excellent experience for our staff and their contributions positively impacted a wide range of organizations. We look forward to bringing you more events like this in the future!

Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) on its Way to Vancouver

Founded in 1984 as a non-profit geared toward bringing together people form the worlds of Technology, Entertainment, and Design, TED is truly a unique experience devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading”. Learn more about TED here.

TED

Last year the team here at Iridia was ecstatic that we were able to tap into the live stream for the 2012 TED event. For four days last February, staff were invited to tune in and watch TED talks in real time, a first time for all Iridia employees. As part of our TED Live membership, we joined the TED Books, giving us access to even more inspiring thoughts and ideas from authors specifically chosen around last year’s TED theme.

Here’s what some of our staff had to say about the live streaming event:

  • “I thought it was great! I got to see things I normally wouldn’t have been able to.”
  • “I had never heard about TED before. Now that I have seen it, I have been missing out!”
  • “TED was a really great experience. I enjoyed learning about new subjects.”
  • “My only gripe is that I wish the talks were longer!”

It’s no wonder then that we are excited to hear that the 30-year-old conference, which has called California home since its inception, is moving to Vancouver in 2014. Yes, you heard that right. It was announced in early February that the prestigious event will be calling Vancouver home in 2014-2015.

Why move?

TED 2014 Vancouver

Here’s what TED had to say:

We’ve had five wonderful years in Long Beach, but for the anniversary conference, we want to try a new space. And we found it in Vancouver, a city that’s itself an inspiration — cosmopolitan, energetic, innovative, yet with unrivaled natural beauty, surrounded by mountains and water. The recently completed convention center is a truly spectacular meeting space offering limitless possibilities in a beautiful, peaceful corner of the city. We’re not moving to accommodate more people — in fact we’re slightly reducing audience size. We just think we’ve found a venue that can do even more to inspire creative thinking and dynamic ideas.

“We looked at a lot of cities in the U.S, especially on the west coast. In Vancouver, we found a special combination of things we didn’t find anywhere else and it got us really excited. It is a combination of an amazing city which is reflective of the values people hold. There is a feeling of looking forward, a commitment to excellence, of innovation and sustainability. Just a bustling energy, which is thrilling,” says Chris Anderson, TED curator.

The Impact

Vancouver Convention Centre

The potential deal was kept so secret that not even Mayor Gregor Robertson was told about it until a week before the announcement, when the final details were worked out.

Robertson says he can’t think of a better fit for Vancouver’s emerging image as a global city of thinkers, and he wants to take ideas that come out of the conference and put them to use here.

“I’ve been on a quest to land a premier world event in Vancouver for several years,” he said. “Our interests stem from the huge global exposure of TED and Vancouver’s brand, which is something we’ve been cultivating for some time. This is a great boost, particularly around big ideas and turning them into action.”

Learn more about the move to Vancouver

Innovation Corner – Windows 7 Shortcuts

 

What’s the Innovation Corner?

Windows 7 Shortcuts

Innovation is one of our eight core values at Iridia, values we strive to live every day. It’s one thing to say “innovation is a corporate value of ours,” but it’s another to live it.

We are always keeping our sharp eyes on the lookout; finding creative ways to fit the pieces together. In order to “fit pieces together,” we need to do things more efficiently and, if possible, with the use of new tools.

The Innovation Corner is a brief (5 min.) section of the agenda dedicated to the introduction of a story, a tool, a concept, or anything else that might spur on innovation within our team.  Anyone can lay claim to the Innovation Corner in upcoming meetings, and thereby use it to share an innovative find they have come across.

Windows 7 Shortcuts

windows shortcut

Windows 7 Shortcuts

This week Innovation Corner focused on Windows 7 Shortcuts – everyday tips to make life easier. 

It’s a reality – most people do not use Windows to its full potential. Built into this powerful operating system are numerous shortcuts that will help you in your day-to-day activities. Whether at work or at home, a shortcut can simplify your task list.

Want to work efficiently as possible? We have created a simple list of shortcuts that anyone can use:

  • Snaps
  • Jump Lists
  • Show Desktop
  • Repeating
  • Changing Cases
  • Sharing Workbooks
  • Horizontal Pages

Check out our Windows 7 Shortcuts Prezi to see a short presentation highlighting these shortcuts.

Like these? They are just the tip of the iceberg. Google windows shortcuts and you will find many more!

 

Innovate or Die, that’s the Future

At Iridia, values play a role in everything we do. We are constantly evaluating ourselves, our strategy and our goals; all to align with our core company values.

We strive to bring our core values alive and at the forefront of business. We encourage employees to think about what they do in the context of those values. We ask questions, make decisions, and conduct business in a way that reflects those values.

Innovation is one area where we keep our employees on their toes. It also happens to be one of our eight core values.

The number one thing you will ask – “how are you building an innovative environment at Iridia?”

Innovate or Die

Understand that thinking innovatively isn’t exactly a natural “go-to” mindset for most. Rather, we strive to cultivate this philosophy through education and an “all hands on board” approach.

For example, one way we approach this hurdle is by setting aside time for a presentation on a new innovative tool every staff meeting.

In as little as 5 minutes, one of our employees will share a presentation with the entire staff on an app, website etc., which they have found to be innovative. We call this the Innovation Corner.

So far a pretty awesome selection of tools has been brought forward:

  • Wordle – Generates word clouds
  • Prezi – Cloud based presentation software
  • TinyURL – URL shortening service
  • 99designs – Crowdsourcing platform
  • DropBox – Cloud based storage and sharing
  • Join.me – Simple screen sharing software
  • Doodle – Online meeting scheduler
  • Elance – Talent sourcing site
  • Clik – Smartphone screen controller
  • Camtasia – Video creation software
  • OneNote – Note taking software
  • Flipboard – A social magazine aggregator
  • Chrome Web Store – App store in your browser

Many of our staff have embraced these tools after watching a short Innovation Corner presentation, but none more so than Prezi.

Innovate or Die

How can we say we are innovative if we are still using dated (*snore) PowerPoint software? …We can’t!

We are doing away with PowerPoint entirely; going forward all our staff will be trained in Prezi. No more boring presentations around this office.

Another one of the ways we have encouraged our staff to think innovation first is through our company tablets.

Our tablets (an iPad and a Kindle) are available to sign-out for employees to enjoy at home or at work. Employees can use these devices to read our through our TED eBook library or our magazine subscriptions to Inc, Harvard Business Review or Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Staff can also use the tablets to assist in their presentations as well. 

We have given our employees the tools they need for innovative thinking, because as the world evolves, so must we. 

“Innovate or die” is the battle cry of modern business, and Iridia is making innovation part of its life blood in order to stay healthy and vibrant in these changing times.

Innovation Corner – Chrome Web Store

What’s the Innovation Corner?

Every month, the Iridia team gets together for a staff meeting. During the meeting, we discuss a variety of topics from our diverse organization. One object on the agenda is “The Innovation Corner”.

Chrome Web Store

Innovation is one of our eight core values at Iridia, values we strive to live every day. It’s one thing to say “innovation is a corporate value of ours,” but it’s another to live it.

We are always keeping our sharp eyes on the lookout; finding creative ways to fit the pieces together. In order to “fit pieces together,” we need to do things more efficiently and, if possible, with the use of new tools.

The Innovation Corner is a brief (5 min.) section of the agenda dedicated to the introduction of a story, a tool, a concept, or anything else that might spur on innovation within our team.  Anyone can lay claim to the Innovation Corner in upcoming meetings, and thereby use it to share an innovative find they have come across.

“This effort has already brought forward tools that have been put to immediate use in our business operations.  In seeing how these insights have made a difference for us, we’ve decided to take time out and share them with a broader audience.” – Iridia President

Chrome Web Store

chrome web store

This week Innovation Corner focused on The Chrome Web Store – an online marketplace where you can discover thousands of apps for the Google Chrome browser.

The Store works much like the app stores you are used to on your Smartphone, ie: Apple App Store & Google Play.

Through the Store, you can search through thousands of nifty programs that are built right into your web experience. These programs come in three flavours: apps, extensions and themes.

Apps

Web apps are advanced interactive websites. They may provide a wide-ranging set of features or focus on a single task like photo-editing or shopping.

Example: Do – the app that helps you manage your tasks.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7myUgmtFPkc]

Extensions

Extensions let you add new features to your browser. For example: One extension automatically translates a web page into any language, another allows you to add  a contextual grammar and spell checker, correcting up to ten times more than regular proofreading software.

Example: Evernote Clearly

evernote_clearly

With one click, Clearly makes blog posts and articles clean and easy to read. Clearly eliminates all distractions from your online reading experience, and even allows you to browse multi-page articles in one, seamless view.

Themes

Themes allow you to you customize the look and feel of your browser, including themes from leading artists and designers around the world.

The Chrome Web Store can be a powerful business tool. I recommend everyone give it a try, you may just stumble on a tool you that will change your web experience.

Innovation Corner – Flipboard

What’s the Innovation Corner?

Every month, the Iridia team gets together for staff meeting. During the meeting, we discuss a variety of topics from our diverse organization. One object on the agenda is “The Innovation Corner”.

Innovation is one of our eight core values at Iridia, values we strive to live every day. It’s one thing to say “innovation is a corporate value of ours,” but it’s another to live it.

We are always keeping our sharp eyes on the lookout; finding creative ways to fit pieces together. In order to “fit pieces together,” we need to do things more efficiently and, if possible, with the use of new tools.

The Innovation Corner is a brief (5 min.) section of the agenda dedicated to the introduction of a story, a tool, a concept, or anything else that might spur on innovation within our team.  Anyone can lay claim to the Innovation Corner in upcoming meetings, and thereby use it to share an innovative find they have come across.

“This effort has already brought forward tools that have been put to immediate use in our business operations.  In seeing how these insights have made a difference for us, we’ve decided to take time out and share them with a broader audience.” – Iridia Vice President

Flipboard

During our June staff meeting we profiled an app called Flipboard.

In a nutshell, Flipboard is a mobile app (works on iOS and Android devices) that allows you to create your own “social magazine” from various sources.

Start by downloading the app for iOS or Android. Then start putting together your customized social magazine.

You can add your own social media feeds or search for endless content from other websites and blogs (including this one!).

flipboard

Screenshot of Iridia’s “Flipboard Homescreen.”


If you would like your social media accounts and your news all in one place, then this app is for you. 

Currently we have set up an “Iridia” Flipboard account. We have added some of our social networks such as Facebook and Twitter as well as a few magazine we subscribe too. Now our staff can access all this material in one easy to read format.

To learn more have a look at the Prezi we created to show the app to our staff: http://prezi.com/yjeu7t1ywu7i/flipboard/

Stay tuned for future updates from the Innovative Corner!

Innovation Corner – SignNow

SignNow

During our June staff meeting we profiled an app called SignNow.

SignNow is the easiest way to sign a document anywhere you go. You can sign your own documents, or invite clients to sign and close contracts.

To learn more have a look at the Prezi we created to show the app to our staff:

SignNow

What is the Innovation Corner?

Every month, the whole Iridia team gets together for staff meeting. During the meeting, we discuss a variety of topics from our diverse organization. For the past year we have added a topic to the agenda – the Innovation Corner.

Innovation is one of our eight core values at Iridia, values we strive to live every day. It’s one thing to say “hey, innovation is a corporate value of ours,” but it’s another to live it.

We are always keeping our sharp eyes on the lookout; finding creative ways to fit pieces together. In order to “fit pieces together,” we need to do things more efficiently and, if possible, with the use of new tools.

The Innovation Corner is a brief (5 min.) section of the agenda dedicated to the introduction of a story, a tool, a concept, or anything else that might spur on innovation within our team.  Anyone can lay claim to the Innovation Corner in upcoming meetings, and thereby use it to share an innovative find they have come across.

“This effort has already brought forward tools that have been put to immediate use in our business operations.  In seeing how these insights have made a difference for us, we’ve decided to take time out and share them with a broader audience.” – Iridia President

Stay tuned for future updates from the Innovative Corner!

TED – Three Worlds Coming Together.

Technology – Entertainment – Design (TED)

Recently our team at Iridia experienced the worlds of TED at our first ever TEDLive streaming event from February 28th to March 2nd. For four days, we had instant access to the world’s most inspiring voices.

Wait wait wait, let’s back up… Not in the know? Are you asking yourself “what is TED?” If so, you’ve missed a little step. Please read “When is a name more than a name” then head on back.

——

Back? Great, it’s time to tell you about our experience with TED 2012.

First, we needed to find a place to show the event live. We decided on our library room, or as the Iridia staff like to call it, “the Zensation Chamber.”

The “comfy couches” of the Zensation chamber.

Our library gave us just enough room for a few staff to sit back in our comfy chairs, put their feet up and watch TED in its full glory projected onto the wall.

Personally, my favorite talk was an eye opening talk by Brian Greene, which, also happened to be the first talk of the event. For 18 minutes Greene gave us a tour of the multiverse, a mind altering concept of the universe(s) in which we live.

From the discovery of expanding space to the mystery of string theory to a fuel so efficient it spawned multiple “big bangs.” I was hanging on every word.

TED

Universes packed together in the “multiverse.”

It wasn’t all downhill from there though; TED 2012 was full of exciting content. Each talk was unique and gave the staff at Iridia insight into worlds they otherwise would be unaware of.

As TED says, “depending on the speaker and the topic, there could be: blizzards of images, new uses of music, extravagant use of under-used senses, intricate choreography between speaker and screen, new ways of involving the audience, breakthroughs in animation, and intense, campfire-style storytelling.

With TED, you never know what surprise is around the corner.

Here’s what some of our staff had to say:

  • “I thought it was great! I got to see things I normally wouldn’t have been able to.”
  • “I had never heard about TED before. Now that I have seen it, I have been missing out!”
  • “TED was a really great experience. I enjoyed learning about new subjects.”
  • “My only gripe is that I wish the talks were longer!”

All in all, it was an illuminating four days around the office.

Why did Iridia choose to stream TED 2012? Well, we are huge proponents of innovation; in fact, it is one of our 8 core values. We believe in a little thing called “living our values.” So, when the idea came forward to stream the world’s most innovative talks from our office, we jumped on the opportunity. It proved to be a great way to bring staff together, let their imagines run wild and have them discover fresh ideas.

As a team, we look forward to seeing what delights TED 2013 has to offer.

I leave you with this exceptional TED talk:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1c7ioascSfo]

Innovation Corner – Camtasia

Introduction

Every month, the whole Iridia team gets together or Skype’s in for a staff meeting. During the meeting, we discuss a variety of topics from our diverse organization. For the past 11 months we have added a new topic to the agenda – The Innovation Corner.

Innovation is one of our eight core values at Iridia, values we strive to live every day. It’s one thing to say “hey, innovation is a corporate value of ours,” but it’s another to live it.

We are always keeping our sharp eyes on the lookout; finding creative ways to fit pieces together. In order to “fit pieces together,” we need to do things more efficiently and, if possible, with the use of new tools.

A message from our vice president – what is the Innovation Corner?

“The Innovation Corner is a brief (5 min.) section of the agenda dedicated to the introduction of a story, a tool, a concept, or anything else that might spur on innovation within our team.  Anyone can lay claim to the Innovation Corner in upcoming meetings, and thereby use it to share an innovative find they have come across.

This effort has already brought forward tools that have been put to immediate use in our business operations.  In seeing how these insights have made a difference for us, we’ve decided to take time out and share them with a broader audience.”

Camtasia

This past Monday, we profiled a unique tool called Camtasia. Camtasia is a program that allows you to screen capture video with ease.

Capture, edit, save and then publish. Camtasia has it all.

Have you ever tried to walk someone through a troubleshooting process over the phone? It’s painful. With Camtasia, capture a video of the steps yourself, edit the video, save it and then send it to user, or upload it to YouTube.

Capturing, editing and publishing video can sound scary, but with Camtasia it’s easy. No training required to use this program. In no time you will be creating interactive videos for product demo’s, creating video for your blog, or troubleshooting staff from afar.

Camtasia

Interested? Head over the TechSmith and give it a 30-day trial run, for free.

http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.html

Stay tuned, as we will be updating you with all the unique and innovative tools we use around Global.