With every innovative company come the core elements of creativity, productivity, collaboration, and more. Today, we’re surveying the three of the World’s Most Innovative Companies named by FastCompany for productivity hacks that you can implement in your workplace in 2021.
Whilst these tips aren’t reinventing the wheel, we believe these angles will inspire you as a professional to be more productive — and innovative.
Tip 1: Build an innovation structure, not culture (Snap)
“People talk about an innovation culture all the time, all day long, but actually what you need is an innovative structure.” — Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap
After Snap started with two people, then surged to almost 1,900 in 2016 — their process for innovating was no longer scalable nor effective. To adapt, Spiegel levelled the hierarchy by eliminating the physical barriers between him and his colleagues to encourage exchange.
The team structure at Snap is unique, with the Design Team kept to a dozen people who have set the product vision closely with leadership and work collaboratively with each other. Instead of specializing in niche verticals, their team works across Snap products and platforms “to think comprehensively and quickly iterate on new ideas.”
Productivity is at work when it’s built within a collaborative environment.
Learn more about how Snap’s Design Engineers work here.
Tip 2: Collaborate with Empathy (Microsoft)
“Let life teach you how to become more empathetic, listen to the unmet needs of customers to become innovative” — Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft
If your company is building a product or service that isn’t grounded in a sense of purpose, productivity can simply be busy-work. True productivity lies in building something that meets the real needs of the people you want to serve.
At Microsoft, they’re recognized for building Teams, a collaborative messenger structure widely used by 91 of the United States’ 100 largest companies. Teams integrate calls, file sharing, video meetings, and third-party applications to allow employees to engage with each other seamlessly.
The numbers show it; productivity starts with empathy and collaboration, where remote teams get to work together cohesively. By grounding themselves in their purpose and deep listening to their customers every day, they’re doing what they’ve set out to do: “Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”
Tip 3: Experiment with your solutions (Zipline)
“These small, agile, developing economies can out-innovate large, rich ones. And they can totally leapfrog over the absence of legacy infrastructure to go straight to newer and better systems.” — Keller Rinaudo, CEO & co-founder of Zipline
Drone delivery pioneer Zipline sends medical supplies autonomously over long distances. Essentially, their mission is to deliver basic access to medicine.
Productivity is coursing throughout Zipline’s processes. Rinaudo points out how even one leap generates compounding gains: Rwanda was the first country to invest in the infrastructure for its healthcare, and now has an aerial logistics network that they can use to catalyze other parts of their economy, like agriculture or e-commerce, as Rinaudo says in his TED Talk.
By experimenting with different solutions, several countries across the world have worked with Zipline to develop processes that solve for competing priorities of waste and access to medical supplies in the healthcare industry.
To empower professionals, I write as Chief Marketing and Product Officer at Weavit — a productivity app that maps out your knowledge in your pocket. We’re set out to launch on the app store Spring 2021.