Friday, October 30, 2015

This Week In Innovation: 10/26/15 - 10/30/15

Growing up there were always those kids who would to refuse to drink water unless it had some sort of flavor enhancer. Now, those kids are getting just what they need! According to a Fast Company article, a new product called, “The Right Cup” solves this problem by wafting flavor aromas as you drink, tricking your brain into thinking you’re drinking more than just water. “The design is dead simple. It’s a plastic cup with a liner that emits fruity aromas straight from its plastic. You don’t need to add any other substances. You just fill up the cup and drink.” The article explains that the reason this works is due to the fact that the majority of what we taste is through what we smell with our noses. The tongue has only 5 tastes that it is receptive to: salty, sour, bitter, sweet, and umami. This is another reason why whenever we’re sick and our noses are plugged, taste is hardly there. The Right Cup is definitely a very innovative and unique invention and markets to a specific group of people who, up till now, have had to buy enhanced water. I will be interested to see where this product goes from here. 

Remember when I wrote about the presidential debate and it being broadcast in VR (virtual reality)? Well according to an article on Fast Company, the NBA’s tried using VR this last week and, they’re words not mine, it was “a lot more compelling.” The article states that after 18 months of privately testing VR on NBA games, the NBA finally decided to unleash it on the night of the opening game between the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors and the New Orleans Pelicans. Also mentioned, is the fact that this was the first professional sporting event to have been live streamed to the public. In comparing it to the presidential debates, the writer expresses that, “watching that debate was interesting, for about three minutes, after which it was no longer a novel experience. That was mainly, I believe, because of the camera placement, and because something about a debate doesn’t lend itself to VR. At least not yet. And that’s coming from a presidential politics junkie.” I wholeheartedly agree with this reasoning. A presidential debate in VR does not nearly have as much action and pace as a sporting match. This is where I believe the NBA game has a leg up on the debate. Did any of you happen to catch the NBA game?

Working in an office can get “crumby” am I right? Between staring at this bright orb of light for eight hours and having fluorescent lights beat down on you all day, life at the office can get mundane. Not to mention the chairs that I know we ALL slouch in. But what if you could change at least one part of this uncomfortable environment? What if…rather than sitting in these uncomfortable work chairs we were able to sit in a chair that has a sitting, standing, and….wait for it…lying down position! Get your finger out of your ear, you heard correctly. In an article this week on Fast Company, a new product called the “Altwork Station” allows you to work efficiently in all three of these positions. “At the push of a button, the desk can tweak the position of everything or fully shift back into sitting or standing. As the back moves, the monitor moves with your eyes, the desk moves with your hands, and the back headrest shifts slightly in or out to best support your head.” According to the co-Founder of the station, Che Voigt, “’you can make one of two choices: you can say you're going to sit in this uncomfortable position because it's more protective of your body. Or, I think we can go the other route, which is, how about we just let people work the way they want to?’" This piece of furniture innovation and design is also unique because it was designed by aerospace engineers. Think you want one? Starting price is at, $3,900, so step on up!

This week, Fast Company wrote an article on IBM’s announcement of acquiring the digital and data assets of the Weather Company. This is a very bold and unexpected move for the company, however it can be seen as an innovation move. According to the article, The Weather Company’s “data sets—which impact everything from the aerospace sector to insurance companies and retailers—could help create new use cases for Watson, IBM's artificial intelligence platform.” In this respect, IBM is most interested in the Weather Company’s in-house forecasting team called WSI. This team works to make sophisticated projections for well-heeled governmental and corporate clients based on weather data. “WSI could offer a new client base for Watson-related initiatives, and help boost IBM’s reputation as a provider of analytics solutions.” IBM’s strong move toward this kind of innovation is a very interesting step for the organization and it will be important to follow new developments that come from this in the coming years.

Nichole Dicharry, is a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Marketing and Finance Divisions, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

How to Create a Culture Where You Can Capitalize on Innovation

Creating a Commercialization Culture:
How to Create a Culture Where You Can Capitalize on Innovation

A BEI presentation by Jay Morgan, VP Global Innovation Bayer Consumer Care

Jay Morgan shared his story of how Merck Consumer Care (now Bayer Consumer Care) began its innovation journey.

The story takes place in Memphis, TN. It begins in 2011. It began with struggle and a question: What are the barriers to innovation in you business that are keeping you from producing the desired results?

In 2011, things were “pretty good, but not seeing great growth.” We got a new CEO who had a very big vision. She wanted the double the size of the business in five years.

Because we were not going to get double the people or double the budget, we had to think in new ways. Value engineering and being more efficient wouldn’t double growth.

Fist, we studied the situation. In Pharma style, we visited other more innovative companies and made a journey of discovery.

The patterns of behavior and culture at these companies ran counter to our pattern. We lacked both ideas and execution—it was a cultural problem. We weren’t getting the results we wanted.

We broke the study into two camps: Incremental Cultures and Innovation Cultures. After a look into the mirror: we confessed we were an incremental culture and needed to change.

The innovation companies had a bias for action, shared work-in-progress, deep collaboration, and shared workspace.

Even the way Insights are gathered and shared are different at Incremental and Innovative companies. At Innovation companies, we go out into the context of the market itself, having in depth and meaningful conversation with consumers.

The frame of the opportunity expands beyond new product development into every touch point in the brand experience: digital, communication, claims, packaging, shopping experience, or a business model innovation.

We developed a five-point plan for changing the culture:
·      Learn by doing (three projects in one year, as a prototype)
·      Start small ($50k budget)
·      Work on tools and culture (Design Thinking; One table, no offices)
·      Work in more cycles (Memphis Innovation Bootcamp)
·      Get help (bring in the Southern Growth Studio to do the projects with us instead of for us)

We also co-founded the Memphis Innovation Bootcamp with Merck, Michael Graber of the Southern Growth Studio, Dr. Brian Janz, and a few others to share this toolkit and creative a broader culture of the Memphis community. In Memphis, we took innovators and applied to social challenges that benefited the Memphis community. We mastered the material by teaching in in several cycles of the Bootcamp.

Key learning for success: Engage the whole company. Form a Realization team—of key players that will help you realize the concept in the market. Debrief everything. Create revenue-based metrics.

The key take-away was don’t wait for leadership to fix the culture. Start. Just start. Start small. Share the results, then scale with each success.

Michael Graber is the managing partner of the Southern Growth Studio, an innovation and strategic growth firm based in Memphis, TN. Visit to learn more.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What are Your Innovation Values?

Back End of Innovation Keynote Exercise

A BEI 2015 talk given by David Matheson, SmartOrg

Work It! What are Your Innovation Values?

Matheson opens up by making fun of company mission statements and empty value statements. Then, he turns to the crowd and asks them, “What really matters?”

Then, we did a heart listening exercise. In this exercise, we worked with a partner to draw out what really motivated them—to the point where they became speechless.

At this wordless point of wonder there lies the core motivation. The tool was one of the most reliable, one of the oldest: conversation.

After the results were shared, many innovators awoke to a renewed sense of calling and a fresh perspective on what was really driving them.

Michael Graber is the managing partner of the Southern Growth Studio, an innovation and strategic growth firm based in Memphis, TN. Visit to learn more.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Journey Toward Commercialization

A Journey Toward Commercialization

A Case Study in Xerox’s Venture into Telemedicine 

 A BEI 2015 talk given by Denise Fletcher, Xerox.

Xerox has more than 5,000 researchers and a deep history of innovation. Xerox has six research centers across the globe.

Telehealth has reached market readiness. Forces converged to make the market ready: doctor shortage, larger population, and Affordable Healthcare Act.

Meanwhile, consumers are demanding more and better care, “on-demand” care. As well, most people have access to smartphones. Finally, regulations changed to adopt telemedicine.

Consumers seek care everywhere. They don’t want to wait a few days. As well, they want care that easy to access anytime, anywhere.

Xerox already works in 1,900 hospitals, with Payors, and with large employers; so getting into the space made sense for the company.

Challenges arose:
·      Interoperability
·      Clinical workflow
·      Security and Privacy
·      Physician involvement

To enter the space, Xerox invested in HealthSpot.

The build out and operational cost of a clinic versus a telemedicine kiosk were much less expensive, $250,000 less in fact on average.

The objective was to create value by handling coughs and colds via telemedicine to reduce ER expenses.

Trying to move Americans to get the right care through the right channel is key.

Most important, the market potential of Telemedicine was a high-growth area.

Right now, this technology is being piloted in a Rite Aid in Ohio.

In five years out we see this moving into the home, via smart television instead of a kiosk. As well, we’ll see more remote monitoring devices.

Home-based telemedicine is where the future is heading to make our lives easier.

Michael Graber is the managing partner of the Southern Growth Studio, an innovation and strategic growth firm based in Memphis, TN. Visit to learn more.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Vertical Innovation™

Vertical Innovation™

A Back End of Innovation Presentation by Bill Nottingham, Nottingham Sprik

In Vertical Innovation, one firm handles all of these steps in the process:
·      Insight
·      Design
·      Engineering
·      Prototyping
·      Sourcing
·      Packaging

We define innovation as “the collision of unrelated ideas.”

Our first client was a rotational molder who made bedpans. We collided two worlds and used our clients to create Little Tykes. They turned from making bedpans to being a leading toymaker.

Three value-generating platforms were discussed:

1.     Tech Transfer: The problem with traditional tech transfer is that you don’t get a lot of transfer. But working with Nottingham Sprik, Case Western University was about to create the CardioInsight vest, which was then acquired by Medtronic.

2.     Platform Innovation: They created the Troybuilt FLEX—a line of products that collided tractors with lawn care. Lowe’s became the exclusive retailer of this product suite and Nottingham Sprik was allowed to handle the branding around the products and the launch. FLEX is a modular system for lawn care. Changing out the modules was core to the innovation, solved with a kick-stand innovation.

3.     Soft Launch: Took the concept of an ATM machine and a pharmacy and created a hybrid. They created a telemedicine kiosk, introduced it at CES, then where the concept (HealthSpot) won the CES Entrepreneur of Year award. Then, they rolled it out to hospital systems, then lastly into Rite Aid.

Michael Graber is the managing partner of the Southern Growth Studio, an innovation and strategic growth firm based in Memphis, TN. Visit to learn more.

Friday, October 23, 2015

This Week In Innovation: 10/19/15 - 10/23/15

This week Fast Company wrote a piece that discusses YouTube’s new initiative to have a paywall for an ad-free experience on top of exclusive content. It has been discussed for some time now, that the ever-popular YouTube may start charging its audience. According to the source, Re/code, YouTube is funding some new exclusive content for viewers noting stars like Bethany Mota and Michelle Phan. “By encouraging people to pay to watch exclusive content from its most bankable stars, YouTube is simply following the same model as other streaming services—though unlike Apple Music and Netflix, it will continue to offer a free, ad-supported tier.” This effort, as noted in the article can double as another way to keep YouTube’s current talent and creators from abandoning YouTube and using a different platform. Even though this has been discussed for a while now, it’s interesting to hear confirmation on this new initiative and how this may change things for the online video host.

If you’re someone who follows social media closely and eye’s its ever changing innovation game, you’re probably aware of Snapchat’s “Discover” function and the numerous media brands it hosts on that function. However, if you followed the Discover function from the very beginning you might have noticed that Yahoo dropped from being hosted recently. According to a Fast Company article this week, Snapchat told Fast Company that the reason the social media platform dropped Yahoo was due to the fact that Katie Couric, who headlined the function, was not appealing to the younger Snapchat audience. “’Most Yahoo content opened like an old-school news broadcast, with Couric sitting at a desk, reading into the camera, followed by a long cut to the Yahoo logo. Kids couldn’t tune out fast enough.’” In dropping Yahoo, Snapchat picked up Buzzfeed (some might say a more likely and similar media source) due to their similar audience. All of this drama just illustrates how much trial and error goes into building in new innovation on various social media platforms.

If you work in New York City but commute from New Jersey, well then, you may want to sit down while you read this article. According to a Fast Company article released this week, there are plans to build a new bridge across the river just for pedestrians and cyclists. New Jersey resident Kevin Shane teamed up with architect Jeff Jordan to dream up this idea of a one mile walkway which will link Jersey City to lower Manhattan. The bridge, called “The Liberty”, is planned to rise 200 feet and be much like the popular Manhattan walkway, the highline. This bridge is based off of the model of the Walkway over the Hudson which is located 80 miles away in Poughkeepsie, New York. The article claims that the funding strategy for this project is built on the idea that due to this structure possibly becoming an icon, many large corporations will clamor at any chance to fund it and get a name on it. This project would be very innovative if properly funded, so here’s to waiting around to see if it gains traction amongst New York’s wealthy. 

Nowadays the car to own and have is a smart car, or one that has extensive technological capabilities. However, whenever we look into getting said car, our hopes and dreams are shot by the outrageous price that’s associated with buying these cool mobile gadgets. Not to fear though! According to a Fast Company article, a new San Francisco-based startup called Voyomotive is going to change everything about this dilemma. The article discusses this new company’s venture in introducing a sleek gadget called the “Voyo” which will plug into a car’s OBD-II port and have an accompanying app. According to the article, the gadget will work with any model from 1996 and on! “After a two-minute set-up, the $200 gadget essentially becomes a car's second brain, cracking into all of the data the car produces and translating it into more useful metrics for drivers.” The article states that if your “check engine” light comes on and you’re not sure why, the Voyo can read the alert and figure out why it it’s blinking. This is definitely a unique and innovative design that has the potential to build an entirely new market for people looking to have the perks of a “smart” car without have to drop millions of dollars. 

Nichole Dicharry, is a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Marketing and Finance Divisions, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Value Stream Discovery Workshop

Value Stream Discovery Workshop

Workshop led by Aaron Eden, former Innovation Catalyst at Intuit before founding Moves the Needle.
Value Stream Discovery is a framework for unlocking value for enterprises, in a scale-able manner.

Lean Innovation: How to eliminate waste in the discovery of new value.

Lean innovation is a blend of Design Thinking and Lean Startup.

This framework begins with concepts, then runs a series of lean experiments to prove desirability and viability in the market. Based on the learning of the experiments, the idea gets run by consumers quickly and often, in rapid cycles that reform and inform the changes to the concept based on actual customer behavior.

Here are the steps, as a basic overview: Customer Empathy>MVP (minimum viable product)> Market> Scale / Financials.

What is the Value Stream of this concept? All business activities necessary to create and deliver value to customers.

Focus on desired customer behavior.

For each state, hypothesize:
·      What is the desired customer behavior?
·      What must the business do to get the user there?
·      How can we measure?

The Value Stream Model:
Now, we move into the model.

Identify who is the right customer. Who is the ideal, perfect customer for your business? The highest-value customer?

Here’s the trick. We have a starting hypothesis, but the founding idea doesn’t matter at all.

Once we test this hypothesis, the ideas morph and adapt.

“The ideas that go in and not the ideas that come out.”

How do we test the right customer inexpensively? For example, AIRBNB tested potential interest via a Craiglist’s ad.

The highly iterative and adaptive nature of this framework gives it its value. You use the insights and human-centered approach from Design Thinking and test often and adapt per feedback cycle from Lean.

 This tool is ideal for organizations that need to narrow their focus to move quickly in a way that is validated by the market.

Michael Graber is the managing partner of the Southern Growth Studio, an innovation and strategic growth firm based in Memphis, TN. Visit to learn more.

Continuing Foresight Thinking Past the Front End


Hello from the Back End of Innovation conference, 2015. 

These tips come from a workshop led by Tamara Carleton, Innovation Leadership Board, LLC.

This session focuses on strategic foresight, which is the ability to build the future we envision.

Strategic foresight is based on choices made today intended to influence future action. The goal is to lesson ambiguity with a mix of mindset and foresight. The reason is that the early decisions in any undertaking impact the actions you take.

So, what is the process, what are the steps?

Foresight in Action 1: Build relationships as you build your ideas.

Ms. Carleton introduced the Crowd Clover, an exercise to help identify the social network that map out the people who help us succeed. It asks who are the catalysts, connectors, promoters, and enablers.

Identify mas many as possible, and then mark the ones that are either formal or informal relationships.

You can do this exercise on the individual, project, team, divisional, or organizational level.

The key learning is that you realize your strengths and blind spots in areas where people capital can be integral for success.

Foresight in Action 2: Excite current and new champions with a vision.

This tool is a version of an elevator pitch. It is a Vision Statement whose goal is to get the story down to essentials and convey the key points of value. This vision helps others create a mental picture of the impact and value of this project. The drafting process works like Mad Libs. You fill in the blanks:

Our Vision is to ________________________________.

It was impossible until today because _________________________________.

The timing is now right to ______________________________________.

Precedents of this idea include ____________________________, __________________________.

By working with our partners ________________________________________ we will make this vision real in _________months.

Today, we’re beginning this journey by ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.

Foresight in Action 3: Help others see what is coming next

This tool is a version of the Quad chart. It is called a NewCo Four-Up, which summarizes the essence of your plan according to the promotion of the concept, the strategy, the competitive advantages, and the path of change. So, at this end of this exercise you have defined the What, Where, Why, and How as a working definition.

A quick exercise proved that this process is exceedingly both descriptive and generative.

Foresight in Action 4: Practice Receiving Ideas
This tool is a practice in simply sharing and socializing ideas and getting feedback.

This practice of storytelling keeps you sharp and attuned to your audience and how well your communication is being received, more important, how well you listen and receive feedback.

Think of these as Buddy Checks. Have everyone on the team practice these Buddy Check storytelling and turn them into project evangelists and good listeners.

The idea here is not to sell a pitch, but to communicate, and to learn and refine the story arc by receiving valuable feedback.

Michael Graber is the managing partner of the Southern Growth Studio, an innovation and strategic growth firm based in Memphis, TN. Visit to learn more.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Create Your Organization’s Future at Innovate 2015

Are you prepared for the next wave of innovation? From the producers of Front End of Innovation (FEI), the world leader in advancing innovation, Innovate 2015 has been created to keep you ahead of the game, focusing on the future.

Innovate 2015 taking place November 16-18 in Toronto, Canada shows you how to ensure you organization is innovation successfully, every time. At Innovate you will learn from and collaborate with experts and peers sharing global perspectives on the most critical elements of the innovation life-cycle.

Don’t miss these sessions if you want your innovation strategy to be future-ready:

·         The Ever-Growing Importance of Foresight in Innovation
Olga Patel Diamandis, Open Innovation, Mattel
·         Creating the Future
Lina Yang, Director, Futurist, Advanced Technology Lab, The Hershey Company
·         Macro Trend Spotlight: The Future of Indulgence
Emily Empel, Co-Head of Foresight, Idea Couture
·         Leading with Innovation: How to Future-Proof Yourself, Fearlessly Innovate, and Succeed in the New Normal
Scott Steinberg, Author, Make Change Work for You
·         Emerging Human Insights: A Future-Focused Toronto Adventure
Led by: Emily Empel & Jayar LaFontaine, Idea Couture

Download the brochure for the full Innovate 2015 program:

As a valued member of our Future Trends LinkedIn community you get an exclusive $100 off the current rate when you use code INNO15BL. Register today:

We hope to see you in Toronto!

The Innovate 2015 Team

Monday, October 19, 2015

Spark Your Innovation!

The Corporate Intrapreneur Summit (organized by the Institute for International Research and Culturevate) that took place on October 8 in NYC brought together more than 70 thought leaders and practitioners in the field of corporate innovation. Over the day packed with panel discussions, case study presentations and interactive working sessions, they discussed the benefits and problems large companies face when launching corporate intrapreneurship programs.

One of the most interesting presentations was given by Roel de Vries, Innovation Program Manager with Liberty Global, an international telecommunication company. Roel spoke about Spark, Liberty Global’s innovation program. After Summit closing, I sat with Roel and asked him a few questions about Spark.

E.I.: Roel, what is Spark and what were your objectives for launching this program?

R. de V.: Spark is Liberty Global’s innovation initiative designed to source and refine ideas in response to real business challenges by tapping into collective creativity of our employees and partners. It was conceived as a very bottom-up initiative to involve employees in the wider scheme of innovation. The journey started in 2011 with the single implementation of a very raw platform offered to our employees in the Netherlands. This platform allowed employees to submit their ideas - an online suggestion scheme, so to speak. We got first results and launched the initiative in some other countries, but we also saw that we weren’t getting the most out of this endeavor.

E.I.: Why?

R. de V.: Best practices and ideas weren’t shared between business units and employees, and we also saw a lot of ideas that didn’t fit to what we were looking for.

E.I.: So, what happened next?

R. de V.: In 2013, we decided to try another approach: we started with the end in mind. A framework was first developed by which we aligned the idea inflow to the company strategy. Then we ran focused ideation campaigns online to gather ideas from our employees. By putting focus on the question and by taking effort to carefully formulate it, we made sure we’re collecting ideas our business units were looking for. During these campaigns we also supported the idea maturing process by providing appropriate tools and by connecting ideas to ideas and employees to employees.

E.I.: Did that make a difference?

R. de V.: It did. Now, in the year 2015, with the help of this new supporting platform, we’re
connecting ideas and employees worldwide, which really results in great interactions! Through the platform we’re also capable of tracking implementation and return on investment (ROI) realized by these implementations. Spark has become the Swiss army knife--or MacGyver, if you prefer--for the whole organization. It has created tools that allow the business to innovate with all employees. Obviously, we’re looking into the future to find new ways of supporting our corporate intrapreneurs, helping them realize their own ideas.

E.I.: Is Spark exclusively internal innovation program or it also has an “external” arm?

R. de V.: Spark also looks for external ideas. We run similar online ideation campaigns with vendors and we work together with students from the Technical University in the Netherlands who can complete part of their Master assignments on campus at Liberty Global. Also here, Spark creates the environment and methods that business units can use to easily involve these external parties in their innovation efforts.

E.I.: Roel, can you give us some numbers to better understand the scope of Spark?

R. de V.: Sure. The program is available to 20,000 Liberty Global employees, and we register above 35% overall activity. About 15%-20% of employees invited to ideation campaigns participate in them. Overall, 13,000 ideas have been collected over all these years, of which about 1,000 were implemented. As a result, ROI for the programs runs into millions of dollars of new revenue and cost savings, and we see millions more in the pipeline.

About the Author: Eugene Ivanov is helping organizations of different sizes design and implement internal and external innovation programs. He’s an expert in selecting and defining R&D problems that can be successfully solved by crowdsourcing. He writes blog Innovation Observer and tweets @eugeneivanov101. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

This Week In Innovation: 10/12/15 - 10/16/15

Cars are a nice way to get around and all, but what if we didn’t have cars? What would city streets look like without roads paved for driving? Would the mode of transportation be biking, and wat would that look like in a reimagined city? All of these questions and more were answered this week in an article by Fast Company. This article explored what it would look like to have a city, such as New York City, reimagined and designed so that the city infrastructure was solely for cycling. “In Sydney, the designers looked at how the city could be rebuilt with a new network of lanes—including a bike-friendly apartment building in the center, with ramps that lead directly to each floor. Cyclists could take an elevator up to their floor and coast down the ramp into their apartment; when they want to leave, they can coast down several stories of ramps directly into a bike lane.” The idea is quite fascinating and upon looking at several sketches, looks very manageable and “new age.” The article in its entirety can be found here. 

In the world of Washington, this week was marked with the first Democratic Presidential Debate. In the world of VR (virtual reality), however, this meant little to nothing. This week Fast Company wrote an article discussing how the debate was the first-ever live news broadcast in VR and how it hardly came to be a defining moment. Assembled by NextVR solely set up for Samsung’s Gear VR, “the debate showcased live, wide-angle views of the five "major" 2016 Democratic candidates for president of the United States. Watching the VR version of the debate, you could see a 180-degree view of the candidates from one of three different cameras placed in the debate hall.” However, according to the article the experience of the debate in VR was not as inspiring as one might have thought. “…the view was fuzzy. Moderator Anderson Cooper never looked as crisp and clear as he would on TV or on the web, something a number of my Fast Company colleagues would no doubt have been disappointed by.” Did any of you watch the debate in VR?

This week Fast Company wrote a piece on Pinterest and their innovative initiatives to expand their diversity. Much of the makeup and demographic of the company’s employees included white and Asian men, leaving out a large population that doesn’t fit into those categories. “Silbermann and Sharp were forced to admit that Pinterest still looked too much like them: a couple of dudes. The proportion of women in tech roles at Pinterest (21%) remained unchanged from the previous year; same with the percentages of African-American and Latino employees overall: 1% and 2%, respectively. According to the article, the first step was to harness creativity to sell the employees on the diversity measures they were going to take after this past summer. The company is also partnering with a consulting firm by the name of Paradigm, to work on an unorthodox project called Inclusion Labs. This project will test the effectiveness of various diversity measures ad continually make adjustments. I highly recommend reading the entire article on Fast Company to understand more of the specific projects the company is taking on. 

Nichole Dicharry, is a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Marketing and Finance Divisions, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at 

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