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Meet 5 of the Most Innovative Leaders of 2019

Meet 5 of the Most Innovative Leaders of 2019

At the 2019 Great Place to Work for All Summit, we presented awards to ten Innovation by All honorees that showed us how innovation can flourish when employees are given room to act on their own expertise and explore their best selves. In this blog post, we will tell you about the first five winners, and follow up with the remaining five winners in a future post. We hope that these people and their stories of innovation serve as inspiration for all employees with ideas for making their companies more inclusive and better performing.

New process drives big results at Methodist University Hospital
Katie McLean, Outpatient Pharmacy Manager at Methodist University Hospital, spearheaded the development of a new process that included bedside delivery and education on prescriptions, facilitated by new electronic forms. This process eliminated lost consults, is more efficient and less costly, facilitates bedside education by pharmacists and pharmacy students, increases patient care and compliance in vulnerable populations, and expedites medication delivery to patients.

Idea leads to new product... and new job at The Trade Desk
As an entry-level team member at The Trade Desk, Sean D’Arcy’s background in Finance inspired him to figure out a way to apply financial models to media buying. He invented the advertising industry’s first data-informed planning tool. Previously, advertisers had to guess what strategies would be most effective for them and refine the campaign based on initial performance – which was error prone, time-consuming and costly. Sean taught himself programming, accessed Trade Desks’ voluminous data, and used financial models to target and price the most effective ads based on vast data sets before the campaign was even launched. As a result of Sean’s work, the Trade Desk has over 95% customer retention (and created the centerpiece of their largest product release). And Sean is now the Director of Trading Innovation.

No challenge is too big to overcome at HIlton
John Bernier is Hilton’s Area Director of Human Resources, responsible for the team members at several Hilton properties. John doesn’t let the fact that English is a second language for 70% of the team or that 50% of the team doesn’t own a home computer or have tech skills dissuade him from introducing numerous technical innovations into the hotel workplace. He has discovered and implemented communication, recognition, scheduling, and security tech-based solutions that have dramatically increased employees’ experience survey scores year over year, improved guest service, increased operational efficiency, and – in some cases – recovered 90% of managers’ time on automated tasks.

Helping others be more successful at AT&T
Tim Innes is a Software Engineer who joined AT&T after a career in entertainment. In less than 5 years at AT&T, Tim has contributed to 36 inventions, including 32 patents that are pending and one that has been granted. He’s shared his passion for innovating by leading patent roundtables to help other employees develop and submit patent ideas and has created a program to make innovation processes and opportunities sustainable at AT&T. In addition, soon after Tim joined AT&T, he developed the idea for a job board that provides short-term assignments for employees with scheduling gaps, helping them develop new skills, gain hands-on experience, and expand their professional networks. This tool eventually became integrated into AT&T’s personal and professional development platform and is a key part of their ongoing workforce reskilling strategy, with the potential to benefit over a quarter of a million people’s lives.

Small program goes huge at EY
As Head of Diversity & Inclusion in EY’s West Region, Hasan Rafiq supports over 6,000 professionals representing more than 80 nationalities. Seventy percent are millennials, and 1,500 are foreign nationals. Hasan has innovated EY’s own approach to Diversity & Inclusion by introducing hackathons and design thinking to D&I problems. As a result, EY has found his programs go beyond simply challenging people’s biases to creating practical personal and systemic behavior changes that drive better business performance and collaboration across EY’s global teams. Today, the work Hasan started in the Middle East and North Africa Region has been scaled to more than 70 countries and 80,000 people. And based on its success, he’s now working to scale this experience globally in an on-demand mobile, gamified version to all 260,000 EY professionals. EY has seen benefits not only in team collaboration, but the quality of their support for clients.

Keep your eyes peeled as we will be sharing five more examples of great innovation in a future blog post.


Katie Van Geffen