We all notice things that could be improved, get ideas for something new, or we’re good at expanding on others’ ideas.
When Lilly gets an idea for something new or different, or notices a process, product or service that could be improved, she floats it to a number of people whose opinion she values. If they think it has merit, she turns it into a project, inviting people from around the company to join the team. She proudly calls these projects her ‘science projects.’
People volunteer to be on Lilly’s teams because she is open-minded, gets things done, gives them opportunities to stretch and be as involved as they can, particularly when the project has nothing to do with their current role. It’s not easy to add to already full-plate workloads, but if it’s a topic that energizes them, they find a way.
I am impressed with Lilly’s approach to improving processes and creating new revenue streams. With 20+ years in her company, her ‘science projects’ keep her energized. In fact, they have become a significant part of her reputation, her brand.
Lilly has quite a following throughout the company, and with customers, who are energized by her positive spirit and ability to turn ideas into results. Plus, she is known for giving credit to those involved, giving them additional visibility. It is a win-win all around.
Cross-functional teams are part of this global company’s culture, and everyone is encouraged to volunteer for a team that will help them stretch and grow. I’ve heard directors say they reached their level because of their growth through cross-functional teams. Their knowledge, capabilities and networks expanded.
What science project would you like to start?