People Insights + Market Insights delivers Profitable Innovation
(In the spirit of collaboration, this is cross posted to the TeamFit blog.)
Later this year we plan to combine the people insights platform developed at TeamFit with the market insights work being done at Ibbaka to create a new business (subject to shareholder approval). The two companies have already worked together on a number of projects. In 2018 we collaborated on research into the changing skills used for pricing, and we are now taking that to the next step, building a competency model for pricing excellence. In 2019, we have shared projects on competency models for innovation and customer experience and are doing joint R&D on applications of clustering models and other applications of AI.
The collaboration is already paying dividends, generating new business and ways of solving problems. Our larger vision is to use insights into innovation and market opportunities (driven by Ibbaka's market research and pricing business) to help our customers know where to create and capture value, and then support execution through insights into the skills and teams needed to deliver (we do this using TeamFit's skill and competency platform and its application of AI to identify future skills).
To support this growth, three new people have joined us recently: Alexis Katigbak, Brent Ross and Jessie Tai.
As a student, Alexis led the University of British Columbia (UBC) team that built the prototype for what is now the TeamFit People Insights platform. She will be leading our work in data integration (our platforms are data hungry) and partnering with other companies working towards the same goals of more effective innovation and resilient and adaptable workforces and careers.
Join us in welcoming these three very capable to the team. We are looking forward to seeing how they will change us.
Brent Ross brings us deep experience in culture and change management. He is responsible for customer success and for building a library of open source competency models that will create value for our customers and community.
Jessie Tai was our star intern while at UBC and now that she has graduated she is joining the team. Jessie combines a great analytical mind with discipline and focus (she is also a top level Ultimate frisbee athlete) and is working on many of our projects, connecting the different strands.
We asked them a series of questions to help us think through how to make them successful.
What impact do you want to have on the company and its community (which includes users, customers, stakeholders, thought leaders, community and the communities we operate in)?
Brent: I think my highest aspiration is to accelerate innovation in part by helping people get more connected to purpose. Not the kind you read in a mission or vision statement, but the sort of purpose you experience more deeply on a day to day basis. When pricing and marketing strategies are well-designed, they connect organizations and their people more directly to the unique value of the business and their impact. Ibbaka also fosters greater self-awareness around individual skills and aspirations through TeamFit Profiles, which in turn can lead to a greater sense of one's own uniqueness and ability to have an impact. Collaboration is essential to this end, and so I also hope to help our customers and partners connect in meaningful and impactful ways with each other.
Alexis: I want to help build products that enable our customers and users drive value in their businesses - whether that's developing the awareness and capabilities of the people that enable this, or uncovering the insights needed to reach their target markets and business goals.
Jessie: I hope we can inspire other start-ups to strive to be the best at what they are doing and believe in their abilities. Ibbaka should have the impact on customers that we are the true leaders in the pricing industry and can take on any challenge. I hope our work can open the eyes of the SaaS and IoT community in regards to pricing. By spearheading and developing best practices in pricing, I believe our impact will continue to strengthen and grow.
What experiences are you bringing to Ibbaka that will shape how you approach your work?
Jessie: My history in competitive team sports has created many transferable skills when it comes to my work with Ibbaka. Skills such as teamwork and communication has always been a strong suit of mine and proven effective in the sport and work environment. Another aspect of competitive sports is the importance of individual training. This calls for a focus on personal goals and performance while testing one's own endurance and intensity. This individual experience translates well to my personal drive in work and mental focus during projects.
Alexis:Vision Critical served organizations that wanted to truly understand their customers and Lululemon had a very highly engaged loyal community. These experiences shaped my product philosophy to one of co-creation and continuously delivering value to customers, users and their communities.
Brent: Throughout my career, I've made a point of working across multiple functions and industries with the goal of bridging disciplines, as well as consistently improving my ability to make connections in the bigger picture. I only recently learned that I fit the profile for what the Center for Creative Leadership calls an 'agile learner', which as it turns out, is often the opposite of becoming highly specialized in a single role or function. I also grew up living in a total of five countries including Canada and moved nine times between the ages of two and sixteen. Moving around helped me cultivate deep empathy and curiosity. The combination of these traits is is at the center of how I approach my work with customers, colleagues, and partners.
What are your core skills today? What are your target skills?
Brent: I love helping teams navigate complexity and find connections between seemingly disparate things. Core skills that contribute to this ability are systems thinking, asking really good questions, empathy, communication, and strategic thinking. In my current role, I'm actively working on building my skills in customer success, strategic partnerships, business development, product marketing, and competency modeling.
Jessie: Core: organization, problem solving, empathy. Target: project management, design thinking.
Alexis: Core skills are active listening, agile delivery, customer discovery, product strategy and being organized to a fault. Target skills are ongoing growth in areas such as market dynamics, financial modeling, go to market and team development.
What are your passions, beyond work?
Jessie: I have a passion for sports. I’ve been very fortunate to be involved in countless sports since a young age. Some of my favourites include swimming, basketball, volleyball, baseball, track, javelin, discus, and my current favourite, ultimate frisbee. Fun fact, I play on the top Vancouver women’s ultimate team and we will be competing in Canadian and US nationals.
Brent: I'm a portrait photographer, and I love the process of connecting with people to frame and capture their uniqueness. But like anyone who picks up a camera, I also love to capture the emotion I spot in moments of the day-to-day. I have a background as a musician and singer, and I'm a fan of the ballet. The most inspiring work I've ever seen was a ballet titled, 'Within the Golden Hour' by Christopher Wheeldon. If you get a chance to see it, go!
Alexis: Endless curiosity around food, books and yoga. It is through these activities that I am able to connect to other people, cultures and worlds (fictitious or not)!
Over the next five years, what can we do to make the world a better place?
Brent: Let's face it - humanity needs to seriously up our awareness of how we are connected to the world around us and to be consistently innovating from that place. Our offerings support the kind of accelerated learning needed to help make this happen. The more we can do to help individuals and companies realize their full potential, the better.
Alexis: We can influence the future of work for organizations that want to be intentional in how they approach their markets and how their people grow.
Jessie: We should continue to expand our team of intelligent and passionate individuals. Alongside this, we can continue to foster a unique environment where the team can grow and work together. This will lead to the natural collaboration of ideas and an organic formation of relationships. Expansion and the continued focus on a healthy work environment will lead to creation, problem solving and development that will make the world a better place.