The Importance of Innovation

Posted by on Oct 19, 2014 | No Comments
The Importance of Innovation

Tony Atkins and Jessica Sooknanan, setting off on an impromptu bike ride!

This year, Digital Talent Program employees Jessica Sooknanan and Tony Atkins were selected to participate in Cox Media Group’s third annual Innovation Summit. Both were sent out to Boulder to master the skill of design thinking and have gone back to Atlanta and Austin, respectively, with a fresh mindset to apply to their daily jobs.

Tony Atkins:

I always appreciate being at Cox Media Group because I understand how much they’re really investing in the digital future and you can actually see that investment and commitment trickle down from the top levels of the company. At the Austin American-Statesman, a legacy medium that has been around since 1871, we are looking at and finding innovative and creative ways to extend our reach to the digital masses.

We found some beautiful sights on our bike ride through Boulder!

Thanks to investments in video, new digital products (such as the Austin360 Entertainment and breaking news app) and more, the Austin American-Statesman continues to remain the number one news source in the Austin market while extending its reach.

During my trip to the Innovation Summit, I learned a lot about how organizations like these stay ahead of the curve. Learning the ‘why’ of anything is really important in identify problems and ultimately, finding solutions. A lot of times, we can get stuck in routines and not even know why we’re doing what we’re doing. To innovate, you’re going to have to change some things. Make sure you’re asking “why?” as much as you can. Don’t be afraid to help push this world forward. #Innovate!

Jessica Sooknanan:

Jessica capturing the scenery.

A rhetorical question for my fellow 20-somethings: how lucky are we to begin our careers right in the heart digital revolution? Here we are, entering the workforce just as all industries are catapulted into the age of the Internet, facing unanticipated challenges.

Cox Media Group is a great place to be during this exciting time; the company has an insatiable appetite for innovation and creativity.

The 2014 CMG Innovation Summit helped me better understand Cox Media Group’s vision for a digital future and provided me with a blueprint for taking an abstract idea and turning it into a concrete product. This is an important skill set to cultivate, because the process of turning an idea into a product is what separates the dreamers from the doers.

Warren Berger, design thinker, innovator and author, was brought in as the keynote speaker for the event. He focused on the power questioning has on finding solutions. As we learned during his presentation, some of the best solutions are born from the perfect question (i.e. Netflix, Apple, Airbnb, Google).

Jessica and her team’s consultant, Zach, who works with CMG’s innovation team in Austin, TX.

Berger encouraged averting the complacency that comes with the daily work grind by constantly questioning norms with childlike curiosity. In the words of Yoda, “Truly wonderful the mind of a child is.”

Traveling to Boulder for the Innovation Summit helped me learn to loosen up my mind and look for solutions in unlikely places. The Summit left me feeling recharged, ready to take on new challenges with the curiosity of an explorer and the relentlessness of an innovator.

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