Creating a Culture of Innovation – Welocalize IdeaLab Talks

IdeaLab is a framework founded by Welocalize Chief Innovation Officer, Chris Grebisz, designed to inspire innovation and foster creativity. IdeaLab sessions and tools can be found throughout the company to help staff and clients generate ideas put into practice. At LocLeaders Forum Barcelona in June, part of the day was dedicated to an interactive IdeaLab session to drive the attendees, comprised of localization professionals and business leaders, to think freely and come up with innovative ideas to improve their global business activities. In this blog, Chris shares some of his thoughts behind innovation and the IdeaLab concept, including output from the session at LocLeaders Barcelona.

Striving for global growth and reaching new markets is driven by change and a key enabler to change is innovation. As organizations expand to serve new and existing markets, Welocalize’s role as a language service provider is to help transform an organization from local to global. One of the ways Welocalize continues to deliver excellence to its clients is by creating a culture where innovation thrives, not just internally but externally to all clients and stakeholders. Excellence in leading and driving innovation is not necessarily measured by the size and budget of the research and development laboratory. Creating a culture of innovation is driven by stimulating creativity and ideas in every corner of the company and aspect of the business.

During the interactive IdeaLab session at LocLeaders Barcelona 2017, all attendees were placed into teams to consider two thought-provoking statements. We had an excellent mix of professionals including localization and translation directors, digital marketing managers, global IP attorneys and professionals involved in running global drug and clinical trials, all from a variety of sectors, from travel and automotive through to legal and manufacturing. The aim of the session was to encourage free-flowing ideas and creativity to address existing and future challenges faced by the team, with each statement giving focus:

STATEMENT ONE: “If my team offered……………, we could impact the customer by……….”

Most discussions central to this statement focused on VALUE. How to continue to deliver value to existing and new customers? For many localization professionals present at LocLeaders, they expressed a belief that value is often measured by loyalty and trust, because customer’s needs are being met. One way to advance this through the work of the localization division is to listen to customers, to know what they want now and in the future.

Many buyers make purchasing decisions based on feedback and review and identifying creative ways to gather and understand feedback from customers all over the world is a challenge. Using this user generated feedback and feeding it into a constant feedback loop is a huge task, especially when faced with growing volumes of multilingual content. Many global organizations gather digital feedback and must first understand the feedback to ensure they really are listening, then act on this information, across all local markets. The demand for social media listening tools is increasing because global organizations need to continuously assess its brand and reputation, in all markets. This lead to subsequent discussions centered around translation automation, including machine translation (MT). MT allows large volumes of content to be translated and understood quickly and cost-effectively, without having to meet high levels of quality. For instance, social media is harvested and then run through MT using sentiment analysis to establish whether feedback is positive or negative.

One other key discussion was the concept of localization teams offering a dashboard to share key performance indicators (KPIs) from localization programs, which could be aligned to business objectives, measuring the performance of translation and localization and then communicated to key shareholders within an organization. Simply having an innovative way to share how many people are reading published multilingual web pages can help an organization’s globalization strategy now and in the future.

STATEMENT TWO: “Our most pressing challenge two years from now is……. We are solving it by……”

At the IdeaLab session, CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE was the most pressing challenge. How do we keep improving the customer experience in multiple markets and produce engaging content on a global scale? How do we predict future quality? Can we reduce the costs of translation using MT and neural MT? How do we get to know our customers in future markets? Some excellent free-flowing ideas resulted from this discussion, including how to better measure translation quality and adapt workflows, often overlapping with some of the key points from statement one.

Innovation doesn’t always mean driving a technological break-through. It can be any concept or idea, from anyone, that helps an organization transform itself and align for a successful future.

Welocalize helps clients to transform every day. Creating and maintaining a culture of innovation is a critical success factor in global business. Innovation must be present in every aspect of the business and that includes our interactions with clients and prospects at every level of engagement.

Thanks to everyone who took part in IdeaLab in Barcelona!

Click to read the full LocLeaders Barcelona Newsletter 2017

The next LocLeaders Forum events will be held in Germany, Stuttgart, October 24 and Silicon Valley, November 1, 2017. For more information, email marketing@welocalize.com