Supporting Innovation at VisibleThread – Interview with Celso Silva

Innovation Week is a valuable opportunity for learning and problem-solving. It facilitates feedback and allows for the implementation of new ideas, ultimately adding more value to VisibleThread.
Celso Silva

Tech Lead

3 min read

What is your role?

I am a Tech Lead of the Writer team and my role is about helping developers to grow, guiding them into best code practice, mentoring them, reviewing code, and of course also developing.

What is Innovation Week?

The Engineering team dedicates one week to brainstorm and showcase their ideas for improving VisibleThread’s processes and applications. Innovation Week leads to the implementation of new and improved methods for delivering our applications. 

What does it mean for the Engineering team?

Innovation Week is a valuable opportunity for learning and problem-solving. It facilitates feedback and allows for the implementation of new ideas, ultimately adding more value to VisibleThread.

What is different about Innovation Week compared to a normal working week at VisibleThread?

Innovation Week differs from a typical week at VisibleThread. Normally, the Engineering team’s usual duties are implementing new features, improving code, and resolving issues. During Innovation Week, these regular tasks are put on hold. This offers a dedicated time to focus on generating and presenting ideas, rather than implementing ongoing tasks.

What are the benefits of having Innovation Week? How important is it for team members to be able to showcase their ideas?

Innovation Week provides numerous benefits. Examples include opportunities for learning, skill-sharing, as well as the chance to implement new ideas. Participants take ownership of their ideas too. They feel empowered to contribute to the improvement and success of VisibleThread. I would say that empowerment is one of biggest benefits from the employees’ perspective.

Overall, it’s an essential opportunity for the team to showcase their ideas and drive innovation within the company.

What happens during Innovation Week?

Engineering are allowed to put on hold all assigned tasks. Their focus is to identify areas for improvement, implement new solutions, or acquire new knowledge.

This focus can enhance our system or processes. Ultimately, it involves raising anything that brings value. At the end of the week, the team presents their ideas to the entire Engineering group.

How can you make an Innovation Week successful?

An Innovation Week will only work if the company really values their employees. The employee needs to feel that he/she is part of something. This is a vital cog in a complex system. Only having this level of commitment present, will motivate the employee to be creative.

To get the most benefit, collecting as many concepts as possible is a key success driver. Although one concept may not be actioned, it may enhance another initiative. Full collaboration from the Engineering team, is also a key success driver.

Do the Engineering team members enjoy it?

The Engineering team thoroughly enjoys Innovation Week. This is a key factor in the event’s success. Failure to enjoy the experience can negatively impact the quantity and quality of ideas presented. Innovation Week should be a time to showcase ideas and feel excited about contributing to the VisibleThread’s growth.

How often does VisibleThread do an Innovation Week?

As of now, we hold an Innovation Week once a year. However, we are looking to increase the frequency to twice a year.

How do we help our clients with Innovation Week?

Our clients are always getting something from our Innovation Week. A valuable solution for improving our development process may arise from an Innovation Week. This in turn, would enable faster delivery of new features. A win- win for us and our clients.

Another case could be a User Experience improvement arising from the Innovation Week. This would add more value, giving the customer an even better product to experience.

Have many ideas from Innovation Week been implemented by Engineering? If so, Any example?

Yeah, numerous ideas have. A new feature, the Microsoft Word Add-In, will enhance the user experience for our clients. This idea will bring another level of User Experience to our clients. We are thrilled about its upcoming release.

How important is creating a culture of innovation in a company?

Without an innovative culture, none of this is possible. You cannot ask the employees to envision improvements if they do not feel part of the company. In VisibleThread, I can feel that:

  • The employees are the most important asset of the company

  • The employees are valued and appreciated by their contribution

  • The employees and the company are truly a team working toward the same goal

Here at VisibleThread, we are day by day fostering these principles. We encourage our team to think outside the box, and to present the best of themselves every day! It’s an inspiring environment to operate in.

How would innovation week benefit other companies?

Firstly, VisibleThread is demonstrating how they really trust their employees. This is conveyed by providing a week to experiment with improvement ideas. This brings the employee confidence to another level. If VisibleThread trust employees, the employees will trust them! If other companies could get these ideas, implement a culture fostering the trust, they would also achieve new levels of accomplishments pushed by their own employees!


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