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Innovation at Work: Weekly Curated List of Must-Read Content (Issue 3)

A carefully curated list of this week’s most insightful articles related to innovation at work.

It’s time for our third issue of weekly curated content on the top five most insightful and interesting articles related to innovation at work.

This week, we have articles covering how to create an innovative culture in the workplace, how the European Union is moving forward with digital transformation, some interesting statistics on Artifical Intelligence, and an intriguing article on Tesla and speed limits (this, of course, is less connected to innovation in the workplace, but we couldn’t resist how researchers are fooling Tesla cars into exceeding speed limits!).

You can find the summaries of each article below or simply click on the link to read the full article. 

Amazon Shares 6 Ways It Creates a Culture of Innovation and How You Can Too

amazon office buildingAs one of the biggest and most famous companies in the world, Amazon is well-known for being incredibly innovative and always one step (or three) ahead of the game. Amazon strives to be an innovation-friendly workplace – so much so that it was named by Fast Company as one of the 50 greatest workplaces for innovators. So, what’s the secret behind the success? Well, last year, employees shared exactly how Amazon promotes a culture of innovation on its “Day One” blog: Innovation is all about daily practice.

For companies wanting to follow in the tech giant’s footsteps, they should focus on: 

  1. Empowering each and every employee to innovate. The company does this by leveraging its working-backwards plan and a PRFAQ document where employees with big ideas detail their product vision and give an FAQ that details customer benefits and answers potential customer queries. This is how Alexa came about!
  2. Failure is embraced as well as expected. Give employees a truly safe space to fail. 
  3. Encourage experimentation and promote the philosophy that decisions ARE reversible.
  4. Empower employees to pursue their own passions.
  5. Cultivate creativity. Amazon does this through its Expressions Lab, which gives employees opportunities to participate in workshops and creative classes.
  6. Invest in the innovators of the future.

Want to be an innovative company? Adopt enterprise open source

people working on laptop and writing in notebookA report from Red Hat has found that 95% of IT professionals believe that enterprise open source is important, which is a trend that is expected to grow by almost 80% in the next year. For organizations embracing open source (a public accessible software or project), it has proven to be a highly effective and efficient vehicle of collaboration. Based on the report’s findings, enterprise open source is used mostly in security (52%), cloud (51%), database (49%), and big data and analytics (47%). With the rise of open source, proprietary software is on a downward trend as it’s neither a suitable mode for collaboration nor is it a cost-effective option.

However, with each pro, there is a con, and participants in the research stated that the disadvantages of open source include concerns with the security of the code, level of support, and a lack of internal skills to manage and support. But overall, a key takeaway from the research is that companies leveraging open source are the most innovative thanks to the collaborative aspect of the software. 

Shaping Europe’s digital future – Questions and Answers

EU flag blowing in wind before a buildingThe European Union is currently pursuing a digital strategy that builds upon its successful history of tech, innovation, and ingenuity. It is up to the EU to make sure that digital transformation works for all people where businesses can benefit from a solid framework, which enables them to start-up, scale-up, innovate, and compete with much larger companies on fair terms. The European Commission, over the next 5 years, will channel its energy into promoting technological solutions that will enable the EU to work towards a digital transformation that benefits its people. The recently-presented White Paper on Artificial Intelligence and the European data strategy are the first pillars of the Commission’s new digital strategy. 

Investments will be channeled from the Digital Europe Program, the Connecting Europe Facility 2, and Horizon Europe. Further, the White Paper on Artificial Intelligence demonstrates the Commission’s proposals to encourage the development of AI, maximize the benefits derived from it, and ensure that a human-centric approach to leveraging this tech is taken. 

Are they taking our jobs? AI statistics for 2020

woman's face mixed with AIAI, whether we’re consciously aware of it or not, plays a big part in our everyday lives. And companies are increasingly turning to AI for automation or to help their employees achieve more complex goals. But what about public perception? Are people still distrustful of AI, or are they beginning to shift more towards acceptance of this powerful tech? Some key AI statistics show that at least 37% of businesses and organizations are using AI in the workplace, and in Q2 of 2019, startup companies using AI received more than $7.4 billion in funding. And since 2015, the number of enterprises capitalizing on AI grew by a staggering 270%. 

Moreover, voice assistants and Assistant-enabled devices have made their mark on the market. As statistics indicate, it is one of the fastest-growing fields of AI tech. For example, more than 3 billion voice assistants were in use by the end of 2019, and the smart speaker market was worth $11.9 billion in 2019. AI is definitely not a passing trend, and by the end of the decade, the AI industry could be worth more than $15 trillion. 

Hackers can trick a Tesla into accelerating by 50 miles per hour

tesla car illustration and speed sign showing manipulated speed of 85 mphAlthough this article isn’t related to innovation in the workplace, it adds a bit of a fun spin to this week’s roundup (and you have to have an innovative mind to trick Tesla!). Hackers (researchers from McAfee) recently managed to manipulate a number of Tesla cars into speeding up by a pretty substantial 50 MPH. They did this by tricking the car’s Mobileye Q3 camera system by secretly changing a speed limit sign on the side of a road (see image).

What this goes to show is that machine learning can have a devastating effect on autonomous driving systems. All the researchers did was put a sticker on the speed limit sign, and the car’s camera perceived the sign as stating 85 instead of 35. And this isn’t the first time a Tesla car has been tricked: In 2019, hackers managed to get the car to veer into the wrong lane by placing stickers on the road. Tesla has now moved to proprietary cameras on later models with newer versions of Mobileye Q3 that are not susceptible to this kind of attack. 

If you want to receive our weekly curated list of articles, subscribe to our newsletter (and stay tuned for next week’s list)!

Written by Tracey Ruff

Tracey is a Marketing and Content Specialist at Userlane. She is passionate about writing and social media (Instagram in particular) and is keen to start her own vlog. She has a Master of Arts degree in English Literature and has plans to pursue her PhD in the near future. Currently writing about Learning and Development and User Onboarding, Tracey is excited about how the tech industry - especially relating to SaaS products - is evolving. She also loves living and working in Germany (and may or may not be slightly obsessed with Taylor Swift and cats).

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