The traditional Nigerian proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” conveys the African worldview that emphasizes the value of community, collaboration, cooperation, and unity. This is perhaps even more relevant today as global organizations embark on digital business transformations that require carefully orchestrated teams working together in unison to drive innovation.
At Jabil’s global innovation & development firm, Radius, this village concept takes on new meaning through a shared philosophy to nurture a dynamic and diverse team environment. In our worldview, highly collaborative, cross-functional teams of people from different ethnic backgrounds and cultures are what’s needed most to create powerful user experiences for all kinds of products.
We obsess over talent diversity because varying points of view ensure a diversity of ideas and in the innovation business, ideas are everything. This enables Radius teams to consider many opportunities for innovation and every possible angle before making a product design, engineering, or manufacturing recommendation. Radius employs a high percentage of millennials because their fresh and modern perspective is key to creating the latest “wow” digital experiences. We also have a healthy share of Gen Xers’ and baby boomers to make sure our teams are well rounded.
In fact, we push the boundaries of typical human resources staffing as we not only seek the best and brightest in his/hers respective areas of expertise, but we look for talented individuals from all over the world. After all, you need global insight to keep pace with rapidly growing and emerging global markets. If you need to innovate a user experience in China, for example, you really need to have Chinese researchers and designers creating that experience because they truly understand the cultural nuances.
Teamwork also is vital to helping customers develop leading-edge solutions that improve experiences and enhance lives. While we put a priority on building diverse workgroups, we also look for like-minded people who share a passion for the Radius mindset and mission to be the best in the world at innovation and development. Our 100+ employees are organized into cross-functional teams instead of departments. When a customer comes to us with a project or problem, a multi-disciplinary team of researchers, strategists, designers, engineers, human factor experts, and quality and manufacturing specialists is quickly assembled to take on the challenge.
Everyone across the board is responsible for the product or user experience, so Radius accordingly integrates seating arrangements for these different job functions in our offices and studios worldwide. By intermixing workspaces for designers, researchers, engineers, and quality people, we eliminate traditional silos and enable powerful team-based collaboration and problem solving. Not only has this proven to be extremely effective for fostering open communications and collaboration, it carries over from office to office since there’s a shared respect for how each team member and function contributes to the overall project’s success.
Radius customers applaud this “team-first” mentality as they see how our unified approach moves their processes and projects along faster while producing better results. Many of them come from more traditional environments, where different departments work isolated from one another, which can lead to miscommunications and misunderstandings. To avoid those project pitfalls, we look for a core personality trait when hiring employees: passionate commitment to innovation and development.
While Radius seeks the best people within their respective fields, we also probe during interviews to better gauge a candidate’s people skills. Cross-functional project teams of experts from different offices and countries often come together to meet intense project deadlines. As part of our “work hard / play hard” culture, we regularly applaud and celebrate team accomplishments and offer cross-functional training opportunities that enables employees to take on different project roles on different teams.
Another unique aspect of our cooperative approach is how Radius intermixes project assignments. For instance, a leader on one project may play a supporting role as a content provider on another, which provides work-life balance and lets other teammates take on greater responsibilities as appropriate. Additionally, Radius takes an apprenticeship approach with junior team members, enabling them to gain confidence and engage with customers as they progressively enhance their skills. This also helps them advance their careers by learning valuable collaboration and leadership skills as they progress.
The success of this model has been proven many times over, as evidenced by our customers who regularly applaud our teams’ consistently high levels of service, competency, and ingenuity. We’re proud that our focus on talent diversity and teamwork continues to help customers realize their products’ full potential from initial insights to final manufacturing.
For the Radius team co-located at the Jabil Blue Sky Innovation Center, some of the best minds in global manufacturing, digital supply chains, and the Internet of Things are just down the hall. This ready access not only accelerates innovation for Radius customers, it gives our diverse, talented people another opportunity to collaborate and cooperate on behalf of our customers.
In today’s fast-changing world, it takes a well-coordinated, collaborative team to help customers develop outstanding products. At Radius, an unwavering dedication to talent diversity and teamwork is what enables our people, processes, and projects to consistently exceed expectations.
Innovation. Realized. That’s just how we roll.