Hacking Innovation: Vokal’s Learning and Growth Culture

In the age of disruption, innovation is the lifeblood of a tech company.

Vokal’s innovation approach is focused on understanding people, zeroing in on the behaviors, wants, and needs that are driving the consumer tensions which demand unconventional digital solutions.

It must be treated as a pillar of company culture. The responsibility of perpetuating this ongoing mindset cannot fall to one single person; it takes team effort to keep coming up with fresh and creative approaches to potential business challenges. This type of innovation is inherently inclusive and interdisciplinary, and requires open exploration and discussion of ideas and challenges without constraints.

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Refined over ten years of vision, strategy, and teamwork from an amazing group of people, we use Vokal’s Hack Days to leverage home-grown ideas that really show off our creative chops. It’s a chance for our engineers, designers, and product team members to push their creative limits and collaborate to deliver proof-of-concept software, delving into the experimental with a diverse range of opinions, ideas, and perspectives.

We believe in intentional innovation, which means going beyond just a good idea. We place ourselves in the shoes of the very brands we work with to determine how they would incorporate new and exceptional ideas and take them to market in order to add value to their business and to their consumers.

Since regularly incorporating Hack Days into our yearly roadmap, we’ve experienced numerous benefits resulting from the dedicated, collaborative brainstorming:

1. Building Stronger Teams:

Employees are most innovative when they are engaged in meaningful work, connected to their colleagues, with an understanding of the part they play in the company’s overarching goals. Within an organization of innovators and creative thinkers, they want to know their work is having a material impact, and focusing on business cases allows for all employees to contribute, regardless of function. This cross-functional visibility afforded through Hack Days allows everyone to understand how they can continue to effect change.

2. Crafting Bolder Solutions:

Bold solutions can make a brand and change the game. Consider Casper mattresses or  Warby Parker’s glasses. Or this Beam Dental that tracks your brushing history with an IOT toothbrush and literally lowers your insurance premiums if you make a point of staying clean. Our teams put their heads together, dip into various areas of our company’s expertise, and think of industries that could use some level of disruption. Without the bounds of client expectations, time can be spent tinkering and trying new things—which is crucial for true innovation.

3. Practicing What We Preach:

To achieve disruption for our clients, we must first disrupt ourselves. Our Hack Days event is how we sustain a culture where we constantly push the boundaries of what’s expected. The very nature of what we do implores us to live at the edge of what is considered possible. Why wouldn’t we turn this very attention inwards? When learning and development targets a theoretical prospective client or market, we can anticipate all manner of solutions for problems perhaps not even yet experienced.

An important element to keep in mind is that to properly benefit from Hack Days, our employees must feel truly unencumbered by regular business activity and client work. This freedom from daily work responsibilities fosters ingenuity and innovative thinking.

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When employees spend time investigating various business models and different industries, they can draw inspiration from what they see and come up with their own unique ways to apply what they’ve learned into groundbreaking solutions to tomorrow’s problems. In this way, we support our experimental, innovation-oriented culture, working together to bring goals and objectives to life in exciting and compelling ways.

Through Hack Days, we strive to stimulate our creative minds, stoke internal progress, and fuel future-forward concepts that keep us continuously moving towards the next big thing.