The Bait That Hooked a Leading Innovation Pragmatist

Toby Redshaw, a seasoned business/tech transformation visionary who helped build and transform startups, not-for-profits, and major global firms including FedEx and Motorola, recently spoke with CrowdSmart VP of Growth Dana LeVan about why he joined the team as an advisor early on.

Dana:

What attracted you to the CrowdSmart team in the first place?

Toby:

I learned of Crowdsmart through Amanda Reed, our CEO, whom I have known for 20+ years. We first met when at Motorola we invested in one of her portfolio companies that became the critical center of the tech stack. When she told me about CrowdSmart’s technology, I was really very skeptical. The technology you need to do that – collective intelligence mining and the AI/NL -- is extremely difficult, specialized, and way out on the leading edge.

tIn addition, even if their technologists had figured it out, taking that complexity and architecting a user experience that was simple, a near zero training footprint, was equally hard.

Dana:

What’s your experience in the field that attracted you to Crowdsmart?

Toby:

The back story is that Crowdsmart is oddly in synch with something I’ve done a lot of that was central to the digital transformation work I did across four large global brands. My teams built enterprise-wide collaboration and knowledge management platforms beginning when that tech first became commercially available in its earliest form 20 years ago. Across all of these firms, even the rudimentary early tech improved decision quality, cycle time, leverage of cumulative IQ, and collaboration/engagement. I was further attracted to Crowdsmart because of the way it also eliminates social and hierarchical bias.

Dana:

What specific business problems does CrowdSmart address that need to be addressed?

Toby:

A lot of the work inside companies involves executing and monitoring existing processes. But things change, competitors innovate, markets move, inventors invent, and then the other work begins. This is when managers have to make decisions, drive change, innovate, and out- compete at a grand strategic scale or at a micro scale inside a department or an operation. 

Crowdsmart helps in that second domain. Quickly, easily engaging a group of people and harvesting the cumulative knowledge, driving better decisions, outcomes, and insights while improving engagement, motivation, and, through that, retention. 

There are so many areas where the business of business gets better with  Crowdsmart. Several  examples off the top of my head:

-  Effective launches – by predetermining and addressing contingency and engaging the broader team in the launch efforts/ideation.

- Effective product design – by road testing designs/ideas in a Crowdsmart environment.

- Strategy design – attaining strategy efficacy by getting people inside the tent and applying our solution. 

- Strategy Execution – determining what are the barriers for implementation in the real world, not a perfect world.

- Product engineering – getting broader, more accurate insights from a diversity of the participants on top of existing processes.

- Venture capital & M&A – by discovering with a scientific approach what smart people really think, instead of just relying on a limited input across a small group.

- HR/change management – by engaging across all the hierarchical, gender, racial, and other biases, which improves retainment as well as employee motivation and has proven to lower unit costs for companies.

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