Employee Innovation Shines During Team-de-monium at Inspirus
24-Hour Event Champions Collaboration and Creativity to Improve Business
FORT WORTH, Texas – (April 23, 2013) Inspirus, a global leader in workforce recognition, recently demonstrated why it has been a staple on Texas Monthly’s list of Best Companies to Work for in Texas for four consecutive years (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013) with Team-de-monium—a 24-hour competition that empowered employees to design innovative business solutions for problems they encounter in their everyday work. Voluntary participants could partner with anyone throughout the company. Twelve teams—with creative monikers like Creative Stooges, Revenue Junkies and Space Monkey Mafia—decked out in brightly colored T-shirts adorned with the event mantra (“It’s About to Get CRAY ZAY Up in Here”) vied for first-, second- and third-place prizes (a combination of gifts and paid time off).
Modeled after the “Innovation Shootout” first launched by Australian tech companies in 2007, Team-de-monium was proposed by Andy Davis, Inspirus’ product director. “The event was originally designed to nurture collaboration among our employees, but it has been so much more successful than we imagined,” Davis says. “The level of creative problem solving and innovation really demonstrates how much value our people add to Inspirus and our customers.”
Team-de-monium officially kicked off at noon on April 3, 2013. Twenty-four hours later, teams presented 16 business solutions that could be implemented within 45 days. Ideas were narrowed to the top three by a panel of judges—Brad Hancock, director of the Neely Entrepreneurship Center at Texas Christian University, Tom Chambers, principal of Chambers Interests, and Pete Chambers, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer. Finalists were chosen based on four criteria: usefulness, ship-ability, accomplishment and flair. Inspirus employees then cast their votes to determine the first-, second- and third-place winners.
“Team-de-monium has been one of the top moments in my 16-year tenure with Inspirus,” Pete Chambers says. “Not only were the ideas fantastic, they were well thought out and ready for execution. It reminded me again of the beauty of collaboration, and the reality that the path to excellence is within the organization, not driven from the top. I could not be more proud of our company, and I greatly admire our people.”
Teammates Cheryl Grubbs and Suzanne Pelt—a.k.a. Double Trouble—took the top honor with an interactive portal designed to streamline client approvals and speed up the implementation process—an innovation that could boost revenue by significantly reducing onboarding time for new clients.
Second-place Team Cha-Ching’s automated letter solution streamlined a process that previously took 20 people and 85 man hours into a one-person, 30-second job that will help the company recover significant lost revenue.
The third-place Revenue Junkies proposed a new system to track the distribution and redemption of spot award cards that will also have a dramatic effect on Inspirus’ bottom line. In fact, there were so many good ideas generated during Team-de-monium that Inspirus leaders decided to give every participant a gift of appreciation.
“The ideas were fantastic” says TCU’s Hancock. “I’ve been around companies for 50 years, and I really mean this, I’ve never seen an organization like this. The teamwork is incredible. There are so many companies around the world that would give their eye teeth to have a culture like the one at Inspirus.”