Where do you work and what do you do?
I am the Advanced Technology Manager at John Deere Electronic Solutions based in Fargo.
How many years have you been an Innovation Challenge judge?
This year is my 4th year as an Innovation Challenge judge.
What is your favorite part of judging Innovation Challenge?
I enjoy the teams’ creativity and energy around their ideas, as well as seeing the refinement in clarity and presentation skills as they take advantage of the resources provided such as Pitch Night and feedback from the judges.
Why is innovative thinking important?
With increasing global competition and rapidly changing technology, successful organizations are increasing their emphasis on innovation to survive. Employees who have the ability to think innovatively and implement a new product, process, or service are highly valued and in short supply.
One piece of advice for students who are about to enter the workforce
My advice for students who are about to enter the workforce is to recognize and appreciate all of the unique skills and disciplines required to execute innovation and take an idea to market in a way that adds value and is profitable. Having the idea is often the easy part and certainly the most fun, but moving the idea to reality takes a lot of hard work across many disciplines.