Innovation Nation
Innovation Nation

Episode · 1 year ago

The 2 Most Important Goals in the World: Sustainability & Social Justice w/ Bracken Darrell


What are the 2 most important things in the world right now?

Saving the planet with environmental responsibility and unlocking the power of every individual with diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

In this episode, I interview Bracken Darrell, CEO at Logitech, about his unwavering focus on legacy.

What we talked about:

  • 3 user-centered design principles
  • The vulnerability and excitement of breaking down walls
  • The inextricable goals of social justice and sustainability

To stay connected with Innovation Nation, subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website.

Innovation is all around us. In fact, everyone innovates, often unbeknowns to themselves. Many mistakenly assume the innovation is either a big capital project, a figurative bolt of lightning that brings inspiration, or the province of some exceptionally gifted person. This is the myth of innovation. But you can innovate as well. You are listening to innovation nation, the podcast where top executives and industry experts are sharing their insights on harnessing the power of innovation. We're here to help you stay ahead of the curve by driving your own innovation. Here's your host, Jasmine Martyr Rosen. Welcome to to day innovation nation. Guest today is brack and Doo, who's the CEO of Logicic. He joins us from Silicon Valley, though the companies also headquartered in laws on suitcerly. Welcome, brack and, how you doing today? Just gonna do it so nice to be here with you. Well, we appreciate your joining us, and Logicik has done tremendous amounts of innovations in both product development and also areas of sustainability. Can you share what drives the innovation? How you approach it would in the organization. Well, I mean they'll look a long story, medium sauce. Yeah, we're we really approached it two ways, I would say, if you're going to really summarize, the first is through design, and design is not decorating stuff the process. It's it's really trying to find things that are super desirable for users, based on deep understanding of what they're all about, and then figuring out what's feasible from a technology standpoint and what's what makes sense from a economic statelet but always leading with understanding user and building things that we we try to build things that the users really loved. I think two things, because that's the first one. The second one is we're very underneath the underneath that beautiful facade, which not really the Sabe underde th exter are. Design is probably a little more centered than most companies on engineering, because we really do try to unlock power of engineering through our design. So it's a it's a combination. So we are exploring new new technologies that can help us push the limits on what users want all the time. So how do you drive that design innovation? Like, do you do it in consultation with customers? Or can to apple, where it's really done in back office, kind of innovate from within. For us this apple is driven historically, doing the Steve Jobs time, by Japanese philosophy of simplicity. What's guiding you in that innovation? We have we have princes, we have our own principle to design and they're very user centered, but they're but their design principle. So, for example, the first movie, we always want to have one big idea and then we want then that's that's number one them. It's so simple, but we could talk more about it. Second one be wrote the design to have a goal. And what does that mean? It has some central ...

...differentiating identity that express itself through every layer of the experience. So I can go through more. It also should be just brutally simple. You know, we work to get things minimal to a level that is really brutal or you make to our whole principles. We should be constantly trying to move steps so those design principles are really owned by company and led by my head of the time and push through our designerization through everything we do, especially our products. Experience be breaking around it. Wonderful. So you've come to the public attention with all the work you've done in the area of sustainability, and there's a lot of social good that has come out of it, from beach clean up in California to carbon related projects to extra days from all to. What's the inspiration for that and how do you use that to connect to the organization self for new and innovation? Yeah, I mean our social responsibility is really it goes back for the most part to our values, two values in particular that we officially named them this year, but you know, I would say they're kind of flow through the company for a long time, one one earlier than the other. The first one news helping save the planet. You know where we've been focused on environment responsibility early on, but especially since about two thousand eight or nine. I think we fought Polisher for sustainabilder or about two thousand and nine, and since it's that we've really been working at it. We working at renewable fuel sources and and just every element of trying to remove things that can go into the environment, either carbon or plastic and it. So this is a fundamental values. The other fundamental value we've called out is equality, which which is really social justice and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, which is a new thing that we should be eyeing of that. So we're really this is this kind of a new, very explicit value. We always were strong making sure that we try to be fair and general and create diversity. But, you know, post George Floyd, we just declare it's going to be a fundamental value because it should be fun to right. So those are two and then the others are really much more employee through, you know, and they bring us areas that they're really passionate about and we love for people have things to passion about all over the world, so we they just run with things when they find something local that they believe it. Thank you so brandon. You divide your time between Switzerland and United States because the but of the by location and Logitech is truly a global company with a global footprint. Speaking of diversity, how do you incorporate different cultural perspectives again into the company culture and to brow the company through staying innovative? Well, I think you know, the logtic has advantage in it. We were, we were, we grew up almost been in kind of right alongside the computing the computer industry and that grew up all over the world. So we walk with them as they walked around the world and build new businesses all over and because...

...we did that we ended up with kind of, I would say kind of, if I wanted to oversimplify its ever, kind of tripolar. We've got the switch aloud, the precision, the reliability, the high end premium innovation technology. You've got the entrepreneurship that of here and silicon value in the US and general this sort of knock it down, they can happen kind of entrepreneurship, and then the sheer speed of China and and I think you know we're I would couldn't pretend to say what percentage of our formulas each of those and I'd love to be faster and everything, but I do think relative to other companies, I feel those three more than in this company to another's. So you're using different cultural attitudes almost to foster greater cohesion and innovation for your growth. Would print. Well, you know, I don't know, I don't know if I would exactly say that. I would say the thing we use that brings it all together as great design, in design thinking. So we really get close to users and different parts of the world. We try to really we develop products. We have developed products in China for China. We've developed products in the US. There from the US products in Europe to but our portfolio is is, you know, it's pretty complex and so we're able to manage a lot of complexity and I think that does give us an advantage differentlts. World's amazing how different different parts of the world are in terms of for example, what anlysis? That the biggest so which you know. Ai. How are you working? I mean, yeah, has been around really for a long time. More people are just talking about it because it's more in the public consciousness and it's integrated into so many areas of our lives that most people don't even think about it. Yeah, you have any strategy to approach it or is it just organically involving communication? Well, it's kind of grown up as the businesses we've got into needed and it's making its way into an eternal processes. But maybe the most no point in the visible is in our video business. You know, we bought a small company that was doing it was actually that you're your thinking companies based joy. Most of all. Company was was supporting the cameras that were on the German auto on and they're watching for people's cars, catching the fire, people getting out of their cars. So they had a small team from the universities earth that were, or maybe they think it was that any sis the but anyway they were. They were watching these cameras. They trained them to watch and look for these nominalies and then alert that people who could goop the whover was in trouble. And so we bought that company in the they could they finish that contract. Then we brought them in and we put them inside homes and we have focused inside living rooms and ditting rooms and kitchens and and we took that technology KIP ofvolving it super state of the art and we then brought it into video conferencing. Now it detects lots of things that be a conference and anonymize, of course, little the tech cow many people in a room and what emotions happening, and it'll detect the light and we said it. We've also done the same...

...things audio. So Ai is a you said it's been a long time, but I think it's getting more and more useful as as we get more and more comfortable with it. So on a slightly different out like Jamie diamond. You majored in English for your underglad degree and Hands Comma, I did not know Jamie diamond major in English. Yes, he did too, and just like he went to Harvard Business School. So we you know. It's funny story. I met Jamie Dimond Department Business School. He would not remember, nor does he know anything about me, but I was in my hbs class and Jamie diamond was brought in by one of my professors to speak, but he was not the speaker. It was his boss, a goat, Andrew while, or Andy while, who was the famous, another, very famous, I mean Nancy stores. And they R yeah, exactly, and and they spoke, and I mean a very stupid comment, and they were both especially any whhile, so generous. But I always thought Jamie diamonds really cool back and so he's still cool. Well, he's arguably the US today, Jasmine. Now I realize how cool he really is. He English, so they let him into that jobs like me. See there you good now with that? I mean there is a lot of negativity towards living, watch education. How have you used that? Obviously both you and Jamie are super successful. Can you share how that has helped you in your career growth? Well, I would love to speak to Jamie, but that's what I don't know. I was speaking myself. It's really good help of me. When I went to college I was much better in English, certain math and I wasn't English. So I knew I wanted to get a leadership all side side, but I better get this communication thing down, and so I've been working ever since. But as imagined, Englich to night and I was really working on speaking writing better. Well, that's a good way to do it. In up being here Super Fun, but then I took enough accounting and econolics to get a job coming a school, because I was also part of the game plan. So I wouldn't talk a county or that school, which is I think it was the only English major in the county industry the year that I graduated. I may still be the only one that ever did. If anybody's listening to they did, please let me know. So it served you well and it's a great connection to speaking, writing and communicating. But communication was ranked as the top skills CEO's are looking for on their teams. Do you agree with that or what skills are you looking for? You know, there are a lot of grades, because I'd say the number one after bet that is just kind of threshold level, is integrative. And then I would say I think communication is important and I have a lot of good communicators on my team. But I think, I think there are other things that I would say. I think passion, you know, really caring about something. It's usually people, but it can also be about some impact in the world. I think that's a game changer, you know. And then communication is the way you translate your passion or the way you translate a good idea. Of...

So communications important, but I would say it's just it's the it's the megaphone. Excellent. How you mentioned integrity is second ago. Right, it's interesting. I recall writing on one performance review years ago that how do you measure integrity on the scale? You either have it or you don't. Thoughts on greeting integrity? Yeah, I mean I do think it's binary. I mean it's either it's zero one, you know. Yeah, is I do think there are people who do things that other people would interpret as not having integrity, but they do it without understanding what they're doing. Now I don't want to make excuses for that, but I think that's why education so important. I think in this world, for example, of black lives matter, with diversity inclusion, I think we have such an education job ahead of us. We're we're all committing microaggressions and not being good allies and all those things that we don't many of us don't realize what we're doing and and some do, vast majority do, and education can solve that very quickly. And you put the average person who's got a big heart and has integrity in further right information and they will change quickly. And we, and I see your reason very important, is sometimes we're all oblivious right to the privilege we may have. People take for planted big time, a hundred percent. You know, I think it's one of those things that, as a an average white male, and in the world at least in America, you know, no matter how much you grew up at there, didn't, you did have enormous advantages versus almost every other, actually every other group, and it's I'll just folks on that, that that that group right there. I mean, you know, it's nobody taught most of us that. We were given all this privilege. But you could say, Gosh, we should have realized it, but many of us didn't. So I think it's really important that we make up for lost time, you know, and and we can do it and everybody's on the way now. I think there's a lot of momentum to make sure that people are getting trained, and I'm not polly in about it. I think it's going to be hard work and there will be two steps forward, one step back and and there will be other things, bad things, that happen. But we just got a by sheer force line up the plans and execute. So I'm here. You say we have to be intentional about it. Very I'm not sure there are two more important things right now in the world than this one. Will probably get somebody to send you a letter and ask as to edit your next guests choices, but go in. I'm not sure there are two more important things in the world than saving the planet so that those who are born after, you know, after we did stuff, long after we did, are able to live healthy and healthy way on it, and then making sure that we unlock the incredible power of every individual, which is why diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging are so critical, but it's...

...critical to unlock it and everybody, regardless of who they are, and I think that those are the two like fundamental things that we need to really nail. I actually agree with you a hundred percent, especially if you take a long t review for the future, like what planet are we leaving for our descendants, for generations that will follow us? How we treating people now? A lot of the time all the negativity happens because of kind of separation. People are divorced from the idea of feeling the impact of what they're doing or, for that matter, failing to do, and what impact it has. How do you increase the sensitivity? How do you sensitize people more so everybody feels more empowered individually to do their part of take responsibility? You know, it's a it's interesting. I mean I think there's a whole bunch of answers that question. I think the first one is education, because once you realize that, you know it's first of all, you know we're not a or not a world of individuals. Were collective organism. You know, we're rock writing together in a way that we don't we take for granted, but you know, actually you know, it's really interesting. You know, when you look at an ant hill, you sort of see a bunch of ants somehow, somehow communicating and carrying stuff back and forth, and you sort of see them as this thing that's made up of a bunch of individuals. When you see another human you see it comsolutely different persons than yourself. You don't see something that looks exactly like you from afar. And I think we're actually much more like ants than we think. We're an organism, you know, and when we work well together, magic happens, and we work well together doing bad things, horror happens, and we work well together to solve problems, we can solve almost anything. And so I think, you know, educations piece of it. I think the giving people believe if you're a leader, you know like putting yourself out there and just being honest about which you're, where you are on this how, you know, you know, vulnerability is becoming like a the new the new cool thing to be, but you know, just being honest, being very, very ill thinking about it, because to some of these topics are really hard to talk about if you've ever talked about it much before, and you need to be comfortable screwing up, you know, making mistakes and having people call you out on it and apologizing and trying to make up for it and then correcting yourself. And we just all need to get comfortable with these what are, you know, hard conversations in the beginning, but they become easier and once they're easy you can really solve them up. Absolutely why I did so. Education is totally critical to bringing awareness and also, you want stepping out of the comfort level. But are these walls that people build around themselves, sometimes without even trying to break bills, walls? And how do you foster break down of the silos? Organization? We even on those matters experience. It's an interesting analogy, you know, because I sort of think, if you think about it, where the...

...master wall builders, you know, human beings are. We were born completely free of any trace of bias or or anything. We feel connected, probably to the air around us, and then as we go over over we identify with certain types of people, we identify with where we're from. They're great, I mean it's he helps us give it our identity. We're building walls when we go to work, you know, we build our companies we build a strategy, we build a vision, we use the word build all the time. And then and we're really building these walls, and those walls are super helpful because they're guiding. They protect you, there lead you and elite others in the right direction. And then one day those walls are in the wrong place and they're restrictive and actually they're going to they're keeping people out that should get in. Those people can't get in anymore because the walls are too big and it're too thick and they're too tall. We had to break down the walls and and you know, then you have to break all the walls down. You have to be unafraid to break down what you relied on, what your whole identity was built on those walls and you have to break them all down and start over again. And it's that's really what that's really super exciting. It's interesting. You're saying, you're right, we're all born without any frequency of notions, which is the concept of available ignorance that John Roles, the philosopher, promotes. Right. The only way to be totally just is not to know what you're like, what you're made of, anything about yourself. How I can prove that I don't just have availableger, it's I have really agger. It's I'm not even true. Who John Balls this? It's not avail. That's a courageous statement of the year problem. And if we all actually agree to that, you know all. I know that. I do not know. You know the philosophical you know ancient Greek approve? Not, no, there, I do not know. So it's about breaking down. You know, how do you then get people to coalesce around a notion that starts out, is kind of starts out, is ailing to them. How you get to cool as well? You know, I mean I needed to be repetitive, but I think you know so much of it. If you know, we're I've been through a bunch. Let's talk about the environment, because we talked about social justice and them, and let's talk about the environment for a minute. I think the environment one of those things where you know it's so funny. You know, it's amazing how you subtle really move from one square on this chest Bard that we all live life on to another one that completely realizing you've moved. You know, I remember growing up. This is going to sound absolutely horrible and I'll probably get to hate me if you can find me. But I remember growing up when people would literally like you'd get in the car and when I was like six or seven years old. I'm fifty seven now. People would get in the car. They gone to McDonald's and they would take them and Donald's wrapper. They'd eat them. They open up the little little Hamburg they take the little plastic or paper...

...wrapper and it just throw it out the window. Yet, you know. Then I remember there was a preader was like man, there a lot of trash on the ground. Why don't we stop that? You know, there was like some public service announces to stop it. Then I saw madman on TV, you know, a few years ago, maybe five, seven years ago something, I remember. They showed you madman is situated in the S, I think, like fifteen years about the time I was born, you know, and it shows a family, this really Nice family, I think, go on a picnic in the park. They opened up their picnic basket to get ready. They all then there. It's like this romantic moment for this family moment, you know, and then they all go to mom and dad say okay, it's time to go there. They're all on their way up and the kids just throw all the trains and you look at you go, Oh my God, I can't really there did that and then you wait a minute, we did that too, and that was the way all attitudes change. was because because of their adoctor highway movement, by the way, back then, I think you're right about that. I remembered that. That was really cool. Yeah, so that it, but I remember that that was really nice. Wow, I could talk to literally for hours. So well, your audience would disappear. It would be only you, me and Nicole, who's there. That would be great. Any closing thoughts? No, you know, I think we've talked about the things that really matter, probably not enough. And you know, but if we if we manage to save the planet Earth, which I'm pretty sure we can do, for another least hundreds and maybe thousands of years and then, who knows, maybe forever, and we can really make this place great for everybody on it instead of great for a few and really not great and even horrible for others. And you know, it's like a corny thing and I'm so idealistic, but I'm ready, you know, I'm ready to go on the field. I mean this is it. This is the moment. I could kind of feel it in my bones. I think every leader needs to find that feeling, because it's going to happen with or without you, and you should be part of it. Wow. Thank you. That's a truly inspirational message. Thank you for joining us. Our guests today was brock and down, CEEO of Logitik. Than you've been listening to innovation nation. For more subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcast player or connect with us on Linkedin. Thanks for listening.

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