FAST COMPANY: How do you make staff less afraid to share ideas?
LISA KAVANAUGH: Usually when people are afraid to share ideas there's a good reason for it. And getting curious with them about that to understand what it is is the most important thing. It could be that they're afraid of talking in front of people, or maybe they've shared an idea in the past, it's been squashed and they've had a bad experience. So I would find an opportunity for them to share and idea and make sure it's a really good experience and that they were supported and encouraged, and then they'll be more likely to open up in the future and share more ideas.
How do you make staff less afraid to share ideas?
Lisa Kavanaugh is the chief product and technology officer at Ask.com, responsible for the global development of both web and mobile applications that support Ask.com’s search-based Q&A product suite. With more than a decade of experience building and leading large engineering and product development teams, Kavanaugh has spearheaded the launch of multiple Ask.com vertical products and custom solutions for strategic partners – all the while serving as a very visible driver of change within the company. Known for spotting tech talent and infusing new ideas and processes (such as Scrum-based development) into Ask.com’s tech organization, Kavanaugh previously oversaw technology at Ask.com’s partner network, building the engineering team from scratch and launching a development platform that significantly accelerated Ask’s distribution business on an international level. Prior to her work at Ask.com, Kavanaugh served as a software engineer at Hewlett Packard. Kavanaugh received a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.