Innovation Finalist Interview with Jawauna M. Greene, Director of Marketing & Advertising, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
1. In your opinion, what makes a company innovative?
In my opinion, innovative companies are businesses or organizations that find ways to use their past or present experiences (both good and bad) as learning opportunities for their teams to transform operational blueprints. These blue prints are designed to enhance the customer or client experiences. Whether it means embracing new technologies, improving infrastructure or developing simplistic ways to communicate information, it is the innovators who find ways to take ideas and translate them into impactful actions that drive the future in the right direction.
2. What makes your company innovative?
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is innovative because the organization recognizes the importance of embracing new technologies and methods of communication. In 2014, Metro launched the Silver Line rail extension into Northern Virginia. This effort obviously meant new equipment and stations, but it also ushered in a new way that we marketing transit through community involvement and public engagement. Metro used an inclusive approach to sharing the Silver Line message and partnered with regional businesses and destinations to drive record ridership and other benefits to customers and regional businesses.
3. What or who are some innovative companies or people that inspire you and your team?
Our Metro marketing team draws tons of inspiration from transit properties from across the nation as well as other industries such as travel and tech companies. Specifically we look at Southwest Airlines, Jet Blue and Sound Transit as industries leaders in developing unique messaging that influences customers and evoke positive sentiments.
4. What are some publications, print or digital, you read daily or have read that help you stay on top of your game? These could be books, magazine, blogs, e-newsletters, etc.
On the short list we’d say the Harvard Business Review, The New Yorker, BuzzFeed…Humans of New York
5. What advice would you give to up-and-coming leaders striving to be innovative in today’s business environment?
The best advice I’d offer is to believe in your company, product or service. That’s the only way you can inspire innovation and help the success of any of your business plans. I’d suggest that you never lose sight of your integrity or compromise inclusiveness. It is important to have diversity in thought and to surround yourself with a team that is committed to giving their very best. After all…teamwork makes dreams work!