Convention Center Debuts Culture Project and Innovation Lab

NEW ORLEANS (press release) – The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center has unveiled its new Culture Project and Innovation Lab. The collaborations between trepwise, a local growth consulting firm, and Convention Center employees aims to develop a workplace culture that is fueled by accountability and collaboration, and then driven by employee engagement, feedback and recognition. Employees are tasked with setting goals, providing timelines, and owning all aspects of this plan.

Trepwise engaged employees in a design process with the goal of creating a culture that rewards creativity, accountability and risk-taking. Design teams created solutions to reach these goals using a human-centered approach called “Design Thinking.”

Out of this process came the Innovation Lab, which consists of three teams: Belief Biologists, Communication Chemists, and Recognition Researchers. The project leads were selected from front line employees and mid-level management positions and provides an opportunity for them to grow their skills and demonstrate ability to lead and transition into higher positions.

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A fourth group, Test Technicians, is a group of impartial employees who will pilot new software and processes created by the other laboratory members.

The Innovation Lab team leads were announced at an all-staff meeting at the Convention Center on Thursday, July 15. The employees will drive the timeline of implementation with a “sense of urgency,” but sufficient time will be allowed for demonstrating results.

“By letting our employees steer the ship on this project, they find better ways to collaborate and communicate, which will create better feedback tools we can use to reward innovation, creativity, and risk taking,” said Convention Center President Michael J. Sawaya. “In the long term, this will improve customer satisfaction in a hypercompetitive environment, supporting our vision to be a leading-edge organization known for innovative delivery of exceptional event experiences in a world-class destination.”

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