Bridging Gaps: Lean Manufacturing Meets Tech

Bridging Gaps: Lean Manufacturing Meets Tech

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Embark on an automotive innovation journey with Ashok Sivanand, Founder and CEO of Integral, as we explore how he actively shapes the future of product design, technology, and leadership in the automotive industry.

In this episode, Ashok shares his insights on:

👉What's happening in the world of automotive technology and product design

👉Bridging the gap between Lean manufacturing principles and the field of software and technology

👉The challenges faced by OEMs in adopting cross-functional design processes and understanding how silos impact innovation

👉The shortcomings of traditional customer surveys

👉Power of in-depth interviews and qualitative data for effective problem-solving

👉Essential leadership qualities for fostering innovation in automotive companies

👉Why leaders should foster an environment that encourages experimentation and learning

👉The transition to a more innovative mindset within traditional organizations

Join us to explore the challenges, rewards, and transformative approaches shaping the future of the automotive industry. Whether you’re an industry professional or simply love innovation, this episode is a must-listen. 

Themes discussed in this episode:

  • Understanding Customer Pain Points
  • Challenges in Traditional Approaches
  • Innovating Automotive Culture
  • Designing Products in the Industry
  • Making Bets for Innovation
  • Transitioning to an Innovative Mindset
  • Integral Way of Problem-Solving
  • Essential qualities for fostering innovation in companies
  • Managing Transitions in Companies

Featured: Ashok Sivanand

What he does: Ashok is the driving force behind Integral, a digital transformation firm. As the CEO, Ashok is on a mission to make mobility a universal right. His passion lies in collaborating to build delightful products and high-performing teams, fostering a tech community that's not just inclusive but diverse. With leadership roles at Pivotal Labs and a track record in product development, he's now leading Integral to reshape how businesses integrate technology into their core.

On leadership: “I think that a combination of vulnerability and resilience is something that is hard to find. It's hard to find within oneself, let alone within an organization”

Mentioned in this episode:

Episode Highlights:

[00:03:38] Ashok’s journey in automotive: Explore Ashok’s impactful career journey and how it led him to become a transformative force in the automotive industry.    

[00:08:54] The genesis for Integral: The factors that inspired Ashok to start his own business and sparked his commitment to reshaping traditional automotive practices.       

[00:12:13] Transforming automotive product design: The changes brewing in automotive product design and understanding Ashok’s take on how the industry is adjusting to meet the ever-changing market demands.      

[00:15:48] Breaking silos, building innovation: The challenges OEMs face when trying to ditch the silo mentality to focus on cross-collaboration and fostering innovation.

[00:18:20] Ashok’s advice for leaders: Ashok’s advice for innovation leaders: Understand your role, recognize your strengths, transition from mere order-taking to value creation, and adopt a holistic approach.

[00:24:38] The right way: The Integral way of truly understanding customer pain and prioritizing customer value through in-depth interviews, qualitative data, and a missionary approach to problem-solving.

[00:32:51] Leadership guide for innovation: Ashok’s take on the 21 traits of authentic leadership and the qualities he thinks are essential for fostering innovation.

[00:40:53] Lessons from Ford Labs: Learn from Ashok’s experiences at Ford Labs, understanding how companies can effectively manage transitions and adopt innovative practices.

[00:49:08] Personal side of Ashok: In a more personal segment, Ashok shares his favorite Detroit spots and music preferences, offering a glimpse into the life of a leader shaping the auto industry’s future.

Top Quotes:

[00:13:46] Ashok: “I think anytime you use the word product, you want to be very clear as to who's it for and what's it for.”

[00:14:19] Ashok: “When you get all the cross-functional components together, or the constituents together, they're able to make decisions relatively more autonomously and be given the authority to go solve that problem. You're going way faster. And you're able to combine hardware and software very quickly to make these decisions.”

[00:15:31] Ashok: “Digital transformation is not just the use of technology, but it's thinking in a different way and being enabled by technology and then using it to solve problems either for your customer or your internal operations and sometimes even just taking the risk out of the decisions that you make.”

[00:21:15] Ashok: “You're thinking about being more technology-enabled or doing well at serving software. I think there are a few things to consider. Number one is adding business value where you are not just taking the orders that come from the sales team and make sure that it gets done on time and on budget.”

[00:32:10] Ashok: “There's nothing that can convert someone from mercenaries to missionaries, where my job isn't just coming in and getting a paycheck. It's something that I feel purpose around. There's nothing that's going to make that change in your team than helping them understand how bad something is today and how the work they're doing today is going to lead to that being much better for that person.”

[00:47:06] Ashok: “I've seen a lot more efficacy around proving it out in a small area, going real deep with it, and then spreading that context and confidence to the broader enterprise versus trying to do a little bit of it but spreading it across.”