Thinking Big and Pushing the Limits of What’s Possible: Helene Barrie’s Story
Brisbane, Australia-based Helene Barrie talks about the importance of being innovative, exploring big ideas and collaborating with others.
Each month in 2023, we’re focusing on one of the 10 essentials we all need for success in these fast-changing times. This month, we’re highlighting Cultivates innovation, which is about moving beyond established ways of doing things to reimagine, experiment, break apart assumptions and reward creativity. Our innovation platform, Launch Pad, is a platform where you can share your ideas and work with others across Jacobs to solve complex problems.
We talked with Growth, Sales & Innovation Partner for Digital Solutions Australia-New Zealand (ANZ) and Beyond If Innovation Enablement Lead for Asia Pacific and Middle East (APME) Helene Barrie about the importance of being innovative, exploring big ideas and collaborating with others.
What year did you join Jacobs? What was your title then?
In 2013, I joined Jacobs as a Bid Manager & Team Leader in ANZ, focused on infrastructure and the environment. In this role, I was responsible for bringing bids to market and managing work – winning creative processes to solve our clients' toughest problems.
How did you get to where you are today?
For as long as I can remember, I've been passionate about creating a culture that encourages learning and growth in fun and new ways. I was selected to be part of the pilot for an innovation enablement training in 2020. This was transformative and I was inspired to share what I had learned with others and apply this to our broader business. It provided me with a lot of practical skills and knowledge, but it is also when I started to visualize a career for myself in which innovation plays a key part.
Innovation is crucial to what we do at Jacobs because it allows us to move beyond established ways of doing things – by understanding different perspectives, breaking down assumptions and embracing diverse ways of thinking. Without it, we wouldn't be able to deliver on our promise of challenging today and reinventing tomorrow. To share this with others across the company, I got involved with Beyond If and utilized Launch Pad, our tool for bringing innovation to life.
Launch Pad promotes the growth and evolution of ideas and solutions – stimulating innovation. Through this platform, we’re able to manage ideas, encourage collaboration and engage with others who are interested in fostering innovation. Recently, I was involved with an innovation challenge that received over 500 views and comments! The feedback on this initiative was overwhelmingly positive. To use Launch Pad, submit your idea to an open challenge or contribute to others' projects by choosing to "get involved." Each challenge has its own entry requirements based on idea type and the problem you're trying to solve.
What's the highlight of your career journey so far?
Recently, I designed and facilitated a five-day innovation sprint for my team. We explored ways we could help our clients solve critical challenges through data and digital solutions. We brought in our people with expertise from across the business, and by the end, we developed a prototype that serves as a data ecosystem we could use to get insights and answer client questions. It’s also usable by clients, who can continue to test and build upon it. I loved how authentic, emotional, collaborative and energizing it was.