IdeaScale Nation

Cleveland Cavaliers: Building a Better Mousetrap

February 19, 2020 IdeaScale Season 1 Episode 11
IdeaScale Nation
Cleveland Cavaliers: Building a Better Mousetrap
Chapters
IdeaScale Nation
Cleveland Cavaliers: Building a Better Mousetrap
Feb 19, 2020 Season 1 Episode 11
IdeaScale

In the NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers were major contenders for the championship between 2014 and 2019. Even after Lebron James left for the Lakers in 2018, the Cavs are still a major leader in innovation. They have an innovation team known as the "Mousetrap" team that is dedicated to finding new ideas and improving the current processes for the Cavs. Jack Carmichael, Andy Olsson, and Aria Mirabile teach us on how the Cavs utilize their mousetrap team to gain new ideas and implement them. Their main differentiator is that they do roadshows to educate people on innovation and acquire new ideas to work on.

Show Notes Transcript

In the NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers were major contenders for the championship between 2014 and 2019. Even after Lebron James left for the Lakers in 2018, the Cavs are still a major leader in innovation. They have an innovation team known as the "Mousetrap" team that is dedicated to finding new ideas and improving the current processes for the Cavs. Jack Carmichael, Andy Olsson, and Aria Mirabile teach us on how the Cavs utilize their mousetrap team to gain new ideas and implement them. Their main differentiator is that they do roadshows to educate people on innovation and acquire new ideas to work on.

Jack Carmichael:

That's where innovation is to me, it's endless opportunities. It's just thinking of different ways so that way we're not stagnant. We're always evolving and trying to stay ahead of the curve.

Jessica Day:

Welcome to IdeaScale nations podcast where we talk to change-makers innovation program leaders, futurists and other intrapreneurs. This time we've got the pleasure of talking to a full team of innovators, Jack Carmichael Andy Olsson and Aria Mirabile all part of the innovation team at the Cleveland Cavaliers. And most of you are probably already with uh , familiar with the Cleveland Cavaliers because they won an NBA championship in 2016 and it's their first major sports title since the 60s. But what you might not know is that they've got a dedicated innovation team who is looking to improve the workplace. And the process is part of the whole rocket mortgage field house team. And this focus on workplace experience and process improvement is actually how we see a lot of innovation teams delivering early value and making positive strides towards embedding innovation in their entire culture. So they've actually been named one of Fast Company's most innovative companies. And I'm going to take this opportunity to welcome, of course, all of you. Um, but also to let each of you introduce yourselves. So welcome to the podcast guys. Tell us a little bit about yourself and sort of your unique role on the innovation team.

Aria Mirabile:

Thank you. Um, as she said, I'm Aria. Uh , my title on the innovation team is business analyst. Um, so I joined the team actually about 10 months ago and I came from family of companies. So I've been with the family of companies for about seven years now. I started with Quicken loans and so it was an easy transition , um, coming into the Cavs cause it's a very similar culture. Uh , it was really excited to kind of dive in and these two have been really like flexible with letting me be creative. So there's no like rules as far as how big you can be and creative and using your mind. So that's what I really liked about the difference between going from sales and a business analyst. So I work with these two , um, Andy and Jack . I am just like managing the integrator website that we use. It's what we call our IdeaScale uh website as well as coming up with quarterly campaigns and working on process improvement as well as innovation.

Andy Olsson:

And I am Andy Olsson. I am the manager of business process analysis. Um , I actually started just over three years ago. Um, so June of 2016 right before the championship. So I snuck my way in there. That's right. I knew what I was doing exactly. Um, so I, when I first started we were kind of , um , more so business consultants , um, and the, the term consultant kind of has a negative connotation to it, so we transitioned more to an analyst type role. Um, and that included a process improvement , um, a little project management and now we're kind of geared more towards data analytics. Um , so it's kind of a hybrid of all three. Um, but yeah, it's, it's like , Aria mentioned earlier, it's, it's nice to be able to flex our creative wings and kind of, u m, form our own role as we go. U m, depending on each process.

Jack Carmichael:

My name is Jack Carmichael and I lead our innovation team. I'm director of business process analysis and uh, been with the organization started a little bit before Andy did in 2016. So , um , we clearly take credit for that championship being one , um , by starting with the organization there, but , um, that we try and have the team say that to us every single day , um, and remind them , uh , of our con contributions. So , um , the biggest, so , uh , was part of the startup of the initial team there before that , um, was part of , uh, the team at Jack Cleveland casino, formerly horseshoe Cleveland casino, focusing on the same thing of how can we make things more efficient? How can we improve day to day operations for our team members by being the eyes and ears of the organization. Really , uh , looking at things with an outside perspective because we're not necessarily the subject matter experts, but we work with the subject matter experts and , um , kind of our role is to ask the questions that they, they won't necessarily ask themselves. Um, specifically why, why do we do things the way we do things? Because they've been , um, I like to say they've been in the foxhole for so many years and they have tunnel vision of this is how we've always done it. And we , we try to strive , um, and change that philosophy and have them look outside of that and , um , change the way they do things. So,

Jessica Day:

You know, it's interesting, I was just having another conversation with somebody else who works in innovation. They were saying the innovation is sort of the permission to ask questions. And so that's what you guys are, you're the , the, the question askers at your organization. And the other thing that I love about your program is that , uh , we end up using a lot of cheese puns. Can you tell me about the origin of your innovation program and how that came in?

Jack Carmichael:

Yeah, so , um, our, our team is known as the mousetrap team. Um, and so anyone listening right now is probably like what the F is mouse trap. Um, and trust me when I first applied, cause I think it started with me , um , working at the casino, it was known as the mousetrap. And , um, at the time it was , uh , I was looking for a career change. And um , at the , it didn't list mousetrap in the description at all. It just said business consultant. So after I got the job or during the interview process, I forget when they first mentioned it in my head, I was like, why, why are we calling it mousetrap ? What, what does that, what does that even mean? Like how does that tie into process improvement? How's it tie in into continuous improvement? But , um, it started , uh, Dan Gilbert , um, our owner and um, he started a team at Quicken loans. He wanted that team to focus on and how I talked about the eyes and ears of the organization to take a look at our processes, to take a look at our functions and how can we become more efficient. And he's not big on , uh , conventional names. So I think the HR team is known as the pulse there and the analytics teams. The brain. And so he , he went with mousetrap , uh, based off of the saying, if you build a better mousetrap, there'll be beating down the path to your door. Um, so that really , um, is kind of our motto or what we , uh , what we're striving for in the beginning because really , uh , I think anyone that's trying to lead an innovation team, the biggest way to get people bought into your team is results. Um, it just to figure out a better way. And, and if you do that, then there'll be beating down a path to your door. They'll be coming back to you more and more and more. And that's what we strive to do. Um, because even if we , um, a lot of the times people have these ideas and they present them to people, but they didn't get any response back. They didn't get any feedback from these individuals. So what we really did in the beginning was even if it was a, no, we can't do this, we, we provided that feedback of, no, but this is why we , we actually took a look at what you're asking. We didn't just brush it off and give you a simple no, we provided context of Hey , um, this is , um, this is a no, and this is , you know , the specific reasons why and it's not necessarily a no, right. It's just a no right now. Cause we've had a couple of times where we've had ideas, we've said no before and then a year or two later it came to fruition. And , um , one that I can think of is that's gonna be being implemented soon as dogs in the office. Someone , uh , submitted that about two years ago. Yeah. And , um, it was a note at the time , um, we were in an old, we were in an arena at the time and it was going to be getting renovated, but at the same time, there was no real thought process of having that happen. But since , uh, since that happened, that an idea initially got submitted, we've transitioned into a full on a field house, if you will. So there's a lot more room. Um, our family of companies, Quicken loans in Cleveland does it and they have a whole policy. So we're able to kind of, we're building it based off of that we dipped our toe in the water to have like therapy dogs where we , we were in our temporary spaces. So , um, now we're looking to have a team members send them to bring their own dogs in, obviously with some caveats and being able to , uh, um, have some thought of from team members. Like, should my dog come in? Like, my dog will not be coming into the office cause I know that. And , uh , I know that like , uh , texts , alerts, any chimes, set him off and, and I don't need him barking in the office and going crazy and having to let him out every five seconds. So , um, but that's kind of an example and that's where we, where we started with is it , I started , we started at Quicken loans and , um , then I was of the startup team at , um, the casino and then there was an opportunity to start one at the Cavs and kind of branch it off into the family of companies. So , um, we've had a lot of great success and hope to have continued success moving forward.

Jessica Day:

So the first step was like getting together a team who could start thinking about some of these problems. Um, and then then you started to invite people to start solving those problems. Is that how you got started?

Jack Carmichael:

So , um, I was actually , um, probably with the organization about six months of trying to lay the groundwork of what mouse trap was. Um, but in , um , in terms of the work at the Cavs , um , but I knew that we need to expand , um, the team out because there's no way that one person's going to tackle all of the items that needed to be done if we got bought in or from buy in from the organization. And , um, I knew working with Quickenloans, they had a , uh , they had a similar idea of platform called the cheese factory , um, that I knew would be successful here. And so that's where we started having the conversations with you guys about using the IdeaScale as our platform. But , um , we also didn't want it to be , um, uh, known as the cheese factory. We wanted to have our own brand and that's where , um, Andy , um, uh, and , uh, like our former colleague kind of brainstormed a new name, if you will, and we call it the integrator, the integrator . So , um, I'll let Andy explain where the name came from since he was,

Andy Olsson:

Yeah. So , um , as Jack mentioned, it was kind of, we wanted our own identity. Um, so we, we brainstorm for probably two weeks or so, just throwing stuff on the, on the whiteboard and see what stuck. Um , we invited people outside of our team , um, to do the same. So , um, the breakdown of the name itself, the , you know , um, the, the, the first part of it stands for innovation. Obviously we want to kind of set the standard , um , not just in our organization but across the NBA. Um, the second portion of it is greater , um, as a cheese grater. Um , if you could see our logo, it kind of exemplifies that. But , um, the thought process there is that we're taking a large idea, kind of grading it down into smaller ideas, smaller pieces of that set idea, and then kind of putting it back together to provide that result. And then finally the R at the end is bracketed. Um, and that's for our mantra. So it stands for rais research results. Um, so that's raising awareness, researching processes and solutions, and then ultimately providing results. So that's kind of the breakdown or the name itself.

Jessica Day:

And that's also like, that's your job description.

Andy Olsson:

Exactly. Yeah.

Jessica Day:

Yeah . And , uh , I, I think it's the greatest, get an image of the , uh, of the logo, put that on our podcast landing page. So you've got this great form , the integrator to get people involved in solving some of these process improvement and continuous improvement problems. How do you go about engaging your employees in this process?

Andy Olsson:

Yeah , so , um, it's, it's a combination of a few things. Um, ultimately at the beginning we were , um, it was literally just word of mouth. Um , we had email campaigns , um, which people didn't necessarily know who we were exactly right off the bat. So it took some time to get those, those small wins implemented just to show our worth really and improve that , that we belong. Um, and now it's a combination of a few things. So it's still the email campaigns. Um , we're doing innovation challenges now Aria just started one with Cavs Legion this past week, so she can dive into that a little more. Um, and then also we, we run cheese madness during, during a NCAA March madness , um, which is kind of like our, our massive campaign to get people involved and um, kind of create a backlog of ideas.

Jessica Day:

Did you want to talk about that campaign you just launched?

Aria Mirabile:

Yeah, so we , um, we, the three of us and our, I guess team lead, Kevin, he's um , VP of innovation and business intelligence. Um, so the four of us sat down and we kind of brainstormed cause we knew we wanted to do quarterly campaigns. Um, the first one that we came up with, we decided wasn't much of an innovation challenge as much as it was process improvement. So we sat down and we brainstormed , um, just kind of like groups that we wanted that we thought would be good to work with, that we may maybe not have worked with before. Just to kind of continue to like get our name out there. Um, and I don't know like how familiar everyone is, but Cavs now haven't 2K team, which is, u m, like a gaming. It's like,

Andy Olsson:

yeah, it's a professional video game team that plays NBA 2K.

Aria Mirabile:

Yes. And they're called Cavs Legion. So we decided we wanted to pair with them. Um, so we kind of brainstormed a couple options on like what our campaign question could be surrounding that team. Um, and when we sat down with them, they had the idea, I guess their biggest area of opportunity was marketing and branding their practice facility , um , which has this really nice space that they have for the gamers to kind of practice. And I think it holds like 50 people or so. So we wanted to come up with , um, uh, you know, a creative idea on how we can, how they can utilize that more maybe during the off season , um, just to kind of generate more revenue and have more like events and things there. So we came with up with the question is how do we market and campaign the Cavs Legion practice facility? So we launched that on Tuesday, last Tuesday. It'll run for two weeks. I think we already have like 27 or 28 ideas.

Jack Carmichael:

Yeah, we're almost at 30 I think now.

Andy Olsson:

Yeah. So they're really excited about it. Um, the game plan from here really is once we close the campaign, which will , it'll close next Tuesday and we'll go over everything with them as far as like what kinda ideas came in. And then we have winners as well that we're going to like the overall winner that'll be chosen between our , um, we'll be able to host a private event there. So it's been really exciting. People are excited about it.

Jessica Day:

So that's awesome that you've got almost 30 ideas and just a couple of days. And you sort of hinted at it already, but you know, an idea comes into a campaign like that. What happens to it next?

Aria Mirabile:

So once an idea comes in for a specific campaign , um, we like once the campaigns close, we'll go over all the ideas with the party involved. So in this example it would be Cavs Legion , um, and then we just kind of sift through them and the idea actually is to try and implement all of them. Um, anything that's feasible, you know, within our capabilities. But obviously in this case we are going to have a winner. So we'll go through and we'll pick like who's the top idea. But again, I mean from there we'll just work with the Cavs Legion and seeing like what we can do to assist in implementing it. Um, we do kind of like hand off and have them own the idea from there and just because that, that keeps it sustainable it's their , you know, it's their department, I guess you want to call it. But , um, yeah, the idea is to implement all of them and we would just kind of see like what we can do from there.

Jessica Day:

So the idea comes in and then you're the ones who help them evaluate it against some criteria, maybe prioritize it. And that's one of the ways that you help prepare them for implementing it and making sure it's something that they can implement. Um , but you guys do have a major focus on process improvement that's kind of different campaign for you to run, like innovating a space. Tell me why you do pay those such particular attention to process improvement and um, how has that been positive at your organization so far?

Andy Olsson:

Yeah , so there's with , within our organization , um, it's kind of unfortunate but there's so many silos that exist between each team. Um, so it's kind of our duty to kind of break down those barriers to make sure things are flowing smoothly. Um, so that's, that's where the process improvement comes in is , is from an outside perspective, you know, we could, we can see or hear stuff that's going on that could be simplified. Um, so ultimately our goal is to make sure that that happens. Um, so yeah, the, the process improvement comes into play just from, you know, as , as such an easy task. It's thrown it on the, on the whiteboard and drawing out the , the process from start to finish. Um, and we've had feedback that from, from team members themselves saying, Oh, this, this is a lot easier than, or it could be done a lot easier than, than what we're making it out to be. So , um, just from our experience with lean six Sigma , um, that's kind of like the framework for our methodology to approach that , um, the process improvement side of things. But , um, yeah, ultimately breaking down those silos and making people's lives easier is , is the thought behind it.

Jessica Day:

You already knew, I was going to ask you a question about six Sigma. So a lot of people lose a lot of different frameworks for their programs and you guys are a six Sigma , uh , you've got that background. But so for those who don't know, can you explain that methodology sort of how it serves you?

Andy Olsson:

Yeah, absolutely. Um, so lean six Sigma is basically just a methodology methodology on how to approach , um, either processes or projects in general. Um, the, the framework that we use is , is DMAIC , um , which in short means or stands for define, measure, analyze, improve and control. Um, and the , the last step is, is honestly the most important for us, the passing of control over to the respective team . So , um, it's a little rigid as far as how things operate. So we kind of have to dumb it down a little bit or maybe not dumb it down, simplify , um, for , for team members to make sure that they're on board . Um, but it's basically just throwing everything , um, out in front of the project itself and making it simple as possible for , for people to understand along the way. So , um, for us it's a little rigid as far as how we approach it. But , um , ultimately we kind of have to adapt to each team and how they function.

Jessica Day:

Right? So it is like a, it's like a set framework, but you can totally adapt it to different groups. They work . I liked that about six Sigma too . Um, so a big part of what makes your program work is employee engagement. And there are a lot of different ways you mentioned email and other, other things to get people involved. But one of the things that you guys do that's awesome is you do roadshows . Um, so will you talk to me about what you talk about in these roadshows when you do them?

Aria Mirabile:

Um , yeah, so our road shows , um, we, we've met with like 24 different teams within our organization and the goal is to get our message out to them on how like what we do on a daily basis, how they can utilize us and vice versa. Like how we can help them. Um, it's really just to let them know like we are here to assist and we also, part of it is like giving examples of what we've done because a lot of them may not know that we've been a part of some of these projects and implementations that kind of came to life. Cause I think a lot of it is the, you know, believing is seeing concept . So once they see that, like we, we have been a part of things, like we are here to help them, they're more open to coming up with suggestions and maybe it gets them to think about things as well in their business that, you know, they didn't really thought could be fixed , um, or any ideas that they have that they never really thought would be heard. So it just kind of gives that like face to face aspect rather than them just going to the website.

Andy Olsson:

Ultimately we just want to start the conversation even if they don't necessarily have anything to bring to the table. Right. Right then and there. Um, but yeah, it's just to like, like already mentioned, put the face to the name kind of thing. So , um, yeah. And it's, and it's been, it's been going well. I mean successfully. Um, we've had so many , um , projects come from those road shows and , um, if anything doesn't come up immediately, it's at least planting the seed that if something does pop in their mind that they come to us immediately instead of just kind of brushing it under the rug.

Jack Carmichael:

I think the biggest benefit if we don't get any , um, pro like projects or suggestions is it's about the relationship building. Um, because of , uh, just the initial statement of like what is mousetrap is we get a lot of people that, that kind of joined the organization that maybe aren't familiar with it and obviously we're one of the few uh, sports teams in general that has a continuous improvement process improvement innovation team. Um, I know the MBA's doing more of a charge in that and that some other, some other teams have that, but we really , um, are the lone one, like one of the few in this world. And um, uh, and by world I mean the sports world, sports and entertainment world. So it's all about relationship building and trying to make sure people understand why we're there. Um , simply ending the meeting with what keeps you up at night. Just give us three, three things that keep you up at night. Cause that kind of sparks that kind of thought process from individuals. Like, Hey, this might actually be something you can work on. Cause yeah, this drives me crazy in that. And we've been trying to think about a solution for a while and uh, that really helps. Um, and so, yeah, relationship building I think is our biggest benefit from, from the roadshows.

Jessica Day:

I love that ending with a question and you know, to prompt that thought process. And I love too that you're, you're showing them some of the things that you've already accomplished because delivery is what breeds trust with people who are sort of dubious about these programs. Can you talk about some of the things that you've implemented that you talk about in these roadshows ?

Jack Carmichael:

Yeah, I , the, the big ones that we touch on are ha have to do it with a lot of technology and just trying to make things more efficient , um, for our team members. Um, the , the , I think the big project that we started on was , um, ultimate software was our HRS software. Um, because at the time we were operating on two separate platforms and they weren't talking to each other. So yeah. So we were having to, essentially, our payroll team was on one and our HR team was on another. And , um, it's just caused double work, if you will, by inputting , um, team members in twice. Um, so it was a lengthy process just to kind of dissect all of the processes that are involved of who should be putting in this information, where should it be coming from? Um, can, can we give our team members power to put in their own information without having to involve HR like a or direct deposits getting our team members actually just put in their own direct deposits instead of sending in a form for payroll to have them do that. So that was a lot of the questions that we brought to the table because , um, in particular those two areas , um, we had individuals that were doing the same thing for 20 years, 15, 20 years. And it's like here, maybe this is a brand new software. There are new features, there are no new things that we can do, new capabilities that you didn't necessarily have and , and an old one in your old systems. So , um, and that was a big one. Um , the next one was our expense report software. I'm purchasing expense report software. Um , that one came about because I think one of my first days, our desks were lo located right by the printer. And so I saw someone going up to the printer and putting about 30 receipts onto and scanning a document. And I asked them , I was like, what are you doing? And they're like, Oh, we're doing an expense report. And I was like, you don't take pictures of the receipts and everything and upload it that way. And they're like, no, we have to balance all of our receipts onto one PDF, send it in, submit it there. So that was an opportunity. And , um, it's a work in progress, but it's really helped people when they're on the road traveling to take pictures of receipts uploaded , being able to submit their expense reports. But then also it's about visibility. They had no idea where their expense reports stood or their purchase order. Um, if they're trying to buy some things for an event the next day, they don't know where it sands, who's approval queue it's in. So with this software that we brought in that was , um, able to , um, give that visibility to people so that way they knew, Hey, I gotta get this person to approve. I know who exactly who to go to. So I'm kind of sped up that process. And , um , we've been dealing with office three 65 transitioning people to teams and trying to help , uh, lead that charge and try and get people's thought process that change with that because we have like a shared drive that, or Google doc that people are uploading documents, especially the Google doc. It's just, yeah, it's just not secure. But people don't understand that. And if they're not familiar with technology, so we could have people uploading contracts with uh confidential information onto Google docs. You get someone from a another country that just hacks into the system and finds all this information. I don't know how useful it may be, but , um , they have it. Um, and trying to transition them to thinking about teams and you cause you can ask people from outside organizations, you can invite them into that team and give them access and , and we secure that environment. So , um, and then teams as well as like being able to give the function out of chatting or video conferencing because we're on like eight different systems right now is like , but we have one system that does everything and it's just trying to get people to think about that. So, and then , uh, I'll let Andy talk about ABI, our scheduling software cause he really spearheaded that. But that was a big transition.

Andy Olsson:

Absolutely. So ABI is a scheduling and timekeeping system for , uh, event-based properties. Um, so at the field house itself , um, so one of the issues prior to implementing ABI was that we were overstaffing our guest services, housekeeping, security team. Um, and basically that's because we were using an Excel sheet , um, being passed around, we had , uh , we had an , an estimated attendance for each game , um, from a, from a guest standpoint. And you know, we would overshoot that number by quite a bit. So , um, and there was no accountability either. So if Excel sheet got passed around, there was no nobody checking to make sure that it was filled out by team leads from those respective departments. So we spent probably two years , um, figuring out which, which platform or system we wanted to go with. Um, it was a painstaking , uh, initiative, but um, we battled through it and this past March we actually went live with the system itself. Um, so we're in a lot better place than we were. Um , there's reporting capabilities, it's easier to schedule people and , and keep team members involved.

Jessica Day:

Oh, so you guys are at the heart of a lot of digital transformation efforts. That's pretty amazing because all of that is efficiency, right? Which leads to time savings. But all of that time savings is of course money savings eventually. So that's why they must love you guys. Tell me, we ask everybody on the podcast to give us their opinion. What does the word innovation mean to you? Maybe each of you could answer if you have different answers.

Andy Olsson:

Yeah . So T to me, innovation is, is kind of pushing, pushing the limits. Um, you know, the sky's the limit type of thing. So no ideas to too small or too big. Um, within the organization. We haven't an ism , um , which is basically just a mantra or saying , um , that Dan Gilbert created. Um , and ours, one of the ones that we utilize is yes, before no. Um, basically whenever an idea is submitted, we have to attack it and make sure that we wanted it to come to fruition, you know, implement it . Um, so innovation, especially in the NBA is , is ever changing, you know, and the NBA is one of the , um, the , the leaders in sports as far as , as pushing those boundaries , um, with the legalized gambling. Um, we just hired our first women or a woman coach this past year, which is awesome as well. So , um, yeah, you can clap for that. Right. Um, it's, it's amazing and that's right. Um, so yeah, like I said, just, just pushing the, pushing the boundaries and making sure that , um, we approach every idea of the same.

Aria Mirabile:

Yeah. I , I agree with Andy. I think innovation is definitely that kind of pass to just be as, there's nothing like too crazy that you can come up with or even too small. It's like that. Um, I guess like I said, it's that like keyword that, you know, you can just get as creative as you want. There's no limits, there's no rules . It's , it's being able to tap into like a part of your brain that maybe you might be afraid to otherwise in a professional setting. So I think innovation like gives everyone that that, right. So, yeah ,

Jack Carmichael:

I think innovation is kind of the business word for dreaming. That's where innovation is to me. It's endless opportunities. It's just thinking of different ways so that way we're not stagnant. We're always evolving and trying to stay ahead of the curve . That's what I'm , that's why some succeed, why some others don't, is because they don't take innovation seriously. They don't try and become better. They don't try and be better than their competitors and, or make things better for their customers, whoever that may be. It may be for us, like we have all different kinds of customers, but we want to make sure that everything is better for each one of them. And it may be different philosophies like our guests may think one thing, but our corporate partners may think this is important is trying to tie those threads as well. And that to me is innovation is is making things better. Um , all holistically. It's not looking at one category but everything in terms of your work making it better and making it more enjoyable too like making things for our team members.

Aria Mirabile:

So yeah, I think it's a culture that everybody wants to be a part of because it just lets everybody be themselves essentially at the end of the day. So

Jessica Day:

I love this concept of yes before, no cause I think, you know, ideas are inherently really vulnerable things, which means that people who are sharing them are inherently vulnerable. And it's like you guys act as these advocates when ideas and , and those people are sort of in that most vulnerable state to help them research it, learn more about it, see that its future could be. Let's , uh, finish our conversation by asking you guys, what are you most excited about when it comes to your 2020 innovation roadmap?

Andy Olsson:

So this, this year , um, I'm most excited about truthfully, the unknown. Um, this past year kind of exposed us to areas that we hadn't worked in yet. Um, and even since joining the Cavaliers , um, it's, it's created experiences that I never thought I'd imagined. So , um, this year, I mean, cheese madness 2020 is on, on our agenda , um , and we're already starting to look into that. But , um , like partnering with Cavs Legion , that's like on the forefront of our season, this , this upcoming year. But yeah, I'm , I'm curious to see who , who we work with next then, you know, we do have goals and plans in place, but that's, those are very loose depending on who we work with. So , um, yeah, like I said, it's, it's a mystery, but , um, we're looking forward to the challenge.

Aria Mirabile:

I'm definitely personally excited to just continue to learn more , um, and just gain more experience just because, like I said, mentioned earlier, I'm the newest member of the team. Um, and I came from more of a sales background. So this year, these last 10 months have been just like a learning experience for me. So I'm excited just to like be more comfortable moving forward in my role and continuing to learn and just being able to be as creative. Um, I don't know. I like, I don't know if Andy mentioned the data analytics piece of it, so , um, he's getting more into like the Tableau and the data analytics piece of it and hopefully like that's a path that I can go as well because that's something that interests me also. So I'm excited to just kinda learn that.

Jack Carmichael:

Um, I, I think what I , I, I like , uh , Andy and Aria's answers and I agree with both of them. Um, the unknown and what our capabilities are is very exciting. Um, for, for us, we, we transitioned I think in this past year from , um, our team reporting up to the CFO to now a part of the business intelligence team. And that year is probably , uh, put more life into this team and given us more exposure to the organization than anything. Um, and so I'm looking forward to another year of just being a part of the right team , um, and being a part of the right opportunities because , um, I have to give credit to our team lead , uh, Kevin , um, who leads our business intelligence team because he has challenged us to think in different ways to think about , um, ways that we can get our name out there to the organization. And it really is like we were put into, I don't want to say the perfect situation, but I feel like our team , um, molded into the business intelligence team perfectly. Like we are now three different areas where one section of our team focuses on analytics , uh , or analytics and reporting. One focuses on data and then the other, and then our area, we're focused on process, permit innovation. And , um, our common goal is that we just want to make the organization better and think about different ways that we can , um , present , um, information to the entire organization in order to make better informed decisions and , um, kind of create a , uh , culture. And , uh, I know culture is a huge buzzword nowadays, but create a culture that's always challenging the status quo and wanting to , um, figure out better ways to do things and ask the question of why are we doing it the way we're doing it. And , um, I , I think our team as a whole is , um, and I don't just speak at the mousetrap team, but the business intelligence team is, we , we have a year down of learning each other's strengths and is continuing to learn each , um, learn from each other and how our teams can work with each other and , um , make our organization even better. Um, that's what I'm very excited. I'm very excited about our potential, but , um , our team's potential overall within the organization and how we can do it better. Cheese madness is going to be amazing. The challenge innovate. The other challenge, innovations are going to be great. Um, what Andy and Aria have done for the organization is tremendous. And , um, where we were a year ago is fantastic, but I can't wait to see where we are in another year. Um, uh, cause it's one of those things maybe , um , we'll have to get a door to our offices so people can beat a path to, to finding us and everything. It's one of those, but , um, it's , that's what I'm excited for.

Jessica Day:

Well, I think it's really great. I, I feel like you have reinvented yourself like every year when we hear your story, you're doing something new and finding another, another layer, another limit to best through. So thank you so much for coming and telling your story on our podcast today. And , um, yeah, I'm sure we'll be keeping up with you as you guys continue to innovate for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Andy Olsson:

Thank you for having us.

Aria Mirabile:

Thank you. Go Cavs.

Jack Carmichael:

Thank you very much.