03 December 2023

Season 4, Episode 14. The Power of the Collective for Innovation with Eb Ikonne

How can tapping into collective wisdom lead to superior outcomes than relying solely on individual insight?


In this episode, we speak with Ebenezer Ikonne, AVP of product and engineering at Cox Automotive. He shares his leadership journey, from starting as a software engineer to understanding the importance of values and mindset when transitioning into a leadership role. He talks about his experience creating an atmosphere where people can flourish and reach their full potential while allowing technology to solve business problems. He also discusses how companies should approach generative AI and chat GPT tools, as well as the tragedy of not allowing people to use their talents fully.


Tune in to hear Ebenezer's insights on how followers can make smarter choices about where they want to work, what they want to do, and why it's essential to experience ‘joy at work.’



[00:01 - 06:19] From Software Engineer to AVP of Product and Engineering 

• How Eb wanted to become more influential in the org but saw many people telling others what to do

  • His transformation to lead differently and allow people to experience joy at work

• How to address workplace depression and disengagement


[06:20 - 12:20] Leveraging the Power of the Collective to Maximize Human Potential

• Three dimensions of work: hands, head, and heart

• Leadership roles require managing people and conflict

• Values shifted to seeing the self as a steward and creating an environment for people to flourish

• The power of the collective is crucial to innovation


[12:21 - 18:15] The Impact of Generative AI and Chat GPT

• Why many people are unable to unleash their creativity in the workplace

• AI can be seen as an additional tool for extraction or a way to relieve mundane tasks

• Generative AI and chat GPT should not replace conversations or engagement

  • Finding the balance between using these tools and engaging with people is key


[18:16 - 24:39] Closing Segment

• Generative AI should be used with caution

• Check out his book Becoming a Leader in Product Development



Key Quotes:


"I think about the workplace as a place where people can and should flourish and thrive and not a place where I just go to work because I have to pay the bills." - Eb Ikonne


"The answer from the collective is, in many cases, better than the answer from the individual." - Eb Ikonne


"As human beings, we need to do things that we find fulfilling." - Eb Ikonne



Connect with Eb:


LinkedIn: Ebenezer Ikonne

Twitter: @eikonne

Springer Link: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-1-4842-7298-5



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