Melanie Nuce is the Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at GS1 US, an information standards organization that brings industry communities together to solve supply chain problems through the adoption and implementation of GS1 Standards. That includes the barcodes found in the back of most products — the most widely used supply chain standards system in the world. We spoke with Melanie as part of our IL Member Spotlight series, which profiles our members.
Is there a success or recent achievement you’d want to spotlight?
[Our innovation program, which we call corporate development] is really about four years into its existence. … And each time we do something, we learn from it. … We’ve created a virtual program we call the Executive Exchange Forum for soliciting ideas from innovative thought leaders in the marketplace. … And last week, we finally launched our own web page on our GS1 US corporate website.
What’s a book, podcast, or other resource you would recommend to peers?
We have our own podcast, “DeCoded,” that my colleague Reid Jackson hosts, which of course is fascinating.
One book that has really made a difference is The Inversion Factor: How to Thrive in the IOT Economy.
What do you know about innovation now, that you wish you knew when you first started in your role?
Diplomacy and sharing the credit are critical. Some innovative teams are “plow ahead at all costs; you’ve got to make new stuff happen.” But our team finds that it’s much better to bring the existing community along with the work that you’re doing.
We approach things in that iterative way that says, “If you can’t achieve artificial intelligence at mass scale today, at a minimum, you could start to look at how to better structure your data so that you can help algorithms get smarter.”
That notion of utilizing your sphere of influence effectively, but also bringing other people along for the ride has gained us so much credibility. We get to come into things as a trusted adviser on the future, the look-around-the-corner team. [We’re also] privy to a lot of conversations about what’s plaguing the here and now. We can think about that in the context of: How do we apply this to the future opportunities we’re assessing?
Is there someone you especially admire as a role model creator, inventor, innovator? Could be a person or organization. Why?
Shannon Lucas. I got to go to her session at Impact . … She wrote that book, Move Fast. Break Shit. Burn Out.… [I admire] the positive energy that she exudes, the way that she encapsulates innovation in every area of her life… I’m an innovator by evolution. I think she was an innovator innately. … And I think it’s also important for female innovators to help each other out.
Do you use outside consultants regularly? If so, for what sorts of projects? What are some of the factors that come into play when you’re choosing a consultant or outside advisory firm to help you?
We partner with XRC Labs, which is an accelerator for startups… On the process side, ID8 Innovation is a company that has really helped us over the past couple of years. They’re not inside the company. They actually have different corporate clients all over… They have really helped us with our process, discipline, and really fun things like lean startup methodology and design thinking — making sure that we’re using those innovative processes so we don’t get stuck.