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March 16, 2018
Caterpillar was part of a convergence of industry leaders, innovators and freethinkers from around the globe gathered in Austin, Texas, this week for South by Southwest® (SXSW®), an annual event showcasing some of the best things in the tech, film and music industries.
Customer & Dealer Support Group President Rob Charter took the SXSW® stage alongside leaders from the likes of Nike (athletic wear), Pandora (music streaming) and CI&T (IT & software engineering), sharing ideas about leadership in the digital age and what it takes to nurture a company culture where self-motivation and innovation flows.
"Innovation is about diversity. It’s important to have a framework for innovation and an environment for constructive feedback. But making sure you have the right diversity of thought within the organization, whether that be through gender, race, age or personality type, really makes a big difference and brings the best ideas to the forefront,” Charter told the audience.
Charter and the other panelists also shared their thoughts about a leader’s role in empowering teams and driving innovation to best serve customers.
“The true north is always your customer. Always your customer. You can’t just do what the customer wants. You need to think about where the customer is going, and how you make it better and more convenient and add value going forward,” he said. “I think that has to have precedence over everything else.”
While visiting SXSW®, Charter also supported the Caterpillar Foundation’s “Value of Water” campaign launch. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the value of water and the impact of the global water crisis on community health, education and economics. Charter completed a Water Walk, carrying two 20-liter containers filled with water to represent the struggle that millions of women and children contend with every day to have access to water for their homes and families.