TSYS Shares Keys For Fostering Contagious Corporate Culture

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9:42 AM EDT November 13th, 2013

“Contagious products and ideas are like forest fires. They can’t happen without hundreds, if not thousands of regular Joes and Janes passing the product or message along.”

That’s just one key takeaway from Jonah Berger’s 2013 New York Times bestseller “Contagious: Why Things Catch On.” But, while this message is easy to digest, it’s harder to put into action, especially when its execution relies on inspiring underlying change not in consumers, but in an entrenched company culture.

TSYS, however, may have found the playbook for this success with its Idea Center. Started in 2012 as a shared website where team members could submit ideas (Jump to 0:17) , TSYS’ Idea Center has blossomed into an engine of creativity that has revitalized how the company approaches fundamental aspects of its work.

Chris Colson, director of innovation at TSYS, indicates that soon after the Idea Center’s launch, the company was inspired to create an Innovation Lab. Here, team members are given hands-on interaction with new technology – a development Colson suggests has led to new products now available in the marketplace.

But, TSYS is also a prime example of how great ideas can be contagious not only internally, but also externally (Jump to 1:13) .

“The culture here is also extended to our clients,” Colson told PYMNTS.com. “Now when our clients come through the innovation lab, they have the opportunity to think outside of the box. We’re hoping that by us changing our culture here that it’s going to rub off and make some of our clients more innovative as well.”

For more on how TSYS’ Idea Center has led to improved client engagement (Jump to 2:16), as well as TSYS’ insight into how it achieved this success, (Jump to 3:48) listen to our full interview with Colson below.


*If you have trouble with the audio player above, click here.

Chris Colson, Director of Innovation, TSYS

Chris Colson is director of innovation for TSYS. He is an 18-year veteran of the payments and financial services industry, having previously served as vice president, product management, of Equifax, in Alpharetta, Georgia, where he was responsible for managing multiple business units and product portfolio teams. Colson’s additional responsibilities at Equifax included defining product and market strategies; identifying, developing and working with segment partners to create joint products; and defining and describing innovative ideas. Prior to TSYS and Equifax, he gained additional experience working at companies such as S1 Corporation, Magnet Corporation, Bank One and Bank of America.

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