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Six Feet Up, Roche Team Up to Deliver Innovation Overnight

Six Feet Up announced today that its staff teamed up with Roche Diagnostics' North American headquarters in Indianapolis recently for a 24-hour burst of innovation and autonomy dubbed an "Innovation Day."

Invented by Australian software company Atlassian and popularized by Daniel Pink in the book "Drive," the unique event allows employees to work on anything they choose as long as they show what they’ve developed to their colleagues 24 hours later.

"These days are one of the best ideas I've heard in the last 10 years," said Pink. "They're a unique approach to motivation that ends up surfacing new ideas for products and services and lots of ways to improve internal processes. I've yet to encounter an organization that tried one and didn't love it."

Six Feet Up has been holding this type of event for the last two years , but this marks the first time the firm has collaborated with another company. Roche saw the collaboration as an opportunity to learn about fostering a culture of innovation from a smaller, more nimble organization.

"Innovation is one of the cornerstones of our culture at Roche, and different working approaches like an Innovation Day can be a powerful tool for creativity and problem solving,"said Brigitte Fernandes-McAlear, vice president of marketing in the Applied Science division of Roche Diagnostics. "We’re thrilled to have the chance to collaborate with Six Feet Up because they’ve done it before and they’re known for their innovative approach to solving problems in their market."

For Six Feet Up, many useful innovations have been unveiled through past events that would not have materialized if employees had been required to stick with their "day jobs," according to Gabrielle Hendryx-Parker, chief executive officer. "This overnight innovation concept involves employees in the strategic and operational decision-making process and re-ignites the sense of purpose we tend to lose in our day-to-day activities," she said.

The event was intended to foster creativity, productivity and a more enjoyable work environment. "Our team was able to work together in a very creative atmosphere that enabled us to develop new campaign ideas," said Kris Shorter, marketing manager at Roche. One particular project, an e-mail marketing campaign, had been on his mind for several months but he was not able to work on it because of other existing priorities. During the 24-hour period, Shorter’s team created a series of campaigns that would normally take several weeks to complete. "The Innovation Day allowed my team to choose a project that was particularly appealing to us and to devote time to achieving a common goal," he said. About 35 employees from the two companies participated in the event.

About Roche Diagnostics

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics and about 80,000 employees worldwide. The diagnostics division offers a broad portfolio of tools that help healthcare providers diagnose and monitor diseases like congestive heart failure, HIV, hepatitis and diabetes, as well as other medical conditions. These products and services are used by researchers, physicians, patients, hospitals and laboratories to help improve people’s lives. Roche Diagnostics’ North American headquarters, located in Indianapolis, has about 4,200 employees and is home to U.S. research and development, laboratory, manufacturing, distribution, information technology and administrative operations. For more information: www.roche-diagnostics.us or www.roche.com.

About Six Feet Up

Founded in 1999, Six Feet Up is a privately held, woman-owned company that develops, hosts and supports sophisticated enterprise content management and collaborative intranet projects. In addition to enjoying a leading position in the Plone market, Six Feet Up also leverages high-profile open source software, such as KARL, Wordpress, Java, Django and Drupal. Six Feet Up's clients include top universities and life sciences organizations, growing and distributed teams, as well as Fortune 500 companies. More information is at http://www.sixfeetup.com.

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