Clarity Around Complexity with Bharath Kadaba

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Innovation is king. But that doesn’t mean everyone understands it or knows how to leverage it. In fact, many view it as the silver bullet and the easy button that changes everything overnight. And that’s just not how it works.

Innovation evolves step by step and can be years in the making before a viable product or concept can be leveraged. And that’s why companies invest in future technologies.

On our latest episode of What’s Your Story, Sally speaks with Bharath Kadaba, Chief Innovation Officer of Intuit, about his role building and leading the Technology Futures group within Intuit, and how that group communicates about their work in a way that builds interest and buy-in.


More About Bharath Kadaba

Bharath Kadaba is Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer at Intuit, and leads the Technology Futures group.  His organization is responsible for creating game-changing technology in support of Intuit’s mission to power prosperity for consumer, small business and self-employed customers.

Since joining the company in 2008, Bharath has served in a variety of executive leadership positions. Prior to his current role, he was Vice President and Engineering Fellow with responsibility for leading engineering teams that built innovative new technology for the company’s QuickBooks, TurboTax and Mint product lines. Before that, he led advanced technology development as Vice President for Global Ready Offerings, and Vice President for the Global Business Division, Product Development, respectively.

Before Intuit, Bharath was Vice President of Media Engineering at Yahoo, where he led the development of a shared services platform to serve as the foundation for all media properties (news, finance, sports, games, etc.) and significantly expanded the U.S. media product capabilities. Prior to Yahoo, he was an executive with Siebel Systems, AristaSoft, and News Corp., after spending 15 years at IBM and IBM’s TJ Watson Labs.

Bharath earned a Ph.D. in Computer Networks from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and a BSEE and Master’s in Computers and Control from the Indian Institute of Science.


Show Highlights

  • Innovation evolves- What is it and how do you leverage it?
  • Why do companies invest in future technology?
  • How does a company define a future technology group?
  • How do we bring technologies and build products that benefit our customers?
    • Start with the customer problems.
  • The goal is to help consumers lead a prosperous life as technology is constantly changing,
  • what is the match between the customer problem and the new technology?
  • Purpose: To help customers at the same time as building future technology.
  • Customers always want to see how they can make more money.
  • Small teams that are obsessed with technology – How can we change the way humans interact with machines?
  • There is a need for people who are passionate about the work, problem solver, innovative, and future thinking.
  • The beauty of the deep craft expertise is somebody who knows the tech well and can problem solve.
  • Always be willing to explore multiple solutions. Fall in love with the problem not the solution.
  • What is a craft expert?
  • How do you find a craft expert and a person with curiosity and expertise?
    • Find somebody customer obsessed, they will be the first to solve the problem.
  • Customer Collaborative commerce? What is it?
  • How does your team think about clarity when outcomes aren’t always clean/how to find clarity in communication?
  • Understand what is clear and what is ambiguous – Always set the expectations of what you know and don’t know from the start.
  • Communication and narratives are critically important. Know what the challenge is and why you have the challenge.
  • How to show that you are about the future and relevant today at the same time.
  • How to invert a story so that it’s built entirely from the consumer’s perspective?
  • How to teach a team to do good work and illustrate what they do?
  • How much has awareness gone up since they began talking about what they do?
  • How storytelling has brought to life the impact of what they have done and how they do it?
  • Doing Great Work is not enough, you have to stand up and tell a story.


Like what you hear? Hear more episodes like this on the What’s Your Story podcast page!