Best Places spotlight: Coca-Cola Enterprises encourages the exchange of ideas

A culture that prizes innovation, agility and fun reigns at the No. 91-ranked company on our 2013 Best Places to Work in IT list.

Last year, Coca-Cola Enterprises gave its IT staffers a chance to check out some emerging technologies when it invited speakers from about a dozen high-tech startups to come in and pitch their up-and-coming products. CCE also hosts hack-a-thons, in which teams of its employees vie for cash prizes as they compete to see who can come up with the most innovative ideas.

IT staffers at Coca-Cola Enterprises
IT staffers Bruce Gibson, Neelima Goli, Siobhan Smyth, Kyle Waddle, Bhanu Vallabhaneni and Yaxu Zhu. Credit: JDTyre.com.

Siobhan Smyth, vice president of IT leadership, says events like those embody the IT department's culture, which emphasizes innovation and CCE's three key values of accountability, customer focus and team drive. The Atlanta-based company, one of the world's largest Coca-Cola bottlers, presents annual awards to IT teams that demonstrate excellence in each of those three areas, says Smyth.

But CCE also works to create a day-to-day atmosphere that's agile, innovative and fun. "It's a flexible and fast-paced environment that keeps us constantly engaged and exchanging ideas," she says.

Lesley Morgan, senior manager of IT development, says that culture drew her to CCE. She says she enjoys working with new technologies and likes the fact that the company's global presence gives her opportunities to travel to Europe to work with IT and business colleagues based there.

"The enthusiasm, the excitement and innovation -- it makes it a really great and positive work environment," she says.

Next: Spotlight: No. 96-ranked American University promotes worker growth

Mary K. Pratt is a Computerworld contributing writer in Waltham, Mass. You can contact her at marykpratt@verizon.net.

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