The Shiproom / Episode 16 / lululemon

The Shiproom / Episode 16 / lululemon


– Welcome to The Shiproom. You’re on the air. – The city of Vancouver was founded when a makeshift tavern was created by taking a plank of wood and laying it across two stumps. And today, lululemon is likely the clothing your wearing if you’re performing a plank across two stumps. I’m joined today by the EVP and CTO of lululemon, Julie Averill. Hey thank you for being here. – Thank you for having me. – So you’ve done a ton of work as an advocate for STEM careers. And specifically, for women in IT and technology. Inside of lululemon, talk about the impact you see of having that investment of time and energy and the impact on your business. – You know as someone who studied computer science like a long time ago, I didn’t have any role models. I got into computer science because I loved it. And my dad put me in a computer training class in the fifth grade. I was super … – You were the only girl. – Oh, yeah, I was the only one under 20 and I was the only girl. And I just loved it. So I just stuck with computer science because that’s what I was drawn to. Not because I thought it would be a good career. So I love being part of a community now, where there’s women talking about helping girls. Because you can see the light bulbs go on girls heads now. Where they say, oh, there’s someone like me. Or someone that I might aspire to be. And then in the workforce, the more types of people with the more backgrounds and the more perspectives the better your product is. And the better your culture is. I mean the better I am the more people I have around me that think differently than I do. – lululemon is synonomous with yoga. But then a couple of weeks ago, I was visiting some customers in the U.K., and I realized that names of a bunch of English pubs have a lot in common with yoga poses. So we’re gonna play a game here. Tell me if its a yoga pose or a British pub. The one legged king pigeon? – I think that’s a pub. – That’s a pose believe it or not. – Can you do that? Can I see it? – Me, you have no idea how inflexible I am. The Swan with Two Necks? – I’m gonna say pub. – That’s a pub, you got it. The cow face? – Pose. – That’s a pose. The Dolphin Plank? – I’m gonna say pose. – The Drunken Duck? – I’m gonna say pub. – The Goat and Compass? – Pub. – Yep. The feathered peacock? – Wow, that could go either way. I’m gonna say pose. – That’s a pose. The half frog? – Pub. – And the last one, the Goat and Tricycle? – Pub. – So you’re huge users of Microsoft 365. How has that technology helped and accelerated if you will this culture change that you’re driving through? Has it been a help? – Well, I think just being able to share anything that we want at any time we want. Being able to be secure in knowing that the information that we want is available whenever we want it, on any device we want it. And it’s really changed the way that we work because we can have people work from home and it’s not a barrier. We can have people work in other cities. And it’s easy to build relationships because the technology is an enabler. – Enables it. – Yeah. – What do you see out of the users themselves? The employees, the associates of lululemon, are they seeing any difference in their satisfaction and their productivity? – Technology and business strategy are so intertwined these days. I mean if I look at where lululemon is going in the next five years, it’s super exciting. I mean, we’re setting out to do some really big things. And all of those things are dependent on technology. Company strategy, technology strategy, there’s really no breaking those apart. Just being able to work easily is super important. – And oh, that’s the team’s phone. – Wow. – Hello, you’re on the phone here with Julie. Who’s this? – Hello Brad. – Hello again, Professor Waynesworth I think right? – I’m gathering data for my latest book, The Internet Says The Darndest Things: Exploring the World’s Cesspool of Knowledge. – All right. – Well, since Julie’s company is such a successful corner of the web, I’m hoping she can help me answer a few of North America and the world’s most commonly searched questions. – Sure. – All right, we’ll give it a run. – The following are some of the most commonly searched questions on the internet. If you have any insight into the answers please share. I just want to be clear that I didn’t come up with these. So no need to give me credit. How many calories are in a banana? – 100. – How to draw a dog? – Am I drawing like a snoopy dog? – What is a fortnight? – A game. – How to cook quinoa? – Infrequently. – I’m not sure I eat anything that starts with a Q. – Yeah. – What does SMH mean? – Shaking my head. – Thanks for all of that. – So you spent a lot of time working in open office formats in your career. And there’s a lot of collaborative space without private offices. In settings like this, how can IT respond to make that environment successful? – We just opened our technology hub here in Seattle last October. So we have about 200 people downtown Seattle. And it’s what we call an activity based work environment. Which is actually kinda cool because there’s no assigned seats. But the important thing is that technology is just seamless. You know, we’re a global company so we may be videoing with Australia or with Hong Kong or with Vancouver. – While we’ve been talking we actually have a bot listening to the conversation and it pulls together all of the things that we’re saying and analyzing. It comes up with the 12 most relevant questions. And we call it the Database Dozen. Now because lululemon has a brand that celebrates a balanced lifestyle, I thought we could find some way to make this interesting and find some tranquility of our own. So while we answer these questions, we’re going to paint a water color of this orchid. – Excellent. – Would you be open to a sports drink named, “lululemonade”? – I think that’s good, yeah. – Hot yoga is really popular. Why not cold yoga? – Because it’s cold. – At any given time, how many exercise balls are acting as chairs in the office? – Probably five. – What are your thoughts on a line of activewear for alligator wrestling? – Let’s think about next year. – How ’bout renaissance fairs? – Next year. – How far will you drive for a really good waffle? – 10 miles. – Would you be more less likely to get a dog if it had a pouch like a kangaroo? – Less likely. – All right, let’s hold these up. You can tell there’s a reason why I went into computer science. and not into art. – I like it. I like it. – So if people wanted to learn more about lululemon or more about you, where could they go? – lululemon.com. – Download the app. – Yeah. – Yeah, reach out to you over LinkedIn for discounts? – For sure. – Yeah. Thank you for being here. Thanks everyone for watching this episode of The Shiproom. This is Brad Anderson and we’ll see you on the next show. Some of those were hard. – They were hard. – Yeah, Cows Face, we gotta go look that one up. – Yeah, I’m not sure what that is. – And some of those should be pubs as well. I think you know it could go either way. Literally, it could go either way. – I don’t what the half goat is. I’m gonna have to look that one up. – Hey everyone, now that you’ve watched this episode of The Shiproom, I really recommend you go to Microsoft365.com/Shift and learn how to get started deploying Windows 10 and Office 365.