Navigating Careers & Fostering Innovation in the Engineering World


Fostering InnovationFostering InnovationIn this episode, I talk with Cristi A. Haygood, D.Eng., CEO of Alyse Engineering Innovations, about the art of creating real value in engineering, the dynamics of high-performing teams, and the intricate balance between fostering innovation and practicality.

***The video version of this episode can be viewed .***

Engineering Quotes:

Fostering InnovationFostering Innovation

Fostering InnovationFostering Innovation

Here Are Some of the Questions I Ask Cristi:

  • How do you prioritize principles to ensure significant value delivery in your engineering projects?
  • Which innovation from your experience in engineering has had a major impact?
  • How can engineers ensure that their work contributes to sustainable value in their respective fields?
  • What methods do you find most effective in building and maintaining high-performing engineering teams?
  • How do management practices and self-care contribute to leadership effectiveness within the engineering sector?
  • What do you consider crucial elements for devising a successful strategy in engineering projects?
  • How do you combine fostering innovation and practicality to effectively create tangible value in engineering?
  • What key advice would you give engineers to navigate the complexities of the field, balancing both innovation and practicality in their contributions?

Here Are Some Key Points Discussed in This Episode About Navigating Careers & Fostering Innovation in the Engineering World:

  • Cristi, with over seven years in engineering, emphasizes the importance of value through proactive leadership, fostering innovation, quality, communication, and continuous improvement. Highlighting the need for leaders to create a collaborative environment, remove obstacles, and align actions with project goals, Cristi ensures success and meets essential metrics.
  • Acknowledge the transformative innovations in computer-aided design tools over the past 30 years, particularly in mechanical engineering. From manual methods to today’s efficient automated tools and the role of generative AI in content production, industries are encouraged to embrace these advancements for future success.
  • Focus on doing quality work instead of rushing through tasks. Take a moment to evaluate if your actions align with goals and involve cross-functional teams for feedback. Embrace continuous improvement to avoid redoing work and ensure success in engineering. Doing things right the first time saves time and prevents issues down the line.
  • Strategic hiring goes beyond immediate needs, aiming to develop skills for the future. Emphasis is placed on aligning skills with both current and upcoming demands, fostering adaptability. In technical spaces, daily mindfulness practices enhance collaboration and resilience. Prioritizing what can be controlled, rather than constant troubleshooting, maintains high performance amid challenges like supply chain disruptions.
  • Strategic leadership involves foreseeing changes, innovating by challenging the status quo, collaborating actively with teams, and learning from mistakes. Prioritizing self-care is crucial for leaders in high-stress technical environments, positively impacting team morale, overall satisfaction, and productivity.
  • In engineering, aligning vision with goals and addressing weaknesses for better execution and collaboration is crucial. Involving the team in defining memorable, measurable, and meaningful goals supports a shared understanding. Consistently identifying and removing barriers, and discussing external factors and time leaks, ensures effective product development and timely delivery of quality services.
  • Ensuring innovative designs align with market demand and are cost-effective is crucial. The emphasis is on avoiding impractical designs that can’t be sold competitively. Opportunities for improvement should be constantly sought, balancing product quality and manufacturing costs. Understanding value engineering and supply chain management is essential to building resilient strategies and avoiding material shortages in the future.
  • Don’t hesitate to share your ideas. Each idea, no matter how simple, can make a big difference. Look at groundbreaking examples like AI and ChatGPT. Keep pushing your ideas, even if you face resistance. Be known for offering solutions, not just highlighting problems. Bring a positive, energetic attitude to meetings to promote a culture of problem-solving and goal achievement.

More Details in This Episode…

About the Guest: Cristi A. Haygood, D.Eng.

Alyse Engineering InnovationsAlyse Engineering InnovationsDr. Cristi A. Haygood is the CEO of Alyse Engineering Innovations, the premiere Executive Leadership and Productivity organization that utilizes Engineering Management and Value Engineering techniques to elevate Technical Professionals to become dynamic leaders who innovate real value and build high-performing teams. She provides a straightforward approach — Cultivate Clarity, Challenge Norms, Consistently Execute & Optimize — to engage and empower leaders with a proven system to improve behaviors, boost productivity, and enhance performance so that you’ll consistently be able to meet key performance indicators and create value, without sacrificing team morale, product quality, and time-to-market.

Additionally, her services include business operations support, productivity and performance coaching, risk management, and leadership development. A former engineering executive, Dr. Cristi has significant work experience, including being the Director of Value and Component Engineering at Honeywell, seven years at UTC/Carrier in Elevator Systems Engineering and Refrigeration Engineering Divisions, and at Raytheon for nine years in both the Missile Systems and Integrated Defense System Divisions.

Dr. Cristi is a graduate of Tuskegee University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, the University of Phoenix with an MBA, and George Washington University with a Master of Science in Engineering Management and a Doctor of Engineering (D.Eng.) degree.

As a Lifetime Member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), she has been an engaged member since joining her high school’s chapter in 1998, is currently a member of the Atlanta Professionals Chapter (Professional Development Chair) and serves on the Entrepreneurship SIG Board (Communications Director). In her spare time, she enjoys being a STEM Mentor at local schools, providing technical and management professional development workshops, traveling, and being an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the Society of Women Engineers, American Society of Engineering Management, International Society of Value Engineers, and the Project Management Institute.

About the Host: Tiffani Teachey

Women in EngineeringWomen in EngineeringTiffani Teachey is a Sr. Mechanical Engineer, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) advocate, TEDx international speaker, and international best-selling author of the children’s book “What Can I Be? STEM Careers from A to Z,” the STEM Crew Kids Adventures series, and three empowerment books. She is the host of the Read It Right Radio Show on WDRBmedia. Tiffani is the owner of Thrive Edge Publishing and owner/publishing consultant of Inspired Authors Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering as well as a Master of Science degree in Engineering Management, both from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is currently a Leadership Studies Ph.D. student at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

As an engineer with more than 19 years of experience, Tiffani has a passion for inspiring the next generation to engage in STEM careers. She was born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and enjoys traveling and being a youth mentor. For more about Tiffani, visit her website at Check out the free STEM gift – 10 STEM Scholarships & Organizations e-book at


Alyse Engineering Innovations
Otis Elevator Company
Creo Software and ProE Software
Raster CAD
Connect with Cristi A. Haygood, D.Eng., on LinkedIn

We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you can share on navigating careers & fostering innovation in the engineering world.

Please leave your comments, feedback, or questions in the section below.

  • If you enjoyed this post, please consider downloading our free list of 33 Productivity Routines of Top Engineering Executives. Click the button below to download.

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To your success,

Tiffani Teachey
Host of the Women in Engineering Success Stories from STEM Professionals Podcast


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Originally posted 2024-03-12 16:00:00.

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