ATLANTA — At the American Bakers Association’s Technical Conference, held Oct. 20-23 in Atlanta, agility was the name of the game during the conference’s second annual IncuBAKER event.

Bakers and suppliers must be ready for disruptive change that’s happening at an alarming rate. To trigger creativity in innovation, IncuBAKER provided a “solutions roadmap” to teams of six to eight attendees who were tasked with innovating a people, process or production solution to a common challenge: “As an industry 800,000 strong, how can we become more agile at the facility level to lead successful operations and employees?”

The teams were given one hour to develop a solution and 60 seconds to “pitch” the idea to a panel of judges.

The roadmap they were given included a 16-question “burst” to identify specific problems in 4 minutes and use the remaining time to develop the solution and pitch.

Ideas presented included gaming and YouTube as training tools, internal company mobile apps, and interactive message boards, as well as edible packaging, which won the award for most creative pitch, and 3D printing, which received an honorable mention.

Attendees noted that the time limits and diversity of team members fostered efficiency and unexpected creativity.

After the event, keynote speaker Steve Garguilo, founder of Action Surge, offered suggestions on how to turn ideas into action.

“People often value collecting ideas more than actually doing them,” Mr. Garguilo said.

He suggested that action must be treated like a muscle and exercised regularly.

“Get the idea out of your head and start making progress,” he said. “Ask yourself, ‘What action can I take right now?’”

The keynote was followed by an interactive afternoon workshop, where attendees could develop actionable plans to bring their IncuBAKER ideas to fruition in their companies and operations.