Martha Bird has one of the more unusual positions in the technology space: She's a business anthropologist. Bird, who ran a family farm in New Hampshire before earning an anthropology Ph.D., has developed her craft over 15-plus years at a variety of organizations — a nonprofit, a telecommunications company and an e-commerce firm.

Her niche is helping global brands optimize their systems to meet the needs of users across multiple markets. She now works in the Innovation Labs at ADP, a provider of human resources management software and services headquartered in Roseland, N.J. "I was brought in to ensure that we are addressing real human needs in the tools we build," she says. Here, she explains more about her work:

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