We broke up into five balanced groups and were each tasked with solving a problem. Groups then rotated, built upon the solution the previous group had constructed, and repeated. At the conclusion, each “problem” had been worked on by three different groups at three different times, creating well thought out and heavily layered (highly visual) solutions. This single exercise allowed participants to tap into creativity, effective teamwork, innovative problem-solving and critical thinking – and most important, continue building on ideas, thus forcing folks to keep thinking BIGGER.
So, why does this matter?
Simple. Not only did the Ideation Session teach us all new ways of looking at and approaching problem-solving, but it also helped to shape the future of EMSDC. You see, for some time now, I’ve been working towards shifting the conversation with a view toward the future, and taking a more active approach to the marketplace. Our MBEs need to be first in line when it comes to innovation, collaboration and a future-first mindset; not playing catch up. The stronger an entrepreneur base we offer, the greater the contribution to the balance and overall stability of the economy. EMSDC wants to be that partner that gets our MBEs connected with the best partners, opportunities and resources – and one proven way to do that is through continued teaching, learning and innovation.
The Ideation Session confirmed what I and my team at EMSDC have long believed
– people are hungry for something that’s different; something that will allow them to elevate the work that they do, not only as entrepreneurs, but as practitioners.
As such, EMSDC is putting together a whitepaper based on the Session outcomes and impact. We are also working towards forming a Think Tank or Advisory Group to continue the creativity and land on those big ideas that are so essential to success and reaching that next level of innovation. Stay tuned!
Yours in business success,
Valarie J. Cofield