(This was originally written on September 27th, but for various reasons wasn’t put up until today. However, as I’ve made this new promise to ignore when things aren’t perfect as I map out my thinking, I thought it was about time I put it up.)
For the past few weeks in Innovation Diploma, we’ve been working on a design challenge centered around healthy living. My group of six has decided to work on an idea that really started last year: putting a café in the school. I am the only person in my group who is a Disney cohort member (someone who started last year), and the other five are Jobs cohort members (someone who started this year). This past week was spent preparing for a pitch we did on Thursday morning to everyone in Innovation Diploma to get feedback on our direction and the things we need to think about.
As the only Disney cohort member in my group, I think my biggest ah-ha moment is seeing myself lead a team. With less facilitator input than I’m used to having in design challenges, I’ve noticed myself making more of the decisions about where to go next with everything. From past experiences, I have a better idea of things we could do and paths we could go down, which makes for an interesting dynamic in the team.
On the other hand, being the only Disney cohort member means that I don’t have someone else in my group I feel like I can easily turn to and ask for their input based on their personal experiences. I’m also not a huge fan of being the leader of a team because of past experiences. Am I doing the right thing? Are my team members mad at me for telling them what to do? Am I expecting too much? Am I doing enough?
I was very intentional about not being the one doing the pitch, and while in hindsight I think it was still the right call on my part–to give others the experience so they can grow–I wish I had given more feedback while they were creating the pitch and had been clearer about what I’ve learned about the best way to give a pitch. I wonder if we should do a dive into how to do a good presentation or pitch, like we did last year.
I also don’t know how invested the team members are in our idea. I don’t see the dedication to the work that I saw last year from cohort members when they were working on things they really wanted to work on. It makes me wonder if it’s the right idea and if they’re in the headspace of, “I’m sort of not a huge fan of what we came up with, but I don’t know how to bring it up and I don’t know how to change it into something we all want to do.” It’s possible, however, that I’m wrong and that they do care, they just have a way of showing it that I’m not used to.