Why You Should Encourage Your Team Members to Participate in Impact Plan Idea Gathering Sessions

Thursday, January 21, 2021 

By Katie Tagye, Director, Organizational Design and Development

On Tuesday, January 19, 2021, you may have seen an article in The Juice and The Grove about the upcoming idea gathering sessions. The article describes the reason for the sessions and outlines the ways to participate.

Why should I participate? Why should I invite my teams to participate?

In this divergent idea gathering phase, we need many diverse ideas from different perspectives, people and experiences in order to help make our way, together, to the strategies that will make the difference for students’ success. Your perspective is unique, particularly when you work collaboratively with people you don’t normally work with. This combination is powerful for unleashing thoughts and ideas that haven’t previously been considered.

The work that we each do, the experiences that we each have, allow us to have a unique take on the world and on our work at the College. Whether you or one of your team members is currently a student (or a recent graduate), works closely with students and/or has a connection to the larger community, there is a perspective there that we need.

Yes, we want your expertise in a particular area of the College, and we also want your perspective on areas that are not your expertise. The expertise you and your teams will offer is unparalleled. And we also want ideas that fall outside of your and your team’s areas of expertise. Sometimes when we are so close to the work, we miss some ways that we could re-think the work, simply because of our proximity. Therefore, your take on my work might help me see things I can’t see because I am too close.

Share with your team not only the opportunities, but also share with them your reason for attending. If you are struggling with why you should attend, schedule some time to speak with your supervisor to help you better form your thoughts.

How will information be used?

We anticipate and hope that we will gather many, many ideas during these sessions. Once ideas are gathered, work teams will review, organize and prioritize ideas against the Impact Plan. What will emerge are initial strategies for how we will meet our goals.

What should we expect from the sessions?

Each session will include a guide, starter questions, an opportunity to contribute initial ideas and an opportunity to contribute further refined ideas. The questions at the end of this flyer can help you and your teams have an idea of the kinds of questions that may be asked at a session you attend.

A variety of sessions have been designed to engage you and your teams in ways that work best for each person:

Session Focus: In addition to the style of session, individuals can decide whether they prefer to join a session that will take a broad look at all four or choose a session that will focus on one of the specific goal areas: College Access, Graduation, Transfer Success and Career Credentials.

Styles of Sessions: Individuals can choose the type of session (let this decision guide help you) that appeals to them.

1. Forum Sessions: In the forums, you can expect to hear a presentation and some information about the focus of the session (broad or a specific goal area), then there will be a brief opportunity for a Q&A before participants are invited to join breakout groups with the help of question starters. The smaller groups will discuss the questions and record their ideas. Sessions will end with an opportunity to give detailed information on an overarching idea. Throughout the period of idea gathering, you will be able to return to the survey to contribute additional overarching ideas, whether or not you attend another session.

2. Brainstorming Sessions: The brainstorming sessions are designed to be higher energy sessions. Facilitators of these sessions will use a variety of creative thinking techniques to engage participants in both the large and small groups in generating ideas with the help of question starters. Sessions will end with an opportunity to give detailed information on an overarching idea. Throughout the period of idea gathering, you will be able to return to the survey to contribute additional overarching ideas, whether or not you attend another session.

3. Digital On-demand Sessions: If the scheduled times don’t work for you or your team or you’d rather participate individually, you can participate through the on-demand sessions. Using Stormz collaboration software, participants will add initial ideas on virtual cards. Participants will have the option to use an accompanying guide with question starters to spur their thinking. In addition, all virtual cards posted will be viewable to anyone who participates, adding to the idea generation process. The on-demand session will conclude with an opportunity to give detailed information on an overarching idea. Throughout the period of idea gathering, you will be able to return to the survey to contribute additional overarching ideas, whether or not you attend another session. For details on how you can participate in the Digital On-demand Sessions, click here.

4. On-demand Sessions (on-site): While employees who are working on-site and do not have an assigned computer station are welcome to attend any session, we understand that this may not be possible for some. On-site, on-demand sessions will be set up in areas where employees are working so that they can contribute their ideas in person. Participants of these sessions will also have an opportunity to give detailed information on overarching ideas throughout the period of idea gathering.

So, now that you have a bit more information, plan some time to speak with your colleagues, your employees and your teammates about attending an idea session. And find a scheduled session that works for you.

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