Looking back and looking forward with the Principled Innovation Staff Catalysts

by Hannah Jennewein – February 10, 2020

Staff catalysts

As we look towards a new year of possibilities and opportunities, we wanted to step back and share some updates with our Principled Innovation Staff Catalysts cohort. Our last blog post introduced you to the ten MLFTC staff members who signed up to embark on a year-long journey of learning, designing, and transforming within the context of our Principled Innovation framework. The catalysts spent the fall 2019 semester taking a deeper dive into concepts around Principled Innovation and design. Our first session held in October was an opportunity to build community, create working norms, and participate in some sensemaking activities around the framework.

PI Staff Catalysts working on a board of sticky notes

During the second session in November, catalysts built upon their learning and understanding of Principled Innovation by engaging with Principled Innovation practices through a series of activity stations.

The last session of 2019 in December was spent making connections between concepts related to Principled Innovation and design thinking. Catalysts were also introduced to the process of Designing for Principled Innovation, which will guide their work in the coming months.

The catalysts left our third session thinking about possible challenges and opportunities within their teams and units to design for utilizing their deeper understanding of Principled Innovation and its practices. Looking forward into spring 2020, there will be continued opportunities to learn collectively as we host an additional three sessions to support the catalysts as they develop and navigate job-embedded design projects p. These projects will provide catalysts with the hands-on practice of designing for Principled Innovation while also addressing a need within their teams. Our year-long journey with the catalysts will culminate in a showcase to share the learning and outcomes from each project with the college, while also celebrating the successes of our inaugural Principled Innovation Staff Catalysts cohort.

We are eager to continue learning alongside the catalysts as we collectively take steps to socialize the practice of Principled Innovation within our college. ‘Tis the season for reflection on our past, present, and future, which could not be more apropos for our group of catalysts as we look back on the initial success of a new concept and embark on a new semester of forward movement and innovative transformation to create positive change.