I am teaching a lecture to develop projects based in innovation in the Master in Business focus in Technology Innovation program in the Universidad Panamericana in Guadalajara. The sessions of the program are carried over the weekend and I decided to use a mix format of lecture and workshops in order to provide the knowledge required to identify the innovation project elements at the time that we invest time executing the process of discussion and interaction with the real world to help the participants to get some insights and discover the value of their ideas. I found that making theses interactions effectively is very hard when the people in the same group had listen the proposal and ideas they are developing, therefore I explore how we can have a much better interaction at the same time that we use the resources available around.
In a simple world, I try to innovate how to teach innovation with the same rules I am setting to my students to innovate. Using by side of thinking out of the box and the serendipity that follows me all the time. I have a spark while I was taking lunch with Raymundo Sanchez Tico from http://stratominds.com/, whom is the professor in the same program that lecture about Project Management. Both of us were talking before the lecture started about our program for the weekend. In my side, I had already much more material prepared to be cover as Raymundo was concern how their students can grab the elements in how to evaluate projects, refine the activities and learn about risk management. During our conversation, I came with the crazy idea that we can combine the two groups to make a real session of presenting my students their projects to his students in a way that both sides learn what was in the activities scheduled, at the same time that they have the opportunity of learning by doing.
Raymundo, that is a more conservative and formal person than me hesitates at the beginning afraid that a modification at the last minute can derail his lecture and do not achieve his goals. In my side, as crazy it sounds the idea, motivate me to explore what we can achieve and get some results. At the end, Raymundo agreed to run the experiment and we share the idea with other professors in the program just minutes before we embark in the endeavor.
We integrate the two groups into one classroom in order to carry over our lecture. We scheduled the time in a three parts:
- Present the concept of Minimum Viable Mindset, a concept that you can read about it in another post in this blog that describes what is the mindset of a person that wanted to start a innovation based new venture. This part set the environment to understand what the people will be presenting at the same time that provider the guidelines of how to evaluate the projects that will be presented. Raymundo did a great job to clarify the goal of the presentation as well to provide the elements and criteria to be used for the evaluation.
- Each team presented in 10 minutes presentations their projects, describing the goals, the roadmap and the deliverables that will be developed within the course. After each presentation, the students that evaluated the projects did a lot of questioning about elements that were not covered or the information provided was not enough to understand the project. To close each presentation, the project evaluators provide feedback of the feasibility to be successful, the missing elements that provide uncertainty to support the project and the very end if the project should be approved or returned to perform a review to be presented in a future time.
- To close the session, I presented how companies like Linkedin, AirBandB or Buffer presented to get investment in the Silicon Valley using the available presentations in http://slidebean.com/blog/startups/pitch-deck-examples, Linkedin: http://reidhoffman.org/linkedin-pitch-to-greylock/, Buffer: http://www.slideshare.net/Bufferapp/buffer-seedrounddeck, AIR B & B: http://www.slideshare.net/benjaminevans/air-bed-breakfast-pitch-deck-18014008
I can tell you that the session generate a great experience for everybody, these means for the students in both sides where they meet other students that are their neighbors an have a lot of things to share, teach and learn from each other. For Raymundo and Me, we got different perspectives of learning experiences in how we can teach to our students. From the university point of view, mixing groups in a situations like this open new opportunities to develop ideas and knowledge that only can be done with different points of view that combined generate insights that are unique to each situation.
I am tempting to find more ways to keep learning how to learn how we can teach complex concepts to our students.
Image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/121617458@N03/