California Notebook: A Series

Last week, I travelled to California to meet up with a colleague who has been on a learning sabbatical (not a sabbatical from learning, a sabbatical to learn). We visited Stanford’s D-School and the Synapse School in Menlo Park before reaching — and attending — the Nueva Innovative Learning Conference. I’m going to use the next 3 – 5 RW blog posts to share what I noticed along the way.

When you walk into the Stanford D-School through the back entrance, the first thing you see is a case that displays student work.

What I love about the display is 1) that it exists and 2) that the work is the kind of thing you could see in a kindergarten classroom. Putting one’s work on display, especially when it’s not finished or polished or perfect, is unnerving at first. But such sharing is a powerful competency that can be developed and becomes especially important for promoting creative and collaborative work in an organization.

Here’s another photo . . . a memorialization of a critical, back-of-the- envelope-or-front-of-the-napkin crystallization:

Last, I loved seeing cardboard everywhere. At one point, my traveling companion added this important insight: they use cardboard so that they can “get to the demo stage quickly and then decide if they want to go further.” Imagine how many ideas never actually materialize because their creator can’t get them into the world quickly enough. Or, worse, imagine how many ideas die on the vine because their creators think they can’t share them until they are perfect or precise.

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