As soon as the doors of the elevator fled open from side to side, we where presented with incredibly creative stimuli, beginning by a hopscotch sticker on the floor, kung-fu panda decorated offices and even balloons hanging from the cubicles. The climate was so nurturing I couldn't believe it was an office itself.
As the layout manager I am also in charge of the classroom environment in the IA class, which makes me think weather the classroom set up is the best it could be. Innovation takes place where creativity is fomented, and the classroom environment doesn't scream innovation as much as Interbank's offices did. Of course, we can't spend thousands of dollars as the company did, however, it would be interesting to revisit the topic of renovating the layout of our class in order to induce innovation within our most subconscious thoughts.
My task for the class-wide project is to lead a group of peer designers to form the visual identity of the breakthrough magazine. My first task: The logo. This job consisted of naming the brand and creating a visual design that displayed best the purpose and mission our publishing company wishes to pursue. This was a humongous task, not only because it was my first time working as an actual graphics designer, but because it was the first step to accomplishing this big project we had all set our minds towards, taking in hand the name and the logo would serve as an arrow pointing the rest of the groups towards the direction of actual magazine making. It was frightening, but not the type of frightening you typically shy away from, more like the frightening that pushes you forward, that drives you with adrenaline and motivation towards achieving your goals to your maximum potential!
So where do you start? How do you begin? Well, first you think, you look back, you visualise. My crew began brainstorming a long list of names to start with, there where about 20 different possibilities, however as a team we chose two: Lightbulb and Breakthrough. Both simple, both concise and both reflected our mission/vision statement. After having the possible names, we began to sketch using an online software that facilitated the process of logo making.
After having the initial logo designs, we decided to pitch to the class the main ideas, and after a small discussion, we had everybody agreeing on the name "Breakthrough." So then came the second round up.
SECOND DRAFTED LOGOS:
After haven second drafted the original logos, a bunch of small modifications came into hand, tweaks and perfections where involved to get to the final logo, however what is most important, that is not represented in these images is the process that came into picking the final design. The going back, looking at the first designs and going back again, mixing ideas and coming up with new ones, a whole long-lasting step by step procedure of discussions and pitches until the final design came to place, and I have to say it was all worth while!
After this long week of hard work I came to the final realisation that even though school teaches you to go on a strait path, in real life, nothing is perfect. Many times we find ourselves taking a long journey only to end up where we started in the first place, and even though it may take a while it will all be worth it. In big projects like these ones, there is no straight road to success, we will work hard, and after small failures have to go back a few steps sometimes, but what is important is that we learn form these small failures and after a few bumpy roads, end up in our final destination!
To initialise the process of turning our classroom into a magazine company, we decided to divide roles between the students, and immediately I looked down to the role with least responsibility. I wanted to lay back in my comfort zone and do what I always do, however I recalled a famous saying by Albert Einstein:
If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.
I thought of this and said to myself: What if I change? What if I take a risk? What if I take a leap forward and use this opportunity to grow as a student, a learner and a person?
After sleeping on it, I had finally decided on a idea that was even greater than what it seemed. I decided to take a leadership role focusing on the layout for the magazine. But what did this really mean for me? Well it is in fact my first real leadership role, and I am sure to encounter some bumps in the road, however I trust this experience will help me develop in the areas I need improvement, and serve as a great opportunity to expand my comfort zone.
Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.
- Vince Lombardi
As previously stated in Vince Lombardi's quote, what makes a team, a grade level or even a company work, lies on the devotion of each individual member. It's every grain of sand what makes a dessert, and likewise every bit of energy put together has the capacity of forming an amazing whole when it comes to a group of people. Now that I am nearing the conclusion to the secret to success in companies brought to me by the book being read by our Innovation Academy class; Good to Great, I can ask myself is the team I am part of a great team?
This happens to be a very large group of individuals, which makes the question being posed even harder to answer. I consider the sophomores class an amazing compilation of students, however does it really follow the 8 presented factors that make up a great company?
I am aware that the aspects Jim Collins describes through the course of his book are mostly meant to show how good organisations follow, or can follow similar steps to achieving greatness, however after reading a few chapters of the non-fiction, I found that most explanations and analogies could be applied to life itself taking in hand this is quite an adaptable and versatile book.
Looking at the who and the what of our grade, we don't have choice about the people who get inside the bus, but still, with every purpose we have, with every goal we hope to achieve, every single individual takes part in its completion, seeing as the team we have been placed into is filled with disciplined people. The direction the bus is being taken isn't our choice per say, however, how we take it there is in our power, and I have to say this ICC, prom 2017 drove the bus right into success!
Speaking of ICC, this was a perfect opportunity to face brutal facts. We took what we learned from the terrible outcome of last years inter class competitions and applied it in order to be driven into greatness, and the results showed how our strategy payed out.
The hedgehog concept is something that is hard to apply to the sophomore scenario, but I still believe that we had the ability to demonstrate this factor, however turning the unessential luxuries into the members of our team. For the activities, the same person could only sign up for three competitions, and we all divided the tasks in the way we thought most affordable, not placing the most essential participants into the least important activities on ICC. We also applied the purpose, the purpose of being united and together achieving more.
So overall, I do believe we briefly follow the steps to greatness, and I do admit that my grade level is not a perfect one, after all we are a group of about 100 tenth grade students, and perfection is almost unachievable. This is a factor I disagree with in the book good to great, Jim Collins is so focused about persuading the reader that he does not focus on the flaws companies have. There is no perfect company, and I believe that the recognition of the flaws is another step to greatness.
So why does this happen? Is culture itself beginning to shift in order to create greater communities? I personally believe that in such large group of individuals, everybody is entitled to their own opinions, and much as humans evolved by adapting to their surroundings, we students are evolving too. Maybe not in physical aspects, however in mental characteristics, in technology, in the way ww think and as we see our world slowly changing into a better place, we want to move on as well, and the influence of school wide innovation and the breaking of tradition makes us transition into an amazing group of students.
“The earth has music for those who listen.”