A few weeks ago, before Thanksgiving, my studio team presented our progress to some of the executives at UPHS. It was structured to explain our process and how we used it to develop a set of high and mid-level themes of common perspectives on the culture of learning and sharing within their healthcare system. We closed the presentation with our next steps, a workshop that they could use as a prototype for a new method for problem solving that could augment the internal digital system they are currently developing. A video of the presentation can be seen below.
Last Tuesday, we implemented our prototype, a workshop. It went exceptionally well. It was really amazing to see how quickly the employees we brought together from disparate ends of the Penn system connected to the problems they were their to address. The workshop was structured such that we offered them a set of problems to choose from developed from our research. Once a specific problem was chosen we would walk them through a brainstorming and affinity mapping excercise to get them to co-create some big ideas that could address their specific issue. Then we had them vote on the idea they felt would best address their specific issue and begin making a prototype of it. That last part, as expected, was the hardest part. However, it took way way longer than expected. We only had two hours, and it was difficult to get them to not feel overwhelmed by the obstacles their idea might face. They quietly refused to externalize the issues and suggestions that were floating between them verbally, so I finally had to put pen to paper on their behalf and illustrate their conversation to give them something concrete to coalesce the conversation.
Though both groups didn’t get to where we wanted, it was heartening to see how receptive they were to the approach. Everyone in my group was very engaged and facilitation was relatively easy. Now that we demonstrated that this type of collaborative and generative process can work, even amidst their current hellish schedules, if it can get more support and better integration it’s only time before pioneering on this front as well.