In the last week of 2011, we wrapped up the experience called the THNK pilot. And what an experience it was! The Challenge (the actual project we worked on during the pilot program) was an adventure: sometimes in flow and sometimes disorientingly disruptive - most of the time for the better. It's all learning by doing: you get handed the tools needed in a specific phase of the program and use them instantly.
No lectures, exams or paper-based cases. And in the doing, you develop your own creative leadership. For 6 weeks, we worked on the challenge of excess vacant office space in the Amsterdam area with a group of pilot participants, THNK faculty, outside experts and 'master practitioners'. A great bunch of people to work with!
For my team's final presentation we used Lego, instead of illustrating our idea with PowerPoint. It worked amazingly well! All of the final proposals generated real interest from key players in the field. A property redeveloper even expressed commitment to invest in what will likely be a combination of some of the proposals. THNK will drive the implementation forward; it does not stop here. THNK wants to make an impact.
The faculty did an amazing job navigating us all through the creation process, both in personal development and solution development. This touches on a fascinating aspect of The Challenge: striking the balance between learning for the participants, output for the sponsor and, in this case, also learning about the program elements for the faculty. Of course the ideal balance was not always achieved (and will certainly differ for every individual), but the faculty was always searching for that balance and helping us achieve it.