Yesterday, I got to spend a wonderful day with a great group of continuous improvement practitioners from University of Illinois, Notre Dame, University of Waterloo, Northwestern University and Michigan Technological University. Unlike a traditional conference, the day was structured as an exchange; a collaborative conversation in which everyone participated and shared their perspective. For me, one of the most wonderful things about the format – and the conversations! – was seeing how hearing from a diversity of perspectives sparked totally new ideas that the whole group would be able to put to use – in ways that suited each different university’s needs and purpose. It truly was a creative environment, in which ideas built on each other. Often times, as human beings, we have an ‘either/or’ mentality: we can do this…or that. However, yesterday’s exchange was a great example of how, when we open ourselves up to exchange and collaboration, divergent thinking, or generating many different, new ideas, based on “and we could do this as well” is really possible!

Special thanks to my friend Ruth Archer from Michigan Technological University (pictured) for inviting me to be a participant!

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