My Kaleidoscopic Experience

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Each member of the MAIM Class of 2016 proposes their individual perspectives on innovation management in the lead up to their Degree Show “Through the Kaleidoscope: Perspectives on Innovation Management”. In this post, Priscilla shares her perspective on how transformative her journey as a MAIM student has been and how teamwork can help problem solving in innovation contexts.

During the second year of our course, the whole class worked together on a project to deliver our Degree Show conference and create a catalogue. We spent a couple of months researching and discussing about the concept. In the end, we concluded on a concept representing the complexity of the realm of innovation management, which is marked by constant change, with new patterns emerging and different perspectives. This year, when we finally decided that we would use the metaphor of a kaleidoscope, with little shards inside, creating various patterns, I was instantly reminded of the Olafur Eliasson exhibition, that I visited in Sao Paulo, at Pinacoteca do Estado, in 2011.

 

At the balcony of the gallery, there were some big kaleidoscopic art installations. By entering one of them, it was possible to see myself in different angles, colours, lights and perspectives. Looking back and analysing one of the photos that I took on that day, I was reminded of that exact moment of my life: where I was living, the place where I was working at, the friends that were around me, and the things that I enjoyed doing.

 

I now realise how I have changed since then and can see a future full of possibilities to change even more. Our innovation management course not only teaches us to build strategies for future products and services as well as manage complex processes that are full of uncertainties involving many stakeholders, it also provides us with the experience to reinvent ourselves. The course’s focus on self-reflection has made me more aware of myself, both as an individual and as a professional working in groups.

 

With less than two weeks remaining on our journey to finish this degree, I look back at how this course has encouraged me to constantly adapt, re-adapt and keep on changing improving my skills in order to deliver essays and group projects on time. The observations that come from a group of individuals representing more than twenty countries, each with their own (and often contrasting) cultures, shed invaluable light on complex problem solving.

 

If innovation can be defined as the successful exploitation of new ideas, then I can say that completing this course is an innovation of myself. From the day that I decided to pursue this course until now, there are infinite stories to tell about every project that we made, how we managed the processes and how we delivered them.

 

On the whole, I feel I am still that same person looking through the kaleidoscope a few years ago, but perhaps through a new lens – one that can portray new patterns emerging from all the shards that compose the experience of my life. It is intriguing to think that we, MAIM students, had the opportunity to build and turn our own kaleidoscope in the directions that we wished to explore during the period of our dissertations. Now, in this last group project, we had to work together, holding and twisting a unique large and heavy kaleidoscope while building each shard inside it and then connecting them to deliver something bigger – our Degree Show Conference.

 

I feel truly privileged for being part of such a diverse group and getting the chance to work as part of a team that I feel is truly engaged. Our insightful discussions and long sessions spent in the library will be a memory that I will hold on to for many years to come – and one that I will draw on as an inspiration in my future endeavours.

 

 

Stay tuned for the upcoming MAIM 2016 Degree Show, taking place at Central Saint Martins from 22 to 26 June 2016.