This semester has been, in my opinion, the one in which I have grown the most as an innovator. The main thing I have learned is how to work on a long-term project with no set end goal and few set restrictions. As I am normally someone who likes to adhere to guidelines and know the direction, this project has felt very ambiguous to me at times. I have also had trouble comprehending what we have done and understate the work. In fact, up until our midpoint check-in presentation on December 1st, I was under the impression we had not actually accomplished that much. What changed my mind, however, was seeing the work we have done over the last three months laid out in the timeline below.
Honestly, that was the moment that I realized not only are we doing some very incredible work, but we have also actually accomplished a lot. That presentation, aside from changing my mindset about our work, was actually a point of pride for me. While I have done major presentations before, this one simply felt much more important. Our whole group was worried about how we would do, but in the end, we did fantastically. I am very proud of the fact that I was able to present the information well, improving my public speaking skills, my knowledge of the project, and my ability to communicate in a group setting.
In terms of the design brief as a whole, I have grown in many areas, but I need to work on some as well. I have grown to be a better ideator, my presentation skills have improved, and I have a better grasp of time limits and what they entail. One major thing that I believe is both something I have grown in and something I can work on is communication. Actually, it applies to the whole team. While I have definitely gotten better at communicating my ideas and thoughts, as well as communicating plans to absent team members or upcoming events – this applies to the whole team – we as a team need to work on keeping it up and making sure to communicate any conversations, ideas, research, or interviews that took place without other team members, plan accordingly, and follow through on those plans. Concerning following through on plans, I believe I have gotten better about not only staying after iDiploma time has ended to finish projects to meet certain deadlines, but also doing quality work outside of iD time. I now understand that sacrificing my time to complete this project will be necessary at times, and I have come to terms with that.
Another area I feel I have grown in is conflict resolution. Our team is mostly comprised of type-A personalities, meaning tension is very common. I have taken on the role of keeping the peace, per se, and making sure everyone gets along and is able to do their job without too much conflict ensuing.
Regarding areas I need to work on, I believe the main one is energy. While it has been a long year, I need to focus on keeping myself positive for my team and for myself. I am going to make a concerted effort to keep my motivation levels high, and my complaints about lack of sleep to a minimum, which will also help me continue to stay on task longer.
As Christmas break and exams draw closer, and I find myself with a decreasing amount of free time, I have decided to focus on improving my own personal growth areas, in order to improve not only others lives, but my own as well. In the future, I am excited to continue – and eventually present – our project to our client and have the satisfaction of having completed my first design brief for a client outside of Mount Vernon.