Bagging Insights: An Exciting Beginning

When the special project team started meeting, enthusiasm was high, and everyone was ready to "dive in." The group kept track of interesting ideas or insights as they happened. These insights occurred as the team used the PH database to point it to hiring process examples and alternatives in the 21st Century Initiatives Interesting Organizations database. Capturing ideas that would be relevant for FinServ was called "insight bagging." In the course of a few weekly meetings a list of 42 insights was generated (see "Examples of Insights"). These insights were a validation of the PH's usefulness, and important in the project's progress.

MIT Director We tried to have two people in pre-set roles at every meeting. Anyone should feel free to point out an insight they thought was interesting, but one person was specifically charged with the role of "insight spotter"— observing out loud when an insight occurred. The other role was an "insight bagger," who was to record the insight. This methodology produces a lot of mini insights. There is no guarantee that you will get any major insight, but almost every time you use the PH you get micro insights. It was too easy not to notice them. You could go away from the meeting with the feeling that some interesting things happened but not quite remember what they were.

Some team members said that some of these insights were irrelevant and impossible to evaluate.

FinServ Designer We came up with examples, some from the database, of how things could work, like "bidding." They had some feasibility. They weren't totally pie-in-the-sky, and I thought at some point they could be evaluated in terms of how they might work.

MIT Project Manager The actual meeting activity was a combination of PH processes, common sense, and brainstorming. We didn't learn much detail about FinServ's problems or what possible solutions might be. [FinServ Designer] was having a good enough time coming—this was his two hours a week where he could think creatively—he was okay with that, even though there might not have been direct applicability between some of the brainstorming suggestions and the real problems back at FinServ. It was hard to know. I remember when I started working here at MIT I was amazed and happy to be in an atmosphere where people were so bright and interesting. I think [FinServ Designer] was experiencing that too. There was some concern early on that he would have to justify spending time here, and that was part of why we needed results.

The PCC Consultant said her quietness in meetings, interpreted by the MIT Project Manager as happiness, was her strategy to get the FinServ Designer engaged.

I got the sense that not only was he feeling that he was seeing some useful stuff, but he was also thinking and talking openly about how he could use this: "Not only is this interesting, but I would actually use this to give a presentation to my boss, and this could enhance my ability to work at FinServ." And since [FinServ Designer] was happy, I think [PCC Consultant] was happy, too.

Since people were having a good time, it made issues about expectations fall by the wayside. If it was hard for me to describe the meetings to other people here at MIT, it must have been even harder for him.

Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century
Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century
ISBN: 026263273X
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 214

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