Monday, April 6, 2009
Early Leadership & the Graphic Novel Exercise
This past Friday members of our Early Leadership team delivered Social Identity and the Graphic Novel Exercise for a group of 35 university students. Half of the student group were from the Universite Catholique de Louvain (UCL in Louvain-la-Neuve in Brussels, Belgium. The other half were American students from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. As part of their studies with the Center for Entrepreneurship, these students had worked together in geographically dispersed teams to complete a business planning project over the past 3 months. The dialogue surfaced various frustrations with communication, culture differences, trust building, deadlines, and negotiation. As part of the Graphic Novel Exercise they were asked to present individual leadership stories using a single 8.5X11 sheet of paper, breaking it into frames. They were then instructed to get together in their project teams and consolidate the 4 sets into one story representing the entire group's story. At the close of the session they presented the story to the entire class. The professors, including Bryan Toney (Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship) were impressed with the rich debrief the process provided. Several of the students commented how the session brought about a much deeper sense of resolution closing the chapter of their completed projects and allowing them to use humor and other creative means of giving each other feedback where they voiced feelings that had not yet been shared. Our team was really pleased and impressed with the group work.
The idea for the Graphic Novel Exercise was inspired by Tom Kealey of Stanford University. Tom presented his work with the Graphic Novel Project at an Association of Managers of Innovation (AMI) meeting last Spring in San Diego and we subsequently co-delivered one workshop using this exercise here at CCL. The Graphic Novel Exercise is a great tool for younger audiences. The students commented today how it helped them reframe "creativity" and how they were surprised that - despite very few of them having formal background in art, design or graphics - they were able to pull together coherent stories that the whole group could follow.