Dominoes Episode Eighteen

Charley was happy about the morning exploration of the traits necessary for the story framing phase. This afternoon he wanted to repeat the process for the SCAFFOLDING phase. He started by reminding the interns: “Scaffolding is an ongoing process of formulating your ideas for change. It’s adjusting to the feedback you receive and refining your concepts. What are the skills and aptitudes needed for this phase?”

Like before, the interns struggled at first but began to jot down their thoughts. This time the ideas were not as numerous. Eventually the interns settled on a few of the traits. When Charley asked them to share the traits they developed, he realized that the task he had given them was too far beyond their experience. They just hadn’t done enough to create a list. Lynn had, and he decided to interview her and see if the interns could develop traits from the interview.

Charley:  “Lynn, tell us how did your idea for a mentor program come to you?”

Lynn:  “I attended a ceremony where one of our alumni made a major contribution to the university. He described how one of his professors set him on course to have a good life. As he was describing the experience with his professor, I began to think about how wonderful it would be if everyone had that experience. It wasn’t too hard for me to put together my ideas for the mentorship program.”

Charley then asked the interns what traits were suggested from Lynn’s answer. It didn’t take long for them to identify two traits: Conceptualization and Connecting Ideas into a Coherent Whole. The interview continued.

Charley:  “Then what did you do?”

Lynn:  “I tested the ideas with students and faculty I knew. That was tough. I must say it was difficult having such critical feedback. Then I began to modify my ideas based on the feedback I was given.”

Charley interrupted Lynn at this moment and asked for additional traits. These came quicker. The interns identified Acceptance and Adaptability as traits.

Charley:  “After you received the feedback, what did you do?”

Lynn:  “It was funny. Rather than letting the feedback get me down, it actually helped me expand on my ideas. The mentoring concept grew rather than shrank.”

Charley then asked the interns to tell him the traits they picked up from Lynn. They identified Expansiveness and Constructive Attitude.

At this point, Charley was happy with the traits. He again asked them to think of the traits as Skills or Aptitudes. The results were as follows:

Skills                                                   Aptitude                          Both
● Conceptualization                            ● Acceptance                 ● Expansiveness
● Connecting Ideas                            ● Adaptability                  ● Constructive                                                                                                             Attitude
into a coherent whole

As Charley thought about the experience that afternoon, his anxiety increased. How am I going to develop these traits with interns? Then an idea came to him: “Why don’t I let them develop these traits for themselves using a program that they create using what we began doing today?” Charley liked the idea, but realized he had to give it more thought.

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“The ability to dream, conceptualize & invent is what set the successful & unsuccessful apart.” – Richard Branson (Innovator, Businessman)

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Useful guides for incorporating messages into discussion.