Fromme partners with Advancement for Innovation Experience Program

November 21, 2022

Fromme partners with Advancement for Innovation Experience Program

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This past week kicked off the second cohort of the Innovation Experience Program for Ohio State’s Office of Advancement. Adam Fromme, Assistant Professor of Teaching, co-developed and helps lead this program alongside Michael Ackerman, Professor of Clinical Nursing and Director of Master of Healthcare Innovation Program; Jay Delany, Associate Director of Donor Experience (Advancement); and Kyle Kutchenriter, Director of Administration (Advancement).

This professional development program is directed at teams that are interested in innovation and looking to learn more about creativity, complex problem solving, and the design process. These skills can be helpful in day-to-day activities as tools to find insight and contribute to meaningful solutions.

Over the next 6 months, the cohort will regularly gather to learn, practice and discuss what these ideas look like in their workplace environments. The participants will learn about Design Thinking and specific design skills while applying a learning-by-making approach to topics within their organization.

The core messages is for individuals to embrace becoming curious critical thinkers. This mindset starts with learning how to leverage two perspectives:

Be an Advocate.
In design, empathy runs through all projects. Empathy helps designers know what is most important to the people we are helping. This is decision-directing insight that goes beyond figuring out “what people want.” Rather, it allows us to frame the problem as their problem and also ensures our solutions address their specific needs.

Be a Mediator.
Another valuable skills is the ability to find compromise. The ability to measure, consider, and find resolution between opposing needs (or opinions) can feel overwhelming. To make good decisions, we need a broad framework to help us order and rank specific requirements. Some factors are flexible, others are not. Understanding how each factor pulls on different parts of the problem give perspective to what is changeable. (Hint: Often it is more than we initially think.)

While these perspectives likely sound familiar, simply understanding or acknowledging each rarely lead to creative solutions. Rather, there needs to be rigor when you deeply value these perspectives. Both perspectives are necessary throughout the process, from framing a problem to defining a goal and on to ultimately creating a preferred solution. As such, we need to learn why, how, and when to use their associated tools during a project. When working, we must be both an actively engaged advocate and mediator. Together, these perspectives help us seek insight and foster innovation.

After the successful launch to the program last year, the Office of Advancement requested the program continue and expand. In addition to the 10 members of this year’s cohort, work is underway to study, realize, and implement ideas that emerged from the first year of the program.

The Office of Advancement is made up of professionals in the areas of alumni engagement, fundraising and strategy/administration, all contributing to the relationship-driven forces of The Ohio State University community.

As the demand for innovation across industries increases, the Department of Design’s interest is in preparing students to be well-equipped for these roles. Similarly, the department seeks to prepare industries in advance of their arrival.

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