Gathered thoughts from 9/9/12 workshop, shared

1. Name one incident/comment/reaction/quote that stands out from this project as a whole.

  1. ask the people being measured what measures are important to them
  2. common thread to help educate colleagues–junior & senior and non-epidemiologists — on what epi can do (or be in innovation)
  3. creating an aopen space with relevant stakeholders
  4. “The Edge of Chaos” at U. Alabama
  5. great interaction & creative
  6. freewriting
  7. autobiographical histories/introductions
  8. how to measure
  9. The idea that as epidemiologists we need to think outside the box
  10. providing time & space for critical thinking
  11. open spaces fosters creativity
  12. the article did not have a response (as Nancy noted)
  13. Open mind by Cxx
  14. How do you measure innovation?

2a. What excited you?

  1. we share many of the same challenges & questions
  2. great transition time for me-new staff being hired to help me.  fall is new beginning — I can take this home & follow up and do something
  3. the depth & diversity of ideas
  4. measuring success
  5. nature & steps of presentation & discusion
  6. group interaction
  7. the idea of implementing creative/innovative thinking into dialy work routine
  8. idea that what we measure is sustaining of reflective practice in relation to self-defined aspirations that can evolve over time
  9. Hearing people’s thoughts on innovation — ideas & possible strategies
  10. something new wkl(?) is not used everyday
  11. hearing other’s innovations that can apply to my situation
  12. dialy writiing & pet projects
  13. One to one consultation
  14. Innovation based on Epi background and toolbox

2b. What frustrated or perplexed you ?

  1. we share many of the same challenges & questions!
  2. I am more senior than some folks here & have more resources & support.  I feel for the junior people.
  3. not having clear solutions to some of the obvious challenges identified
  4. recurring theme of not having space & time
  5. visual aid
  6. the tools, processes or connections are not specific
  7. the issues surrounding administrative buy-in
  8. time policing -> everything was too quick to reflect on & digest
  9. Roadblocks to getting something initiated that goes against or is different from the status quo
  10. no straight or perfect answer on how to accomplish providing time & space for critical thinking
  11. why are senior management not focused on fostering creativity?
  12. how hard it can be to reach through with new ideas
  13. Not as such..
  14. Barriers, obstacles and non-stimulating environment and management

3a.  What ideas are you going to chew on, develop, inquire into, or put into practice?

  1. -ways to make space & time to engage more people on a broader range of topics  -office hours after group meetings  -how to model these behaviors & atitudes and will that make them self-sustaining?
  2. -Time for myself–change thinking on priorities–whose are they & are they real?  -a thank you to senior people who have supported me  -intro autobiography & brainstorming writing: share this with junior people
  3. how to get senior management’s sustained interest & buy-in
  4. measuring success from the individual’s point of view
  5. use some of the tools provided by Dr. R. Ness in my practice w.r.t. asking the right question at the right time
  6. understand the proposed tools & adapt them to work situation
  7. -work on creating space to be creative, asking for time & making the case  -the edge of chaos
  8. -how to run a workshop that gets to epidemiological themes?  -how to support translation (as well as discussions about support for translation)
  9. Put into practice: freewriting & take time to be creative
  10. -letting people have time & space to do critical thinking & reflecting  -letting those people be empowered to institute change
  11. drawing from other disciplines for ideas to apply in my own
  12. daily writing + follow up question
  13. One to one consultation.. Eorganising from the tools mentioned in the article. Having dialogue  with bosses.
  14. How to translate discussion through mentorship.  Creating innovation through data

3b.  For the group as a whole, what patterns or trends did you see in our CONTRIBUTIONS to the TOPIC of the project and in the questions or lines of INQUIRY opened up?

  1. theme of measurement–how to identify an innovative idea(s) & choose to act on it
  2. see #1 above (common thread to help educate colleagues–junior & senior and non-epidemiologists — on what epi can do (or be in innovation))
  3. (a few individuals expressed their thoughts so I wonder what ideas had by those who were silent)
  4. people building upon previous contributions rather than moving off on tangents
  5. diverse suggestions & opening up of things in the dialogue section
  6. creative thinking is dynamic and difficult to crystallize
  7. issues surrounding measurement of creativity & buy-in from others
  8. sustainability & agreement from persons in charge is needed
  9. we all had similar needs, wants, opinions, ideas & concerns
  10. people should develop their own measurement tools to measure their own job performance
  11. people are usually eager to share (?) ideas in smaller groups than in larger groups
  12. Progressive trend.
  13. Variety of ideas  Expression  Freedom of thought

3c.  For the group as a whole, what patterns or trends did you see in the PROCESS of our INTERACTIONS and contributions?

  1. processes of sharing respectfully
  2. need for buy-in, support => all spoke of how necessary this is
  3. everybody contributed either in the general discussions or breakout groups
  4. less real listening than I’d hoped (from some)
  5. listening to individuals is fulfilling in the field of innovation
  6. quite easy to get self-selected participants to participate in these workshop activities
  7. common barriers to creativity
  8. the process was fair & balanced & equal without pressure or recourse
  9. “structured” free dialogue is an interesting concept because it is counter-intuitive but works in groups settings in a professional field
  10. Interesting.
  11. Allocating resources for innovation

4. What requests/suggestions/support needs do you have as a learner-participant in this project?

  • I need to commit to trying these techniques in my daily life.  I wonder if some group commitment to support one another in applying these techniques might be helpful.  This could be monthly email check-in or “e-dialoguing”
  • -maintenance  -access beyond today  -tracking like is done with grad. students: what are we doing with this in 1, 2,..3 years from now?
  • take an example of real-life challenges and attempt to brainstorm
  • deciding on an activity that is sustainable
  • give feedback report in writing
  • to understand how these methods are applied in other fields such as sociology, public health, politics, and others that affect public health
  • i would like to hear everyone’s autobiographical background -> understand where viewpoint/concerns are coming from -> would like to hear more of this
  • It is great for the facilitator to have assistants
  • published session stories would be gear to read & share with others
  • I wish the link was forwarded by email I would have prepared better ways before hand. There should be more integration among participants,
  • Having participants send in advance bio.  Also individual concept of innovation and workshop concept



About Peter J. Taylor

Peter Taylor teaches and directs programs on critical thinking, reflective practice, and science-in-society at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He studies the complexity of environmental and health sciences in their social context as well as innovation in teaching, group process, and interdisciplinary collaboration (see He is especially interested in conversations with others who are, in diverse ways, "troubled by heterogeneity" (
This entry was posted in group process. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s