One of my favorite lessons was during the leadership workshop when we did the "Happy Dog" exercise. My group was given a mission to come up with a new marketing platform that would help drive sales. Our leader came to us with tasks, but he was only allowed to give us yes and no answers or write. Our vision and consensus was to create a new product for "Happy Dog" and we came up with customizable homes (crates). Our slogan was "Happy Homes for Happy Hounds" and we also created a new logo with legos that depicted a happy dog in a home (See pictures below). Together we created a vision and came to a consensus, and then developed strategy and delegated different tasks based on strengths. There also was a level of training as many of the group members were not skilled with legos, but a couple of the group members stepped up to demonstrate what the best strategies were when using legos and the rest of the group soon followed suit. Finally, I believe that our group definitely created a space for innovation, as we were transparent and open to everyone's ideas. These 4 steps make up Disney's framework for leadership and it was fun to see our team putting this framework into action.
One of the main takeaways that I learned from this exercise is to be aware of your surroundings, experiences and the people around you in order to capitalize on opportunities to learn. For example, if we had talked with the other two groups, we would have learned that the company was actually a hot dog company instead of assuming it was a dog grooming and services establishment. It is important to be flexible and to know that communication takes place in all different directions and across all levels in order for a leader and team to be successful. This was the biggest takeaway for me, and I definitely felt an "aha"moment when we learned it was a hot dog company and this would have been common information if we had communicated across all levels. Making sure everyone is on the same page is one of the most vital tasks a leader must fulfill.
|The building phase of our logo|
|Final product for our "Happy Homes for Happy Hounds" logo|