Ed Chen – a graduate student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago – gives us a look inside one of the teams with only 24 hours to make sense of an impossible challenge.
“I felt that quite often, 7 or 8 of the 9 agreed on a direction and wanted to move on, but that we were held back by one or two holdouts. To get the best ideas out, there must be room for dissent. To work against a deadline, sometimes, we have to move on. How we move in the direction of the majority without making anyone feel alienated? I tried to summarize what seemed to be group consensus items and asked for collective confirmation. As time dwindled, consensus became easier to achieve.”
In such a large group of talented people, pockets of deep expertise can limit individual perspectives. Framing the problem took longer than making actionable suggestions because of the diversity of perspectives. On the other hand, we could not have comprehensively understood the real problem without that diversity. Harnessing and directing talent is difficult but rewarding.”