Experience working with others is key to a successful challenge for MDS 450: Teamwork and Innovation. Being part of teams as a team member (not the leader but a member on equal footing with others) is important, as is a deep understanding of the way good teams are built through the four stages of team development. Experience working on a team with people who bring different perspectives and expertise is also very helpful in articulating the goals of this course.
Further, the kind of work the teams did is key–it needs to be innovative in some way. Beyond just managing a task or maintaining status quo, successful challenges tell a story of a team thinking strategically and overcoming a problem or creating something new. Having a good understanding of Innovation and articulating how your team came together and engaged in the process of innovation helps make a strong case for these challenges.
The textbook for MDS 450: Teamwork & Innovation is Group Dynamics for Teams, 5th Edition – 2017
- ISBN: 9781483378343
What this course is (and is not) about
It’s important that the portfolio reflect experience working with others in a professional or public setting, even others from very different mindsets, on a common issue. These teams don’t have to be in the workplace; they can be neighborhood associations, volunteer groups, mission trips, informal gatherings for a cause, or, yes, they can be teams in work environments: corporate, restaurant, academic, manufacturing, logistics, and many other organizations.
However, this is Teamwork in a professional or public situation. This course does not include family as teamwork because there are complicated dynamics at play and they are often in a private setting. Successful challenges use Teamwork and Innovation in a professional or public setting like a workplace, a volunteer organization, a neighborhood or interest group, a coalition or nonprofit, or similar settings.
The course is about both Teamwork and Innovation; it’s not about being on a team that didn’t have to do anything new or different, nor is it about innovating by yourself. The best challenges can encompass both elements of the course.
This course is also about Teamwork, not Leadership. There is a big difference between the two! Usually leaders have teamwork experience, but it’s important that these challenges be framed as the student being part of a team, not just the leader of the team.
Innovation, as covered in this course, is about working with others to come up with a new and improved solution. These solutions should be arrived at through collaboration and interaction with teammates, not an independent idea you came up with all by yourself. Make sure your examples tell the story of you as part of a team, accomplishing something together that you couldn’t have done by yourself.
MDS 450: This course identifies the creative people, processes, and conditions necessary for fostering innovation and models of innovation including creative problem solving with teams. Students show understanding through demonstration of competency in identifying, describing, fostering, demonstrating and assessing programs that foster creativity and innovation in a team environment.
After finishing the course, the successful student will be able to:
|Identify components of high performing teams
|Explain the influence of teams on creativity in organizations.
|Write personal development goals for advancing appropriate behaviors.
Demonstrate Team Problem Solving Techniques.
Apply team innovation tools and techniques to a given situation