“If you want to walk fast, walk alone.
If you want to walk far, walk together.”
“Walking together” sums up the spirit of the Stanford SEED program. But before the Accra Center's opening at 2 pm on Sunday, the Stanford team had to “work together” to get it ready for action. This extended the meaning of an "all hands" meeting! We balanced desks, moved chairs from room to room, and hauled furniture up the stairs. Trying to employ the traditional Ghanaian way of carrying heavy items, Gina, the Director for Alumni Relations for SEED, and Jan balanced the desks on our heads!
We also assembled the rotating white boards for the Design and Innovation workshops. Since the pen tray had been put in too high, Ed and Jan became the “rework team” to move the tray lower so the board could rotate effectively. Naturally the boards came without any assembly instructions, so team had to create a process that worked. By the time the team was done with all 10 boards, we were experts, but the job was finished.
Before the guest arrived, the sign crew (construction employees) put up the sign for the Center:
And it was perfectly in place to welcome the companies on Sunday.
Even the signs on the street corners were in place. This is important, because there really aren’t addresses in Accra – people reference their whereabouts based on landmarks and “close to” locations.
The companies began arriving at 2 pm on Sunday and the energy level of the room started to rise. Since most of them didn’t know each other, it was a great chance to meet and greet others from the five West African countries represented in the program. By the end of Day 2, we were working in teams – designing prototypes of new products and brainstorming ideas that will form solutions to client problems.
On Day 3, we were decked out in Stanford garb. We created storyboards for our proposed solutions...
And even performed a play for a client company to show how they could improve corporate communication!
The first three days have been a blast. Three Stanford faculty members are here -- each with a different, engaging style. We are learning about design thinking, leadership, and supply chain management. The executives from the companies are terrific. As coaches, we are delighted to "walk together "with this great team.
Thursday is the official public launch of the Center, complete with local dignitaries and officials. More to follow!