When I was a kid, I remember a homework assignment that taught us how to brainstorm. The teacher asked us to find inspiration in magazines, cut the pictures or excerpts out and paste them on a blank canvas. If I told my 11-year-old son to do the same today, he’d probably say, “what’s a magazine?” This got me thinking about how people curate good ideas today.
Some consultants join think tanks, brainstorm in design-thinking war rooms or attend conferences—which are still alive despite the fact that attendance is tougher and tougher to come by (unless you’re South by SouthWest (SXSW)). Membership organizations collect ideas through journals, online forums and lunch-and-learns. Me? Well, I spend about three hours a day in the car, so a lot of my inspiration comes from podcasts and the radio. The problem, though, is always time…it’s a fixed resource.
But often, we miss inspiration when it’s right in front of us. Or, we fail to recognize it.
Employee of the Quarter
In quarter 1 (Q1), we recognized Angela Price as MainSpring’s Employee of the Quarter. Here’s a rundown of some of the incredible efforts she undertook:
- She launched an enormous, innovative project for the Army’s Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) program, dubbed MC4 eUniversity. It involved the construction of an online learning center to be used by students training to be military medics on the front line. Within this online learning center (hosted in Blackboard), 10 full courses were designed for students—including over 160 lessons!
- As an e-learning developer, she parlayed her experience with MC4 into a series of articles explaining the move from traditional learning models to ones that are more fluid and impactful, including microlearning—or next generation training. As a result, our clients are asking more about microlearning, and our partners are developing solutions to meet their needs.
There’s no denying that she’s helped our clients on a multitude of levels, but what’s been most inspiring about Angela is her leadership and her willingness to connect us with our staff who are deployed overseas, supporting the Department of Defense mission.
She recently took it upon herself to start a collection of necessities to send overseas for our team members. Her thoughtfulness was contagious, as she enlisted the help of many MainSpringers to fill the care packages. Nothing glamorous—just the items that we’ve learned help make the hardship conditions less hard.
It’s this kind of effort that has inspired me. And for that, I’m thankful, Angela.
The next time you look for inspiration, I encourage you to put down the mobile phone, let go of the mouse, and, if you don’t have a magazine in your house, pick up the phone and talk to a co-worker you might not ordinarily reach. Ask them what’s going on in their world, and get inspired the old-fashioned way.