So, after some time it is about time to look back and list some of the things that I learned during the Edulab process. The learning outcomes of the Lead phase are here.
As one can see, the learning outcome is versatile all the way from business and strategic thinking to basic working life skills. It is good to see, that it these skills have been developed by myself but also my team.
Basically what we did during the lead phase of the Edulab was that we were given an assignment by OAMK. This assignment was specifically about making a product that would in the end enhance the ability of OAMK to measure the sustainability awareness of the institution. At first my goal in the lab was to do something else than a simple app, but as we proceeded I began to realize that time would be limited to come up with a greater concept. For the first gate we basically prepared the concept of the app and when we (barely) made it through the first gate, we started to consider more carefully about the business logic and all the other things that might arise during the development process. It became pretty clear in a very early stage that the business would not be in “single download” market nor the adverts and that was something I tried to communicate to my team too. However i’m not sure it was taken in by the team and if I got the message right this was not troubling the coaches either in the lab:) So, the business logic was to sell ads and charge the customer, not the end user. That was quite ok, but the way I saw it from a distance was that the coaches in the lab were not really challenging the idea, the features ets. which I thought was a bit odd. But maybe I could not see it from a distance. Working at the University I got used to being challenged by my colleagues to think thing further, and I kind of missed that.
Anyhow, concerning the learning outcomes of the lead phase I have a few ideas.
I reckon that after 15 years of experience in working life I have gained some of the needed skills. However I think that I was able to guide the guys in my team too, to seeing that there might be other sources besides school that you can use to gain knowledge and skills. If you are young and haven’t had that much experience, it might be difficult to identify the strengths that you have and see what are the different ways you can help your team. This is something we are going towards anyway in education: showing skills, not credits.
About the project work I have to say that our team most definitely used project working methods and was able to set goals and milestones of our own besides the gates. This is the basis of all project work, setting goals. Also realising that there are goals we are supposed to reach and different ways to solve them is also familiar in projects. We just think of the best way to reach the goal.
We could have been better at showing the competence we had. This I say, because I think our team was not able not able to present the process we had gone through during the lead phase. However the experience made me even more aware of the fact that if you have nothing to show for, people will not be able to see your competence. At the moment, when I talk to students about entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial attitude I tend to emphasize the fact that each and every assignment has to be conducted with quality and everything you do must be done with the same intensity, because you never know, who will be there to see your work. This is of course relates to the core of entrepreneurship in HE since usually the aim is really not to make everybody an entrepreneur but to make people see, that it is first and foremost about oneself to make things work.
Teamwork and working together. Neet I say more? This is something that cuts through all the things in the learning outcomes of the edulab. Today entrepreneurship is not about doing things alone, projects are not conducted alone, nobody actually works in a bubble today. This is why in my work in the future I will always have the stress on the team, not in the individual. Here is why; in the end, in the working life we will be judged based on the performance of the team rather than something that you made. If the end product doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. As a coach, it is mighty essential to recognize the strengths of the individual to be able to achieve the best possible results in each task.
After edulab I and after coordinating one startup program myself I can say with no doubt that I can run a process similar to these. Of course I have studied and worked in an incubator before so nothing was completely new to me. I conclude this final post from Edulab by saying that this might be an old saying, but being a teacher is not what it used to be. About coaching then we have to realize that as teachers we are not supposed to give the right answers but to ask the right question