The Innovators kicked this morning off at Suffolk. After breakfast, they had a lecture on LinkedIn, a social media platform dedicated to professional networking. Oftentimes—and especially in today’s day and age—open job positions are given to company connections rather than candidates found through a blind application. Contemporary success is largely dependent on making new contacts and maintaining positive working relationships with old contacts.

LinkedIn is especially helpful when searching for a job. Not only can you stay connected with past contacts from school, college, and previous jobs, but you can also see where they are currently working, and what their job title is. You can search for jobs based on how many contacts you have at given companies, and, in turn, companies can discover you, view a virtual resume, and determine whether or not you would be a good fit at a given job posting.

Then, the Innovators traveled to MIT. They were given time to explore the unique, diverse campus. Popular things to do and see at MIT include the MIT Museum, home to many scientific and architectural exhibitions; the famous Alchemist statue, carved from mathematical numerals and symbols by Jaume Plensa; the Hart Nautical Gallery, which pays homage to the rich history of ocean engineering at MIT and the Great Dome (picture here), one of the most iconic buildings in the campus.

The Innovators on the beautiful MIT campus

The Innovators on the beautiful MIT campus

After a lunch break—during which many Innovators chose to picnic on the grassy lawns at MIT—they traveled to the headquarters of Scrum, Inc., a company devoted to a framework of productive teamwork and product creation. Scrum was co-created by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland in an effort to create a more efficient way to work with others and manage time in a professional project. 

The Innovators engaged in role-playing, getting into teams and selecting an honorary Product Owner and Scrum Master. Then, they organized their issues, first selecting a series of learning objectives and then outlining the aspects of a good team. Scrum is organized as a series of planning, retrospective, review, and refinement. The Innovators practiced the Scrum process with paper airplanes, competing with one another to see who could make the most paper airplanes and who could improve their process the most.

Scrum advises teams to organize objectives into three categories: to do, doing, and done

Scrum advises teams to organize objectives into three categories: to do, doing, and done

The qualities of a good team

The qualities of a good team

The Scrum leaders then went on to explain in more detail the fundamental pillars, values, and themes behind the company and framework. Scrum is built on transparency, inspection, and adaptation. The company values courage, focus, commitment, respect, and openness. There is a constant emphasis on prioritization and doing one thing at a time.

Scrum then explained the theory behind incentives and motivations. As it turns out, once the job goes past rudimentary processes, autonomous people end up accomplishing far more than those given tangible rewards for their work. Successful companies all have something in common: a coherent purpose.

After dinner, the Innovators finished up the day with a Challenge session. They met with their mentors and received comprehensive feedback on their projects. Todays goal: Explain the project their are facing in 90s. Keep reading for more updates on their work!

Emerson Monks