"I’ve been surprised there’s been a lot of young people here and in jobs similar to mine. It’s nice to meet those people and hear what they’re working on, the problems that they face, and how they’re similar to mine, and how we can ... learn from each other to develop solutions and tools..."
One of the core tenets of our program is that people closest to the problem are best positioned to solve that problem. Our participants were invited based on their demonstrated commitment and track record of tackling some of the most intractable problems in Washington, D.C. related to homelessness, affordable housing, and economic development. We knew we were working with a set of all-stars and we knew we had a lot to learn from them.
We also believe that diverse teams are the most effective at developing solutions to thorny problems. Though it's easier to collaborate with people who think like you do, it never produces the best answer. We worked with our partners to ensure the participants represented a diverse cross-section of the city, bringing a wide array of experiences and perspectives to the table.
The Lab was a full-day intensive in which all of the participants had an opportunity to learn the stories, lessons, and disciplines of leadership from Carly Fiorina and practice their problem-solving skills in small groups, with their peers and UP-trained facilitators.
They covered topics like humility, empathy, and collaboration - as well as how to use a set of practical tools to solve problems, implement solutions, and manage stakeholders.
"I think that Carly’s presentation is phenomenal – she has a way of connecting with you as an individual that – it resonates with you as a person in the work that you’re doing, and I think that she has a way of lifting you up through her stories, her analogies, and her transparency. I think it is amazing that somebody of her stature is so open about her life, her journey, and the way she’s been able to connect with the front line and then translate that to the greater community. As far as today’s workshop, it’s been I’d say for me life-altering."
Participants left the Lab seeing possibilities. They were both clear-eyed about the challenges in front of them in their current state - and optimistic about the power of collaborating with their colleagues and peers. They had seen that power in action.
96% of participants surveyed said they left the lab with concrete ideas to improve their leaders and problem solving
They also had an opportunity to practice a set of tools and skills that they were excited to take back to their teams - including the Current/Future State Analysis and the Leadership Framework. And for the next 3 months, UP's dedicated team of coaches will join them on their journey.