Mission Possible: The story and reach of our most popular tool
Have you ever sat through a power-point presentation intended to teach creativity, where the gap between method and content is so ridiculously wide that it seems embarrassing for everyone involved? (Please note, images of lightbulbs don’t help).
This was the conundrum we faced when some of our early innovative projects began to attract the attention of other organizations and we were asked to come and speak about our own design process.
How does an individual speaker with a laptop communicate a process based on collaboration, empathy, and creativity? Our solution: don’t even try.
Instead, we designed a game that you play with others – Mission Possible. Through this game you learn the process of design thinking through play and through experience. Before thinking about your own context, you step into a different world. Same macro-issues but very different resources, opportunities and roadblocks. The game increases creative confidence and helps people see constraints as opportunities for imagination.
Following this, we designed My Mission Possible, which takes the same process and applies it to your own context, needs and resources.
Initially designed to replace speaking engagements, the game has taken off in a number of surprising directions:
Foundations and Training institutions: For example: Leadership Education, HE Butt Family Foundation, Imagine Foundation
“We use Mission Possible in our leadership development program for emerging faith-based leaders from many settings. It introduces thoughtful consideration of pressing social issues in a collaborative and playful group setting. Through playing Mission Possible, participants learn design-thinking principles and processes that they then apply to visioning and planning in their own work and ministry context. Graphics and script encourage creativity. Inviting, specific, and time-bound instructions promote successful facilitation. We give thanks for the community that gave birth to these generative tools!”
Maria Teresa Gaston, Managing Director of Foundations of Christian Leadership
Corporate Social Responsibility: For example: Target, AirBnB
Target co-designed a version of Mission Possible to help individual stores design creative, contextual CSR programmes for their communities. This has been tested with a number of stores nationwide.
Academic Institutions: For example: Campbell University, Duke University, Schreiner University, Princeton Theological Seminary, University of Texas.
Used within academic institutions, Mission Possible has been used to teach the pedagogy of design thinking to students in all sorts of programs and contexts.
“I use Mission Possible and My Mission Possible in leadership formation programs to help participants stretch their imaginations for what is possible in their contexts. They walk away with confidence and hope in the possibilities before them and a renewed vision for the resources they can use to experiment into new ways of leading and serving.”
Victoria White, Leadership Education at Duke Divinity School
In addition to these examples, Mission Possible has been used by community development organizations, non-profits, social enterprises, congregations and faith-based organizations.
Why don’t you try Mission Possible in your context?