LILA ~ Learning Innovations Laboratory at the Harvard Graduate School of Education

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2018 Feedback from Summit

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From Team

What went well

  • Reordering the agenda and putting small groups first then keynotes worked well.
  • Energy levels were high all day.
  • Participants were mixing well together
  • Timing worked well, padding – allowing for transition times
  • Food was delicious
  • Animation allowed people to yield in to theme – coherent and synthesizing – providing good background for new people
  • Flipchart with topic and room and signage on the rooms


What to consider for next year

  • Reconfigure the opening to set a conceptual frame for the theme to anchor people into the conversation for the day
  • Small groups could be passive experience so think about the facilitation interaction so that it better reflects the way in which we design conversations at LILA throughout the year
  • Ask presenters to offer something in the middle of the time to ask people to do something or talk about something (quickly)
  • Introduce ourselves as the facilitators to set the expectation that we can intervene to facilitate the flow
  • Maybe suggest limited PowerPoint for small group facilitators
  • Make it clear to P&P leaders and presenters that commitment is to stay for the entire day
  • Ask current members to share what they found interesting over the year as a way to engage everyone and orient new participants
  • Is there a way to bring in a younger crowd and level of diversity to the conversation either as participants or presenters
  • Could we open the space to 5 emergent leaders for example
  • Separate role of note taker and facilitator and organize better who brings what supplies
  • Not enough chairs for lunch

From Members



  • Starting with the small groups because the main presentation can set the tone from the day but this allowed people to come from different places from the start.
  • The number of small groups seemed just right so they were small enough
  • Diversity of topics of P&P was nice – at first glance didn’t seem to connect to what we have been discussing but they did
  • Approachable and less academic which let me engage more because I didn’t have to have read previous materials to connect t it.
  • Research sharing – really learn from and resonates for me provides aha.  Michelle and Fab Lab (more experience than research).
  • Well orchestrated:  thoughtful selection of topics even with Bernstein as substitute.  Right on.  Richness of the choices, very good sharing of what we learned at dinner time with potential new member.  FIne moment of LILA.
  • Small group speakers were better than last year. Energy in plenary session was really good.
  • Liked Gensler – they connected research to what the experience was that we were workshopping.  WE could see how it rolled out in real time and provided a lens for figuring out where to go next.
  • The animation was stunning.
  • Seeing more past faculty and current and new members.
  • Depth of engagement, diversity of voices and topics was a treat.
  • David’s point of emergence as a species took me beyond why the topic of emergence was important.

Things to consider for next year

  • Send out an updated list of participants or have it available when we arrive so we can know who is here given that it changes until the last minute.
  • Extract of research prior to the session.
  • Small group there was a hiccup about having a facilitator in the room.  Coordinate that better in advance.
  • Albert:  LILA has the ability to generate perspective that leads to some point in time.  We have artificially created an end point where ideas can be wasted.  Emergence – a new economic order, the new feudal system rang a bell – in the workplace we face this (you can learn or hearding).  Our field has been hearding.  How many organizations devalue the role of the employee by narrowing the space for our employees in very subtle and subversive ways.  How many HR people see themselves as advocates for the employees. We reinforce the hearding feature by representing management.  What about providing leadership development to all employees.  We leave this conversation unattended to.  How could we take on these themes and have separate conversations to pursue the ideas deeper so we can take the knowledge to derive from this session.
  • Laurent:  from HR organization split the roles, one to help employees navigate complexity of today, coaching them.  Very successful, employees are thriving and feel that HR is there for them.  Compensation, fighting to stop the intent of directors who are asking is the value of the stock and that is the way we are paid.  Get rid of profit sharing.   I will loose that battle because that is how it has been done for 100 years.  The academic of lila gives me the credibility to say “you are wrong.”  The learning and HR teams have to have the courage to make these changes.
  • Moses:  take topics and drill down with the group, they shouldn’t die here when we leave.

Day 2

What went well

  • Aspiration and Inspiration worked well
  • General structure worked well
  • Timing worked well
  • Is there a way to surface more tools and actions that they tried this year

What to think about to do differently

  • Operational aspiration – action oriented ideas. I would want to be able to do X in my organization.
  • Is there anything to do about the fact that some members did not attend second day?
  • Is there a way to leverage the fact that we are in the Academy to frame what we are doing.  Is there an exercise we can create to bring in new ideas from the letters posted on the wall?
  • Tell action stories by creating a stage for it to happen.  Now lets turn to the action stories…..
  • Give people two minutes to create their own lists before asking them to contribute to inspirations and aspirations.
  • Questions of clarification before working on the aspirations and inspiration
  • Provide real time for reading of the brief
  • Bring in the feedback from the May call into the conversation
  • Mix the tables from the first to the second exercise



Harvard Graduate School of Education