Archive for September, 2014

Musings, memories & gratitude
September 11, 2014

Dear Readers;
There are some days indelibly etched in my consciousness. This is one. September 11, 2001.
The sky was crystal clear blue, the sun was streaming. I greeted my colleague Harvey in the parking lot of the NJ hotel we were working in. We were filled with excitement about the day. Having begun our Innovation program the day before with our team- talented professionals from two companies- a pharmaceutical company and a mid-west food company. They had decided to explore whether they might form a unique co-venture to offer innovative new products for people suffering with type 2 diabetes. We had conducted qualitative research a few weeks prior and just began to integrate those learnings into a platforms for product development.
We entered the hotel conference room that morning, welcomed our team and began our first creative activities, spreading from our conference room to the corridors outside. We were all totally immersed in our work, and having fun too. It was well after 9am when a hotel member suggested we stop what we were doing and go down to the lobby to watch the TV monitors, something disastrous was happening…
Shocked, stunned, horrified we watched the replays of the Twin Towers in smoke. What could we do? What should we do? Were our homes and families safe? A rush to phones, to reach loved ones. A dash to get rental cars so those who had flown miles to be at the innovation program could return to the comfort of their families.

Over the course of the next week we reconvened by phone and learned that all were safe at home, all were physically “unscathed” but emotionally fragile. Weeks later we decided to continue our work together- but no one particularly wanted to travel, so we redesigned the rest of our program as a series of innovation days via video-conference. The process worked well, forged in the grounding we had begun together and the bonding shared by tragedy.

As the names of the 9/11 deceased are read this morning; I feel the heaviness in my heart as well as the joy and gratitude for the many blessings of my life.

Laurie Tema-Lyn
Laurie@practical-imagination.com

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