Monday Minute, October 24, 2011: Our summit with Target

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Tom Headshot.jpgDear Colleagues,

As I mentioned in my last Monday Minute, on Thursday and Friday of last week we held a two-day charette with Target to devise a better relationship between our two entities. While a mere three miles separates two of the biggest design leaders in the country, too often our work together remains ad hoc. While these relationships have been terrific, when someone gets promoted or moves, the bond that had been established breaks. We want to change that.

So, with a desire to foster greater synergies between us, approximately 50 (25 from CDes & 25 from Target) got together and used some of that design thinking we teach everyday to explore new and exciting opportunities.

During both days (day one was at Target headquarters and day two was at the Weisman – pictures available here) we identified bright spots and problems, we looked at barriers, built empathy, prototyped, and at the end presented some fascinating ideas – everything from a Target employee sabbatical at the College, to a mobile collaborative space, to purchasing the Metrodome and turning it into our own collaborative, creative laboratory.


There were also a number of ideas that weren’t presented that we can act on even sooner. We are going to circle back with folks from Target before Thanksgiving and I’ll be sure to keep you all posted on the various outcomes as they happen.

Over the long term, I see this kind of conversation applying to our relationships with diverse professions and industries, in which we develop projects collaboratively and build partnerships synergistically. I also see it as a model that we might use with other parts of the university, showing how design thinking can produce valuable, out-of-the-box ideas.

My thanks to everyone who participated in what we will see, in hindsight, as a transformative event.