Manulife Co-op Takeover

I like to think of myself as an artist.

Unfortunately, I possess the artistic talent of a two-year-old. My grandmother still won’t put my drawings on her fridge, no matter how many times I ask. My artistic aspirations, lack of artistic capabilities and passion for trying to figure out how everything works assisted me in one of the most significant decisions I’ve made. I decided to become an engineer… or rather, a management engineering student.

I channel my “artistic” energy by breaking down ideas and issues to their fundamentals and then developing them into working solutions. I love understanding and reconstructing a system designed for its main purpose. But systems and procedures need to adapt and evolve like every other aspect of our lives. In order to create a change, there must be not only an idea, but a way to apply it.

Circles and the Creation Spiral are a “Zero-to-One” idea. I have an idea to effectively incorporate this methodology into Manulife. Before I suggest my proposal, I first would like to identify five specific problems that could arise in the current environment.

1. We often remember the last thing we hear. As a result, Information can be unintentionally repeated.

2. An overflow of information might drown out important ideas.

3. The original idea might get lost through a game of broken telephone.

4. Discussions can often lead on a tangent and divert from the main point.

5. Recognition can be difficult to attain with the addition of so many voices.

I believe that these five potential problems can be a deterrent for a large organization such as Manulife to adopt the creation spiral methodology. To avoid such problems, I believe we should create an internal knowledge and idea management platform such as the MIT Deliberatorium.

The Deliberatorium is a tool that uses argument mapping to improve collaborative deliberation. The deliberation centers around a specific issue through “systematic exploration, evaluation and convergence on solutions”.

Argument mapping a discussion allows contributions to be condensed and organized based on content, and not on time. Every new point can appear only once and needs to be attached to the idea or issue its referred to. The platform would allow collaboration from everyone in the company based on whoever would have access to a particular discussion. Since the discussion would not be time based, contributions from offices from Singapore to Toronto can be given equal attention, and all ideas can be given equal weight.

Using a deliberation tool could allow large multinational organizations such as Manulife to effectively use the creation spiral method for meaningful and effective discussions, without the previously mentioned deterrents.

If I were given the privilege of being CIO for a day, I would organize a hackathon within Red Labs and LOFT to create a Manulife Deliberatorium which would enable us to effectively use the creation spiral method.

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