By the members and director of Rockettech
In partnership with researchers at foundry10 in Seattle, we've been trying to identify certain elements that without them, the whole Rockettech program would fall apart. We've had the pleasure of hosting them for a visit in October, 2014.
We've refined the list to four elements critical to our success:
Employees take less risk and try to just protect their own jobs when they don't feel safe (see Simon Sinek's Ted Talk). My employees are students whom I encourage to take chances. They dive into projects fearless because they know I
back them up.
This is a mutual trust as well. I have to know a student well enough to trust that when I give them a project, they will do everything in their power to succeed. These are the ones whose actions say "How else can I solve this? What other resources can I use to get this done faster/more professional?" rather than "Meh, that's good enough". This trust develops from how any given student handles previous, lower stakes assignments and directions. Grades from their other classes are not a major influence on this trust.
In order for me to expect so much professionalism and quality from my students, they need to see it modeled elsewhere. Initially, that's just me. I know how to make nice websites and videos, and have had enough experience that I'm comfortable identifying a student's skill level in order to scaffold their experience.
Having grown up in a family that runs a small business (Suter's Produce, retail farm markets with sweetcorn, strawberries, and an 1888 cider press. Drone video from fall 2014 busy day), I've gotten to see my older brother and parents relentlessly innovate for growth. In 1999, when dad said "We're going to cut down half of the corn stalks to make paths, and people will pay money to walk through them", corn mazes weren't popular yet, and I thought he'd finally lost his mind. 15 years later the maze is a hit, and expanding every year.
The tenacity we need is not only the the hunger and risk-taking, but also the perseverance to bounce back from failures. Things go wrong, and we expect that. I strive to model a proper response to failure in my own experiences to lead by example how I expect them to respond to similar setbacks.
In order to transfer the technical knowledge to employees (students) the director or manager should approach their successes and failures with how to grow them as professionals. Legendary coaches do the same thing. Every day, I provide just-in-time training to students as they need it to stay afloat as project leads. Too much info too early, and they don't see relevance, get overwhelmed, and otherwise ignore most of what I say as some kind of brain defense mechanism. Too little, too late info, and they are overwhelmed with the requirements a client as asked for, without the tools to meet them.
If you have questions about Rockettech, or you need our services, use the contact form, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We thrive on "donations" that are earned through professional quality work. Our entrepreneurial spirit drives our activities during class times, not tests.