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Inspiring and leading innovation in education


 SDCOE Employees Get Creative During First 'FedEx Day'

More than 50 San Diego County Office of Education employees spent the day Monday collaborating in small groups to come up with innovative and creative ideas to improve services and products.

The work was part of SDCOE’s first “FedEx Day,” which allowed employees to put down their usual work for a day to freely brainstorm in teams.

“We just turned people loose, and at the end of the day, they had to create a product or service,” said Kim Bess, who helped organize the effort.

The effort was inspired by a similar exercise created by an Australian technology company that gives employees 24 hours to “deliver” an innovative product or service.

Learning and Leadership Services administrators decided to bring the idea to SDCOE after hearing a speaker discuss it at a conference earlier this year.

The goal is that the activity will help improve the division’s ability to anticipate emerging trends and challenges, Assistant Superintendent Debbie Beldock said.

“It went quite well,” she said. “The teams really did think outside of the box, reflecting back on SDCOE goals.”

Jennifer Currie, one of the participants, said she’s already looking forward to the next “FedEx Day.”

“It was really a good experience to be able to collaborate with folks who I do not normally get to work with and produce something that will benefit us all,” she said.

The division plans to hold similar sessions three times a year. Beldock also said she also expects other divisions to hold similar events.

Karina Montgomery, another participant, said she thought people came up with innovative ideas and solutions.

Some of the other projects employees worked on were efforts to reduce the amount of paper used, create more regional teams to support school districts, and build an online database for all of the division’s forms and meeting information.