Three Pilot Projects

Collaboration 1Three pilot projects were created so our FIT Team could practice newly learned skills with groups focused on making connections, solving problems, or seeking creative solutions.  While trying to explain the “Big Picture” or “Why” behind the pilot project design, our consultants prepared a “cheat sheet” that described why the attendees were there; who needs to work on this problem; and how to think creatively about solutions.  I’ve added the projects that were used by the OPL facilitators in each area.


Doing collaborative work is not solving problems for people.  It’s working together to identify problems and find solutions.  An important belief is that there is a big benefit to having a variety of perspectives to define problems and find solutions.

Connections (Pilot Project 1)

Connections 2Attendees – I care about this topic but I don’t know who else cares.  I’m interested in meeting others who work in this area.

Library – can help connect people who care about an important community topic

Skills – “Yes, and” communication.  Define a facilitator (role, skills, practice, agenda, no judgment, neutral stance, group management, group memory recording, and recap)

 Projects – October and November 2013

  • Aging in Place
  • ESL Providers
  • High School Education
  • Lone Tree Foods
  • Music Education
  • Public Transportation and Refugees
  • Recycling Nontraditional Materials
  • Voter Turnout

Problem Solving (Pilot Project 2)

Problem Solving 3Attendees We know who’s working on this topic.  We haven’t considered working together or don’t think or believe anyone would want to work together.   It would be useful to clarify/identify the problem and create a goal(s) to work on separately or together to make an impact on the community.

Library – can help facilitate a group through a process to create a shared definition and goals in collaboration or coordination with or without the library.  The library can provide space and resources.  The library also needs to determine its involvement so it doesn’t own the problem or leaves the group hanging.

Skills – Brainstorm, Prioritize, Clarify and define problems, Handle problem attendees, status issues, conflict, decision making

Projects – March and April 2014

  • Building Community, Building Citizenship
  • Douglas County Voter Education
  • Improving Online Access
  • Prisoner Re-Entry
  • Senior Connections
  • Unemployment in East Omaha

Creativity (Pilot Project 3)

Creativity 3Attendees We’ve identified the problem, know who’s interested, and would like to come up with creative solutions to try.  We may be interested in working with others or alone.  It would help us to see how other people view the problem.  A diverse set of skills and viewpoints would be good.

Library – can help facilitate a group through a process of thinking creatively about solutions

Skills – Define creativity, Define innovation, Challenges (how we get in our own way), Creative mindset, Foster creativity, Group’s value in creativity, Neuroscience about creativity and innovation, Brainstorming

Projects – October and November 2014

  • Neighborhood Engagement through Health Impact Assessments
  • Omaha’s Certain Je Na Sais Quoi Historic Preservation
  • Prisoner Re-Entry – Family and Friends of Inmates
  • Talent Drain (Outmigration of Young Professionals in Omaha)
  • Where’s the Gap? Unemployment and Education


Posted by Theresa Jehlik, Project Director

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