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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Communiqué June 25, 2014


Rapid Prototyping – A Leadership Skill

- Julie Fox, Central regional director and director, urban/metro programming

In Bob Johansen’s book, entitled Leaders Make the Future: Ten New Leadership Skills for an Uncertain Future (2012), the topic Rapid Prototyping (chapter eight) is defined as having quick cycles of try, learn, and try again – in an ongoing sequence. Also, Rapid Prototyping is an ability to create quick early versions of innovations with the expectation that later success will require a trial-and-error mentality, early failures, and continuous learning.

Summary of points made by the author:

  • Fail early, fail often, and fail cheaply.
  • The first step in rapid prototyping is immersion in the world of end users with the aim of understanding their environment, their values, their pains, and their hopes.
  • Simulation and immersive environments can help leaders try and fail in low-risk ways.
  • Pilot and demonstration projects are often useful; rapid prototyping moves more quickly.
  • Leadership through rapid prototyping minimizes planning and emphasizes experience in the field and preparation in ‘low- risk’ settings.
  • New visual tools will allow much more realistic forms of rapid prototyping in virtual and enhanced worlds.
  • Leaders in the future will embrace high-speed perpetual prototyping and develop the ability to discern the patterns across prototypes.

Implications for Extension:

  • Recognize elements of rapid prototyping already working for Extension and deliberately make improvements to foster innovation.
  • As we engage with diverse audiences, how are end users involved in the innovation cycle?
  • As we explore organizational culture, how can we:
    • institutionalize rapid prototyping by allowing the process of creativity to happen without trying to control it?
    • create an environment that nurtures a learn-as-you-go spirit and supports failures as learning opportunities for creative innovation?


  • Let’s learn to fail together in interesting ways.
  • Keep the rapid in rapid prototyping.

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This three-day conference provides an opportunity for all Extension professionals to:

  • Share and broaden their knowledge of the scholarship of Extension work and university research.
  • Build relationships between Extension professionals and university colleagues to foster expanded applied research opportunities.
  • Foster dialogue and innovative thinking among OSU Extension field faculty and staff and academic unit-based colleagues.

 This year’s conference will feature:

  • Nationally known keynote speakers
  • Interactive sessions about the future of Extension
  • Concurrent sessions featuring best practices and Extension scholarship
  • Poster exhibits featuring innovative programming and cutting-edge research
  • Recognition of outstanding work of Extension colleagues and community partners
  • Celebration of the 100-year history of OSU Extension.

The event will be held at the Ohio Union, 1739 North High Street, Columbus campus.

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New Employee Welcome Festival: Save the Date – October 21

Festival Overview

  • Held in Columbus at the Fawcett Center
  • One-day event including lunch and refreshments
  • Offered to all regular new employees (full and part time), temps with an appointment lasting longer than six months, those starting between September 15, 2013 and September 15, 2014. 

Units/organizations represented at the 2013 New Employee Welcome Festival included: 

  • Program areas (4-H, CD, ANR, FCS)
  • Professional associations (Ohio JCEP/ESP, CES)
  • OSU Leadership Center 
  • Extension business office
  • Program Development and Evaluation
  • CFAES Diversity Team 
  • CFAES Communications Unit
  • eXtension
  • EdTech Team
  • Government Relations
  • Extension history display
  • CFAES Staff Advisory Council and more...

Registration information will be released in September for new employees. OSUE organization representatives should start making plans; more information will be available in September to register your unit/organization to be represented at this year’s festival. Welcome Fest Flier

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CFAES Staff Professional Development Awards Deadline – July 1

More than $5,000 has been awarded over the past five years to those needing assistance to offset costs associated with professional development and staff career goals. The CFAES Staff Advisory Council (SAC) is now accepting applications for awards that can cover up to $200 per individual. The award is made possible through Campus Campaign donations to the SAC Training Fund #312155.

Past recipients have used this award for (but not limited to):

  • Conference registration fees
  • Transportation costs
  • Hotel accommodations

Submit the application to by July 1.

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2015 Tri-State Diversity Conference RFPs due June 27

The goal of the Tri-State Diversity Conference is to network and link resources to help integrate diversity into programs, policies and practices for creating community well-being. The next conference will be held at the Marriott, Cincinnati airport on February 19-20, 2015. The theme is reThinking Diversity: Addressing the Cultural Shift in America. Review more information online.

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Women's Wellness Weekend Announced

- Susie Whittington, professor, CFAES - Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership

Women are encouraged to visit Camp Wesley in Bellefontaine for an "Ohio Proud...A Great Stay-cation!" on August 15-18. The weekend will offer physical wellness sessions, presentations on tourism in Ohio, and relaxation. To find out more, click here.

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2014 Engagement Scholarship Consortium Conference on October 7-8 – Registration Open

Registration is now open for the 15th annual conference, which will be held in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Dr. Rajesh Tandon, an internationally recognized leader and practitioner of participatory research and development, will be the keynote speaker. Early-bird registration ends July 31. The Ohio State University is a member of the Engagement Scholarship Consortium (ESC), which entitles attendees to register at the ESC member fee. Visit the conference web site at for more information.

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