Destination Imagination has been a family affair for me for 12 years now. My wife and I were team managers for our kids’ teams for 8 years, and we have continued in other volunteer roles since then. I’m also proud that Phase IV Engineering is a sponsor of Destination Imagination Colorado. This past weekend was especially rewarding to be back at an in-person tournament and feel the creative energy in the air. One of the foundations of DI is that all the ideas the students present must be their own- absolutely no adult help. I am always amazed at the tremendously creative and innovative solutions they present in their skits. This season I watched a fine arts team that did all their own coding, a team in the scientific challenge that created a working ghostbuster backpack out of recycled car parts and a breast pump, and an improv team that delivered a hilarious yet informative skit on a little well-known island festival while also delivering scalding social commentary.
Seeing the ingenuity at the tournament reminded me of why I used to always tell the kids on my team, “I can’t wait to hire you!” That statement has only become more true over the years. Every day in my job as CEO of Phase IV, I see how the talents that DI teaches its students are skills that are critical to our success as an innovative company. These skills include:
- Innovative thinking
- Creative problem solving
- Evaluating project specifications
- Project management
- Effective communication
- Budget management
- Leadership and team building
These are qualities I didn’t really learn with my electrical engineering degree, and skills I often have to teach to my new hires. But Destination Imagination is laying the foundation before these kids even graduate high school.