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Enterprise Applications (EA) and WorkDay collaborate on “Thinksgiving”.

On Thursday, November 3rd, WashU IT had two cross-functional teams from Enterprise Applications (EA) & the Workday Support Team participate in a one-day collaboration event called “Thinksgiving”. Thinksgiving connects St. Louis nonprofits with innovative teams from smart companies for a day of creative problem-solving focused on the future. It was developed by Filament, a local company that was started by a WashU alum to design, facilitate, and host in-person & virtual meetings that help smart people think together better.

There were 49 non-profits enrolled in the event, along with business partner organizations that included Emerson, Edward Jones, MiTech, Federal Reserve, Bayer, Pfizer, Purina, and many others.  The WashU teams were matched with Oasis & Flance. 

Oasis is an organization with a purpose to serve older adults through lifelong learning, health, and volunteering.  They were seeking help exploring a hybrid/remote work environment that fosters a strong and sustainable work culture and inspires their small team.  The WashU team that was paired with Oasis included:

  • Tanya Oliphant, Digital Adoption Lead, Workday Support Team  
  • Dan Williams, Assistant Director, Enterprise Applications
  • Viktoryia Schnose, Business Analyst, Workday HR Reporting, Workday Support Team

Flance Early Learning Center provides Excellence by Educating and Nurturing young children, Supporting families, and Strengthening community. Their vision is to create a new paradigm in early childhood education that will serve as a model for creating systemic change for children and families.  They came to the event seeking help in exploring new ways to honor, attract, and retain quality staff for their educational organization.  And the WashU team that was paired with Flance included:

  • Jessica Eimer, Director of HRIS, Workday Support Team
  • Sarah Everett, Assistant Director, Enterprise Applications
  • Hope Felling, Business Analyst, Workday Finance, Workday Support Team
  • Scott Wright, OCM Coordinator, Workday Support Team

Each team worked through a problem solving methodology that involved expectation setting, exploring the challenge, ideating potential solutions using two exercises (Easy/Hard/Save/Crazy and Impact Effort Ranking), designing their experiment, and building the story.  The end result was displayed on a Thinksgiving Story Board, which I have shared below.

The day of collaboration ended with a networking event in Venture Café, which allowed the participants, volunteers, and public to observe the 49 story boards and learn more about the non-profits and plans developed. 

It was a wonderfully organized, inspiring, energizing event that served as a professional development opportunity on both sides of the table, along with valuable networking and lasting impact to the non-profits that were served.