Odyssey of the Mind is the world’s oldest international creative problem-solving competition among student’s kindergarten through college. The purpose of Odyssey of the Mind is to promote creativity and problem-solving in a variety of areas from building mechanical devices and balsa wood structures to presenting dramatic and technical performances. Odyssey of the Mind develops team building skills, divergent thinking, presentation and organization skills. The program provides a caring, supportive environment for team members to develop positive values, self-esteem and social competencies.

Students build important life skills such as flexibility, initiative, social skills, productivity, and leadership through the exploration of divergent thinking, teamwork, and a year-long problem solving adventure. These outcomes are perfectly aligned with our school core values.

The Odyssey of the Mind experience truly embodies all aspects of most school’s core curriculum. In solving the long-term problem, student teams must collaborate and communicate with each other while using creativity and critical thinking to develop an innovative performance. The Odyssey the Mind experience fosters character and citizenship because the team must work so closely together.
Keeping in mind what is best for students and the group as a whole; being honest even when it is difficult; following through with commitments; fairness (fair isn’t always equal – dilemma of difference).
Making sure all voices in the room are heard and respected; open door policy; compassion & empathy; ability to take on another’s perspective.
Clear Communication & Transparency
Tasks and expectations are clearly understood with time for people to ask clarifying questions; the process and types of information used to make decisions are stated upfront.
Continual Learning & Improvement
Always learning and thinking about how to improve; using research and experience to guide thinking & procedures; learning from all people and situations; reflection.
Efficacy & Timeliness
Systems thinking; smart policies and procedures; issues addressed in a timely fashion; deadlines met.
Done with compassion; for the betterment of the group; describe behavior and consequences.
·         Not OK to complain to some else about anyone.
·         The only time it is OK to talk with someone else about another person is to get support in how to talk with that person.
Building Trust & Accountability
The more the group can exchange criticism with good will, the stronger the trust and the higher the accountability (e.g. bringing issues to the group rather than just individual; group will support both people in this difficult endeavor).
Hidden Agenda’s Undermine Trust
If anyone feels there is a hidden agenda, this should be called out; competing interests should be clearly identified.
Clear Communication
This is an interactive process; active summarizing.
Characteristics of Innovative/Successful Team
·         Failures celebrated along with successes as gets us closer to what will work.
·         No negative impact from team members for trying something new that didn’t work.