Mission Possible Experience

USC Talent & Organizational Development in partnership with the Office of the Provost Human Resources is launching the Mission Possible Experience to provide a unique professional development opportunity for motivated staff seeking a creative boost to their careers. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to design solutions for real world USC challenges.

Join a problem-solving cohort of Trojan Innovation Agents! 

We’re seeking out curious employees. Whether your passions align with education, research, community involvement, the arts, the environment, social well-being, sports, neighborhood enrichment, or the latest food truck fusion (you get the idea…) we want you! The Mission Possible Experience brings together a diverse group of thinkers and doers at USC to experience and apply design thinking in a practical workshop environment.

So, what exactly is Design Thinking anyway? 

Mission Possible Experience Cohort Goals:

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    Engage and empower Design Thinkers

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    Promote collective strategic decision making

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    Activate creativity in high performing teams

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    Develop innovative solutions

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    Transform virtual collaboration

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    Inspire people-centric solution design

The Mission Possible Experience (MPE) program is a 30-hour commitment over a six-month period that is designed to integrate with your current work schedule. The program runs from October through March and cohorts are limited to 25 participants. Participation in the program is selective and will require an application.

This program is open to the non-academic units under the Office of the Provost Shared Services. The MPE is intended for individual contributors or early career managers and requires the support of your direct supervisor.

Monthly Programming 

Most sessions are about 90 minutes. Using the Solve Next approach to Design Thinking, bi-weekly cohort sessions consist of activities designed to reveal the roots of a real-world challenge at USC. Define the problem and the constituents impacted by it as you investigate diverse perspectives on the problem and potential solutions. Then, through the ideation process, develop viable solution designs and present them to key stakeholders. Most cohort sessions will be supported by short self-paced activities and curated content that deepens the context and potential for work of this nature. 


Time Commitment 

The Mission Possible Experience is designed as just that, an experience. We have expanded the journey over 6 months in order to better integrate into the flow of your daily work. This means, unlike a typical design cycle, you will only spend between 5 and 8 hours a month. This program is intended to support your ability to bring Design Thinking skills to your local departments and teams along the way without interfering with your daily work.

Participation and attendance from all of our innovation agents is key to the program’s success, and the ability to address real world challenges at USC. If you already know you will have to miss more than one session, please consider applying to a future cohort when you can commit to completing the full experience.  


Certificate of Completion 

At the end of the program, participants who have attended 90% of the in-person learning sessions and completed the final presentation with their team will receive a certificate of completion.

Upon completion of the program, in addition to your Innovation Agent Certification, you will be eligible for ongoing innovation journeys that include:

• Potential Implementation Team for Cohort Designed Solutions
• Design Thinking Individualized Coaching
• MPE Program Alumni Participation (future cohorts)
• Solve Next Certification
• MPE Facilitator Certification (post Solve Next Certification)
• Potential assignment to a USC project committee

NOTE: Participation in this program does not in any way guarantee advancement, promotion or salary increases. The program is designed to provide practical experience leveraging strategic thinking, problem solving, and innovation to be carried beyond the program into participants’ careers at USC and beyond.  

The application process for the Mission Possible Experience is competitive. We seek Trojans who have a passion for process and program improvement, combined with a creative outlook and mindset. We especially encourage individuals who have not yet participated in any formal development programs to apply for consideration.

To apply for the program:

• Review the Program Overview and Program details page, which details the program design and anticipated time commitment.

• Complete the MPE program application form and attach your resume. 

• Applicants are encouraged to provide fully developed responses to each of the application questions.

Applications are due by the end of the day, August 23.

All applicants will be notified of a decision regarding placement in the program by September 9, 2021.

Apply Here

Information Session:

Please email tlntdev@usc.edu with any questions or related inquiries.
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