Norm Hill worked for ExxonMobil for 25 years and then for Reliant Energy as the vice president of Human Resources. He served as the mission president of the Ghana Accra Mission, temporarily including the Sierra Leone Freetown Mission, and is the author of What They Don’t Teach You at the MTC.
Norman Hill


6:00 Getting from an application to an idea; example of identifying competencies from Preach My Gospel and creating a self-assessment and training program for missionaries; example of creating reverse dinner appointments for missionaries; example of the innovation in missionary work
11:00 Applying general principles: the same principles apply to virtual teaching
15:15 Getting past the creative barrier to do something different; example of air conditioning in church buildings
17:00 Example of basketball courts in Ghana: applications can be customized without compromising gospel principles
19:35 Design Thinking focus on problem solving together

  1. Empathy
  2. Defining: gathering good information; example of self-assessment for teachers
  3. Ideating
  4. Creating a prototype
  5. Measuring your success
  6. Experimenting
  7. Improving

24:00 Information leads to inspiration: identifying local/individual circumstances where an organization can make changes to lift to a higher ground; example of using ministering brothers and sisters to gather information
28:20 How do you know you’re gathering the right data? We have basic gospel principles and structures for guidance
29:30 Example of effective virtual teaching

  • Asking “what” and “how” to get good information
  • Look for themes
  • Bring information to a council/quorum and seek inspiration and revelation

34:20 Example of request for a hospital in Ghana and recognition of the high number of people receiving financial assistance
38:35 Example of more men than women being baptized in West Africa and recognition of the need for literacy training for women
43:20 Brainstorming using a facilitator and reframing the problem; example from Tom Sawyer: redefining to change perspectives
47:55 “Too often problem solving is a solution in search of a problem” as opposed to gathering information first
48:30 Are there other ways of defining the problem? Example of slow elevator/impatient people problem; example of missionaries teaching starting with the fruits of the gospel and moving back to the doctrine
54:30 Reframing the problem of making connections during isolation; example of how church members connected during “the freeze” in Ghana; example of Sierra Leone during the Ebola epidemic
1:03:00 Applying the process: mindset of testing/observing and being willing to experiment outside of your comfort zone
1:09:50 Adjustments and guard rails: example of New Orleans bridge
1:12:40 The new normal: what are we learning about ourselves that we can take with us?


What They Don’t Teach You at the MTC, by Norman Hill
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