What Leads to Innovation? #BCSLearns

In a blog post by Keara Duggan, ‎Senior Director of Design and Implementation at Education Elements, entitled Ten Tips for Creating a Culture of Innovation, she highlights the key ingredients in creating a culture of innovation in our classrooms and schools.  I’ve posted about innovative learning and innovation culture in past posts, and Duggan’s “Ten Tips” definitely caught my attention.  Note them below, particularly the last (top) two.  Make sense they’re the same?

  • Know who you are – Let’s be inspired by our vision and values.
  • Encourage your team to ask questions – Duggan references a NY Times article about the power of simple questions like  “why?” and “what if?” in changing the culture of organizations.
  • Move beyond compliance-driven structures – Duggan contends that “we want to move our staff towards engagement that is based on creativity, relevance, and meaningful relationships.” It needs to be “less about compliance and more about authentic engagement.”
  • Engage in R&D – She suggests developing a cycle of experimentation and experience for research and development as we tinker toward utopia (in the words of a famous book title).
  • Don’t drop everything – “True innovation is about iterating on what already exists” rather than scrapping what’s already there according to Duggan.
  • Support all voices – “Create a school to ensure all voices and ideas can be heard,” implores Duggan, where there is an “inclusive feedback system.”
  • Train your team to think like intrapreneurs –  According to Duggan, if teachers “want to do something new and different, they [don’t] have to take on a new role…[take on a] maker mindset…in beginning [this] ‘intrapreneurship.’”  This is about a growth mindset.
  • Break down silos – “Innovation requires diverse and new perspectives” contends Duggan.  Optimize collaboration among all stakeholders.
  • Be willing to get messy – Fail forward and then…
  • Be willing to get REALLY messy and even fail – “Innovation…requires frequent, fast failures that you learn and grow from.” Check out the Harvard Business Review article Duggan references.

Check out the 10 minute interview with David Kester, Chief Executive, Design Council where he shares how to foster a culture of innovation.  What does he say that aligns with Duggan’s Ten Tips?

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