I was recently asked what some actionable steps to moving toward a “culture of innovation are.” In my first book, “The Innovator’s Mindset,” I discuss five areas that schools can focus on to help people embrace meaningful change. They are the following:
- Strengths-Based Leadership (How do we focus on strengths of those that we serve?)
- Powerful Learning First, Technology Second (What is the type of learning that we want to see in our schools, and what resources will support this learning in our schools?)
- Less is More (Are we focusing on doing everything, or a deep focus on a few things?)
- Embracing an Open Culture (How do we continuously tap into the expertise of our own community?)
- Creating Meaningful Learning Experiences for Educators (When people wake up for a professional learning day, are they looking forward to the learning, or the hour lunch?)
Although I address these ideas in “The Innovator’s Mindset” and discuss each concept in their own chapter, what I often suggest to people is to look at each in their own context and think about their strategies.
For example, if you looked at “Strengths-Based Leadership,” one of the questions that can be asked is, “How do we tap into and utilize the strengths of our staff members to bring out the best in those we serve?” School A and School B can have a different answer to this question, but the question is the endpoint, and the answers are the journey to get there. Schools, like individuals, are all in different places, and they need to find solutions that work in their context and community.
I have written about this idea before and have provided these guiding questions:
When sharing these questions (feel free to modify), they mustn’t be something we focus on once but are something we come back to often and recalibrate our thinking and actions towards the end goal. I wrote this previously:
These questions can make a significant difference upon inward reflections of leadership. One component that is crucial is that as a leader we learn to ask them continuously, not simply go through them once, and then move on. It is consistent effort at high quality that will lead to the success of any individual or group.
Moving toward a “culture of innovation” is a process that is ongoing and continuous. The most forward-thinking organizations I have ever been able to witness know that there is no “there” and model a culture of learning in their leadership and their classrooms.
If you are looking for more information on how to move toward a culture of innovation in your schools. please feel free to check out my first book, “The Innovator’s Mindset.”