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Microsoft is Having a Peter Pan Moment - Should You?

Posted by Scott Barron on Apr 9, 2014 8:49:49 PM
Scott Barron

“We had this theory about a year ago, which we called ‘Liberating Innovation.' Our mission is to get new products out to the market every day.” --Microsoft Bing VP Derrick Connell

Ideas Collage

People at Microsoft are trying to re-learn how to innovate. Sounds like the challenge from the movie, "Hook," when Robin Williams' as the grown up Peter Pan can't remember how to fly. Bangorang, Microsoft!

In the article, "A shift in Microsoft’s culture: Inside Bing’s new incubation project," Christina Farr describes how this massive corporation is trying to find its happy thought to get back to the entrepreneurial start-up culture that made it so successful in the first place. (and which is exactly what has made their competitors so successful) The team responsible for making the Bing search engine is trying new ways to be innovative because catching up with Google is going to be tough. You can do it, Bing Team!

Does this scenario sound familiar?

If your school is weighted down with a slow beauracracy for decision making or years of tradition that inhibit innovation, then you can relate--and you're not alone. Rekindling that fire for creating a better educational experience begins with remembering your Why--your original motivating purpose for being a teacher or administrator. Then you can move forward by accomplishing high-value incremental projects that will build momentum for faculty, parents, donors, and the rest of the school community.

As an example, three months ago we helped a client school build an Innovation Plan in two days of intense reflection, brainstorming, and strategizing. The leadership from the school identified two small projects and one big initiative to accomplish over the following 90 days in order to grow enrollment and fundraising for the next school year. The result was new found energy and focus through clarity of purpose. In the chief administrator's own words, "We've achieved more in three months than we did in the previous three years." You can fly again--Bangerang!

Does growth have a downside?

It does for the Vietnamese creator of the video game called, "Flappy Bird," which became an addictive game for millions of people worldwide. After receiving an overwhelming quantity of inquiries from fans and reporters, he decided to shut the game down because he was tired of all the attention.

In a flattering compliment, lots of copycats have emerged: According to a Time Magazine article, "Madness: Flappy Bird Clones Still Going Strong — Hitting the App Store Every 24 Minutes," many look-a-likes are now available. When you create something that's good, or at least good enough, people will seek to imitate your success.

Think you could create a school that is so good that you get tired of people lining up at the door to get in?

Topics: School Design

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