Innovation isn’t just dreaming about what could be--it’s putting feet to those ideas. The most successful leaders are able to synchronize their school design with alignment between what should be, what could be, and what is. Then an Innovation Plan can be developed to determine what will be.
There’s a fine line between a lunatic and a visionary. The difference is sometimes only the number of followers that can be motivated. Innovation enables story building, creating a new narrative to describe what is possible and the path for achieving the ideal future through effective execution of the plan.
8 Characteristics of Innovation
* Process Innovation is an improvement process that is planned, repeatable, measurable, and adjustable.
* Connecting (rather than collecting) the dots to create higher value
“The magic of connecting dots is that once you learn the techniques, the dots can change but you’ll still be good at connecting them.”—Seth Godin
* Building on what works, increasing momentum and engagement
* Seeking a different and better solution to important problems, sometimes by design and sometimes by accident
* Learning from what is working and what is not working, then improving processes, products and/or services.
* Thinking differently about how to improve the lives of others, using a growth mindset to develop new capacity and capabilities
* Solving the gap between what should be, what could be, and what is.
* Structuring the process of school improvement, using disciplined leadership and management
Innovation doesn’t mandate changing everything and/or starting over. In some unusual circumstances a complete reinvention may be necessary, but most of the time a more methodical approach is effective in achieving the goals of school improvement. Starting with initiatives that have an expected high level of return and a lower level of complexity will help you build momentum with faculty, families, donors, board, etc.