Is innovation the pink elephant in the classroom?
28 Mar 2008

Is innovation the pink elephant in the classroom?

Jeffrey Phillips asks: Here’s a challenge for

28 Mar 2008

Jeffrey Phillips asks:

Here’s a challenge for you. Find me a firm, any firm, that isn’t telling it’s people, it’s customers and it’s investors that innovation isn’t important. Can you imagine that? Telling these constituents that innovation isn’t important is like telling people that oxygen isn’t important. So, let’s take as a given that most firms advocate a bias toward innovation.

How about schools or colleges? How often do we bring up innovation (or discussions of creating pathways toward continuous innovation) with educational leaders only to receive a response of, “oh, we’re already doing that?”

Too often.

In my experience, I would say that perhaps 10-20% of school leaders I’ve talked with believe that they’re “already innovating” or are “innovating enough.” Innovation, by definition, means doing something substantially different, and it’s something that everybody can do. Perhaps what educational leaders are telling us is that we’re failing to define what innovation is and means what we need to do in educational contexts.

Can leaders see the pink elephant in the classroom if they’re looking at their organization through rose-tinted glasses? It’s time to start looking at our institutions differently.

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