I was asked to lead a workshop on Leadership for Innovation and Creativity at the a recent Scottish Centre for Studies in School Administration (SCSSA) Conference at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh. Conference delegates were mainly headteachers (school principles) from primary and secondary schools.
I’m not a big fan of conference education workshops so I led a lot of the input but allowed time for some questions and discussions to help link the presentation. The format seemed to go quite well.
Anyway, I promised I would post the slides and some notes from the presentation – so here you go.
The slides that I used are embedded below:
The points that I covered were:
Everything is changing, everything is changing fast. Innovative leaders need to understand change (even if they struggle to keep up with it).
Innovative leaders share, borrow and attribute to others. You can not innovate alone. Innovation needs audience (or how do you know its innovative?).
- Activity (1): What have you learned today?
- Activity (2): Who have you told?
3. How has technology changes the way we live work and play?
- Activity (3): Historically what technologies can you think of that have been ‘game cahngers’?
4. Emerging Technology
Three emerging technologies that might change how we live, work, play and learn are:
- Voice to text speech recognition software for mobile
- Facial recognition software, social networking and its impact in privacy
- Immersive multi-player games
- Activity (4): What will the impact of this technology be?
5. Assessing Impact
Innovative leaders always keep an eye on what comes next, they assess impact and try to predict possible outcomes (its OK to be wrong – the thinking is the important part).
- Activity (5): How will you keep your workforce up to date about the developments in technology that will impact on society and in turn impact on education?
6. Learning from Enterprise
Innovative education leaders learn from enterprise. But they learn from 21st century enterprise not traditional enterprise. Traditional enterprise is based on hierarchy and normal gives the customer what the industry thinks they need. Lots of traditional industries aren’t doing that well at the moment (think of the banks). Modern industry is less based on hierarchy, everyone has a voice and their business model is based on what the customers want.
One of the main things that education leaders can learn from industry is that it is OK to re-invent the wheel. But its how you re-invent it, it’s about thinking differently to deliver what people need in a more engaging and efficient way. Think Waterstones Book Store Vs Amazon.
- Activity (6): Think about your subject specialism. Is it important? How do you reinvent / re-package your subject in the same the that Amazon reinvented shopping for books?
The power of social collaboration and playfulness have been two other key components of successful modern enterprise. The challenge is replicating this within an educational context.
7. Sell the experience
Good education leaders sell the experience. Learning is the experience.
- Activity (7): Why is the iPhone so popular?
Four reasons why the iPhone is so popular is because it is beautiful, can be personalized, its real and can help you with real things. Using the iPhone is an experience. How do we make learning a beautiful, personalized and real experience?
8. Complex problems require innovative solutions
Innovative and creative leaders will realize that some problems are difficult to solve, some problems are unpractical to solve and some problems aren’t really problems. Complex problems require innovative solutions and often these solutions are very simple but they need to be thought about in a creative way.
One thing is for sure if a problem can be tackled locally it is more likely to succeed.
9. The power of the collective
Creative educational leaders harvest the ideas of their workforce to look for strategies, work to people’s strengths and share ideas. Intellectual property will become the oil of the 21st century.
10. Barriers to creative leadership
- Professional development – you have to take people with you.
- Time – use technology to make you more efficient
- Sinicism – Make people see things differently (use real and personal examples)
- Access to technology – there is enough, we just don’t use it properly
- Motivation – Motivate the children to motivate the staff
Finally, A wonderful quote from Jesse Schell
“People who are curious about things have a significant advantage. But how do we make people more curious?”
If you were at the presentation – please feel free to leave feedback or if you couldn't make it just tell me what you think?