Innovation in Education

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The Simple Thesis of New Book THRIVE: How Schools Will Win the Education Revolution

I just made two new slides that seem to sum up pretty much the argument for, and the content of, my new book, THRIVE: How Schools Will Win the Education Revolution, due out in the early fall. Whether we like it or not, this is the hand we have been dealt as K-12 educators today [...]

The Power of 10,000 Small Ideas

We have passed a fundamental tipping point in the evolution of human connectivity. For millennia, big ideas spread through a highly-constricted pipeline. Masses of humanity listened to a handful of political, religious, or social influencers and followed where those few led.  Humans were a metaphorical crowd of 10,000 people listening for one good idea from [...]

Where Is the Balance of Technology and Humanity in K-12 Education?

In his new book, Technology vs Humanity, futurist Gerd Leonhard explores the really big changes that are driving fundamental shifts in how we all lead our lives, and may, within our own lifetimes, challenge the very paradigm of what it means to be human.  These shifts will have tremendous impact on the role and relevance [...]

The Opportunity Atlas and the American Dream

There is no American Dream without the possibility of upward economic mobility. Education is, at its core, about preparing young people to succeed in a life to which they aspire, which is almost always at least as fruitful, if not more so, than that of their parents. Today, that dream is more remote for more [...]

The Simple Equation of Value-Strategy-Innovation

Following the lead of my new friend, Seth Godin, short blogs are better.  This picture really is worth 1,000 words.  Schools that are increasingly faced with the challenge that their students can and might select another school to attend, must develop, communicate, and deliver a winning value proposition or face loss of enrollment, and the [...]

School Futures Lie in Strategy

As we get ready to launch a new learning year, let’s laser-focus on a very simple reality: Schools, like every other organization that lives in a competitive marketplace, have just two “keys to sustainable success” according to strategy guru Michael Porter: good strategy and highly effective operational systems. Operational effectiveness means that your school is [...]

Great Podcast: Why, What, and How of School Change…Even at Best Schools

I absolutely could not give the rationale nor tell the story of school transformation better than Tim Quinn and Liz Schmitt of Miss Porter's School on this podcast with Peter Baron and Hans Mundahl of Enrollment Management Association. I was honored to be able to help guide MPS over the last year as they began to [...]

“We Will BE the Joneses”

Happy start of summer!  In the past 10 days, I have worked with superintendents from north-central New York, stretched in a 3,000-strong yoga jam with Michael Franti at Redrocks, hauled myself up and down the Colorado front range, intersected with 130 forward leaning educators to kick off the annual Traverse gathering in Boulder, and prototyped [...]

A Powerful New Teacher “Interview”!

THE shortest route to a school with powerful, sustainable innovation capacity is to hire the right people. So I was so excited that, on a short-planned visit to Design 39 Campus, they were "interviewing" a prospective new faculty hire by throwing her right into the deep end of the pool: organize a design challenge with [...]

Lego Pieces and Leading Innovation

What can a 15-year-old autistic boy from Iceland teach us about leadership? Last week videos went viral of a 28-foot-long model of the Titanic, designed and built out of 65,000 Lego blocks by teenager Brynjar Karl Birgisson.  It is a remarkable feat of design, engineering, three-dimensional vision, and perseverance.  But what I want to dig [...]