In an interview with Steve Denning, innovation author Gary Hamel talks about the role of passion in separating successful companies from also-rans in a fast-moving business cycle. K-12 education is in the middle of such a cycle, driven by both dramatic changes in connective technologies and global economies that have significantly strained traditional educational goals.
Hamel says that employees need to be passionate about their work if they want to engender passion in our customers. How do we measure that? Our business side tells us that we can reduce everything to a measure of ROI or NPV. But does that really tell us what people are willing to pay for? What they value?
I have just written an article that will come out in the NBOA Net Assets magazine in May that talks about this issue of value proposition. It is not a common discussion in most schools, but if we don’t engage in it soon, we risk becoming marginalized with the availability of free education and worldwide connectivity that jumps past our traditional schools.
Education leaders need to be deeply embedded in understanding and empathy for what their customer experience is. As Hamel states, many leaders are isolated from that level of empathy as they spend their time in the operational weeds: necessary but not visionary during a time when understanding their company’s value proposition will separate it from competition.
Hamel asks the important question: When two values compete, with expediency or a higher ROI on one side, and perceived customer value on the other, which wins? Does your school put real muscle behind the passion drivers that stimulate creativity and innovation? Or is this just another box to be checked?