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Another View of Strategic Design in Schools

Strategic design is the term I have coined for an inclusive, transparent, imaginative, and transformative process that builds real capacity for innovation and change in schools. Have another glance, this time at The Bolles School in Florida. Sure, the video is a bit of a sales pitch for the school, but imagine this kind of [...]

We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know

I REALLY hate to quote Donald Rumsfeld, but he was right when he said we don't know what we don't know. Over the last two years I have held workshops with well over 5,000 K-12 educators. The schools and districts these people represent cross the spectrum from wealthy, autonomous, and successful, to poor, girdled by [...]

Next Generation Strategic Planning: Strategic Design

If your school is still doing strategic planning the same way you did five or ten years ago, you are robbing your community of perhaps its most powerful opportunity for the future. What does inclusive, collaborative, imaginative, design-based strategic thinking amongst a community of educators look like? Check out this post from Trinity Episcopal School in [...]

Students are Our Hidden Strategic Resource

If you are not using your high school students as strategic partners, you are absolutely leaving a valuable resource on the bench. Every time I work with students in design mode, inviting them into the process of designing  how to align teaching and learning more closely with the skills and content that is most valuable [...]

Tangible Progress at Progressive Winnetka 36 District

It is always GREAT to see proof that expansive design-based thinking leads to tangible change.  Last June I was honored to spend nearly three days with the faculty and staff of several schools in Winnetka School District 36.  Winnetka has a decades-old commitment to progressive education rooted in the legacy and presence of none other [...]

School Innovation is Led by Educators Who Just Do It

How explosive are the fires of school innovation today?  Let me tell you.  Two years ago southern California was a school innovation desert.  Other than the HIgh Tech High charters and the tiny private Grauer School, one would have been hard pressed to find exemplars of deeper learning schools in all of San Diego County. [...]

What an “Ah-Hah” Moment of Design Thinking Looks Like

Innovation takes time; it can be messy and uncomfortable, and there are times when even the keenest designer-thinker might well ask "are we ever going to get 'there'?"  And then there is that moment of "ah-hah!", when the expansive thinking, discovery, research, brainstorming, and idea maps snap into focus.  At the Tilton School, I am [...]

By | 2016-01-22T16:42:23+00:00 January 22nd, 2016|Design Thinking, Uncategorized, Vision and Strategy|0 Comments

State of Innovation, Part 5: What Do CEO’s Say About Successful Innovation?

This is the final post of my five-part review of the state of innovation, prompted by a year-end summary by Paul Hobcraft.  In "Innovation: the New Competitive Equation", The Business Performance Network published data from a survey of 200 CEO's about what they felt are the keys to successful innovation in their organizations and industries.  I [...]

Five Innovations to School Design Thinking Process Yield Powerful Results

I am engaged in several year-plus design thinking efforts with schools and districts that are sincerely committed to finding and implementing user-centric solutions that create lasting value. The basic processes are those developed by the Stanford and the Mount Vernon Institute for Innovation, along with others.  At the Tilton School in New Hampshire (HT Kate Saunders [...]

Get Time Right; Don’t Settle for “Vanilla+”

Every school serious about change will struggle with the use of time. After our people, time is our most precious resource. Reimagining the use of time is one of the most impactful discussions your school will EVER have. Get it right and all sorts of innovation are possible. Make a few modest tweaks and almost all [...]