1. Distribute the blog posts from my school visits to individuals or teams of faculty, staff, and trustees. Ask them to think of a bunch of questions that fit the simple form:
“What if our school did _______________________just like ____________________ (fill in the name of the school they are reading about) is already doing.”
I started to do this and came up with so many opportunities for innovation that I just had to stop. Projecting out to the 55-60 schools I have/will visit, I could easily come up with 300-500 solid opportunities for innovation that schools just like yours are already doing. Now. Not in the future. In other words, whatever obstacles there were to those innovations, they have already been solved by at least one other school, and are proving to bring value to that school.
2. Filter the results for innovations that would potentially add to your value proposition. Select a few that excite your group.
3. Just do it. OK; I lied; this part is not easy. Implementation is sometimes hard because you have to find and assign resources, but that is a matter of will and the application of strategy, and you saved a ton of resources up to this point in not piloting a hundred things that might not work. You already have painted a picture of what can work, what you want to do, and that is a huge part of what innovation at schools is about. You can even contact the school that is doing it and odds are that they will help you over the bumps. I can talk about that process and the application of strategy all day long but won’t. I am going to leave it for now with “Just do it”!