What is your innovation North Star?

Photo by Elaine Casap on Unsplash

Photo by Elaine Casap on Unsplash

Last week I had the good fortune to connect with Julie Wilson, the Founder and Executive Director of the Institute for the Future of Learning.

Julie, who has collaborated on many school transformations, shared some of her wisdom about "innovation North Stars." The challenges start with Mission and measurement.

"Too often we value what we measure and don't measure what we value. The vast majority of educators I have met really value the school mission, but how do you start to measure how you are (or are not) living up the school's mission? How might we start measuring what we value in a meaningful way - as part of an overall change process?" she asked.

"We need to provide schools the opportunity to define a compelling North Star for themselves." she went on to say. "Meaningful innovation isn't just the implementation of 'a thing'. It is something altogether different, and the school's culture has to change to support it."

Julie's comments are consistent with our point of view on innovation:

  • Start with Mission. It is the fuel for your journey.
  • Define your Vision. It is a North Star that will guide you as you bring your Mission to life for our age of exponential change.
  • Design your Culture. The journey begins in earnest when you design your school's culture to support the innovations you seek. When that culture helps you measure the right things--the things captured by your North Star--then you have a compass for the hardest parts of your innovation journey.

What is your innovation North Star?

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