Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Schools Of The Future Debrief Part 2: Innovation Management

I keep thinking about the concepts from Don Richardson's breakout session on "innovation management," in an attempt to transfer them to my K-12 school context. Richardson is Microsoft's Innovation Manager and is responsible for making the capturing of new ideas part of the work flow process at Microsoft. Their biggest fear is that good ideas walk out the door everyday just because somebody decided not to listen. He made the following claims before describing Microsoft's "idea grab" system.

-Research and development does not mean innovation. Innovation needs a shared framework.

-The best ideas come from inside organizations but have no process for being nurtured.

-The least amount of good ideas are generated externally.

-It's important to have a culture of innovation.

Microsoft's Process Looks Like:

Sounds a lot like the elements of critical thinking to me. So any employee can access this innovation process via portal/social network/collaborative workspace. And each idea gets entered, tracked, tagged, and peer reviewed as it moves its way through the process.

What if I had something like this interactive innovation database as part of my class curriculum? Students could enter ideas for learning opportunities and environments, and we could collaboratively work on them. The course would be collaboratively designed and amorphous.

In this spirit, today, I asked a student that I know is interested in architecture to think about and sketch his ideal classroom. We'll see what I get.

Or what if we had something like this as a network of teachers in a school (or across many schools). We'd build curriculum collaboratively. I could go back to ideas of teachers from 10 years ago and work with them with a fresh perspective. Maybe the school just wasn't ready for the idea, but now they are...

Don pointed to some examples in education:
Cosmic Blogs - for younger students
Lego Mindstorm
Both are examples of what Richard called "open innovation."

Other examples and ideas?


Paul Tran said...

Hi Chris,

Maybe we can offer our idea portal to you? Check out this link:


Paul Tran
Brightidea – Innovation & Idea Management
415-992-2082 office/mobile
415-842-0300 fax

Yahoo IM: paultran888
Twitter: twitter/paultran888

C. Watson said...

@Paul Tran
Thanks for the information and link. Your tool looks very promising. I'm going to show it to my time, and I'm hoping we can test it out with the free trial. Will let you know.