What Leverages Innovation

Building on our recent post on innovation, this item from Kaihan Krippendorf’s Outthinker newsletter further unpacks the difficulty in even defining what we mean by that term. Through analysis of the actual performance of companies commonly regarded as innovation leaders (Alphabet, Fast Retailing, Tencent, et al.), only a small subset translate innovation into superior results. Looking is side the high-performing group, Krippendorf argues that …

While their competitors focus on product innovations – the thing we can touch, visualize, and put on display in conferences – these companies focus on people, culture, and organization. To out-innovate your competition, then, stop striving to create innovative products and instead strive to create innovative people.

Translated to schools, this means that iPads, STEM centers and  are merely the tools that innovative teachers and coaches use to accelerate and deepen teaching and learning. Perhaps this is why education has seen so little true innovation—we have missed the main point by focusing to excess on the tools. It’s the people that innovate. And maybe they can make it cheaper, too.

Business and leadership, Governance, Headship, Strategy  |  permalink

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