Wednesday, 2 November 2016
How do you lead innovation?
Innovation is a big catch phrase in education these days. When our mission and vision were collaboratively written around six years ago, we actually included this concept as a part of our mission statement (were we being innovative by thinking about this concept way before it was so popular??)
We said that Bradbury School "builds strong foundations in a dynamic, innovative, and enjoyable learning environment".
So how do we do this?
Firstly, promoting innovation for innovation's sake and/or just to be different, is often a mistake. The process of innovation, while absolutely critical to progress and an integral part of achieving and maintaining excellence, must be managed through a strategically based leadership approach that guides the process of innovation soundly to the overall goals, mission and vision of our school.
To my thinking, this requires a two pronged approach, starting with a top down process, but subsequently heavily reliant on the bottom up feedback loop:
In terms of top down- I see that an important role of leadership in our school is to set the stage. Firstly, by making sure that everyone clearly understands the goals and objectives of Bradbury.
Secondly, leadership needs to create an environment where innovation can take hold and flourish, within the framework of the school's strategic vision. This means fostering the understanding and belief that people are encouraged to think about their roles creatively and within these parametres, take 'smart risks'.
'Smart risks' means risks that are clearly defined and understood in the context of assuming of how such a risk, may, if successful, further the goals and objectives set out by the strategic vision.
Just as it is unwise to change for change's sake; it can be unwise to push innovation purely for innovation's sake.