Creating a culture of innovation means celebrating successes as well as risks and new ideas, even when they don’t work as planned. Learning to “FAIL UP” is an important part of innovation, growth and problem-solving. This mindset must begin at the top of the organization and permeate every level. It must be unique, have a purpose for those in the organization and encourage input from every group in the organization.
School climate is a key factor in establishing a foundation of forward thinkers. The climate must foster trust, support and encouragement. When those elements are in place, teachers are willing to share their thoughts and plans. Here are some ideas to keep in mind as you create a culture of innovation:
- Create a ThinkTank and hold collaborative brainstorming sessions to generate input;
- Reframe problems as opportunities and look for ways to learn from failure;
- Have a vision and a collaborative culture;
- Think about innovations that will create the most value for students;
- Invest in continuous learning and support to maintain the vision and sustainability;
- Research resources and new tools ahead of time;
- Observe in other schools, visit places outside of your state; and,
- Encourage the pursuit of passion.
Amanda Stone is an assistant principal at Hoover City Schools in Hoover, Ala. She has taught grades 2-5 and worked as a technology coach for four years. During her spare time, she serves as an adjunct technology professor, where her passion and love for technology can be shared with others. Amanda is National Board Certified, STEAM certified, and one of the National “20 to Watch Technology Leaders” in the United States for the 2016 year. Follow her on Twitter.
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