Some ideas take time.
Let’s get judgy on the judgement of ideas. Are ideas adopted quickly necessarily good? Often this is deemed the case. Inversely, are ideas that take time, poor ideas? Often not. (Educhange has taken 4 years to get to the epic point it’s at, Apple made the first prototype of touchscreen technology in 1982…). So it’s not in the idea itself, in fact, it is in how they gain traction that requires a rethink. A classic example is The Internet. Tim Berners Lee took 10 years and countless hours in sharing of his spark of an idea for it to truly get the public traction of the familiar scope of a World Wide Web we know today. I reckon we’d all agree the outcome was worth the wait.
“There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time as come.” Victor Hugo
In an age of rapid research, communication and action, there is so much complexity. This can lead to error. Essentially individuals working within organisations, teams and indeed society need to realise we can’t know it all or do it all ourselves, which is a damn brilliant revelation! What an opportunity to connect with others and hone expertise, and let people bring their own big brains to the party! Once we get to this point, we begin to operate as pit-crews, rather than cowboys. Making this shift is the great task we have before us.
Teachers, like doctors, famously prize their autonomy as among their highest professional values. But improved outcomes also depend on teamwork.
A strong and productive ‘system’ or organisation is a collective of different and weird people who authentically and deliberately work together to direct their specialised capabilities toward common goals. We call this the Collective Genius. It’s our own EC team and teachers who identify as part of our EC Community. Clever people hanging out and making epic things happen to make kid’s lives better. They are coordinated by design. They are pit crews. To function this way needs a pretty co-ordinated approach to the need to cultivate certain skills, and acknowledge the strengths of individu-als in the team.
They have expertise, but they don’t want to be experts. These teams love achieving stuff. We understand the need to recognise when we’ve succeeded and when we’ve failed for the the people we serve. People in effective systems become interested in data sets. They put effort and resources into collecting them, refining them, understanding what they say about their performance.
Failure is not a bad thing, not because mistakes are good, but because they are critical steps that one must go through in order to create something valuable. Avoiding failure at all cost is a costly stance. Failing fast and moving on to the next thing is a much better philosophy.
It’s why we are all about sharing stories of teacher-led innovation at EC. Got a story to share? I’d love to hear from you and give you an audience of the best educators in the country (actually, the world) at Educhange.
Excerpt from the original post, Socialising Innovation