In the second part of my INNOVATION 101 series – Innovation Mindset. It’s often overlooked in our discussions about change & innovation.
It’s like a pull from within.
An itch that seemingly can’t be quelled. A compulsion.
It’s like I can’t shut it down – inundating me at all times of the day and night (hello sleep!!)
That desire to innovate.
I’ve been thinking quite a bit about mindset lately – in relation to innovation and change.
Michelle Snyder, Victoria Curtis and I recently chatted about it – that drive we have towards shaking things up.
(Click play to listen – 8:52 & 26.25 minute mark)
It struck me that whilst tips, strategies and fierce hype (or RAH RAH as I call it) abound in relation to Innovation and Change, much less attention is given to our mindsets around such.
So what are the understandings, the knowledge, the tensions and the practices that shape our mindsets around disrupting the ‘business as usual’.
Here’s what I’ve been learning – along with some of my related posts.
Maybe you’ll connect. Maybe you have quite differing thoughts. Either way, I’d love to know.
Here we go:
1. That slow, steady, and understatedness is fine.
- You don’t have to be the loudest or flashiest person or the most confident person. And innovation doesn’t have to happen overnight.
2. Patience and persistence in the face of what may seem insurmountable obstacles is crucial.
- Remembering where you’ve come from, the steps you’ve taken to get where you are now is vital. Compare you to you.
3. Know that when you see the tremendous success of another innovator – you’re often not seeing or hearing the full picture:
- the incredible investment they’ve made, at different levels over long periods of time;
- the mis-steps, errors in judgement, failures, and re-directions or diversions.
4. That even when you think you’re alone – seeking to disrupt an established practice or attitude – you’re not.
- Reach out (within and beyond your school) – talk about what matters to you – and draw like-minded others towards you.
- Often we can get scared about being vulnerable – speaking to what really matters to us. But that can be the moment when more more people resonate with our message (At least that’s what I’ve found).
5. That setting smaller milestones is okay.
- With the million or more ideas constantly flitting through my head, I can sometimes find myself jumping from one ‘out there’ idea to another.
- What’s worked for me?
- Having a grander, more expansive goal in the distance yet setting smaller achievable milestones along the way.
- This keeps me clear and focused, notching up wins along the way.
- It also enables me to re-think and re-group when necessary.
6. Trust that call from within
- I know that call from within has served me well in the past.
- It’s lead me to innovate in ways that I wouldn’t have thought possible if I was being sensible, practical, or realistic.
- And even when things have gone awry:
- I’ve found ways through;
- I’ve found ways to re-group or change course;
- I’ve found ways to connect to get other perspectives – to take me beyond my blindspots and biases.
7. That focusing on Now is important
- I sometimes find myself measuring myself against where I want to be in the future – seeing that big, bright innovation on the horizon.
- I’m not there yet and I’m beating myself up for it. What’s helped in this situation?
- Recognizing the milestones I’ve met so far;
- Recognizing what I’m doing right now that’s building my skills and knowledge for that future – that’s making a difference right now;
- Recognizing those skills and the expertise that I have now – that I didn’t have a month ago, 6 months ago, 12 months ago or beyond.
8. That it doesn’t have to be perfect straight outta the box
- That drive for perfection – that desire for shinier than shiny – can have me re-working that idea ad nauseum.
- There’s always one more possibility. One more thing I can add on. One more way to make the idea that much more compelling.
- Here’s what I’ve learnt:
- Just get going, start small and critically reflect and improve (or iterate) as you go.
- Then when you’re ready to take the idea to that next level, you’re familiar with what’s worked and what hasn’t.
- You’ve gathered your data, your portfolio of evidence of student development, achievement, and comments, as well as feedback from colleagues and parents etc.
9. That self-doubt can spike when you’re right on the cusp of a significant shift
- In moving through substantial transitions in my working life, I’ve found myself butting up against self-doubts (big time).
- It seems that just as I’m right on the cusp of a major shift, that I feel a call to retreat to what’s safe and familiar.
- I’ve been learning the power of staying the course, hanging in there.
So that’s where I’m at right now. How about you?
What knowledge, understandings and experiences are shaping your mindsets around innovation and change.
Read Part 1 in my Innovation 101 Series – Navigating Risk as a Teacher
Check out my Leadership, Innovation and Change Resource Page
- You’ll find links to blog-posts, podcast episodes, and books that’ll help you on the innovation and change front.