Just like the shift from the factory model of schooling, leadership in education (and in life) is transitioning from command and control, centralised power to shared and collegial model. The innovation trajectory of Atlassian, originally an Australian start-up, is remarkable and it has topped the BRW best place to work. Atlassian understands the idea of change and agility:
“When I hear companies say they want to preserve their culture, I get worried because those things will always evolve with the people you add,” said Jeff Diana, the chief people officer.
Nothing stands still. Innovate or perish, or at least kill-off that spark of curiosity within every child starting school.
I’m enjoying reading George Couros’ book The Innovators Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity, published just a few months ago. He wrote:
If we want innovative students we need innovative educators
And add to that, if we want innovative educators we need innovative leaders.
Past (and even present) practices and approaches are unsuited to future aspirations. Think about successful companies and ideas that have broken or disrupted existing models:
Uber vs Taxi monopolies
Airbnb vs Hotels
Netflix vs Pay TV & Free-to-air TV
itunes vs Video stores
Kodak vs digital/phone cameras
Disruption often takes most of us by surprise. 10 years ago free-to-air TV schedules dictated our viewing choices, quality drama was meted out on a weekly basis. Today, networks are struggling with the options available (realistically, to capture the advertising dollar) and need to rely on sport and reality/game shows to keep the populace tuning back each week.
The Collins Dictionary word of the year 2015 is binge-watch and aptly describes our viewing habits today. We no longer wait for the TV networks to tell us what and when to watch it.
The age of innovation therefore, requires new leadership. In Australia, our public broadcaster, the ABC, has just appointed a new General Manager -Michelle Guthrie. For many the ABC is a much-loved and culturally-protected public institution, TV without advertisements, supported by taxes and accountable to the Australian people. Ms Guthrie comes from Google and before that other commercial pay-TV networks. While the ABC has been a leader in streaming its digital services, it’s ongoing competitive prospects are not so certain. There is likely to be disruption in order to innovate, she did work for Google after all.
Whatever the industry, leading innovation requires a new mindset to be able to cast the vision, chart the course and bring people along. But what is essential is shifting thinking and, as Couros calls it, embrace the innovator’s mindset. Innovative students, taught by innovative educators require innovative leaders to kick start and maintain the forward -thinking culture. It requires educational leaders to leave some things behind and to embrace a new way of working, thinking and relating.
So with respect to Bill Ferriter’s What do kids want to do with technology? graphic (along with Couros’ own iteration), I’ve further hacked concept: