Where Do We Start: Establish a Culture of Innovation

Published: 12/4/2014 3:30 PM
Culture of Innovation
Before your school or district begins implementing any new approach to learning, a planning and reflection period should take place.  Are we ready to effectively implement new approaches?  Are our resources aligned to make new approaches successful?  Are we doing innovation for the sake of innovation?
Establishing a “culture of innovation” means leadership has created an environment that:
  • Allows ANYONE (adults or students) to bring forth new approaches to improving learning 
  • Has leadership that supports administrators, teachers, and students by not only allowing them but encouraging them to take risks to find new approaches to existing problems.  Leadership’s sole question for any new idea is “Does this approach align with our goals, objectives and student outcomes and does it have the potential to improve our likelihood of meeting our goals, objectives and student outcomes?
  • Has principals, a superintendent and a school board that believes in and embraces risk taking approaches that empower all involved to make a difference in the learning environment.
  • Doesn’t use technology as a crutch for actually having an innovative culture.  If all you see in classrooms is kids using their 1:1 device to do the same assignments in the same ways as they did them before, not much has changed.
  • Has an ability to abandon initiatives that aren’t working to pursue new ideas.  While true transformative strategies may cost money, they don’t necessarily mean new money.  A learning environment with a culture of innovation is continuously asking itself what it can stop doing in order to improve the learning of our kids.

We recommend that you self-assess your district's readiness to establish a culture of innovation by completing this survey.  If you wish to have KDE provide technical assistance with establishing a culture of innovation, please include contact information when completing the survey.

Other resources:
So You Think You Want to Innovate? Emerging Lessons and a New Tool for State and District Leaders Working to Build a Culture of Innovation From 2Revolutions and The Learning Accelerator

Beth Peterson
Office of Continuous Improvement and Support
Division of Innovation and Partner Engagement
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-4201
Fax (502) 564-8149