Becoming “Innovation Ready”

Great article this week from Thomas Friedman and Tony Wagner on the value of teaching children and young adults how to be innovative:

“Every middle-class job today is being pulled up, out or down faster than ever. That is, it either requires more skill or can be done by more people around the world or is being buried -— made obsolete -— faster than ever. Which is why the goal of education today should not be to make every child ‘college ready’ but ‘innovation ready’ -— ready to add value to whatever they do.”

“Today, because knowledge is available on every Internet-connected device, what you know matters far less than what you can do with what you know. The capacity to innovate -— the ability to solve problems creatively or bring new possibilities to life -— and skills like critical thinking, communication and collaboration are far more important than academic knowledge. As one executive said, ‘We can teach new hires the content, and we will have to because it continues to change, but we can’t teach them how to think —- how to ask the right questions -— and how to take initiative.’”

So, who’s doing it right?

“Finland is one of the most innovative economies in the world, and it is the only country where students leave high school ‘innovation-ready.’ They learn concepts and creativity more than facts…. In the U.S., 500 K-12 schools affiliated with Hewlett Foundation’s Deeper Learning Initiative and a consortium of 100 school districts called EdLeader21 are developing new approaches to teaching 21st-century skills. There are also a growing number of ‘reinvented’ colleges like the Olin College of Engineering, the M.I.T. Media Lab and the ‘D-school’ at Stanford where students learn to innovate.”

Read the full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/31/opinion/sunday/friedman-need-a-job-invent-it.html

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What are you doing today to help yourself or your team become more innovative?

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