Friday, April 24, 2015

Future Focused Innovation

Moving into the future usually involves some hard decision making. One of the issues is that possibilities and options are expanding over time. 

What basis should we use to choose our next move when there seem to be so many ways to do similar things?

I have been exploring how we can choose moves and innovate quickly. I believe in doing this through the development of strong communities of practice and operational collectives as Russell Burt promotes. 

In these environments the community accumulates together an evolving knowledge base or meme of how to do things. Innovation is focused on shared vision, pedagogy and agreement. Here is a graphic showing how I have experienced innovation and community agreement as being important in the development of cohesive improving system.

I have been working with my wife (Jude O'Neil) as she introduces #chromebooks #gafe etc to her students. 

New to the environment Jude might operate in many different ways for example to share a learning document with a student "you could":
  • email the document link
  • share the document through a web link
  • smart share through teacher dashboard
  • link the document through a blog
  • embed it in a learning site with other learning and supports
  • write it on the whiteboard
Each of these alternatives is an adjacent possible (a possible next step see below) but the way we decided was by thinking about the learn create share pedagogy which meant that the document was embedded on a learning site with other learning and support. 

Thinking about a pedagogy helps the community of Manaiakalani schools to adopt systems innovations that support their vision. 

What the community affords is a rigorous group investigation of all of the various "you coulds" to arrive at a best practice systems position. This can undoubtedly change over time as other innovations get tested. 

In my mind powerful innovations can often be measured against their ability to be taken up widely by the Operational Collective and then spread wider. 

This is a type of networked innovation that is able to deliver an almost adjacent probable to those pondering over a few adjacent possibles. This is one of the reasons I value being part of the Manaiakalani community.

Postscript Came back to edit this post to link to Dorothy Burt's post about the Manaiakalani folk who recently offered their innovations and inquiries as professional development to a wider group of teachers.

Adjacent Possible 

One of the speakers at the GAFE summit held
Auckland recently was Lucy Clarke who talked about the adjacent possible

"The adjacent possible is the basic motivation behind all human progress. "

It’s the ever-present set of opportunities at the boundaries of our reach. And:
The strange and beautiful truth about the adjacent possible is that its boundaries grow as you explore them. Each new combination opens up the possibility of other new combinations.

The adjacent possible is a kind of shadow future, hovering on the edges of the present state of things, a map of all the ways in which the present can reinvent itself.Sep 28, 2010

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