Innovation: Innovation in Education
Maura C. Chaney
Grand Canyon University
March 27, 2012
In order to maintain any kind of competitive edge, educational organizations in America need to respond rigorously through initiatives in that move towards innovation. These initiatives need to develop a new mental mindset that is more focused on problem solving and moving forward with innovative and custom techniques, products, and services. In order to be successful in today's global community, the growing need to provide innovative solutions is a prerequisite. Innovation is seen as an opportunity for education to be competitive and prepared to develop the future of our society to be able to be a global competitor. The change in business-as-usual directly correlates to the growth in the global economy. Many of the new models of innovation within business integrate innovation to be seen as a force of change, an ability to extend organizational capabilities, and meet the needs of the clientele (GCU, 2012). Two leadership models are at the forefront of this growth of innovative thinking, or what education organizations label as 21st century skills. These two leadership models are transformational leadership and servant leadership. Transformational leadership can be used in this setting to introduce a change effort that involves the complete modification of how the school operates. An example of this is transferring paradigms from the junior high school setting to the middle school philosophy. Servant leadership can be used in this setting in setting norms and forming collaborative groups towards a change environment. This could be used in an example of creating professional learning communities. Both servant leaders and transformational leaders are seen as creating inspiring visions, generating trust, and acting as role models through their behaviors, and caring about others that ultimately change the organizational culture. However, the one leadership model that will be used to transition innovation within education is transformational leadership. Transformational leaders motivate others to do more than they originally intended and often even more than they thought possible (Bass, 1998). Traditional leadership models will not meet the needs of students today. Instead of just having innovation as either a focus or a strategy, innovation needs to be interwoven into the DNA of the organization so that the creation of ideas and operation of the business are both aligned to the same vision of innovation. Barsh (2008) states that you need to build an organization that is nimble enough to change itself. These new models of innovation provide an opportunity for future growth, new models for management, and exploration of new ideas and talent. Both transformational and servant leadership models have the opportunity to foster this growing educational environment. Risk avoidance is the technique of risk management that involves taking steps to remove a hazard, engage in alternative activity, or otherwise end a specific exposure (B.D., 2012). Conformity is the change in behavior due to the real or imagined influence of others (Aronson, et al., 2010). Socially, conformity can involve the importance of being right or accurate. A leader has to take both into consideration when working with others. According to Maskin (2009), avoiding crises in the first place is obviously far better than having to endure the costly and disruptive consequences of dealing with such events. One way to help avoid tumultuous events is through education. Creating a culture of risk avoidance and accountability requires education of employees at every level (Maskin, 2009). In addition, striving for consistency and conformity is also a key strategy for leaders. This consistency can create conformity among the population. However, within organizations that are interested in becoming change agents, avoiding risk...
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