Our world is constantly changing.  In order to innovate our way into opportunities of change and avoid problems, we need to be prepared.  The Harvard Business Press 2011 recently published an excerpt from the book The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators (by Clayton Christensen, Jeff Dyer, and Hal Gregersen) outlining the five skills leaders relied on during this time of change.

The five skills are:

1.     Question-Ask challenging questions that take on common wisdom to create new directions.

2.     Observe-Watch the behavior of customers, suppliers, and competitors the way an anthropologist would identify new ways of doing things.

3.     Network-Talk to people with different life experiences and perspectives to spark new ideas.

4.     Experiment-Construct interactive experiences and build prototypes to provoke unorthodox responses and gain new insights

5.     Associate-Draw unexpected connections between questions, problems, or ideas from unrelated fields.

These five skills are very relevant to educational leaders because, like the world around us, education is constantly changing.  Embracing skills like these will help ensure that we are influential drivers of educational reform in the future. 

Samantha Lingeman
Indianapolis, IN 

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