On the journey to why, purpose is the new bottom line.

Connecting with core messages from Simon Sinek and Seth Godin, Casey Gerald implores us to take our journeys to why and choose ourselves. In an inspiring Creative Mornings talk, Gerald explores that space which is not quite entrepreneurship and not quite social innovation…and forever moving the Doing Well sphere into the Doing Good sphere.

There’s no item on a balance sheet for “Give a damn.” But it’s the most valuable thing you’ve got in the business.

– Casey Gerald quoting Dave Schiff

How might we redesign school to be about the work of empowering learners to pursue such purpose as their bottom lines? A veritable army of creatives and learning designers are exploring just such a question at The Teachers Guild.

May these worlds collide and spark something amazing. You can find me at that very intersection.

HT Tina Roth Eisenberg, @SwissMiss

Shark Tank at MVPSchool – 5th Graders Break Into Business

Last week, Mount Vernon Presbyterian School hosted a Shark Tank for entrepreneurs who were striving to establish startups in a particular target market in Atlanta.

The lean-startup entrepreneurs are 5th Graders!

Thanks to the work that Stephanie Immel (@teachingsteph) coordinated and collaborated with Monica Lage from Break Into Business! And kudos to our young entrepreneurs! What amazing experience in real-world context and application of knowledge and skills.

Read two great stories from the News Page at MVPS and on John Saddington’s blog. And see the Shark Tank judging criteria below…

Learner-preneurship and Innovation – PLEASE share your thinking! #NOV8 #NAIS #NAIS2012

What are the conditions necessary for “learner-preneurship” in schools? How can we establish, maintain, sustain, and promote entrepreneurial-type innovation in the strategic designs, daily operations and purposeful activities that define “school?”

On December 28, I was blessed to receive a Twitter DM from Jamie Baker (@JamieReverb). Jamie has invited me to co-present at the NAIS 2012 Annual Conference, along with her other teammates Grant Lichtman (@GrantLichtman of The Falconer) and Lee Burns (@PDSHeadmaster). I am thrilled to join such a team of inspired educators and dynamic, innovative thinkers and doers.

W8. Move from “Why Innovate?” to “How?” — Become an Entrepreneurial School
Entrepreneurs know how to innovate. Discuss how to innovate at your school by developing the entrepreneur’s mindset in the board, head of school, administrators, teachers, and students. Cultivate understanding in the entrepreneur’s innovation process, building capacity by moving through resistance, and developing organizational habits of innovation.
PRESENTERS: Jamie Baker, Reverb Consulting (TN); A. Lee Burns, Presbyterian Day School (TN); Grant Lichtman, Francis Parker School (CA); Bo Adams, The Westminster Schools (GA)

For the next several weeks, I imagine that I will be writing and thinking even more deliberately and intentionally about innovation in schools. To write is to think, and I look forward to developing my thinking here in this blog and elsewhere.

Given that “WE are smarter than ME,” I am curious what you think about the opening questions in this blog post. Do you have ideas about what makes some schools more “learner-preneurial” and innovative than other schools? Do you have hypotheses, research, thoughts, and opinions about how innovation can become more nurtured in the ways that we work in schools? I hope you will take some time to share your thinking in the comments below – your resources, your ideas, your questions, your own blog posts and writings about the topic of innovation in schools. Here’s to our ideas colliding in a Steve Johnson coffee house of sorts.

Thanks for sharing. WE are smarter than ME!

PLEASE JOIN THE IDEATION HERE (and elsewhere)! On New Year’s Day, here’s to a 2012 full of innovative ideation and implementation!

Happy New Year! It’s About Learning!

[Note: An interesting story about the power of PLNs – I will meet Jamie Baker and Lee Burns for the first time face-to-face at our February 29 NAIS session. While we “know” each other online and while we will certainly video-conference in the weeks ahead, it is the power of “the world’s best faculty lounge” that has brought us together for this work!]