Innovation and the economy

I am a little behind on the news radar.

Many of you don’t know that I am going back to school to get my Masters in Public Administration. Though I have been wanting to go back for a while, I just wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do.

Then I watched a video-mentary from Sir Ken Robinson, discussing if schools kill creativity. Here is the video.

I was so impressed by his stance that I thought about what I could do to help move this ideology forward. I could have done so many things. I could have gone back to get my masters in education, psychology or even instructional technology.

Instead I thought about approaching this from a legislative standpoint. As I discussed this video with friends and got their feedback, many of them complained that there are so many restrictions in place on an education level that is affects the outcome of how they can teach in their classrooms.  Many of them told me that there are people in office who are not educated on the bare-bones of education. That many just do what they can to seal the next vote. So, I thought, why not take this to the next level? So, that is the theory behind what I am doing.

That is when I stumbled across this incredible book called,  Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns by Clayton M. Christensen.

As part of my major research project that is due at the end of my education, I have been taking a look at how the economy affects the motivation of students. I am still developing my hypothesis and my major research questions, but I ran across an interview that I thought was really interesting that relates to small businesses and how they succeed when the economy is tough.

In the interview conducted by the Wall Street Journal, the Business Insight reporter group interviewed Clayton Christensen about his thoughts on how the economy affects innovation. In the article, How Hard Times Can Drive Innovation, I thought this theory was also pretty profound:

BUSINESS INSIGHT: In other words, what you’re saying is that prosperity tends to insulate innovators from market realities and allow them to pursue their vision — a vision which is probably wrong, statistically speaking.

I watched a movie the other night that also had this same theory. Even though I thought the movie was lame, and wouldn’t recommend it, one of the themes discussed is that when the world around us is going down, that you will discover more and more people pulling together to make things possible. It is the way that it has always been. The same goes for innovation in business and innovation in the classroom. Instead of theorizing and making wild guesses about what can work and wasting time, businesses and schools have the ability to drive innovation because they don’t have the time to mess with the ‘it can’t work’ idea.

Just some food for thought. Watch the 8 minute segment. Read the article.