Monday, March 06, 2006

Hewlett-Packard Gets It

From today's Denver Post:

Christian Belady gets paid to mess with people's minds. The 45-year-old
"distinguished technologist" for Hewlett-Packard Co. teaches the art of innovation to H-P troops around the country . . .

Innovation is often the beautiful blossom of blunders. "You have to give people the opportunity to take multiple roads, including wrong ones. You learn from your failures and do things better the next time." . . .

He's been called a deviant, which he considers high praise. "Innovation is deviation. If you don't create an environment where people can deviate from defined processes, they can't innovate."

I think this holds important lessons both for us as innovate teachers, and for our students' learning. As educators, we need to be bold and try new things, not keep to the safe and narrow. And we need to give our students the freedom to "deviate from defined processes" if we really want them to think for themselves. Once they get out of school, there usually is not one right answer and often the hardest part is figuring out what the right question is. If all we teach them is how to "guess what the teacher knows," then how are they ever going to be successful?

1 comment:

  1. I think that part of our job as teachers is to fill the minds of these kids so that they have the opportunity to deviate from the norm. If they are knowledgable in multiple areas then they can make an education decision on which direction to go. Many students do not realize that more informaion that they have to deal with a situation, the more options that they have to solve it.