Susan Riley | April 2015

Innovation Doesn’t Start with a Yes

Today’s latest Sparkchasers podcast episode is all about cultivating a culture where innovation can flourish, rather than be blocked at every turn.  As we share in our 20 minute show today, the very nature of innovation begins from a “no” – something we are frustrated by or know needs to have a different solution.  So resistance is completely normal. In fact, resistance actually makes innovative ideas stronger, exactly why innovation doesn’t start with a Yes.

So be prepared.  Be ready for people to tell you “no” or “not now”, especially when it comes to changing an ingrained culture.  Educators wonder why we don’t see bigger or better change initiatives taking root and spreading.  They wonder why integration doesn’t happen everywhere.  It’s because integration is an innovative idea and challenges us all to rethink major cultural expectations.  Things like school schedules, planning time, who teaches what and how we measure student achievement is all challenged when we look at arts integration and STEAM.

What makes integration hard isn’t these individual roadblocks.  Instead, it’s trying to implement these changes in a traditional culture of acceptance and skepticism.  Some people will automatically say “yes” to integration, but most will not.  Take this as an opportunity to look at how to change the culture through integration – not because of it.

In this episode, we walk you through how to build an innovation team that will support each other as you all move towards significant changes (no matter how big or small).

Show Notes from Sparkchasers Season 2, Episode 5

Letting go of control as a leader: Let Go and Lead

Building a team that fills in your weaknesses: SWOT Analysis Tool

Resistance is important: The most important reason not to fear resistance

60 minute video on IDEO with David Kelly

NPR interview about IDEO and Barbara Beskind

About the Author

Susan Riley is the founder and CEO of The Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, STEAM, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and STEAM education. Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter. Email Susan