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Have you innovated lately?

Fred Lokken

Have you innovated lately?   Yes, you personally?   And when was the last time you unleased the creative, unbridled talent of those you work with?  Do you try to inspire every day?  Have you fostered a culture of trust as a colleague or supervisor? 

 Today’s remarks are focused on making you feel guilty.  Seriously.  The questions above are part of the critical components of true innovation, creativity and success.  The only way to seize the moment and propel your program forward, the only way you can achieve genuine breakthroughs and help to transform an outdated education culture on your campus, and the only way you can ultimately perfect your role as a change agent (transformational leader) is to begin by being able to answer “YES” in a loud, clear voice to ALL of the questions above.

And I’m afraid there is no trophy for just showing up or only half-heartedly trying.  Life requires commitment.  I’m a Nevadan so I believe deeply in the “all in” mentality for taking on a challenge (if you don’t understand this concept, I’m sure there is a poker player in your midst to explain it).  It is this type of professional total engagement that helps you – and others – to find their true passions.  With a positive can-do attitude, you can accomplish amazing things.  And let’s face it, we all still have problems and challenges to overcome.

All too often, we feel like we get trapped in our jobs.  Routine and playing it safe replace that brash risk-taking enthusiasm you had when you first embarked on a career in Distance Learning.  It is possible to rekindle the elan for what you do, but it starts by answering the questions above honestly. 

It may be your time to rekindle and rediscover the power of innovation in your program AND with your colleagues.  And this time around, you can do it with the wisdom and common sense you’ve gained from real life experiences on your campus.  Think of it as pushing the reset button.  Think it through, be smart, and have faith in yourself.  Take baby steps – progress, even a little progress, feels good.