"Innovation can be defined as people creating value through the implementation of new ideas". Innovation is Roberto's second desirable characteristic of leaders of faith formation in churches. The definition is interesting, focusing on new 'ideas', but he expands it to "leaders who practice innovative practices and skills". His main resource in this section is The Ten Faces of Innovation by Tom Kelley. (I've just ordered the book).
Kelley talks about three learning roles, three organising roles, and four building roles. It's a wonderful, intriguing list:
The Anthropologist - observes people in their daily life, reframes problems in new ways that apply to daily life
The Experimenter - "celebrates the process, not the tool, testing and retesting potential ways to make ideas tangible"
The Cross-Pollinator - "draws associations and connections between seemingly unrelated ideas or concepts to break new ground"
The Hurdler - a tireless problem solver who is energised by tackling somehitng that's never been done before
The Collaborator - "is the rare person who truly values the team over the individual"
The Director - understands the bigger picture, sets the stage, targets opportunities, brining out the best in people, getting things done
The Experience Architect - "relentlessly focuseed on creating rermarkable experience for people
The Set Designer - "transforms physical environments into powerful tools to influence behaviour and attitude"
The Caregiver - "through empathy, works to understand each individual and family and creat relationships"
The Storyteller - "builds both internal morale and external awareness through compelling narratives that communicate the vision and goals of faith formation, and real life people in the four scenarios."
Read a more complete summary here.
It's a great list, and quickly has you thinking about which of these are your strengths, and which are best left to other people.
The book is based on work done at IDEO, an international design firm. They currently working with the Queensland Government on how to create a closer connection between local food production and consumption, using these phases:
INSPIRATION, CONCEPTING, APPLAUSE, REFINEMENT, EVALUATION
IDEO have a design thinking toolkit for educators, with the following processes:
DISCOVERY - I have a challenge. How do I approach it?
INTERPRETATION - I learned something. How do I interpret it?
IDEATION - I see an opportunity. What do I create?
EXPERIMENTATION - I have an idea. How do I build it?
EVOLUTION - I tried something. How do I evolve it?
There a free downloadable toolkit of stuff for educators on the site.They also host openIDEO.com, an 'open source problem-solving site (help solve Queensland's food challenges!) and IDEO.org is coming to assist non-profit and low income groups.
Clearly there's a great deal to learn here about ROLES and PROCESSES, as innovation requires both. Which of the above roles are my strengths, and how am I expressing these? Who in our group/organisation/church has gifts in complementary areas, and how are these encouraged? How do we break a change process down into parts so that we focus our energy better on each stage. (Having been part of my church's cxurrent discussion about whether to move from pews to chairs, I can tell you that process matters!) Working on process requires facilitation skills, which is why one of our new BMin subjects at College is about Leading and Facilitating Groups.
IDEO also produce the Method Cards, a set of 51 images designed to foster creative thinking.
Here's Chris Waugh from IDEO speaking at TEDx: