CONNECT to Innovate

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by Dr. Camille Rutherford

Innovation refers to the introduction of new ideas that result in new ways of accomplishing a task. The challenge for many organization is how do they foster an influx of new ideas that will serve as the foundation for future innovations. CONNECT 2015: Canada’s Learning & Technology Conference can provide you with a unique opportunity to foster organizational innovation.

Five Ways to Foster Innovation

Recognize and reward internal creativity and innovation
For creativity and innovation to flourish it must be recognized and rewarded. Use the CONNECT Conference as a way to reward organization members that have demonstrated creativity or found innovative solutions to organizational challenges. Not only will this encourage ongoing creativity and innovation, but it will also provide these innovators with an opportunity to connect with innovators from across Canada. You may to start planning for next year and encourage your organization’s innovators to present next year and showcase your organization’s innovations at CONNECT 2016.

Foster diversity of perspectives
Innovative solutions often result from fostering connections between people with diverse perspectives. Bringing a stratified team that includes educators, school leaders,  IT specialists and district administrators to the conference will ensure that all levels of your organization benefit from this experience. It will also provide an opportunity for these diverse roles to connect and collaborate as they travel to the conference and partake in the diverse offering of sessions and events. Having senior and mid-level district leaders as well as principals and classroom teachers attend the conference together will support a unified approach to implementing the knowledge gained from attending the CONNECT Conference.

Get out of your box
Birds of feather don’t always have to flock together. Innovation can often result from the novel application of an established idea in a new context. To increase the chances of being exposed to novel idea or innovative approach, take the time to interact with people who have ideas or roles dissimilar from your own. Attend a session that addresses an area outside of your job description. As the nation’s only K-12 and higher education technology conference, CONNECT 2015 provides you with a unique opportunity to connect with and learn from people you would not normally have a chance to interact with.

Share creative and innovative ideas
An influx of new ideas is essential to fostering innovation. Thus, this it is imperative that you actively participate in the sharing and distribution of innovative ideas. You can start connecting with the innovators that will be presenting at the conference by following the CONNECT Twitter account and the using the #CanConnectEd hashtag to share Tweets and innovative ideas.

Align individual agendas with organizational goals
While attending the CONNECT Conference can be a great boost to individual professional growth you can ensure that your attendance has a greater impact by aligning your agenda with your organizational goals. Sharing what you learned during these sessions can then be used to support school or district improvement plans. District or school leaders may even want to create a collaborative Google Doc or OneNote where members of your organization can highlight the new ideas they learned about while at the conference and how these innovative approaches can used to support ongoing organizational success.

For more information please visit www.canconnected.com

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