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On dot connecting: sharing your whys, what ifs and innovations

Last week I presented about whys, why nots, what ifs and the nature of innovation.

screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-7-44-40-pmI crowd-sourced part of the presentation, asking some of the most creative colleagues I know if they could easily connect their whys to their innovations. It turns out that was not a challenge.

First: What are your whys?  Simon Sinek tells us that great leaders know their whys. People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

If you know your whys, then decision about whether to pursue an innovative course of action is far easier to make. In fact, those choices seem more a mandate than a decision.  It becomes easy to view the ceiling (or the sky) rather than the floor of practice. screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-11-08-32-am

Workshop participants found it truly easy to identify identify the whys of successful companies.

When your whys are clear, you seek opportunities to transform. You ask, why not? You see dots others do not see and you connect them.

Our mission, of course, is to transform teaching and learning.

But I asked these innovative friends, and the audience, to really consider–in fewer than ten(ish) words–their own professional vision– their purpose, their cause, what gets them up in the morning

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-10-48-24-amHere’s the beginning of a Flipgrid anthology based on the whys of some folks you may know–Stony Evans, Laura Fleming, Tiffany Whitehead, Andy Plemmons, Naomi Bates, and Michelle Luhtala (who shared off Flipgrid: Helping teenagers learn how to learn makes me very happy).

Please consider adding your own whys to the Flipgrid and feel free to share with others.

In this Flipgrid, I also asked the same friends how they connect their whys to theiscreen-shot-2016-11-08-at-10-54-21-amr innovations, those other dots, to move their libraries and their learning communities forward.

Listen to the innovation stories shared by  Stony, Laura, Tiffany, Andy, Naomi and Michelle.  Please also consider adding your own innovations to this Flipgrid and sharing with local groups.

Want to see how conference participants responded?

Check out and add your own whys to this AnswerGarden word cloud.

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-11-29-04-amCheck out and add your innovations to this AnswerGarden word cloud.

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-11-33-58-amYou may also be interested in:


Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

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