Before I begin, I’d like to thank all of you for the wonderful outreach of support and kind words from last week’s blog. Keena is less than 1 week away from surgery and each day brings both hope and fear. I’ll keep you informed!
One of my best friends likes to call me a Renaissance Man. I’m flattered by the spirit of the remark, even though it suggests Jack of all trades, master of none…but I’ll get over that. However, as a flourishing college professor, a renounced stand-up comic, a wanna-be musician, an undiscovered writer, and a fairly successful business person, one of my favorite past times is dreaming up courses to teach at the college level. You know, the kind of course you’ll never see at ITT Tech because it’s not in the intended curriculum or program of study to help students design games for a living. The kind of course that just makes you a better human or a better _________ than you are today. A course that should be as interesting for students as it is fun to teach by professors.
Often these courses (in my mind) infuse communication with media, history with music, or education with film. I think they could be powerful and successful. But lately I’ve had another one on my brain. You know those lists of “10 things every student should know” or “The Top 5 Things Every Parent Should Teach Their Children?” It’s along those lines.
I have heard a lot lately (I go to way too many conferences…) that education is behind the times. To hear some talk, it’s WAY behind the times. But a lot of people note that education will never be current and should never be “bleeding” edge. That’s because education is about critical thought – we can teach students to think the way they need to in order to get current. But my course might help bridge the gap a bit. See what you think.
I think every college should offer a seminar called, “A Decade Of Innovation Worth Knowing.” As I see it, every decade has information that changes the world. Things happen that educated people should not only be aware of, but actually study to see how to use it or make it better. What’s great about a class like this would be the potential research by students to create and find life-changing, world-changing events. So, in the spirit of open-source education (Open Source would be something worth studying in a course like this…even as it is starting to relate to things other than technology. See Crowdsourcing) here are a few “nuggets” of information that anyone trying to make it in the world should know.
- The Tipping Point. Malcolm Gladwell introduced us to a concept that we all probably understand on a basic level, but nobody had thought to turn it into a focus for business. The TP essentially explains how trends are created and, more importantly, take hold. Moving words like “stickiness” into everyday business vernacular, The Tipping Point is a must-read for anyone who wants to do anything at their company besides stay put.
- The Semantic Web. Web 2.0 is over…sorry. Trying to stay out in front of technology is tough. Most people don’t have time to dedicate to it and even if you do, what good is trying to figure out what’s really going to work and stick? (I’d recommend reading Wired on a monthly basis juts to keep you grounded…) But most experts agree that we are moving out of Web 2.0, a wonderful marketing term created by Tim O’Reilly that really resonated with people, and into the world of the Semantic Web. Effectively, the Semantic Web will be a technological world where computers not only help us do things, but help us use technology to do it! It’s creating semantics in and around the tools to allow computers to search, locate, and inform us about which technologies to use or incorporate. It’s an extension of artificial intelligence that ultimately could make our lives a lot easier.
- Blue Ocean Strategy. For anyone with a “Big Idea”, this is a concept you should know. Blue Oceans are the new, untapped, often niche markets that need to be created. Essentially, Blue Oceans create a market for a product or service, rather than filling an already present need. Blue Man Group, Nintendo Wii, and Home Depot are examples of Blue Ocean Organizations that were quite successful.
So there are three…out of a decade of impressive thoughts, ideas, books, and concepts. What else should go in a course like that? Well, hire me to teach it and we’ll talk…
Do you want to hear more about how innovation ties into our daily lives? Need someone to speak about past, current, or future ideas at your organization or conference? Contact email@example.com for more information!