In Chapter 1, Couros defines innovation “as a way of thinking that creates something new and better.“ I couldn’t agree more with this sentiment. In the development of my Week 1 post I explored the notion that change is an opportunity to do something amazing. In examining this idea I arrived at the conclusion that a shift in mindset (viewing change as an opportunity) can be, in itself, an innovation. Beginning my Week 2 reflection with a simple, applicable, and accessible definition for innovation — a word that has become rooted in our current cultural lexicon as a buzzword of choice — was not only helpful but also encouraging.
In considering the prompt this week I began looking for examples where thinking has resulted in making something new or improving on something that already existed. Through this lens I would like to offer up Twitter as an example by considering its original intended purpose contrasted by its evolving creative use.
Twitter began as an alternative to group chat - a way to send an SMS to a small group of people. It morphed into being considered a microblogging platform, became a social network, and now sits at the crossroads of social media and being an information network. This process of development and refinement is a clear example of a company retooling itself as it discovers what it is and why it exists. However, it is the unintended and unforeseen use of the application that I find a compelling example of innovation, specifically as it pertains to our #IMMOOC.
I’m certain that in 2006, when the bones of Twitter were first growing, none of the initial coders, designers, or venture capitalists envisioned a future where a group of individuals from across the planet would be using Twitter as a place to connect based around a common interest. For our group, Twitter is where we share links to our personal video reflections, blog posts, and educational resources, all rooted in a book study and facilitated by that book’s author. The users, our group, have taken a tool and found a way to leverage it to create a community that will exist beyond the timeframe of this course. The impact remains, part of Twitter history, and the content we generate will be something that people will have access to after our MOOC ends. The learning will continue as individuals, now connected as a result of sharing similar passions, move forward in their efforts to inspire and explore doing old things in new ways — #IMMOOC — definitely an innovation worth celebrating.
G. Couros (2015). The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning , Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity (2015) [Kindle version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com
In-text citation: (Couros, 2015). Quotation: (Couros, 2015, Location 384)