To me, an innovator is someone who envisions and creates a better world. Developing more innovators should matter to us for two reasons. The first is that our world needs innovators who can strengthen democracies, build economies and solve big problems. Just as importantly, individuals who act like innovators are more likely to find personal fulfillment, because they are able to imagine their ideal life, and then go out and create it.
The good news is that no matter where we are on the path to becoming innovators, we can always become MORE innovative. We are not born either creative or non-creative, as we tend to label ourselves. We just need the right mindset, process and knowledge. I believe that educators should shape their efforts to achieve this outcome, and I believe that we as parents can do a great deal to support this kind of growth for our kids.
Today I'd like to suggest a small project that that can simultaneously enhance your Thanksgiving holiday and teach your kids that they can influence their family lives: Creating a new family tradition using the Galileo Innovator's Process.
Here it is in five simple steps:
1. Identify the Goal: Have a family meeting to create a vision for your Thanksgiving holiday. Take a big piece of paper and start writing down everyone's thoughts about what they want their holiday to be like. What emotions do they want to feel? What are their desired outcomes? Try to have an adjective-rich conversation.
2. Generate Ideas: Next, solicit ideas for activities or practices that will help achieve that outcome. These can mostly come from everyone's brains, but you can also source ideas from the internet, friends, old family stories or magazines. Focus on quantity.
3. Design: Ask each family member which ideas seem to be standing out and gradually let one or two rise to the top. (Ideally these are ideas that your kids came up with.) Build on these ideas and design what the tradition will entail. Decide who will do what and make a plan.
4. Create: Create the experience, ritual or tradition. Maybe it's a gratitude sign that everyone adds to all day on Thanksgiving, playing a football game, doing a service project or going on a family jog. Whatever it is, do the thing.
5. Test, Evaluate, Redesign: Engage the family in a reflective discussion about how the new tradition fared. Did it achieve the desired outcome? How might you change it next time around? What other things do you want to try? Most importantly, give positive reinforcement for engaging in the project.
Doing this activity will send a strong signal to your kids that life isn't something that just happens to us, but rather we are all in charge of creating our desired outcomes. When kids are empowered to influence their home lives, they learn that they are active participants and not just victims of circumstance. Later, this will translate to a greater sense of ownership in their school and workplace environments.
CEO & Founder | Galileo Learning