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Deborah Mills-scofield's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

Entries in Innovation (154)

Thursday
Aug072014

Trust Trumps Everything

Innovation Excellence graciously shares my chapter in Luis Solis's book, Innovation Alchemists: what every CEO needs to know to hire the right Chief Innovation Officer.  

"Successful Chief Innovation Officers give their employees room to experiment, providing air cover for them, running interference, and in general respecting, trusting and supporting them...(read more)"

"The best way to find out if you can trust someone is to trust them" Ernest Hemingway

Tuesday
Aug052014

Why Higher Ed Needs Flying Lessons

Anita Verna Crofts is a Flight Instructor at the University of Washington.  © Tony Asgari PhotographyYes, you read that correctly. She wrote this post last year and it's only appropriate to repost as we start the new academic year.  Anita is one amazing lady who is taking education to new heights - Flying Lessons. There is hope for higher-ed!  Thank you Anita! Come meet her at BIF-10!!

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The University of Washington Announces Flying Lessons

I have never flown a plane or sat in a flight simulator, but I’ve been teaching people how to fly for years. This spring the Department of Communication at the University of Washington made it official by naming me their Flight Instructor.

Everyone has wings. Sometimes you need to be reminded to use them.

Choosing to be named the Flight Instructor reflected my approach to teaching, which encourages students to lead and soar higher than they ever imagined possible, inside and outside of the classroom. In addition to the classes I teach, my punch card includes:

  • Encouraging students to see their education as an opportunity to build knowledge and relationships that spread their wings. A degree isn’t just about making the grade, it’s about making a network that lasts a lifetime.
  • Reminding students, faculty, and staff to seek the perspective that comes with altitude gain. The broader landscape looks different and reveals patterns that are invisible from the ground.
  • Supporting faculty efforts to move students from co-piloting planes to taking over the controls themselves. Everyone has the ability to pilot their own plane.
  • Championing opportunities for students to lead in class, on campus, and in the community. The sky’s the limit.

© Tony Asgari PhotographyThe vision for my role reflects the entrepreneurial instincts of the Communication Leadership graduate program, where I teach and serve as Associate Director, and the department as a whole. Our program houses two unique degrees in digital media and community/networks, both aimed at creatives who are on the frontlines of shaping superb communication strategies through story-driven content, audience engagement, and insightful analytics. The freedom faculty, staff, and students enjoy to dream, build, and grow is my fuel.

As the Flight Instructor, I help students navigate takeoffs, weather turbulence, and stick their landings. Last week an incoming student tweeted to me, “I would love to talk to you about my flight plan.”

Buckle up. It’s time for takeoff.

Fly the friendly skies with Anita on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and avcrofts.com.

Thursday
Jul242014

The Power of #RCUS

Thank you BIF for chatting with me about the power of #RCUS and BIF! Can't wait for BIF10!!! 

"The BIF Summit is the ultimate interdisciplinary happening." 



Saturday
Jul052014

Tides...

It is that time of year when I am called to my duty as Pemaquid Harbor Tide Watcher. I take on this auspicious duty reverently and devotedly until mid-August.

Because I must be attentive to tidal variations, especially during full and new moons, I will not be blogging as frequently during this period.  

In the interim, feel free to read through the archives... including Red, Right, Returning.

Tuesday
Jun242014

Don’t Let Probable Trump Possible


I don’t buy lottery tickets. Perhaps I should. When it’s the huge MegaMillions® I think about it, but I don’t.  Why? Because, while it is definitely Possible that I could win, it’s not highly Probable.

We interchangeably use Possible and Probable or view them as ‘either/or’ options instead of ‘and/both’. Let’ break down this artificial distinction!  One way I try to get clients, entrepreneurs, and students to look at the world differently is by challenging them to look at what is Possible AND Probable, no matter how Probable it is.  Unless we are defying the laws of physics, more things are Possible than we think. They may not be highly probable, but that’s a different issue.

Possible means “able to be done, within the power or capacity of someone or something.” It comes from the Latin possibilis (that can be done) and from posse (be able).   The meaning of the word has nothing to do with likelihood… probability.  Possible has to do with whether something CAN be done, happen or be true, not IF it will be. Possible doesn’t address likelihood (probability) or difficulty. 

Probable means [how] “likely something is to be the case or to happen”.  It comes from the Old French probable (provable, demonstrable) and Latin probabilis (worthy of approval; provable; credible; testable).  The meaning of the word may assume a level of possibility (e.g., if it’s impossible, it’s not probable), but it does not define what is possible.

Possible is usually based on the laws of science – physics, chemistry, and biology.  It’s pretty hard to break the law of gravity while on earth.  But, is it possible for a man to lift an elephant? It is actually possible depending on the size of the man, the size of the elephant, angles, centers of gravity, etc.  Does what is possible change over time or is it our knowledge of what is possible that changes as we make discoveries and advances in technology and science? Both?

Probable is a bit trickier.  Improbable things happen all the time.  Cancers suddenly disappear without a plausible explanation… it was always possible, just not very probable.  I win the lottery – it is possible, just not very probable (of course buying a ticket helps). You’d be surprised how often our definition of what is probable has little to do with real statistical data.  You’d also be surprised at how we tend to shy away from things that are not very probable.  We also tend to define what is probable based upon our own worldview, perceptions and experiences.   Think of the Gambler’s Fallacy - if something happens a lot, we start thinking it’s going to happen a lot (e.g., I flip a coin 5 times and it’s always heads so I think the next time has to be tails, but it’s still a 50/50 chance).  Dan Ariely’s TED talk shows our subjectivity on probability.

This summer, as you work on existing and new projects, start asking if potential solutions are Possible AND Probable.  Then ask why doesn’t something seem probable? Is it your worldview? Biases? Experiences? What would it take to be more probable?  This may require you start rushing to discover instead of solve and it may open up new Possibilities!  Give it a try.

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