A Wide Lens Can Remove Blind Spots that Thwart Innovation

  • Posted on: 4 September 2013
  • By: Tina McCoy

 Why do many school reform efforts fail to take hold despite ample talent, effort, and resources?  Even when the need for systemic improvement or innovation is clear, deep and lasting organizational change often remains elusive. Perhaps this is because many tend to have a narrow perspective regarding what is required to transform potential innovation into successful and sustainable reality.  A new paradigm, a broader view of the organizational change process, is needed for educators to lead the profound innovations that are necessary for schools to prepare students to thrive in our rapidly changing world.

Ron Adner Wide Lens ReviewThe Wide Lens: A New Strategy for Innovation by Ron Adner, of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, offers a tremendously useful framework for planning, prioritizing and implementing changes by emphasizing the thoughtful and systematic examination of the many interrelated factors that influence the success or failure of innovation. In a reader-friendly format laden with real-life examples, Mr. Adner describes how leaders can analyze the eco-systems within which targeted innovation must occur to make informed, proactive decisions that provide the best foundation for success. This book is a ‘must read’ for any educational leader who seeks to effectively orchestrate meaningful and lasting improvements or changes across a school system. As part of any Strategic Planning Process, the concepts and tools included in this text are indispensible.

Caveat:  Don’t let the ‘business’ orientation of this book dissuade you from reaping its’ benefits.  The information is highly applicable to any discipline and easily transferrable to the field of education.