Crowd-Based Innovation for Educators
InnovateK12 Newsletter: January 6, 2019
New Year’s Resolution... Build a Culture of Innovation!
a note from Eric Schneider, InnovateK12 CEO

Happy 2019, fellow innovation leaders! It has been an exciting year for the team at InnovateK12, and we’ve been so impressed by the courageous leaders engaged in transformational change through crowd-based innovation, design thinking, and lean startup. As many of you know, this approach to leadership is not easy...but it’s a great way to build a culture of innovation, agility, and ownership in a school or district. In the spirit of the New Year, my wish for you in 2019 is that you have the courage and the perseverance to take this work even deeper, engaging more staff, students, and community members in the ideation process. For our current members, we are looking forward to sharing some of the new features that we will be offering in the 2019-20 school year. For those of you planning to join the InnovateK12 movement in the 2019-20 school year, we have excellent on-boarding strategies that will help you lead a successful campaign in Year #1 (see below)... and it will be great to expand the network in 2019!
InnovateK12 Cohort Updates
Mexico Public Schools, MO
is kicking off the new year with their innovation event, "Bulldog Brainstorm"! Their ideation phase runs from 1/2 - 1/18. Good luck, Bulldogs!
Idea Workshop Resources Added

Additional materials have been added to the Idea Workshop resource folder on our website! These are resources shared by our cohort members so i f you have anything you would like to contribute (slide deck, handouts, schedule, etc), please send your materials to .
January 11th Cohort Meeting

The January meeting for InnovateK12 members will be at the Minnetonka District Service Center ( 5621 County Road 101, Minnetonka, MN 55345 ) from 9:00 to 11:00a or via Zoom from 1:00pm to 2:00pm. The focus for this month’s meeting will be Prototype Development and Project Management .

If you are not an InnovateK12 member but would like the chance to sit in on a meeting, just shoot Eric an email at  so that we know you’ll be joining us.

Schedule Your January Check-in Call with Eric

Now that we’ve all returned from winter break, please click this link to set up a 30 minute call with Eric to ask any questions you may have about idea workshops, prototype development, or project management. These are critical aspects of what is referred to as the BEI (or Back End of Innovation), and are often considered the most difficult aspects of the process. We want to reassure you that the InnovateK12 team is here to help you navigate these challenges and to ensure that you have a successful year of innovation!
On-Boarding Tips for New Districts
How can we grow the capacity of our leadership team?
For our new members, it is extremely important to prepare your leadership team for the unique challenges associated with crowd-based innovation. Typically, innovation is a top-down strategy, but with InnovateK12 you instead build a bottom-up culture of innovation. This means that leaders have to shift their thinking and not only accept that ideas will come from frontline staff, but they learn to embrace it! A great book that will get your team on the right path is John Kotter’s Our Iceberg Is Melting . We’ve posted an introductory webinar that provides an overview of the book. In the coming weeks, we’ll add another webinar that focuses on the first half of the book and then another focusing on the second half of the book.
InnovateK12 Webinar Series
We are kicking off the new year with an InnovateK12 book study! Check out this short webinar introducing
the book Our Iceberg is Melting by John Kotter. Engaging in a book study is a great way to build leadership and shared understanding within your district innovation leadership team!
As you move from innovation event and through the idea workshop, you will find yourself with a number of projects to manage. Communication and transparency around this process are critical. Check out this webinar on how to share the progress of your projects with your stakeholders.
Check out the full webinar playlist here!
Let’s Connect in Florida at MSSA!
InnovateK12 will be in South Florida for the 2019 MSSA conference. If you’re planning to be there, click this link to set up an appointment to meet with Eric and discuss the opportunity for your school or district to join the 2019-20 cohort.
2019 K12 Innovation Summit Call for Proposals!
Call for Proposals for the K12 Innovation Summit is now open ! We are looking for individuals or teams to present at our July summit. Please consider submitting your innovation story and sharing it with others at the 2019 Summit which will take place on Monday, July 15th and Tuesday, July 16th in Minneapolis, MN.

The best way to learn is from those who have been there, so submit a proposal and share what you have learned! Accepted proposals will receive the choice of a $100 discounted registration or a $100 gift card at the Mall of America (located one block from the 2019 Summit).
Session topics to consider include:
  • Lessons learned
  • Communication Strategies
  • Student Innovation Teams
  • Idea Workshop Strategies
  • Lean Prototype Examples
  • Prototype Metrics
  • Project Management tips, etc.
Summit registration opening Jan 21!
Watch the InnovateK12 website for more details!
2018-2019 InnovateK12 Districts
Put your district on the map for our 2019-2020 InnovateK12 Cohort!