InnovateK12 Newsletter: March 5, 2019
Using Innovation as a Strategy While
Increasing and Enhancing Frontline Engagement
a note from Eric Schneider, InnovateK12 Founder/CEO
Are you leading strategic initiatives but lack traction? InnovateK12 superintendents not only see the value our toolkit adds to their strategic planning process, they also experience a transformation in the culture of their organizations.

Staff in InnovateK12 schools feel encouraged, invited, and honored for their knowledge and expertise. And they see (sometimes for the first time) that their leaders are truly listening and care about the ideas generated by frontline staff. Before long, an agile culture starts to emerge, filled with ownership and authorship. And the return on investment can be found in all corners of the organization.
The InnovateK12 network is a collaborative group of innovative leaders, sharing access to innovative ideas surfacing in the most progressive districts. In 2019-20, InnovateK12 will grow to over fifty districts representing states in nearly half the country. Registration is currently open for 2019-20. For more information, contact me at and join this forward-thinking network of innovative school and district leaders.
Create a Culture of Innovation
using the InnovateK12 framework
InnovateK12 Cohort Updates
The Saline (MI) Idea Swarm closed Idea Submission on March 1
with FORTY THREE ideas!
On March 1, Waconia's (MN) Explore Wild Ideas closed voting on 57 ideas with over 22,168 votes !


Friday 5/3/19
End of Year
Cohort Members Share Idea Workshop
and Lean Prototype Strategies
On Friday, February 22nd, we combined our Minnesota face-to-face cohort meeting with our National cohort and met online. Districts provided updates and shared strategies for conducting Idea Workshops and implementing lean prototypes in their districts. Check out the shared wisdom below!
“The smartest person in the room, is the room.”
Alexandria Public Schools "Fishing for Ideas"
Well-developed "How Might We..." questions that are based on sound empathy work will lead to ideas that are aligned with the needs of the end user.
Cambridge-Isanti Schools "Bluejacket Brainstorm"
Create "Empathy Tours" to ensure the time and guidance needed for your design teams to collect critical information about their users. "Empathy Guides" can schedule appropriate observations and interviews for the design team.
Chaparral "Spark the Change"
Consider using a panel of experts to rank top voted ideas according to a set of pre-determined criteria.

*InnovateK12 Team note : This expert vetting process is an available feature on the Spigit platform and can be built into your 2019-2019 innovation event!
Minnetonka Public Schools "Big Hunt for Ideas"
Implementation of an idea can take time. "Trades of Tomorrow" was a top idea from the 2017-18 Big Hunt for Ideas. The design team spent a year researching and planning for implementation. Kudos for a very successful " Trades Panel" for students.
Pine Island - "Ignite - Spark the Change"
Celebrating idea champions is critical. Make a big deal in front of as many staff as possible!
Saline "Idea Swarm"
Make sure to share program success with your school board. Enthusiasm for the process is contagious.
White Bear Lake Area Schools "The Big Sleuth"
Big ideas with many stakeholders can be scary. Creative ideation is so important when it comes to coming up with feasible prototypes.
InnovateK12 Webinar Series
Since August 2018 the InnovateK12 team and cohort members have participated in regular webinars on a variety of topics. Top videos include the following:
We are taking the next few Fridays off of webinars for spring break but will be back with a special webinar on Friday, April 5th where we will be showing a live demo of our new innovation software. Please RSVP for this webinar so that we can provide participants with individual logins to our demo site.
Interactive Spigit Demonstration
Online Webinar and Spigit Platform

04/05/19 12:00pm - 04/05/19 1:00pm

Your email address will be collected when you respond to this poll. An email confirmation with instructions will be sent prior to the event.
I'll be there!
Creating Schools that Thrive: A Blueprint for Strategy
As member districts engage in InnovateK12 strategies for building a culture of innovation and move through our structured approach to capture ideas from frontline staff, they naturally begin to see how the InnovateK12 platform can elevate strategic planning efforts and implementation of strategic initiatives. Innovation emerges as a strategy to support future planning. To this end, InnovateK12 will be hosting a conversation at the 2019 K12 Innovation Summit inspired by Stephanie Rogen’s book Creating Schools that Thrive: A Blueprint for Strategy . We will share Stephanie’s breakthrough work, referred to as “Strategic Design”, in a session will be dedicated to superintendents who are members of the network.
Spotlight on K12 Innovation Summit Sponsors

Supporting School Leaders in the Pursuit of 21st Century Skills and Innovation!

In October 2018, Battelle for Kids acquired the groundbreaking EdLeader21 network in an effort to boost the national effort to elevate 21st century skills in our schools. Many of the current and incoming InnovateK12 members are also members of the EdLeader21 network, demonstrating our organizations' shared commitment to innovation. We are proud to announce that Battelle for Kids will be a premium sponsor for this summer’s K12 Innovation Summit in Minneapolis. We appreciate the support of our good friends at Battelle for Kids, and we strongly encourage all of our friends to explore the value of a membership to the EdLeader21 network. A big "Thank You" to Battelle for Kids CEO Karen Garza, EdLeader's Ken Kay, Val Greenhill, and Alyson Nielson for your support!
InnovateK12 Tweets
Spigit by Planview
The InnovateK12 team is thrilled to be the exclusive provider for Spigit in the K-12 space! We are excited because, as an industry leader in innovation, Spigit has so much to offer beyond the software platform.

Check out this ebook by Spigit and let us know what resonates with your district.