Scott Anthony's work in innovation interests me very much. Recently, I've been pondering the notion of "the innovator's paradox," which goes something like this: when they are in a position to innovate, most organizations don't; then, when they find themselves needing to innovate, they cannot do it.
Some schools got slammed by the financial crisis | economic downturn; others have continued to muddle along, with a slight decline in enrollment. There is a third group, as well: those schools that have either maintained their enrollment or grown it during the last few years (call it a flight to quality).
A few schools in the latter group have begun to talk about innovation, but are trying to figure out how to do it. Others in the same group are eschewing innovation altogther; why bother if we're doing just fine?
I'm wondering how many schools in this group might find themselves stuck in the innovator's paradox in the next two to four years: "We had a chance to innovate, and didn't. Now that we have to (i.e. enrollment is on the cusp of slipping), we're finding it terribly difficult to do."
I like Anthony's idea of writing a Pre-Mortem: a letter to yourself (i.e. the school), highlighting how things have unfolded over the next five years. Then, use that as a way of defining a strategy for what you might undertake within the school in order to avoid that scenario (i.e. the result of having done nothing when you could have...).
With the continued explosion of "free" educational options, how do schools NOT engage in wondering "how might we....?"