Inside LaunchStreet George Couros

The Power of Creating Problem Finders

George Courus is a leading educator in the area of innovative leadership, teaching, and learning and is the author of the book, The Innovator’s Mindset; Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity. On Inside LaunchStreet, we talked about the biggest barriers to innovation, why big institutions are so resistant to change and how to become the ripple effect of innovation inside your organization.

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Key Takeaways:

[1:11] George defines the components of an innovator’s mindset. You must believe in yourself, learn over time and do something to apply the learning.

[2:44] Why is there often a gap between the generation of the idea and the bringing the idea to fruition?

[4:08] Tamara reminds LaunchStreeters that it is important to take learning, filter it, and apply it to your world. She also cautions that if you’re compliant, you’re often moving backward.

[6:59] George shares why we often have a myopic view in regard to our own work.

[9:34] Learn why innovation is becoming more important to education now more than ever. Why is school no longer the place of learning?

[13:13] Tamara believes that kids are changing and that access to a phone or computer is access to knowledge. She shares that tomorrow’s marketplace is not about test performance. Is the education world reluctant to these changes?
[14:43] George shares a quote by A.J. Juliani, “The job of schools is not to ‘prepare’ kids for something; it’s to prepare them for anything.”

[16:15] Tamara challenges LaunchStreeters to be ready to adapt and change. Risk taking and change are often uncomfortable. We need to be ready to move from a comfortable state to a pursuit that is better.

[20:47] Tamara states that education is a critical factor in our society. What happens if education doesn’t innovate? George talks about the downfall of Blockbuster and the rising of Netflix, He tells that in Canada, the taxis had a moratorium and they had a critical choice. They could have either improved things or continue to complain about Uber. Find out the outcome of the taxi moratorium and how things have changed.

[23:39] George shares some of his characteristics of the innovator’s mindset in his book, The Innovators Mindset; Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity. He first shares the power of being empathetic. George quotes Ewan McIntosh,”We don’t want our kids to be problem solvers, we want them to be problem finders.” It’s important that kids are critical and pose a solution.

[25:54] Next, he shares the characteristic of resilience. Everyone’s situation is unique.  We all need to find ways to work through things. Reflection is also a big part of this. We need to look back in order to move forward.

[30:09] How do you pattern interrupt someone to get them to realize what they are doing isn’t working? George shares an example from the airline industry. When the executives routine was disrupted, they focused on innovation.

[34:52] Problems in education translate into similar problems in the business world.

[38:44] George shares that his passion around innovation in education began eight years ago when his superintendent started him on a project called, The Division Principle of Innovation and Learning. He began by exploring what innovation in education actually meant.

[42:09] Tamara highlights that the leaders have to be innovative in order to experience the ripple effect of innovation. When ideas are challenged, growth occurs.

[45:08] Connect with George on Twitter and his blog.


Mentioned in This Episode:

The Innovators Mindset; Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity, by George Courus

Georges blog



LaunchStreet’s Innovation On Demand 

LaunchStreet’s Innovation Quotient Edge Assessment