Just Another Day at the Beach

February 17, 2010

February 13, 2007....between Salter Path and Emerald Isle, NC


Help Wanted: Economist

February 8, 2010

In a sign of the times, a local refrigeration company looks to strengthen its competitive advantage in a global market by adding an economist to its staff.

This classified from the on-line and print editions of a coastal town rag, published thrice weekly:

ECONOMIST, Corporate, Morehead City, NC needed by BMIL Technologies LLC. Conduct research, prepare reports, or formulate plans to aid in solution to economic problems affecting the cold storage, refrigeration and dehumidification industries. Collect and process economic and statistical data. MA in Economics plus 3 years experience or BA in Economics plus 5 years progressive experience.

The reason this classified strikes me is that it relates to  my previous post on emerging issues and creativity.

Leadership of BMIL has devised a creative strategy to understand and attack “the economic problems affecting the cold storage, refrigeration and dehumidification industries.”  BMIL wants to bring on board an economist who will “collect and process economic and statistical data.”  That person will “conduct research, prepare reports, or formulate plans” relative to growing their business in its sector.

This is no different than how we in schools can and should creatively embrace data and research/policies to create plans for continued growth in our own sectors.

Ultimately, the refrigeration company’s success will be judged in terms of refrigeration units sold.  Our gold lies in how many units of academic growth we can influence annually for 100% of our students.

Emerging Issue: Creativity?

February 7, 2010

haulin netSeems odd that Creativity is stealing center-stage at the Emerging Issues Institute, Feb. 8-9 in Raleigh, NC.    Creativity, hard work, perseverance, and calculated risk have long been staples in the rise of this great nation.

Now, however, we seem to be stuck in the mud as an economic downturn drags on, resources tighten, and businesses/institutions search for answers.

According to an article in the News and Observer:

Creativity is one of those hard-to-define subjects that soon drift into talk of left brain/right brain characteristics and highfalutin references to “the cognitive age” and “the conceptual age.”

But everybody knows that the old jobs of priming tobacco and manning textile looms are gone, and the new jobs are much more likely to require hard thinking than back-breaking work.

So 1,000 leaders will gather at the sold-out conference to listen to such speakers as author Daniel Pink; U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan; Bill Strickland of Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild; Eric Liu, founder of Creativity Matters; and Mark Dean, IBM’s vice president for technical strategy.

In education, we would do well to revisit the place of quality and engaging literature, art, recreation, and music in the creativity revival.  But I would caution against throwing the accountability baby out with the bathwater.

Done correctly, the use of data derived from common assessments can inform creative decisions about students, staff, programs and schools…without which, we would often continue to be mired.

There is no dearth of scholarship and commentary on the topic of creativity.  Sir Ken’s video “Are Schools Killing Creativity?” is one modern example.

Just to be creative, I searched the term Creative on my blog and found these results.

The term Creativity on my blog yielded these results, the phrase Daniel Pink yielded these results, and the term Emerging yielded these results.

…and my all time personal favorite on Haulin’ Net when it comes to creativity is that I have had 19 job titles in education in the last 24 years.  I call it Riding New Gears.

Riding new gears is the essence of creativity.  It is literally and figuratively where the rubber meets the rode.

And that may be the challenge ahead of us if we are to embrace creativity as part of the solution to kickstarting economic and institutional engines.  It’s turning words and thoughts into organizational actions.

It requires leaders at all levels who are experienced in creative thought and creative learning for maximum educational gain.