We all have problems. Sometimes they are small: your sandal breaks. Sometimes they’re large: technological innovation drives market change. In any case, a challenge can be seen as a problem or as an opportunity.

With an innovation or growth mindset, you learn to approach each problem as an opportunity to grow. So, it is no surprise that innovation & entrepreneurship are at the center of conversations about how schools & other organizations can adapt to what some folks lovingly call the BIG SHIFT.

In the industrial economy of the last century, value was created through efficient productivity, which thrives in the stability of vertical integration and economies of scale that large corporations and institutions provide. This worked for a while—but technological changes in the last ½ century changed everything.

Now, we find ourselves making a BIG SHIFT into a network economy where value is created by doing the right job at the right time for the right people. In other words, success depends on your ability to creatively solve problems for people when & how they need it. This requires organizational agility & diverse networks—not something you often find in big institutions. And so, established organizations face some pretty tough challenges that are driving change. Business as usual just isn’t an option anymore.

Today’s organizations & institutions need innovative and intrapreneurial folks who can help lead smart change from where they are—people who see challenges as opportunities, not just someone else’s problem. And here is why that’s important: those who take the chance to lead in times of change have a better chance of shaping the future than those who simply accept things as they are.

Problems are an opportunity to change the way the world works—for better or worse. What’s your opportunity? What will you do?

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