The OSSEMOOC Innovator’s Mindset book club ended about two months ago now, but a small idea has been lingering (Pestering is probably a better word). I wanted to blog about it in March and pushed it off. Then other’s blogged about it and I wondered if I had anything to really add. But as conversations, readings and countless posts about innovation pop up I can’t shake the idea of Relentless Restlessness.
It’s funny how you can read things once and pass it by. I was was re-reading Chapter 13 of the Innovator’s Mindset for our last Google Hangout when the words seemed to jump right off the page. The story is of Brad Bird, Pixar director, who would infuse in his organizations a sense of relentless restlessness – “that often uncomfortable urge for constant innovation, driven by the nagging feeling that things are never quite good enough.”
If I’m completely honest I probably liked the quote at first because I loved reading uncomfortable. It seemed to perfectly label my feelings for this year. I could see myself in the nagging feeling and the wanting more. I know it seems silly at times, but being a leader sometimes feels a little like being a tortured artist always wanting a little more, a bit more of a push.
The more I thought about it though, the more I could see myself in that picture of innovation. With the countless definitions of innovation, I could see myself in this one. Could innovation be that simple? A burning desire to do better. To not except good as good enough, but constantly look at the possibilities ahead.
Then I started thinking about our learners and what success means. What do I want for the learners I have worked with? Maybe more than just a definition of innovation, a relentless restlessness is what drives our lifelong journeys to learn. Could education be that simple? A nagging feeling to want more, do more, learn more.
How would the conversation about change alter if we looked at it with that urge to continue forward with more possibilities, more opportunities? How would our conversations and experiences with learners change if we saw education as that burning desire for to know more, learn more, want better?
Maybe I’m oversimplifying it. Maybe education and innovation are much more complex. Maybe relentless restlessness is already driving our systems of change. Maybe there’s a danger in always being in that place of relentless restlessness.
I just can’t shake that nagging feeling that there is more.