The 20% Innovation Challenge

I am challenging myself to live by what I am calling “The Google Rule” for at least the next session (eight weeks). I think I’m also going to turn this experiment into a TESOL proposal.

Essentially, the Google Rule boils down to devoting 20% of my time at work to innovation.  This presents a challenge on several fronts. Here is where I see my own personal challenges being likely to develop:

1) I estimate that I probably spend about 5% or less of my time innovating as things currently stand. This is due mostly to administrative responsibilities and teachers “paperwork” – things that I absolutely cannot put off, avoid or delay. Challenge number one is most decidedly going to be finding the time for that additional 15%. I will likely work more as a result, but I’m hoping to also discover ways to work smarter.

2) Developing new ideas takes a level of concentration that I don’t normally get the luxury of having. It will be a challenge to really set aside a block of uninterrupted time to focus on these new ideas. Assuming I work an 8-10 hour day, that is anywhere from 1.5 – 2 hours a day.

3) I think the EASIEST place to innovate is going to be the classroom. This session I plan to use an open curriculum model in which the students drive the course. I think this will automatically create a 20% innovation model for me as I adapt to their wants/needs and create new projects to accommodate that. The more difficult place to innovate will certainly be the SALC, particularly considering the issues mentioned above.

Part of increasing to 20% innovation will be taking the time to reflect here on the blog. This is something that has been all to easy to ignore in the past – despite the fact that I send myself weekly reminders to update, it’s a task that can always go to the back burner. We’ll see what happens when I send it to the front.

Wish me luck!



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