Clueless

Clueless… …it’s how I felt in high school. And I’ll bet you did too. The swirling hormones, roller coaster mood swings, excitement, friends-related drama. The frequent inability to focus. And somewhere, in the background, the constant pressure of looming tests and homework deadlines. Science tells us  the brain doesn’t fully mature until age 25. And yet, it is at this unformed age that we are called on to make education decisions that will, in many cases, chart a course for the rest of our lives. How did you go about that? How does anyone go about that? Here’s how it …

Moving Forward to Grow Talent in Technology

Here’s the latest on our K-Career Technology Pipeline. This past October, we even took it up another notch and put everyone in the room together to hash out our local talent development issues in emerging industries. By everyone, I mean the Kentucky Department of Education was talking to industry leaders, secondary and higher education professionals and leaders, and economic development leaders. It was an exhausting all day event, but we made headway. We learned that: we must get those closest to our students (teachers, coaches, guidance counselors, family advocates) to become the most informed about the new realities of work and industry. …

The Work Ready Project

They asked for “out of the box,” and so we delivered. After working for over 18 months on this concept from user experiences to analogous research in and out of state, to many, many, many industry conversations, I present our Work ready concept as the Paducah Regional Innovation Hub. The executive summary sums it up nicely or you can just watch the slide presentation below it. The University of Kentucky Paducah Campus, the Paducah Public Schools, WKCTC, Murray State University, Paducah Economic Development, Computer Services, Inc., the city of Paducah, and an additional and growing number of public/private regional partners …

Schools and Strategy – Playing to Win

When I first started thinking about the strategy of schools, I was reading A.G. Lafley’s Playing to Win. I hadn’t really thought of a school district as needing to win per se. I thought schools were on a mission for equity and touted that “everyone is a winner and capable of excellence” kind of stuff. However, in Kentucky at least, I found that the incentives for school funding can drive competitive behaviors between districts. Income from the number of students in attendance is a significant revenue stream. In the game of education, this is a big deal especially if you are in a …

Growing Talent in Two Worlds

About a month ago, I took a storytelling workshop online through IDEO U. My goal was to find a more compelling way to share the results from 9 months of implementing our technology pipeline. There’s no bullet points, bar charts or executive summary. My hope is that you get the essence of what we tried to do, why, and where we are headed next. My greatest intention with this project was to end up with an empathic design that reached the kids who needed it the most. To do this, every step centers around starting early with play, building relationships, and having coaches …

Growing Talent – The Ongoing End

In a month we will come upon our year anniversary of starting this journey of school reaching out to industry.  It started with the school district connecting with the community. A simple talk at a Chamber of Commerce event set the stage. Listening ears perked up and responded. It’s a dance. The more we collaborate, the more we continue to gain a deeper understanding of each other and that the times they really are a changin’. None of us can continue doing school and business like we have been. Last week I was listening to the president of Murray State University speak about the new …

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Growing Talent – The Nudge

Last month I experienced one of the most powerful things we’ve done so far to connect students and teachers with industry. I’ve described in recent posts how in our journey to build talent in tech, we’ve started the conversation with school leaders, industry, and higher education. We’ve examined the student journey to see where we connect and disconnect. But none of this has gotten the traction or even the power to change attitudes so quickly as our most recent endeavor which was to get out of the building and put the target customer (aka the student) in the space. We created a …