The current coronavirus situation is horrible. Be safe, be aware, be helpful.
But also recognize the opportunity to learn. The disruption we’re ALL facing is simply a gap between what’s we want to do and what we can do.
And we’re all motivated to find solutions to the challenge.
The engine of creativity is driven by these gaps and if we recognize them, we can act more directly to them with less stress (an immunosuppressant) and greater efficiency.
And to complete the analogy, that engine requires fuel in the form of motivation to solve the problem AND a spark to ignite action and progress.
Let’s take the ongoing announcements of school closings. Clearly, the gap presented is to provide education, skill development, student-teacher connection and mentoring, and student-student socialization WITHOUT physical contact or even proximity. Parent/guardian or family integration is often part of the education process, too.
How do we deliver instruction and student development in a “touch-less” environment?
In more developed innovation practice methodologies, this “subtraction” of face-to-face contact is a constraint that drives creativity in looking for ways to deliver the results in new ways.
Enter technology. Not a new concept, and thankfully, we live in an era where the internet is available (though NOT universal, so think about that, too). We also have over a decade of development and experimentation in online learning, though predominantly focused on post-secondary (college) education. Fortunately, today’s youths are FAR MORE savvy on using technology than most of their teachers, and they’re terrific at experimenting fearlessly with the technology.
A quick search for online learning tools and training yields multiple prestigious organizations offering to teach the teachers how to do online instruction, and we encourage those interested in it to seek it out. (By the way, safety first. Let’s protect our younger learners from online risks where we can.)
For businesses, this very same technology is going to save many a meeting and transaction, as long as we use it. We need to embrace this opportunity as a nudge toward using all that our corporate IT departments have to offer. Bandwidth will go up, but so will creativity and ingenuity.
For the broader audience, let’s use this as an opportunity to recognize that innovation and creativity start with a gap, surrounded by the fuel of motivation, only waiting for a spark.
Let’s light this engine off and show everyone what kind of nation we are. After all, this IS the land of opportunity.