Education, innovative ideas will most likely come from countries, individuals and institutions who face significant limitations.
Editor's note: this is part two of a two part series. Part one covered This ecosystem is finally coming together in balance, there are still strong voices opposing profit purposed organization.entitled: A Once In a Lifetime Story of Digital Transformation In Education
A Cultural shift
My own personal journey began by resetting the pervasive terms and obsolete mindsets. I promoted the creation of a new language that allowed for reflection.
- We don't build products, we co-create solutions focused at our customer needs
- We do not manage product catalogs, we have to deploy learning assets and keep the appraisal process of these assets to be valuable
- We do not know better, we have our own views that have to be integrated with the teachers, students, institutions to be fully applicable.
- We must win from legitimacy not from tradition.
- We don't have a higher truth, we must look outside, learn every day, compare ourselves to the best.
- We are global. Learning is of human nature it does not happen in a place at a time or only at a learning system.
- We must measure everything and continuously, what worked last semester very likely will be challenged for next.
- Technology must be conceived as a tool, to play a role only together with pedagogy, teacher skills and student interests.
- Everything is connected: Formal and informal learning, school and home, college and work, museums and communities, content and technology
Innovation for education
One of the most challenging elements of my journey was to host innovation from within. Since there was no will to build an innovative arm, separate from the company that would have been a better approach.
I decided to approach this heads on. Searching for a public university (not the best place to search for innovation) Fortunately, I found one! UACH. Then convincing them on the need to build a joint venture: a Laboratory for Innovation in Learning Experiences! Finally joining resources to explore on the trends and technologies that could disrupt education (virtual reality, Rodadora)
Then I decided to build a Global Network of Edupreneurs. Looking for the recent specialized accelerators around the World focused only at education (LearnLaunch, Mindcet, LearnCapital) Then nurturing and exposing our company to their vision, capabilities, potential and motivations by becoming a judge of GESA and hosting monthly meetings with Edupreneurs.
Finally I built a team of complementary capabilities by disinvesting in textbook editors, adoption minded sales reps, obsolete product managers to bring in curriculum designers, tech geeks, out of the industry channel managers, project managers, external advisors, educational leaders and yes, millenials!
I learned that in education, innovative ideas will most likely come from countries, individuals and institutions who face significant limitations rather than from well-developed ones.
For a few years, we were on a roll! New revenue streams were found, replaced over 80% of the transactional revenues with healthier more strategical relationships. We won market share, we earned trust, we improved our visibility, we were called for innovative keynotes, we won awards...
A few months ago, this all looked like the next unicorn story within a Corporation.
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About the author
Fernando is a currently President McGraw-Hill Education, Latin America. He is a recognized senior executive, entrepreneur, speaker and board level leader with international background. He has founded and led successful enterprises in Latin America for over 25 years. He holds a Degree in Computer Science from the Universidad Iberoamericana, and an MBA in International Business by the University of Miami. Active member of Wharton Fellows, ENOVA Network of Latin America CEOs, Center for Hemispheric Policy and Council of the Americas, and board member at Inroads. He was most recently President at Cengage Learning / National Geographic Learning Latin America and founder of LINNEA the First Laboratory for Innovation in Learning Experiences in Latin America. There Fernando lead the transformation of the educational models and creating high value learning experiences by engaging students with technology.