Rewarding Innovation

March 15, 2016

I had an intriguing conversation with a new friend in Copenhagen last week. She teaches innovation to Nutrition and Foods students at a professional school in the city. Over lunch we talked about working with colleagues to create improvements (not even innovation!) And I confessed that one challenge I had was the need for credit for envisioning, in great detail, a good idea. 
She laughed and said this was the one thing my colleagues in higher education would not allow me. Innovate a model or a pathway in my research and I would be cited endlessly, but innovate a new pathway in our shared life as teachers and I would be disrupting the status quo, unwelcome at the least and merely doing my job at the most. She shared that she and a colleague had formed a startup firm to pursue their online teaching innovation rather than have credit for their ideas simply folded into business as usual.

Have you experienced this issue? Is this a symptom of the devaluing of teaching and service (this issue applies to service as well) we find common in higher education?


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