Step #1: Compare your ideals with reality.
One way leaders think of new ideas is by imagining how things “should be” and then matching that picture with the present reality. To begin this process you could begin by describing what the ideal school environment would be.
For example, your perfect school might include:
1. Students having a say in how their education is delivered.
2. Many choices at lunch time, including healthy options.
3. Outstanding communications between the school board and student government.
4. Convenient places to park a bike, car, etc.
5. People in need within the community are supported. etc.
Now take a look at your school for what it truly is. Where does it meet your expectations? Where does it fall short? It’s in that gap where reality falls short that the greatest ideas can be found.
Step #2: Link the reality to the ideals.
Now that you’ve imagined your ideal school and compared it with the reality, how can you create a pathway that will allow the situation to improve? In other words, how do you get from point A (current situation) to point B (better situation)?
Let’s say that you want to make it more convenient for students to park their bike around campus. Great! Where should the new parking place be that would make it more efficient? By pushing the reality towards the perfect world, you have created a new idea!
Step #3: Remove the barriers.
It’s great to have a bold new idea, but you also have to make it possible. Identifying the barriers that stand in the way can help you take an abstract idea and make it possible. What are the barriers for your idea? Is a need for better planning? Funding? Getting permission from key administrators? Developing new rules?
By overcoming these barriers you can say to people, “Look here’s this great new idea and we will achieve it by doing A, B and C”.