From the Dean: Being disruptive
Originally published in the Spring 2012 edition of Innovation magazine.
There are times when rocking the boat is necessary.
But speak up when the boat is going the wrong direction or at the wrong speed and you’re told to sit down. Don’t create waves. Don’t cause problems.
What may be needed for the boat to reach its destination are people with new perspectives, the creativity to think differently or the courage to be disruptive.
The College of Technology is at a point in its history where a bit of rocking is necessary. The challenges of industry and the public conceptions of technology and its application and impact have hindered our progress and have dulled our competitive edge. We have been comfortable in our seats on the boat. No big waves, no big problems.
I’m not comfortable with the status quo. It’s not where world-leading innovative colleges should stay. We must redefine what it means to be a student, graduate, faculty and staff member in our college, to move the college from Good to Great and to regain our place as a leader in technology education and innovation.
We must also review our definition of “innovation.” It is a powerful word, but it’s often misunderstood. It’s been used in technology and at the college for years (You can see it written in large letters on front of this magazine.), but have we truly thought about what it means to be innovative?
The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators
After almost a year in the Dean’s office, I realize that my role is to create an atmosphere where creative behaviors are nurtured and the college becomes a place where individuals feel empowered to express their ideas and energized to put them into action.
Our college is involved in projects than can have huge impact on a global scale. The stories in this magazine are the essence of the use-inspired research we are involved with and how we can make a difference. That’s what makes technology special.
Equally impressive are the countless staff members who are being disruptive in their own jobs. They have begun to recognize their own innovative DNA, to change the way they see their jobs and to appreciate the impact they can have in moving the college from Good to Great.
I agree with the authors of The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators who said that all people have the capacity to be innovative. My administrative team and I are working diligently to nurture and develop those skills in the college as one tool to sharpen our competitive edge.
Gary R. Bertoline, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Technology
Read more of Dean Bertoline’s viewpoints in his TechDean blog posts.