experiments, instruments & measurement book

Listening for Innovation

Listening for Innovation
Posted by Ben Alpert in I*MOVE, Innovation, Noticing


By Tamara Gropper

Being a parent requires many things.  For me, one of the most exciting things that parenting requires is also the most challenging – listening carefully to my children and believing deeply in their ideas no matter what path those ideas might lead them to follow through life.  It turns out that if I can do that consistently I may just be able to provide a key ingredient in raising an innovator. 

In his book, Creating Innovators, Tony Wagner explores what it takes to provide an atmosphere in which innovators and innovation can grow and thrive.  He profiles a number of individuals to see what elements of their life journey contributed to their ability to innovate from a young age.  Over and over again he finds that parents who really hear their children, who take the time to listen to and support their passions even when it means taking an unorthodox path to learning, significantly contribute to creating an environment of innovation for them.  The same can be said of the teachers and mentors with whom these young people engaged at various points in their development many of whom are innovators themselves.

So, what does innovation sound like to you?  Whose innovative voice have you heard this summer?  What gets in the way of hearing innovation when it’s expressed by our children, by our learners, by our colleagues? And what would it take to shift your response?

Learn more here!


Are you Person A or Person B?

Posted by Ben Alpert in Ellen Rank, I*MOVE, Peer Consultancy


By Ellen Rank

Person A: “I’m so busy! I’d love to meet with colleagues, but I can’t find the time. I need to be at my office and get my work done.”


Person B: “I’m so busy! I need to speak with my colleagues. I know that they can help me get through these challenges, and then I’ll be able to work more effectively and efficiently.
I know that I do my best work when working and consulting with colleagues. At the same time, I recognize that making time to meet with colleagues isn’t always easy.” Thinking about our new I*MOVE Peer Consultancy, I decided to look online to learn about other peer consultancies and their effectiveness.

My favorite find is a youtube by the Coltrain Group entitled Managing Workplace Stress with Peer Consultancy Groups. This video outlines how peer consultancy groups (PCGs) can alleviate some of the great causes of stress: (1) feeling a lack of control,(2) being subjected to unpredictable conditions and (3) feeling a lack of social support. In a Peer Consultancy, participants bring to the group work that they will have some control over, participants decide which things they want to spend time and energy on, and participants leave with next steps and can-do attitude. A Peer Consultancy Group is a place of predictability where using a protocol leads to an actionable outcome. PCGs support participants in pursuit of best practices as colleagues give thoughtful, creative help to one another. Participants in a PCG build collegial bonds as they give and get help from one another.

Instead of working on your own and feeling overwhelmed by questions and uncertainties, you can be part of a PCG. The Coltrain Group describes how members of PCG leave a meeting feeling empowered and excited, feeling like the group is a gift to the participants.

So, if you are in the metropolitan NY area, and would like to reduce your stress, a Jewish Education Project’s Peer Consultancy Group might be just what you need! If you have not yet signed up to be part of a Peer Consultancy for 2014-2015, look on our resources page  and scroll to I*MOVE Applications for 2014-2015 and scroll to the Peer Consultancy Application. A gift is waiting for you.

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