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10 Innovative Strategies for 21st Century Leaders

10 Innovative Strategies for 21st Century Leaders

Here I am in Alicante, Spain! The weather is amazing.  Back home downunder it’s wintertime! Here in Alicante I feel so lucky to see a beautiful blue sky.

Radiant blue skies stimulate my creative thinking. Blue skies remind me of ‘Thinking Outside the Box’ and Edward de Bono’s ‘Six Thinking Hats’. You might have heard of the strategy known as ‘Blue Sky Thinking’ used to stimulate creative ideas that are not limited by current thinking or beliefs.

Blue Sky Thinking is a great leadership strategy for innovative 21st Century leaders and learners.

Here are 10 Blue Sky Thinking Strategies that I know will work for you.

  1. Find a way to welcome change into your thinking. Make room for changes in your day. Change your morning routine. Get up earlier. Meditate. Take a different route to work. Change your work pattern. Build in rest and renewal daily and weekly. These actions will all stimulate new thinking and new ideas.
  2. Read often for enjoyment, inspiration and to master understandings about concepts you do not yet fully understand.
  3. Start a personal journal. Note down ideas from your reading that are appealing to you or relevant to your situation. Wonder how different ideas can be applied to your situation or to your life. Try combining different ideas and come up with something new.
  4. Keep an ideas bank. Store your brilliant ideas in a notebook and review them for inspiration. Take your notebook wherever you go. I’ve got mine with me here in Alicante! You never know when a great idea will hit you.
  5. Start your own blog. Writing 300- 400 words about a topic and sending a blog post out to the world regularly helps you to research your ideas and clarify your thinking. Hopefully it will inspire others to take action too.
  6. Cultivate Blue Sky Thinking as a regular part of your week. Think outside the box. Be open to new ideas, tools and models.  It really works.
  7. Recruit people who are smarter than you and encourage them to regularly take part in Blue Sky Thinking. You will be amazed at the innovations you will achieve together.
  8. Overcome your fear of failure. Not all ideas will succeed. Keep learning from your failures until you come across the right thing. Innovators and creators see failures as iterations.
  9. Plan adventures in your life. Marvel at nature. Plan adventures weekly and monthly. Adventures take you to new places, where you see new things and think new ideas.
  10. Push your learning outside the box. New learning will enrich your Blue Sky Thinking. As well as formal degrees like an international education masters degree,, you can try online courses, conferences and workshops. Actually that’s why I’m in Spain so I can attend the International Conference in Thinking, ICOT 2015. Great thinkers from around the world will be presenting, even Edward de Bono!


I’m offering an innovative Leadership for the 21st Century workshop on 7 August in Geelong, Australia for educational innovators. Why not come along and find out how to improve your 21st Century leadership capacity? You can find out more here


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