I’m currently reading a book called Jugaad Innovation, authored by Radjou, Prabhu and Ahuja. “Jugaad” in Hindi means ingenious solutions to problems or turn adversity into opportunities. The six guiding principles behind the Jugaad Innovation are a) seek opportunity in adversity, b) do more with less, c) Think and act flexible, d) Keep it simple, e) Include the margin, f) Follow your heart. I’ve seen different jugaad-in-action classrooms and schools all over the world- from the biggest things like having a non-traditional approach to education and starting an education revolution, to the little things like using old mineral water bottles as pencil holders. Big or small, they equally inspire me to be a classroom innovator.
As I read through the different stories of individuals and companies who succeeded through innovation, this line made an impact on me:
“When you listen to your customers, you merely react to needs; when you empathize with customers, you anticipate their needs; but when you truly love your customers, you surprise them by introducing them to products they can’t even fathom.”– Mauro Porcini, 3M Head of Global Strategic Design
This made me ask:
- How often do we surprise our students?
- What do we do to make our students go ‘wow’?
- What something new do we do in the classroom?
- How often do we do something new in the class?
- How is innovation celebrated in our class?
- Are there any new ideas we are willing to fight for?
- What ideas do we have that seem outrageous but are helpful?
- Have you done anything risky for the betterment of the students?
- Do we follow our hearts in the classroom?
- How else do we show our love for our students?
I think we educators should consider ourselves not only as people who facilitate the class, but as artists who are capable of designing and engineering to solve problems, to do something for the marginalized, and to do something…inspiring– not only for our students, but for everyone else who cares.
Maybe the true signs of love for students are not just measured by how much we listen and feel for them. Love for students is also measured by how we apply creativity in the classroom- to think out of the box and go out of our comfort zone for solutions that will address the issues in the classroom despite limitations, risks and personal struggles.
Are you a ‘jugaad’ in the classroom?