The pace of innovation is unprecedented. Our lives and careers have been revolutionized by the advent of digital technologies. Also, international leaders are working together to implement the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to improve areas such as health, education, gender equality, energy, and more. The private sector is becoming more conscious of the economic benefits of considering the social and environmental impacts of enterprises.
So, as educators, how can we best equip our students to thrive in this volatile and uncertain, yet hopeful and exhilarating, global setting? The knowledge and abilities students need to succeed in their chosen professions and help shape a better world evolve alongside the world around them. We contend that teachers need to encourage students to think like entrepreneurs if they want their students to learn the relevant skills for the future.
Strategies to encourage innovative thinking among your students:
An entrepreneur’s mindset entails the ability to recognize and make the most of opportunities, shift gears when necessary, and see setbacks as stepping stones to growth.
An entrepreneurial frame of mind is crucial for every student who plans on going into business for themselves. Students with this outlook can become intrapreneurs, or leaders of innovation and creativity within a firm, NGO, or government agency where they eventually find employment. It can be useful in ordinary life, too, by reducing the emotional toll of mistakes and recasting missteps as instructive challenges.
Successful business educators know how to foster a can-do, risk-taking attitude in their students. They benefit, of course, from teaching a topic that requires this kind of critical thinking on the part of their students. A lot of the strategies they employ in one subject may be used in another.
In this article, I shall dig into six distinct methods in this category. As we go, keep in mind how you may adapt these methods to foster an atmosphere of innovation and creativity in your own classroom.
Project-based learning can help students forge their own academic paths:
Take the students on an adventure with no set itinerary. Get right in and have them come up with a problem that they can use to practise their problemsolving skills in teams. Ignore their requests for a plan.
Encourage students to think globally and explore their imaginative potential:
The term ‘unlearning’ comes to mind. It’s important to consider whether the students you’re about to teach have already formed fixed opinions or assumptions about the kinds of things you hope to alter. It’s possible, for instance, that they’ll enter your classroom assuming that you’ll provide all the answers and all the knowledge they’ll need to succeed. Plan your class so that the students present more often than you do, and take on more of an advising role.
Challenge students to be bold:
Encourage the students to include their personal experiences and professional expertise in their coursework. A more well-known admonition to ‘get out of the classroom’ may not be as effective as this. When students take charge of their own education, they can begin from a familiar and safe place of understanding and then explore new avenues of inquiry.
Acknowledge the potential of your students:
Consider many approaches that you might use to motivate your students to push themselves while maintaining their safety. You should give your students difficult assignments, but you should also make sure they get the support they require.
Show students why it’s crucial to constantly revise and enhance their strategies:
You should incorporate some room for student error into your lesson plans. Remind them that setbacks may be used as stepping stones to success by demonstrating how to grow from error. A ‘pivot’ is the term used to describe this type of action in the context of entrepreneurship. Is there a chance that students will encounter roadblocks and have to make adjustments as a result of your course?
Maintain open lines of communication with your students as you work to instill in them fresh perspectives:
Get in touch with your students outside of class (yes, that’s right) and send them messages that will help them retain the new perspective you’re trying to instill in them. Through the use of social media and messaging apps like Twitter and WhatsApp, it is simple to do so.
The global spread of COVID-19 has shown how essential an entrepreneurial mindset is for solving today’s problems. We have responded to the pandemic in various ways, including by accepting risk, being proactive, seeing opportunities, sharing information, working together, maintaining a level of flexibility, and fixing problems as they arise. Each of these characteristics is essential to the entrepreneur’s way of thinking. By inculcating such a mindset in our students, we will better prepare them to face the difficulties of the future and seize the possibilities that lie ahead.
About the Author
Dr Vimal Babu is an associate Professor of HR & OB area, SRM University-AP. He completed his graduation from the university of Delhi in History and Political Science. He has also pursued Masters in Human Resource Management followed by PhD in Management: OB/HR from Centre for Management Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia Central University, New Delhi.
His long experience of over 1.5 decades as a visiting professor, assistant professor and associate professor is a souvenir of his successful journey in this field.