Monday, January 4, 2016

Book Review: The Innovator's Mindset by George Couros

Book Review: The Innovator's Mindset by George Couros
I recently finished reading the book The Innovator's Mindset by George Couros and am eager to continue the conversation of the book's contents with anyone.  Over the past few years, I have read all of George's blog posts because his thoughts on education resonate with my educational philosophy.  I heard George speak at ISTE in Philadelphia in June 2015 and again at TIES in Minneapolis in December 2015, so to say I connected with the book would be an understatement.  Here is a brief summary of the book.

We are in an exciting time in education with so many opportunities for ourselves and our students, so George starts by defining innovation " a way of thinking that creates something new and better."  As educators, shouldn't we always be searching and developing new and better?  His positive approach throughout the book encourages his readers to embrace change.  After all, "Change is an opportunity to do something amazing" as educators consider what is best for each learner.  George further develops the definition of The Innovator's Mindset through an explanation of each of the "8 Characteristics of the Innovator's Mindset," which are depicted in the following infographic by Sylvia Duckworth (@sylviaduckworth):

While reading the book, I appreciated George's straight forward approach to change.  He strategically provides opportunities to look at our selves/school/district in the "mirror" through questions posed in the book while opening the door to considering something better.  George recognizes the many aspects not within educators' purview and focuses on those areas which are in educators' control.  For example, education is and always will be about relationships.  The bottom line remains, "...we must be constantly focused on improving our practice, which means we will never be done innovating, growing, and learning" (George Couros).

This book is a must read if you are...
1. an educator or school leader.
2. truly focused on "What is best for each learner?"
3. open to new ideas to ponder, discuss, and develop.
4. ready to challenge the status quo.
5. interested in creating new and better educational opportunities for your students.
6. open to considering well-developed ideas to make school a more innovative place for students.

The words in The Innovator's Mindset are not just words in a book, but rather a thoughtful culmination of George's own journey towards an Innovator's Mindset.  As a connected educator himself, George connects the dots of current education thought and synthesizes the information in a way that encourages all educators to move forward.  As George states; "If we don't really think about the way we teach, and, more importantly how both educators and students learn, we will all miss out on the opportunities that lie in front of us."  Most importantly, "If students leave school less curious than when they started, we have failed them" (George Couros).  What are you doing to learn and ensure students leave your classroom/school/district more curious than when they started?  Spending some quality time with this book is the perfect place to start.

The Innovator's Mindset is another outstanding book from Dave Burgess Publishing (  I have read most of the books in the Dave Burgess publishing series and found each one to be though-provoking as each author underscores better educational opportunities for students.  As educators read these books and become connected educators, they model what it means to be a learner, for our students.  Even more importantly, these books are outstanding for book study discussions which will hopefully lead to positive changes in your classroom/school/district.


  1. Joel...Thank you for your kind words and own thoughts on the book. It is amazing to see what each person gets out of it. Thank you for your kind words as well. Glad you enjoyed it.

  2. Thank you for this awesome review of George's book, Joel. I really think it is a game changer and I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed it. Also...filled with gratitude for your words of support for our line of books from DBC, made my night!