10X Thinking from PYB General Manager, Bill Miles

unnamedI had the opportunity to attend Richard Acheé’s Strategic Partnerships at Google for Education session at the NCCE Conference in Seattle last month. He did an excellent job explaining Google’s strategy and tools for improving education across the globe. Of all the devices purchased by schools last year, 51% were Google Chromebooks. When asked who in the room used Google docs, nearly every single one of the 200 attendees raised their hand.

Google Expeditions, which is being piloted in 5000 schools next year, will allow every child to experience great architecture and remote locations as never before. What Google is doing to improve education is awesome.

10X thinking has been adopted by Google and drives their decision making and investment strategy. Acheé described how everyone at Google thinks about how they can improve what they do by a factor of 10 times. If they are unable to make the 10x improvement, they go back to the drawing board.

So, how does this apply to yearbooks?

I encourage yearbook advisers and teams to think about their yearbook and ask what we can do this year that will make a 10X improvement to the yearbook. Would you want to:

  • engage 10X more students?
  • complete the yearbook in 10X less time?
  • have the yearbook printed and delivered 10X faster?
  • increase sales by 10X?
  • include 10X more photos of each student?

You are probably thinking that none of this is possible. My bet is that in 10 years all of this will be the norm and we will all be thinking about the next 10X improvements to the yearbook process.

We have been using 10X thinking at Picaboo Yearbooks in our product development process since the beginning. For example, when we first decided on our guaranteed turnaround times (from order to delivery), we did not want to simply beat the industry norm of three months by a mere 10% (i.e. two months and 20 days). By guaranteeing a three-week turnaround, we felt this would transform and improve the yearbook process by giving the yearbook team more time for book creation, time to cover more events in their yearbook and for more time for sales. This created a win/win/win for our customers.

Let us know how you plan to use 10X in your classroom or with your team.

We’d love to hear from you,

P.S. I recently presented a session called “Run Your Publication Staff Like a Start-Up” to a group of students and advisers at the National High School Journalism Convention and the Arkansas Scholastic Press Association Convention. Several advisers requested a copy of the presentation afterward, so I thought I’d share it with you as well.

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