The Henry Ford Model I

Model I logo

Innovation Powered by Perspective. 

To unleash everyone’s potential to innovate, The Henry Ford has developed Model I, a unique learning framework based on artifacts and stories in The Henry Ford Archive of American Innovation. This remarkable collection provides unprecedented insight into the way people innovate across 300 years of American history.

For over 90 years, our curators and historians have studied its content, curating stories of American ingenuity, resourcefulness and innovation which continue to evolve with today’s breakthroughs. It is this experience combined with our decade-long focus on innovation education that provides the expertise behind Model I. The framework consists of two frames: Actions of Innovation and Habits of an Innovator. Together, we use them as a language to describe Innovation Journeys within our collection — and activate learners through their own innovation journeys.

Lean into Learning

We support educators by meeting a critical need — by sharing a universal language for the teaching and learning of innovation that can be applied at every stage of the talent pipeline.

Actions of Innovation

Innovation is messy and there’s no one formula, but when we set out to pursue a new idea or solve a new problem, we can learn and act in ways that increase our chances of success. For would-be innovators, this set of guideposts helps to point the way forward.

Actions of Innovation Uncover UNCOVER
Connect with user to identify need, develop insight and gain perspective.
Actions of Innovation Define DEFINE
Use new perspective to provide scope and clarity to the problem.
Actions of Innovation Design DESIGN
Brainstorm solutions and create a prototype for testing that solution.
Actions of Innovation Optimize OPTIMIZE
Use feedback to improve the design through iteration.
Actions of Innovation Implement IMPLEMENT
Take prototype to market, seek new insight and re-enter cycle.
Model I Actions of Innovation Map

 

Habits of an Innovator

Developing our mindset — the way we see, think and interact with something — turns out to be especially useful for staying motivated and inspired to explore new ideas and overcome challenges.

Challenge the Rules
CHALLENGE THE RULES
Turn "can’t" into "can do." Dare to be different.
Habits of an Innovator Take Risks TAKE RISKS
Think BIG. Embrace uncertainty.
Habits of an Innovator Be Empathetic BE EMPATHETIC
Walk in other people's shoes to understand their needs.
Habits of an Innovator Collaborate COLLABORATE
Share what we know. respect what others bring.
Habits of an Innovator Stay Curious STAY CURIOUS
Learn something new. Ask questions.
Habits of an Innovator Learn From Failure LEARN FROM FAILURE
Be resilient. Use feedback to make improvements.
Model I Habits of an Innovator map

 

An Innovation Journey

On paper, innovation is a step-by-step process. In reality, it rarely happens that way. However the journey unfolds, we make the best progress when our habits and actions work together. Good habits help to unlock the potential that every action creates. Right actions bring purpose and focus to the habits we have.

model_i_wireframe_innovation_journeys

 

As you can see, we have set some initial rules of the road; however, feel free to Collaborate with us as we Optimize. We would love for you to Challenge the Rules that we set out. We only ask that you please run your ideas by us first.

Please email us any questions, comments or new ideas.