The value of your education should be evaluated in terms of how well it prepared you to go out into the world and achieve a rewarding career in whatever field you choose. My career meandered through various types of organizations and jobs, from an entry level analyst position in a monopoly telecommunications firm to president in a highly competitive data and internet business to career development author and mentor to young professionals. My school experience didn’t prepare me well enough for my 40 - year journey; these are the top 5 annoyance I have with school.
ComplianceSchool at all levels teaches you’re taught to comply with what is being taught; learn the content and don’t deviate from it. Follow the rules is the theme at school. The curriculum represents “the truth” in the world to students who view the subject matter — and the teacher’s bias in teaching — as gospel. This is a problem for organizations that are thus faced with selecting the best conformance person in terms of their education and therefore find difficulty finding the right balance of stability and creativity in potential candidates.
Rewards for fitting inA corollary to the previous point, is that “A’s” are handed out to those in class who have mastered the course content perfectly. Achieving 95% in your science exam means you are a science master, whereas a 30% mark means you’re not doing as well as you should in terms of learning the rote content. A high mark = almost perfect compliance; a low mark = low compliance. In business, rewards in most organizations go to those who fit in; who comply with the way things are done around here. Who is best at applying the traditional doctrines of an organization seem to get recognition, those that step out and challenge the norms often attract negative attention. This is a real problem because it doesn’t encourage creativity and innovation which is what is needed for organizations to survive and thrive in an uncertain and unpredictable environment.
IrrelevanceSchool teaches you copious amounts of subject matter but much of it isn’t transferable into business.
- Business needs innovation and creativity; schools teach compliance;
- Business needs adaptability from employees; school teaches predictability using standard formulae;
- Business needs recovery skills when mistakes are made; school teaches do it right the first time and is silent on what to do if actions don’t work right the first time;
- Business needs personalization in the solutions provided; school teaches mass marketing.