(KBO as in “keep buggering on”, like Churchill used to say)
Do you sometimes find yourself wishing you wouldn’t have read something? Today, I did, here.
And I really stopped dead in my tracks in every other sentence because of the utter preposterousness, (maybe due to the) lack of depth, and the crying urge to give all those people a high five. In the face. With a chair.
All in all, it’s a typical snapshot of the world situation. All the people we used to turn to in need of an answer now have no one to turn to themselves. BECAUSE they’ve been brought up by the system (and have largely benefitted from it) they’re now putting on trial. Only this time it’s colleges. Of course, they’re already through with kindergarten, elementary and high school, now they’ve nailed it, it’s colleges! And as much as I’d like to be totally ironic now, I’m so-not-gonna-be it. Because there is a serious problem at hand here, which is fear. Fear of change. Not mentioned in the article though. Not as such.
And there’s something else: The permeation speed of knowledge (=processed information) inside most companies is (at least) by an order of magnitude smaller than the (both inside and outside) emergence and transformation of new information — because there are insufficient connections (for a number of reasons, which I think are not necessary to explain, just look at what’s going on at your workplace). Also not mentioned in the article.
Sometime they’ll give a change and nobody will come — then change will come to you anyway. Those who do not actively seek change, who do not scrutinize their organisations and the processes therein in order to enable an evolution or revolution, will face the hardship of all too-rigid corporations. It’s puzzling a CEO can utter “It’s not the big devouring the small, it’s the quick devouring the slow!” without getting it himself. I mean, really getting it and acting accordingly.
Hence, what needs to be done? Employers must re-think their organisations and processes. Employees must be connected. The advantage of having knowledge your competition doesn’t yet have is useless when is hasn’t permeated the company. A team of specialists is superior to an equally-numbered team of generalists. Then the imperative is to create ways allowing specialists (preferrably the best in their field) to find their place in the team (Hint: Throwing them in cold water is a bad idea, you and they are here for a marathon, not a weekend ride). If you as an employer know the job requires a skill that is not being taught at school, this makes you responsible in the first place to teach it. Arguing this particular skill were an everyday skill which one could expect applicants to have nowadays, puts you on very thin ice, because your applicants may have other skills they consider as everyday, but you don’t have a clue.
Oh, and fire the lazy ones. No really. Even if it costs you a fortune. In the long run it saves you, and saves you money. Hint: You will identify them by the frog noises they make, it’s either “yeah-but” or “I-can’t”, or both, and have the IT 1st level support make a list with the five most frequent “my-printer-has-a-problem” and “the-internet’s-slow” callers. Sack them too (No, I’m still not being ironic here. I mean it).
Both students (i.e. future employees) and employees must understand that life-long self-motivated active learning is mandatory, not an option, but also not an entitlement for a promotion in whatever way. It’s a basis for future negotiation if and how your contract will be extended.
This applies for educators too, because after all, education is a business like any other. As an educator, you only must treat your clients (i.e. students) as if they were employees—connect them, enable high permeation speed of knowledge and skills. Hint: Nobody has ever aquired a skill just by watching an online video, every skill is a result of practice.
And media must really get a life. (Still not being ironic here.)
So here’s the irony: Once, the feudal superiors were happy when the peasants were as uneducated as possible. Then came industrialization, and a public education system was invented to turn peasant children into a workforce. Science only to advance the industry. This was further enhanced by two world wars who brought down the monarchs (as sovereigns), and consolidated the position of the industry. And then the industry got so industrious they forgot to model the education system for their future needs, because the industry as such got too diverse, allies turning into enemies, they could no more agree on what their ideal future peasant would be… I know of a possible answer, and it scares the hell out of me.