Democracy’s Viability Depends on Education

According to a recent Newsweek survey among 1,000 U.S. citizens, “29 percent couldn’t name the vice president. Seventy-three percent couldn’t correctly say why we fought the Cold War. Forty-four percent were unable to define the Bill of Rights. And 6 percent couldn’t even circle Independence Day on a calendar.”  As Andrew Romano, the author of the Newsweek article noted, “…the world has changed. And unfortunately, it’s becoming more and more inhospitable to incurious know-nothings—like us.”  To quote Plato, “the price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”  The need for a curiosity of mind in all human endeavors, particularly in business, education and government, should be clear. Continue reading

Statistically Speaking

Quantum physicists tell us that at the subatomic level there is indeterminacy to the interactions and interconnections of particles—that they do not take place at a definite place and time—and thus (they) exhibit a likelihood of occurring; reality is associated with a statistical probability distribution.  In other words, variation is an inherent phenomenon characteristic of reality. Continue reading

Hidden Lessons in Leadership #22

Interviews with CEOs, Romil Bahl (PRGX) and Irwin Simon (HAIN Celestial Group), bring to light the importance of people and their ideas to an organization’s success; and consequently why creating a culture that fosters the unfolding of people’s potential is central to the viability of the enterprise.  Two quite business organizations operating in quite different industries striving to essentially create the same kind of culture, one wherein people and ideas flourish. Continue reading

Don’t Confuse Efficiency with Proficiency

No matter how much we cram into a person’s memory and no matter what the beloved metrics show, we are left with people who haven’t learned how to learn. Directing them to accumulate facts just silences their inquisitiveness! Today as in the past education is more about training people to remember things for the test than it is about developing people for life as self-responsible human beings with the capability of continually improving their thinking—such is thinking critically. Continue reading

The Nature of Management

As Marjorie Kaplan, President of the Animal Planet and Science networks, noted in a recent interview, “it’s easy to be somebody’s friend. It’s harder to be their manager.”  While both are relationships they are different relationships.  What is the difference?  Likely it rests on the purpose or objective of why you are in the relationship. Continue reading

The Worker Is Not the Problem

If the education system wasn’t designed to consistently produce the results that it is producing then we wouldn’t be getting the results we are getting!  Yet again and again the focus of the reformer is on the teacher, not the system itself.  Why?  Because it is far easier to turn attention away from what the system is doing—and the system is management’s responsibility—toward what the worker is doing.   Yet the worker can only do what the system allows! Continue reading

Want to Improve Quality, Listen Up

Often those with authority over a system/organization—frequently referred to as ‘the leadership’—use the thing they believe is valued by most as a way of resolving a complex problem such as quality. That is, they throw money at it!  Since money is the thing we greatly value, then what better way to demonstrate commitment to quality than to willingly spend it in the name of quality! Continue reading

Insights from the Impoverished

In a recent HuffingtonPost article David Chura brings to light the affect that poverty, despair and hopelessness have on people, especially during the formative years.  When individuals grow up in an environment within which such dark currents flow, they feel trapped and, as David Chura relates, a way out is likely imperceptible. Continue reading