Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Oh all the stories you’ll hear. Ah, what about all that I’ll miss?

A student's criticism opened my eyes time back. I was teaching public policy & economics in a graduate program I was running. I had just learned that nobody in the graduate seminar had read W Edwards Deming. I assigned it for a couple of weeks down the road, and placed a personal copy on library reserve. Each student could take the book out a day, and I asked them to self organize and assign chapters every one was responsible for, and each to skim the rest, plus to have a debriefing session before class. I was just suggesting techniques we'd used in graduate school to survive and cope with the six-ten readings a week workload. 

My students didn't do it. Everyone came to class as if nothing happened. One student was quite vociferous on how dared I assign an entire book on such short notice. People seem to have a sense of entitlement vis-a-vis knowledge. We may want to accomplish and achieve without work. I confess I felt and still feel responsible for not knowing in advance that Deming was not a requirement in all undergraduate curricula irrespective of a student's major. To me it was like Newton's comprehensive work or like Sun Tzu's Art of War, that we're all called to know. 

My student's critique showed me that we miss a lot. We ought to look again and take on some classics, even if late in life. 

Fuel curiosity and tomorrow you'll know a little more that humankind already knew.

Adrian S. Petrescu, Ph.D., J.D.
Chief Future Architect, InnovationTrek
We got here. What's next?
Accelerate Innovation. 
In companies and self.
Grow flow. Naturally.