The economic crisis is chicken feed compared to the looming education crisis

A new client is using "Out of our minds" for a Bookbuzz session. We covered this book before an in April 2011 we posted this blog:

Blow your mind Every now and then a book arrives that converges a lot of good books (such as Flash foresights, Business exposed, Future minds, New Normal, Poke the box mixed with authors such as Pink and Handy) and blows your mind.

Economic crisis is chicken feed The general gist of  “Out of our minds” is that the banking crisis is chicken feed compared to the looming education crisis.  We are not preparing our kids for the new world, which need imagination, creativity and innovation, not commodity academics. He calls it the tyranny of common sense.

Technology is changing everything He makes the case by referring to the technology trends that are currently underway.  He talks about nano  a nanometer is how much a beard grows in a second), the law of accelerating return (we will merge with our own technology), the fact that there are more micro chips than there are ants and that 4 billion people use the internet (total population is 7 billion). He talks about how these trends will converge and transform our world.

Creativity is key In the new world the most important leadership competency will be creativity. In the new world we will need talent that can deal with complexity, have entrepreneurial skills, are technological literate and have global acumen. Does our education system deliver that? No it does not.

Meaning He talks about the “existential vacuum”. Which is the loss of meaning of existence that makes life worthwhile. Which refers straight to books such as “Emotionomics” and “The art of happiness at work”. The USA economy loses 355 billion dollars a year because staff is disengaged. Because we are not educated properly and because we are not prepared for the digital revolution, we switch off.

Lack of passion Because we switch off there is no passion. Thinking and feeling are at the heart of the creative process. Without passion there is no innovation. There is a direct correlation between happy staff that love what they do and innovation. There is a direct correlation between innovation and business survival.

So what do you need to do?

  • Be a creative leader
  • Make sure your people love what they are doing
  • Engage everybody in the creative life of your organisation
  • Give people time to develop themselves (create your own university)
  • Give people time to be imaginative and creative (Google and 3M as the examples)
  • Create diversity
  • Let ideas have sex (collaborate and talk)
  • Create a creative workspace (new term; cognitive ergonomics)
Idea sex You won’t be surprised that as CEO of Bookbuzz I love this book. Touches on everything we stand for in Bookbuzz; dialogue, engagement, creativity, learning and sex (of ideas!) .

That was 2011 When you look back over the last 1.5 years and look at the books that have since been published around this, it is quite amazing. When we introduce our book flower (which places the subject discussed in a wider pantheon of books), books that spring to mind are:

I could go on a little while longer. Always get a bit carried away with this subject as I have kids at school and to say that I am concerned is an understatement. I am with Seth Godin on this one; (and with Ken Robinson)

What is the message for business? The people you are recruiting need a lot of upskilling for the new world you are competing in. Recruit on passion and ensure engagement.

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