How often does school teach the ultimate competitive advantage?

Outside my office I wrote a quote from Morgan Housel that stuns me each time I read it:

“Someone with a 110 IQ but the ability to recognize when the world changes will always beat the person with a 140 IQ and rigid beliefs.”

Isn’t it all the more remarkable that the orientation of so much of what constitutes “school” is the acquisition of knowledge terminating in a grade rather than the things that lead to adaptability--namely, reflection, lifelong learning, and perhaps the hardest skill of all, unlearning?

These are the atomic units of adaptability--a quality that Jack Welch calls “the ultimate competitive advantage,” that Bill Belichick considers an essential component of leadership, and that Morgan Housel argues “will always beat” raw intelligence.

If that all makes sense, then ask yourself: How often does your school create opportunities for students to apply their knowledge to real world problems so that they can adapt as things change?

Or, to phrase it differently: How often does your school create opportunities for students to develop “the ultimate competitive advantage”?

 

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Christian Talbot