School of the Future: Explorer > True Believer

John Hagel, chair of Deloitte’s “Center for the Edge,” has argued that passion “unlocks sustained performance improvement.”

That sounds great, but is all passion the same? Does all passion lead to sustained improvement?

Not quite.

Hagel distinguishes between the passion of “the true believer” and the passion of “the explorer”:

“In relatively stable times, the passion of the true believer can achieve amazing results because the destination is very clear and the path has been traveled many times. But in more rapidly changing times, filled with growing uncertainty, my bet would be on the passion of the explorer, who loves unexpected challenges and is prepared to quickly adapt to extreme changes, learning as they go.”

Obviously school leaders must enable their communities to come to terms with this key question:

Do you believe that your students will graduate into a world of clear destinations and clear paths, or do you believe that they will graduate into a world of rapidly changing destinations?

Schools of the Past and the Present have indoctrinated “true believers.” In a pre-networked world, industrialized learning had leverage.

Schools of the Future will nurture “explorers.” In a networked world, in which our ability to invent new things outpaces our ability to civilize them [1], we need leaders who will think of problems no one has even considered before, much less tried to solve.

How are you nurturing explorers?


[1] Quote from The Inevitable, by Kevin Kelly.



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Christian Talbot