Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It's easier to teach compliance than initiative


Compliance is simple to measure, simple to test for and simple to teach. Punish non-compliance, reward obedience and repeat. 
Initiative is very difficult to teach to 28 students in a quiet classroom. It's difficult to brag about in a school board meeting. And it's a huge pain in the neck to do reliably. 
Schools like teaching compliance. They're pretty good at it. 
To top it off, until recently the customers of a school or training program (the companies that hire workers) were buying compliance by the bushel. Initiative was a red flag, not an asset. 
Of course, now that's all changed. The economy has rewritten the rules, and smart organizations seek out intelligent problem solvers. Everything is different now. Except the part about how much easier it is to teach compliance.

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