Monday, April 2, 2018

"Too Much School Destroys the Mind..."

By Pascal Dennis (bio)

Like many of my colleagues I went to a professional school (Engineering), then a business school.

I dutifully did all my assignments, got good marks and climbed up the ladder.

Nobody told me about the glasses I'd been given. Nobody told me that they would distort my image of the world.

Nobody told me it would take a decade or more to learn to see clearly again. And I was lucky...

People got to professional schools and business schools with the best of intentions.

They want a better job, more responsibility and higher pay -- all worthy & admirable goals.

But my professors never told me they were teaching dysfunctional mindsets.

(Getting the Right Things Done and The Remedy express my thoughts on mental models.)

Probably, they didn't even realize it themselves.

They too, were just trying to make their way in their careers, seeking the path of least resistance.

Perhaps the most dysfunctional was the idea that improvement depended on ‘smart’ people like me devising cunning plans – and everybody else doing as they were told.

(I’m reminded of a line from the old Blackadder series: "I’m going to devise a plan so cunning, you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel!”)

In any event, ideas have legs. Dysfunctional mental models mutate, and debilitate their host.

The result?

Smart, well-educate, capable people who have forgotten the fundamentals.

As my dad used to say (about me), "Too much school destroys the mind..."



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