It’s been a week since #HRevolution 2014 wrapped and I’m just now coming down from the high of being around such brilliant people. It is always the one event that I can’t write about immediately because there is so much information to process. While there is great value in each session, one that touched me personally was “Sally Can’t Doodle and it’s Your Fault” led by Lois Melbourne.
Lois, Chief Story Officer at My Future Story and thought leader in the industry, has embarked on a career path where she helps students learn about various industries and careers. This is something Lois has been passionate about for many years and she’s now putting that passion and her knowledge to use by writing books targeted at students. These books will help them as they determine which career their studies will support.
In this session at HRevolution, several discussion topics emerged:
- Do schools kill creativity in our students? Lois encouraged all attendees to watch the TedX talk by Sir Ken Robinson on the topic as a way to get them thinking. Discussion centered around the current state of the public school system in the US and whether it needs to change. There was mention that US businesses need to partner with the school system in order to ensure that students are prepared to enter the workforce. Another discussion was around the fact that we do not have a “business system” in the US so it is hard to partner with the school system. Since each organization has to decide whether to reach out to schools, then come up with it’s own approach on how to partner, there is a lack of consistency.
- Do jobs currently posted as “degree required” really need to have applicants with a degree? Several in the group mentioned that it’s a way for recruiters to single people out of the hiring process. Others started naming jobs that are traditionally degree-required that would not have to be.
- What are Maker Faires and what is their impact? When Lois mentioned Maker Faires, most attendees were not familiar with them so this was a definite learning point. According to their website, Maker Faires are, “Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. All of these “makers” come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned.” I’d encourage you to check them out.
- What does it means to have tenacity? She then talked about tenacious inventors and how without them, we would not have many of the innovative, creative solutions and products we have today. This made me wonder how people become tenacious. Is it a characteristic you’re born with or can we learn tenacity?
All in all, the session was nothing short of amazing. It’s not often that I walk out of a conference with more questions spinning in my head then I walked in with. It’s an energizing feeling. I’ve spent the last several days using my free time to listen to the TedX talk and to research more about our education system and what we can do to find a new way to prepare students for the future work world.
I don’t have many answers yet, but I know that these themes will emerge in my writing as I think through them. What do you think?
Is our current education system adequate for preparing our students? If changes are needed, what needs to change?
Do our children even know how to be creative anymore?
How can we send our children through the same system we went through, yet expect different results?
Share your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to keep this conversation going.
*Special thanks to our sponsors: Mercer, Symbolist and Small Improvements for making HRevolution possible and for all your personal and professional support.
Sadly, many pieces of our education system do not encourage creativity or original thought. We have designed a system that is so focused on the performance metrics of standardized tests that we often fail to see the uniqueness that each person can bring to the world. As a society, we are drifting down a path that will create people who can think and act well in one way yet will struggle when we as employers ask them to do something different or use an unorthodox approach. As one who works in the public schools, I accept as part of my job the responsibility to embrace creative solutions and support those that want to do the same.