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Finding Outside Inspiration for Public Education

July 19, 2011

Henry Ford revolutionized the auto industry by inventing the assembly line. He achieved this feat by seeking inspiration outside of the garage. And he found it in a meat-packing factory. Henry realized that deconstructing the process of assembling a car, much like the process of breaking down a cow or pig into edible slabs of meat, would vastly improve his factory’s efficiency.  Hence the big bang of the American auto industry.


My point is that success isn’t always achieved by focusing more intently on your own work. Sometimes it’s necessary to have an objective third perspective in order to ignite the proverbial light bulb of innovation. This necessity for pure objectivity is the foundation for entire industries such as advertising and consulting. And I believe our education system could benefit from such a spark.


Public education at the K-12 level is obviously struggling in the United States. Many smart and capable people have proposed valiant solutions for improving our system, but many, albeit successful in their own right, are mere Band-Aids clinging to an open wound.


If we want to truly mend our education system in the U.S., we can’t rely solely on educators. If Henry Ford revolutionized the auto industry by taking a tour of a slaughterhouse, who knows where we might find hope for our schools?


Keep your eyes and ears open for new ideas. For new opportunity. You never know where you might find it.

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