Tom Peters wrote a great piece in yesterday's (August 27, 2012) edition of the Financial Times, "Manifesto for the new rules on human capital." Many of his points would resound with independent schools. Permit me to highlight several below.
- "Development of 'human capital' should always be the top priority [...]. [T]his is an inescapable imperative in an age in which imaginative brain-work is de facto the only plausible survival strategy for individual enterprises of consequence [I'd suggest "schools"]... Generic 'brain-work', the traditional and dominant white-collar activities that now employ the bulk of us, is increasingly undertaken by exponentially enhanced artificial intelligence applied at ever increasing speed."
- "Generals and admirals (and symphony conductors and sports coaches and police) obsess about continuous training [I'd suggest "learning"]. Why is it an almost dead certainty that in a random 30-minute interview with a CEO [Head of School? Board chair?] you are unlikely to hear a word on this?"
- "Proposition: the chief 'training' officer becomes the top staff job in a business [school], with a charge equivalent in gravity to that of the chief financial officer or chief information officer."
- "The educational infrastructure must be upended to underpin support for the creative jobs that will be more or less the sole basis for employment, economic growth and wealth creation. Central to this would be a dramatically enhanced, appreciated, compensated and accountable role for teachers; teaching should be a career of choice for a nation's best and brightest."
- "Many small businesses [schools] [...] are typically unprepared to take the steps necessary to engage their employees [faculty] in seeking improvements in productivity and creative work."
I especially like how Peters ends his article, citing something that independent schools espouse:
"To deal with the most probable future employment scenarios, leaders will need to be masters of the liberal arts -- a clear-cut determinant of responding to the universal need to pursue creative work."