Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Black belts

Students want to get it right, think it all hinges on a grade, and feel tremendous pressure (some of which is inflicted by professors, parents, and peers) to perform. Today, we talked about competitive rivalry and competitive dynamics, added some Sun Tzu on the Art of War (which you can download here), and dabbled in six sigma vis a vis Deming's Total Quality Management. It's a lot to absorb.

And, yet, when I tell them about martial arts and how a black belt entitles you to start over, right beside the white-belted beginner, the disbelief is almost palpable. It's no wonder so many of our businesses are overly focused on short-term results. It's woven into the very fabric of our educational system.

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