Certification vs. Education

August 18, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People, Quality 

Way back in 1939, the great and powerful Oz had this to say to the Scarecrow, who was in search of a brain:

“Why, anybody can have a brain, that’s a very mediocre commodity. Every pucilanimous creature that crawls on the earth or slinks through slimy seas has a brain.

Back where I come from, we have universities, seats of great learning, where men go to become great thinkers. And when they come out, they think deep thoughts, and with no more brains than you have.

But they have one thing you haven’t got – a diploma.

Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Universitatis Committeatum, E. pluribus unum, I hereby confer upon you the honorary degree of Th.D. (Doctor of Thinkology).”

Receiving that piece of paper didn’t make the scarecrow any smarter, as evidenced by his screwing up pythagorean and isosceles triangle theorems. He clearly received an empty credential.

More than seventy years later, we still struggle to recognize the distinction between certification and education. Read more

Best Intentions

August 16, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People, Quality 

We’ve all been in situations where we find ourselves slogging through our work, and the focus (if there is any focus at all) is to get the work done, rather than get it done well. Certainly household chores can fall into that category, and around the office there are similar activities like month-end reporting that can feel more like drudgery than uplifting activity. It becomes easy to find excuses for not getting the work done, procrastination becomes an art form, and while the result might pass muster, it certainly isn’t a masterpiece. When the core work we do starts to feel this way, when we just want it done and over with, it’s time to rethink what’s going on. Read more

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