Teach An Old Dog New Tricks
I am so interested by the work being done by Sal Khan of the Khan Academy. It’s a great example of adding value to a mature “business.” His philosophy is that education should be available to anyone, anywhere, anytime, and for free. Since they are a not-for-profit, they are funded by the likes of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Ann & John Doerr who saw the potential immediately. Sal’s book, The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined suggests that teaching should be turned around and approached from a new direction – the opposite direction. Rather than have students show up to a class where a teacher lectures them, and sends them off to do their homework (where they may run into problems and have no one there to help them), he proposes they get instruction online, and then come into class with someone there to help them work through issues. By teaching this way, students come to class with questions, and information they have gathered on their own making the whole process more effective and prompting a creative environment. His core idea of liberating teachers from lecturing, and state-mandated calendars to open up class time for human interaction is just so smart! He is turning education on its end. If your business is mature, how can it be re-thought for highest value?