Inspiration struck last week during a fantastic trip to Toronto to spend a day with our phenomenal Blyth partners in Blyth-Templeton Academy (not quite “Where’s Waldo” but bonus points if you can find me):
Though challenging, if forced to choose a favorite of the 124 slides, I’m going with slide 20 with the headline: Great Workplace is Stunning Colleagues. Or, in Patty’s words from the HBR article:
“The best thing you can do for employees — a perk better than foosball or free sushi — is hire only “A” players to work alongside them. Excellent colleagues trump everything else.”
I can honestly say that my greatest joy in building Blyth-Templeton Academy is working with my excellent colleagues. And with appreciation for, yet deference to all my ed-head friends who are cuckoo-for-Cocoa-Puffs about "disrupting" K-12 education, I believe in my heart that the killer app in 21st century learning is the same as the killer app of 19th century learning: the stunning colleague.
It’s hard to believe that eight years have passed since Clay Christensen, Curtis Johnson and Michael Horn penned Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Education Will Change the Way the World Learns. Equally hard to believe is that most overlook the fundamental concept that disruption is usually fueled by non-consumption. In other words, most disruptive innovations begin with addressing a portion of the market that cannot consume a good or service absent said innovation [eg. many people in the 1950s couldn’t buy radios until Sony made them affordable and accessible (more on this example here)].
But who are the non-consumers in K-12 education? Whether though traditional schooling or homeschooling, the resounding majority of kids are consuming education.
This is precisely why we at Blyth-Templeton Academy like to ask a different question: who are the non-consumers of educating? And we see a huge opportunity to target those currently not consuming teaching!
After all, for many potential stunning colleagues, teaching necessitates a full-time commitment and a relative pay cut. However, Blyth-Templeton’s block teaching approach (a focus on two academic subjects each 10 week term versus taking seven classes each day for the entire year) enables us to not only hire stunning full-time teachers, but equally stunning part-time teachers as well (eg. the stay at home parent or PhD candidate for whom teaching full-time for an entire year is untenable).
So my final question for you today shouldn’t be a surprise: Are you a stunning non-consumer of educating?
If you are, perhaps you should join us?! Perhaps you should teach full-time or part-time with us in Washington D.C.? Perhaps you should apply to become the Head of School for Blyth-Templeton New York City (slated to launch in the fall of 2017)? Perhaps you should refer someone who should?!
Needless to say, I can’t wait to hear from you.