Heather Wolpert-Gawron

Google’s Top Ten Golden Rules and Education

By on September 4, 2010

There are so many policy makers that want to see education run like a business. Now, before I came to education, I was in the private sector. And as much as schools would like to think there’s nothing to be learned from a business model, the fact is that there are some pluses that education should wake up and listen to. On the flip side, civilians need to wake up and realize that the uniqueness of our clientele (the students of this country) and our product (their viability in the future) make education a unique business, incomparable to none, with challenges and rewards unique to any other model.

Unfortunately, however, the message is lost as policy makers seem to be basing their hopes on poor business models. So if they insist that we must compare schools to private industry and students to products, shouldn’t we at least base our policies on a relatively successful model? How ’bout Google?

So here is the list of Google’s Top 10 Golden Rules. I know it’s been around for awhile, but look at it through the lens of education, and see if it isn’t at least metaphorically applicable:

Now, granted, there are obstacles that have blocked our use of some of these strategies, and I’m sad to say, some have even come from those within education. But as long as the policy makers continue to compare our schools to businesses, not recognizing that which makes the comparison inappropriate, then many in education will never be able to use that which makes businesses successful.

For you see, there is much to learn from a successful business model that isn’t always publicized. It doesn’t have to be about goals and competition, but it can be about community and collaboration. Unfortunately, our policymakers have their sites set on the wrong angle of what makes a business a success.

For a successful business might be about making money for the few, but a successful school is about preparing the many their own own potential possibilities.

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  1. David Cohen
    September 13, 2010

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    Hear, hear! Well done, Heather – most edreformers who are thinking of business models aren’t talking about these ideas, but they should be. As Daniel Pink would say, too many people are operating on Motivation 2.0 – trying to control people and make them do unpleasant work that they would rather avoid. (Motivation 1.0 is survival – hunter/gatherer style, avoid the saber-toothed tiger). Instead, we should be looking at Motivation 3.0 – all about autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

  2. Jazz
    September 15, 2010

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