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Podcast Episode I Had To Listen To Twice!

Malcolm Gladwell is a best-selling author who has a great podcast called "Revisionist History". He has six seasons of the podcast available and I encourage you to go and listen to every episode...they are eclectic and good.

I listened to the episode entitled "Lord of the Rankings" last week. In the episode, Malcolm explores The US News And World Report rankings for colleges. I found it interesting that The US News And World Report started ranking colleges, high schools, hospitals, and tons of other things as a means to stay alive in their business. They have no expertise in any area they are ranking. 

The absurdity of the rankings becomes very evident as Malcolm and a team of statisticians unpack the college rankings. The difference between a high ranking and a low ranking often comes down to a "reputation" score. This score is determined by asking college presidents to rank schools based on reputation. Other than the fact that it has created a cottage industry of one college president sending other college president gifts to help boost their own score, the very fact of the matter is that the reputation score is TOTALLY SUBJECTIVE!

I have always felt strongly that ranking high schools is a subjective undertaking as well. We all know that to boost a school's ranking all you have to do is add some AP courses to your course catalog. You don't necessarily have to offer the classes, just have them as an option. It's just absurd. The idea of ranking schools because one thinks you can "control" for all of the variables that hundreds of kids bring into your school on any given day is just hubris. It's also damaging for kids...but that is a discussion for another time.

Listen to this podcast (and the follow-up episode where Malcolm figures out how to raise the ranking of Dillard College) is really good
Listen To The Podcast

Interested In Having a Solution-Based Team?

If you want to increase the quality of solutions that are generated with your staff, just ask these three least that is what The Harvard Business Review article claims.
  1. Question #1: What do you recommend?--This gives the person agency in finding a solution. Better yet, make sure that when you approach your boss with a problem, have a solution all ready to go!
  2. Question #2: How can we test that? --This question forces us to think about how we will know whether the solution is successful or not.
  3. Question #3: What do you need from me?--Asking your staff how you can help them be successful is a culture-changing question.
Read The Article

7 Questions To Curb Your Solution-Based Curiosity

Dan Rockwell suggests these 7 questions to help a leader stay curious (and not provide the "right answer) when problem-solving with a staff member. (My comments are in italics)
  1. What have you tried?--honors their attempts at finding a solution 
  2. What would you try if you were new here?--helps people think outside the box
  3. What do you know?--forces people to take stock in their greatest asset...their own knowledge
  4. What’s the question?--clarifies the actual problem
  5. If you did know, what would you do?--helps get people out of their own head
  6. Who might know?--enlarges the pool of knowledge
  7. What advice would you give me if our roles were reversed?--shows humility
Read The Blog Post

A 1-614,000,000 Chance

I was thinking of statistics the other day...probably as a result of the podcast mentioned above. Here is something that I find interesting.

The chance of a student being shot to death in the United States in a school shooting is 1-614,000,000 (based on data from 2018). For context, the chance of winning the Powerball lottery is 1-292,000,000

And yet...
We spend millions of dollars on school resource officers...
Because 1 student death is 1 too many.

And yet...
We spend millions of dollars on school security cameras to monitor students...
Because 1 student death is 1 too many.

And yet...
We have curbed the "freedom", "liberty", and access of parents into schools through school safety and lockdown procedures...
Because 1 student death is 1 too many.

So can we say about COVID:
And yet...
We require students and staff to wear a mask in school...
Because 1 student death is 1 too many.

What is your acceptable "chance" for COVID deaths in your school before you recommend a mask?
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Food For Thought
Subscribing to cars like you subscribe to Netflix

In the next 5 years, there will be more than 300 new electric vehicle models introduced in the world. Most of these cars will be more like technology platforms than cars. Volvo expects that 50% of its revenue will come from subscription-like services by 2025.

So, are you ready for the future where you subscribe to a car much like you do your cell phone plan?

Here is a great, short, video to explain.

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