Learning and Working in the Collaborative Age

Very interesting video (well worth 10 minutes) from Randy Nelson of Pixar University. In it he describes how to determine if graduates have the skills for 21st century employment:

Pixar harnesses the principles of improv:
1) accept every offer (because every offer can go one of two ways: somewhere, or nowhere – which is better?)
2) make your partner look good (true collaboration)

raises the question of depth based hiring …
-how to hire? most interesting jobs involve doing something that’s never been done before
-need something to determine future success … need a parallel/predictor of success of failure recovery, resilience, adaptability:
What are those predictors?
1) DEPTH:
-mastery in previous activity is a good predictor of mastery in a new activity (proof in the portfolio vs promise in the resume)
2) BREADTH:
-someone who is more interested than interesting
3) COMMUNICATION:
-involves translation; it’s a destination, not a source
-requires outside affirmation from someone saying “I understand”
4) (most important of all) COLLABORATION:
-NOT simple cooperation – that matters, but a cooperative enterprise (á la assembly line) is not optimized by people working together
-must in result amplification – people interested and listening to each other to create something new and better

I find this fourth the most interesting: how many activities do we assign students with the label “collaborative” when in fact, we are just asking them to cooperate?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *