Strategy

5th April 2018

Education

“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance”. So they say. And they would be right. I would also argue that he relative cost of education has dropped significantly over recent years. I would even argue that if you don’t want a qualification then education, or more accurately, knowledge costs you nothing.

There are so many resources available to us today that almost nothing is beyond our reach. There have always been books, of course, which we can use to learn what we need to learn and now we have access to videos, blogs, podcasts and a whole raft of information. All easily accessible, all available and pretty much all free.

The younger generations have been brought up in a world where access to information is free prolific and detailed. Your friend is Google and all manner of knowledge and information is just a mouse click or two away and yet education is still expensive. Why?

Well there is a whole world of difference between knowing stuff and being able to do stuff. Knowing stuff really doesn’t help us much; being able to do stuff is a whole different ball game. I had always felt, and I still do, that there were big gaps in my knowledge. Things that I just didn’t know. I lost my father when I was young and always suspected that I had missed out on a load of life’s most valuable lessons. Specifically those lessons where ‘the secrets’ would be revealed and with no Dad who was going to reveal them to me? This nagging doubt still lingers.

I read prolifically. I study endlessly. I feel that I cannot gather enough knowledge and information. So some years ago I paid for myself to do a post graduate diploma in business at a highly rated university and came away both underwhelmed and disappointed. Sure I had met some great people and learned from some of the worlds greatest authorities in the field but I noticed that nothing really changed. I might know more but I still did the same things in the same way and therefore got the same results.

Some years later I started to change and as soon as I started to change what I did and how I did it started to change and surprise, surprise the results started to change. I began to realise that education accounts for very little. Execution accounts for everything. It isn’t what I can learn, or what I know that matters. What matters is what I become. The old saying goes that if you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always got. If you want to get different results you have to do something different.

In a world where knowledge is very cheap and plentiful it doesn’t have much value. Becoming a person of value, becoming a person of integrity, becoming a person who can make things happen is still exceedingly rare, and like anything that is rare it has a high value.

The only real education of value is that which allows us to do more, to be more. The only real education of value is that which brings about behavioural change for the better.