The successful firms didn’t just hire talent, but incorporated it within their leadership. The center-of-gravity companies relied on a shared leadership model, where decisions were made by two or more top executives. While traditionally Japanese companies of the period were led by members of rich merchant families, the more successful companies broke with convention and promoted university-educated engineers and manager into their top ranks based on talent, not family.
Thomas W. Malone
The education system as we know it is only about 200 years old. Before that, formal education was mostly reserved for the elite. But as industrialization changed the way we work, it created the need for universal schooling.
Factory owners required a docile, agreeable workers who would show up on time and do what their managers told them. Sitting in a classroom all day with a teacher was good training for that. Early industrialists were instrumental, then, in creating and promoting universal education. Now that we are moving into a new, post-industrial era, it is worth reflecting on how our education evolved to suit factory work, and if this model still makes sense.
How could this happen in the US, you might ask? It’s simple. The US doesn’t treat its own children well, let alone children who come from other countries.