February 7th marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens, a man who left us with A Christmas Carol for all ages. The best of times/worst of times contrast he portrayed between London and Paris in A Tale of Two Cities is a stark as the difference between the world views behind two possible post-exam questions by an English literature professor to his or her students;
How did you do on the Charles Dickens exam?
How did we do on the Charles Dickens exam?
One is built upon an assumption that the student's ability to learn is separate from the professor's ability to foster learning about Dickens; that the exam grade is solely a measure of the student. In this world view, the professor is merely an observer of the learning of his or her students. The second world view is built upon an assumption that learning is a team effort, with the professor and fellow students amongst the many participants; the exam grades are a measure of the system of causes that includes the professor and all students, plus Dickens, to name a few contributors.
In sporting events, such reasoning may relate to questions regarding who won or lost the game as opposed to how we won or lost the game. In a business setting, it's a question of who won or lost the contract as opposed to how we won or lost the contract.
If you're interested in exploring the limitless implications of the contrast between the "you" and "we" world views and enjoying the best of times by improving team work in industry, government, and education, through better thinking about thinking, we invite you to join us at the In2:InThinking Network 2012 Forum in Los Angeles, California on April 19th through 24th. This year, our ever timely focus will be;
"Leading with Better Questions"
For reservations or more information, visit our 2012 Forum website at www.in2in.org/forums/2012 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Forum registration fee is $400 for the weekend Conference, with a $50 discount for registrations received by midnight, Pacific Time, on March 8th.