TED Conversations

Mike McCabe

Director of Technology, The Foote School

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Let's build a school around the idea that motivation is internal, not external. Using the 20% Model like Atlassian, Google, and others.

If what Dan Pink says is true, you and I must take some time soon (now) to invest in our kids and grandkids. If we don't, they will fail.

Mr. Pink mentions a number of successful models which work because of passion, not monetary reward. His suggestion that Wikipedia, Gmail, and other successful products were created because people simply wanted to do them (and wanted to do them well) motivates me to explore the possible ways to create a school around that model. Even a 20% Time school where kids could do whatever they wanted at least one day a week could be a great start. Maybe integrating a peer-review process like Atlassian's FedEx Day and 20% Time programs have could help shape the initial groundwork.

Are you a teacher? Do you help run a school? Jot down your ideas (brief or detailed) about how we can make this work? Can we do a full-blown ROWE (Results-Oriented / Results-Only Work Environment) School?

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    May 4 2011: I may be reading too much into your comment, but it sounds like, in an ideal world, we don't need the framework to motivate us at all. We simply exist and act in a complementary, healthy and harmonious way. If that's what you are describing, I'm in. I was listening to a piece on NPR where, unfortunately, one of our elected representatives at the highest level, displayed joy that an enemy of the state had been killed. Ironic that his joy made me sad. What would it take to have a world where we don't dance when an enemy is violently killed, but maybe we silently hope for peace? That congressman's display of joy made me feel much like your closing statement does. But I'm hopeful. I imagine a better place. Hopefully enough will give the model a try and, one day, it won't be a contrived model.

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