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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Business model can't work, Part 1

Lisa Woods, who has taught for 25 years, explains clearly in this post why schools will never run like businesses. It originally appeared. In the Greensboro (N.C.) News-Record.

She asks readers to imagine a job where one’s compensation depends one’s “job performance and value” depend on the following conditions:



“* You are meeting with 35 clients in a room designed to hold 20.

Blackberry Bored animated GIF“* The air conditioning and/or heat may or may not be working, and your roof leaks in three places, one of which is the table where your customers are gathered.

“* Of the 35, five do not speak English, and no interpreters are provided.

“* Fifteen are there because they are forced by their “bosses” to be there but hate your product.

“* Eight do not have the funds to purchase your product.

“* Seven have no prior experience with your product and have no idea what it is or how to use it.

“* Two are removed for fighting over a chair.

“* Only two-thirds of your clients appear well-rested and well-fed.

“You are expected to:

“* Make your presentation in 40 minutes.

“* Have up-to-date, professionally created information concerning your product.

“* Keep complete paperwork and assessments of product understanding for each client and remediate where there is lack of understanding.

“* Use at least three different methods of conveying your information: visual, auditory and hands-on.

“The “criterion” for measuring your “worth and value” is that no less than 100 percent of your clients must buy and have the knowledge to assemble and use your product, both creatively and critically, and in conjunction with other products your company produces, of which you have working but limited knowledge

“Only half of the clients arrive with the necessary materials to be successful in their understanding of your product, and your presentation is disrupted at least five times during the 40 minutes.

“You have an outdated product manual and one old computer, but no presentation equipment. Your company’s budget has been cut every year for the past 10 years, the latest by a third. Does this mean you only create two-thirds of a presentation? These cuts include your mandatory training and presentation materials (current ones available to you are outdated by five years).

“You have no assistant, and you must do all the paperwork, research your knowledge deficiencies and produce professional-looking, updated materials during the 40 minutes allotted to you during the professional day. You cannot use your 30-minute lunch break. Half is spent monitoring other clients who are not your own.

“Your company cannot afford to train you in areas of its product line where you may be deficient, yet you are expected to have this knowledge and incorporate it into your product presentation in a meaningful way.

“You haven’t had a raise in eight years and your benefits have been purged, nor do you receive a commission for any product you sell. Do you purchase all the materials needed so your presentation is effective? Will you pay for the mandatory training necessary to do your job in a competent and professional manner?”


What business could succeed under those conditions?