I’ve been doing a lot of examine-your-own-thoughts work in recent months. Sometimes, it seems like a good idea to re-examine unquestioned assumptions and stories to find out whether they’re actually doing you any good. For example, there’s a wonderful story in business schools that “a job in consulting prepares you for anything!” Sadly, it’s just a myth. A job in consulting doesn’t actually prepare you for anything except being a consultant. In fact, the skills are among the least transferable of any profession I know.
Then it hit me: that’s what business school is all about. It’s all about perpetuating a bunch of stories about how the world works, what’s important, etc. And sadly, many of the stories have remained unchanged for decades, whether they play out in real life or not.
My friend Aaron just left for business school. I need to make sure we talk every night before he goes to bed. I’ll ask him what he learned that day, then tell him other stories that contradict it. If he has enough different stories, he can choose the one that works best in any given situation. Sticking with a 100-year-old story to deal with a world-of-today, however, is something we can improve on.