Is Culture Holding You Back?

During the 19th and 20th centuries, the United Kingdom and the United States dominated the world economy through the application of enterprise and innovation. As the 21st century develops the trend has shifted and it is now China and other developing nations that are beginning to dominate.

As a response, many governments highlight the importance of enterprise and innovation and promote them as a way to build economic success.

The language of government reflects the need for efficiency and the achievement of targets to ensure a productive economy.

So, why is it not working and why is the call for people to be more enterprising and innovative not embraced to a greater extent?

One reason may be to do with culture and more specifically the culture of our parents and grandparents and their influence on the education system.

For a century or more, much of education has been focussed on teaching a traditional academic curriculum, as a response to what was being asked for by parents and funded by democratically elected governments.

During this time, many parents viewed education as a way to get their children into professions such as banking, medicine, law, and the public sector in order to gain security.

The prize of a secure job and the associated prestige was attractive to parents who had experienced insecurity and lack of opportunity in their own lives.

In more recent decades, a greater emphasis has been placed on the need for education and the curriculum to be more enterprising to support the economy.

The message is communicated across all sectors in an effort to compete and create the wealth needed to support a caring society.

During this time, the language of education has become more managerial and commercial, as it tries to develop a more reflective and relevant curriculum.

In the meantime, however, parents, once again, feel the insecurity of the recession and revert to the safe ground of advising their children to look for a steady secure job.

The trouble now, of course, is that so few exist.

SO, we are encouraged to be more enterprising and innovative but it is a challenge, not least because of our traditional culture of seeking comfort in security.

What about you?

Is culture holding you back?

Look forward to seeing your comments below.