Frederick Winslow Taylor was his name – a man of the Edwardian Age. He was a significant participant in the Efficiency Movement and the founder of Scientific Management. He was, arguably, one of the most important men of the industrial age.

His theory of management became known as Taylorism.

At the core of this model was the precise analysis of workflows to improve efficiency and labor productivity.

In this approach, production tasks were broken down, put into a sequential order, and precisely timed – creating production lines. These production lines became the primary production model throughout the industrial economy – managed through Structured Planning.

These industrial production lines were developed with the premise that those responsible for designing and controlling the process, the engineers and managers, possessed superior intellect. The workers were expected to obediently follow instructions.

Compliant workers were needed who would be malleable to the will of their superiors.

This theory was then applied by the early leaders of public education to deliver workers to this economy.

The goal of this industrial education system was to teach a consistent body of knowledge, sort students by their potential role and, above all, teach them how to follow instructions. The system was to create compliant learners who would become compliant workers.

But our new economy needs vastly different skills. We need creative problem solvers who can become nimble architects of complex systems in Value Networks that deliver new solutions fast.

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