Skip to main content

31 (More) Days of #BIF7 - Day 16 - Dale Stephens

Everyone at BIF-7 was feeling it. You could feel the positive energy when the storytellers were onstage and how people were listening intently, connected. During the breaks I observed -- from both my own experiences and the conversations I overheard -- how most of the attendees were assiduously following the telos of BIF-7, and striving to "connect, inspire, and transform". It was all nods and smiles.

And then Dale Stephens slapped the audience in the face. Dale's story focused on his decision to drop out of college. He explained why he did it (he wasn't learning enough and wasn't challenged) and provided reasons why others should consider dropping out too (students accrue massive college debt, college teaches conformity, life itself provides better field trips than college, and more). Even as he was speaking, I knew that some members of the audience were growing uncomfortable. You could sense the nervous energy and shifting body language in the theater. Perhaps some people were considering the colleges their children were attending and becoming defensive. Or maybe Dale's comment that "the purpose of Harvard University was to produce alumni to enrich Harvard University" was a little too irreverent even for BIF. Whatever the causes: it was about time, I thought.

Since innovation often takes place on the edge and pushes dramatic change, there are inevitably moments of disagreement, opposition, and uneasiness. I savor the discomfort and am glad Dale brought it to BIF-7. His challenge to the accepted norm that everyone needs a college degree inspired debate and pushed some people to consider a point of view outside of their paradigm and comfort zone. And it is exactly this kind of openness (to uncomfortable, contrarian viewpoints) that keeps us mentally sharp and combats ossification.

Additional information:

Twitter: @DaleJStephens

BIF Profile Page

This is part of my 31 (More) Days of #BIF7 blog series.


Popular posts from this blog

2014 IBM Digital Experience Conference

In July, I will be presenting at the 2014 IBM Digital Experience Conference, an event focused on the latest technologies, best practices, and the business benefits of delivering great digital experiences. Below is the description for my session: Session:  BUS-S20 Date/Time:   Monday, July 21, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM Successfully Enabling Enterprise Content Management, Cloud, Mobile, and Social Business at Superior Group Superior Group focuses on the agile delivery of people, process and project outsourcing solutions. Our session will detail how this organization accelerated its content management and social business needs by implementing a combination of content management, cloud, mobile, and collaboration solutions. Attend this session and you will have an opportunity to learn from Frank Gullo, Director of Digital and Mobile Strategy at Superior Group and IBM Social Business Insights blog contributor, on how a mid-sized organization transformed its digital capabilities a

The Chaneysville Incident by John Bradley

I read a lot of books, and sometimes even manage to comment about them here. More often that not, I enjoy most of the books I post about. This is probably because (admittedly) I look for books by authors I already know or that I have an inkling -- from word of mouth or reviews -- that I'll enjoy. Still, you never know when you're going to read a book that you really like or that makes others pale in comparison. The Chaneysville Incident is such a novel. I came to read The Chaneysville Incident after asking for suggestions for a big book for my long flights to and from Japan. One of my work colleagues suggested it, and though I'd never heard of it or author John Bradley, I decided to give it a try. I'm really glad I did. On the surface, the novel is a well-honed and affecting story of historian John Washington's attempt to discover what happened to thirteen runaway slaves in Chaneysville, Pennsylvania. The protagonist's efforts to reconstruct the past eleva

Configuring a Wireless HP Photosmart C4380

Updated on 2009-11-16: It's been over a year since I wrote this, and lot of people continue to find this page from Google, which leads me to believe that people are still having problems with their HP Photosmart C4380s. For the record, over a year later the workaround I detailed here is still working for me. If you have something to add that might help others, please feel free to add to the comments. The original post follows below. ##   So, we bought a wireless printer. After some initial back and forth, we settled on a wireless HP Photosmart C4380. I thought we did a fair bit of research before purchasing the product, but apparently not enough, as there were many issues and surprises that we discovered only after we setup the device. I'm posting this to relate the significant difficulties we encountered setting up the printer and post workarounds I've implemented for the benefits of others who might be considering this product or who may have already purchased it