Divergent Thinking by ‘Dutch Masters’​

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Our current schools are a lot like factories. Sir Ken Robinson’s famous talk/animation is a must and an insightful 12 minutes of modern education for dummies. I experienced my own version during high school being forced into a compartmentalised model with emphasis on either languages and social sciences- or maths and science. God help the individual who had interests in both… Luckily I was a kook when it came to the latter subjects, but it remained a one size fits all solution. These topics are not in question but the real learning happens when you apply them. The school system was and still predominantly is based on learning through repetition and is judged along these same standards. If you can add up two numbers correctly and can find a country on a map you get a sticker.

How many psychiatrists does it take to change a tyre? *

How different reality is when you exit the system. Or is it? We organise our businesses top down and judge performance based on specific individual job profiles in an organisation. Essentially for a part in a play, instead of the benefit for the bigger whole of the company. Having founded our company when I was still in college it never ceases to amaze me how different daily work is for most of the corporate clients I work with. The educational compartments become departments as the working process is nicely aligned in a linear fashion. There is an increasing demand for an alternate model but for all of their desire to become agile in a state of continual flux, the daily reality for company employees still demands you follow suit and not colour outside the lines. So it makes sense to start changing this behaviour early. And it is learned behaviour. My kids are still blissfully unaware at ages 5 and 7. Our household model is organised more bottom up as I plead with my two sons to not use the coffeetable, I built by hand, as a launching ramp/ diving board. The same coffee table, which needs to be repainted, because it has permanent marker all over it from them colouring outside the lines. The irony is not lost on me here.

To foster talent the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has created a set of Masterclasses for the nations’s most talented high school students. Led by ‘Dutch Masters’ such as the Prime Minister Mark Rutte on politics, Olcay Gulsen founder of Supertrash on fashion and Ali B in music. And I will be filling in for Marcel, who couldn’t make it, on the topic of design and divergent thinking… April 8th in The Hague.

* ‘first the tyre has to want to change. ‘