“Don’t just teach your children to read, teach them to question what they read, teach them to question everything.” – George Carlin
Our new marketing campaign invites observers to “Own Your Future.” It’s a message packed with meaning on multiple levels, not the least of which is the importance of ownership in the realization of our full potential.
As we embark on another academic year at Northwood, it’s important for us to teach our students to question what they learn - not in the sense of being argumentative but in the spirit of making sure the knowledge and wisdom we share becomes their own. For us, success is measured much more by helping our students understand the “why” of things than it is the “what” and the “how.”
It’s one thing, for example, to understand what sustainability management is and how innovation management is addressing present day needs while driving future market solutions. But it’s entirely another to know and understand “why” each of these matters. As seen throughout Northwood’s history, as well as the histories of our corporate and industry partners, consumer engagement is about much more than delivering products and services. It’s about helping others reach their full potential, personally and professionally, for life. It’s about the “why”, the ownership, the understanding.
When our students learn to question what they are taught, they take ownership of their education. And when they take ownership of their education they grow as servant-leaders at every level of society: as fellow students and organization or team members; as interns and part-time employees; as alumni and professionals; as producers and consumers; as citizens and civic leaders.
Remember: knowing the “what” and the “how” matters, but knowing the “why” matters more. Let’s do our best to encourage our students to question everything so they become “owners” of what they learn.
Have a great weekend.
Keith A. Pretty, J.D. President and CEO Northwood University 4000 Whiting Drive Midland, MI 48640 989.837.4203