Motorola University has already done what most corporate universities only dream about: created a curriculum that contributed to the company's 139% rise in productivity over the last five years, supported Motorola's Six Sigma quality standard, and touched the minds of 132,000 employees for 40 hours a year.
But excellent education for all employees isn't enough for the company anymore; Motorola now aims to develop the capacity to learn, create, and transform the business well into the future.
As part of a several-hundred-million-dollar learning campaign in communities and schools, the company has delivered a curriculum of possibilities to the front door of every Motorolan in the United States in the form of a modest booklet. Its premise: kids in America spend only 9% of their first 18 years in school. What about the other 91%? Here's what adults can do to help create a future that works:
1. Assess how well children use the thinking skills that enable individuals to adapt — persistence, planning, flexibility, questioning, communication.
2. Practice the habits of lifelong teachers to raise lifelong learners.
3. Make learning fun. Don't: evaluate everything; try to control everything; focus on competition; apply pressure to perform; establish strict time constraints. Do: pay attention to your child's particular learning style, whether it's linguistic, scientific, musical, spatial, physical.
For a copy of Motorola's booklet, call 00-599-5834 or go online (http://www.corp.mot.com/)
A version of this article appeared in the October/November 96 issue of Fast Company magazine.