In the first “un” book club meeting, we discussed the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.  There was a nice, diverse group of folks who came by the TLC sandbox to discuss the main concepts and relate them to our work here at MIIS.  In his book, Gladwell outlines some relatively hidden secrets to success – timing, opportunity, culture and experience.  The typical success story is told as if the person arose from ashes and took the world by surprise when actually the very opposite is the case.  He highlights cases such as Bill Gates who was born in the exact right year in the exact right town to have access to computers at a young age so by the time he left college, he had more than 10,000 hours of experience working with computers.

Some of the big ideas/questions that came up during the meeting were:

  • Should we be trying to recruit outliers, create outliers, raise the curve of outliers or treat each student as if they are a potential outlier?
  • How can we “engineer” opportunities for students?
  • Timing is so important – we must prepare students so that they are ready to take advantage of an opportunity when the time strikes.

After a successful first “un” book club meeting, the group has decided to move forward and pick a new book to help us frame our upcoming conversation.  The new book will be My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor.  We will be meeting at noon on Monday, February 9th in the TLC Sandbox (Kade, second floor).


1 Comment so far

  1. Amy McGill on January 19, 2009 6:43 pm

    It’s interesting to think about the performance of the pilot who landed his plane in the Hudson in light of the discussion of pilot error in Outliers. He had clearly spent his life preparing for that moment.

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