I am about halfway through Seth Godin's new book Linchpin. Seth does a very interesting analysis of the way education has developed to support the Taylor notion of a factory and it's later derivatives of the service workplace. The proven way of getting a good grade in school is to conform. Here, I am not talking about just meeting requirements but the style and content of what you do. In other words, school rewards those who conform by giving decent grades.
Seth argues (brilliantly) that education is geared to feeding the factory force. Every worker is a replaceable cog and is conditioned to moving widgets around- as required and specified. Since the middle of the last century the US employee's situation was " keep your head down, do not create trouble you and you would be fine." This is no longer true.
Seth amplifies what Tom Friedman had started talking about the "World is Flat" about 5 years when I started researching into improving innovation outcomes in outsourcing.You really have to do much more than just do your "cog in the wheel" job if someone in India or China or just a machine or software can do your job for much less. You need to help innovate and create value or become a Linchpin-says Godin. In doing so, Seth Godin primes the individuals in organizations to be more receptive to change and innovation that organizational leaders are desperately trying to push.