Teamwork between Parents and Kids to Write College Admission Applications
- Written by UnivAdmitHelp
- Category: Mentoring
- Published on 08 Jul 2019
Information was wealth. Access required assiduous effort and whoever made it and worked to develop an information arbitrage gained supernormal profits. It led to a lot of zealous gatekeepers trying to guard their sources of this information and building institutions around protecting this arbitrage. Educational institutions, clubs, etc. with their illustrious alumni lists were examples of such institutions.
Today, information is free-flowing. The internet has crunched the time between an event happening and interested parties knowing about the same. People are working hard to make sense of all this information and supernormal profits are derived by people who routinely exploit assimilation arbitrage. This requires personal network of experts, consultancy firms, etc. with their deep expertise in a given domain while having a broader perspective across multiple domains.
Niall Ferguson in the book, The Square and The Tower: Networks, Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power beautifully highlights how over periods in history, institutions/hierarchies and networks have traded pre-eminence in terms of controlling information and assimilation arbitrages.
For all commercial activities, there is a certain amount of forecasting involved. In the book Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction, Philip Tetlock highlighted how forecasters could be divided into hedgehogs (deep expertise) and foxes (multi-domain knowledge), and the most successful predictions came of a team comprising of members from both types.
These examples highlight how contradictory ideas have to come together to form the whole. There is no dearth of such examples throughout history when contradictory ideas have held sway and become dominant. And time and again, ideas that have fallen by the wayside have come back and become strong. This gives birth to cycles.
In our work with young adults, we see this cycle playing out in real time. Parents have had success by following the hierarchical path and therefore, want their wards to follow and better their footsteps. The wards have benefited from the success of their parents, improved quality of life and exposure to the whole world in real time and therefore, cannot appreciate the need to limit themselves to their parents’ desires.
One of our proposals to both parents and wards is what we call our Grand Theory of Success: All theories work under certain circumstances. The successful people match their theories and the circumstances they inhabit.
We encourage the parents to compare their impressions about the world they currently live in against the world they grew up in. This helps in highlighting the mismatch that usually exists in their theories and the current circumstances. For the wards, we encourage them to build their own theories and critically evaluate the assumptions that they are implicitly using for developing them. This exercise often helps in bringing out the elephant in the room in the open and allows us to better mentor the wards, supported by greater alignment between the parents and the wards.