Undoing the toxic myth of exclusion and scarcity

It’s easy to believe that excluding a group increases the benefits for those that are doing the excluding. That division and barriers somehow benefit the people who divide and hoard.

That’s true when we’re talking about allocating a truly scarce resource. If you’re on a spaceship that’s headed for Mars, the oxygen you’ve got is all you’ve got. (Unless you have a population with the innovation needed to make more).

But in our modern world, a world built on community, connection and the magic that comes from combining ideas, the opposite is true. When people deprive others of education and opportunity, they’re not helping themselves, they’re depriving themselves of the benefits that would come from what others would end up contributing. We don’t benefit from treating others poorly, we pay for it.

More programmers, more healthy parents, more scientists, more leaders, more passionate artists, more breakthrough designers, more caring health care providers–it doesn’t crowd out anything. It creates more opportunity for everyone.

This is one reason that the faux scarcity of famous colleges is so toxic. Because we don’t have to exclude and sort to help people move forward, yet we do.

If you’ve ever heard a clarinet orchestra perform, you can instantly see how this works. Of course, there are no all-clarinet orchestras, because they don’t sound very good.


PS The First Priority deadline for the October session of the altMBA is tomorrow, July 14th. Showing up early is rarely a bad idea. Apply here.