In Chapter 1 of Tony Wagner's 2008 book, The Global Achievement Gap, he sets forth 7 "survival skills" for the "New World" of work in the 21st century. The number one survival skill is critical thinking and problem-solving. He asserts that the employers of the 21st century want employees with critical thinking skills, which include an ability to question established wisdom and find creative solutions. Employers in the "Old World" wanted conformist employees who followed the bosses' orders--"yes" men for corporate America. The "Old World" education style prepared students for that world. I am deeply skeptical of Wagner's suggestion that most 21st century employers truly want employees with the independence of mind to challenge established wisdom and authority. My experience has been that most employers are still risk averse and hierarchical. As such, many firm leaders still surround themselves with like-minded individuals, and they treat the expression of novel ideas as insubordination. Wagner seems to recognize the weakness of his recommendation, asking himself, "If more young people learn critical-thinking skills, to what extent will these skills be welcomed by corporations in the future?" (Wagner at 29.) "Command-and-control" hierarchy may be "increasingly a relic of the past in corporations" (p. 25), but it's still very common, and it's changing more slowly than Wagner would lead us to believe. Although I agree with Wagner that students should develop critical thinking skills in schools, I don't want to give students false hopes. Students need to be emotionally prepared for the possibility that they'll have to work in an environment where they cannot exercise their creative thinking skills, and no one wants to hear their innovative ideas.