Business can be one long learning curve. Even highly experienced entrepreneurs can be confronted with new situations, or have to find new ways of doing things. That’s why it’s vital to learn from both our triumphs and our mistakes. By understanding the science that lies behind effective learning, we can make better decisions when confronted with the new or the unexpected. Here, Ora Group review the book ‘Learn Or Die: Using Science To Build A Leading-Edge Learning Organisation’, by Edward D. Hess (published by Columbia University Press).
“I’m always fascinated by the synergy between science and business, and that’s why I found this book such a great read”, said Obi Shorinwa, director of Ora Group. “The book has a clear message for entrepreneurs in its title, learn to adapt or be left for dead by competitors. The world of business is changing every day, so this warning is more important than ever.”
There are many factors that are transforming the business landscape. Technological innovations are at the forefront of this. Consumers love to use the latest technology, so if your business isn’t using it, then you could be left behind by business rivals who are. Increased globalisation is also creating the need for businesses to both learn and evolve. When confronted by competitors from other nations who have a different way of doing things, do we retreat into our shells and carry on as before, or try to learn from what they’re doing, and improve the way that we operate?
The author also looks at the way that science can help us understand how and why we learn. To do this he uses neuroscience, behavioural analysis, psychology, and the results of academic research. He takes leading companies such as UPS as examples, and shows how they’ve created an atmosphere of learning and innovation. Creating such an atmosphere is a primary goal for any business. Entrepreneurs and workers should always be seeking continual improvement, and looking for ways to make the service they offer better and more effective.
“This book shows us the scientific proof that humans tend to use reflexive or lazy thinking, that affirms what they already believe to be true, rather than seeking out new solutions”, said Obi Shorinwa. “Innovation is a vital key to business success, so it’s essential that companies do all they can to promote an environment where learning is encouraged and accomplished.”
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