Education for Everyone Everywhere

Here are some interesting points from the Harvard Business Review:

1. How to take criticism. In a writing workshop, each writer must remain silent while others discuss his work. This rule allows him to hear what people say, rather than distracting himself by preparing his defense. Train yourself to listen openly to all criticism. Then wait until you’ve had a chance to reflect before deciding which suggestions to follow and which to ignore.

2. What motivates people. Everyone’s mix of motives is unique and complex. The more you can intuit the secret desires that drive a person (whether a fictional character or a colleague or your boss), the better you can predict what she’s going to do next. If you figure out what motivates the people who report to you, you’ll be able to tailor incentives for each individual.

3. How to engage your audience. Good fiction writers know how to involve readers in acts of collaborative imagination. Readers like to be challenged — part of the pleasure is guessing the murderer’s identity before being told — but if they can’t follow the plot, they get frustrated. Companies competing in the experience economy need to get this balance right. Customers, like readers, do not like to be bored or confused. They like to feel smart and creative and listened to. That’s one reason companies that involve their customers in idea generation, like Dell, Staples, and BMW, rate highly in customer loyalty.

Knowing how to keep your team engaged is an important skill for all managers, but it’s critical if you want to succeed at innovation. Again, involving team members in the creative process is the key.

4. When to let go of good ideas. Or, as writers like to say, kill your darlings. An idea may be great on its own, but if it doesn’t serve your larger venture, you have to be ruthless and cut it. Brilliant but misplaced ideas can derail a project or keep you from seeing bigger, better solutions. It can be almost impossible to recognize your own darlings. Writers have editors to point them out. In the business world, look for honest feedback from colleagues you trust.

At Horizons University we are interested in your whole-brain and wish to provide a meaningful educational experience no matter if you are left-brained or right-brained.   We will be announcing a new MFA program to compliment our already successful MBA program.  We will be making an announcement very soon, so check back or better yet– subscribe to our blog.

I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions about the MFA versus the MBA…please feel free to leave a comment below.

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