Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey – Workplace Culture Experts & Barefoot Wine Founders

By Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey – Workplace Culture Experts & Barefoot Wine Founders

Relying on Technology Stifles Our Cognitive Ability

Relying on Technology Stifles Our Cognitive Ability 150 150 MIchael and Bonnie Harvey

Before we had smartphones attached to our hands, we were forced to use our heads to solve problems. In order to find a solution, we had to give our undivided attention to a lecture, presentation, or written instructions. Our brains actually needed to function!

We had to analyze and extract the principles behind examples attained from real-life experiences, teachers, and textbooks. Since we knew we couldn’t possibly remember each and every example, we had to retain the principles so we could apply them to relevant situations in the future. We’d need to reflect on that list of principles to learn how they could be applied to a brand-new problem. These principles would be used like tools—they’d be adjusted to solve problems and overcome obstacles that we experienced.

Constant Access at Our Fingertips

But why go through the trouble of remembering and recalling if you could have instant access to any example on YouTube or Google? So much for doing all the work yourself. RIP MacGyver!

A few of our friends have thousands of books on their e-readers. We ask them, “Why do you have all those books when you know you will never read them?” They respond, “Just having them makes me feel like I have sort of read them. I have access to them and that’s a step closer to reading them!” So much for feeling responsible to read the books you bought.

It’s peculiar that so many people are worried about robots taking their jobs when they already think their “job” is simply to find examples, and copy & paste. That doesn’t require any human problem solving. Just oversimplify an issue, copy a tried-and-true solution, and apply a one-size-fits-all “answer”. Don’t robots do that already?

You might just ask, “Like what? Like what? Like what?” instead of solving the challenge using principles, you demand an exact example you can cut and paste. If only somebody, like your boss, could just tell you. It’s so easy to not have to figure it all out yourself! It’s so much easier to not need to recall things! And why even bother when it’s all attached to your hand?

That’s just the problem, isn’t it? Tech-native people are born with a crutch—one that can threaten their memory and cognitive ability. The areas of the brain we depended on are being utilized less and less often. As we become more reliant on technology, we depend less on our own brains.

Learning from Stories

Marilyn Barefoot, our company namesake and friend, wrote a well-researched and compelling piece on this very subject. She warns how reliance on technology can make us more easily distracted, hurt our attention span, reduce our social interaction, and, to put it bluntly, get us addicted.

Marilyn is an expert when it comes to brainstorming and stories as a method of learning. In another one of her posts, “Your Brain on Stories”, she looks at how research has actually measured those areas of our brains that are activated and chemically rewarded when we listen to stories. It’s captivating! And it gives us hope.

When people listen to stories, they learn. When you create a scene from what’s in your mind, you pull the moods, colors, and props from your own memory and imagination. Then you attach this creation to the story. Since you participate in the story’s reception, you’re invested in it. Now you’re more likely to reflect upon the story’s demonstrated principles right when you need them.

Learning Empirically Through a Business Audiobook

This is the type of learning experience we’re going for in our Audio Theater Business Book. We took The Barefoot Spirit, our NYT Bestseller, and had it theatrically reenacted for you, not just read to you. It’s a collection of short stories where professional actors play out each character. We’ve also added sound effects and an original music score. Our goal is to engage your imagination in a real-life adventure that entertains, and demonstrates business principles that have withstood the test of time. That way they will be ready for you to recall and apply to your business and your own life.

We think dramatic business storytelling might just be what you need to step away from the technical crutch at your fingertips. It’s an effective way to stay entertained while using your brain!

For more, read on: http://c-suitenetworkadvisors.com/advisor/michael-houlihan-and-bonnie-harvey/