For over 3 years, we have been writing a blog for Česká Spořitelna, targeted mainly at entrepreneurs and executives. We try to look at business from various perspectives – even from the perspective of literary fiction. People say that stories sell. Moreover, stories can awake a huge dose of inspiration.
You may encounter plenty of stimuli while reading novels. In fact, there has been a course running for many years at Harvard Business School which used the beauty of literature to teach leadership. Here are a few examples of how literature may be beneficial for the world of business.
1) In comparison to the common literature for managers, fiction comes as much more realistic
Mainly because it doesn’t offer any quick fixes but it captures the world as a complex whole. This mirrors the fact that struggles people get to face in the real world are often difficult and cannot be solved by reliable tips and tricks. To summarize the aforesaid, novels reveal the depth that is often missed by both pieces of advice and books that are too exact.
Think about Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, for example – perhaps, you mainly view the story as the sci-fi movie by Steven Spielberg. But above all, it represents an interesting narrative about the possible outcome of introducing a low-quality or poorly tested product into the market. That is another way of looking at literature and learning from it. For both business and your life.
2) Fiction may develop your character a lot better
Apart from improving our ability of expression, reading longer texts (narratives and novels mainly) improves our need for cognition – the need for making our own opinion on things straight away. If the need for cognition – mental closure of something – is high, a person jumps into conclusions too quickly. In the opposite case, a person is more judicious and considers multiple options while making decisions. Moreover, such a person always has a plan B at their disposal. And that can be quite handy.
Reading novels reduces the need for cognitive closure. Why? Before you get to the end of the story, it takes some time. During that period, you may change your opinion on the protagonist multiple times, and you only get to know them fully once you finish the story. In this case, a movie cannot be considered as a sufficient replacement for a book. In comparison to viewing an audio-visual version of the written story, reading requires a completely different focus,
3) Facts or fiction? Both come as beneficial
Have you ever thought about how much information can our brain receive during the period of one day? They say that it is about 34 GB. However, each person has their own limits. Not everyone is capable of receiving additional information after a long day at work, for example. But even seemingly relaxing activities – reading novels or playing games – push us forward in our career journey. Novels are no waste of time. Actually, it is the other way around. Novels represent an effective usage of our time, but we only rarely realize that.