Stop Reading Business Books

This is an interesting bit I pulled from a fun and informative (infunitive?) piece by Fast Company expert blogger Emily Heyward’s?Desks, Where Creativity Goes To Die | Fast Company. I’ve long thought desks are altars upon which one ritually sacrifices career happiness. I hadn’t yet considered Heyward’s third admonition below:

3. Stop reading business books.? Okay, there are some business books that are really great, and I?m not saying NEVER to read them. But if that?s all you?re reading, I will kindly suggest that you?re wasting your time. In general, you learn so much more about business from doing than from reading about it. Fiction, on the other hand (or interesting nonfiction that?s not about your industry), exposes you to new worlds and new perspectives. It reveals things about yourself and doesn?t just give you new information that?s in one ear and out the other–it actually gets you to think differently, which applies to everything you do. That?s why I?m always more excited about potential job candidates with degrees in things like French literature or neuroscience than marketing and communications.? We all work so hard, and it?s very easy to live exclusively inside that bubble–attending events, reading, even socializing solely within our own professional circles. But there?s tremendous power in cross-pollination, and in experience for experience?s sake. When you set out to do things that have no direct implications for your job, i.e. as soon you stop trying, that?s when true inspiration comes.

Egads. My name is Daedalus Howell and I’m a business book-aholic. I’ve even covered for Malcom Gladwell who we pretend is more akin to a cultural anthropologist than a business book author though most of his readership is comprised of business book readers hiding their shame behind Gladwell’s New Yorker?credentials. I’ll try to take Heyward’s advice and downshift into fiction. I suppose that’s like going from heroin to methadone, right? I’ll take Heyward’s advice a step further and actually write some fiction. You know, after I finish What the Dog Saw.