While this is by no means the first or only book on business learning organisations, Learn Or Die by Edward D. Hess is a thoughtful, well-written and accessible look at the latest science of learning and how it can be applied. If you want a ‘how-to’ guide, there are some very practical tactics and tools that can be widely applied, plus some fascinating and intimate case studies of what he terms High-Performance Learning Organisations (HPLOs).
The book is divided into two parts to answer two questions:
- How does one become a better and faster learner?
- How does one build an organisation that is more adaptable and learns better than the competition?
The structure is helpful for dipping in and out rather than reading from cover to cover, and the case studies in part II are used as references throughout. In particular, Hess has had unparalleled access to Bridgewater, the biggest hedge fund in the world with a 25-year success record and a unique culture of ‘radical transparency’.
This book should be on every senior executive’s reading list. In fact, it should be on the reading list of anyone who wants to improve, adapt, perform and win in an agile, competitive environment.