Long before the advent of the smartphones permanently attached to the end of our arms, we had to use our brains to solve problems. We had to give our undivided attention to a book or a lecture to discover a solution. Our brains had to function!

We’d be forced to identify and extract the underlying principle behind examples obtained from real life experiences, textbooks or teachers. We knew we couldn’t possibly learn and retain every example. So we had to grasp the principles so we could apply them to future problems. We would have to recall our learned list of principles to discover how they might apply to a new problem that we had never seen before. We used these principles like tools that could be adjusted to resolve challenges and problems we experienced.

Instant Access at Our Fingertips

But, why go through all that trouble if you could instantly access every example on Google or YouTube? So much for looking for the principle and retaining it. MacGyver R.I.P.!

We have friends who have thousands of books downloaded on their reading devices. When we ask, “Why do you have all those books when you know you will never read them?” They say, “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 obligated to read a book you bought.

It’s interesting that so many folks are worried that robots will take away their jobs when they already think their “work” is simply to find an example, cut and paste. No problem solving is required for that. Simply oversimplify a challenge, copy a pre-existing solution, and paste a one-size-fits-all “solution.” Isn’t that what robots already do?

Instead of solving the challenge using principles, you might just say, “Like What? Like What? Like What?” expecting and demanding that there is an exact example you can copy and paste. If only someone, usually your boss, would just tell you.  It’s so much easier to not have to reason it out! It’s so much easier to not have to remember things! Besides, why bother when it’s all right there at the end of your arm?

And that’s just the problem, isn’t it? Today’s tech natives are born with a crutch on the end of their arm that it can threaten their memory and cognitive abilities. Parts of the brain we used to depend upon are getting used less and less. As we become more dependent on technology, we rely less on our own cognitive abilities.

Learning from Stories

Our friend and business namesake, Marilyn Barefoot, writes a compelling and well-researched post on this subject. She reports on growing warnings about how dependence on tech can decrease our attention span, make us more easily distracted, impair our social interaction, and well, get us downright addicted.

Marilyn is an expert on brainstorming and story as a form of learning. In her post “Your Brain on Stories,” she examines how researchers have actually measured the parts of the brain that are activated and the rewarding chemicals released when we listen to a story. It’s fascinating! And it’s hopeful.

People learn from listening to stories. When you create the scene being described together in your mind, you are pulling the props, colors, and moods out of your memory and imagination. Then, you are attaching the action to that creation. Because you are participating in the reception of the story, you have an investment in it. Now you are more likely to recall the principles that the story demonstrated later when you need them.

Experiential Learning Through a Business Audiobook

This is the kind of experiential learning experience we are aiming for in our new Audio Theater Business Book. We’ve taken our NYTs Bestseller, The Barefoot Spirit and actually had it theatrically performed for you, not just read to you. It is a series of short stories in which professional actors play the characters. And we have added an original musical score and sound effects.  We hope to engage your imagination in a true-life business adventure that will entertain and demonstrate time-tested principles that will be at the ready for you to easily recall and apply to your own life and business.

We that dramatic business story-telling just might be the redemption for the technical crutch at the end of your arm! It is a wonderful way to activate your brain while being entertained.

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.