Faculty Publications

Batten Institute - Faculty Publications - Learn or Die

Learn or Die

In Learn or DieEdward D. Hess, Professor of Business Administration and Batten Executive-in-Residence, combines recent advances in neuroscience, psychology, behavioral economics and education with key research on high-performance businesses to create an actionable blueprint for becoming a leading-edge learning organization.
(Columbia Business Publishing: September, 2014)

The Batten Institute wishes to thank Dave Lindsey, Founder and CEO of DEFENDER Direct, Inc., for his generous support of Learn or Die.

  • Interviews

    "Using Science to Build a Leading-Edge Learning Organization (With Edward Hess)" 19 Jan 2015
    David Burkus

    "Ed Hess on Building the New Age of Learning Organization" 22 Oct 2014 
    Bennett Voyles from CKGSB Knowledge interviews Edward Hess 

    Smart People Podcast 13 Oct 2014 
    Interview with Edward Hess 

    "Rising Executives Flex Learning Muscles; Be a Scholar" 3 Oct 2014 
    Sonja Carberry from Investor's Business Daily interviews Edward Hess

     "The Importance of Making Mistakes" and  "Overcoming Ego Defensives" 1 Oct 2014 
    Edward Hess appears on CNBC's Squawk Box

    "Will Robots Take Your Job?" 30 Sept 2014 
    Maria Bartiromo from Fox Business interviews Edward Hess 

    "Bridgewater: Inside the Secretive World of the World's Biggest Hedge Fund" 30 Sept 2014 
    Joanna Campione from Yahoo! Finance interviews Edward Hess 

    "Nearly Half of American Jobs Risk Being Automated: How to Fight Back" 29 Sept 2014 
    Yahoo! Finance interviews Edward Hess 

    "Real Money With Ali Velshi" 25 Sept 2014 
    Ali Velshi interviews Edward Hess on Al Jazeera 

    "A New Approach to Business: Learn or Die" 23 Sept 2014 
    Simon Constable from the Wall Street Journal interviews Edward Hess

    "The Hays Advantage" 23 Sept 2014 
    Edward Hess is a guest of Kathleen Hays on Bloomberg Radio

  • Blog Posts
  • Chapter Videos
  • Reviews

    "The Top Leadership Books of 2014" December 2014
    Leading Blog

    "How to Keep Learning and Still Have a Life" November 2014 
    Lisa Burrell, Harvard Business Review 

      "The Culture of Learning as the Ultimate Competitive Advantage" 5 Oct 2014 
    Tropical Value Investing Blog 

    "As digital technologies race ahead there is a growing need for creativity and innovation. But how can we build organizations that foster the highest levels of creativity and innovation? Learn or Die is a blueprint for creating such organizations."
    —Erik Brynjolffson, Co-author, The Second Machine Age

    "This book does a beautiful job bringing together the most important ideas in organizational learning, established by academics and practitioners over the past thirty years or more, into one place."
    —Amy C. Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management, Harvard Business School 

     "I read Learn or Die and found myself intrigued and frankly, a little uncomfortable.  So I read it a second time and found that it made me rethink many aspects of my own management style and the guidance I provide our portfolio companies. What hit me like a ton of bricks from Ed's research was the realization that the current approach based on traditional management techniques and performance metrics was unlikely to be both effective and sustainable in the rapidly changing, Darwinian world of venture capital investing and technology innovation.  His vision of the learning systems and cultural commitments that define a truly high performance organization is a must read for any business that wants to prepare itself to meet the challenges and succeed in today's business environment- before its too late."
    —Frank H. Foster, Managing Partner Draper Fisher Jurvetson Frontier and the Gideon Hixon Fund 

    "An excellent book. In Learn or Die, Edward D. Hess captures a central element to enhancing and sustaining success as a business organization or as one of its leaders—being a high-performance learning organization. This book is a thought-provoking study of the technological advances making this need ever more relevant and provides a comprehensive roadmap of the culture, leadership, employee learning behaviors, HR policies and other organizational processes necessary to build and lead such an organization."
    — Roger Carlile, Executive Vice President and CFO, FTI Consulting 

    "The smart money is on innovation, which depends on personal and group learning. Ed Hess combines a tour d’horizon of what is known about individual learning and about conducive environments for organizational learning with fascinating case studies of companies who use learning to win. Any leader who needs to encourage innovation will find information and reflections that will be both humbling and inspiring."
    — Michael Balay, head of global strategy, Cargill, Inc. 

    "Learn or Die allows the reader to not only to visualize the future, but also, and more importantly, to create the future by unleashing the power and potential of building a learning organization. It has been demonstrated that strategies, systems and processes can be copied by others, yet a company’s people, and the way they learn, are true differentiators. Ed Hess captures the essence of a high performing organization and shares his “secret sauce” through an actionable blueprint for becoming a leading-edge learner and creating a high performing organization."
    — Jeffrey S. Shuman, senior vice president and chief human resources officer, Quest Diagnostics 

    "Ed Hess is doing some of the most interesting and important work in management today and his newest book, Learn or Die, is already my personal favorite. This book is characteristic of all of Ed’s work—providing wise but straight-forward and pragmatic advice on finding the right people, creating the right environment and installing the right processes to embed learning. In a globalizing world, where adapting to and learning from difference is likely to be the most critical source of competitive advantage, Learn or Die is a must read for any manager interested in solid, research-based advice on how to survive the increasingly unpredictable, chaotic world we live in."
    — Jeanne Liedtka, coauthor of Solving Problems with Design Thinking

    "This is by far the best book I've read on the subject of learning." 
    — Shane Parrish, Farnam Street Weekly 

    "In Learn or Die Ed Hess knits an impressive fabric of insights from widely disparate strands of thought, experience, research, and real cases. Hess harnesses new evidence to challenge old nostrums. Practical and provocative, this book ranges across vital issues such as learning, innovation, team-building, and leadership. Read this book and prosper; read it before your competitor gets to it." — Robert Bruner, Dean, Darden School of Business 

    "Learn or Die makes a compelling case for the need to create high-performance, human-oriented learning organizations—and for the remarkable degree to which we are all capable of succeeding as leaders by following a path of ongoing, integrative learning. Combining fascinating behavioral research, actionable advice, and superb analysis of real-world business examples, Ed Hess has crafted essential reading for those seeking to prepare their organizations—and themselves—to thrive in a global marketplace characterized by rapid change, fierce competition, and a desperate need for leadership based on principles that are smart, sustainable, and, above all, humane."
    — Ming-Jer Chen, former president, Academy of Management 

    "Learn or Die in a masterful manner makes it clear that consistent business growth can only be achieved through learning—there is no other way—and that the pace of business change today requires a scientific approach to building a high performance learning organization. For those responsible for leading, Learn or Die should be mandatory reading."
    — Terry S. Brown, chairman and chief executive officer, Edens Investment Trust 

    "To achieve and sustain real business success in the 21st century—individual and organizational—you need to understand and leverage the new science of learning. Fortunately, there’s Learn or Die by Ed Hess, who explains the 'why' and 'how' better than anybody. This deeply informed, yet practical book provides the new road map for a better “you” and a better company. Read or miss out."
    — Andy Fleming, CEO, Way to Grow, Inc.

    "Learn or Die is a thoughtful and easy-to-read synthesis of the leading thinking on organizational and individual learning. Not only does Hess neatly summarizes what a savvy business person needs to know, but he also provides practical suggestions that will allow the reader to take action. This book contains essential lessons on an important topic—I highly recommend it."
    — Joe Timko, chief strategy officer, ADP 

    "Learn or Die is a tremendous look into the requirements of high performance individual and team learning. Ed Hess does a masterful job of conveying that learning happens best in a humanistic work environment, enabled by leaders who in reality are great coaches striving to serve others. Learn or Die will help anyone who wants to improve themselves—it changes the game."
    — Sam Presti, executive vice president and general manager of Oklahoma City Thunder