The management toolset is full of processes, metrics, and strategies, but rarely contains philosophy tools. Philosophy and business are usually thought to be quite separate. But innovation is the useful juxtaposition of things previously thought separate. Here is one example of how philosophy’s main benefit, helping you raise and answer important questions that cannot be answered empirically, can serve modern business.
This is the link to a talk I heard at TEDx Silicon Valley 2011. It came to mind again recently when I attended a different philosophy seminar and was struck by the clear relevance to business. More on that in another post! For now, enjoy this talk by Dr. Damon Horowitz, In-House Philosopher / Director of Engineering at Google. He is also a philosophy professor and serial entrepreneur.
Everyone is aware of the toughest issues faced by their company. Being open to using philosophy to address them could have benefits on many levels. Employees may have philosophy training that they could bring to bear on those issues if they thought it would be welcome. In addition, by its nature, philosophy may cut through a lot of lower value approaches that we try to apply to big complex issues.
What business questions do you think philosophy should help answer?
Are you a philosopher and business person? How does that make you more effective?