There's a great article on Cognitive Fitness in this month's Harvard Business Review. The authors, Roderick Gilkey and Clint Kilts, call for a "brain-positive" corporate culture and contend that "the future belongs to companies with leaders who develop cognitive fitness for themselves and their organizations. CEOs need to be cognitive coaches to those whose work and decisions collectively create and propel the company’s strategy."
While you should definitely read the full article, here are the four steps to cognitive fitness that the article proposes:
1. Understand how experience makes the brain grow
2. Work hard at play
3. Search for patterns
4. Seek novelty and innovation
The last step may be the most challenging one, and it entails a valuable lesson for innovators: "To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly," wrote the philosopher Henri Bergson. Accordingly, Gilkey and Kilts argue that "The people who remain engaged in life consistently display an attitude of openness to new and unexpected experiences." This "open attitude" requires a "beginner’s mind:" "In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are a few."