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Corporate Strategy as an Art (XIX): Just Starting with Ancient Greece.

Sparta Leonidas gifEvery one of us who has taken a history course, or Social Studies, or Ancient History or World History courses at the levels 5th, 6th, 7th or 8th grades knows something about the ancient Greeks. I hope you had the time to read the links shared in my last publication. Time could pass, as it is in my case, and 35 years later we ultimately demand a substantial reminder about these matters. Usually, we do not read history after 9th grade anymore. Particularly those who joined the sciences or technology or engineering paths (STEM line of education). If you did not pick up a bachelor of arts or literature or history of the art, or other history courses at the University, I reassure you that you have forgotten it. By the time we start to work after university, we have lost more than half of what we acquired during high school.  Pitty but true. And arts must be part of our educational system, and that is why I promote an ESTEAM Education Model (Ethics, Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics).

Today, before delivering the differentiation strategy analysis between Athens and Sparta, let´s do a reflection about how unfortunate we are in pursuit of history about the ancient civilizations. The way it is taught is usually very traditional. The professor usually lectures about it, and if students are lucky they might have a powerpoint presentation during the class, otherwise the class is about taking notes meanwhile the professor writes on the blackboard about the facts, characteristics and history details in general. Year over year, professors in primary or high school levels do teach it repetitively digging a bit more in each of the themes and analysis. In the case of Sparta and Athens history,  students end up doing a homework comparison between both cultures, by different variables of similitude or distinction. Usually, these variables are location, type of government-description, education, social structure, military strength, allies, lifestyle, cultural achievement, the role of the women, food and other issues related to the social-organizational aspects of living. Little time is utilized to understand the variables of the economy and sources of production, or power motivations, or observation about arts (all visual and musical arts included). I doubt professors teach about the corporate strategy of the rulers of these empires or kingdoms. Let´s see an example of how American high-school and primary students study Ancient Greece, when it comes the time to examine Sparta vs. Athens subject. Please watch the slides below (I just want to show you how kids study this topic):

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What do you think when you saw the last information? Do you think it is enough for kids and teenagers?

Let´s pass to a superior step. If we google the phrase Athens vs Sparta comparison, we will find 324,000 links related to this search. I took the time to visit a few of these links, and I am worried about our secondary level students all over the world, because by using the web search options, I found that what is available about Athens and Sparta may be fake news, may be wrong, might be too general, or may be out of date or not renewed by recent archaeologist studies. It could happen that Social Studies-History professors are using these google web sources uploaded by the same students to teach, instead of going to the most reliable books or artistic expressions found by archaeologists. In addition, archaeologists are continuously changing the landscape of history by using new emerging technologies, and history is being rewritten again. Are social-studies or history professors aware of it? And if professors are out of date, even with all the internet sources at your fingertips, the delivery of knowledge is also biased or it can be wrong. This forces us to look for a library. Just in terms of content. Moreover, if parents have not studied these topics either, how can parents help kids to discern when their kids are in the process of discriminating reliable information from the internet? Some thoughts for you to conceive and consider about.

greece oracle of delphiNow let´s give another step on our stairway of knowledge. I believe parents have a tremendous opportunity to study history for the good sake of their kid’s brain development. The only way to make kids be in love with history is through the parents’ authentic role modeling in relation to attitudes towards history. If a mom or a dad are avid readers about history or history of the art of ancient civilizations, the kids will see them. Mom and Dad will be able to speak gently to their kids about those issues, as much as you speak about quotidian activities, and the whole family will interact over dinners or meals, or when the time is appropriate (before going to sleep). Kids or teenagers also watch their parents reading about these topics and they immediately feel attracted to be curious about these themes. If parents visit the libraries (Bibliotheque), that will help much more!. I don´t recommend to go directly to youtube videos only, or TV documentaries, because these tools don´t help to trigger interaction between parents and kids, but they isolate them… and I prefer to recommend videos as a side dish exercise for discernment. Meanwhile, I recommend reading books of experts in the subjects, to assimilate the themes. Also, movies can be shown, in order to compare with the previous readings and provoke a discussing interaction time in class.

Greece sculpture Leonidas Sparta 480 BCELet´s go one step further. My area of domain, corporate strategy.  For a moment let´s forget about the available 6th-grade Athens-Sparta homework and lesson websites.  We won´t rely on the 324,000 links shown in Google when searching “Athens vs Sparta comparison”. OK. Are we on the same page? If yes, let´s proceed. We will start by observing the vestiges found by archaeologists. If we are near a museum with these beautiful pieces, it is a must to go!. Museums play a crucial role in these matters. Now we will watch and observe the main ouvres of art from Ancient Greece, particularly from Athens and Sparta during the Iron Age. We will visit some pictures of Architecture, Sculpture, Paintings, Pottery, Iron weapons and Jewelry from both city-states (Athens and Sparta). And then, we will continue to knock the door of books from recognized archaeologists or historians websites to find better reliable information from their point of view. In summary, we start learning by watching artistic vestiges first.  Then we go to books or google the most reliable fountains of information (archaeologists and historians).

Let´s stop here. I will keep my publications short again. I have discovered that by keeping them to less than 1000 words, as when I was racing the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-2018, it is better for all to digest. So we will stand here, and next week we will publish one or more additional articles to see the differentiation advantage Analysis between Athens and Sparta (based on their artistic vestiges).


Thank you. See you later. Stay tuned please.




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