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What´s up with water: Pouring water into your corporate strategy (IV) Water is the essence.

Have a good Friday. We will proceed to share what we have prepared for you today.

The essence of water explained. Essence is a term that has multiple connotations or senses. From the point of view of the popular understanding, the essence is related to the most important concentrated or core or element of someone or something. From the point of view of philosophy, the essence of something has plenty of definitions. I will stick to an oldie definition of the word “essence”, not because there haven´t been other philosopher intellectuals giving us an update for discussion, but because it is very interesting to retake the past to cognize concepts that many of us take for granted by searching only in a dictionary.

The meaning of essence according to Locke. Technically John Locke, an English philosopher who lived in the XVII century, introduced the term essence with two sub-concepts: “real essence” and “nominal essence”. Locke wrote about this dichotomy in a document of several books “An Essay Concerning Human Understanding” (1). For Locke, the term “essence” accounts for the existence and nature of any being, i.e., “Essence may be taken for the very being of anything, whereby it is, what it is”. Let´s see what is a summary of the word “essence” according to Locke:

Essence is a dichotomyConcerned byWith a ScopeExplanation
Real EssenceMetaphysics and Natural PhilosophySubstances. Real essences are the submicroscopic constitutions that cause the observable qualities of substances. Locke defines the ‘quality’ of any substance as “the Power to produce any Idea in our mind”.This process has three levels of the quality of substances:
1. Primary qualities are the inseparable features of a body, e.g., its size, shape, solidity, mobility, texture, weight, etc.
2. Secondary qualities are the colors, sounds, smells, tastes, etc., of any object.
3, Finally, the tertiary qualities of a body are those powers in it that, by virtue of its primary qualities, give it the power to produce observable changes in the primary qualities of other bodies.
Nominal EssenceMathematics and EthicsIdeas and Modes. Nominal essence is the abstract ideas that constitute the definitions of species or genera.  This process has three stages; we create an abstract idea based on similarities among objects, we then give a name to that abstract idea, and finally, we classify objects that fit our abstract idea into the same species or genus
Definition of “essence” by John Locke.

Why do we have to go back to Locke’s meaning of essence to explain water? Well because we need a good framework to appreciate it. And philosophy helps us very much for it, as much as we are urgently required to use philosophy in our business and corporate strategy endeavors. At present, and after 6 years of writing for you, more and more I believe, that we need to teach how to think properly (philosophy helps us to do that) as part of the core MBA or Ph.D. curriculum of courses at business schools too.

But let´s go back to the interesting standpoint that Locke is offering to us when he defines the term essence. He defines the term essence with two distinct and clear perspectives (or as we use the term contexts at Eleonora Escalante Strategy domains).  And he differentiates the real from the nominal, by also suggesting the domains of which part of essence are we talking about. This is extremely important for us to grasp today. Why? Let´s give a step above in our analysis of the term “essence”. When humans (let´s say hired consultants or specialists or United Nations experts) define the essence of water from the point of view of ideas and data analytics (numbers and mathematics) we are using the perspective of “nominal essence”, but we are leaving out the setting of the qualities of the substance (real essence). Depending on which definition of the term essence we choose, that is how we will continue with our strategic innovation paradigms and corporate strategy problem-solving plans (what to do, how to do it, when to do it, where and why to do it, and so on).

In this case, we are trying to explain water at its essence. Let me ask you: what do you think is the essence of water? Is it the chemical composition of the fluid status of H20? (Qualities from the real essence definition). Is it the greatest importance of water for our survival? (An abstract idea, what is it in water that matters to humans?). I wonder which is the essence that my bookworms want to read.

What is the essence of water? It is very hard to answer this question because it has numerous perspectives and contexts. So, if we decide finally to analyze the question of What is the essence of water? From the point of view of Locke, we will have different answers, because he has duplicated the definition of the essence into two: real essence and nominal essence. If we use Eleonora Escalante’s Strategy contextual analysis of 25 contexts explained in our last publication, we won´t be able to finish this saga, not even this year. But I will try to provide our main abstraction, and we will answer this question from the point of view of what is in water that matters to humans in what they are, and what they do on the planet.

What is the essence of water? Illustrative and non-commercial image. Photo Source: Microsoft Office Library.

The essence of water for any person and economic endeavor. For micro, small-medium-big business, complex enterprises, and multinational corporations. Regardless of the economic sector or industry that we can imagine. water is what keeps us and the economic efforts existing. Indeed, friends, there is no possibility for a corporation to exist without water. corporations can exist without energy (electricity has come to make our living easy, but we can go on without electricity using the rough oldies methods of our ancestors, so we won’t perish without electricity, that is for sure). But won´t be able to survive without water. Even energy can be generated with a proven archaic solution as our ancestors did, but without water, we simply are barred from this planet. Ironically our planet is full of water, but it is salty. It’s hard to believe it, but according to the National Ocean Service of the United States, 70% of the planet’s surface is water, and about 97 percent of the Earth’s water can be found in our salty ocean. Of the tiny percentage that’s not in the ocean, about two percent is frozen up in glaciers and ice caps. And, less than one percent of all the water on Earth is clean fresh potable for human consumption. Ultimately, a tiny fraction of water exists as water vapor in our atmosphere (2).

What is the essence of water? Illustrative and non-commercial image. Photo Source: Microsoft Office Library.

Follow me please with the following chain of ideas.  If humans are living in a sphere where 70% of its surface is water. And we only have a minuscule infinitesimal amount of fresh drinking water, we wonder why the utmost of the high creator of the universe did this? Aren´t we water species living in a water world, regardless of whether the water is salty? If water is our milieu, and humans are also constituted of 70% water in our bodies, aren´t we water? Isn´t water our essence? Inside us, and outside us. Alors, if water is our essence (nominal and real), then why don´t we stick to this premise for the rest of the saga: Aren´t we all water?

We are water. That is our definition of the essence of this saga. Without water, none of us would be able to be alive moving the economic efforts for making profits. Without water, none of us could do what we do on a daily basis. Without water, we wouldn´t be able to exist. It is impossible for humans (and animals or plants) to live without water. We consume, use, waste, and throw out water from our bodies when we wake up, all over through the day, and even when we sleep. All our activities as human beings, no matter if employed or entrepreneurs; no matter if we live in developed economies or in the low-grade nations on earth; no matter if we are happy, sad, or sick or if we are in motion or static. No matter if we are rich or poor or if we are going to space or we are submerging ourselves into the deep of the salty oceans. No matter if we have a Smartphone and wi-fi or not. Whatever we are doing, it is because of one single input: water. Water is located inside us, or outside us. We drink water to be alive. And we use it to perform every single of our activities in our domains of actions. We are water.

The essence of water. We are water.   Every single human being living on this planet is water in essence. On average around 60% to 70% of our bodies are intrinsical of water, and water is essential for our wellbeing and the functioning of all our organs. Normally, no human can survive without water after a maximum of 4 days. There are exceptions, those who can live a bit longer without water, but it all depends on your age, your overall health status, and of course if you are under activity or not. Moreover, even if you dehydrate, and don´t drink water after 3 days, it will take a long time for your body to recover and start functioning correctly again. The damage to our bodies if we don´t drink water is forever. Without water, blood pressure is affected causing unconsciousness or death. Without water, toxins are not excreted through the urine, sweat, and breath, harming the kidneys. Once this takes place, the toxins accumulated in your organs cause them to fail, and shut down, especially the brain and then your heart, losing then your life.

What is the essence of water for our brains? Illustrative and non-commercial image. Photo Source: Microsoft Office Library.

Our brain activity requires water. Why do we need to care about our brains? Corporate strategy is about decision-making. And if our brains don´t function well because of lack of water, sorry but we won´t be able to decide well. So every time you want to think properly, we advise you to drink those 2 liters of water next to your desk every day, so you can replenish your body with water all the time. Additionally, we need to read from paper printed books every day… at least 2 hours a day. Our brains need water to be able to read properly.

If we are water, and our life essentially requires water. What is the problem? Water has become a resource that is not available to everyone. The problem of our lack of water is not because of the lack of existence of water per se, but because we lack “enough fresh drinkable water for human consumption”. And we are polluting the water of the oceans, which one day will be used (once we find a cheap technology to convert it from salty to drinkable) for our wants and needs too. Is the lack of water a problem? Or is it us who don´t care for water the problem?

We will stop here today. I think it has been a heavy article, which will require you to read it twice. Our next subject is number 5:  Water as an earth component.  The next chapter will be a summary of the beauty of the “real essence” of water on our planet. For the time being, let´s continue with our melodic segment.

Strategic Music Section:

Why did we choose Itzhak Perlman? Itzhak built a fantastic career with the violin since he was a little kid. He was born after the end of WWII, so he is a loyal representative of the baby boomers’ generation. Do you know that Mr. Perlman contracted polio at the age of 4 years old? Nevertheless, the truth that he couldn´t walk without crutches, didn´t stop him to find his call-in life with the violin. He knew that igniting his passion for practicing it, playing, creating, and composing with the violin would make a difference in his life. And he took the committed voyage to do it.  Read his biography here: (3). Until today, he is on the top list of the best 10 contemporary violinists of our times and has collected numerous recognition honors. He was awarded the American Presidential Medal of Freedom. He has received 16 Grammy Awards, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and four Emmy Awards too.

We wish to raise him up in this saga, because of his dedication and practice that helped him to be accepted at the Juilliard School as a student, and then as a teacher in the same academy, building other new violinists in real life (not digitally). The Juilliard School is “the” place where awesome artists get cultivated and refined in dance, drama (acting and playwriting), and music (classical, jazz, historical performance, and vocal arts).  I believe that he has been an outstanding educator for so many violinists that wouldn´t be where they are now without Itzhak. Educators of experience and excellent quality must be treasured, constantly primmed, properly developed, expanded, and cherished during their lifetime, as has happened with Mr. Perlman. A nation is what they invest in and care for its professors. The basic caring for educators includes good salaries above the middle-class average status in the USA (earning more than US$67,000 dollars per year). It is extremely sad to verify that in emerging and poor nations, such as El Salvador, many amazing music teachers (well any teacher of any discipline here) don´t get any recognition, not even at the material level (they hardly earn 700 dollars per month, if lucky enough). Music is beautiful and requires practice and greater professors. Finally, we wish to express our recovery wishes to Mr. Perlman who has tested positive for COVID and has to withdraw from this week’s concerts at the Houston Symphony Orchestra. 

Songs of today belong to Anne Akiko Meyers. Even though she plays Strad violins, in this opportunity she is performing with her beloved Ex-Vieuxtemps Guarneri del Gesù, dated from 1741, considered by many to be the finest sounding violin in existence. The first song is Live in the Fraser Performance Studio at WGBH in Boston, with Anton Nel performing “Bach’s famous Air on a G String, from Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major”. The second song is the Estonian Lullaby by Arvo´s Part . We will find out why we select Akiko next week. Enjoy your weekend!

See you next Tuesday, with the fifth episode of “What´s up with water: Pouring water in your corporate strategy”. Thank you for reading to me.

“Violin Maya”. An aquarelle exercise by Eleonora Escalante 2019. I started to paint this artwork in Starbucks Los Proceres, San Salvador. Montval 300GSM watercolor paper. Size: 48 cm x 38 cm.

Sources of Reference


Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY. Nevertheless, most of the pictures, images, or videos shown on this blog are not mine. I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.

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