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“Loving to read as a strategist”. Episode 22. Reading as a need or want, as a tradition or as a fashion

Enjoy your last weekend of November. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Today our adventure journey leads us to the subject of understanding what is the meaning of looking at reading as a need, as a want, as a heritage tradition, or a trendy fashion. Each view is completely distinct, and you will comprehend why at the end of the publication.

“White Hope Amour”.From the collection Amour Verte
Size: 7 x 5 plg. Paper Fabriano Traditional White. Painted with Sennelier, Holbein & Ecoline Liquid Aquarelles pigments. FOR SALE

The essence of my vocation is to perform strategic reflections on knowledge. I am trying to go from knowledge to attaining wisdom, which is something that is not easy to do. It takes years, many drills, mistakes, workouts, falling, coming out of the dust, shaking it, and standing up after each thoughtful intent. And little by little, throughout all these years I have been endeavoring to write inferences that are more and more of my own derivation.

It is unjust when I am condemned by several people who criticize me as a slow “lazy” person because they don’t see me in front of the computer from 8 am to 6 pm every day. My work is not at all related to the number of hours equivalent to an AI device, or a manufacturing word factory, but to the quality of thoughts that come out from my mind when I am inspired, or when the solution comes up to my awareness. These moments of introspective “eureka” are intermittent, and usually, never happen to me when I am under stressful schedules. They usually ensue when I am walking below trees, swimming, or watching nature (in between plants, animals, and water). I doubt that any author of business philosophic reflections can be successful without nature next to them. Worst, if under pressure. We only can deliver unique excellent quality when we take our time. The same happens with visualized art. I have learned from my watercolor paintings, that whenever I rush into trying to complete my artwork because of a deadline, the oeuvre is never performed with admirable distinction. My best watercolors have been painted when I dedicate patience with careful consideration to unbeatable details. The slow but extraordinary strategy in human work (no matter if brainy manual or brainy mindful) has been lost because of the current mediocrity of our business models. In the quest for efficiency and reducing costs, we have sacrificed the supreme first-class work that we were used to performing in the past. We also have surrendered the environment at expense of more profits.   In consequence, never dare to decry the work of a superior corporate strategy state-of-the-art performer as slow. Good things take time. And good things are made in unhurried motion too.

As usual, find our slides below. Print them in PDF, read and care for them in your files, please.

Reading as a need or as a want.
Each corporate strategist is required to understand how to make value propositions. The framework designed by Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, which was published in the year 2010 (1) has helped at least a whole generation to visualize how to understand customers and design products and services. Let´s begin with a difference that is crucial for making value propositions. See slide 7. For our nomenclature, I have linked the dots between a need and a pain. And also between a want and a gain. It is a simplification, that Eleonora Escalante Strategy has added to the model, which helps us to understand clients better, and it also aids us to prioritize, when we filter under “self-regulations pro-environment” and when we filter the good technologies from the bad ones for societies. You will find out more about the distinction between a need and a want in the next paragraph. The rationale from us to provoke a difference between a want and a need in Osterwalder & Pigneur’s model is founded on contemplating the factors of the future regulation required to save the planet´s environment, protect our well-being from the next disruptive technologies, and procure fair trade in the value chains all over the world. I consider that making a difference between a want and a need is a very useful tool to learn. Today we will only utilize the value proposition canvas section of their framework, which is composed of two areas: the customer profile and the value map. Look at slide number 7.

We have defined a need as something required. Something that is necessary. It is an acute necessity, an obligation to fulfill. A need is imminently linked to pain, or it represents a grief-agony-ache that requires to be cured to satisfy the client; who once alleviated, allows him or her to function again with normality. The degree of any need can be of an extremely severe level or hyper-critical character up to a moderate level. A want is defined by us as something we desire greatly or wish for, but not with a mandatory condition. A want is not necessarily vital. The degree of any want can range from a relevance basic to a luxury (or “nice to have”). We associate a want with the word gain. On the other hand, for those Spanish speakers, it will be easier to catch by the translation:  need means “necesitar” or “necesidad”, and want means “querer” or “querencia”.

When reading is seen as a need. When reading is interpreted as a need, that means that it is more than essential. It is considered crucial, and imperative in such a way that without reading everything that we do is simply not appropriate (as customers of reading). Reading is considered a need in formative years (Kindergarten, K 12). Why? Because it is a decisive tool for learning and triggers our brains to challenge themselves to think properly. The imagination caused by reading, the richness of the vocabulary produced by reading excellent books, and the capacity of analysis, critical thinking, and discernment that is instigated by long reading are so important for those who will engage in parenthood (particularly moms); for those who will work in decision-making positions (either as entrepreneurs or employees); for those who will engage in politics and will take public sector leadership roles, and for those who will dedicate their lives to academic research and professor/teaching careers.  There are no intellectual scholars without reading at least at a Literacy 5 level according to OECD standards. For these segments of the population reading books is a need. It is not a want, but an imperative necessity.

We truly expect our societies can restrain from Industry 4.0. With the sophistication of our societies, and the advent of disruptive technologies which are being organized to displace people from basic roles in all industries and services, it will be even more important to read well (Literacy 5), and I don´t see audio or videos doing any substitution there. Whatever you can learn from a video or audio, without reading a book, is simply information that we can replicate in automatic, but it will not help you to defend your position with such a deep level of understanding and theoretical foundations when a machine or powered screen software may arrive to replace you in the future.  

When reading is seen as a want. For those who are planning to work in the basic industries, or who will not grow children, or those whose careers are far from intellectual grooming, then reading at Literacy 5 level is probably a want. It is not imperatively required for them to read at Literacy 5 level, but it is a desire to do it. No individual on earth should be left behind when it comes to reading, but if we have no choice, or it is impossible to attain Literacy 5; then, we are bound to read as someone who has achieved a high-school diploma. Minimum. I have prepared three slides to illustrate how important is to read for working moms who have daughters. The utilization of the value proposition canvas has helped me to illustrate the difference between looking at reading as a need or as a want.  See slides number 8 and 9.

Teaching moms to read is so important. Moms as readers play a crucial role in children´s capabilities for reading. Illustrative and non-commercial image. Used for educational use. Utilized only informatively for the public good.

Reading as a tradition and as a fashion. I have prepared two more slides about looking at reading under the definition of tradition and fashion from the point of view of a corporate strategist. We also have used the section of the value proposition canvas that relates to the consumer profile, to show you in such a down-to-earth perspective how reading can be examined under the context of tradition, or under the context of fashion.  And you will also perceive the different attributes of readers’ pains or reader gains.  There are more pains and gains according to the type of reader that we are focusing to analyze. Slides 10 and 11 show the details of our illustration exercise.

I invite you to be aware that when we utilize the value proposition canvas, there are several best practices and mistakes that may happen when we use them. What I have done is simply the first iteration. A good value proposition canvas (at least the customer profile section) requires multiple loops. In addition, each value proposition focuses on a specific type of customer segment. Only the most experienced can correlate at an abstraction level, and even then sticky notes of different colors help a lot to differentiate the pains and gains. Well, this is it for today. I do hope you have enjoyed this episode, and we can cause you the desire to read more about these examples.

Announcement: Our next Tuesday´s publication is “Reading as a leisure”.

Illustrative and non-commercial image. Used for educational use. Utilized only informatively for the public good.

Strategic Music Section.

Music Reading chill-outs

Today´s musical reading counsel starts with our strategic observations about the crucial aspect of discerning between our actions of skim-reading and deep-reading. Last week we explained how we do skim reading. Today we will consciously explain the consequences of being a skim reader. The first consequence is that we don´t learn. No learning. When we skim-read, by around 10 to 15 days after we have performed it online or from a tablet, we cannot memorize or remember the details. When you skim-read,

you only remember the significant picture, but not any specific aspects such as numbers, or facts that support the big ideas. Another consequence of skim-reading is the lack of desire to continue amplifying understanding under additional contexts, cultural edges, or other authors´ points of view. A third consequence is the triumph of ignominy, mediocrity, and ignorance. Finally, the issue with skim-reading is: it preserves the shortcomings of illiteracy and vice cycle: the more skim-reading you do, the less practice for deep-long reading, and we are losing our brain capacity to rise literacy.


Our music for reading today is Leif Ove Andsnes, a Norwegian virtuoso pianist. Playing, Piano Recital Part 2, Impromptus No.5, in B minor Op.5-5 J. Sibelius. Ballade No.4, Op.52, in F minor, F. Chopin.

Leif is a contemporary pianist representing one of the best piano solos I have ever heard. Enjoy his music.

See you next Friday 25th of November, with the 22nd episode of the saga “Loving to read as a strategist: “Reading as a need or as a want… as a tradition or as a fashion”. 

Thank you for reading to me. Blessings.

“Loving to Read as a Strategist”. Illustrative and non-commercial image. Giphy source from Nazaret Escobedo

Sources of reference are utilized today.
I utilized all these references to understand the status of the Data-Information-Knowledge-Wisdom framework. Some elements of these authors have been included in the slides.


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.  All are used as Illustrative and non-commercial images. Utilized only informatively for the public good. Nevertheless, most of this blog’s pictures, images, or videos are not mine. I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.

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