“Loving to read as a strategist”. Episode 27. Reading content as a strategist
We completed our Holiday embellishment weekend with success. Mom and I were adorning the house, here and there, fixing petit lights, decorating wreaths, and hanging ornaments. The old Belen birth representation of Jesus’ nativities and the Christmas trees are already illuminating our surroundings. This season is pure hygge and merrymaking for us. We are ready to receive Christmas occasions and the new year´s good cheer.
Today we have prepared some slides. The first one is about a framework that I have designed in relation to the process of reading as a strategist, and the subsequent slides are about the process of reflecting and discerning beyond data.
The process of reading as a strategist. Reading as a strategist requires a more complex interweaving of several capabilities beyond reading for leisure or reading to get informed. Reading as a strategist requires that we can go back and forth between what we can grasp and measure from reality, and what we can cognize from the theory. We need to absorb and reflect on what we see. But we also require to figure out the theory to discern the truth from the apparent, the relationships between reality multiple factors, contexts, and the explanations only founded in the theory. Both reading cycles, which are a continuum of loops, help us to be grounded in a scientific discipline, and at the same time in reality. The science of our domain reading is called strategic management.
When we read as a strategist is completely different than when we read a textbook a novel or a sci-fi text. And that is why Literacy 5 level (according to OECD standards) is simply the bottom line of any strategist or any pupil who is trained to be a strategist or is in the process to become one. See slide 6. Once we are capable to read at Literacy 5 level (1) (OECD), then and only then we can start the journey of becoming an expert on reading as a strategist. It is a journey. It takes several years. It is not automatic, and probably we only develop the correct acumen when we land in our 50s.
Several times I have opposed the idea to hand out the power baton to younger people who have not developed all their learning competencies and their highest brain capabilities. And it is not based on ageism, but on the observation of so many leaders in the world (from the past and the present). Many of our historic wars and wrong decision-making about products and services could have been prevented if at least the elders would have known to wait before passing control and authority. Only by our middle age (50s), humans are able to reflect and discern properly. In addition, in the past, many of the rulers, emperors, and kings (or queens) took the reality of their corporate strategy growth as video gaming wars. They played in real life, for the expansion of their territories, and this conceptual mistake is still in the middle of our strategy frameworks at the corporate, business, functional and operational levels. The aftermath of that past is embedded in each and all of our strategy modeling, which is based on cruel competition, another war game, and a legacy of our ancestors. By saying this I am not at all conveying to accept socialism as an option, but ethical capitalism.
Slide number 6 shows us the framework of today: two dynamic cycles of reading strategically which are superimposed and linked in between. Both cycles work at the same time. The first one is what I have christened as the cycle of reading from reality. This cycle is based on the observation of facts, interactions, of behavior. It is also based on data that may come from specific investigations, but also from experiments that the rich world installs in the poor countries, from inspection of financial statements and surveillance. Reading from observing, triggers us to study and analyze what we are examining. Once we do that, then of course we write our findings. And that is how we begin to read. We also compare our exploration, to have the reassurance that we are going on the right track. Then we reflect on it, hypothesize and test our assumptions under multiple contexts and scenarios, which unlocks the possibility of discernment. We can discern when we read from reality, only once we have everything in place (with a 360-degree vision). If something is missing, discernment during the process of reading from reality fails. Finally, with our shrewd results, we can conclude. Nevertheless, with our changing situations, when we finally have determined conclusions about something; or we have solved a problem; another one starts, and the reading from the reality cycle starts all over again. So it is a continuum of no end.
The cycle of reading from theory. This is another cycle, which goes tangled with the theories of other authors, researchers, or scholars. The theory is what we learn in our educational centers. The theory is what we conceive because of others who are or have been writing their theories and proof of evidence in texts. Other authors, erudite people, or writers have left us books or articles. These writers have left us a legacy, either to continue with their studies inheritance; or as a source of reference. This cycle is important because sometimes a book from someone else took him or her more than 40 or 50 years of investigation and reading. And their wisdom comes in pages that we need to read. We start our reading from theory by searching. Looking for documents, for texts which could be historical or from recent years. We are required to visit libraries, bookstores, or one-of-a-kind bibliotheques. Or, in the worst case, we are obliged to pay online and then print those books. Then we select what can be relevant for our reading, filter what we find, and decide to read thoroughly (read means to digest until fully understanding, taking notes, making summaries, go back and forth with other texts and authors, until we assimilate and absorb everything). Then we initiate to infer, we wonder about the author´s content, and this process is called reflection. Once the reflection of the texts is concluded, the feedback from us towards the writer can provoke more ramifications or further reading, or dampen it. And the discernment phase is the last one before establishing our conclusions.
For reading strategically, both cycles (reading from reality and reading from theory) are integrated in between. Both must occur together. And this is the art of reading as a strategist. Voila!
The process of reflecting and discerning.
For us, it is a two steps authentication. See slide 7 for the definition of both terms. We can´t discern if we don´t reflect. But at the same time, when we discern, we are reflecting on the subject of our interest. Reading strategically activates our capacity for reflection and discernment. Of course, you can also reflect and discern without reading, but only through observations or across what you see or touch, smell or learn from the actions of others, even without communicating one single word. But the two cycles of reading (reality and theory) are the foundation for thinking correctly and strategically. For example, I can watch hundreds of YouTube videos about makeup. Or french dialogues, or about cooking a cake. Surely, you can learn from them, and you can reflect on the pros and cons, on the advantages or mistakes that you will make when trying to replicate what you see on screen. But that´s it. With that, you are doing some steps of the cycle of reading from visual facts. But if you don´t have the theory in your mind, you won´t be able to replicate what you read in other contexts, in other situations, or in other cultures or countries. In addition, your brain will do what you see, as if you are following a recipe that was organized by someone else.
The process of reflecting and discerning (slide number 8) is tied to each other and reading is its foundation. It elicits or elevates your reflecting and discerning capabilities. It activates your imagination and procures effective feedback from others. Reading helps you to socialize with other authors (without talking to them), authors who may have a piece of the puzzle that is needed for your own reading, reflecting, understanding, and discerning.
Announcement: Our next Friday´s publication is “Becoming a strategist since kindergarten”.
Strategic Music Section.
Music Reading chill-outs
Today´s musical reading counsel is about the joy of reading. At the beginning of the saga, we explore the rationale of finding texts that may cause you delight. We have avoided recommending specific books because each of us has a taste in living, and what can cause joy to me, may not be what can cause you happiness. Each person to his or her own. Nevertheless, let me reassure you how to find enjoyment when reading. As a bookworm, be sure that you will buy books that are not what you are looking for. I accumulated several books that I never read because they did not fulfill my expectations after the first 20 to 30 pages. So I left them there. Why? Why is that? Well, is it because of the author? Or is it because my spirit wasn´t aligned with the author? or because I was worried or troubled by something else?
For example, moms working at home and attending to 2 or 3 children, won´t have the time to read, even if they love to do it. They are so busy raising the kids, doing chores at home, moving back and forth to keep their kids’ schedules, accomplishing kids’ extracurricular activities, and so on… by 8 pm, bed awaits them so dearly, and reading will never happen, unless their husband supports them. The joy of reading occurs when we can forget about everything else,. We have already discussed that. However, the joy of reading is a shared experience in the household. Supportive husbands can take care of the kids for some hours a week to help moms to relax and read again. A moms´ book club helps enormously with that. Search for joy when reading!
Our music for reading today is another holiday collection from Collins Classics “Mozart’s Christmas Masterpieces”. This album features over an hour of relaxing festive classical music and winter songs by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with several symphonic orchestras. The Joy of Christmas for you.
See you next Friday 17th of December with the 28th episode of the saga “Loving to read as a strategist: Becoming a strategist since kindergarten”. A new saga is coming as of January 15th, 2023. We will sail with the Ocean Race 2023. Expect wonderful content. Thank you for reading to me. Blessings.
Sources of reference are utilized today.
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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