For 15.11.17

Reading HFDA

Your aim is to develop your reading, thinking and notation skills so you might learn how to think more complexly and differently

  • Read and outline 7 parts of HFDA Chapters 1-3
  • Pick and choose parts that interest you or which you think especially important
  • Slow down and exploit outlining, cf. my Classroom Example, and where you revise to identify higher-level concepts and thinking
  • Exploit action verbs, to assist higher level thinking, cf. “Bloom’s Taxonomy Action Verbs” (Dropbox)
  • Report on your findings, cf. “Adelaide, Reporting Verbs” (Dropbox)
  • Discuss when appropriate how your “mental models” have changed

Watch Zander on classical music and where you learn about how the music moves you: so, too, action verbs and report structures move you to consider higher levels of complexity and critical distance

Your Research

Revise your research outline and strategy to take into account the following dimensions: try doing a little of each to learn how they work and fit together: do not try to be perfect!

  • Concept. As illustrated in this 4-part model, your problem is to find something that is BOTH of interest to you AND of interest to relevant professionals AND are at a high conceptual level
  • Method: Survey, list, select. Repeat 2-3 times until you identify one paragraph where you begin to dig down into sources
  • Search “current issues YourTopic 2017 pwc/deloitte/mckinsey/ey/etc” to insure you are dealing with relevant professionals and because their survey reports typically offer a high-level overview (concepts, issues being discussed by relevant professionals)
  • List the main chapter/section headings and then select one
  • List the topics and sub-topics of your chosen section and then select one
  • Choose one or more paragraphs, identify the key words, and look them up
  • That’s enough


Following my Classroom Example, we are looking for concepts, high-level generalizations, and there are a number of things you might do to learn how to work with them

  • Circle keywords in your article, write the keywords in the margins, list them in your outline, the group them meaningfully (for example, heading 4) under a sub-head, a high-level generalization
  • Revise your outline, think it through a bit, combine some things and break apart others, move things around: use the tree structure to stimulate and organize your thoughts
  • In front of lines you’ve already written, step back for a moment and think of a keyword or concept and place that in front with a simple period in front of it
  • Ask lots and lots of “why” and “how” questions and use any of the action verbs to begin to distinguish, analyze, evaluate, etc., whatever you are looking at.

One of you said asked for a procedure

  • This is a legitimate question
  • The problem is, that research is open-ended, and while there are models and lots of examples and certainly steps such as I introduce here, the nature of research includes a fair amount of heading into the unknown and so you might better consider the matter as a project characterized by multiple activities, many things you can do, and more important than any procedure is an attitude of experiment, curiosity, and play.
  • We discussed how much of our education is indeed procedure, especially when you are learning technical problems, and much of our formal classwork is assignment-driven “do this … do that”
  • We discussed how researching things on your own may well be new, and if so that you have good reason note to be sure what to do, and that this is completely normal and ok
  • We discussed how business research is about considering options for the future, but the future cannot be known, and we don’t always know enough about the past either, but managers must nonetheless act: all we can do is is our best, and courage is a necessary ingredient
  • So when I give you a bunch of things to do, pick and choose among them in the spirit, again, of experiment, curiosity, and play.
  • Please read my discussion (and watch the video) in my advice on Courage

Develop a meta-commentary

Reflected knowledge is simply the best, so learn how to identify some problem, work on it, write it up briefly, and then write up what you tried to do and what you learned. Treat your homework as a notebook, sketches, protocol, and definitely not a finished product. Learn how not to be perfect.