For 29.4.19

Your assignment for 29.4.19 includes:

  • Reading “Industry 4.0”
  • Mastering the Outline View in MS Word
  • Team Work
  • How to do the homework

Reading “Industry 4.0”

Where we happen to be and where I want to take you

In class, we discussed how everyone wrote things up nicely, you really did. You’ve had years of making presentations and it shows. But from my perspective and, I believe, that of any experienced reader, researcher, and professional, you wrote them as reports, and as finished things, and did so at the cost of exploration. If I were to put a number on it: you’ve got 90% polish but only 10% research. I mean this both as a compliment and as an opportunity: since you clearly know how to cobble things together nicely, we can work on developing your research skills so you’ll have something worth cobbling together

You’ve been telling one basic story, but the problem is research and presentation, and there are other, better stories

  • In Engage Through Storytelling, by Nancy Duarte, we saw how she distinguishes between facts/information, stories, and presentations, and my argument is that you’ve all gotten quite good at telling one certain kind of story, we’ll call it “the HWR report story,” when for research and the professions we need different kinds of stories and different kinds of presentations.
  • This basic report story, limited to definition, description, and the presenting of a single option uncritically, corresponds in “Steps for Better Thinking,” as we discussed in the first class, to the simplest level of all, and where, they outline, we have next to examine a number of options, examine each critically, and ultimately choose among options: the meaning and value of any given option is in its relationship to others.
  • The argumentation and rhetoric we use to set one options against another include such variations as “Drawing Battle Lines,” “Picking a Fight,” etc., on page 13 of the syllabus, titled “Eight Strategies for Using Sources.”
  • That is, our aim is not to present a solution, but to consider options, and to do that we have to deal with the uncertainties of data, competing and often conflicting forms of analyysis and interpretation, and considerable debate on how best to proceed.

Why and how we will read PWC’s “Industry 4.0”

So when we read “Industry 4.0,” we will be doing so to see how they slice, dice, and organize those issue so that we might create our own lists of topics, prioritize and choose from among them, and dig deeper. At our first, survey stage, we will be concerned with:

  • Relevance. Before we just grab the first topic that comes to mind, we do well to figure out what topics interest others; otherwise, no matter how brilliant our insights, nobody cares: PWC offers us a fine survey and so will prepare you to find similar kinds of surveys in your field
  • Justification. Before we dig down into a given topic, we do well to understand why we choose this one over the others: why this one might be more appropriate, relevant, and useful to study, and so we will use the lists that come out of our survey as the basis for reasoning and justification
  • Issues. We’ll then learn how to transform our topic into issues by finding the professionals who disagree on how they ought to be understood and do so by “choosing sides,” “picking a fight,” etc., so that we might report on their discussions and consider joining them.
  • Then we will apply these methods as we dig down into our topics.

Why and how my advice on Reading Industry 4.0

To develop these more complex, sophisticated professional readings we’ll need to develop different tools, for starters including:

  • Skim. Read a few pages of this PWC article on e-commerce to see that it is divided into sections, some with table, graphs, lists, etc., and others with explanations of different kinds.
  • Scan. Then re-read those very same pages, but this time look for pieces that you can begin to understand, that look like they might be of special interest, and which you might look at closely.
  • Outline (context). Before you did into that one section, create an outline where you put that special section into a context, so you have a halfway decent idea of where it fits; for example, if you like the timeline of Industry 4.0, showing 1-4 and beyond 4, outline briefly the pages before and after to see how the timeline fits in a framework of different ways of explaining the problem
  • Outline (one section). Then outline your chosen section, like that timeline, where you create a sub-head for each piece, then write in your own words a brief summary of that piece, so that you have about equal-length short discussions of the half dozen points in your section and so an overview.
  • You’ll find much of this, and more, in my Reading Industry 4.0

Mastering the Outline View in MS Word

Team Work

We are looking for different ways to help us learn, learning from others is among the most important, so please take a moment to look at how and what you might learn from a classmate

  • In class, I invited you to survey what others have done, find one thing — some “sign of intelligent life” and write it up: do that!
  • When you write it up, look for the three dimensions of ideas, social dynamics, and feelings: what idea do you find in what they did, what method, how did it work socially for you, and what sorts of feelings did you have along the way?

A lot of people have thought about this. I’ve surveyed some of them in my advice on Team Work, and maybe you’ll have a moment to survey this article, look up a link or two, and find something that “clicks” in your imagination or actions and leads you to think or do something differently? Try writing it up, briefly — a couple of sentences will do, more if you are inspired, get the juices flowing, see things — and add that to your portfolio for this weekl

How to do the homework

This is A LOT of stuff, more than is humanly possible to do, unless you first SKIM the advice to see that there are three and only three parts

  • Reading “Industry 4.0”
  • Mastering the Outline View in MS Word
  • Team Work

that we've begun to discuss each part so you basically know what to do, AND if you work strategically, including:

  1. Do a little of each of the three parts
  2. In your outline, set up the date in Heading One, each of the four parts in Heading Two, and in Heading Three identify a couple of things you'd like to do: in this way, like in the reading itself, you set up a framework early on in the week (in the next couple of days, please don't wait!)
  3. Spend an hour or more on reading “Industry 4.0” and half that on Outlining and Team Work.
  4. Skip stuff you don't understand, I'm only interested in pleasure and not pain.
  5. Do this with a partner, really, two heads are better than one. And add a note when you do so: it's really, really, really cool to develop team skills — working in teams is for most people fun, smart, and a valuable skill to carry to your first job interviews — EVERYBODY wants team players!
  6. We ourselves have to work as a team, which means if it is "too much," don't be a drama queen, do simply note "I don't get it, so I went on to do xxx", and that will be just great! As I learned to say on the dance floor, when I'm leading and so as a leader: there are no mistakes that my followers can make, and if there are, it is my fault! If you don't understand, ask someone: the chances are good I am not choosing something appropriate for you, or that I am not writing clearly, or that I am assuming too much or different things. I am not just trying to be nice: I am aiming for your success, because your success is my success!