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July 24, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

How do you make the most of book reading?

As someone who has studied self-improvement, education, and practice of the development of expertise and mastery. Here are the top 12 ideas that come to mind for making the most of insights:

1) Ideally have a problem/challenge you are thinking about. This is arguably one reason why MBAers with 2 years in the workplace have a better experience or rather more useful experience in B-school than someone fresh out of their respective undergraduate programs.
2) Data analysis in context. Problem solving in context. How can the impact be measured? Good compared to what? (i.e. illiciting opportunity cost) What are the systems level impacts?
3) Self-reflection.
4) Communities of practice. Collaborative learning. Group discussion with like-minded individuals. A true mastermind group which includes reflection.
5) Build something. Prototype something. Project based learning. Action learning. Experiential learning. Test your hypothesis with little to no risk.
6) Integrate it with other models/perspectives. (i.e. not just in isolation)
7) Consider visualizing it. Create a model or diagram. Create meaning with the book (aka art or expression)
8) Teach it to others.
9) Use the text to create questions–which serve as a checklist or a springboard for ideas.
10) How can I take action on this in the next 5 to 10 days so that it moves me, my team, or my company forward? (ideally all three)
11) Make notes to yourself in the text. Highlight key pages by making your own table of contents (or more properly labeled: Table of Useful stuff not found in the table of contents)
12) Integrate it into your ongoing journaling/database. Put it in a useful place so that you can easily retrieve it later. Aggregation, organization, and storage with similar materials. This can be a pain.

Here are some others:
• Make your own symbol system/notation system
• Could even have your own template for note taking
• Give your self specific time to do this (create a pattern of behavior)
• Create accountability
• Create a central place for tangible ideas (left-brained)
• Create your own project template
• Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps
• Decide to take action. Set yourself up for success.

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