52 Weeks, 52 Books – Week 5, Book 5

Close up black and white image of a man with his hand over his face in a pensive gesture.
By Jacob Botter

So, not only did this one take me a while to get through, it also took me a while to really begin to process and fully understand. This was the phenomenal book about how we think and re-think, titled (appropriately) ReThink by Stephen Poole.

This was a challenging read for me because it spent so much time challenging my beliefs about knowledge, creativity, even art. I’ve been out of full-time higher education for a number of years, though I’ve continued to learn both formally and informally, so this type of deep philosophical thinking is something I haven’t done in a while.

Besides reminding us that there is very rarely anything new under the sun, Poole also challenges us to give ourselves the space to think and rethink about new and old ideas. He says that without the space to think and rethink, we can often miss the best ideas or be caught by a bad idea simply because we haven’t had the time or space (mentally) to think it through.

This was a book that I borrowed from my local Library (sorry about the late fees, I’ll be in to pay those soon), but I’m definitely looking to add it to my permanent collection so that I can read it over and over. I imagine that by the time I’m done with it, it will have just as many post-it notes and scribbles in the margins as printed words.

The process of thinking and rethinking is one that I think is crucial to Emergency Management, these days in particular. We are under so much pressure to “do” things and to prove that we are providing a return on investment, that we tend to spend more time looking for what others are doing than thinking about what it is that we should be doing. Doing something new, that’s not in the literature, and is not a “best practice” is not wrong if it works for you and your organization.

I think this is one of the things that I look forward to the most, is just having the time to sit with an idea and think, rethink, then think some more. I’m not likely to have all sorts of great ideas, but the opportunity to have the time and head space to think about Emergency Management and all of its multitude of facets is something that I’m hoping to be able to do as my consulting business takes off.

If you’re really up for challenging your beliefs, the way you think about things, and looking for an accessible book to help you think about thinking, then this is the book for you. I would encourage you to check it out and see if there’s something you can learn from it!

A word about links and advertising: I use a couple of different monetization methods to help subsidize the work that I do. By clicking on (and maybe purchasing) one of the items I link to on Amazon, or by clicking on an ad, you help support accessible and low-cost emergency management work. If this site were to fund my monthly costs, I would be able to take on emergency management projects for charities and non-profits at little to no cost. So please, consider using my link(s) to purchase something I’ve written about.


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