[This post is part of a series on The Model — my model for the human emotional system designed for use in leadership, self-awareness, and general purpose professional and personal development — which I find the most effective and valuable foundation for understanding yourself and others and improving your life. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]
Yesterday I started with one of the simplest examples of models — maps. Today we’ll look at other models.
The image below includes a model of the Earth.
But if you want to calculate gravity, this model may serve you best. I would bet the people who sent men to the moon — arguably the greatest engineering feat ever — used models like it daily.
Here is another model of the Earth
Here is a model with more information, drastically different than the above.
Even for understanding properties inside the Earth, for some purposes, again, less information might help more, as in the following model.
This one even contradicts itself internally between the left and right halves. That inconsistency doesn’t hurt it, though, in part for how blatant the inconsistency. We’ll see later that all models have internal conflict and inconsistency. Since only the thing itself is the thing itself, any model will have such inconsistencies. Inconsistencies don’t mean the model doesn’t achieve its purposes.
I stress this point because people routinely reject other people’s models that might serve their purposes best by pointing out flaws in their models. Their own models are just as flawed.
You probably get the idea by now. You can represent the same thing in many ways for different purposes. Hopefully you’re seeing that the purpose for the representation determines its value, not its consistency, the amount of information it shows, who created it, if it looks pretty, and so on.
So far we’ve looked at visual models. Tomorrow we’ll start looking at mental models.
Learn to make Meaningful Connections
with a simple, effective exercise from my book, Leadership Step by Step.
- Step by step instructions
- Video examples of me and Marshall Goldsmith
- An excerpt from my book