Models are useful. They often provide a framework within which we can effect meaningful change, however there are some key things to consider.

Last Sunday afternoon, I was lucky to spend it talking with a former professor of theoretical physics at the University of Manchester and former colleague of Peter Higgs.

We were discussing models and their strengths and weaknesses. Specifically those around ‘collaborative behaviour’ and how they might apply to my clients. We touched on the ‘prisoners’ dilemma’ and I’ll return to this another day.

My thoughts

Theories provide a foundation for me, but they may not be valued by my clients as much.

My clients are probably most interested in outcomes and therefore I should direct my discussions and marketing through this channel, being cautious in too much referencing to these models

Models are often, but not always, just models and lack evidence-based scientific methodological research to back up their projections, so we should always be cautious.

Some models are not very practical or useful beyond the model itself. So, there are models of corporate governance, but they are based largely on intangible elements such as integrity. It would be more useful if these were based on more practical elements of ‘good’ governance.

So, I’m curious, when you think about hiring consultants, how many are open about the models they use, and any evidence to support the framework?

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