A Model is Worth 1000 Words


“All models are wrong, some are useful” –George E.P. Box

Models are simplified representations of complex things. They consist of parts, elements of parts, relationships between parts, and a logic based on those relationships.

Building models is both a science and an art. Before you start building models of complex processes at work, try creating a model of something simple like brushing your teeth or doing laundry.

What are the parts? What elements of those parts influence the process? What are the relationships between the parts? What is the logic of the model (i.e., what are the assumptions that make the model work?)

I’ll be writing more about models as it relates to positive work in the upcoming weeks. I’m currently taking a free online course called Model Thinking  with other 45,000 students. The course is taught by Scott Page, Professor of Complex Systems at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

 

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