Johnnie Moore

Model fatigue

Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

I’m suffering from model fatigue.

It comes from attending too many talks/presentations/lectures in which experts explain the flaws of a prevailing model (often quite well) only to present some shiny new model as an alternative. Which to my sceptical eyes often looks just as limiting in its way as the one it’s supposed to replace.

I’m especially wary when the various diagrams of boxes, polygons, arrows and sqiggly lines are supposed to describe some idealised notion of how we humans go about our business.

It’s my repeated experience that life just isn’t like this. It’s way more complex – and so more challenging and interesting – than any of these models suggest.

But once someone has a model to promote, all that complexity gets filtered to fit the model.

I sometimes hear the argument that having a model, however faulty, gives people something to rally round. But I don’t think people are quite that sheep like. In reality they’ll be doing a variety of different things, such as:

– zealously advocating the new model but unconsciously adapting/reinterpreting it

– faking compliance while carrying on as before if they possibly can

– feeling pissed off and generating yet another equally simplistic version of reality

As I’ve argued before, I think the Python boys nail it better than I ever can.

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