Over the years I've rolled out my fair share of models. I've designed quite a few too, finding them easy ways to express an concept or idea.
In the last few years I've begun to wonder about our use of models and perhaps question an over-dependence on them.
Wherever you go to talk about the possibility of supporting an organisation in developing capability the conversation shifts quickly to ‘what models do you use?’. This is often less of an enquiry into your approach but more an expectation that the learning experience will be based around a model. Models are often seen as ways of creating consistency of approach around an organisation, and in many cases conformity of approach. The demand for an ‘certified’ model or an internationally used’ model is often not far from the thoughts of many organisers of training.
I've got used to that but now im noticing more of the end users expecting a model. In fact in many cases if you don't give a model they can be disappointed.
It's got me wondering why. Have we got users so used to model lead training they only expect a model and nothing else? Is it part of our fast food, get it quick world that means a model is a ‘ready-meal’ all set to consume? Or have we taught people to stop thinking?
It's the latter that concerns me most. Everything I've learnt about people tells me that most of us create our own models, practices, systems and symbols in our heads. In fact i have learnt that most of us never ‘conform’ to a model despite most organisations expecting them to do so. But models are often taught as a rule in a ‘do this, do that kind of way’ instead of a wrapping up of some ideas to help you or a guidance note to remind you when you are doing something that isn't habitual yet or prep if you want to turn into a habit. I wonder how many people reject the ‘rule’ and do their own thing anyway? In my observation it seems like a high percentage but ive never measured it (if anyone has then I would love to know).
Coming back to thinking I'm concerned that as we want shorter, faster, easily digestible training we ‘hand over the concept’ in the quickest time possible even though everything we’ve learnt tells us that capability isn’t built that way. Either that or we rely on feel good seminars with no follow through (Conferences and TedX talks are great but do they create lasting change?). Food for thought is just a snack if there is no way of deepening the thought and turning it in to action.
So my jury is out on our model dependency. I'm not sure how ready the organisational audience is for really thinking without being gifted the theory but I’m planning on trying it out.
Perhaps i will let you know how it goes.
theCHANGEfactor™ brand was established in 1999 in the UK by Martin Fenwick. Prior to coming to New Zealand this resulted in projects in Belgium, Germany and France as well as throughout the UK.