Methods and Models

Have you ever selected a method or model to solve a problem, implement a solution or save the day?  Unfortunately, that’s not what they are intended to do.

Method or Model + PEOPLE = Great Outcome

Every situation is unique.  The benefit of a method or model is to provide a framework which enables you to organize thinking and create a common understanding.  You must begin with your set of original facts and then select an appropriate model or method for organizing them.  Then add the people and you get a great result.
Before you adopt a new method or model, consider the following critical components:

  1. Complete – does the model or method take into consideration all of the elements critical for success?  Models don’t win style points for more steps, a 7 step model isn’t any better than a 3 step model.
  2. Consistent – does the method or model create continuity and consistency?  Rather than introducing something new, we suggest that you build on strength and leverage what’s working well. Create a bridge of consistency between what you are doing and the model or method.  For example, if the model talks about developing a strategy and you talk about “The Roadmap,” use the familiar language.  New methods and models fail when they don’t relate to the people who need to apply them.
  3. Communicable – is the language and concepts of the model or method infectious?  Think about Good to Great.  Whether or not you read the book, you probably heard about Level 5 Leadership, the Hedgehog or Getting the Right People on the Bus.  Make sure the method or model will stick by using contagious language or imagery.
  4. Common Sense – when you step back and evaluate the method or model does it make sense?  Unfortunately common sense isn’t always common.  Sometimes you don’t need a method or      model, you need to make a decision and take action.

Methods and models are extremely useful to ensure that everyone has a clear and common understanding.  However, on their own, they don’t solve the problem, implement a solution or save the day. It’s the people who use the methods and models that make a difference.  HOW you use a method or model is more important than selecting the correct one.
Pick the method or model that meets your criteria and then invest the time, effort and energy in the people who are going to make it work.

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