A Model Too Far?



Having recently attended several major HR and L&D events it began to strike me just how many new models are popping up each year.

My mind then gravitated to the title of that great old war movie (and true story), “A Bridge Too Far”, where unnecessary complexity and then the associated over-stretch of physical and cerebral capacity lead to eventual chaos and disaster.

So the term “A Model Too Far” came to mind when pondering just how chronically overloaded people are becoming with new models, graphs, profiles and what not.

Our little parody, pictured here of the “Integrative Synergistics Extended Neuro Model of Super Excellence” is just a bit of fun, and is no way intended to offend any actual current model. Rather it’s intended to poke a bit of fun at where I’m sure many have seen this all heading.

In the forest of new models, graphs and reports that appear each year, the ones that actually work may get lost.

I’m not saying outright that there aren’t some bona-fide and evidence-based new approaches out there. Of course there are, but many seem to be simply re-sliced versions of existing seminal research or insights that have just been ‘spruced up’ with complex new graphs, terminology and names.

This is a shame as it muddies the waters for more effective tools that rely on elegant simplicity and their track record over and above buzzwords, complexity and marketing imagery.

Our advice.

Look for where the research is. Where did it originate? How original is it, and what track record does it actually have regarding data and norming to support it?

Akin to Goldilocks and her porridge, a model should not be “too simple” nor “too complex”, but “just right” in terms of being academically robust, yet easy to understand and use.

And that’s one of the reasons that we still love The Belbin Model. Our clients continue to be satisfied by the answers to these and more questions with the “just right” approach.

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