The Legend of Models

Brain as  metaphorDanny Greefhorst asked me, if I knew about the brain dominance model of Nedd Herrmann (HBDI). Off course, since the 90’s. I describe it on page 129 in our (Dutch) book.

I’ve been using 2×2 matrix since 1984, writing my thesis for my MBA. Because a manager, I was told, cannot understand things more complicated then a 2×2 matrix. From Kolb’s learning styles, through Herrmann I arrived at McWhinney, “Creating Paths of Change“. He presents his fourfold model based basis on his studies of change processes. I assume, that a archetypal or generic double division created the structure of our universe. All models (except in fashion) are basically fourfold. With three, there usually is a back ground. Five contains the “quintessence”, the combination of four.

I recognize the criticism on the model ( http://skepsis.nl/hbdi/ ). It holds for every model of the human mind, psyche or learning, like MBTI, Management Drivers, Insights … etc. (Not the enneagram, I consider that a true hoax). Coffield e.a. has investigated over 100 models (in 13 groups) including HBDI (p 103). De validity / predictability of models about human behavior is never more then 70%. Which sounds reasonable to me.

Carl Jung stresses that each and every model of the psyche, mind, soul or human behavior, including his, is a product of the human psyche. And that this psyche is self-aware. So its models elements from that mind, its inventor. This is also true for the models in physics, but these do not “recognize” their inventor – as we do, in our Nobel prizes.

I fancy radical constructivism : we invent models, we do not discover them. Discovery implies that there exists a psychological world outside our mind, without the existence of our own mind. However, we’ve invented our models, because they work for us. That’s why “werkelijkheid is wat werkt”, “reality is what works”.

As human being have a fundamental need to deal with the uncertain parts of reality, we tend to try to control them. Perhaps it is also an aspect of the fact, that we do not know how we invent our models. This region is fundamentally inaccessible (or at, least, when not meditating). In the old days, we would call on our gods, now we rely on our models (now including fashion models, :-)). In the gods, we express our psychological aspects. We tend to ignore these in our models. The “science” of economics is a nice example, how we deal with “not-working” models: the (unexplainable) facts are ignored or the models get more complicated. No model will ever explain human behavior. And the universe itself doesn’t care. As did our god or gods.

Herrmann presents his model as a metaphor. That’s why he uses letters A,B,C en D. All models are metaphors, images, idols.. . What I re-present is a a metamodel, a “legend” (also a true “legend“): how I read a model. And it is fractal: within every quadrant there exists a fourfold model.

About Jan Lelie

Jan Lelie faciliteert veranderingsprocessen, bijeenkomsten en workshops. Hij is de vader van twee – volwassen – kinderen. Hij heeft het certificaat Certfied Professional Facilitator van de International Association of Facilitators. Hij iis afgestudeerd in Bedrijfskunde (Informatica) en Natuurkunde (experimenteel, Biofysica). Hij ondersteunt de professionele ontwikkeling van het faciliteren als één van de oprichters van de stichting IAF-Benelux en de vereniging IAF-Netherlands

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