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Modeling, Models and More

Posted on by Brandon Klein

“The best learning takes place through play. I am not talking about playing with Nerf balls and hula hoops. Rather, I am talking about playing with representations of reality. This approach to learning is not new, but it is underutilized in the management world.

“Think about it: In product development, whenever the stakes are high—for instance, when human life is at risk—learning is done and decisions are made through play. Airplanes are never build, cars are never made, oil platforms are never constructed without first building and playing with models. And through that prototyping process, people learn how to do things.

 

“Play is the best way to learn, because the learners do not fear the consequences of their thoughts and actions. In the end, they know only that they are playing with a representations of reality and not with reality itself. But that is the exact opposite of the way we managers normally make decisions. Instead, we sit around trying to construct reality itself while weighing the consequences. Fear of the consequences—or fear of one another—dominates the process. The result: reduced imagination and increased stagnation.” --Arie de Geus in Fast Company 26