A mental model is a representation of how something works. If used properly, it can be a powerful tool to enhance your effectiveness in dealing with a wide range of topics and situations. If overlooked, its loss can limit your horizons and compromise your opportunities. What follows is:
- a brief history of two early mental models
- a profile of the elements of a mental model
- examples of mental models you can use.
A single mental model was the original and definitive standard practice for financial operations of businesses until it was supplanted nearly overnight by a successor. The reach of the original practice and the duration of it influence reflects the power of mental models. The speed of its extinction demonstrates the necessity for us to question periodically even the most useful and honored of the mental models we use.