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Munger's Latticework

Charles Munger’s Latticework of Mental Models approach to thinking, business and decision making has informed leading investors, executives and entrepreneurs, and was the inspiration behind ModelThinkers.  Mental Models are simplified representations, concepts, and frameworks that allow us to quickly understand ourselves and our world. Everyone uses mental models to understand and act in a complex world. However, most do so unconsciously, using the same handful of models in every situation.  Munger argues that consciously developing and applying a Latticework of Mental Models will empower you to see each problem through a variety of lenses and possible options. It's the difference between solving problems with a single hammer, versus solving them with a dynamic and expansive cognitive toolkit.  MULTIPLE DISCIPLINES. Munger explains: “Models have to come from multiple disciplines because all the wisdom in the world is not to be found in one little academic department… Fortunately, it isn’t that tough because 80 or 90 important models will carry about 90% of the freight in making you a worldly-wise person.”  That said, Munger points out that there is no ‘master list’ that will work for everyone, rather you will need to build and continually update your list of mental models depending on your challenges, needs and context. DYNAMIC CONNECTIONS. Beyond a specific list of isolated models, the real power revealed by Munger was the unique thinking, innovation and creative problem solving that arises through your ability to combine and overlay diverse Mental Models. This involves having clusters of models, or what we call Playbooks, to apply for specific types of challenges.  MAP vs TERRITORY. At the same time, an important companion model with this one is the Map vs Territory model that points out that, in the words of George Box: "All models are wrong, some of them are useful." This is also another reminder of the importance of using a broad range of models. VIDEO OVERVIEW. You can watch the video below for a short overview of this concept. I'll warn you up front that the last bit is a blatant pitch for how to build a latticework of mental models with ModelThinkers, but most of the video is a crash course in mental models and the principle more generally.    BE A MODEL THINKER. This model has been our inspiration at ModelThinkers — our aim is to help popularise this approach and empower you to develop your own Latticework of Mental Models and dynamically apply those models to transform yourself and the world around you. That said, whether you use ModelThinkers or not, I'd encourage you to embrace the latticework of mental models approach, as it's incredibly powerful. Who am I kidding... sign up to ModelThinkers and build your latticework faster and more effectively than ever with us!

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