... If you want to explain and discuss a complex (business) topic, an abstract model could help you in doing so. More complex than what we currently experience in Europe is hardly imaginable. In a situation that is so divers and complex to manage a model can express essentials without words...
In the article "Choose Your Favorite (Model): 1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9" you'll find different kind of models that are available for the presentation purposes.
The model André Sapir used is one of the number four (4) type. And it shows a simplified typology of countries about the distribution of Equity (Low versus High) and Efficiency (also Low versus High). It is used in the paper to stress a certain policy recommendations (for Europe) to face the globalization.
The advantage of using a model is that it clearly represents the issues you want to discuss. In the case of the Europe Model from Sapir, there are four types of country models (systems) within the European Union. And two types of models are said not to be "sustainable". That is a strong message.
Now if you represent a country you would like to know where they have placed you, in what box, do you fit in one of the "non-sustainable" boxes? Than, also hard to handle is when two neighboring countries like Spain and Portugal are not both -- as you would otherwise have imagined -- part of the same (Mediterranean) type. Portugal is selected to be Anglo-Saxon. This will generate a lot of discussions.
It is acceptable if all four boxes are equally challenging. In that case you could equally be proud to fit the category "handsome" or "gentle." But it would be less easy to accept when the categories are described as "Low" versus "High" (under the common denominator "efficiency" in this example).
Models are a strong vehicle in presenting recommendations, advices, or a simple overview of a complex topic. Yet when using models you should try to make all different elements equally acceptable if your audience is involved.
© 2006 Hans Bool