All Models Aren't Gisele
Several years ago, Linda LoRe, the former CEO of Frederick's of Hollywood, shared a story of speaking with MBA students about Frederick's and their strategy to compete with Victoria's Secret and their supermodels, including Gisele Bundchen (whose comments following last week's Super Bowl are a reminder that Wise Men and Wise Women and Mad Men and Mad Women Draw Outlines). As the business school engagement was ending, Linda fielded a seemingly personal question; "I have to ask...in your role as the CEO, do you get to work with the models?" Linda's reply gave appreciation to their company as a business, like any other, with products, customers, suppliers, and employees. "Yes, I do work with models. I work with our financial models, our sales forecasting models, our production planning models, and, yes, I also work with the models who wear our lingerie."
Many years before, Professor George Box offered his reflection on models,
Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful.
Box's focus was not apparel models, but scientific models. Frederick's financial, sales, and production models may be similarly wrong, but no doubt are extremely useful. Better questions can enable better models, if one desires to think about the assumptions behind the models, which, like theories, are predictions of the future, with the chance of being wrong. What if we begin to discern variation between people, including supermodels, and parts, and realize that outlines, including valentines, are man-made? Might we then think together, learn together, and work together better.
If you're interested in exploring the limitless implications of how we think and using this awareness to improve the models we use in industry, government, and education, through better thinking about thinking, we invite you to join with peers at the In2:InThinking Network 2012 Forum in Los Angeles, California on April 19th through 24th. This year, our ever timely focus will be;
"Leading with Better Questions"
For reservations or more information, visit our 2012 Forum website at www.in2in.org/forums/2012 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Forum registration fee is $400 for the weekend Conference, with a $50 discount for registrations received by midnight, Pacific Time, on March 8th.
For a glimpse of the excitement we offer, link here
for a 1-minute photo montage from our 2011 Forum, and here
for a 2-minute montage.
In2:IN 2012 Forum Team