The problem with methods

When all you have is a hammer, everything ends up looking like a nail.

“All models are wrong, some are useful.” - George Box

It's tempting to want to believe that to achieve success one just needs to apply the right methodology to unlock a magical pathway towards the future.

There is no shortage of people selling 'their recipe'. The problem with methods however is that all problems then get dealt with using the same process to uncover a perfect solution. Obviously this isn't a great way of going about things.

Packaging 'the method' might make marketing a consultative process easier, but it doesn't make the problem-solver more effective. It's more likely just going to make everyone feel like they're doing the right thing, rather than truly getting closer to diagnosing and solving the real problems.

What's better from the practitioner's perspective is to rather have a broad range of tools in a proverbial toolbox from which to make use of in any given situation. Knowing which tool to use, and when, is what separates the master from the graduate - it takes a lot of practice and years of experience to develop that skill.

There is comfort in knowing that all models are wrong, yet some of them in the right situation may be of some practical use. Great strategists are also people that approach their work with a high-degree of humility knowing that there isn't ever going to be a perfect solution to a problem.