Roger L. Martin wrote an article titled Who Owns Whom? Models We Use and Get Used By.

« My most important academic mentor was the late Harvard Business School Professor Chris Argyris » Argyris wrote Flawed Advice and the Management Trap (2000).

« Chris is considered the father of organizational learning. He observed that people tend to stick strikingly long with models that don’t work… Chris taught me to always critically evaluate the models that I use so that when they don’t work as designed, I change models rather than double down on ones that just don’t and just won’t work.   »

« A key to owning your models is to always ask the most important question in strategy: what would have to be true (WWHTBT)? Ask WWHTBT for the model you are about to use to work. For example, the WWHTBT for stock-based compensation to work is that it creates an incentive for executives to increase the real performance of their company. It doesn’t. The sole incentive it establishes is to increase expectations about future performance — and those are open to appalling levels of executive manipulation. »

« Be critical of models that you have been taught either in business schools or on the job. The fact that they might be dominant doesn’t guarantee or even imply that they are effective. Always write down the outcomes promised by any model you employ. Take careful note of negative deviations from the promised outcomes and put the model on probation if it doesn’t deliver. There is always a possibility that you did a crummy job applying the model, and that you need to try it again. But there is an equally likely possibility that it is a crummy model. »

« I have written a book on the topic of how to own your models called A New Way to Think… The book chronicles 14 models, each of which dominates business thinking in its domain and I believe are deeply flawed. Each chapter explains the nature of the flaw in the model in question and suggests an alternative, more effective model for each »

Roger L. Martin also wrote When More Is Not Better (2020) and he co-authored Playing to Win with A.G. Lafley (2013).

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