(Excerpt from The Great Mental Models Volume 1: General Thinking Concepts by Shane Parrish)
We create static rules or policies that deal with the map but forget that we exist in a constantly changing world. When we close off or ignore feedback loops, we don’t see the terrain has changed and we dramatically reduce our ability to adapt to a changing environment. Reality is messy and complicated, so our tendency to simplify it is understandable. However, if the aim becomes simplification rather than understanding we start to make bad decisions.
We can’t use maps as dogma. Maps and models are not meant to live forever as static references. The world is dynamic. As territories change, our tools to navigate them must be flexible to handle a wide variety of situations or adapt to the changing times. If the value of a map or model is related to its ability to predict or explain, then it needs to represent reality. If reality has changed the map must change.