One of the major advantages of dots is that you can use them to simplify complex situations. I am currently studying the Iraq situation in great detail and I wanted to see if I could model the situation for someone who knows nothing about the situation in under 6 minutes. This is a living model so if you have suggestions of feedback please let me know; my intention (as should be the aim of any good presentation) is to start a dialogue.
Transcript from "iraq pullout debate" mondaydots model:
In order to understand the instability in Iraq, you must first understand the different players, their motives, and location of the country. So let's meet the players. You have the Sunnis from the West and the ShIia from the South East. These two groups have not got along for over 1400 years because of fundamental religious differences. Then you have the Kurds from the north who don't get along with either the Sunni or Shiia and the U.S. from halfway around the world trying to figure it all out!
I have been asked by a few people to provide a short write up on the process I used to create "The Gamble" model. I think the above video does a better job getting into some of the details, but if I were to explain the process in 4 steps it would like this:
1. Build the model
2. Export the model to a .mov format
3. Import your movie into movie editing software to add voiceover and adjust playback speed to pace with voiceover
4. Post to YouTube
I will be building more videos to explain the more complex animations. I have a model brewing about the instability in Iraq. Stay tuned.
I was recently challenged by a friend of mine who used to teach at HBS to read "The Gamble” by Thomas Ricks and build a multi level organization model. The book is incredibly interesting (my favorite Ricks book so far) and really shines some light on the situation in Iraq.
Absolutely fascinated by the maco-level change General David Petraeus was able to impact as a micro-level force; I decided to use the phenomenon of stochastic resonance (most commonly used in examining neurodynamics) to explain how embracing the chaos between stable state organizations uniquely positioned Petraeus to make this change. Every attempt at describing the model in written form felt too much like a book report, so I decided to use Apple’s Keynote to build and animate the model.
As I built the model, my written description got better. As my written description got better, it forced me to improve my model.
I found great power in using simple dots to explain a complex model. Modeling forces you to think about getting from point A to point B, and doesn’t allow you to hide behind bullet points or a static two dimensional graphic/chart.
I will be updating this page with information on how I created this presentation; including a step by step break down of some of the elements. I am also going to use this blog to post other models of complex ideas, problems, and solutions I encounter.