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When Solving Problems, Are You a Hedgehog or a Fox?


When Solving Problems, Are You a Hedgehog or a Fox?

Take a trip with Teddy Daiell on this fun ride down a rabbit hole of short, thought-provoking links and quotes on the mental models we use to solve problems.

“Short Description: When solving problems, we rely heavily on the tools that are most familiar to us.

Long(er) Description: “…if we are not mindful, and if we do not remain sceptical, tools become ingrained in our systems and mindsets, and ultimately supplant purpose.” (Humanistic Systems)

Related Examples:

Professional Advisors & Experts – E.g., Doctors, Bankers, Consultants, Brokers.

Related Quotes:

“I remember seeing an elaborate and complicated automatic washing machine for automobiles that did a beautiful job of washing them. But it could do only that, and everything else that got into its clutches was treated as if it were an automobile to be washed. I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.” ~ Abraham Maslow

“Give a boy a hammer and chisel; show him how to use them; at once he begins to hack the doorposts, to take off the corners of shutter and window frames, until you teach him a better use for them, and how to keep his activity within bounds.” ~ Once a Week

“When you don’t have a hammer, you don’t want anything to look like a nail.” ~ Robert Kagan

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” ~ Albert Einstein

“The more we know or think we know about a subject, the less willing we are to use other ideas. Instead, we tend to solve a problem in a way that agrees with our area of expertise… We need a full toolkit… [P]roblems don’t follow territorial boundaries…” ~ Peter Bevelin”


Key points include:

  • Related remedies
  • Related concepts
  • Related resources


Read the full article, Mental Model Fundamentals: Law of the Instrument (Maslow’s Hammer), on LinkedIn.