I think that one of the most powerful learning tools is metaphors.  I understand that Einstein made most of his discoveries about relativity using the metaphor of a person traveling in an elevator at high speed looking at something else traveling at a high speed.  The question he had was what would he see.  Einstein somehow figured out that the speed of light was a constant and therefore the person would see the other item traveling at a relative speed but the light speed would not change.  Truly amazing.

I think the book the Tipping Point has many metaphors that we can use to learn about things.  Starting and stopping epidemics is very useful.  Fixing broken windows in our business can be a real benefit.  A band-aid solution is not all that bad.  Maybe if we can stop the bleeding, the business will have a chance to heal itself.  I am really now mixing metaphors.

I think we do not need to always find the big fix to our data problems but fix the broken window and  with confidence in the process, we will fix the data.  I have a theory about sales contest in organizations.  I think they are a device to make the salespeople do good reporting.  Then the sales data is correct and up to date.  Without some internal motivation most sales guys want to move on to the next sale instead of doing the paperwork.  We need these little thing to encourage people to make sure the data has integrity.  Most data integrity problems are not system problems but poor source data.

As you can see, I love metaphors, parables, mental models and great stories. 

Stories are so much easier to remember that dry facts and numbers.    Once upon a time ……..

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