culture as mental models
I’m trying a little experiment, if you want to watch a 2 minute video instead of reading this email, I recorded this as video on YouTube
Hello! I wanted to unpack the idea of culture and propose a definition of culture that’s been useful for me. Some folks have defined culture as a set of beliefs and assumptions that influences your behaviors and actions your decisions.
That definition makes a lot of sense but still when we talk about culture it feels so vague. It also feels hard to change and rather permanent. If we look at that definition: beliefs and assumptions that influence your decisions and actions, it turns out that’s a mental model! Making that connection between culture and mental model seems powerful.
As humans we all use multiple mental models and in a given situation we might have a preferred model or a default model but we understand other mental models. With a little effort we can pick up and use some of those other mental models, even if we don’t agree with them or if we don’t prefer them and that’s super powerful.
As you start to understand other people’s mental models what you’re actually doing is building empathy, you’re creating empathy and that is just such a powerful concept
Some more info on mental models
Next time I’ll discuss how this idea fits in with separating culture from identity, and how that helps.