The Business Expertise Series

In the late 2000s, Naturalistic Decision Making researcher Lia DiBello started studying the expertise of business. She found something remarkable: every great business person shares a common mental model of business. The mental model captures a fundamental set of principles in the domain, is stable across industries and businesses, and seems resistant to change.

DiBello spent the next two decades applying her research to companies across the globe.

This is a series about her work, and about the work of her peers in the NDM research community.

This series is mostly written for members. Sign up for a Commonplace membership here.

  1. An Extracted Tacit Mental Model of Business Expertise — It turns out that all great business people share a common, intuitive mental model of business. We look at how NDM researcher Lia DiBello extracted that mental model, and what it looks like in practice. (Free Preview)
  2. Business Expertise: The Importance of Cognitive Agility — Cognitive agility is the speed with which an individual is able to update their mental models in response to new information. The research on cognitive agility tells us a lot about how we learn — and fail to learn — in business and in life.
  3. Business Expertise: Using the Triad as a North Star — Some implications from using the triad mental model of business as a North Star for learning.
  4. Change Your Business: A Library of Strategic Rehearsals — DiBello's research on the mental model of business turns out to be a small portion of her work. In reality she is more well known for something called the Strategic Rehearsal — a training intervention that she designed during her time in CUNY's Laboratory for Cognitive Studies of Activity. This training technique has its roots in cognitive science, and much later led to DiBello's contribution to a book accelerated expertise acquisition prepared for the US Department of Defence. Part 4 is a summary of every Strategic Rehearsal ever published, along with an examination for why the technique works in the first place.
  5. Bonus: Lia DiBello on the Mental Model of Business Expertise (free) — A podcast interview with Lia DiBello on her work. We talk about the triad mental model of business, about cognitive agility, and about the cognitive science behind Strategic Rehearsals.