Footnotes is a reference library of models, patterns, theories, frameworks and aphorisms

Don't Repeat Yourself (DRY)

David Thomas and Andy Hunt coined this core principle of software development in The Pragmatic Programmer.

Data Patterns Catalogue


Catalogue of design patterns for engaging users with data.

Solows Paradox

Robert Solow

Robert Solows 1987 observation that “You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”

Vector Theory of Change

Dave Snowden

Dave Snowden’s pattern-based theory of change model.

The Nolan Principles

Committee on Standards in Public Life (CSPL)

The Nolan Principles are a set standards for conduct in public life, established by UK Prime Minister John Major.

Good Services

Lou Downe, Sarah Drummond

Lou Downe and Sarah Drummond’s shorthand for what makes a good service.

Growth Framework for Design Teams

Shannon Thomas

Shannon E. Thomas' framework for practitioner growth in design teams.

Business Model Canvas

Alex Osterwalder

Alex Osterwalder's Business Model Canvas is one of the most well-known frameworks in innovation.


Tony Ulwick

Tony Ulwick's JTBD framework, that seeks to decouple the outcomes (or jobs) people need, from the solutions they use to accomplish them.

Service Envelopes

Service Envelopes are a simple model for describing how service interactions unfold over time, based on a technique audio designers use to shape sound waves.

Modes of Strategic Change

Path's adaptive typology of modes of operating for strategic change.


Arcana is Path's pattern language for product / service ecosystems.

Eisenhower Matrix

Dwight D. Eisenhower

This decision-making model attributed to Eisenhower advocates categorising decisions by importance and urgency.


Susan Michie, Maartje van Stralen, Robert West

Michie, Van Straalen and West's framework for the development of behavioural change interventions.

Modern Banking in 1500 Microservices


Monzo's description of their micro-services architectural pattern.

Metaphors we live by

George Lakoff, Mark Johnson

Lakoff and Johnson's exploration of the role of metaphor in shaping how people think about the world.

Framework Darwinism

Jan Chipchase

Jan Chipchase / Studio D's process of curated framework usage in design research.

Action Research

Peter Reason

Peter Reason's collection of articles and thinking on participatory and action research.

A manifesto for applying behavioural science

Michael Hallsworth

Michael Hallsworth's manifesto for the applied use of behavioural science.

Conway's Law

Melvin Conway

Melvin Conway's aphorism stating that systems tend to mirror the communication structures of the organisations that produce them.

Pugh Matrix

Stuart Pugh

Stuart Pugh's foundational formulation of a decision-matrix, to support qualitative ranking of an option set.

Leverage Points

Donella Meadows

Donella Meadow's famous hierarchy of leverage points or places to intervene in a system.

Festina Lente

Classical adage, famously adopted as a motto by the Roman emperor Augustus, to "make haste slowly".

A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction

Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa and Murray Silverstein

Christopher Alexander's timeless work on classic architectural patterns.

Supply Studies

Matthew Hockenberry

Matthew Hockenberry's fantastic compendium of resources on critical studies in logistics.

Permanent Assumptions

Morgan Housel

Morgan Housel's idea that maintaining firm beliefs about things that are likely not to change is a helpful response to volatility.

Risk compensation and homeostasis

Shane Parrish

Shane Parrish's exploration of the idea that risk aversion can result in increased risk.

Bundling / unbundling

Jim Barksdale

Jim Barksdale's aphorism that all value creation is the result of a process of bundling and unbundling.

Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing, (Mourning)

Bruce Tuckman

Bruce Tuckman's influential model of small group formation.

Metaphor Design

Michael Erard

Michael Erard's exploration of his work as a metaphor designer, shaping the way people understand concepts through metaphor.

Metcalfe’s Law

Robert Metcalfe

Robert Metcalfe's observation stating that the financial value or influence of a network is proportional to the number of connected users.

Unix Philosophy

Ken Thompson

Ken Thompson's description of the philosophy of modular sub-systems that shaped the Unix computer operating system.

Caterina Bianchini's Creative Process

Caterina Bianchini

Caterina Bianchini's description of her creative process for graphic design.

Living Systems

James Grier Miller

James Grier Miller's 1976 work on a general theory of living systems with the central thesis of levels of open systems and sub-systems.


Jeff Hiatt

Jeff Hiatt's framework for facilitating change.


Shane Parrish

Shane Parrish's explanation of entropy and it's impacts.

Cynefin Framework

Dave Snowden

Dave Snowden's framework for making sense of boundary conditions within complexity.

Kotter's 8-step Process for Leading Change

John Kotter

John Kotter's 8 step change framework, mapping out steps in a change program.

Gall's Law

John Gall

John Gall's aphorism stating that successful complex systems invariably evolve from working simple systems.

Mental Models

Shane Parrish

Shane Parrish's collection of mental models or shortcuts for thinking.

Your job as a leader is to always move the salt shaker back to the centre of the table

Vladimir Pick

Vladimir Pick's aphorism about the role of a leader to set and maintain benchmarks.


Warren Bennis, Burt Nanus

Typology for decision-making in volatile environments, originating from the US military.

Aggregation theory

Ben Thompson

Ben Thompson's theory of aggregators as innovators, building on network theory.

Decisions Matrix

Shane Parrish

Shane Parrish's adaption of the Eisenhower decision-making matrix.


Robert Cialdini

Robert Cialdini's model for influencing people and organisations.

Four Player Model

David Kantor

David Kantor's model for family system dynamics, applicable for organisational dynamics.


Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Nassim Nicholas Taleb's concept of anti-fragility, or systems that gain strength through adversity.

Story Circle

Dan Harmon

Dan Harmon's framework for operationalising the Hero's Journey.

Hero's Journey

Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell's concept of the monomyth that underpins human story-telling across cultures.

Shifts, shocks and fragilities

Martin Wolf

Martin Wolf's typology for structural sources of change.

Pyramid Principle

Barbara Minto

Barbara Minto's framework for communicating detailed ideas at multiple levels of detail.


John Boyd

John Boyd's influential model for rapid decision-making in jet combat.

How do you play the long game?

We've found 4 common modes of strategic change, each with their strengths and weaknesses.

Our simple tool helps you discover your default mode, and how to pick the mode you need right now.

Long Game Modes
The 4 Modes of Strategic Change

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