The Z-Model for deciding & planning

a useful process for business or personal matters

Eric Griggs


I was inspired to write this essay while responding to another article by e-friend Saoirse. Perhaps others will find this concept helpful:

© Judd Hertzler, by permission

The Z-model represents a useful and common-sense approach to better decision making & planning.

It takes its name from the shape of the letter Z which indicates the best order in which to perform certain activities.

If you prefer mystical guru-sounding advice, you can pretend that the Z-model is all about the native traditions of the people of Zanzibar or traces its roots back to the ancient Zoroastrians. Feel free to substitute any other exotic explanation you wish if that’s your thing.

Here’s the simple idea:

© Eric Griggs

We all are variously inclined to make sense of the world :

  • directly through our traditions, past experience & Senses and/or indirectly through our hunches, inspiration & iNtuition

We then base our decisions and plans around:

  • the objective & rational Thinking of our minds and/or the subjective & emotional dictates of our Feelings.

Regardless of whether you believe in the research conducted by the Myers-Briggs folks, these concepts are still easily embraced from a common-sense point of view.

We all sense, imagine, rationalize, and emote.

© Eric Griggs

As I mentioned, there’s no need to drink any mystical Kool Aid to see how we all use each of these ways of understanding and reacting in daily life.

This chart illustrates how some common business approaches to process improvement align with these different aspects of ourselves.

The idea behind the Z-Model is that by bringing all of these tools to the table and using them in the proper order, individuals and groups can reach better decisions and…



Eric Griggs

Juxtaposeur, technical analyst, process engineer, poet wordsmith, INTJ, Anansi, MBTI certified practitioner & team-builder, certifiable fabulist & Uppity Queer™