“And that’s a bit like Jesus…”

This was the punchline of every assembly story told by Reverend Darrell Jackson, at South Dartmoor Community College in the early 90s. And while we immaturely mocked the guitar playing and moustache wearing Rev. at the time, I do now wonder if his biblically allegorical stories influenced my own need to find and make similes in almost everything.

Whatever the cause, here are three people employing a similar simile strategy, into perspectives that I’ve enjoyed reading about recently.

Tim Harford: Considering what can be learned with the analogy between an economist and a plumber, or…

a meteorologist, or dentist, or engineer, or plumber — or, as others might advise, psychologist, epidemiologist, historian, anthropologist or data scientist? Of course, the wonderful and frustrating thing about economics is that each of these approaches — and others — has something to offer as we try to comprehend the dizzying interactions of the economy all around us. 1

Lawrence: Recognising the potential value of approaching a design brief like his A&E Doctor friend approaches his patients, with the direct and focused ‘PPP model’ (Problems, Plan, Progress)…

Emergency wards are fast paced, critical and stressful environments. The conversations he has with patients and his colleagues must be responsive, structured and analytical. By contrast, problem solving a design solution allows open, ambient and sometimes irrelevant communication… Which is fine, if we’re getting closer to the answer and we’re remembering to question the problem. It’s doubtful anyone’s life is on the line in a design review. The PPP model might feel specific to doctors, but it’s transferable and helps force you into holistic thinking.

Jamie: Likening the engineering and ongoing feature development of a digital product to the ‘advance and fortify’ military strategy, in which…

A small party strikes out into new territory, makes a day’s worth of progress and then fortifies their position such that the rest of the platoon can join them without getting blown up or bogged down along the way.

I wonder how Jesus could be likened to economics, project management and product development? What Would Darrel Say?