Ray Dalio and Bridgewater have built a competitive advantage through their systematizing the use of radical truth and radical transparency. They have mitigated some of our cognitive biases. They have also developed a way to use and combine the outputs of multiple different mental models:
Bridgewater have a created a system which will generate better outcomes than their competitors. It will also increase the growth rate of people working in that environment. They identify everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. There is constant feedback, the effectiveness of strategies to address them will be continually rated and able to be subject to improvement. Someone working in that environment will soon leave their peers elsewhere behind. This in turn will improve the performance of the organization as whole.
In effect they have built a process for using multiple mental models/conceptual frameworks and of combining different perspectives:
“We all have slightly different conceptual frameworks or mental models and they are all a mix of what is useful and what is not. This means that we can improve our understanding by incorporating other peoples. This is one of the reasons why having a diverse team working on problems can be better than having one rigid perspective.
Try and have multiple different mental models, made up of components which can be mixed and matched. Use them as different spectacles or filters to view reality or the problems you are working on. While even this will not let you see reality as it is, it may give you a better understanding than those you are competing with. It may help you see what they do not”
Ray’s principals are well worth reading. Its caliber can be judged by its start:
Principles are concepts that can be applied over and over again in similar circumstances as distinct from narrow answers to specific questions. Every game has principles that successful players master to achieve winning results. So does life. Principles are ways of successfully dealing with the laws of nature or the laws of life. Those who understand more of them and understand them well know how to interact with the world more effectively than those who know fewer of them or know them less well. Different principles apply to different aspects of life—e.g., there are “skiing principles” for skiing, “parenting principles” for parenting, “management principles” for managing, “investment principles” for investing, etc and there are over-arching “life principles” that influence our approaches to all things. And, of course, different people subscribe to different principles that they believe work best.