Interesting search. Having conceptualized modern intelligence as remedial education for leaders who never learned to think in integrative terms (a point made by Buckminster Fuller in Ideas & Integrities) and also in Harlan Cleveland's The Knowledge Executive, this is a fascinating topic worthy of deep development over time.
Epoch A leadership is the top-down autocratic Weberian model of stovepipes, hierarchy, “leader knows best.” This model does not work in the face of complexity and rapid change.
Epoch B leadership is the botto-up consensus model of open space, collective intelligence, appreciative inquiry, “everything is connected.” This model works best when all those participating are educated and attentive, but it works better than the Epoch A model under most circumstances.
The purpose of a liberal arts education is to teach not just the art of thinking, but the art of thinking ethically and in a holistic context. This art has been lost in most programs, and students are graduating with “check the box” educations that are next to useless in Observe, Orient, Decide, Act (OODA) Loop situations. Mental models from from education and experience. The best mental models are refined over time and learn from failure.
Scientific Mental Model. This model is in theory very rigorous, evidence-based, and actively able to create hypotheses, seek and integrate information, test hypotheses, and make progress. In reality scientific knowledge has become so fragmented that we are creating pathological outcomes with the best of intentions. Within both universities and government-funded research this model has been commercialized and therefore perverted away from basic science and holistic science. The scientific literature is now largely fraudulent (e.g. medical literature funded by pharmaceutical companies that pay doctors to sign ghost-written “research” that presents falsified findings).
Social Science Mental Model. In theory this mental model integrates anthropology, psychology, sociology, history, and other aspects of studying humanity in context. In practice this model has the same micro-development as the Scientific Mental Model, and its “modern” applications simply cannot be trusted. At its worst (e.g. the US military Human Terrain Teams (HTT)), this combines management corruption with performer ineptitude to create dangeous disconnects between expectations and outcomes.
Humanities Mental Model. This is where philosophy used to shine, where deep reflections on core questions (good versus evil, the purpose of life, the nature of community, etcetera) could imbue a leader with the wisdom of the tribe. Leaders with strong philosophical grounding understand that an educated public is the best possible means of achieving a prosperous community at peace. Leaders without a good philosophical grounding confuse financial inputs and technical outputs (metrics) with progress.