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December 27, 2009

In the world of government policy, Knights can become frustrated when a problem cannot be resolved with a Knight approach, and requires a Gardener approach instead, such as the drug problem in the United States. Likewise, Gardeners can become frustrated when a problem cannot be resolved with a Gardener approach, and requires a Knight approach instead, such as military responses to, say, genocides in Rwanda or the former Yugoslavia.

Knights see the use of Knight solutions as most heroic and most appropriate, and Gardeners see the use of Gardener solutions the same way. Adopting an approach from the other mode can be uncomfortable—or even perceived as a betrayal of principle.

If inflexible, Knights’ and Gardeners’ approaches can reflect psychologist Abraham Maslow’s observation that if the only tool one possesses is a hammer, all one’s problems begin to look like nails.

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