MECE Principle

So this year started on a good note, watched a Netflix movie projected on the wall in the comforting blanket cuddled up with a cosmopolitan, globally transversed artist. Let me rewind a bit, I was talking to this girl who fits perfectly in my TG. She is an artist who grew up in Dubai, post which she moved to the US and pursued a degree in fashion.

We immediately hit it off and ended up catching up later the same night. I dropped by her flat. Anyhow, post the New year’s Eve incident, I categorically asked her to watch my fall video to prevent a similar mishappening. Thankfully, it didn’t, it was a cherishable movie night. And even though it was quite a badly directed movie, I just didn’t want it to end.

Anyway, coming to the MBA concept of ‘MECE Principle‘. It is a grouping principle for separating a set of items into subsets that are mutually exclusive (ME) and collectively exhaustive (CE). It was developed at McKinsey & Company, one of the leading consulting firms in the world.

The MECE principle is useful in the business mapping process wherein the optimum arrangement of information is exhaustive and does not double count at any level of the hierarchy. Examples of MECE arrangements include categorizing people by the year of birth (assuming all years are known).

Strategy consultants use MECE problem structuring to break down client problems into logical, clean buckets of analysis that they can then hand out as workstreams to consulting staff on the project.

Interesting insights can be drawn in the context of modern-day dating from the MECE principle. We can revisit the Triangular Model that talks about the three components of love. Basically, dating/ relationships can be categorized into three mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive (MECE) buckets- emotional intimacy, intellectual intimacy, and physical intimacy.

When you have all three from the same person, the love is of the most consummate form. But the risk also increases as you become too dependent on that person. Due to the same fear, all my life, I have been hedging my risks by getting each of the three components from different people. I converse with certain girls due to the intellectual/ wit connect, Certain others for the emotional connect or oxytocin. And finally, there have been a string of casual encounters for over a decade for physical intimacy or dopamine. It has its pros but also cons in terms of mental wellness. But in any relationship, you need at least two out of the three components for it to survive. This is a big reason why long-distance relationships fail more often than not, physical intimacy is right out of the window from the beginning, and slowly even emotional intimacy begins to fade away.

That brings me to the fashion designer, So is this it? Have I finally found the one to fill colors in my grey life? Well, she is in a relationship with a fellow designer for the past five years. For the past year, they are in a long-distance relationship as he’s based in the US. Since they have a solid foundation with intellectual and emotional intimacy in place, they decided to open up the relationship in terms of physical intimacy. The night was quite memorable as watching a movie projected on her bedroom wall cozied up in a warm blanket on a chilly night was definitely a first. I mean she was watching the movie, and I was watching her. Though, I didn’t hear back from her post that night.



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