The Tyranny of Metrics, Author: Jerry Z Muller.
By Jerry Z Muller – More and more companies, government agencies, educational institutions and philanthropic organisations are today in the grip of a new phenomenon. I’ve termed it ‘metric fixation’.
The key components of metric fixation are the belief that it is possible – and desirable – to replace professional judgment (acquired through personal experience and talent) with numerical indicators of comparative performance based upon standardized data (metrics); and that the best way to motivate people within these organizations is by attaching rewards and penalties to their measured performance.
The rewards can be monetary, in the form of pay for performance, say, or reputational, in the form of college rankings, hospital ratings, surgical report cards and so on. But the most dramatic negative effect of metric fixation is its propensity to incentivize gaming: that is, encouraging professionals to maximize the metrics in ways that are at odds with the larger purpose of the organization. more>
Posted in Book review, Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, Leadership
Tagged Business improvement, culture, Jobs, Leadership, Organization, Performance management
By Mark Penn – The United States of America is creeping toward creating a more imperfect union, one dominated by the power of the online mob that is threatening to disassemble more than 200 years of learning.
It was in “Federalist 10” that James Madison, the father of the Constitution, discussed the human tendency to divide into factions, which he defined as groups of people “who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens” and to the community. He warned how the zeal for certain government policies, for passionate leaders and for different religions could lead us to a society inflamed “with mutual animosities.”
Welcome to America 2018. Madison’s solution then was to tame the forces of the moment through a republic as opposed to a pure democracy.
This is done by electing the people’s representatives from across the country who would be more sensible and objective. They would face periodic elections, but were to be freed from the easily inflamed mobs that would be quick to trample the rights of others.
But in the modern age, as I document in “Microtrends Squared,” people are increasingly divided into factions, and whether it is through their news channels or their Twitter feeds, the ability to whip up crowds quickly and with slanted information has never been easier, or more dangerous. Forget about the Russians dividing us, we have to worry about us Americans doing the job of tearing the nation apart. more>
Posted in Book review, Business, CONGRESS WATCH, Economy, Education, History, Leadership, Media, Net
Tagged Congress Watch, culture, Democracy, factionalism, Federalist Society, Government, Leadership
By George Bradt – Environment, values, attitude and relationships all inform behaviors and what impact you and your team make.
Ultimately, you lead with your feet, with what you do, more than with what you say. So focus everything and everyone on those few behaviors with the greatest impact.
Make a plan, identifying your needs and concerns and the other party’s. Get started with areas of agreement. Clarity positions, stating, supporting, listening. Find alternatives.
Gain agreement by studying proposals, making concessions, summarizing and testing. Implement, communicating, delivering and monitoring.
Work through the steps of AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action) Broadly build awareness. Engage in conversations with those interested. Jump in with both feet once someone has a real desire.
And then follow through to over deliver once they act. more>
By Scott Eblin – One of the reasons annual performance reviews suck so much is that they too often deal in data points, not trends. Too many managers don’t provide meaningful performance feedback on a real-time basis so when performance review time rolls around (as it always and predictably does), they find themselves scrambling for points to make in the review conversation. That’s where the data points come in.
In the absence of any meaningful thought or preparation, whatever happened recently suddenly becomes a trend. That meeting you nailed? Good job on that—you had a great year! That presentation you muffed? You know, I’m not sure you’re really a good fit for us.
A data point does not a trend make. It’s a cognitive bias. Don’t fall for it. Great leaders assess on the trends, not the data points. more>