Archive for the 'unmeasurable' Category

The Curse of Kelvin

“The mental health effects of any given disaster are related to the intensity of the exposure of the event. Sustaining personal injury and experiencing the injury or death of a loved one in the disaster are particularly potent predictors of psychological impairment.” The research paper from which the above quote was taken was published shortly [...]

Rare events

A lecture announcement from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Dalhousie University said that “this year our Distinguished Speaker is Professor Srinivasa Varadhan,” who will give a talk on RARE EVENTS on October 11. The abstract of the talk says that “we often have to make a quantitative assessment how rare event (sic) really [...]

Dillusions of importance

Economist Fredrich Hayek, in his 1972 Nobel lecture, criticised what he called the “scientistic” approach to economics. His criticism applies today to those who over-emphasize the importance of measurement in management. He said:  Unlike the position that exists in the physical sciences, in economics and other disciplines that deal with essentially complex phenomena, the aspects [...]

How business measurement clichés mislead

You get what you measure What you measure is what you get If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it Tell me how I’m going to be measured and I’ll tell you how I’ll perform You cannot improve what you can’t measure Garbage in, garbage out If you don’t measure it, it’s just a [...]

How do you measure the performance of a business book?

Today* stores start selling our book—misLeading Indicators: How to Reliably Measure your Business. It has been a while coming. It’s natural for us as authors to wonder how it will “perform”. Many of our acquaintances wonder too, and ask us how we expect it to perform. Their indicators are usually sales or royalties.  Those are [...]

You can manage many things without measuring them

There is a common saying that “if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.” Many people mistakenly think the reverse is true, that if they can measure it, or something they call “it,” they can manage it. What they ignore is an old lesson from some of the greatest scientists—just because you can obtain [...]