Competitive Fallacy

Competition is conducted within a rules framework. It takes place on a playing field or course on which all the contenders compete. The ranking is done based on performance measured by a particular variable. (Points on the board, time, etc.)

This makes perfect sense when we want to measure isolated and specific variables.

In life, the more specific, and thus measurable the variable is, the less useful it becomes. We are unique, dynamic and complex individuals. We each present holistic value driven by a spectrum of inputs. Quantifying and ranking this by a limited set of performance metrics is complex at best, and one dimensional.

Why is it that we measure the performance of parents the same way as we do uncommitted single people. (Or mothers the same as young professionals, or old hands the same as youngsters) One brings a broader perspective while the other brings fresh thinking and long hours. Wouldn’t it make sense to appreciate the life phase of the individual in the way we measure and reward performance?

Wouldn’t it be valuable to incorporate life experience into the organisation instead of expecting all parties to perform as though they had no family?

Sure, it’s hard. The alternative is to stick to easy to measure quantitative metrics. You might lose some of your most valuable performers and create a lob-sided business with significant group think exposure.

People respect what you inspect. What you measure determines what is considered valuable. Make sure you value stuff that is worth valuing.

Hard is expensive. Hard is worth it.

Mārtiņš Zemlickis

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