Deviation occurs to both the positive and the negative side of the norm.

The implications are profound. Outcomes are not an accurate measure of performance. The outcome could be a result of a deviation, an outlier, to either side of the norm. Using only outcomes as a yardstick penalises those who are working hard to increase their skill and consistency and caught an unlucky break, and rewards those who caught a lucky break who have not increased in skill or consistency.

This should influence the way competitions are designed, employees are performance managed and incentive schemes and developed.

Rewarding positive deviation encourages us to find new ways to facilitate positive deviations in the quickest way. This is like chopping off natural forests to harvest lumber.

The production is staggering until it isn’t.

 Pritesh Sudra

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