One of the things I enjoy about my work is watching the Law of Unintended Consequences in action. I came across a study by the Harvard Business School that looked at employee recognition programs. In this study, a company was trying to reduce absenteeism (unexcused tardiness or missed days). The company implemented a drawing… Continue reading Rewarding the Law of Unintended Consequences
Getting sick, figuring out why and then what to do about it is complicated enough. When you add in doctors, hospitals, insurers and government, it gets beyond complex. A simple change can have cascade effects that will impact the effectiveness of healthcare analytics. For example, on April 1 Medicare implemented a new rule regarding knee… Continue reading The Never Ending Story of Healthcare Analytics
How much success can be attributed to skill or luck? The Paradox of Skill is simply this – the closer in abilities two people are, the larger role luck plays in determining the outcome. Olympic sprinters are extremely skilled and the differences in their abilities are minute. So a very minor thing, like an inopportune… Continue reading The Paradox of Skill
It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense. Mark Twain In our age of information, there is an underlying belief to classify some information as the ‘source of truth’. Once obtained, the knowledge from these sources of truth will lead to better decision making and a better future. As… Continue reading He’s Not Dead. He’s Resting.
In this age of transition, who is best to take the lead; an optimist or a pessimist? As G.K. Chesterton said: … optimists are more practical reformers than pessimists. Superficially, one would imagine that the railer would be the reformer; that the man who thought that everything was wrong would be the man to put… Continue reading The Paradox of Improvement
It’s all very in practice but it will never work in theory. As articulated by Plato, there has always been a belief that a “Philosopher King”, a wise and powerful ruler would be an ideal. In the modern era, skilled and dispassionate technocrats are the Philosopher King’s heirs – they can best manage the complexity… Continue reading The Inevitable Failure of Central Planning
“There is no credit for preventing something that did not happen.” – David S. Alberts Much of the management activities in an organization is preventative – to prevent something bad from happening. The natural inclination of leadership is to view that everything operating correctly is the norm. So a lot of preventative activity is simply… Continue reading The Rewards of a Job Well Done
If ‘fat chance’ and ‘slim chance’ are both long shots, is a chance of average build inevitable?
According to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide, a project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result. In essence, a project operates outside of normal operations because normal operations cannot produce what the project will produce. When projects and operations meet in the real world, a paradox… Continue reading The Self Destruct Switch of Project Management