Evaluation based on numbers is a bullshite minefield. Each steps spurts numbers, statistics, calculations.
Which mean nothing but bring managers the illusion of mastery.
The N-1 bullshite is one of most simple bullshite poo of the business world.
“Last year you made 100 – this year you make 90 : you have obviously a problem, come to my office”
- Contingency : Maybe last year you got an unexpected big order from another company, and without this order you would have made 60, therefore you’re doing great today, but it’s hidden in numbers
- Market’s vagary : Maybe the “hit” you got last year is postponed this year for the month after, therefore you’ll hit the roof in a month
- Thus, prepare to have a “problem” next year, because of the N-1 bullshite
- Non significant : Maybe the “analyzed” field is too little : for example you sold 4 staplers in August 1976 and 3 in August 1977 so you’re at -25% – maybe you’ll sell 5 in a year and you’ll be great (and you become an “erratic employee”)
- Events : “Your stock is too high this year (+35%!)” but there’s a reason your manager ignore (there’s a big event in two weeks and you’ll sell every single piece)
- Not mastering the whole world : Maybe you’re at +135% but there was a shortage last year and it did not depend on you
- Purpose : You have a shitty manager, so you make everything possible to get him bad number-indicators… but do a great job out of numbers.
- Lazy colleagues : you’re alone mixed up with a team.
- Reality hidden by numbers : a lazy guy on a trendy field has good N/N-1 with a lousy attitude which spoils the company’s reputation (get +35% but could have made +60% with a better work), and a great team on a transitioning market gets lukewarm N/N-1 but does a great job for the company, and prepares a bright future for business.
Do you have any ideas I could add to this list?
Numbers are an illusion. They “show” a simple reality, most of the time completely out of the real world, which is moving, multiplugged, complex, and human. Numbers and percentages hide things. They lower your comprehension of what happens.
Talking to people is better. Being smart too. Let % flow around idiots. Have fun.
Thanks for reading!
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