Performance measures and learning LO12139

Virginia I. Shafer (
Thu, 23 Jan 1997 00:03:49 -0700 (MST)

Replying to LO12095 --

There have been some excellent coments on the distinctions to be made
between measurements, indicators, and metrics. But I want to remind
everyone of a caution derived from quantum mechanics. In the double slit
experiment, described in Wheatley's _Leadership and the New Science_, the
observed particle behaves in a way that indicates it knows it is being
observed. Quoting from the book, "Fred Wolf, a physist and translator into
lay language of quantum physics, says that 'knowing is disrupting.' Every
time we go to measure something, we interfere." In light of this, how are
we to use Clyde's contribution?

>What gets measured is what gets attention. Indicators and measures help
>direct attention toward certain areas. It, therefore, follows that these
>areas should improve, or at least show some significant change.

Certainly, measurement will create change, but will it be the desired
change? Are we willing to live with whatever change occurs? And, when
attention is directed to those areas being measured, what is happening to
the areas not being measured?

I don't think any of this is easy to deal with. We want some assurances
that our decisions are effecting beneficial outcomes, yet meaningless data
gathering can be counterproductive, if not destructive, to organizational
aims. If I remember the original request, the person said they wanted to
use the discussion on performance measures to introduce LO concepts.
(Please correct me if I'm wrong.) I think a healthy dose of beginning with
the end in mind couldn't hurt. Make sure they know WHY they want to
measure then it's esier to understand WHAT could be measured--if anything.



Ginger Shafer The Leadership Dimension "Bringing Leadership to Life" (c)

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