Tea & Toast: The Tyranny of Metrics
Time & Location
About the Event
Not everything that is important is measurable, and much that is measurable is unimportant. | Jerry Muller
Metrics of all shapes and sizes are part of our lives. We set metrics for ourselves, our lives, our work, and our teams as a way to measure how things are going. That makes sense. But our desire to increase accountability, transparency, and effectiveness combined with the newest technologies has led us into an era of bad metrics and metric fixation.
The problems? At some point we transitioned from measuring performance to fixating on measuring itself. And we don't measure the right things.
How does this affect our lives today? The metrics we use to define success, at home, work and in society, have tangible real world outcomes that effect every one of us.
A well known and egregious example of over-indexing metrics: standardised testing at schools. In his book, The Tyranny of Metrics, Muller argues that the more visible, quantifiable, and important a metric is, the more it's vulnerable to gaming and toxicity to its initial purpose.
This tea & toast discussion is a chance to reflect and ask ourselves a few key questions:
- How is my performance measured at work?
- How much control do I have over the variables that affect the outcomes?
- How can we incorporate meaningful metrics into our work but avoid joining The Cult of Metrics?
- What other metrics do we put on ourselves? Are they helping or hindering us from reaching our goals?
- And most importantly, how do we make sure we're measuring the right thing in the first place?
Kristen shares her thoughts at March's Tea & Toast webinar.
As always, all welcome, no charge.