9 Common Delusions About High Performance

Do you really know what contributes to your company’s high performance — or are you making assumptions based on faulty logic?

It turns out that most of the data regarding why one company succeeds and another fails is rife with errors in thinking and researcher bias.

For all of the business bestsellers that proclaim to share the secret formula of successful companies and heroic CEOs, the drivers of performance in business are as elusive as ever — especially at a time when global competition and technology are evolving at unprecedented rates.

If you haven’t already guessed, high performance cannot be attained by simply applying the best practices of General Electric, Toyota, Starbucks or Google to your own enterprise.

What you may not be aware of are the common biases and flawed thinking that affect the way individuals make decisions under uncertainty. When it comes to evaluating company performance, it’s easy to fall into a variety of universal traps.


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There are two versions of this article: 2000 words and 1000 words (approximate word counts). The full article covers the following sub-topics:

Delusion #1: The Halo Effect
Good People Equals Good Results?
Correlation and Causality
Single Explanation
Connecting the Winning Dots
Rigorous Research
Lasting Success
Absolute Performance
The Wrong End of the Stick
Organizational Physics
The Power of Stories
The Search for the Formula
What Wise Managers Know

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