The law that a particular outcome is inevitable simply because it is statistically possible. The principle that supposes most future events are likely to balance any past deviation from a presumed average.
This is something that I don’t believe when it comes to KPI, stats or metric performance.
My perspective in this is nothing new, even if you check various sources – from this perspective, this is nothing but wishful thinking, misunderstanding probability and a false notion of common sense that just because you see something as the “average” outcome, this means it’s repeatable. This is simply not true if you don’t take into account underlying factors and drivers that affected the average aka empirical evidence that influenced the distribution.
The most critical thing this doesn’t account for is behavior – which is a primary influencer of the KPI results. Consider the example: When a planning team decides what handle time to use for AHT, the standard (read: outdated) method to use is the Average Handle time of the entire population. This worked in the past for basic transactional tasks, e.g. directory assistance, human IVR and other lines of business already obsolete today.
In any LOB that aims to deliver customer centric metrics as part of answering a technical query, billing inquiry or tech support service, the recommended baseline (there are others) to use is the CXQ1 Formula.
This is where you use the Customer Experience metric (NPS, CSAT, etc.) score of your Quartile 1 (aka Top Performers) and assess where their AHT sit. This is the first step to ensuring that what you’re using is directly connected to the customer outcomes you want to achieve.
This is why I don’t believe in the Law of Averages… unless, it is about Behavior
One of the best quotes from Jim Rohn fully emphasizes this for me – “You’re The Average of the Five People You Spend the Most Time With”
Think about it, when you were growing up, your opinions, demeanor and world views are based on the people you hang around most – Your Parents.
In your teens when you started wearing weird clothes, sporting weird hairstyles, doing things you laugh at today, was because of the influence of – Your Friends.
The list goes on.
Whether consciously or unconsciously regardless of whether you like it or not, we are influenced by the people closest to us. There’s actual data and research that prove that while we have our own personalities and quirks, our decisions, our way of thinking and even our self-esteem is affected by our interactions and our constant environment.
The lesson – Never ever spend time with negative, self-obsessed, victim mindset type of people as these types are the most toxic, vile, detestable bunch that will just put you in an endless cycle of woe, despair and inaction. Hang out instead with positive, productive, and progressive people. The people who are always looking towards solutions, things that can be done in-spite of the challenges.
Over the last decade, I have learned some of the best lessons, best in class action plans, critical and creative thinking, innovative and groundbreaking ideas not through some overpriced, branded and overhyped training sessions (some designed for the manufacturing industry) and other fancy online courses but from simply hanging out and observing people way smarter than I am. I have actually asked my own team to mirror this action that I call “skill and values learning by proximity” because I have seen it work many times over.
Let me close with 2 great quotes to emphasize my point here:
The least successful people in the world are also the ones who complain the most – Anthony Pangilinan
If you’re the smartest person in the room, find another room – Michael Dell
Speaking of spending time with smarter people, one of the many things I enjoy about my job is I get to hang out with people who normally you’d need security clearance or would need to pay a fee and attend their speaking engagements or something. I am talking about business leaders and CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies.
A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of hosting the CEO and a few other senior leaders from one of the top consumer electronics company in Europe and during the tail end of the dinner conversations, the CEO shared (not sure how we got to that part, it was a long day and I was really tired) his thoughts about saving your money in the bank. He quipped;
- The best thing you can do is invest in stocks, markets and companies that you really believe in. Regardless of what the experts say. There’s no exact science here.
- The next best thing you can do is start a business. A business that you really believe in and enjoy. Ignore what the naysayers will tell you. The small to medium business enterprise is the backbone of most growing economies.
- The 3rd thing you can do, not exactly best or ideal but definitely better than the worst thing is to Spend it – Go traveling with your family. Expose your kids to new countries, cultures that has better lessons than you’ll find in a classroom. Buy that next house, condo, car, gadget (preferably our brand 🙂 ) and just have fun and invest in life experiences.
- The Absolute worst thing you can do with your money is sticking them inside a bank and thinking this is a good idea. This is completely foolish and has and never will yield anything positive for your future.
Is he right? Does he have a point? Maybe, maybe not. But his thoughts does inspire a different way of thinking that challenges some of the norms we’re used to which again, is kind of the whole point of why you want to hang out with people that are smarter or more experienced than you are.