Emergent Futures Tumblelog

This is the Tumblelog of Paul Higgins and Sandy Teagle - Futurists from Melbourne and Brisbane in Australia. Go to Emergent Futures to see more or follow on Twitter at FuturistPaul . If you right click on the pictures, titles or links in these posts you will be able to go to the original story on the web. If you click on comments for each post you can either read what others have said or add your own comment via Disqus. If you click on the date of a post it will take you to a single post view where you can copy the web link if you want to send it to someone else. If you click on the tags it will take you to other stories from Emergent Futures with the same tag.

We’ve all heard about the Peter Principle, based on the notion that people are promoted in the workplace until they reach their level of incompetence.

Now a group of Italian scientists have come up with a new theory—that was rewarded by the New York Times as one of the most noteworthy ideas of the past year.

The scientists created a computer model of a 160-person corporation and programmed it to act off the Peter Principle—the best performers were promoted, but had “only a random likelihood of being good at their new jobs,” the article said. Before long there were plenty of incompetents scattered around the workplace.

Then the researchers reprogrammed the firm to promote people entirely randomly. What did they discover? Overall efficiency of the company improved. They also tried promoting only the worst or only the best performers and found that worked better too than promoting on merit

Paul Higgins: now there is  a radical concept which most people will instinctively shy away from. The real question is what does it tell us and what does our reaction tell us about our deep seated assumptions and biases.

Posted at 9:24am and tagged with: management,.

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