Goodhart’s Law & Metric Fixation

Following are 2 similar concepts which maybe useful for understanding rigid nature of measurement and evaluative cultures in organizations.

Goodhart’s Law suggest that, when a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.” I.e., when we set one specific goal, people will tend to optimize for that objective regardless of the consequences. (Eg. Exponential changes)

Metric Fixation: According to Jerry Z Muller (from Aeon article), “The key components of metric fixation are the belief that it is possible – and desirable – to replace professional judgment (acquired through personal experience and talent) with numerical indicators of comparative performance based upon standardized data (metrics); and that the best way to motivate people within these organizations is by attaching rewards and penalties to their measured performance.”

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