In an earlier post, I wrote about The Peter Principle – the concept that individuals are promoted to their own level of incompetence in an organisation.
Here are some of my other favourite principles, laws, and effects:
Parkinsons Law – “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” (tweet this)
Hofstadter’s Law – “It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law”. (tweet this)
The Dunning–Kruger effect is the concept that if you’re not very good at something, you’re also not very good at recognising that. It explains why people who are unskilled in a particular area sometimes rate their own ability higher than more competent people. (over-confident and under-competent)
Putt’s Law – “Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage, and those who manage what they do not understand”.
The Dilbert Principle (from Dilbert creator Scott Adams) is an adaptation of the Peter Principle – paraphrased, it states that companies tend to systematically promote their least-competent employees to management in order to limit the amount of damage they are capable of doing.
Goodhart’s Law – “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure”. (tweet this) This is something of particular relevance to Workforce Analytics, and something which I spoke about in The False Proxy Trap.
Most people know Murphy’s Law – “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”, but may not know there’s a related law, Muphry’s Law – “If you write anything criticizing editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written” (tweet this)
The Pareto Principle is another well-known one, usually referred to at the 80/20 rule – for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes (80% of the revenue from 20% of the clients; 80% of the problems from 20% of the clients – not necessarily the same ones).
Are there any other principles, laws, and effects that should be added to the list?
- Michael Scott and The Peter Principle (workforceplanning.wordpress.com)
- Avoiding the false proxy trap (sethgodin.typepad.com)
- The False Proxy Trap (workforceplanning.wordpress.com)