Over a million developers have joined DZone.
{{announcement.body}}
{{announcement.title}}

Attributing success

DZone's Guide to

Attributing success

·
Free Resource

This morning there was an interesting idea tweeted by author Ian Leslie about how to make a distinction between what is a game of skill and what is a game of chance or luck:

It got me thinking. It got me thinking specifically about the deterministic role that people and organisations have on the world around them. And in particular, the way in which many people will seem to take responsibility for events outside their control that turn out well, and then have difficulty when things turn sour.

For example, whilst at Microsoft, one of the long list of KPIs that my team was responsible for was the twice-annual customer satisfaction score that came from regular client surveys. Based I believe around the concept of Net Promoter Score, we had to try to hit a metric over which our actions as a team had no direct impact (the survey was of around 300 people out of an overall audience of over 1.2 million).

When we hit the score I urged caution when others wanted to sing about best practices and great ideas. Unfortunately my caution wasn’t heeded and so when the next half-year review trundled into sight, and the metric was 3 percentage points into the red… (the fact the survey was +/-5% accuracy was lost in translation too).

Or for example how the last Labour Government was of course very willing to assume responsibility through its actions for the economic good times since the 1990s, which meant that they find it very difficult to shirk being blamed for what ultimately appear to be very global economic cycles.

So in that context, Ian’s idea for the judgement of a game of skill or a game of chance can be extrapolated. If someone is claiming that they have delivered something or achieved something, ask the question – could they have, if so wanted, achieved the negative equivalent?

So, for example, football players could reasonably easily achieve a loss without trying very hard. I should know, I’m a Watford fan.

For example, it would be very difficult indeed for me to guarantee that I would lose in a game of Snakes and Ladders.

So, next time a businessman or politician claims some great achievement, ask yourself this question. What would they have to have done to screw things up? What actions would they have needed to perform to “achieve” the exact opposite. And if you find it difficult to articulate, ask yourself what real control did they have to deserve the accolades?

Topics:

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

THE DZONE NEWSLETTER

Dev Resources & Solutions Straight to Your Inbox

Thanks for subscribing!

Awesome! Check your inbox to verify your email so you can start receiving the latest in tech news and resources.

X

{{ parent.title || parent.header.title}}

{{ parent.tldr }}

{{ parent.urlSource.name }}
\r\n\r\n\r\n

It got me thinking. It got me thinking specifically about the deterministic role that people and organisations have on the world around them. And in particular, the way in which many people will seem to take responsibility for events outside their control that turn out well, and then have difficulty when things turn sour.

\r\n\r\n

For example, whilst at Microsoft, one of the long list of KPIs that my team was responsible for was the twice-annual...","deleted":false,"likeStatus":{"liked":false,"score":0,"canLike":false},"zonetop":"","articleTags":[],"header":{"id":508468,"title":"Attributing success","imageUrl":"/themes/dz20/images/ArticleImg_3.jpg","link":"/articles/attributing-success","imageLink":"/themes/dz20/images/ArticleImg_2.jpg","titleEll":"Attributing success","type":"article"},"url":"/articles/attributing-success","isLocked":false,"draft":false,"articleContent":"","source":null,"modDate":1421978972000,"views":665,"isLimited":false,"tldr":null,"originalSource":"","articleType":""}]; WMODEL_DATA.perms = {"canDecidePick":false,"canPublish":false}; WMODEL_DATA.authenticated = false; WMODEL_DATA.firstArticleContent = null; WMODEL_DATA.isPreview = false; WMODEL_DATA.OPTIONS = {}; TH.installWidgetController('article.content', 'articleContent5', WMODEL_DATA, typeof controller == 'function' ? controller : null, [{name: 'partners', data: true},{name: 'DEFAULT', data: true}], ' oUhbblYOaqbcblYOaqbcC', null); })(); (function() { function controller($rootScope, $scope, TH$Service, TH$LocalStorage, newsLetterPlugCreator) { $scope.subscriber = {email:$scope.userEmail == null? '' : $scope.userEmail}; $scope.submitted = false; var portal = $rootScope.model.portal; var newsletters = TH$LocalStorage.makeMap('newsletter.anon.subs').newsletter.anon.subs || {}; $scope.nonsusb = (portal) ? (newsletters[portal.id]) ? newsletters[portal.id] : false : true; $scope.examplePlug = newsLetterPlugCreator('weekly', null); $.fn.riseUp = function(e) { $(e).slideUp("slow")} $.fn.riseDown = function(e) { $(e).slideDown("slow")} var fold = $(window).scrollTop() + $(window).height(); $(window).scroll(function () { if ($(window).scrollTop() >= $(window).height()) { $scope.showEmailSubPanel(); } }); $scope.showEmailSubPanel = function(){ if($scope.minimized == null || $scope.minimized == false){ if($scope.subscribed == null || $scope.subscribed == false) { $.fn.riseDown($(".emailSubPanel")); $scope.minimized = false; } } } $scope.hideEmailSubPanel = function(element){ $(element).slideToggle(); $scope.minimized = true; } $scope.maximizeSubPanel = function(){ $scope.minimized = false; $scope.showEmailSubPanel(); } $scope.submit = function(e) { $scope.submitted = true; $scope.subscribed = true; $scope.showSubscribed = true; var key = portal.id; newsletters[key] = true; TH$LocalStorage.preference('newsletter.anon.subs', newsletters); TH$Service.exec('newsletters.subscribeEmail', {email: $scope.subscriber.email, portal: portal.id }).then(function (success) { if (success) { $scope.errors = false; setTimeout(function () { $(e).slideToggle(); }, 5000); }else{ delete newsletters[key]; TH$LocalStorage.preference('newsletter.anon.subs', newsletters); } }); if($scope.errors == null){ $scope.errors = true; } }; $scope.changeColor = function(color){ $scope.dockColor = {'background-color': color}; } $scope.showDock = function(){ return $scope.minimized; } }; var WMODEL_DATA = {}; WMODEL_DATA.OPTIONS = {}; TH.installWidgetController('emailSubscriptions.popover', 'emailSubscriptionsPopover6', WMODEL_DATA, typeof controller == 'function' ? controller : null, null, ' oUhbaTnfejsgpZntffWVcC', null); })(); (function() { function controller($scope, $service, $location, SideBarService, $timeout) { if ($scope.edition) { $scope.date = moment($scope.editionDate).utc().format('MMM DD, YYYY'); } SideBarService.ctx.pageSize = $scope.pageSize; SideBarService.ctx.isPreview = $scope.isPreview; SideBarService.ctx.mode = $scope.mode; SideBarService.fn.loader = $service; var $window = $(window); function checkWidth() { var windowsize = $window.width(); $scope.width = windowsize; } // Execute on load checkWidth() // Bind event listener $(window).resize(checkWidth); if ($scope.edition) { SideBarService.ctx.edition = $scope.edition; } SideBarService.fn.scrollCheck = function() { $scope.$emit('thIfScrollCheck'); }; var currentFilter; $scope.$on('$locationChangeSuccess', function() { if (!$location.search().filter) { $scope.filter = 'latest'; } else { $scope.filter = $location.search().filter; if ($scope.filter == 'latest') { $location.search('filter', null); } } if (currentFilter == $scope.filter) { return; } currentFilter = $scope.filter; SideBarService.ctx.filter = $scope.filter; }); $scope.display = SideBarService.getList(); $scope.$watchCollection(function() { return SideBarService.getList(); }, function (n) { $scope.display = n; }); $scope.isActive = SideBarService.isActive; $scope.isExcluded = SideBarService.isExcluded; $scope.loadMore = SideBarService.load; $scope.loading = function() { return SideBarService.ctx.loading; }; TH.on('TapBarStatusChange', function(expanded) { if (expanded) { SideBarService.unblock(); } }) } var WMODEL_DATA = {}; WMODEL_DATA.edition = null; WMODEL_DATA.editionName = ""; WMODEL_DATA.pageSize = 20; WMODEL_DATA.isPreview = false; WMODEL_DATA.editionDate = null; WMODEL_DATA.OPTIONS = {}; WMODEL_DATA.mode = null; TH.installWidgetController('sidebar.content.list', 'sidebarContentList9', WMODEL_DATA, typeof controller == 'function' ? controller : null, [{name: 'DEFAULT', data: true}], ' oUhbkSMaaqbcdvVkcC', null); })(); (function() { function controller($scope) { var $window = $(window); function checkWidth() { var windowsize = $window.width(); var $element = $('div.sidebar.sidebarTapBar'); $scope.width = windowsize; if(windowsize <= 1024 && $scope.edition){ $('.fixContentRight').removeClass('fixContentRight'); // $element.removeClass('expanded'); // $element.addClass('tapNotExpanded'); $('.tap').show(); }else if($scope.edition){ $('.tap').hide(); $('.mainContentRow').addClass('fixContentRight'); $element.removeClass('tapNotExpanded'); $element.addClass('expanded'); } } // Execute on load checkWidth(); // Bind event listener $(window).resize(checkWidth); } var WMODEL_DATA = {}; WMODEL_DATA.edition = null; WMODEL_DATA.slot = null; WMODEL_DATA.OPTIONS = {}; TH.installWidgetController('sidebar.tapBar', 'sidebar', WMODEL_DATA, typeof controller == 'function' ? controller : null, null, ' oUhbkSMadabfWVcC oUhbkSMadabbWQbVkcC', null); })(); (function() { function controller($scope, shareThis, TH$Dialog, TH$Service, $location) { $scope.getEditUrl = function(id, type) { if (!type || type == 'article') { return '/content/' + id + '/edit.html'; } else { return '/dzone/staff/' + type + (type == 'refcard' ? 'z' : 's') + '/' + id + '/edit.html'; } }; $scope.share = function(socialNet, url, title){ shareThis.shareThis(socialNet, url, title); }; // $scope.mailShareLink = function(article) { // return 'mailto:?subject=' + encodeURIComponent(article.header.title) + '&body=Article: ' + encodeURIComponent('https://dzone.com/' + article.header.link); // }; $scope.canDelete = function(article) { return article.canDelete; }; $scope.canPublish = function(article) { return article.canPublish; }; $scope.canEdit = function(article) { return article.canEdit; }; $scope.toggleComments = function(article) { if(!article.isLocked) { TH$Service.action('articles.lockNode', {type: 'node', id: article.id}).then(function(result) { if(result){ article.isLocked = true; TH$Dialog.success('You have disabled all comments for this Article'); }else{ TH$Dialog.error('error','Your requested was denied') } }); }else { TH$Service.action('articles.unlockNode', {type: 'node', id: article.id}).then(function(result) { if(result){ article.isLocked = false; TH$Dialog.success('You have enabled all comments for this Article'); }else{ TH$Dialog.error('error','Your requested was denied') } }); } }; $scope.toggleLimitComments = function (article) { if (!article.isLimited) { TH$Service.action('articles.limitNode', {type: 'node', id: article.id}).then(function (result) { if (result) { article.isLimited = true; TH$Dialog.success('You have limited comments for this Article. Now all comments will go through moderation.'); } else { TH$Dialog.error('error', 'Your requested was denied') } }); } else { TH$Service.action('articles.unlimitNode', {type: 'node', id: article.id}).then(function (result) { if (result) { article.isLimited = false; TH$Dialog.success('You removed the limits for comments on this Article'); } else { TH$Dialog.error('error', 'Your requested was denied') } }); } }; $scope.shareTwitter = function($event, title, url){ $event.preventDefault(); $event.stopPropagation(); var twitter = 'https://twitter.com/intent/tweet'; var link = $location.protocol() + '://' + location.host + url; var ref = location.host; var params = '?text='+title+'&url='+link+'&ref=dzone.com&via=DZone'; var win = window.open(twitter+params, '_blank'); win.focus(); }; $scope.edit = function(link) { TH$Dialog.open({ loadWidget: 'links.postPreview', widgetArgs: { edit: link.id }, size: 'xbig' }).then(function (result) { $scope.link.title = result.title; $scope.link.linkDescription = result.content; $scope.link.thumb = result.thumb; $scope.link.tags = result.topics; }); }; $scope.deleteLink = function(article) { var title = article.title; var type = 'link'; if(article.header){ title = (article.header.type == 'article') ? article.header.title : article.title; type = (article.header.type == 'article') ? 'article' : 'link'; } TH$Dialog.confirm('Do you want to delete "' + title + '"?').then(function() { return TH$Service.action('delete', {type: type, id: article.id}); }).then(function() { article.deleted = true; }); }; } var WMODEL_DATA = {}; WMODEL_DATA.OPTIONS = {}; TH.installWidgetController('content.commentsSlider', 'contentCommentsSlider8', WMODEL_DATA, typeof controller == 'function' ? controller : null, null, ' oUhbaqbcaibvnWffWVcC', null); })(); (function() { var WMODEL_DATA = {}; WMODEL_DATA.name = "commentsSlider"; WMODEL_DATA.slot = null; WMODEL_DATA.OPTIONS = {"name":"commentsSlider"}; TH.installWidgetController('components.slider', 'componentsSlider7', WMODEL_DATA, typeof controller == 'function' ? controller : null, null, ' oUhballbvbdSaoUhM', null); })();