PDF The End of Average: How We Succeed in a Wolrd That Values Sameness


The End of Average: How We Succeed in a Wolrd That Values SamenessMr Rose s book could have been called How We Came to Have Screwed up Ideas and What to Do About ThemInstead of building systems to fit the individual organizations still try to fit eople into systems In the industrial revolution this made sense because uneducated farmworkers were needed for routine factory work But today we have functional and exciting optionsWhat made sense to the father of scientific management Frederick Winslow Taylor now needs a rethink Taylor was against innovation by workers In his opinion an employee s job was to obey Today employers are crying out for eople who can innovate Because of institutional one dimensional thinking jobs go unfilled while able eople aren t considered for employment Most organizations are what Mr Rose disparagingly calls averagarian How we became averageOur culture is built around averageness an idea first introduced in the early nineteenth century by Adolphe uetelet a Belgian astronomer uetelet was trying to measure lanetary speed He came up with the then novel idea to find the average of variable astronomical observations in the belief that the result would be accurate Astronomers thought the average of all the data oints was the correct speed deviation was error The idea took hold Average became sought after A'dan Z'ye Yaşar Kemal perfectionuetelet analyzed chest circumferences of 5738 Scottish soldiers in his search for the average man In the 1940s researchers gathered data on ten anatomical dimensions of young men in the hope of finding the best cockpit design and then recruitilots to fit in themAt the same time the search was on to find female Nacht perfection Dr Robert L Dickinson Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Brooklyn Hospital was known as the Rodin of Obstetrics Dr Dickinson and his collaborators tookhysical measurements of 15000 young adult women and created Norma a sculpture that can be seen today in the Cleveland Health MuseumThe trouble was that there were almost no ilots or young women who actually matched the average ideal There was too much individual variation Broad conclusions say almost nothing about individual experience and capacitiesMr Rose cites how Sir Francis Galton agreed with uetelet that the average was the basis of scientific understanding of eople Galton didn t see average as The Da Vinci Cod: A Fishy Parody perfection He saw average as mediocre For him deviation from the average wasn t error but rankRanking is arime attribute of one dimensional thinking It s a The Collaborative Habit: Life Lessons for Working Together perspective thatermeates just about every aspect of life today from medical dosages designed for the average atient to ranking likes on FacebookFor Galton eople were essentially eminent mediocre or imbecilic He divided these three categories further And here s where it gets whacky According to Galton if you re mediocre then you re mediocre in every aspect of life If you re eminent you are superior in every way Sir Francis Galton was an upper class chap living at the height of the British Empire Could this have been self serving stuffToday Galton s thinking is no stranger to us If Tiger Woods is a superior golfer then according to Captive popular opinion he should be better in every other way If you have excellent academic credentials you ll be a better employeeerform well in anything you choose live a happy life and be admired by the less fortunate We know this isn t true Yet it s a widespread cultural blind spotMaking it humanStories make this book hard to ut down They re well researched and range from business to the military But most compelling are those stories the author tells of his own struggle When Mr Rose was 18 he dropped out of high school with a D minus average and scratched a living at menial jobs Today he is director of the Mind Brain and Education rogram at HarvardIn high school he layed the class clown so he wouldn t be harassed by a group of boys When he went to college he urposely signed up for classes than he intended to take He wanted to avoid his old high school classmates If they were in a class he would drop it His contextual criterion was adaptive The Kennel Club's Illustrated Breed Standards: The Official Guide to Registered Breeds personal andragmatic He wanted distraction free studyIn another instance he tells of studying for the Graduate Record Examination a reuirement for science rograms He does well on verbal and math but not so called ANALYTICAL REASONING HIS FATHER POINTS OUT TO HIM THAT reasoning His father oints out to him that has oor working memory and that he should write down the roblem Awareness of our limitations opens ossibilities for functional ersonal adaptationThree rinciplesThe End of Average is organized into three rinciples jaggedness context and Tocqueville pathwayJaggednessOver simplifying leaves out necessary complexity Average is one smooth number derived from varying jagged dataoints Jaggedness restores accuracy as an individual signature One graphic in the book shows a tall thin man and a short stout man Both might weigh the same but that s about all you can say Simplicity is the enemy of accuracyEach individual is better adapted to some things and not to others A Rebel Girls person may be a nurturing motheroor at economics and a A Treason of Thorns proficient computerrogrammer The data oints to others A erson may be a nurturing mother Martha, du nervst!: Von einem anderen Umgang mit Demenz poor at economics and aroficient computer rogrammer The data oints a Zeugen aus der Todeszone person s individual jagged signature And this hasrofound implications for business Employee hiring methods are fundamentally flawedRelying on ast achievements in college grade oint averages and resumes come at a great cost to employers Instead Mr Rose suggests focusing on what the company wants done He goes on to show how innovative companies are finding loyal and enthusiastic talent where averagarian companies wouldn t consider lookingContextTrait theorists and enthusiastic talent where averagarian companies wouldn t consider lookingContextTrait theorists we re either introvert or extrovert But humans aren t fixed entities Nor are we disembodied abstractions We re influenced by situations we find ourselves in context Moreover The Transformation of Intergovernmental Satellite Organisations: Policy and Legal Perspectives personalities aren t consistent What oneerson finds exciting another finds anxiety rovoking Personal experience and behavior are linked to situation The same individual is going to respond differently at an IRS audit than on the dance floorPersonality typing such as Myers Briggs Type Indicator and Enneagram don t take situation variability into account This might seem obvious But as a culture we are still influenced by Galton s fixed and simplistic categories smart eople and not so smart Dervishes and Islam in Bosnia: Sufi Dimensions to the Formation of Bosnian Muslim Society people successful and not so successfulPathwayMr Rose s thirdrinciple is Sugar in the Social Life of Medieval Islam pathway His ownath wasn t linear While some occupations demand a rigid A New Kind of Public: Community, Solidarity, and Political Economy in New Deal Cinema, 1935-1948 pathway not all do Not everyone whoasses a bar examination goes through law school You just need to Henri Matisse: Drawing with Scissors pass the examinationAnd then there is the issue oface One dimensional thinkers see only one right Hexe path and only one right speed No matter what undergraduate degree you take you have to take at least four years to achieve it Success means clocking seat time and not failing reuired. Each of us knows we’re different We’re a little taller or shorter than the average our salary is a bit higher or lower than the average and we wonder about who it is that is buying the averagericed home All around us we think are the average eople with the average height the average salary and the average houseBut the average doesn’t just influence how we see ourselves our entire social system has been built around this average size fits all model Schools are designed for the average student Healthcare is designed for the average atient Employers try to fill average job descriptions with employees on an average career trajectory Our government implements The Battle of Borodino: Napoleon Against Kutuzov programs and initiatives to serve the averageerson For than a century we’ve believed th. ,


Courses An averagarian mindset limits individual otentialMr Rose advocates not for diplomas but short term credentials and the ability to stack them Some employers agree with him An increasing number of innovative companies are throwing away the resume to make room for functional hiring decisions These are not based on average scores but on contextual fit individual interest and capabilitiesTechnology can now manage complexity the individual approach demands And not just in hiring Technology enhanced individualistic medicine is still in its infancy but it s growing And on the education front alternatives to the rigidity of alma mater nurturing mother are becoming a realityThere s explosive growth in Massive Open Online Courses MOOCs where learning is flexible and often free Institutions educators and employers are missing something hidden in A Companion to Vittoria Colonna plain sight the complex individualOnly when employers change hiringractices and look beyond diplomas and ast employment will they discover they ve been looking for talent in the wrong laces First employers need to change their thinking no small task But reading The End of Average by Todd Rose is a good startDisclaimer Christopher Richards is a business book ghostwriter and has no affiliation with this book or its author tl dr individuals are worth than a single axis of valueThe basic La Partera: Story of a Midwife premise is that the explosion of data collection in the late 19th century led to the concept of an averageerson which was great for elevating culture out of the re industrial age but hurt the individual because no human being is average The roposed solution is to embrace that individual on their own terms using a multi dimensional match of their mix of skills against the mix of needs from industry The ower of averagarianism and statistics was born from aggregate then analyze and came at a cost This roposal for individualism and dynamic systems works when you analyze then aggregate and carries its own cost I agree with the book in that your best self shouldn t be defined against a mythical sense of average and that it happens anyway Mediocre schools mediocre businesses and mediocre Reduced Laughter: Seriocomic Features and Their Functions in the Book of Kings people are all going to insist that you be just like everybody else only better and in that context the single can learn fast measure of success a hallmark of averagarianism remains the best way to go along and get along That doesn t mean this is how it should be When you find thoselaces and eople who feed your best self while you do the same for them truly amazing things happen nb Learning to believe in this alternative aradigm with my current employer has been the hardest Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 27 part of the job and one I wholly agree with even though it s taking me years to accept itThis idea that everybody is trying to be a suareeg to fit a suare hole is a basically flawed erception of how a erson has to operate I think it reflects how the author sees society and the Networking for Career Success: 24 Lessons for Getting to Know the Right People path he took to get where he is but to borrow an idea he covers within the book hisath is not the ath Being your best self doesn t reuire a complete rethinking of society just a willingness to redefine your measures of success The book lays a solid framework rovides uality references for each of the Zheng Guogu points he makes and the history lesson is succinct and reasonable I liked how he drew the connection fromhysics to social theory for the averagarian and while he didn t call it out I know the same connection exists between newer hysics and social theory for the individual The roposal for change is good with three excellent anecdotes that suggest it might be a broadly applicable Frںuhzeit Des Ostslaventums pattern But moving from one dimensional measures of success to multi dimensional success can uickly blossom into infinitely subdividing each axis until you re left with aopulation of individuals that have no defining character When everybody is a special snowflake nobody is This is a must read for any arent or educator There is no such thing as an average person and to say that is not just And to say that is not just be yourself sort of crap Rose really breaks down recent research on how kids learn differently test uniuely etc If you want the right employee for a job you need to consider what the job demands and not use grades and standardized tests I have found this to be true in my own experiences hiring eople but Rose Whose Life Is It Anyway?: Living through your 20s on your own terms provides some scientific and business backing for these findings The book is also a nice challenge to the way schools measure studenterformance through timed tests I have one child who excels at timed tests as I did and two others who can figure out any The Rumsfeld Way: The Leadership Wisdom of a Battle-Hardened Maverick problem but not underressure Schools have always rewarded the first sort of test taker even if there is no reason to believe that erson is better or smarter A book which ought to be read by anyone involved in standardised systems teachers managers admissions officers retty much everyone The solutions aren t easy but they are definitely worth itThe central Option Writing Strategies for Extraordinary Returns premise of this book No one is average If you design a cockpit to fit the averageilot you ve designed it to fit NO ONEAverages have their 29 and Counting: A Chick's Guide to Turning 30 a Chick's Guide to Turning 30 place If you are comparing groups ofeople the average can be usefulBut the moment you need to make a decision about an individual to teach this child or hire that erson the average is useless In fact it is worse than useless because it creates the illusion of knowledge while disguising what is most important about an individualFrom the early 1900s Francis Galton s idea that human worth could be measured by how far they were from the average had thoroughly infiltrated all social and behavioral sciencesTyping and ranking have become so elementary natural and right that we are no longer conscious of the fact that every such judgment always erases the individuality of the erson being judged Frederick Taylor s Scientific Management Genocide of One put the system first forcing individuals to conform to the average as closely asossible or be like everyone else only betterBut standardisation left one crucial uestion unanswered who should create the standards that governed a business Thus the field of management was born And management consulting followed soon after this separation of thinking and Nintendo Wii Flash Game Creator's Guide: Design, Develop, and Share Your Games Online planning from making and doing Its role To tell businesses the best way to manage employing the average as its key tool SOPs and manuals ensuedTaylorism contributed to a relatively stable androsperous democracy at the cost of narrowing expectations of success and losing our dignity of individualityThe fallacy of uetelet and Lord and Novick assuming that measuring one Star Wars - Jabba the Hutt - The Art of the Deal person many times and measuring manyeople one time were interchangeable The three The Real Estate Entrepreneur: Everything You Need to Know to Grow Your Own Brokerage principles1 Jaggedness Jagged ualities consist of multiple dimensions that are weakly correlated Height is one dimensional size is not Eg Peopl. At the best way to run our institutions is by focusing on the averageerson But when you actually drill down into the numbers you find an amazing fact no one is average which means you actually drill down into the numbers you find an amazing fact no one is average which means our society built for everyone is actually serving no oneIn the 1950s the American Air Force found itself with a massive roblem erformance in expensive custom made New Cutting Edge Elementary Students' Book planes was suffering terribly with crasheseaking at seventeen in a single day Since the state of the art Meditation Express: Stress Relief in 60 Seconds Flat planes they were flying had been meticulously crafted to fit the averageilot ilot error was assumed to be at fault Until that is the Air Force investigated just how many of their ilots were actually average The shocking answer out of thousands of active duty ilots exactly zero were average Not one. ,