Any incentive target is an attempt to model a more complex system and pick out a key variable designed to move the entire complex system forward BUT people are human and they will try to reach a target in the shortest, quickest, easiest way possible, often obeying the letter of the law while doing great damage to its spirit. 


Goodhart’s Law: 

“A Performance Metric is only useful as a Performance Metric only as long as it is not used as a Performance Metric.”


Even in good faith there is the risk that too much weight will be put on it to the determent of other areas of importance

 i.e. it becomes an end in itself, 

attracting resources all out of proportion to its true value.

There is also the danger that the metric gets gamed

 i.e. narrow “teaching to the test” 

v. promoting a generalized love of learning, 

encouraging wide ranging curiosity or

developing a board based knowledge base



Campbell’s Law: “The more any quantitative indicator is used for decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the processes it is intended to monitor.”


As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier