The Myth of the Bell Curve

According to Josh Bersin (Principal and Founder, Bersin by Deloitte), business has a lot to learn about understanding and evaluating human performance and achievement. Some of the standard tools that have been employed for decades cause managers to draw imprecise and unacceptable conclusions.

“There is a long standing belief in business that people performance follows the Bell Curve (also called the Normal Distribution). This belief has been embedded in many business practices: performance appraisals, compensation models, and even how we get graded in school. (Remember “grading by the curve?”)

“Research shows that this statistical model, while easy to understand, does not accurately reflect the way people perform. As a result, HR departments and business leaders inadvertently create agonizing problems with employee performance and happiness.”

Read Josh’s complete, and very interesting, comments here.

Difference Engine: Obituary for software patents | The Economist

According to The Economist, something may finally be done about “patent trolls,” although I personally don’t agree with the view that no computer software should be patentable.

“AT LAST, it seems, something is to be done about the dysfunctional way America’spatent system works. Two encouraging events over the past week suggest the patent reformers are finally being heard.”

Complete article here.

An interesting piece that credits much of the current patent mess to miscalculations by President Carter in the 1970s.