“Don’t cross a river if it is on average 4 feet deep.” (Nassm Taleb)
Averages don’t show the underlying distribution.
If 100 people get on a bus and one is Bill Gates, he will massively skew the “average” net worth of people on the bus.
The average sales per consultant may be £200k. But what is the underlying distribution? Are there two or three top performers increasing the average? How do you identify more of them?
The average revenue per customer may be £100k. But do just a few customers make up the bulk of it? If so, what if one leaves? How can you identify and develop more top customers?
The average revenue per hour may be £100. But do some customers take up considerably more time (and cognitive resources) than others? Are the high fees masking 80% of the problems? What about the customers that create high revenue per hour? How do you identify and develop more of them?
The psychopath next door may be perfectly pleasant, on average. But the distribution of his behavior is that 99% of the time he is wonderful, and 1% of the time he goes on a psychotic killing spree.
Negative events can be masked by the illusion of averages. If the top customers or consultants leave, you're screwed. So don't rest on your laurels. Instead, work, work, work.
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