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Are Your Actions False Positive?

Are your results false positive? 

There are many reasons things don't work but there is one that nobody thinks about and this is also my problem with social media gurus. 

Picture this: You're on the job hunt and need help. Along comes an online recruitment guru sharing a seemingly foolproof technique – send out hundreds of AI-powered resumes, and voila, guaranteed responses! Sounds promising, right? Hate to break it to you, but it's likely a false positive result. In science, false positive rates for tests typically range from less than 1% to a maximum of 2%. Sending hundreds of resumes might hit the mark once, but it's not a reliable strategy and certainly doesn't prove that it works. 

The same applies to cold calling, cold email outreach and all these "numbers games" and I would even fight Alex Hormozi over that:-)). They don't work, they are false positives which unfortunately reinforces the message of "let's keep doing it because if we do it enough times it yields results", yes, false positive results. 

The same can be applied to your effort at work or home. Let's say you told your husband 100s of times to take out the rubbish bin without you reminding him. One year on, he still only takes it out when you remind him so one night you lose it with him and start shouting. In a couple of days, you notice that he took the rubbish out without you telling him. Yay! You think that he learned his lesson and/or shouting is what made him sense. Try shouting at him daily and see what happens:-)))) This approach yielded a false positive action because let's be honest, you have no idea why he took the rubbish out. 

Now let's look at your job as a leader. I have seen this in action many times with the stupid sandwich technique for feedback, with employee engagement activities, and even with goal setting. The sandwich technique works for maybe one person out of 100, the rest of us want clear talk and message. Then Employee of the Month award, that one silly paper certificate is appreciated by one person out of the 100s. That one person posts it on LinkedIn tagging you in as their manager saying how much it means to them, so you conclude that your employee of the month BS works. Don't kid yourself, the rest of us throw it in the bin the moment we get back to the office. As for goal setting, here is a real example that played out right in front of me. 

My HR VP at the time (who I love and respect), sets the employee satisfaction goal to 90% after receiving the regional result of 78%. When I questioningly looked at her she said "I want the hotels to work on it and this target is something to work towards." I thought to myself "Ok, let's see what's going to happen here." 

A year passes and we run the survey. Guess what? The result is 90%!!!! Yay! However, when we looked into it we found that they were corrupt! My VP wasn't stupid she knew what hotels were doing but wanted to get them to focus on employees. Now here is the problem. If you don't look into the data and just accept the 90% result, you would conclude that setting ambitious goals works. No, it doesn't because without knowing why something truly worked we cannot conclude that your method works. 

The frequency is also a major factor but probably not with humans or in this case with organisations because we are more complex than a pregnancy test. People find a way to corrupt every process and KPI. Let's be honest, we haven't got the slightest clue why they are achieved. Some are achieved due to a high level of competence, careful planning, amazing teamwork, due to external circumstances (the market is good for the business) or luck. So making claims that this or that method works is rather ignorant in the world of work. There is no science or proof behind anything we do and we are likely running on false positives. 

Are false positive results considered to be performance? I am not so sure!

Also, If you think about this you will throw out all your people-related processes:-) Just saying WINK WINK! 

Exciting news! My second book, "Blind Leading the Disengaged - From Kindergarten to Employee Experience," is dropping in April! It's a treasure trove of solutions and cool ideas to shake up your people management game. But before we get there, let's chat about where we're at now—The Corporate Kindergarten, as I spilled the beans in my first book. Check it out, and let's transform your workplace from a daycare to an awesome employee experience hub!

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