Saturday, September 08, 2012

The Dispersion of Takent and Character

Barking Up the Wrong Tree has a post on a study showing how widely dispersed are talent and character.
What they found is that in low complexity jobs, workers’ outputs do not vary much, and the best worker is usually not much better than the average worker. As the jobs become more complex however, there’s more and more variation, and the difference between the best worker and the average grows. For example, in low-complexity jobs the top 10% of workers produce 25% more than the average, and 75% more than the bottom 10%. For high-complexity jobs, such as professional and sales jobs, the difference is much larger. The top 10% of workers produce 80% more than the average, and 700% more than the bottom 10% (8).
That's no surprise to any manager.  Unfortunately it makes performance appraisals, which are difficult in the best of circumstances, even more difficult.  

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