You are viewing an archive of our posts and leadership content. We have evolved. Click here for the New Leadership Hub.

The Halo Effect

by Zen Master April 26, 2012
Book Author: 
The Halo Effect

What you see is not always what you think you see, my dears. This is particularly the case when we seek to identify cause for a particular effect.

In his book The Halo Effect, Phil Rosenweig lays out 9 specific delusions and shows how they distort the advice you find in management books. They are:

  1. The Halo Effect - tending of analysis of a company to reflect only the overall results
  2. The Delusion of Correlation and Causality - the lack of proof of causality in many situations
  3. The Delusion of Single Explanations - one factor is unlikely to be the reason for success or failure
  4. The Delusion of Connecting the Winning Dots - problems with only considering "winners"
  5. The Delusion of Rigorous Research - mistaking large volumes of data for good data
  6. The Delusion of Lasting Success - most companies tend to the mean eventually
  7. The Delusion of Absolute Performance - companies can do well and still fail if a competitor does better
  8. The Delusion of the Wrong End of the Stick - successful companies may do various things but that does not mean that doing those things will make you successful
  9. The Delusion of Organizational Physics - business organizations are just not that predictable

To which you could add a tenth: The delusion that a charismatic leader at the top is necessarily the cause of the organization’s current success. they might be...or they just might be riding a wave. My own rule of thumb for identifying successful companies is that organizations that behave well and survive in downturns - that lead for the bad times during the good and vice versa - are the best led and most long-term successful companies. My old Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance buddies Harley-Davidson are a perfect example.