Saturday, 31 August 2019

There's nothing average about it

I'm a big fan of Ted talks. The variety, the view points, the range of subjects, the expertise - all fascinating and thought provoking.

I stumbled across this one over the summer, The myth of average by Todd Rose.

If you have 18 minutes to spare, do give it a view - because it was fascinating both in relation to how the US Air Force approached fighter plane design in 1952 or how the structure of the education system  is often failing the brightest and most talented students in the US education system. But, at the heart of it, the point  was that thinking differently can nurture and harness potential - and that is by not designing for the average.

As I listened, it struck me that average is everywhere and decisions are made about it and because of it everyday, including in the not for profit sector.

So, the next time you use the term - the average supporter is...., have a think about what that means and also what it doesn't mean for the information you have and the judgement you make.

I am not saying on the basis of one very bright man talking about averages that it hasn't got value - but  it was a great  reminder that we can generalise because of it - and that could be to the detriment of what we do and what we decide to do next for the programmes we lead, the investment choices we make and for the experience of those that support and engage with our cause.

Thanks as ever for stopping by.