Another Quota Failure Example

Innocent People Placed On ‘Watch List’ To Meet Quota

You could be on a secret government database or watch list for simply taking a picture on an airplane. Some federal air marshals say they’re reporting your actions to meet a quota, even though some top officials deny it.

The air marshals, whose identities are being concealed, told 7NEWS that they’re required to submit at least one report a month. If they don’t, there’s no raise, no bonus, no awards and no special assignments.

“Innocent passengers are being entered into an international intelligence database as suspicious persons, acting in a suspicious manner on an aircraft … and they did nothing wrong,” said one federal air marshal.

If this is accurate it is another example of the problems caused by using quotas. Read some excellent thoughts on management problems caused by quotas – from Jim McIngvale, CEO Gallery Furniture and author of Always Think Big.

However, as I was to learn from Dr Deming, this was judging performance using arbitrary goals, which fostered short-term thinking – the only thing they cared about was: Did I make my quota this week? Misguided focus. The focus was not at all on the customer. The focus was: How much money can I make off this customer?

It created a lot of internal conflict. What type of internal conflict? Well, the salespeople hated having new salespeople hired on the floor, because they felt like it would cut into their commission…

Also, judging performance using arbitrary goals fostered a giant amount of fudging of the figures.

The risks to your business of relying on quotas are substantial. Be careful.

3 thoughts on “Another Quota Failure Example

  1. Pingback: CuriousCat: Quotas are Not the Answer

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