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Regression to the Mean

Regression to the Mean

There’s a phenomenon called “regression to the mean” in statistics. My layman’s explanation is that something that’s far out of the norm tends to return toward the norm when you continue to measure it. (Don’t berate me, math was never my strong suit.)

Have you noticed that we’re accommodating ourselves to volatility? The market is roaring, restrictions are varied depending on locale, fires are raging, social unrest is continuing, the election is approaching, some businesses are closing, schools are somehow “reopening”—I’m out of breath just writing this. But here we are.

Most of us are productively trying to live our lives in health, to create improvement, to help others. In what is beyond “a perfect storm” we are more than persevering. We have accommodated remote work, distanced learning, alternative dining, and the need for testing. I don’t know of many societies that could deal with so many disruptions concurrently. We may have a long road to travel to successfully deal with some of them, but we’re making progress. I’ve never tried to create radical, overnight change with my clients, but rather incremental change that creates substantial improvement continually.

There are still regrets. I miss the theater. I miss sports events with crowds in the stands. I miss not being able to catch a plane to the islands or hold a conference in London. But those, too, will return.

There are great lessons to be learned in a struggle. I’m confident we’re emerging from the struggle, but the question will be whether we’ve really learned anything or merely survived.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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