Performance Perspectives Blog

Attribution in surgery

by | Aug 26, 2009

I recently listened to a new Wayne Dyer recording during which he mentioned a study that was recently done regarding surgery. When individuals have severe, chronic pain from arthritis in their knees, they often undergo surgery. One orthopedist knew that the surgery worked but didn’t know what particular aspect of the procedure was the critical one. And so, he decided to do a test.

He had three groups of patients: (1) patients who underwent the traditional surgery, (2) patients that had their knees opened up, but only washed with water, and (3) patients who had incisions done, but no surgery at all. Afterwards they found that EVERY group had the same level of success. Some of the patients who had no real surgery performed could now run, play tennis, and do other activities that were previously impossible for them to do. And so what could they attribute this success to?

Attribution is critical to many aspects of life, right? Again, we in performance measurement often borrow ideas, techniques, strategies from elsewhere and make them our own. But doing the right kind of attribution can provide good answers. We’ll be speaking more about this shortly.

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