Performance Perspectives Blog

Don’t confuse familiarity with understanding

by | Jul 15, 2013

I’ll admit that it’s a bit unusual that a sermon would be the inspiration for a blog post, but that’s the genesis (pardon the pun) for this one.

At Church today, the Gospel was the well known (i.e., familiar) story of The Good Samaritan. Our pastor explained how most of the congregation could recite the story quite accurately. But he suggested that one shouldn’t confuse familiarity with understanding, as the story’s deeper meaning requires some effort to discern.

This made me think of many of the formulae and methods we employ in performance measurement. No doubt most performance measurement professionals are familiar with the idea of time-weighting, the Modified Dietz formula, some of the attribution models, many of the risk measures, etc. But, how many understand them?

In the case of The Good Samaritan, with each listening / reading, one has the opportunity to reflect more, or, if they’re lucky, to be instructed by a knowledgeable theologian on some of the story’s details, as well as background insights that aren’t necessarily discussed in the parable. The same holds with the methods we employ on a regular basis to evaluate all aspects portfolio performance.

TSG‘s training classes provide the opportunity to not only gain greater familiarity with many of the things we encounter, but also to expand one’s understanding. I’ll confess that my understanding continues to expand, as I spend more and more time reflecting on these materials.

I am excited that I will return to Sydney, Australia next week, to conduct both our Fundamentals and Attribution classes. While I’ve been there several times, it’s been quite some time since I’ve been down under, and am looking forward to the trip. Sydney is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve visited. I enjoy the people and much of what the city offers. Hopefully, I’ll be able to spend some time at the famous Opera House, too! If you know of someone who might wish to attend the training, please let us know, as there is still time to sign up!

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