I'm looking for real-world case studies that demonstrate how well-intended goals and metrics can drive unwanted behavior in companies.

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There are several real-world case studies that demonstrate how well-intended goals and metrics can drive unwanted behavior in companies. One such case is Facebook's hyperfixation on narrow metrics, which resulted in sacrificing the actual user experience and long-term relationship with users. This is an example of Campbell's Law, which states that a metric is a signal that reflects the goal or outcome you're seeking, but is not the full picture. When such a company is hyperfixated on narrow metrics, the consequences can be disastrous to business goals. Another case study is presented by Harvard Business School, which discusses the systematic side effects of over-prescribing goal setting. The study argues that the beneficial effects of goal setting have been overstated and that systematic harm caused by goal setting has been largely ignored. For instance, specific, challenging goals were met (speed to market, fuel efficiency, and cost) at the expense of other important features that were not specified (safety, ethical behavior, and company reputation) . A third case study is the unintended consequences of pay transparency. While pay transparency can help companies achieve goals such as narrowing the gender pay gap and fostering an engaged and positive working environment, it can also have unintended consequences. The authors present three pitfalls to watch out for, plus ways to avoid them. Lastly, a case study by McKinsey discusses the use of people analytics to drive business performance. The study found that certain personality traits have a higher impact on desired outcomes. However, the hypothesis that hiring for friendliness would maximize performance was not supported by the data. These case studies illustrate the importance of treating data as a tool to assist in decision making, but not allowing the metrics alone to determine the decision. It's crucial to keep an eye on what really counts — building positive long-term relationships that add value to users’ lives, and not damaging them.
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