CU Employee CULytics Founder

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Have you heard of the Cobra Effect on KPIs? It's a concept that recently surfaced with concerns surrounding one of the largest banks in the US, where overzealous employees were opening new accounts on behalf of clients without their permission.

Let me share a story from a town in India that sheds light on the Cobra Effect. The local government wanted to combat the growing population of cobras and decided to offer a small financial incentive to anyone who brought in a cobra head. Their intention was to control the cobra population this way.

Initially, they experienced the desired outcome as the cobra population decreased. However, they soon discovered a disheartening truth. People were bringing in more and more cobra heads. It turned out there was an underground industry involved in breeding and nurturing cobras for the sole purpose of claiming the reward.

In your organization, it's essential to identify if any KPIs are being manipulated or gamed. One approach to mitigate this risk is to establish parallel KPIs for checks and balances. For example, to maintain a healthy balance between member satisfaction and fee income, you may not want fees to be refunded only for deserving members, ensuring high satisfaction and engagement without compromising financial sustainability.

At our executive workshops on Achieving Successful Business Outcomes, we delve into the concept of the Cobra Effect and so much more. Our workshops are designed to help you align your organization's business objectives with your vision and strategic priorities. We provide guidance on setting measurable objectives and key performance indicators, implementing effective monitoring processes, and fostering innovation in advancing your data analytics practice.

If the notion of Cobras has piqued your interest or if you'd like to learn more about our executive workshop series, I encourage you to reach out to me. Together, we can unveil the hidden truths behind KPIs and empower your organization to achieve genuine business success.

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