Interesting to note the pendulum seems to be swinging away from companies setting concrete goal targets as a staff motivation tool, with a lot of negative press generally blaming goal setting for corporate disasters. Instead, suggestions include targets with more emphasis on flexibility and discretion, yet I think we all acknowledge that having none or too vague goals is unrealistic. What is your experience?
New ways are emerging to measure goals such as these, which are harder to quantify, using surveys, social media and other information. But a strictly numerical approach requires caution, too. With their false promise of clarity, data have a mesmerising effect on executives, even in areas that are harder to quantify than mere revenues. Goals are extraordinarily powerful. Abolishing them disarms a company’s sales team. Adjusting or augmenting them can dilute or even pervert their impact. But companies really court catastrophe when they set unrealistic goals and oblige staff to chase them.