How to Set Stretch Goals
Abstract: Short-term fixed targets have become more pervasive in both the private and public sectors over recent years as senior executives look to make managers more accountable for delivering improved results. But do they work? Do they deliver the results expected? In some cases the answer is yes but the collateral damage is often too great to bear as managers’ resort to a range of unethical practices to meet the numbers. This paper examines the evidence and suggests ways that leaders can drive step changes in performance without the damaging effects of fixed targets.