Creating a high performance organisation: Part 3 – Setting stretch targets
Written by Jon Lister, Director of Enterprise Chartered Certified Accountants
“The longest journey begins with a single step”.
A fine sentiment but one that focuses on the process rather than the outcome. It could be that the single step turns into 1,000 miles in the wrong direction which we wouldn’t find so laudable would we?
And this is the problem with targets they need to tick a whole host of boxes including being;
1. In keeping with your original goal
2. Achievable but with the right level of difficulty
3. Absolute, you’ve either hit the target or you haven’t
4. Measurable, so you know you’ve hit it.
Stretch targets set outside the annual cycle of budgets and performance targets for bonuses, they are there to inspire and instil a sense of awe in those who read them.
Whether we believe them or not depends on who or how they are delivered.
Did the American people doubt JFK when he said “we will put a man on the moon”?
So what are your stretch targets?
If these don’t immediately come to mind, then don’t worry, you are not alone!
Setting them takes time and needs a sound understanding of your personal and your business goals. It is grounded in ethics & values and grows through an appreciation of what you are trying to achieve but most importantly how.
Setting stretch targets will allow you to get to the moon rather than standing on a tall ladder and reaching for the stars.