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Setting Performance Targets by Carolyn Stringer

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Chapter 5

Target Difficulty

When you aim for perfection, you discover it’s a moving target.

—George Fisher

Introduction

Determining how difficult targets should be is one of the critical choices to be made in target setting.1 Should targets be set at a very challenging level? Olympian targets that only the top performers could be expected to achieve? That is the pursuit of excellence. Yet many will fail in the Olympics. Similarly, Olympian targets demotivate all but the top performing managers. Or should targets be set at a level that is likely to be achieved? If targets are highly achievable how do you motivate managers to increase performance beyond the target? The art of target setting is to chose the right level of target difficulty for ...

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