Stretch Goals: How to use them and do goal settings?

20.07.14 01:01 PM By Kapil Thukral

Using Stretch Goals with Your Team- A new methodology for goal setting!

Inspiring Excellence in Others

What are Stretch Goals?

Sim Sithin and his colleagues defined stretch goals as: "An organizational goal with an objective probability of attainment that may be unknown but is seemingly impossible given current capabilities." Stretch goals are ambitious goals that challenge current assumptions and processes, and inspire teams to re-imagine what they previously thought possible. They differ from regular goals because of this level of difficulty; stretch goals seem impossible at the outset, while regular ones are perceived as challenging but achievable.

 Advantages and Disadvantages

There are many advantages of using stretch goals in your organization. They encourage creative thinking and exploratory learning, so they help people uncover new ways to improve processes, and develop products and services. This is particularly useful where teams are coasting or are "stuck in a rut." Stretch goals can also benefit people personally. When they achieve stretch goals, they become more self-confident and more engaged, and they grow as individuals. Stretch goals force people to re-evaluate what they're capable of, which can lead to a truly transformative experience.

Types of Stretch Goals

There are two types of stretch goals: "vertical" and "horizontal." Vertical stretch goals align with current activities, organizational goals or business processes. They take these existing activities to new heights. For example, setting a goal of achieving 100 percent customer satisfaction in a month, rather than 75 percent, would be a vertical stretch goal because it builds on current activities. A horizontal stretch goal inspires people to take on different responsibilities, develop new processes or products, or expand the organization outward in some way. For example, challenging your team to develop a new product that appeals to an entirely new target market could be one of these, because it requires them to push out and not up.

Setting Stretch Goals with Your Team

Use the strategies below when you set stretch goals with your team members.
  1. Determine Whether a Stretch Goal is Right for Your Situation
  2. Use Small Wins to Drive Progress
  3. Provide Intrinsic Rewards
  4. Don't Punish Failure
  5. Provide Appropriate Support
  6. Anticipate Resistance
Click here to read these steps in details

Key Points

A stretch goal is a seemingly impossible goal that challenges people to re-evaluate what they thought was possible. It can be vertical (when it builds on existing skills or processes) or horizontal (when it encourages teams to develop new skills, processes or products). To use stretch goals effectively in your organization, first make sure that they're right for your team. Working towards stretch goals requires flexibility, persistence and confidence, and they won't be suitable in all roles or industries. When you set stretch goals, break them up into smaller steps, and recognize small wins to maintain motivation and engagement. Also, provide intrinsic rewards, and don't discourage failure. Finally, provide appropriate support, anticipate and deal with resistance, and get buy-in from team members and important stakeholders. Read the complete article:  Click Here Related articles: