Conventional wisdom contends that goals are essential for improving team performance. I’ve shared that belief for years, but what if it is wrong? What if goals act to hold back a team’s performance?
For low performing teams, I’m convinced that goals do inspire improvement. For those groups, inertia tends to rule, and the status quo is king. Without specific targets, there is little spontaneous call for improving processes, and in turn, results.
But what about when team performance is high? Aren’t those teams self-motivated? Do goals act as a cap on opportunity and become a self-fulfilling prophecy? I recently heard a theory that, for those groups, when teams achieve their goals, they often ease back on the throttle. This can leave immense opportunities on the table.
What do you think? Do you see this happening? Please answer in the poll below and add any of your thoughts in the comments section.