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The Greyhound Principle: Ethical and Practical Aspects of Stretch Goals in Business

A common management strategy to spur achievement is to set aggressive performance objectives that, like the mechanical rabbits that pace racing greyhounds, push employees to maximum effort. Using “stretch goals” can be successful, but unreasonably high performance goals often spawn dishonesty and irresponsibility.

Believing that “it’s a matter of survival,” a disturbing number of employees conclude that distortion, deception, and even outright falsification of numbers are justified to keep their jobs and earn their bonuses. As a result, almost everyone seems to reach their stretch goals, and management congratulates itself on generating an unbroken string of double-digit growth.

via The Greyhound Principle: Ethical and Practical Aspects of Stretch Goals in Business.

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