Chapter 8

Conclusion: Target Setting, the Lost Art

Setting specific targets leads to better performance. Targets encourage employees to find new ways to perform better and allow them to build on prior knowledge. Therefore, specific and challenging targets are better than no targets at all or telling people to do your best.1 How managers deal with multiple and perhaps conflicting targets is important to understand.

Robert Kaplan highlights the example of General Electric (GE). GE uses one financial and seven nonfinancial measures:2

1. profitability (residual income)

2. market share

3. productivity

4. product leadership

5. public responsibility

6. personnel development

7. employee attitude

8. balance between short-range and long-range objectives ...

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