Achievable Goal Progression


The climate change movement 10:10 has a strapline of

cutting carbon 10% at a time

As part of their backstory, explanation follows as to why this target was selected.

“[a cut of] 10% in 2010 also seemed a far more tangible aim than the far-off targets – such as 80% by 2050 – so beloved of policymakers who know they won’t be in office for long enough to worry about whether the targets will be met.”

Whether you believe in the campaign or not, the simplicity of their target is instructive in this context. Targets that are too daunting never succeed. When they’re considered unachievable, they become irrelevant, demotivating and counter-productive.

In Sales I often hear moans about the impossibility of unrealistic imposed targets.

I vaguely recall from a distant compound interest maths lesson, that a ten percent rise year-on-year leads to a doubling over seven years.

Which sounds more plausible? Becoming twice as big in seven years, or growing a tenth over the next twelve months?

Small increments appear to trump large pronouncements. Reducing your carbon footprint by ten percent this year is something you can picture and enthusiastically pursue. An 80% cut on the other hand, is extremely tricky to visualise.

How can you chase something you fail to see?

There’s seems to me to be merit in a parallel Sales target formulation. Can salespeople embrace bringing a 10% increase in funnel size over the next quarter? How many of your team could make 5% more calls this month? Could you make a net introduction of 5% extra provision to each client you have?


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